In this episode I’m going to share my five tips for starting a side-hustle.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mum, you’re working part time or full time, or you’re working in someone else’s business, this episode will help you start a business and get it off the ground in the limited time you have available.
Even if you’re already in your business full time, I still think it’s a juicy episode, because if we can get you rocking your business in less time, that’s always a good thing!
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If we are honest, MOST people start their business on the side of something. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mum, or working in some capacity, not many people are sitting around with nothing else to do!
I’m very fortunate that I am the exception to the rule, because I was able to quit my job, and then just jump straight into starting my business full-time. But most people don’t have that luxury, and I totally get that.
This is why I wanted to create this episode – because chances are that if you’re starting a business, you have limited time to commit to it, and you’ll likely have other responsibilities. So here are my tips to starting a business on the side, and making the most of your time.
1. You need to be honest about your capacity
Most people overestimate the time they have to get their business started – we think we can jam in an extra hour here, and work all hours, staying up late and/or getting up early. I don’t want you to set yourself up to only get 3 hours sleep a night, burning the candle at both ends.
I don’t think that burning yourself out is necessary to start a business, even when you’re doing it on the side. In fact, when I see people starting a side-hustle this way, they end up creating a business that is so time-intensive and unsustainable!
The law that applies here is Parkinson’s Law – a project will expand to take up the time that you allocate to it. If you allocate 2 hours a day to work on your business, guess what? It takes two hours a day for you to grow your business. Now, of course, there are some nuances here. But I want you to come back to the core principle. And that is, be very honest about the capacity that you really have. Don’t try and jam it into every hour of every day. Don’t overextend yourself and expect to have no life for the first six months of growing your business. Instead, create a lean, efficient business by being clear about your capacity, and allowing time for you to be human and have a live.
NOTE: Mamas – There will come a time when the kids need care
I’m not a parent myself, but for most women that I see growing businesses, one of the things that eventually comes up is: At what point does it make sense for you to start putting your kids into care, or getting some help in the home to look after the children whilst you start your business? I don’t want to go on a feminist rant here about the expectation of women being primary childcarers, but I will give one example: If a man was starting a business and needed to have four hours a day, two days a week to work on that business, chances are that we wouldn’t automatically expect him to also be trying to entertain and look after the children in the background, and juggle both of those things at once. He would get help with the children, no doubt.
The only reason that we expect it of women is because we’ve been doing it for so long. But at some point, chances are if you are if the reason why you’re doing this on the side is because you’re looking after your children, then you’re going to need to come up with other childcare arrangements so that you can be fully focused on your business for at least some short periods of time.
2. Focus on the right activities
This is probably the number one area where I support people who are starting a business on the side. Many people focus on the wrong activities when they are starting a business. They focus on busy actions, that on the surface look like they’re working hard in their business, but ultimately have a very low return on investment for your time.
When you’re doing this on the side of other responsibilities, it’s critical that you’re focused on income generation first and foremost.
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3. Know your tipping point.
If you’re in a job, at what point would you be willing to let go of that job? If you are looking after the kids full time, at what point would you be willing to get some home-based help, or pop the kids into care so that you can focus on your business? At some point in time, your business is going to need more time from you in order for you to make more money. At what point are you able to free up some of that time?
The other tipping point to think about is when to hire help both inside and outside of your business… but that’s the next point!
4. Get help sooner
If you’re starting out straight into business full time, then you can do more yourself. That was me when I started – I didn’t really need help in my business or around the home, because my business was my only big responsibility. I was able to build my business around looking after the house, doing the washing, preparing all of our meals, doing the cleaning, and more.
Have a think about your situation: if you are starting a business on the side, it makes sense to hire help in your business before you quit your full time job. That way, you’ve got the money coming in to be able to keep paying that person, even if you have a slow period. You can start building your business in a very efficient way and make it a well-oiled machine, and the support you get will keep bringing in clients and growing your business long term.
When you’re building a side-hustle, get help as soon as you can. It makes a big difference.
5. Don’t move the goalposts
A lot of people who are starting a business say ‘If my business can bring in $1,000 a week consistently for a couple of months, then I would feel very confident in letting go of my day job.’ And then the business brings in $1,000 a week for a few weeks… and then they move the goalposts. Now they want $2000 a week. Then they need $2000 per week and $10,000 in the bank.
They end up moving the goalposts and stretching it out over and over again. Before that happens, have conversations with the people you need to have conversations with, get clear on the goal, and then when you hit that goal, go for it. If you’re resisting, talk it out. Pause. And where possible, don’t move the goalposts.
You set a challenge for yourself, you set the tipping point, you got clear on what you’re going for, and you achieved it! You are DOING IT!
Do you have questions, comments or a-has you’d like to share? come on over to the Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs community and share using the hashtag #podcastaha, and the episode number (180).
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.