About five years into my business, I had an itch to try something new. I didn’t want to start a whole second business or give up the one I had, but I had a calling to do something fresh. It was similar to the devil/angel scenario with an even-keeled, comfort-seeker on one shoulder and a daring, thrill-seeker looking for the next big thing on the other. Part of being an entrepreneur is having the courage to take a risk and the knowledge of knowing when to act. It was time for me to start a side hustle.
Starting a side hustle is like any new thing. At the beginning there will be obstacles, learning curves, victories, and downfalls. This is a journey that can’t be described and truly understood unless you’re talking to someone who’s been through it too. Owning and operating your own business is quite exhilarating.
Once your stomach settles from the initial twists and turns, things begin to fall into place. You’ve got a solid understanding of who you are, what you do and why it should be important to your clients; the newness and the unknown has turned into something that feels more familiar. Let’s face it, when running a business, you’ll always be a student, but with seasoned practice, the ups and downs start to even out.
Maybe you too dream of turning one (or more!) of your passions into an exciting side hustle. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
What’s the big picture?
If you’ve got an itch to start something new, ask yourself, “How do I see this playing into my current structure long-term?” How does this second idea or business fit into or align with your life?
Is the goal to start something brand new, move away from one thing and pursue your side hustle full time or to continue both? Investing your time into something that is not only fulfilling but well thought out will prevent you from over committing, which can lead to burnout.
Do I know my why?
Think about why you want to start a first, second (third or fourth) hustle. Are you bored? Trying to generate more income? Like to follow the thrill? Whatever the reason, make sure it’s a healthy one. Don’t sacrifice time, money, or effort on something just because you were bored one day. If your new idea has purpose, passion and a plan, then pursue your hustle slowly and wisely.
How will my side hustle affect my current infrastructure?
As entrepreneurs, we are infamous for springing new, in-the-moment ideas on the people around us. Think of how your side hustle will affect others in your life. You’ll be investing your time, money and efforts — do you have a support system to help you through this exciting time? Your side hustle should add to your life, satisfaction and income, not deplete them.
Can I still honor my main hustle?
Whether your main hustle is a thriving career, business or a family chances are that core hustle is supporting you. Be sensitive to how you’re dividing your energy and resources and make sure to give your core hustle the love and attention it deserves.
Your career or business may no longer feel fresh and new once this side hustle pops up, and that’s ok. Businesses, careers and ideas come in waves, and sometimes one requires more attention than the other. I always tell people “If you can’t stop thinking about it, start working for it.” Who knows, that side gig might eventually turn into a money-making machine or the break you’ve been searching for. Choose purpose and passion and the right outcomes will always follow.