Finance

How to Start a Successful Side Hustle

What if I told you that the best thing that you can do for yourself right now is to start a side hustle?

Think of that side hustle you’ve always wanted to have, a dream job to work alongside your 9-to-5, something that you do well that also makes you some extra pocket money.

Is it pet-sitting or dog-walking, gardening, web-designing, or even being a wedding singer?

READ MORE: The 3 Best Low-Cost Businesses to Start with $1,000 or Less (Even $0!)

Whatever it is you want to do with your free time and available skills, a side hustle is not only a great way to make some extra cash, it’s also the best way you can help yourself become a successful entrepreneur.

The key to successful side hustling is valuing it for what it is: business.

Every month, I see a new trend or a new gimmick sprouting up online and I get a little annoyed by it all. There’s always something new trending.

Sometimes it’s social media marketing, other times it is graphic t-shirts, or drop-shipping, or real estate, or something other. It seems like everyone has a side hustle, and studies show that most of us do.

READ MORE: 4 Online Business Ideas for Absolute Beginners

Percentage of generations with side hustles millennials
Image credit: Fortune.com

But those are all trends. Those are all tactics. The key to successful side hustling is valuing it for what it is: business.

START YOUR SIDE HUSTLE: How To Use Existing Skills to Earn an Extra $1,000 From Home

When it comes to deciding what kind of side hustle you should start, you need to take it back to the fundamentals and ask yourself: what is business, and what makes a business successful?

READ MORE: 100 of the Best Side Hustle Ideas and Jobs

What Makes a Side Hustle Successful?

Side hustling is business. Business is really just providing someone with a product or a service that they can’t do, but you can. When it comes down to it, business is just helping people solve problems.

Let’s have a look at what the fundamentals of business are:

  • Finding clients and customers who need your work
  • Showing them what you can do, pitching them, sending them proposals
  • Doing great work with a reasonable turnaround
  • Getting referrals

In order for your side hustle to succeed, you need to remain true to the fundamentals of business. Doesn’t matter if it’s a product or service, doesn’t matter what you’re selling or what you’re doing, you need to respect the key elements of business in order to make your side hustle work.

READ MORE: How Much Should I Charge as a Consultant? A Consultation Fee Breakdown

Freelancing And Fundamentals

If you’re looking to start your first side hustle and you’re wondering where to begin, you should begin with freelancing. Believe it or not, freelancing is the key to success in business.

Now, a lot of people may look at freelancing and think that they don’t want to trade their time for money, instead they’re looking for a passive income as their side hustle. But I am here to tell you that this is not the place to start.

You have to get the fundamentals of business down before you can move on to the more advanced things, and freelancing provides a wonderful opportunity to get those fundamentals locked out.

Freelancing is essentially providing someone with a service or product that helps them to grow their business.

Starting your own side hustle is understanding the process of freelancing your time and getting back a great return for providing that service.

READ MORE: 7 Fail-Proof Client Acquisition Methods To Help Your Business Grow

Business is a sport, so much so that Mark Cuban wrote a book called How to Win At The Sport of Business. You have to lay the groundwork before you can start on the more advanced stuff.

START YOUR SIDE HUSTLE: How To Use Existing Skills to Earn an Extra $1,000 From Home

Before you get that passive income, you need to be successful in the fundamentals. There is room for passive income later down the road, but you need to be able to dribble the ball before you can win the game.

Mark-Cuban-How-To-Win-At-The-Sport Of Business

READ MORE: 4 Online Business Ideas to Consider During a Pandemic

What Type of Side Hustle Should I Start?

This is the number one question I get in my email inbox and in my DMs. I understand why I get it. It’s a really, really popular and important question to which everyone wants answers.

Create A Service

Do your research on an entrepreneur that you really admire, someone whose work inspires you to do great things. What you’ll probably find is that early on in their career they started off with a launching a service.

Services are a great place to start. There is virtually no overhead, and anyone who has access to a phone or a computer can do it from the comfort of their own home. You’re probably reading this on a screen right now, which means that you already have all the tools to start!

Maybe you’re a whiz at mathematics and you know a few students who are looking for a tutor. Or you have a large van or truck that can be used as a removal service. Maybe you just have a passion for plastering and your neighbor’s friend’s cousin’s hallway is in need of some fixing.

A side hustle is something you can do in your own time which means that you don’t have to worry about quitting your day job. As an added bonus, services have relatively high margins which means that you can get paid very well in return for your time.

READ MORE: How to Write the Perfect Consulting Proposal With The Best Tools and Templates

Identify Your Existing Skill

Take a moment to study your own skill-set. There is something that you enjoy doing that you can do incredibly well. Side hustling is all about identifying your existing skills, and then finding a gap in the market where your skillset is needed.

Maybe there are a few people in your office looking to get in shape, and you have a passion for proper nutrition and personal training. Or you’re a whiz at lawn-mowing with plenty of free time on the weekend. Whatever you do well, you can also sell.

READ MORE: 5 Low-Cost Startup Business Ideas You Can Implement with Less Than $100

If you want to be an entrepreneur, it’s not about tactics. It’s not about chasing the hottest, newest business trend and it doesn’t matter what new hot idea is trending on social media.

What matters at the core of any business is that you get really good at your skill and make it available to others. Over time, people will take notice of your skills and begin to throw their money at you because they see that you can do things they can’t.

So rather than just talk about trends all the time or the newest hottest thing, I am telling you that you need to take it back to the fundamentals and get good at what you do.

START YOUR SIDE HUSTLE: How To Use Existing Skills to Earn an Extra $1,000 From Home

Being skillful in what you are doing is what is actually going to make you money 10, 15, 20 years from now. This is how you actually get yourself set up as a real entrepreneur and not just ride on some fad or trend.

All these things are specific advantages in building a service-based business, and everyone overlooks them. In order for your side hustle to succeed (and make you a lot of money) you need to have the fundamentals of business down. Get those fundamentals locked out before you move on to the more advanced things and watch your side hustle grow.

Got a killer idea for a side hustle that you want to share? Let us know in the comment section below!

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