Having professional and financial freedom is attractive to virtually everyone. Who doesn’t want to be free and work for themselves? That’s why starting a side business, side gig, side hustle — whatever you want to call it — is so popular.
The advances of modern technology and social media allows people to run countless types of businesses from the comfort of a person’s home. If starting a side hustle now eventually brings that freedom many desire, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Because it’s hard work.
Being a full-time entrepreneur is what everyone with an idea would like to do, but it’s risky if you must start making money right away — especially if there are other responsibilities (student or car loan debt, a family to support, etc).
Starting a side business alongside your full-time job is the best course of action in terms of mitigating risk, even if it’s not the “sexiest” option out there. It allows you to learn and grow from the mistakes you made. Once you’ve built it up to the point where you can make that “leap” everyone talks about, that’s the time to say goodbye to the typical 9-5 job and hello to your new life.
Anyone who has started a side business that turned into their sole source of income will say the same thing — it takes time. If people could start a business and make it profitable overnight, that bandwagon would be full.
Although having a source of income on the side is becoming more popular, not nearly as many people are doing it as you think. The length at which it takes a side business to become profitable depends on plenty of factors, but sweat equity is the most important.
That doesn’t mean you must work every single minute of the morning and evening outside of your regular job. But without putting the work in, it’s hard to expect to turn a profit.
It’s frustrating to do everything right — reaching out to prospective clients, being visible and active on social media, etc — and not see your bank account increase significantly. Feeling like this is OK. That’s called being human.
I get frustrated, too. The key is to minimize those feelings as much as possible so it doesn’t affect your daily effort and working toward that ultimate goal.
The point at which people decide it’s not worth continuing to try is usually around the same spot. They’ve made some money and impact with a small client base, but not enough to reach that tipping point so things can start going in the preferred direction.
What they don’t realize is they were in the cusp of reaching that tipping point, but they’ll never know because they prematurely brushed their dream aside.
The thought, idea or dream you had/have is inside you for a reason. It wouldn’t be put there if you weren’t meant to act on it and see it through to the end.
There are going to be hard days where you don’t get clients, there’s no interaction on your social media handles or your following seems stagnant. All this happens after normal business hours because you have a full-time job, as well. Those are the days we don’t hear about a lot when we think about being an entrepreneur or small-business owner.
That’s not the time to stop. That’s the time to keep pushing forward. Like Rocky Balboa said, “It’s not about how hard you get hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
You have a dream or idea that will help you reach whatever those personal goals are. Don’t stop until you’ve reached where you want to get to. You can do it!