One of the jokes you hear about in the solo entrepreneur world is that people will gladly work 60 hours to keep from working 40. But it’s so true.
I personally have a friend who recently caught the side-hustle bug. He’s done his research and settled on two niches, running blogs and books.
You would think he works some dead-end job and doesn’t make much money. This is far from the truth.
My friend works at one of the most prestigious Catholic schools in the nation (Go Irish!) and he makes more than me (for now). So, why is he adding to his already busy schedule to run a blog and sell books? It’s all about passion.
My friend is an avid runner and he has always dreamed of opening his own used bookstore. He’s spending his extra time pursuing his dreams so he can live them. But how do people like this succeed? Let’s talk about it.
1. Spare Time is Never Wasted
Throw out your PlayStation or XBox. Pair down your friend list. Block out anything that distracts you from your true passions.
This is what people who build successful side hustles do. They open up every bit of free-time they have and devote it to their side-hustles.
Have a few minutes of a break from work? Why not post on your new blog’s twitter account and reply to a few messages there?
Find all the tasks in your side-hustle that are small enough to fit into a short space of time. Take those tasks and schedule them into your breaks.
Have to watch the kids at hockey practice? Why not bring your laptop or tablet? And no, you can’t play Pokemon Go while you’re there if you want to make your side hustle grow and succeed.
2. They Are Doggedly Consistent
Taking advantage of your free-time doesn’t mean you need to neglect family duties or friendships. And not every side-hustle requires hours of your time each night.
You do need to be consistent. This means every weekday sitting down and doing something to contribute to your side hustle.
My friend who runs the running blog devotes at least fifteen minutes a night to writing on his blog. This often translates to an hour as his brain kicks in and he begins to plug into his flow state.
You’ll find that consistency is the number one rule you will ever need when building your side business.
It’s like Bob and his baby steps. “Baby steps get on the bus…baby steps down the aisle…”
When you take consistent baby steps toward your goal every day, you’ll eventually find that “ah!” you’ve made it to your goal.
3. Automation and Outsourcing
A side hustle might eventually replace your 9-5 and become your main hustle. But that might be a ways off.
Until then, you must still wake every morning and spend at least 8 hours away from your side job. But this doesn’t mean your side job goes away.
That blog is still sitting there and all of the social media accounts and email accounts attached to it. And if nothing is happening with it during your day job, you’ll wait a long time until your side job becomes your day job.
How do you make your side hustle work while you’re not around? Automation.
Hootsuite is probably the most popular task scheduler and automation tool on the internet. Entrepreneurs mainly use it to automate their social media.
You can outsource pretty much any smaller task to a computer. If you need customer tracking or constant invoice tracking, you should take advantage of various online financial software options.
If you want to spend a little bit more money, you can find all-in-one automation tools. These will do everything from post to social media to run your credit card validator.
Outsourcing Non-Digital Tasks
If you offer an educational blogging service to a particular niche, you might want to print out your information so your clients can use your product more efficiently. Buying a color printer and printing the pamphlets yourself will be costly and time-consuming.
If you instead built the price of hiring a printer and shipping the pamphlets direct, you’ll save yourself some time. That time could be spent improving other aspects of your business.
The return on investment for outsourcing time-consuming non-digital tasks is enormous. And sometimes that return won’t be monetary, at least not immediately. But you’ll eventually see it in other areas of your side hustle.
4. They Aren’t Hermit Hustlers
Like my Animal Biology professor once said, “No one is an island.” And this is even truer inside entrepreneurship.
If you run a blog, what’s one of the best ways to drive traffic apart from e-mail marketing? Guest blogging.
You can’t do that without networking within your niche.
This means you have to come out of your shell and actually get to know other bloggers.
Whatever your side-hustle may be, you should find other side hustlers. These people will become a valuable network.
Within that network, you might find your “co-founder.” Some of the greatest entrepreneurs shared the responsibility of starting a business with a partner.
Sharing your passions and goals with another person will help you achieve more.
5. They Make Money While They Sleep
Some people seemingly don’t need sleep. For those people, a side hustle that takes hours and hours of their week outside the 9-5 grind is perfect.
But for the rest of us, this isn’t sustainable. It’s the side hustle that makes you money while you sleep that will more likely replace your 9-5.
There are hundreds of passive income opportunities all over the internet. And while it takes some time and effort to set up your store or blog or YouTube channel, you’ll quickly see your effort turn into income.
Follow Your Passion
Even if your side hustle never turns into a main hustle, you’ll have followed your passion. And there is nothing more fulfilling than taking a passion of yours and making money with it.
If you’re interested in starting down your entrepreneurial path, check out our other blogs.