How to Build a Side Hustle and Still Manage to Sleep
One of the best ways to have financial and career flexibility is to build a side hustle while still holding a day job.
But far too often, it gets tiring too soon. After all, you end up leading two lives. If you don’t manage it well, you could get exhausted and burn out.
To make it easy for you, here are seven ways to build a side hustle while still having time and energy for everything else in your life.
7 best practices to build a side hustle that won’t overwhelm you
1. Know your skill set
Your part-time job should be an extension of your primary skill set. Remember that you’ll be solely responsible for the product or service you provide so you should be reasonably good and experienced at it.
If your full-time job is that of a writer, you could try copywriting as a side hustle. If you are a teacher (or a student), you could offer online classes.
2. Define your goals
So you know what you’re good at. You have heard from others or seen online how people with similar skills are successfully building their small businesses. But before you start your side hustle, you have to define your objectives.
Is it to merely have another source of income? Is it to make a particular amount of money within a given duration? Is it to slowly build a customer base that may allow you to go full-time later? Whatever it is, define it and be willing to adapt down the line.
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3. Start small
To start with, all you need is a single paying-customer. Define the problem you’re trying to solve or the value you’re trying to add and look for someone in need of that. You shouldn’t get disappointed if it takes longer.
That search will teach you if the value you’re offering has any takers. You’ll know whether you have to modify your product or service.
4. Prioritize your day job
As you begin looking for customers, it’s easy to lose focus on your primary job. Don’t let it slip. Your goal isn’t to get another job. It’s to supplement your income. This means your primary income should be stable.
5. Develop a routine
This is perhaps the most important part of building a successful side hustle or a viable business. Even if you get a paying customer or two, unless you get this right, you won’t be able to sustain your part-time job for long.
You’ll have to chart a routine that gives you an additional two or three hours every day and more during the weekend for your side hustle. Importantly, those should be fixed time blocks.
6. Automate as much as possible
More work doesn’t translate to more productive work. This is especially true for a side hustle where you’ll be in charge of everything without the required hours. So, the solution is to automate whatever you can.
For example, write the template for a cold email and save it so that you don’t have to repeatedly craft a new one. Also, use free workflow apps to schedule your work and invoicing software to take care of your accounting.
7. Get customer feedback
Growth is a function of how well you know your customers. As a freelancer, you may not have advanced tools for customer research but you can always ask them for feedback. There’s a world of difference between being a service provider and being a client.
What you learn will help you fine-tune your services. It will also make your customers respect you. Once you start seeing things from their perspective and are willing to adapt, they will be more inclined to refer your services to others.
You can create handmade craft pieces and sell them online. You can tutor students from around the world. You can write for websites and ghost-write for journals. You can offer software services or repair hardware. There’s a world of opportunities out there, provided you build your side hustle in a professional and organized manner.