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Grow your side hustle into a business

If you’ve got a side business going alongside your day job, you might be thinking about how to grow that side hustle into a full-time business.

Are you feeling pretty daunted by the prospect of just how much work is involved? I get it! Building a business is a ton of work on its own, let alone working somewhere else for 40+ hours a week. But, you know, businesses that have grown out of side hustles didn’t do it overnight.

If you commit to chipping away at it, breaking down what you have to do into chunks that you can actually manage, and adjusting any expectations you have of overnight world domination, you can grow your side hustle. You can. I know it.

There are three things I’d suggest you do, if you’re in this position.

  1. Block out regular time, ideally every day, to work on it. Even if it’s only a little bit – you can put together something for Instagram in 15 minutes. You can do some journaling about what you want to achieve in it. You can plan content. Put your phone away, turn off the TV, resist the temptation to do anything else. This is YOUR time to make things happen, and as fun as it is, Schitt’s Creek isn’t going to do it for you.

    I know, this is really hard if you have kids and most of your non-work time is taken up. Do you work better in the evening or the morning? Maybe instead of staying up late you could get up earlier, or you could work it into your lunch break. If you’ve got a partner, can they take care of bath and bedtime? Even if you can only manage an hour every couple of days, it’s better than nothing!
  2. Triage. With limited time, you need to make the best use of it. Client work, if that’s what your side business is doing, comes first. If you’ve got a product business, getting that product out the door is critical. Quoting and proposals come next. Posting on social media is low down the list. Do the things that are going to move your business forward, and get money flowing in.
  3. The things that are going to move your business forward are going to depend on the stage, or the season, your business is in. If you’re just starting, you might be wanting to focus on getting your name out there. Or maybe you’re in expansion mode. Or pivoting. Or selling. Whatever you’re doing, you want it to make a difference to the stage of business you’re in. That’s how you’re going to grow your side hustle into your business.

What you’re doing is hard, there’s absolutely no doubt. If it wasn’t hard, everybody would do it. But – you’re actually doing yourself a favour. Because once you grow that side hustle to the point that you’re making some money off it, it’s much less scarier than taking the plunge into starting a business with nothing. You’re doing the really hard part while still having guaranteed income from your day job, and that just makes sense.

It’s romantic to think about people who jack in their day job and start a business from scratch, and then four days later they’re making 7 figures, or whatever all those ads and MLMs tell you – but they’re liars. There, I said it. Having a business is not easy, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about finding the process challenging.

I’m all about practicality. I know, you really want your side hustle to be your main source of income, with all the freedom that comes with it – but by starting small and taking it slow, you’re growing your skills and getting ready bit by bit. When you do finally take the plunge, it’ll be less like jumping in the deep end and more like wading down the steps.

As you grow your side hustle, remember this – I’m on your side! Good luck!

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