May 4, 2022
By: Gareth Mankoo
Other than your regular, full-time job, you may want to flex a skill or talent to rake in some extra cash and are looking for a formula for your side hustle success.
Here’s a secret: there isn’t one.
Managing your primary occupation and whatever you plan to do on the side requires significant time-management skills and willpower.
But we will get to that later. First, we need to understand what the reasons for a side hustle could be. Why would people take up a parallel workstream in addition to a highly demanding, full-time job?
The most common response you will get is to make more money. Not every full-time job pays enough for you to fulfill your dreams or pay off your debts. An extra bit of money for a rainy day is never a bad idea either.
If you have a passion or talent and haven’t been able to turn it into your full-time career, you can start with a side-gig. You could have an idea that you believe in, but it does not have anyone ready to invest in it. A side-hustle that pays for itself can do the trick.
A side hustle success story can happen to anybody.
Kevin Plank, the founder of sportswear brand Under Armour, was a college football player who hated shirts sticking to his body during sports.
So, as a side hustle, he created clothing with a synthetic base layer, which caught on, and he operated from his grandmother’s basement.
The rest is history.
A side hustle, no matter how academic or hobby-led, can be a welcome mental break. Recreational side hustle success depends on a number of factors. Yet, the value you derive from it is the satisfaction of doing something different, and this feeling isn’t something trivial.
What is important is that side hustles are a great boost for you, with the many advantages they present, albeit with a few more goals to achieve that could be meaningful.
You could derive incredible benefits along the way.
No amount of money is enough money. The more we earn, the better the lifestyle we seek. Not every 9-to-5 job pays you the salary you need to achieve all your financial goals.
Knowing that you have a parallel stream of income helps with being more secure. If you lose your full-time job or decide to take a break, your other job can pay off some of the bills, if not all.
You now have full control over how you express your skills and talents, which is a major confidence booster.
Is your boss always on your heels with follow-ups? With a side hustle, you’re your own boss. It’s a flicker of independence, but it can go a long way.
There are several instances where we meet people and remember them for their side hustles and hobbies. They make for more interesting conversations than speaking about your full-time job and putting your skills in the spotlight.
You may be amazed at how big and recognizable some of these brands are, but what do they all have in common? They all started as side hustles or passion projects.
In 1976, Steve Jobs was an employee at Atari and Steve Wozniak was an engineer at HP. Together, they set out to construct a computer using spare Atari parts.
This makeshift computer was the Apple 1, the very first Apple device in existence.
This set off an upward trajectory for the duo, making Apple one of the most valuable brands the world has ever known.
Social media in various forms existed in the early 2000s, but none of them served the unique distinction that Facebook encompassed. How did it all begin?
It started with Mark Zuckerberg tinkering with code to create Facemash, a platform that rated the attractiveness of students. It was taken down only to fuel the creation of Facebook.
This was a platform that focused more on tech and monetization than anything else, and it became the biggest social media platform in the world by a mile.
Way back in 1995, Craig Newmark sent an email to his friends, letting them know about cool happenings in San Francisco.
Only 10 to 12 people received the email, but many more began sharing it. This inspired Newmark to create a list that went on to become Craigslist. Today, it spans listings from over 70 countries.
Even a billion-dollar business idea like Craigslist began with $0.
In 1969, Mike Kittredge was just sixteen when he made a candle out of crayons for his mother.
He didn’t have enough pocket money to get a real one.
A friend of his loved the candle creation and offered to pay him $2 to make another one for them.
Kittredge sensed that this could become a business and he bumped up production in his parents’ basement.
Years later, the Yankee Candle Company was born. In 1998, he sold the company for $500 million.
Photobucket was among the most popular image-uploading and sharing apps in the 2000s. Back then, Alan Schaaf was just a student who decided to take on the giants by creating a website of his own.
In two weeks, he created Imgur, which today has 150 million active users every month. Schaaf’s boldness was the secret to his side hustle success.
Other notable mentions of side hustles that went on to become massive enterprises include:
Once you have made up your mind to start your new project, you will be excited at first. However, it takes determination and discipline to keep your venture on track and meet your goals successfully.
If you can do what your side hustle requires with minimal learning, then you couldn’t have landed a better deal. If you need to learn a new skill or do ample research, you will need to allow more time for preparation, which could push the rewards of your new project even further down the timeline.
If you love it and you’re good at it, it better make you some money.
Everything costs money. There’s a lot on the line here, so you have to ask yourself:
Ask yourself these questions before starting anything. Also, ensure that you don’t cause a conflict of interest between your side project and your main job.
Now that you have fewer pockets of time, you need to plan your schedules accordingly. While assessing, take into account time spent at your workplace, possible commutes, a healthy sleeping window, and time for other recreational activities. Some useful planning tools are Asana, Evernote, Trello, and nTask.
Your side hustle success may be heavily reliant on how strictly you adhere to the regimens you establish here.
You’re going to have to give up something to make more time for your side hustle, at least in the beginning.
Pick what you are going to stop doing. It could be an hour of watching TV. It could be hanging out with your friends. Define what you are willing to give up and distance yourself from these activities, as they are now merely distractions.
Once you establish a healthy regimen between your side hustle and main job, you can reclaim your time and come back to your favorite activities.
Even as you sacrifice crucial aspects of life, you need to remember that your well-being matters the most.
Some things that seem trivial, like watching a movie with your loved one or walking your dog, could be significant relaxation time for you. Speak with a peer or a counselor if you find yourself having a tough time managing tasks. Be ready to press the brakes when your body demands it.
Commitment, although essential to make your side hustle success a reality, is truly a double-edged sword.
Avoid over-committing, not only to those involved in your side hustle but also to yourself. It’s critical that you work smarter rather than harder.
Keep asking yourself these questions at regular intervals:
The answers to these questions can shed a light on whether the arrangement is working for you or not. Don’t forget, grinding for success is all well and good, but your mental health and well-being are more important.
Be patient, be kind to yourself, be hopeful, be positive. Your side hustle isn’t going to be the make or break of your financial or professional life. You have a full-time job for that.
Make it a passion project and treat it with love. Who knows, it just might blossom into becoming your full-time job, if not bigger.