Unless you’ve been sitting under a rock over the last couple of years, you’ve heard all about the successful side hustle trend — the growing population of people rocking a side business while keeping the safety of their nine-to-five job.
As a full-time entrepreneur who started as a side hustler, I help aspiring hustlers make their dream a reality by taking their concept and seeing it through to creation. Along the road of making it happen, I see common mistakes time and again. The good news is: They’re all avoidable! Here are the five biggest mistakes people make when starting their side hustle from scratch.
1. They choose a business idea they’re not in love with. Running a business is hard, folks! So you have to LOVE what you do. Your passion will see you through the hard times and setbacks, so choose to create a product or service you’re crazy about. Don’t just choose something because you think it’s a moneymaker.
2. They seek approval from others. The only person you need on your side in your venture is you! Don’t crowdsource approval and positive feedback from others to validate your idea or your plan. Not everyone will get it. And that’s okay.
3. They’re put off by competition. Newsflash: Competition is GOOD. It means there is already a market for what you are doing. In the fragile early stages of a hustle, you want to make sure you’ll have buyers ready and that you won’t have to educate a market with a totally fresh offering.
People rockin’ similar businesses are a positive! Research them. Learn from them. Let their success inspire (not intimidate!) you.
4. They don’t network. With the abundance of online and offline communities available to us, it’s easy to connect with fellow entrepreneurs daily. Having connections, hustle buddies, or a tribe will keep you going. Collaborate with other hustlers and entrepreneurs at every opportunity. The bigger your community, the more “luck” you will have.
5. They don’t begin. The world is full of talkers. People who have an idea they’re in love with and will “get around to one day.” They talk it to death for years but never, ever take any action. Ideas are overrated. Execution is everything. It’s the gap between a dream and a reality. The most important quality in every entrepreneur is a huge appetite for action. As Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” The winners in this world are the doers.
One of my favorite quotes is a Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” If you want a side hustle, start today. There is no reason to wait. Conditions are never perfect — the timing is never “right.”
And buckle up. Because what happens next might just astonish you.
Have you started a successful side hustle? Tell me about it in the comments!