Now, more than ever, side hustles are gaining momentum. It's no surprise we're hearing a lot about people who have found success with an after-hours side hustle—or that you'd want in!
If you have big entrepreneurial dreams and you feel as if you should be out there doing your own thing, you have to act on it. You only get one life and one shot to live it the way you've always wanted to.
When it comes to pursuing entrepreneurship, you have to be smart about it. You may be excited to get started, but don't go crazy and quit your day job before you're ready.
That's where a side hustle comes in.
Starting a Side Hustle
A side hustle lets you explore your options, get to know what it's like to run a business, and eases you into entrepreneurship.
Yes, it will be hard work and there will be long hours. You'll have to make sacrifices, too. There will be days when you just don't feel like working on your side hustle, but if you want to be successful, you've got to do it anyway. Commit to giving it all you've got, in every spare hour.
This kind of approach to passion and work is something that often comes naturally to creative entrepreneurs. Despite that, as a newbie, you may struggle with figuring out where to start—especially when the creative entrepreneurs you follow seem so successful.
You're probably wondering what the secret to a successful side hustle is. A lot of people do. The thing is, there isn't really a secret at all.
Scroll below to find out what you need to know about running a successful side hustle.
There's No Such Thing As Failure
One of the most important things to remember about entrepreneurship is that failure does not exist.
Well…okay, so maybe it does—technically.
Mistakes happen, especially when you're just starting out. The idea is that when you make a mistake or something doesn't go the way you had planned, you shouldn't look at it as failing. Instead, look at it as a learning opportunity.
So many people are afraid to fail because they think it’s a bad thing. When you fail or make a mistake, reframe your thinking and recognize it for what it is: a teachable moment. Learn from mistakes and use them to your advantage. More importantly, don't let the fear of failure hold you back.
You Have to Show Up Every Day
Showing up is the most important part of building a successful side hustle. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to overthink anything. You just need to do the work. Show up every day and get it done.
There's no way around it. If you don't put in the work, your business can't grow and you'll find yourself further away from your goals than you've ever been.
If you're having a hard time being productive while working from home or balancing your side hustle with your day job, it may take some trial and error to develop the right routine. Be patient with yourself as you figure out what works for you, but don't get complacent.
Bottom line: You have to do the work.
Starting a Side Hustle Doesn't Have to Be Expensive
When you look at people running successful side hustles, you're probably also seeing dollar signs.
The truth is, starting a business doesn't need to be expensive. You may feel as if you have to invest a lot to get off the ground but the reality of it is that you don’t. All you need is a solid plan, a little creativity, your laptop, and a WiFi connection.
You might even want to do a wifi speed test to make sure that you have what you need. This is especially crucial if your side hustle is run primarily online, so if that's the case, getting a better connection is worth investing in.
Make Serving Others a Priority
When it comes to running a successful side hustle, placing an emphasis on how you serve your customers should be a priority—always. The way you serve your clients and audience determines your success. You have to make sure that you know what they want and find a way to give it to them.
If you're struggling with figuring out how to serve your clients, you need to make an effort to identify their needs. Start by creating a profile of your target client:
- Who are they?
- How old are they?
- What do they do?
- Do they have any interests or hobbies?
- What are they struggling with or is there a problem they need help solving?
Once you know who you're audience is, you can start identifying their pain points. This will give you a better idea of the product or service you should offer your clients.
To figure out where your is at and what they need, consider:
- Sending a survey to your email list
- Creating a poll within a Facebook group
- Visiting online forums related to your industry or niche
- Asking your current or past clients
These are great ways to connect with your target audience and learn about their needs directly from them. After that, you can work on figuring out how to solve their problems and better serve them.
Best of all, you'll give yourself a credibility boost while growing your side hustle.
Find Ways to Boost Your Creativity
Creativity is a powerful thing. Most people believe creativity comes naturally and either you have it or you don't. That may be true to an extent, but I'm a big believer that creativity can be learned—especially in business.
I know what you're thinking…”How can I learn to become a creative person? Is that even possible?”
But just to be clear, I'm not talking about becoming the world's next best artist when you can't draw to save your life. That's definitely outside of my wheelhouse!
No, what I'm talking about is creative thinking. We can all learn to be more creative when it comes to solving problems, turning failure into success, and marketing your side hustle.
Here are some ways to get creative in your business:
- Read books related to your industry or niche
- Find a mentor or business coach
- Read personal development books
- Listen to podcasts that interview successful or up-and-coming entrepreneurs
- Subscribe to (and read) the blogs of people in your industry
- Hang out in discussion forums and groups
- Join Facebook groups for your industry
- Participate in a mastermind group
- Sign up for webinars
Clearly, reading is a big part of my “get creative” strategy. Some of my favorite books for business and personal development are:
- The Freelancer's Bible by Sara Horowitz
- Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
- You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
- The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
- One Million Followers by Brendan Kane
Growing a wildly successful side hustle won't happen overnight. It takes time and patience. So, put in the work and remember to take it one day at a time.
You've got this!
I hope you found this article on building a successful side hustle helpful! You may also want to check out these guides on balancing a full-time job with a side hustle and how to quit your job and freelance full-time.
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I love this post girl! So good!
Thanks for this read, I am new at this side hustle business but I got admit, I love every aspect of it.
Katie Jenison says
Hi Denise! I’m glad you liked it. Having a side hustle can be a challenge but when it’s something you enjoy it’s so worth it! Good luck!
Since my husband had to retire due to health problems, I definitely need to get a good side hustle going. I’ll have to check these books out!
Katie Jenison says
Hi Beth! I’m sorry your husband is experiencing health problems. Sending you both good luck and well wishes!
Mama Writes Reviews says
Oooooh these are great tips! Off I go to make more money!!!!
Rebecca Branham says
I completely agree with each of these tips. Especially that failure doesn’t exist. I actually just wrote a blog post about this here: https://www.modavatecoaching.com/your-life-is-a-reflection-of-your-mindset
Failure is feedback. Yeah, something didn’t go exactly how you wanted it and that’s great! I tell my clients to ask themselves “what could have went better?”
Katie Jenison says
Hi Rebecca! Mindset definitely matters. How you perceive failure says a lot about how far you’ll go in accomplishing your goals. Thanks for stopping by!
These are such incredible tips! I am trying so hard to get my business up and running. I love your book recommendations.
Katie Jenison says
Hi Bailey! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Good luck with your business!
Such great advice! Showing up really is the most important. And such great book suggestions! I think even a creative mind can learn new things by utilizing available resources.
Katie Jenison says
Hi Brittany! I’m glad you enjoyed them. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
I’m in need of a good side hustle (my husband especially), and I love the ideas you shared. I recently read the book You Are A Badass and it was so inspiring!
Katie Jenison says
Hi Cayla! You Are a Badass is definitely one my favorites. I just finished reading You Are a Badass at Making Money and that one was pretty good, too. I hope you think of an amazing side hustle that’s right for you and your husband. Good luck! -Katie