What if I told you that the opportunity to earn extra money doing something you love is absolutely doable and you could make it happen right now? I would anticipate that many of you would respond with a resounding, “Hell yeah!”
Here’s the dirty secret to running a successful, six figure side hustle. It’s going to take a shit ton of work, but it is possible if you’re willing to put in the work. Hopefully, I didn’t scare you off completely by dropping the term, “hard work.”
Point here is that nothing good comes easy. If the road to building a six figure side hustle was easy, so many more people would be doing it without hesitation. I’ve written a ton about this very topic, but in today’s blog post, I wanted to highlight specific hacks that you can adopt now in order to run a six figure side hustle.
These hacks don’t have any ‘get rich quick’ tips so if that’s what you’re looking for, then you’ll be greatly disappointed. On the other hand, I’ll provide clear details on what I’ve done that’s worked extremely well for me. My hope is that they resonate with you and you’re willing to give them a try.
What exactly is a side hustle?
As I highlighted in a previous blog post, many think side hustles (I’ll also refer to them as side projects) are a part-time job. But, there are some differences. Most notably, like the name says, to be successful, you’re going to have to hustle.
In other words, what you get out of it depends on the effort you put into it. With a job, your income is pretty static. Here are some other qualities that make side hustles different.
- Side hustles often start as pet projects. Usually, most of us are passionate about our pet projects, and it’s almost always easier to work with something you love. If you have a pet project with income earning potential, you may have the beginnings of a side hustle.
- They’re a form of secondary employment. While similar to starting your own business, side projects are something you’re doing in addition to a day job. However, if all goes well, your pet project could quickly turn into a full-time job (if that’s what you want).
- They aren’t part-time jobs. They may feel like a part-time job considering the amount of work you put in, but everything is on your terms. It’ll thrive (or die) because of you.
One of the best aspects of a side hustle is that it often doesn’t require much if any, initial investment. In fact, at the start, I recommend not hunting for investors or sinking tons of your own money into the venture.
With all of this in mind, let’s dive in…
1. Do something you really love
When you put yourself in the position of starting a business or side hustle doing something you love, it doesn’t really feel like ‘work.’ Side hustles that grow to the six figure range are done so because of the passion that fuels the drive to yield desired results. More specifically, the discipline and commitment needed to really turn your ideas into action will be less taxing on you too.
Know that you’re deserving of designing and creating the life you want to live. If you don’t invest in yourself, no one else will. Believe in your ability to execute your own vision. Put in time to learn what you need to in order to be successful, network with people who have ‘already done it’, and be persistent. Although this may sound cliche, a great place to start is to create your own website/blog to help showcase your work and expertise.
One thing I’ve learned is that if you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll only hold yourself back because you’ll soon become nothing to anyone. Instead, identify what your craft is and what you’re really good at. From there, jot down ideas on how you can monetize your craft and how you can build value for others who choose to work with you.
2. Get comfortable with selling
Ah, the dread of having to “sell” and “prospect.” I’m not entirely sure I will ever be comfortable doing this but I also have found that throughout the years, you have to step out of your comfort zone in order to grow your side hustle.
Just because you have a website or you’re blogging, doesn’t necessarily mean that the people you want to sell to will automatically start buying from you. The art of selling really boils down to the following criteria:
- Narrow in on your target personas. The more specific you are, the better it’ll be when it comes to how you position yourself.
- Develop stellar content. This means you have created a content calendar that follows the cadence of publishing new blog posts, videos, graphics, podcasts, etc. that further showcase your expertise.
- You’re making sure you have a social media presence. The two that have been the most valuable to me have been Instagram and LinkedIn. However, there are others now such as Clubhouse which can really create new opportunities for learning as well as cultivating relationships that can foster business growth.
- You develop steps for following up with people who are interested in what you’re offering is and ensure that it is all a seamless process.
Lastly, get used to hearing, “No.” You’ll get those more often than not. It’s all part of the selling process, so don’t let this discourage you but use it as a learning experience. Plus, I’ve found that it also builds character and makes you so much more humble.
3. Know how to add value before the pitch
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an entrepreneur is to pitch before even adding any sort of value. This just shows that you care about one thing: transactions. Therefore, people will probably be less likely to actually be a part of your community, your brand, and even engage with you.
Whether you’re running a side hustle with offerings that’s in the B2C or the B2B realm, consider the following:
- Developing content that shows ‘who’ you are and the ‘why’ behind your business.
- Be authentic because people buy from people.
- Be approachable and responsive.
- Look to connect with your target customers which will build a community that will amplify your brand. This is way more valuable than just getting a sale and then not seeing any sort of retention.
4. Patience is part of the process
I’ve always dreaded this word. Being patient is definitely not my forte, but what entrepreneurship has taught me is that the process that comes along with growing a side hustle into a six figure business or even full-time gig takes time. You can’t really rush the process. It’s really about iterating what works and being persistent with creating your own opportunities.
5. Track and measure what you can
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to take notes of what’s working and what isn’t. These qualitative and quantitative data points will help you work more effectively as well as efficiently. In other words, instead of spinning your wheels or dedicating a ton of time to tasks that actually don’t move the needle, you’ll refocus your time to the things that are.
For starters, make sure that you narrow down the top KPIs you’ll be tracking to keep a pulse on your progress and performance. Doing so will also allow you to identify areas you should invest additional time (and even dollars) to foster your growth initiatives.
Wrapping it up
There isn’t a clear path to being a successful entrepreneur. How you define success is up to you. On the flip side of things, there are clear fundamentals you have to understand and even instill within yourself to hit that six figure side hustle mark. This means (as mentioned above), you’re disciplined, persistent, and patient.