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Ten Steps Towards A Successful Side Hustle

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

“Good things happen to those who hustle.” – Anais Nin

Starting a business on the side is a great way to make some extra money and test out your business idea. You’ve decided you want to be your own boss and have the freedom to work when you want, where you want, with whom you want. But how do you make it work? One of the best ways to boost your income and self-confidence is through side hustles.

There might be a market gap for your product, or perhaps you want to profit from your hobby. With a side hustle, you can achieve financial security and have fun at the same time. In this article, we’ll walk through ten steps that can help you start a new venture.

If you’re a web developer, maybe offer freelance work on the side. Bloggers can sell ads, and they can even set up side blogs to discuss topics they'd rather write about on their own, like travel, knitting, or health topics. Freelancing on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork can be a great way to get started.

We all want a bit more money, there is no denying that. If you’re passionate about something and you can find a way to make money from it on the side, then it’s worth doing. Finding a way to increase your income is always on people's minds - whether it's to give themselves a bit of spending money, to save for a holiday, or to help pay for bills.

These steps are an important part of the planning process and will help you to envision where the success of your side hustle will take you.

“The difference between skill and talent: A skill is something you learn. Talent is what you can’t help doing.” —Caroline Ghosen, founder and CEO of career site Levo

1. Mindset

So, you’ve decided that you want to start up a side hustle, great! You are already thinking like an entrepreneur. You are looking for gaps in the market, researching business trends, seeking ways to increase revenue in your life, and understanding that a little bit can add up to a lot. Now is a great time to put things into action!

Many say that side hustles can be addictive and that as you gain a couple of pounds here and there, your mindset just keeps growing. You will want to think of your side hustle as a piggy bank to start off with.

Sure, you need to pay out to start with in order to buy the piggy bank (because all side hustles require an initial investment of time, money or both), but once you start filling that piggy bank up penny by penny, it all amounts to a tidy little sum. The quicker you can fill it depends on the harder you work so it’s all down to you.

A shift from an office job to a side hustle will ultimately make you more flexible, creative, and resilient. Whether you are after cash or peace of mind, financial security is enough to fuel your dreams for the future.

While you may not be passionate about your day job, it can provide you with motivation and allow you to work each day and maintain a steady income - which can eventually become a great side gig.

2. Survey Your Skills

If you already have an idea for a side hustle, then fantastic! If you're not sure where to begin, then list your skills and talents.

You need to assess your skills to find the hustle that is right for you. You might ask yourself some of these questions.

  • Is it possible for me to make money from my musical talents?

  • Would you like to become an online Virtual Assistant?

  • Would you be able to create promotional videos?

  • How can I make money from my writing skills?

  • Which of my interests can you turn into a business?

In order to empower yourself and engage in the activity more deeply, find a side hustle that offers autonomy, discrete tasks, feedback, significance, and a variety of skills.

3. Work with your weaknesses

Initially, you might be interested in knowing where to start and how to efficiently start your side hustle.

It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of experience or none at all – everyone has to start somewhere. You can find out about a variety of different methods and approaches to a side hustle by learning.

You might be interested in where to start and what to do for your side hustle to make sure it’s something to suit your needs and your time. Side hustles are about working smarter, not harder.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to your side hustle. Don’t have a clue about how to set up a website for your new venture? Worried you’ll get your taxes all wrong? Work with your weaknesses and subcontract them out.

You may also feel discouraged from time to time, but try to remember that it’s part of the process and not failure. If side hustles are something you’re passionate about, then you should structure it in a way that matches your skill level.

Don’t be tempted to try something for yourself in order to save a few pounds, it’ll be a costly error in the long run. Consider hiring a professional because it will be worth your while in the long run. Side hustles are about working smarter, not harder.

“There is only one success- to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

- Christopher Morley

4. Start planning your project

When you decide to start something new, the biggest mistake you can make is to try to take on too big of a challenge at once. When you’re starting out with something new, start small and grow from there. This will help you to avoid burnout and give you the momentum to keep moving forward.

It's time to get planning! Whether you are a list kind of person or more of a spray diagram, get all of your ideas out of your mind and onto the page. Sort your ideas into categories such as "time-consuming", "passive income" and "scalable" then determine how much time and energy you can devote to each. Be brutal in filtering your ideas and think long and hard about how much time you have to commit to them.

5. Promote your magic

“You should clearly identify who your target audience or clients are. You want to maximize your efforts. You can’t afford to waste your time and money trying to put your offer in front of people who simply aren’t interested. Instead, you want to get your offer in front of the right people, those who will actually invest and do business with you!”

Research is essential before you begin marketing your side hustle. Questions and answers you should consider during your research:

  • Has anyone ever received money for this item or service?

  • What are the average earnings for this type of work?

  • What is the most anyone has ever earned from this pursuit and what level of skill did that person have?

  • Is the market saturated with this type of work or is it rare?

  • Is this type of work becoming more or less valuable?

No idea, no matter how brilliant it is, will be successful if nobody knows about it. Once your side hustle plan is in place, you will have to think about how to market it.

  • Where are your future customers most likely to frequent?

  • Are you planning to use social media as a marketing tool?

  • Maybe your customers are more likely to be at home, at work or online only?

  • Are there any discounts or promotions you can use to get new customers?

Identifying your target audience is the first step to developing a marketing strategy. If you are nervous about the idea of promoting your side hustle, then remember step 3 and subcontract it out instead. Depending on your niche, you can promote your side hustle using social media, blogs, business cards, referrals from your network, testimonials, or offer something better than your competition. Build a strong profile that matches your branding. Post content that shows your expertise.

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

- Napoleon Hill

6. Time to manage your tasks

If you want to get the most out of your day, make sure you plan and schedule your daily tasks as precisely as possible. By using a daily planner or block scheduler, you will be able to break down tasks into manageable chunks. If you're like most people, you have a long list of things you'd like to accomplish.

I've noticed that, in most cases, the people who succeed are those who focus on one new thing at a time and keep doing it over the course of days or weeks. Prioritize. Make sure your side hustle is at the top of your priorities and is not being neglected.

You should also think about your short-term, long-term, and end goals.

  • What do you hope to accomplish with your side hustle?

  • Where do you eventually see yourself several years from now?

In a couple of years, you'd probably be running your own business, starting it as a side hustle. Your goal may be to become a global enterprise through your local business. Regardless of what your life goal is, make sure you align your short-term and long-term goals with it.

7. Separate your side hustle

It's true that working for yourself is liberating. However, if you are juggling a lot of commitments as well as starting a side hustle, then you need to be realistic about how much time you devote to it. One of the most important pieces of advice I have ever been given is to ALWAYS prioritise your paid employment over your side hustle until you can rely on your side hustle to feed your kids.

Often we get caught up in our dreams of success, but it's even more important to set goals and limits for ourselves. Avoid burnout by balancing your time.

When you work on your side hustle, you need to set physical boundaries. Those who write or design probably need some peace and quiet in order to let their creative juices flow.

Even if you live alone, you should have some space for yourself. Use your spare bedroom (or any other room) as your office.

Put a sign on the door that says something to that effect - Do not disturb. This will prevent anyone from inadvertently disturbing you.

“Life-fulfilling work is never about the money — when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.” —Eileen Fisher, fashion designer

8. Refine your revenue

No one wants to run around like a busy fool, having to work twice as hard for next to no money. It’s really important that you critically analyse your side hustle to see what is making you money and what isn’t worth the effort. While you enjoy painstakingly gathering each shell from the beach, does the profit from your artwork cover your time? Refine your revenue by cutting out the onerous and tedious tasks.

The importance of lead generation can’t ever be understated. Leads are your lifeblood, so you'll struggle to stay afloat without them. How are you going to generate revenue for your side hustle without good leads? Fill your pipeline with high-quality leads with sound marketing strategy leads.

However, you can't just leave it at that. Leads have to be nurtured in order to become paying clients. Automated lead generation is mostly used by online businesses. You can set up a landing page with a very enticing offer. Whenever someone downloads or checks out your offer, they enter their contact information. All you need to do is contact them and then do your best to convert them into paying clients.

The key to a successful side hustle is being consistent and providing value to your customer. If you are able to provide value, then you’re on solid ground to build your side hustle.

9. Remember to reward yourself

As we mentioned in step 7 a side hustle burnout can sneak up on you. Although this is an enjoyable process, it's good to take a break from the process to reflect, take some time out for you to re-energize your energy stores While you might enjoy building up your small empire and see it as an enjoyable experience, it's still good to take a mental break from the process. You will then be able to refocus on what is important to you and your side hustle. A feeling of strength comes from knowing that you have made progress and can get back on track.

10. When it's safe to quit the day job

If you're lucky (and work hard), you'll be able to give up your regular job and turn your side hustle into your main source of income. You may find this a daunting prospect, and there is a fine line between a side hustle that's profitable and one that's reliable. If you’d like to know more about making your project permanent, then why not take a look at the Side Hustle Secrets eBook? You will not only learn how to set up your side hustle for success but also how to know when to take that leap of faith.

“You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.”

Stephen C. Hogan


In order to earn money in a side hustle, it is important to follow these ten steps. It is important to get into the right mindset; don't neglect your strengths.

Providing value and being consistent are the keys to a successful side hustle. For success, it is important to have the right mindset. If you embark on a side hustle, make sure you consider how you will add value to your customer, since they are going to notice fairly quickly whether you are providing a low-quality product or not!

Be realistic with what you hope to accomplish with your side hustle. Keep up the momentum by planning your marketing strategy. If you want to quit your job, only do it when you are financially secure, so you don't have to worry about losing your income if something goes wrong.

By being consistent and providing value to your customers, you are setting yourself up for success! I hope that this post has been helpful in starting your entrepreneurial journey.

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“Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.” – Anonymous

Regards, Paula

Career Coach and Employability Trainer

Follow me on Instagram: @Donnan.coaching

For assistance with any of the information above, please e-mail me at


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