June 2018 Volume 15


Hugh Reid
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Are you in search of financial freedom, flexibility, or an exit strategy from your nine to five job, then side hustles present the perfect opportunity. As many as 44 million Americans reported earning extra income on the side in 2017, with millennials making up the majority.

For many, a side hustle is simply a stepping stone to self-employment. It is arguably the least risky way to go about it since it allows you to build up a business while still earning a consistent income from your regular job. It can allow you to sock away extra cash each month for an emergency fund, retirement, or a big savings goal like purchasing a home or taking that trip you have always dreamed about. It can also help you pay down any debt you have much faster.

It is worth noting, that side hustles vary widely:

· they can be location dependent viz. you have to go into an office

  • done entirely online

· require certain skills e.g. marketing, coaching or consulting

· require certain tools to perform the side hustle e.g. a car re Uber or a house re Airbnb.

Regardless of the content of the side hustle though, the critical question is to always remember your “why.” What is driving you to start (and maintain) a side hustle in the first place? Your reason will be yours and yours alone, and it will sustain you when the going gets tough (because it will be tough at times). Without a clear purpose behind it, your side hustle is likely to fail. So take a moment right now to write down that “why” and make sure it is prominently displayed in your workspace.

8 critical success factors in starting a Side Hustle:

1. Tempering expectations - starting a successful side hustle will take some serious investments of both time and money. Do not expect it to earn any money, much less replace the income from your full-time job if you are not willing to make the necessary sacrifice - less time spent with friends, less time watching your favorite Netflix shows; getting up earlier, staying up later etc.

2. Picking the right side hustle - choose something you are already an expert in or something you are passionate about and learn how to do it better. While it is obviously important to be skilled at the thing you choose to do for a side hustle, I think it is almost equally important to be passionate about it as it is this passion that will sustain you during difficult times.

3. Get advice - Is this something you could feasibly charge money for? is there a need/demand for it? What is the problem you will be helping people solve? Who do you hope to serve? Discuss these questions with a mentor, expert or small council of friends.

4. Do your Prep Work - research and learn about the field you plan to enter and get a fulsome understanding of business and marketing principles.

5. Set goals for i) the amount of time you plan work on your side hustle each week. And get specific! Don’t just write down a goal of 4 hours per week–write down the exact days and times ii) a monthly income goal and the date by which you would like to reach it. Example - you offer a service that costs $250. If your income goal is $1000 per month by April, you will need to be booking at least four clients per month.

6. Determine your marketing and prospecting strategy e.g. will you need a website, social media accounts (FB, Craigslist, twitter, LinkedIn etc.), a blog and how will you get these established and maintained. Consider starting off by offering your services first to your own network of friends and family. If they do not need your service, there is a chance they know someone who does.

7. Avoid conflicts of interest - while you are still working your regular job, it is important to ensure any side gigs you take on don’t present a conflict of interest with your regular job.

8. Don’t Wait - start now!

Prepared by Hugh Reid

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