What I am doing to earn a living now started out as just a side hustle.
I started in my spare time and over the course of a year I was getting pretty busy. There came a point when I felt like I was working two full time jobs. That’s when I had to make the decision: stay at my full time job or take a chance and try to grow my side business. Since my full time job was nothing special, and I felt like it could be easily replaced at any point in time, I chose the latter of the two options.
For the first several months I went full speed, taking advantage of every opportunity that I could find. Then there was a slight burnout mode where I felt the effects of working too much and wanted to throw my laptop at the wall. And now, I’ve evened myself out a bit: weeding through opportunities and separating the good from the bad. Which is finally starting to pan out.
My full time job now includes writing, blogging, creating websites, and I recently added running social media for a local business. Since many are trying one of these options out as a side hustle here are my tips for growing your business faster.
Don’t Say Yes to Everything
When I first started I’d say yes to almost every opportunity that came my way. At one point I was working for a small business receiving only the fraction of pay I’d charge others. But, since this particular business owner provided a mass quantity of work, I made an exception.
Since I was working a full time job I’d stay up all hours of the night to get his work done. I started working when I put my kids to bed at 8 pm, stopped somewhere around 1-3 am, and then got back up and got ready for work at the day job at 7 am.
It wasn’t worth it.
I could’ve just found higher paying gigs to replace this one and saved myself exhaustion. Unfortunately, I took just about every job I was offered.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
When I got serious about increasing my client base I took a step outside my comfort zone. I couldn’t just sit around waiting for work to come to me, I knew I had to go get it.
If I wanted to work for someone I simply emailed the person and let them know that I was available. I also emailed bloggers I admired never thinking I would get a reply; but I did. On a whim one day I decided I was going to email Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. I honestly never expected to get a reply and was shocked when an email from him showed up in my inbox. I didn’t end up getting any work from him but his email was an encouragement to contact those people who I thought wouldn’t have a chance at emailing me back.
Most of my jobs have come from me asking others if they needed help.
Make friends, or you could say network but I really hate that word. There are several different people in my field who I can take my questions to or ask for help.
The relationships I’ve made online have really helped me find more work when needed. The funny thing is that I haven’t met most of these people, but I feel like I talk to them more than the friends I have at home.
Use Your Time Wisely
There are some things that I did in the beginning that were probably total time wasters. What I do now differs greatly from how I first started.
As you go you’ll realize that some of the things you’re doing aren’t worth the effort. It’s important to identify those and eliminate them.
The better you use your time the faster you’ll be able to grow your business.