Before starting my business, I knew I wanted to someday be my own boss full-time. So instead of diving in with both feet, I ran it as a side hustle for a good four years.
At the beginning, business was slow because I held a full-time job and didn’t want the two to overlap or interfere with my ability to perform. Every day when I’d leave my full-time job, I’d spend three to five hours working on my side hustle.
I spent a good two years blogging about digital marketing and giving away free tips. But one day something changed. I started getting InMail messages from CEOs who were in need of marketing help and found me after reading one of my blog posts.
Now as I look back, I can see that I learned a lot of things along the way that I believe can help anyone who has the desire to start their own side hustle or business.
In this blog post, I’ll detail how to stop waiting for opportunities and actually start creating them for yourself.
Mindset Is Everything
I won’t sugarcoat it; the truth is that 50% of businesses will fail within five years of operating (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics), and that thought alone can deter many from starting their own business.
It’s easy to feel safe at a job where you know a paycheck is coming every month, you’ll clock in and clock out, go home, and chill.
But if you’re ready for change and don’t find yourself excited to jump out of bed every morning to conquer your day, then changing your mindset about your situation is key.
I get it; I’ve been there. It’s easy to get caught up in this mindset where you feel completely stuck and that nothing good is happening.
Changing your perspective on your situation to a more positive outlook and being more grateful will change the way you view the opportunities you can create for yourself.
Write Down Your Goals and Commit
To this day, I still have a notepad where I will write goals that I want to achieve, followed by specific dates for the milestones I want to hit. In fact, you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis
This includes even the smallest things, like getting in a quick 20-minute run or grabbing lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. The point here is that goals don’t have to be piled up to become a ginormous mountain that makes you feel overwhelmed.
Instead, consider doing the following:
- Start out by writing down what your day will look like.
- Decide on how you will commit between 30 minutes and two hours a day to doing something you really enjoy.
- Look at how you can push the joy you find in doing what you love into the energy you need to start a viable business idea.
- Start planning your weeks ahead of time and then pushing on to 30 to 60 days of planning. This will allow you to get a big-picture idea of where you’re going so you can develop the right roadmap.
Don’t Let Fear of Change Hold You Back
It can be easy to be afraid of change and of stepping outside of your comfort zone. You don’t need to have everything figured out right away, but if you take the leap, you’ll at least be ready to face whatever comes your way.
Be intentional with your actions and align them with your goals. Doing so will give you a guided roadmap to getting to where you want to go as well as peace of mind.
Also know that if the leap into entrepreneurship doesn’t work out, the worst thing that will happen is that you’ll just have to work for someone else. Now, if you’re running a side hustle, you’ll have more wiggle room to play with change and to see what works as well as what doesn’t.
Use Failure to Fuel Your Success
Running a business will teach you lessons you won’t ever learn when working for someone else. Reframe how you look at failure by embracing it to help you pivot toward a new direction when you need to.
On a personal note, when I ran my business as a side hustle, it taught me a lot about myself – specifically, what it means to truly believe in myself and to take action toward living the life I want on my own terms.
You’ll have good and bad days and even days where you feel like you’re just not going to make it. Always look for the lesson to be learned in every situation, and make sure you do not make the same mistakes again.
It can be easy to get down on yourself, but running a side hustle that can become a full-time gig means that you have to be resilient, so keep marching forward.
Take the Risk, Reap the Rewards
I can’t see myself ever working for someone else again for the following reasons:
- I feel that I’ve attained work/life integration.
- My earning potential isn’t capped. I can make as much or as little as I want. I know it’s up to me, just as it’s up to you to determine how much you make. You’re in control here.
- I’m building my own dreams, not someone else’s.
So, what does this all mean?
It means that when you take the next steps to starting your own side hustle or business, you’re creating an opportunity for yourself. In other words, you’re not waiting around hoping that it’ll come to you or that someone else will hand it to you.
Your mindset completely shifts from walking someone else’s career path to doing what you want because it makes you happy and you love it.