The side hustle: What exactly is it?
Urban dictionary defines it as “freelance or piecework in nature, providing a supplemental income. Most people run a side hustle which eventually comes their full time job.”
Largely (but not always) the side hustle can often be found in the creative spheres – musicians, artists, writers, maybe even chefs, gardeners, brewers – but these days with so many of us desperate to escape the rat race, and longing for a more flexible way of working – the side hustle comes in all shapes and sizes.
As a former side hustler, now turned full time self employed ‘female boss’, here’s my top tips on what to consider before you turn to hustling…
Do what you love
The most obvious thing to say of course, but in order to stick with your side hustle and make it your full time profession, you have to really love what you do – you’re going to be with it, nurturing it and caring for it day in and day out, so make sure it’s something you really do adore.
A good side hustle needs to fit in with your schedule. Helping people out with their digital marketing was a perfect fit for my hour and half commute to and from work every day – you work five days a week, adding a side hustle on top of that means even less hours your partner or family will get to spend with you, not to mention having some well needed time to yourself. Allow your hustle to fit around the schedule you already have.
Consider how much time you have
I’ve already said that I used to use my commute to side hustle, on busy days I’d probably add my lunch break on top of that too – but know your limits. The second you start sacrificing your morning run or yoga practice, or drinks with friends ask yourself – is this really necessary? Your side hustle may be your dream – but you need to allow yourself time to breathe and space to relax also.
Be ready to adapt
When I first started side hustling I thought people would fall at my feet for my help, but turns out that most people don’t have money to spare. Depending on what your side hustle is, you may need to adapt your fee or even work for free on some occasions to get the work. Trust me though – this isn’t a bad thing. Show willing, show them you want to invest your time in their company, and eventually the rewards will follow – think of the bigger picture.
Talk to people
It might come as a shock for those of you who know me to read this, but I am really, really shy. I hate talking to people I don’t know, I hate putting myself out there, I hate handing out business cards and I hate ‘plugging’ myself. My advice on that if you feel the same? Get over it. If you don’t get in there someone else will – be nice, be friendly, make friends, contacts, acquaintances and you never know, you might get a new client out of it.
Stick with it
If you believe in what you do then stick with it. Yes it is going to be hard, yes there will be times when you are working 12, 15 or even 17 hour days, yes you may not see a weekend for a year, and yes you may drive your partner and your family up the wall – but if you believe in it, like really believe in it, your side hustle will be the career you dreamed it would be. Play the long game with your patience, and stick with it, it’s worth it in the end – believe me!