What is a “sidepreneur”? It’s a descriptive word for a person who starts a side business while still working in a 9-5 job (also known as a side-hustler). Many people want to start a business but are not quite ready to take the leap into a full-time business and lose the comfort of a salaried job. Some sidepreneurs go on to full-time solopreneurship, but some stay as sidepreneurs forever. Strange as it might seem, some side-hustlers earn millions on the side and still don’t give up their jobs. They love having one foot in 9-5 work and one foot in entrepreneurship. You cannot do this kind of second shift of work if you are not brimming with energy.
- What makes a sidepreneur a distinct type of solopreneur
- The outstanding benefits to enjoy by being a sidepreneur
- The downsides to contend with in being a sidepreneur
- The challenges of a sidepreneur business to anticipate
- The solutions to success for a gigpreneur business
- Planning your sidepreneur work space for productivity
- Business ideas and opportunity-scoping for sidepreneurs
- Time management tips for work-burdened sidepreneurs
- Money management tips for earning-conscious sidepreneurs
- Outsource management tips for overloaded sidepreneurs
- Great books that can help sidepreneur businesses
- Great courses for sidepreneurs on a learning curve
- Great blogs with valuable content for sidepreneurs
- Great Facebook Groups that sidepreneurs can join
- Great tools to increase sidepreneur efficiency
- Great outsourcing platforms for sidepreneurs to sign up
- High-flying sidepreneurs: some terrific examples
- Growing and scaling tips for sidepreneur businesses
VIDEO: Watch Rik Covalinski talk emphatically in this video about “Why I’m A Sidepreneur” (Must watch: 3:23 minutes)
Rik explains that: “A sidepreneur is someone who is an entrepreneur on the side of their job. If you are ambitious and wanting to have more money, more time and more options starting a side-business may be for you.” More and more solopreneurs are sidepreneurs these days. They prefer making more money by doing a side-hustle rather than quit a 9-5 job entirely or even devote full-time to a business. Obviously laziness won’t work for this model, but a hunger to make more money will.
1. What makes a sidepreneur a distinct type of solopreneur
Sidepreneurs are a class of solopreneurs with some characteristics that are generally peculiar to their mindsets. Much research has studied why people start side hustles â rather than growing with their day jobs or starting full-time businesses. Letâs see what is especially remarkable about sidepreneur behavior:
- Sidepreneurs often have humdrum or mundane day jobs that pay steadily but donât satisfy their need to grow as people. Many side hustle starters need their day-job salaries, but their day-jobs donât give them much job satisfaction or growth opportunity. Several day-jobbers have been, for instance, doing the same work for seven or eight years with no prospects of job enlargement, innovation, or chances for growth. Yet, such jobs put food on the table and help pay the mortgages. Many budding sidepreneurs are born seeking greater satisfaction in life than the monotony of their 9-5 life.
- Sidepreneurs are people with a lot of pent-up or latent energy that seeks outlet and expression. People with side-businesses are willing to take on two jobs instead of one and work after office hours, even late into the evenings or night, to get another income stream going. They are filled with intention and have a lot of dynamic energy.
- Many sidepreneurs start side businesses to fund some specific extra money goals, but they continue even after meeting the goal. I have met a sidepreneur who started a side business to make extra money for adoption but continued business even after the adoption to afford child care. I have also met spouses who needed extra money to pay for their alimony or maintenance after divorce with their first partners while they got married a second time. One sidepreneur I knew just needed a bit extra to build a spare bedroom to his house but ended up eventually making close to a million from that side business.
- Research finds many sidepreneurs to be slightly risk-averse. They hate putting all eggs in one basket. If people are in jobs that may get redundant any time soon as the economy goes down, they are always on tenterhooks in fear of losing income. They are averse to risk-taking to leap fully into entrepreneurship either. So they may like having an extra income stream or two on the side as Plan B or Plan C.
- Since sidepreneurship cannot allow people complete rein over their time, many start freelancing on small projects for clients. They take up resume writing gigs, blog writing gigs, small accountancy or book-keeping gigs, and so on. They hitch themselves onto freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, where a steady stream of clients post projects – so they donât have to market for hard-to-find clients in addition to completing contracted tasks.
2. The outstanding benefits to enjoy by being a sidepreneur
Being a sidepreneur has its upsides and downsides. But the perks of being a sidepreneur are many. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Having a second source of income can be wonderfully empowering. Especially if your 9-5 job is not giving you a sense of creativity, innovation, excitement, or appreciation, and your boss and working environment are dispiriting, having a second source of income where you are the boss can be heady. You can set the rules and work in an area rife with excitement and enthusiasm for you.
- You can pay off debts if you have the extra money, which can be massive stress off your back: In my research with college grads who went into day jobs after school, almost 95% had some student debts or the other. In the early years of work, this can be enormous stress and a demotivator. Having to earn less till you get a raise at work and having a large slice of that small earning eaten up with payoffs of student loans is a life not worth living â or so it will seem. Having a side business that can take care of the debts, leaving you free mentally and financially to focus and grow at your 9-5 job, could be just what someone in that position needs.
- The extra earnings from a side hustle can help build your wealth faster. Instead of trying to save every month from within the salary you get for a 9-5 job, having a side income that is spare cash can help build your wealth faster. If you can stash a significant percentage of it into savings and investment, you can create massive wealth through this beautiful concept called “compound interest”. That’s how the wealthy get wealthier all the time.
- Your side hustle, if it’s in a passion area, could soon become what you want to do 365Ã24. Imagine starting a side business in an area that profoundly interests your soul â like a hobby or passion does. Imagine making that kind of love for an idea into a lucrative venture. Imagine earning so much out of doing something you love that you can quit your day job and say, “I’ll now live for what I love”. That’s the romance of a side-hustle that many people have fallen for and made millions out of. Sow the seeds of your passion and see if it can become a money-fruiting tree.
- With a side hustle, you get to meet new people, move in new circles, and get new opportunities. A side business can be like opening a new window to look out at the world from. It may give you a view of life like you’ve never seen before. You may meet a whole different set of people whom you usually would pass by. New opportunities may come your way, and you may discover an unexpected reason why life is so extraordinary. Your side business could widen your horizons like you never thought.
3. The downsides to contend with in being a sidepreneur
While there are many advantages to sidepreneurship, it helps to know â and be ready for â the downsides to this business model. Sidepreneurs who leap into side-businesses without thinking about the possible negatives will rue their hastiness. So hereâs what to look out for:
- Starting a side business could exhaust you, deprive you of sleep, and even lead to burnout. Over-excitement and overdoing the side business to the detriment of your health can be a painful thing. Many solopreneurs who start a side business tend to get so excited about it that they work long hours and find they canât even fall asleep until theyâve beaten their brains to a pulp with overwork. Burnout is the only destination for such crazy behavior.
- Your side hustle could also have huge setbacks that break your morale and affect your day-job performance. Remember, a side hustle too can go very wrong sometimes, just as your day job can. Your client may dislike a freelance task youâve done and refuse to pay. Or you may be given undue harassment or have unpleasant exchanges with your customers. If your work involves technology, glitches may set you behind deadlines. But the problem of facing setbacks in a side business is that you may carry the sourness to your day job and be off-color. Your performance at the job that pays your steady monthly salary may suffer.
- The trade-off of extra money against a poor work-life balance can take a heavy toll on personal life. Not every side-business owner always has a happy partner enjoying the extra cash â or kids who love that Mom and Dad are always at work and have no time for them. Working a 12 hour day or more will take its toll on your personal life, family life, exercise workout time, socializing time, and a lot more.
- Some employers donât allow or encourage a side-business, so keeping it hush-hush will become a mental burden. Many employers donât like their staff doing any side business. Some may prohibit this in the job contract. Some others may not overtly state this but covertly hate the idea. If you have to keep your side-business hush-hush, it may mean less marketing for your side business. You could get âfound outâ trying to get visibility for the side business.
- If youâre running a side business poorly, it may start eating money from your day-job salary (oops!). Side hustlers never think of this possibility. They are so shiny-eyed at the thought of making more money from the side business they never think what would happen if the venture went off very badly and started eating into the day-job salary. What a pitiful position that would be! Before starting a side business, you must protect your salary from becoming the unsuspecting victim of your new side business.
4. The challenges of a sidepreneur business to anticipate
No two days in a sidepreneurâs life will be alike. But you can handle the roller-coaster. Itâs essential to know your challenges, anticipate having regular trouble with them and be forearmed with solutions to success. Stay determined, be calm, and maintain a slow and steady climb in business. Here are some of the challenges most sidepreneurs say they face:
- Lack of time to do everything they planned within the hours they have: Most people always begin tasks or projects, or even businesses, grossly miscalculating the time needed to complete what they set out to do. In the case of a side hustle, the errors of time and effort assessment can be disastrous. You may spend hours overworking and slowly burn yourself out. Better to be wary rather than overcommitted. Hasten slowly, as the wise people say.
- Handling an unpredictable side business along with an unpredictable 9-5 job: In our imaginations, we always think of day jobs as mundane and routine and unexciting – while side hustles are electrifying roller-coaster rides full of surprises. If this is true, you may survive. But what if your day job is also a stressful roller-coaster with deadline pressures, demanding clients, and a constant battle against the competition? Youâll be in a crazy frame of mind at the end of every day. Beware of piling your plate with two high-maintenance jobs.
- Being able to assess which gigs to take up and which ones to stay clear of: Being able to decide which projects to take up in your side gig requires quite a bit of thinking and balancing. Should you take up projects that pay more and have a lot of work involved too? Or should you take up projects you can easily manage even if they pay less? For everybody, the balance will be different. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, so your gut instincts will have to point in the direction suitable for you.
- Keeping the 9-5 job and the side hustle separate and within clear boundaries: You have to have clear red lines between your day job and your side hustle. You may have to start with two separate to-do lists. You may also need two different bank accounts and accounting systems. Apart from keeping the work and money in separate mental containers, you have to declutter your mind of all the noise associated with your 9-5 job to focus on the side business â and vice versa.
- Ensuring you get paid in your side business without queasiness to chase money: One of my customers who started a side business had to co-opt his wife to chase down the money from his clients. He would not go chasing after the money. His wife was not enamored of her role. âWhy do you agree to do this work?â I asked her once. She said, âItâs because we need the money, but His Highness will not collect!â The problem was that this man had no talent or taste for money-collection, so he always felt uneasy asking for due outstandings in his side business. His day job had never tested his lack of talent in this area. If youâre in business, though, you may have to stretch your comfort levels!
5. The solutions to success for a sidepreneur business
Taking lessons from some of the most successful sidepreneurs, you can apply some of the ideas below to your business. Success is more about planning to succeed and taking the actions needed – rather than getting lucky:
- Take small starting steps, and donât invest enormous amounts in the side business right away: A side business must earn for you more than it spends. Investing massive amounts on a side business hoping that it will take off faster is a foolish thing to do. If you have thought through your side business model with care and are ready to begin, take actions that require little or no investment. Only spend money commensurate with earnings. It would help if you had proof of principle before you throw money at the side business. Give yourself and the business time to show you where and how spending will increase your earnings. This cautiousness is a crucial tenet for success.
- Be very clear about your goals â be realistic and donât wear rose-tinted spectacles: Sometimes, people who start side businesses feel overconfident because they have fallback jobs. They feel less risk in committing to big goals for their side-businesses. People who chuck their 9-5 jobs and get into a full-time business are often more realistic than those with side businesses simply because they have no other fallback job option. To succeed at a side business, you have to be realistic on all fronts. Be realistic about the time you have on hand, the effort you can manage, the money you may make, and the money you have available to spend. Beware of viewing your side business through rose-tinted spectacles because you have another steady source of income and feel as if all risks are manageable.
- Since time is limited, use it less on admin work and more on revenue-generating work: As with many other things in a side business, how you manage your workload and time needs balance. In general, you will be more successful if you use your time to generate revenue than to catch up with admin work. Do real work, not pretend busywork. At the same time, donât leave admin work to pile up till it becomes an eyesore. Keep some weekly time slots to do the little bits of admin you need to manage to keep business afloat. The rest of the time, do work that contributes to wealth.
- Your side hustle should feel less like work and more like âme-timeâ to do what you love: It should be something you love to do when you pick your side hustle. Not only should you enjoy the work and the achievements at work, but it must feel like special âme-timeâ. Some people may like lying on a couch after their day jobs watching reruns of their favorite TV serials, and some others may love to potter about with a side business that is both a passion and a money-earner. Both are ways to relax the mind and fill your life with a sense of gladness. If the side business feels like another millstone around your neck, youâve got the wrong side business.
6. Planning your sidepreneur work space for productivity
There is a lot of romance in the thought that sidepreneurs can work off the dining table, and need nothing more than a laptop – but ideally, this doesn’t work at all. Working off the dining table is the worst kind of idea, and there are reasons for this:
- Your sidepreneur workspace needs to be a designated corner of your home so you know it’s your “office”. Your family too must know it’s “where you should not be disturbed”. This is the bare minimum boundary you need to set.
- Designing a separate working corner as a “home office space” puts you in the work mood. Even if the work corner is in a larger room where the family hangs out, you can keep an eye on the goings-on and yet switch to a work frame of mind when you cast your eye back to your working space.
- You need ergonomic comfort when you work, and a writing table and chair are of a different height and design than a dining table and chair. Besides your mobile phones, tablets, and laptops – and other electronic gadgets of all models – need a multi-charging station nearby, which no dining table allows. You need to work without wires hanging askew all over the place.
- You need good lighting that lets you work at your workspace early in the morning or late into the evening without affecting the family’s sleep. You also need enough shelf-and-storage space that is easy to declutter, and can house all your “office” needs and money, separate from the other items in your home.
- A clock and calendar must have a place in your “office”, to keep you on track. If there’s also space for a bit of greenery around you, and a wall plaque that holds your business mission, that would be wonderfully uplifting.
The layout below is a perfect one for a home workspace for sidepreneurs. You can fit the pieces of it into any corner or niche of your home. Make it “your own space to think, write, be creative or do business from”.
7. Business ideas and opportunity-scoping for sidepreneurs
Theree are three types of businesses most suited to sidepreneurs. One is the “teach what you know” model where you can consult or mentor or coach clients, write ebooks and run courses. The second idea is to become a franchisee for a business that is already thriving and looking to roll out with more partners. But the third idea is amongst the easiest business ideas for sidepreneurs to enter and start earning right away. It is to become a freelancer with a talent you have.
If you’re on any of the “freelancer platforms,” you’ll find a detailed list of all the areas where customers may like to hire your services. These platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr have done extensive research of their databases, and segregated many types of projects by the tasks they want to get done and the talents needed. Since you can always find clients here with immediate needs, you don’t have the hassle of marketing to find clients and projects. You can just execute the work required and earn pronto.
Here are some more fine points to note and act on to increase business opportunities:
- If you have many talents, choose any one area as your forte to be the best at, and orient your brand in that direction: Maybe you have many different talents. You still have to emphasize one strong forte clearly, or your brand will sound like “Jack Of All Trades And Master Of None”. For example, maybe you are primarily “a writer”, but you can also do voiceovers, animations, singing, etc. You have to promote writing as your No. #1 area of strength. You can make money off the other talents you have, but be sure to give each of your other skills a separate branding. Avoid diluting the strength of your primary talent. You don’t want people to refer to you as “… that writer who also sings”.
- Identify the most lucrative projects in the area of your forte and notice the clients’ requirements: In your area of deep strength, do a lot of researching on the “freelancer platforms”. See how people ask for project workers, word their requirements, express their needs, price their project budgets, and set their deadlines. Get to know the market intensively and extensively.
- Shape your portfolio, customer testimonials, and brand marketing as the solution for identified requirements: Depending on how the majority of clients in your space make job demands or word their needs, use your insights after research to shape your portfolio, customer testimonials, and your marketing messages. The more you research your audiences and their pain points, the better your grip will be on what will “sell” with your intended target audiences.
- Be quick in replying to projects that come up in your forte area â and do what it takes to bag them: In your area of strength, if you want to grow your business fast, you need to do two things. One, respond with speed when someone posts a job that matches your forte. Secondly, don’t lose an opportunity to bag the order. Negotiate if you must, but bag the order. Rack up the number of jobs you take on so that quality-showcasing opportunities will increase. It may be tempting to take on projects in other talent areas you have, but do that only when there are no jobs to be had in your forte area. You have to build your niche area into an unassailable strength.
8. Time management tips for multi-project sidepreneurs
Successful sidepreneurs don’t do two things at the same time, which is “simultaneous-tasking”. They slot activities one after another, and they can switch between the two in a blink. I would also recommend three top time management tactics because I know they work like a breeze …
a. Make a schedule and stick to it
This is such essential advice, but yet, people wander away from it. Once you’ve made a schedule, it can be so easy to get distracted. The next time you get an email or phone call asking for your attention amid other scheduled work, spend just a second to see how important it is to your business to attend this email or call. Can’t it be replied to later? It’s called on-the-spot-prioritizing, and it can save you from spending precious time on things that don’t earn you money.
b. Keep similar projects together
Once you’ve got a schedule in mind, try to keep the closely related items together. This is called task-batching. Different parts of your brain activity are involved in various types of tasks. So batching together similar jobs makes it all easier on the brain to focus and get things done. For example, I try to schedule as many SEO tasks as I can together, so I am not writing a bit of content and doing SEO in-between â both in bits and pieces.
c. Work in an environment that helps your time usage
Have you noticed that some people like to work in a silent space, while others like a bit of background noise when they work? Again, some people like having a stopwatch or alarm that goes off every 30 seconds to stop work and take a break. Others prefer to finish a block of work before they get up, never mind what the clock says. If you have such “idiosyncrasies”, respect them, and set up your working time to allow room for what you prefer.
9. Money management tips for budget-conscious sidepreneurs
What are you in business for if you have no money goals? Most sidepreneurs love the idea of making money, but very few can name the sum they are aiming to earn. So for starters, set your business money goals. Having said that, there are three areas of money management that are critical to sidepreneurs, so let’s get to those:
a. Always work out a budget – for your business and your home separately
You cannot afford not to know exactly how much you have coming in and going out each month. You have to get a clear and complete fix on what your business costs are likely to be each month. You don’t need an elaborate money-planner, just an Excel sheet is good enough. Don’t spend what you haven’t planned for, as far as possible. For emergencies, you should have a separate stash of money – which we’ll come to.
b. Keep building your emergency funds – call them savings if you wish
There’s a rule that my grandmother lived with, which she followed all her life. When she died, we were aghast to find she had stashed away hundreds of thousands of dollars from my grandfather’s meager pittance of a salary. What did she do to create so much out of almost nothing? Simple. When my grandfather gave her $200 for the home supplies, she put away 40% into an “emergency fund” (aka her stash), and then lived within the 60%. Can you do that regularly and with every bit of money coming in, without cheating yourself of that 40% put-away rule?
c. Always separate your home finances from your business finances
If you allow business money and home money to intermingle, life will get extremely complicated – especially at tax-filing time. You’ll have to spend days untangling everything you’ve spent or earned, to separate the home and business strands of money all knotted up. And do remember to keep separate bank accounts for your business and personal finances.
10. Outsource management tips for overloaded sidepreneurs
You may wonder why I have included a section here called “outsource for sidepreneurs”. Did you know that many sidepreneurs who are overloaded with work often sub-contract a lot of work to other freelancers? They become the clients who dish out work projects (or parts of work projects) to other freelancers they have screened and “empaneled” as their “go-to” unofficial team. If you too are overloaded with work as a sidepreneur, here are some rules to help you outsource some of your workload:
a. Outsourcing your creative workload
If you find blogging and content marketing projects too consuming, or if your work needs a lot of imaginative sketching or creation of infographics and other forms of specialized drawings, you could look at freelance writers and artists. It’s also a very good idea to have a couple of techies on hand for the times when your site gets stuck and you are all stymied for help.
b. If you find business management heavy, you can outsource that
Most often sidepreneurs like to go for the all-rounder Virtual Assistant who can help with a variety of work projects – rather than to find specialists for one or two areas of work. Those who prefer to create products themselves may find this option very attractive to have a person to hand to manage everything else.
c. Outsourcing tedious or repetitive tasks
Some tasks involved in sidepreneurship are plain boring, mundane or repetitive – for example, research work, blogger outreach, backlinks outreach, proof-reading and editing, or social media posts scheduling. If you have such areas that bore you to death or tire out your mind, by all means outsource them. With clear rules you can get one or two other freelancers trained to do exactly what you want them to do. Once you’ve trained your sub-contract outsource workers though, don’t let them run away from you. Pay them well, and give them enough work, to stay loyal.
11. Great books that can help sidepreneur businesses
The ebooks below (available from Amazon) have scored high on buyer ratings …
12. Great courses for sidepreneurs on a learning curve
The Udemy courses below are eminently affordable and great value for money …
13. Great blogs with valuable content for sidepreneurs
The blogs on sidepreneurship that I’ve picked here are great on content, style, differentiation …
a. Side Hustle Nation: Anyone interested in learning how to grow a side hustle into a profitable business needs this blog. It’s robust library helps scale side hustles.
b. RyRob.com: Learn from Ryan Robinson (a noted side-hustle coach) on how he started a blog that earns over $450,000 (per year) on the side of his day job.
c. ChrisGuillebeau.com: Chris Guillebeau adds to his book â100 Side Hustlesâ with this blog which teaches every nuance of how to make extra money with a side gig.
14. Great Facebook Groups that sidepreneurs can join
These Facebook Groups on sidepreneurship are ones that I’ve heard of as the best in the business:
a. Side Hustle Nation Community: The official community of SideHustleNation.com and The Side Hustle Show podcast. Because your 9-5 may make you a living, but your 5-9 makes you alive!
b. Side Hustle Pro Community: Side Hustle Pro Community is an extension of the Side Hustle Pro podcast, This is an exclusive community of ambitious side hustlers who want to grow into a full time business.
c. Side Hustle Doers: Side Hustle Doers. A new community of women over age 50 who are exploring, planning, building, and growing female-owned side businesses.
15. Great tools to increase sidepreneur efficiency
Working when other people are off-work, managing clients at odd times, and managing projects without fatigue are the three areas where sidepreneurs could the best tools. Here are my picks:
a. Noisli: If you work into the dead of the night youmay want to have some familiar daytime noises on a playlist to keep you awake and sane. Noisli will do the trick.
b. Strides App: Since you hold responsibility for both your day joband your side business you may need a goal tracker app that helps manage both jobs, and your personal life too.
c. Setmore: This is a free scheduling software. It will help organize your business with 24/7 automated online booking, reminders, payments, and more. Almost your Virtal Assistant.
16. Great outsourcing platforms for sidepreneurs to sign up
I’ve graded three of the best workload outsourcing platforms in order of earning potential and work quality freelancers can get. f your side hustle involves freelancing, most of these platforms not only help you get gigs for good money, they also train you to be a smarter freelancer. Or you can hire outsource workers to help you do your side business activities and tasks.
a. Upwork: Browse jobs posted on Upwork, or jump right in and create a free profile to find the work that you love to do.
b. Freelancer: Lift your profile to the next level by becoming Verified by Freelancer. Get the blue badge.
c. Fiverr: You bring the skill. They’ll make earning easy. On Fiverr, freelancers earn anywhere between $5 – $10,000.
17. High-flying sidepreneurs: some terrific examples
There are hundreds upon thousands of sidepreneurs, most of them such simple folk, making extra money, that we would never guessed they had second careers. The three sidepreneurs I have picked here are examples of how some everyday people decided to do more than their 9-5 jobs, and eventually built something that has grown into a full-time business:
a. LIZ TRAN: The Talent Hunter Who Also Made Yoga Her Business
Liz Tran was a sought-after talent hunter who helped companies like Airtable and Glossier find the talent needed to grow from 10-person startups to organizations with more than 500 employees. In 2012, work stress made her take a sabbatical, and go to India to learn more about yoga and meditation, which had always been her passion areas. When she came back from her break, she realized her client companies and their staff were open to growing their job talents as well as their wellness. So she started the side-hustle called “Reset”, as a professional career coaching and wellness studio. After a few years, Reset became her full-time business.
Liz has some very helpful pointers for those who want to start side-hustles. Here are the points she emphasizes:
“Dedicate at least 30 percent of your side-hustle time to learning. You have to do all you can to learn what you donât know. While youâre still in your day job, get all the training that you need to feel confident.
Have enough savings to cover six months. I invested my savings to start Reset and took out a loan to make sure that I could cover six months of expenses, regardless of whether the business didnât make any money during this time.
Build a support system and shut out negativity. Many good ideas start as bad ideas — or something that seems far-fetched or âimpossibleâ to achieve — and the job of a good entrepreneur is to nurture and shape a bad idea into something with potential.â
What do you think is the secret sauce Liz Tran has used to convert her side hustle into a huge business? I think Liz beautifully managed to extend the clientele she already had in her day job into customers for her side hustle. She could see the stresses that people in 9-5 jobs felt for which her passion – yoga, and meditation – could help. She didn’t need to find her customers because they were right there before her in her 9-5 job as ideal candidates for a more wholesome life of wellness and self-care.
b. RAJ JANA: This Petroleum Engineer Built A Multi-Million Dollar Side Hustle
Raj Jana, in 2015, had a full-time job as a petroleum engineer. He had $50K of student debt, a long distance relationship and parents who he supported. He yearned for more freedom, money and life – so he bought a pricey course and learned how to sell products online. Within 11 months thereafter he started a side hustle called “Stay Grounded” where he built a free community and sold self-empowering courses. That side hustle is now a multi-million dollar venture!
Raj Jana comes across as a person with enormous energy and motivation. In an Entrepreneur.com article he writes about himself andwhat he thinks the right attitude should be for those who want to start side hustles:
“Building a successful side hustle will change your life thanks to the new experiences, insane personal growth, and freedoms that come from being your own boss.
But itâs tough. Juggling a side hustle alongside a full-time commitment will stretch you in every way possible. Itâs the harder path, but thanks to the obstacles youâll be forced to overcome, the rewards are even more fulfilling.
So if youâre ready to build a side hustle, go for it. Invest your time and energy in these four fundamentals and use your business as a vehicle to stop settling and create the life you want.”
What do you think is the secret sauce that makes Raj Jana run such a successful online venture? Raj admits that his own growth into a entrepreneur-on-the-side was fuelled by retraining his mind to become morepowerful than it was. He built consistency and focus into his life, and programmed his subconscious. And he never lost an opportunity to keep on with learning new ideas. Much of his own passion for self-empowerment is no doubt part of what he teaches his consumers.
c. SHEREEN CAMPBELL: She Turned A $3,400 Tax Refund Into A $12,000 Per Month Side Hustle
Shereen Campbell had a day-job as an assistant buyer for a major retailer. She stayed in the same career for seven years. But she wasn’t feeling satisfied with her life and something nagged at her mind to find purpose in her life. So, she studied the mystical arts, astrology, and healing practices. She usually blew her tax refunds on clothes and other personal buys, but once, when she got $3,400, she decided to put into a side hustle. She created “My Little Magic Shop”, an online shop for magical tools including crystals, herbs, and oils. Six years later, that side business is generating $12,000 a month in revenue.
Laila Maidan, who has written about Shereen Campbell on the Entrepreneur.com says this of her:
“Campbell remained at her job so that any revenue from her side hustle could be put back into growing her business. The first year, she stuck to selling the seven initial products on her website. In the second year, she added a subscription-based service where she’d send out a monthly package called “A Little Zen Box” that was filled with products on a theme.
Roughly 50% to 70% of her revenue is now generated from her subscription-based service. This makes preparing for the following month easier because she has a pretty good idea of how much inventory she’ll need to purchase in advance.
Campbell plans to leave her day job and focus on her own business full-time once she has saved $60,000 for a safety cushion and her business is generating $20,000 a month.â
What do you think is the secret sauce that helped Shereen Campbell succeed with her side hustle? The inflection point in her life seems to have been that special day when she got her usual tax refund (as she did every year) but she decided to start a business instead of spending the money on herself. She broke free from the humdrum 9-5 job she had. Even now she continues to keep her day job till her side business generates enough money for her to feel ready to do it full-time. She clearly has a lot of passion for the products of “magic” that she sells, but she’s pragmatic too.
18. Growing and scaling tips for sidepreneur businesses
Most sidepreneur businesses follow one of four business models for scaling and growth. One, they may gradually increase their talent-application variety and range and venture into offering project assistance in new formats. Two, they may increase their clients by offering new talents for newer segments. Three, they may increase market visibility and exposure by marketing themselves in new ways and on new platforms to expand reach. Four, they may increase their fees per project to earn more for the same effort.
Whatever your chosen growth model, there are three tenets to keep in mind:
- If some clients are good, and they have a lot of work to offer over the long run, build relationships: Occasionally, you may come across clients who are golden finds. They may have a series of ongoing projects to give, and their working methods and the respect and rewards they give you may satisfy you. In such cases, try to build relationships with these clients and work out bulk deals. It is said in marketing that it costs six times more in the effort, time, and money to get new clients, whereas retaining old clients and getting repeat purchases saves you this cost.
- Most freelancing platforms upgrade you to a higher fee potential when you have performed consistently well: If you are on one of the freelancing platforms, youâll find they have an auto-upgrade system to reward sidepreneurs who perform exceedingly well. When past client ratings and reviews are consistently high, you become eligible to be called a âProâ talent. The platform will usually show you high-value projects they wonât reveal to unproven freelancers. Raising your grade fast should be one of your aims because you get many perks and better clients and projects with it.
- Aim for a âclient-get-clientâ strategy or a âfreelancer-get-clientâ strategy: There are two sources you can tap to reduce your marketing effort in catching new clients. One is the âclient-get-clientâ referral method. Ask your past satisfied clients to recommend others. The second way is to get other freelancers (maybe your most prominent competitors) to sub-contract part of their workload to you. This way, again, you have no marketing effort to put in if you have steady relationships with other more busy freelancers who do the client-acquisition legwork. In such cases, you convert âcompetitionâ into âco-petitionâ.
So What Are Your Thoughts? Do Share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of mompreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us, in the comments field below this post.
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