This weekend I received a direct message on Instagram. The young lady was full of excitement in her message as she encouraged me to join her team to earn a side income. I told her that I loved her mission to help others earn extra income then wished her well on her journey.
It excites me to know how easy it is to earn a side income. The barrier to entry for some of these business opportunities is very low. That’s a good thing but, on the flip side, the journey for growing your side income could lead to a dead end if you don’t take the right approach.
Here’s my best advice for taking on the challenge of earning additional income while having a full-time job.
Before all these internet opportunities started popping up, you’d have to get a second job if you wanted additional income. Taking on a second job was cool but, for the most part, it was unsustainable. In the digital age, making money is easier, less labor intensive. But, one the flip side, it’s a little harder to generate the results you desire.
I had a side hustle for many years before it finally evolved into a full-time income. Looking back, I realize when I made mistakes and when I made the right moves. The idea of earning a side income is a good one but it can quickly turn sour if not done correctly. You dedicate a lot of time and mental energy. And if the results aren’t there, it can be extremely discouraging.
My advice is for you to begin with the end in mind. Meaning, you NEED to determine if your true desire is to earn a few extra dollars a month or if you wish to eventually transition into a new full-time venture. Because these are two different paths and require different levels of action. The worst thing you can do is think you can generate full-time income simply by experimenting with a side business.
If your goal is to create a full-time income (or supersede your current earnings) you need to ask yourself “how many other people are doing this part-time yet earning a full-time income? Chances are, it’s only a small percentage. This is both good and bad. Bad, if you want to dedicate only a couple of hours a day on your new venture. Good, if you see others earning high incomes and you’re absolutely determined to become one of them. If you treat this in the same way as you would a part-time job, chances are that you’ll end the experience with waisting a lot of your time (and maybe even losing money in the process).
My advice to people who want to earn a side income is to set your initial goal to generate six figures. Does that mean that you’ll earn easily reach six figures in revenue? Probably not. But if that becomes your goal, your actions will be wildly different. Six-figure earners on Youtube are doing things differently than those who make a few hundred dollars a month. This doesn’t mean that you’ll earn six figures right away, but you’ll shorten that initial ramp-up phase. The one mistake many people make is to operate like a part-timer yet get discouraged when they get part-time results.
It’s also important to determine if you genuinely enjoy the activities involved with the new business opportunity or if you’re only doing because it can make you money. It’s simple, if you don’t like it, you won’t keep doing it. If you don’t keep doing it, you’ll never reach a point where it’s worth your while. Starting and stopping is the number 1 reason why people don’t reach their goal. If you’re contemplating entering a new “part-time” opportunity, ask yourself, “am I willing to put years of work into this?”
If you are, then your next objective is to map out exactly what you need to do to get to earning your first $1000, $10,000, $100,000. If you don’t see a clear path, you need to seriously decide if you should even start down this road. The biggest mistake I’ve made in my early days was working on my side income project and treating it like a side income project. Nowadays, we have more visibility on what successful business people are doing. We can reverse engineer their journey and mimic some of their actions. Do a little research to find other 6-figure earners in the same industry and build your plan from there. This clear path is what will ensure your success. It may not work 100% but it’ll create a solid framework for you to start from.
Once you have a clear idea of your path as a new business person, I strongly urge you to set aside a certain amount of money to invest in your success. Most (if not all people) view their side income opportunity as something that will bring them money but they rarely think about investing in its growth. Money is fuel for your business especially if your time is limited. If you have other responsibilities that require your time, you have to find a way to financially support your business. If you aren’t willing to invest money to support its growth, you probably don’t truly believe in its potential.
[ Also, don’t spend the little money that your side hustle makes. The money is not yours. It’s capital for growing the business. You can spend the paycheck from a part-time job, but your side hustle is completely different. There is little or no opportunity to scale your part-time job but this business has the ability to produce exponential results. ]
The worse case scenario is for you to invest a bunch of your time into something and get little or nothing out of it. You can make this work. But you have to approach it from a different angle. Set yourself up for success from the start. Invest tons of time learning and studying the best in your new field. Allow enough time for your efforts to pay off then you can enjoy the fruit of your labor.