Quitting your day job to pursue the entrepreneurial dream can be exhilarating — or terrifying. Fortunately, anyone can easily make extra money from a "side hustle" without losing the security of a steady paycheck. These millionaires and members of The Oracles give practical advice on turning your side hustle into an abundant cash cow.
1. Maintain perspective
You might feel tremendous pressure while birthing your idea and simultaneously performing in a full-time job. Instead of perceiving pressure as a problem, embrace it: the high stakes force you to be decisive, clear, and effective with your goals.
Before you jump off the cliff and get your business going, consider a business partner. Find someone with opposite complementary strengths to have the best chance of winning.
2. Re-look at your current job
Poor people try to replace income sources; rich people add. Don't hastily quit your job for "greener pastures" until you're certain you could make more with your time elsewhere.
Until then, get better at your current job. Flip your mindset to increasing production within the time you have. When I sold cars, I learned how to finance them. The finance manager didn't have to stay late, the dealer didn't need to take on another salary, the customer was taken care of, and I earned extra money. Everyone won!
When you do start your side hustle, make it "symbiotic" — closely connected to your main income source — so you can give both proper attention. Most people start a side hustle, get excited, ignore their main income stream, then end up with one source again. Commit to never ignoring your primary income source. With several income streams, you can build true wealth.
3. Buy an existing, profitable business
Consider buying an existing, profitable business. I've made 13 business acquisitions over the years. It's much easier to build on a proven business model with incremental enhancements than creating something from nothing.
With acquisitions, leverage the seller's support, experience, and insight during the transition. Strategically finance your business acquisitions so you don't pay all the cash up front. If the financial records are clean, you can qualify for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan with as little as a 10-20 percent down payment.
With an already successful business, you can focus on financing the deal and delegate roles to grow the business further.
4. Consider your passion and time
When starting a side hustle, find something you're excited about and don't mind spending time on.
The first time I sold online was on eBay. As an avid golfer, I noticed golf clubs were selling like gangbusters, and started browsing garage sales to see if I could find one to resell. I purchased an almost new Callaway Big Bertha for $20 and listed it within an hour for $100. It sold the very first day. For the next several years, I bought and resold golf equipment on eBay.
If your side hustle is something you enjoy, you may just turn your side hustle into a full-time hustle.
A great side hustle pays you for what you'd do anyway. When I was in college studying music, I worked the night shift at a hotel where I could study or sleep until a customer rang the bell for service. I umpired baseball games and refereed soccer, earning anywhere from $50 to $75 an hour watching games. I also bounced and deejayed at a club, so I was paid to party and even made great money at weddings.
Take your passion, and see if there's an audience for it. Then create a revenue stream by harnessing people's interest. Today, I write viral videos and produce music that drives customer engagement. It's a side hustle and passion, so never feels like work.
One, find your favorite household item — for example: mayonnaise, books, or doggy beds. Two, build a ClickFunnels, Shopify, or Amazon store. Three, create a Stripe or Braintree account. Four, form an LLC on LegalZoom and create a business bank account. Five, use Facebook ads to drive traffic to your product. These five steps can be accomplished in under a month with a full-time job.
The time vs. money value is usually the most important factor to becoming wealthy. The difficult part about having a job is you don't have free time to build a business. E-commerce (drop shipping specifically) for me started as a side hustle, which quickly became a multimillion-dollar business.
Set aside time — even if it's just 30 minutes per day — to work on your side hustle. Outsource your work, and get help from freelancers on websites such as Upwork and Fiverr. It's often much easier than you think to find people who can help you.
—Jared Goetz, serial entrepreneur and e-commerce expert; co-founder of four multimillion-dollar companies in five years
Create a side hustle that leverages your time and manages itself. The three pillars of a self-managing side hustle are:
- Learning to sell online
- Creating "value" products
- Building a distribution system.
You can learn to sell anything online just by watching a few free videos with basic sales funnel software like ClickFunnels or LeadPages. By creating "value" products such as courses, checklists, or cheat sheets, your one-time effort can have an exponential impact. The fastest distribution system is building an email list by trading a value product to acquire leads.
Ultimately, when you have a self-managing business, you instantly have options and cash flow: the two results that every entrepreneur loves!
Don't quit your day job until you have enough revenue to support your current lifestyle with the side hustle.
I had a friend who wanted to be in the t-shirt business. He was very passionate about the process, the product he could provide, and the lifestyle he would create. Blinded by his passion, he quit his day job without one client or prospect. This put a severe financial strain on him and his family.
When you have an idea, work on it during off-hours, evenings, and weekends until it's fully sustainable. With this method, you'll be able to minimize risk, generate stable cash, and follow your passion.
Want to share your insights like those above in a future column? If you're an experienced entrepreneur, please get in touch here.
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