The First 3 Steps to Running a Successful Side Hustle

Photography by North Arrow Creative

Photography by North Arrow Creative

So you want to start a new business while also working your nine to five? Good for you! There is nothing quite so rewarding as watching something you’ve built from scratch gain traction and find value in the world while also enjoying the stability and rewards of a separate career.

And it’s a concept that is common to us millennials. The New York Post reported last year that one in two millennials now has a side hustle, whether in an effort to boost overall cash-flow or to chase a long-held passion. Those are staggering numbers when you consider that just 1 in 4 of our baby boomer counterparts are following suit.

“The ability to pivot is crucial and necessary for winning the long game.”

“The ability to pivot is crucial and necessary for winning the long game.”

Yes, it’s clear that that the traditional career path trajectory is changing. No longer does one career a future make, and those of us in the workforce are learning that the ability to pivot is crucial and necessary for winning the long game.

For instance, it’s now possible for nearly anyone in any industry to have an expert persona online. Your doctor, your nanny, your trash man. We may balk at first when they upload selfies pre-surgery or tips for recycling success, but when they become an expert in their field, who will we turn to when we have an issue involving their expertise? Bingo. I call that the ultimate pivot.

“We may balk at first when our doctors upload selfies pre-surgery or when the garbage man shares his tips for recycling success, but when they become an expert in their field, who will we turn to when we have an issue involving their expertise?”

“We may balk at first when our doctors upload selfies pre-surgery or when the garbage man shares his tips for recycling success, but when they become an expert in their field, who will we turn to when we have an issue involving their expertise?”

Sure, there are a wealth of reasons why tuning into your particular side hustle is advantageous - whether the aim is to bolster your existing career or start a new one. But don’t let anyone fool you, running a business in your free time can be overwhelming and present it’s own set of struggles that can force you to call into question every reason why you began. But if you’re lucky - it’s worth a little struggle. 

“If you’re lucky -  it’s worth a little struggle.”

“If you’re lucky - it’s worth a little struggle.”

The most successful operations have clearly defined the answers to these 3 questions.

  1. Determine your why. What is your big end-goal? What drives you forward? Why will you be willing to wake up early or stay late to accomplish your goals? Why will you give up social time, personal time, and workouts if need be?

    Maybe it’s leaving your full-time corporate job, making meaningful change in the community, or some other cause that drives you forward. Whatever your reason, it’s crucial you find it and call it out by name. Otherwise, you simply will not sacrifice what it takes to get where you’d like to be.

  2. Determine the pain point(s) your business/product/service solves. What pain point are potential customers of your business experiencing? Are they financial? Perhaps your potential customers are spending too much money on their current service provider, and you plan to undercut the competitor. Or related to productivity? Maybe they are wasting too much time on their current solution. Whether you plan to improve the process or provide more support than your counterparts, having a strongly rooted concept of why your business/product/service is needed is foundational in your plan for action.

  3. What unique way(s) do you solve this? Take the answers to #2 and turn them into actionable steps! If you’re solving a financial pain point, emphasize a lower price or highlight savings. Or if it’s increasing the amount of customer support provided, help your prospective clients feel like a partner by highlighting how you’ll continue to serve them after your transaction.

    But the most unique factor your business/product/service has going for it? You! You are the secret sauce because it’s quite likely that there are others out there providing a similar product or service. It’s the reason why photos of you on social media will always out perform images of your product and service alone. People support people! Your audience loves to get a glimpse behind the scenes and will more readily connect with a brand they have a personal interest in. Challenge yourself to continually connect with your potential customers, whether online or face-to-face, and you’ll see your referrals and customer base grow!

That’s it! Three tips I have for anyone considering diving head first into the magical land of owning your own side hustle. Always come from a place of serving first, and you will not fail.

“ Always come from a place of serving first, and you will not fail.”

Always come from a place of serving first, and you will not fail.”

Got questions? Or tips for running a side hustle that you think should’ve made the list? Leave me a comment below!

Emily

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PS. Did you love the photography in my blog post? Check out more from North Arrow Creative here!

 
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