Three Tips to Having a Successful Side Hustle

I’ve always been passionate about public speaking and business pitch competitions. This was previously one of the side hustles before the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are side hustles?  According to the Cambridge Dictionary it is “a piece of work or job that you have in addition to your main job”.  Truth be told, since I was in high school, I’ve always had a side hustle that I’m passionate about.  Whether it was tutoring, writing, or currently, growing my own business, side hustles are something that have kept my brain refreshed and excited all week long.

Don’t get me wrong thinking that it’s an easy cash flow positive addition to your bank account.  Sometimes, people find that it can be stressful, demanding, and even reduce your interest in your actual 9 to 5 work.  Depending on the number of hours you have in your regular day-to-day work, side hustles can come in the form of 1-2 hours of building a website for a new business or can be much longer (like mine) that take anywhere from 5-10 hours a week.  Regardless of what it is, here are some things to help you optimize your time and balance when juggling multiple commitments.

Find something you’re passionate about.

I found that, for myself, when I have a side hustle I am genuinely passionate about, I work more efficiently.  I feel that I am energized and look forward to the task.  After an exhausting day at work, you have to have a hustle that refreshes you rather than drains you.

Cash flow positive

One side hustle I had the (dis)pleasure of doing in the past was podcasting.  Although I truly enjoyed the journey of learning different industries and the process of marketing my own brand, growing my audience and navigating different audio-editing programs, it was not cash flow positive in the beginning.  The investment of creating a brand including the hours I invested into this activity was not lucrative enough for the time I had available.  While this may be an effective side hustle for you, I found podcasting to be a difficult one with many hurdles in between.  The perfect combination is finding something you enjoy and also generates some revenue.

The first podcast that I helped to co-found but unfortunately faced a lot of challenges for it to be financially sustainable.

Example of my weekly to-do list comprised of a few items dedicated to my side hustle

Make a to-do list

While we all have great ideas, some of these get lost throughout the day.  We have other commitments that distract us and after a whole week, we’ve progressed very little with our side projects.  Make sure you jot down your ideas as they come and set reminders for yourself to add bit by bit to your side hustles, whether it is contacting a certain individual or paying for a website domain for your business, take notes often when ideas come to you during your full time job.  Then you can address these later.  Remember it’s not always about doing everything in one day, but small steps will go a long way with time.