Want to be your own boss? If so, then I’m glad you’re here. 🙂

 

The absolute best way you can eventually become your own boss is to start a side hustle and build your self-employed income whilst you still have the safety and security of your day job.

 

What’s more is that when you start your side hustle, it doesn’t just open your life to an environment where you can decide what to do and what needs to be done, but also it creates opportunities (career-changing ones) which you wouldn’t get from your full-time job.

 

 

 

Now let’s dive right into the 10 steps on how you can start a side hustle while keeping your day job.

 

 

 

 

How to Start a Side Hustle While Keeping Day Job: 10 Steps

 

 

1.  Prepare for the journey.

 

“Business success is 80 percent psychology and 20 percent mechanics” — Tony Robbins

 

What he means is even a great product or service won’t take you far if you lack the grit, determination and genuine interest in helping your customers solve the problem(s).

 

If Steve Jobs were to be so miserable or disinterested into unveiling the iPhone on the stage few years back, would you have really bought the iPhone? 

 

What if Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time, were not to be confident or ever think of himself “I’m the greatest” would you really think he would have made it even past his first match?

 

What you need to know is before you start a side hustle (or any business for that matter), you need to ask yourself how badly you want to succeed.

 

If you’re just thinking that “Oh Elon Musk created a rocket company, that looks cool! Think about how much money I can make or how awesome I’ll look if I started one too!” 

 

You’ll make zero or even bankrupt yourself. 

 

You need to remember, your side hustle will begin to consume many hours each week from your precious moments which you could instead be spending it with your friends, family or elsewhere.

 

A side hustle requires herculean effort to succeed, especially given with most of your time being taken at full-time job. 

 

So seriously make a self-assessment about whether or it this is something you’re willing to make sacrifices for in order to achieve. 

 

If are willing to sacrifice, then you just took your first step. 

 

 

 

 

2.  Identify Your Skills and Areas of Interest.

 

“Never enter a battle ill-equipped for the challenges you’ll be facing.” — some legendary human.

 

This is where the test of your passion comes into play.

 

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban has once said that your business will succeed only if it “something you love to do and something you’re good at.”

 

If Steve Irwin, the legendary Crocodile Hunter, were to not have been fond of crocodiles or any other scary animal on his amazing show, would you really think he would have even been good at it?

 

What if the musicians, singers, composers that you listen to everyday were not even into music in the first place. Would you really think they would have mastered the instruments, endured the tireless nights of endless practice sessions to release just a single song which they know could either hit or miss the song charts? 

 

They did it because they loved it and that’s the real secret to why they were really so good at it.

 

So your soon-to-be side hustle will be the one where it must complement your skills, experience, or industry knowledge.

 

But the great thing is: Even if you lack the skills that you would have needed for your side hustle, you’re never too late to learn them. Just put in a search on on Google and learn it because there’s no better time than the present.

 

 

 

 

3.  Validate your Side Hustle with One Paying Customer.

 

Your side hustle idea may seem like the next big thing to you but that’s not necessarily how your potential customer will see it.

 

More likely than not, they’ll ignore it just like how the vast majority of “brilliant ideas” that have been already-made and have been released into the wild given the amount of daily distractions and advertisements  we’re  exposed to.

 

Here’s the thing.

 

The real reason you need to validate (test) your side hustle hustle with a paying customer before going any further into your business is to find out and make sure that you’re not creating a solution to a problem which doesn’t really exist.

 

In an extensive study by CB Insights it has been cited that the “lack of market need” is the top cause of startup failures.

 

Think about that. 

 

So be warned, there’s a good chance that the idea you were trying to make happen may not find enough people that will find value in.

 

And if nobody wants your product or service, the resources (time, energy, effort) that you had put in will just be flushed down the toilet.

 

So first create your test product/service (this is the beta stage for your product/service; it doesn’t have to achieve it’s full potential yet, just release the product as long it provides the value you want).

 

Once you’ve done that: Validate, validate, validate. 

 

Because an idea without validation will only be perceived valuable to only yourself but not prove it’s worth for others.

 

 

 

 

4.  Differentiate Yourself from your Competitors.

 

“If your friends jumped off the cliff, would you jump too? — my mother”

 

That quote was always something my mother would bring up if I did or want whatever my friends were doing (or had) when I was young and you know what?

 

She was never wrong. Not one bit.

 

As for your new product or service, even if you have come through the first 3 steps in this guide and you’re here with your ready-built (and validated) new product or service, you should know that you’re going to have competitors no matter what niche you are (as weird you may think it to be).

 

These competitors may or may not be your friends but one thing you all can agree on, for sure, is that you are targeting the same audience with your own individual products or services and that can get difficult.

 

So why did I insert my mother’s famous quote?

 

Well, the number one “solution” that side hustle/business owners may immediately resort to when they’re under pressure from their competitors is try and mimic what your competitors are doing.

 

Now it’s not wrong to go about that way, in fact what your competitors did has already been proven (validated) with the customers, so since it is working for them then it must work for your product/service too right?

 

Not as much as you think it to be. You see, the only way you can beat your competitors is by not jumping off the cliff with your friends.

 

 Instead take a moment to think what you might be putting up on the line whether that be your business’s reputation, your quality of the product/service, the long-term plan you devised by just going about imitating what your competitors are doing.

 

So to make sure this never happens, you must have your own unique competitive advantage. 

 

Once you have your own unique competitive edge, you will never worry about anyone stealing your idea, because as much as they try they’ll never get YOU.

 

A few examples of where your unique competitive edge could fall In the range into: pricing, sales tactics, marketing, higher profit margins, unmatched customer service, best-in-class features, strategic relationships, intellectual property, or most importantly just yourself as the founder with your vision these are some of the factors that can clearly differentiate your brand from the competition.

 

Remember this:

Your competitive advantage is what makes customers choose you, and what keeps them coming back for more.

 

 

 

 

5.  Define Clear Goals.

 

When you first learnt how to walk when you were young, you always had the clear goal that you will walk on your feet one day an that you would not have to crawl your way to grab that cookie jar on the table. 

 

So what did you do?

 

You made your goal your instinct.

 

You took small incremental steps to get there, and after several tries and a few falls along the way you finally did learn to walk.

 

Now that is pretty amazing at such a young age don’t you think so?

 

The exact same thing goes with your side hustle/business goal. 

 

No matter how big your dream is, you will not reach there just by aiming to walk.

 

You won’t make it. 

 

You have to start on one feet, learn the grips then work on your other feet and then take a few steps forward until you walk.

 

Now in order to make your goal of side hustle/business happen it’s good to come all the way here after steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 in this guide but what’s the point if you don’t have a clear goal of what you really want?

 

So here’s what you do, remember the idea you first had for your side hustle/business and write it down. Next, try to think of the mini steps that you’ll need to reach there.

 

I’ll give you an example:

Bringing one satisfied customer  Bringing second satisfied customer  third, fourth, fifth and so on.

 

If you just aim to bring 1000 customers right away instead of just one, you’ll get too overwhelmed with everything that needs to be in place before handling that many customers.

 

I’ll give you my very own rough one that I tried when I wanted to start a blog (which now has become a $100,000 per month blog):

think of what to blog  research   write my plan (you’re here)  think of a brand name  get domain get hosting  design my blog  more research  create my first  draft  write my first article  second article, third, fourth,…100 articles.

 

You see how it works?

 

Now you try it and share with me what your plan is down below. 🙂

 

 

 

 

6.  Set Milestones That’ll Force You to Launch.

 

Now setting your little steps to achieve your goals is not enough. 

 

You need to set milestones (or deadlines) otherwise you’ll waste precious time and be trapped in a perennial dream state.

 

Setting deadlines for each of your little steps forces you to not obsess over trying to build a perfect solution when you don’t know what your customers will feel comfortable with the most.

 

So Step 7, here’s what you do:

Draw up a simple action plan that lays out your key milestones and deadlines that’ll guide you from each little step by step that you had thought through in Step 6. 

 

Stick to your deadlines, tell your friends or family about them, discipline yourself and don’t make yourself excuses.

 

Don’t try to aim for perfection because it will keep you down and prevent you from ever launching anything.

 

 

 

 

7.  Delegate Work Outside of Your Expertise.

 

By now you know your strengths. 

 

Don’t believe me?

 

In Step 2, You identified your skills and areas of interest which made it possible for your side hustle to reach as far as it could now because your skills, your areas of interest, your passion is what made your product/idea what it was to be.

 

In Step 4, You found out that your unique thinking and strategy is what made it possible for your product/service to trump all your competitors.

 

In Step 5 and 6, You had to discipline yourself and be precise in how you plan out everything. 

 

You are doing good, but you can’t be good at everything all the time and you shouldn’t want to be.

 

What you must remember is, even if you have already thought to yourself and had it planned that you’re pretty much going to do all the work and be the sole founder, you must remember for the business to move forward some (or even many) of the  skills necessary to efficiently keep your side hustle/business running must be found elsewhere to free up your time and focus on doing what you’re best at with your business.

 

If you’re good at marketing, then let someone else do the software programming. 

 

If you’re good at accounting and management programming, then let someone else do the graphic designing.

 

Though I would never say that I discourage you from ever learning the skills, because as a founder myself, it’s always good to learn the skills yourself so that you can communicate with whoever you’ve hired and help get the point across efficiently.

 

For example: computer programming. There is a reason why most startup founders have a computer science degree and not write any code at all of their software and it’s because the writing can be done by someone else but it is your “idea” that needs to be productized. For that, you need to know how the code is going to work together, and how it works and you’re better off directing it instead of writing it which is a hassle.

 

But for now, try to outsource the jobs like graphic designing, social media posting, copywriting, or any other areas where you’re not good at or where it is better off being handled by a professional.

 

This makes your work flow more effective, productive, and much more affordable in the long run as the value of your time increases significantly.

 

Outsource your weaknesses, and focus on your strengths.

 

 

 

 

8. Ask for Real Customer Feedback.

 

“It was not like I had my product/service validated by a mannequin you know, it was a human being.”

 

Yes, I believe you. You already got your product/service tested and tried way back in Step 3 so why come back to it again?

 

You see, getting feedback is not a one time thing. The reason why you needed to start getting feedback and have your product/service validated from the very beginning is so that you can understand and make changes to what your customer thinks and feels about your product/service.

 

“Now why should I do that?”

 

Because the customer is always right!

 

Your product or service is always in the risk of failure.

 

Always.

 

No matter how big of a market share or audience you have if the product/service does not solve the customer’s problem anymore then you need to do something about it.

 

Without an objective or external feedback you’ll likely execute the plan, invest your valuable time, money and your effort only to lose all of it in the end.

 

So if there’s one thing you take away from this article, is this: The customer is always right.

 

It may be harsh feedback for you to take in, but just try to understand if you were in the customer’s shoes would you have been harsh too to get your point across? 

 

And force yourself to continually and always listen to your customer(s) and improve your product/service for the customer is always right.

 

 

 

 

9. Do Avoid Getting Fired From Your Day Job. 

 

You should never work on your side hustle during your day job nor should you use your company resources to advance your own pursuits.

 

It’s wrong for you to do that because not only is it unethical but it’s in most cases a violation of the employee agreements you signed when you first began your job.

 

Make it point to honor every term in your contracts and always continue to deliver excellent performance that is required from you at your day job even if you have your side hustle blooming at the side.

 

Compromising your quality of work and reputation in office can not only damage your day job but it can prevent you from potentially parterning up with your old employees once you go full-time business owner yourself.

 

Because put yourself in the employee’s shoes and ask yourself: 

“Why would I join that person’s business when I know he or she used to deliver unsatisfactory work, and always used to slack off?”

 

 

Be an exemplary figure at your day job, and you will be respected and be rewarded for your actions in your future endeavors.

 

 

 

 

10.  Build a Sustainable Flow of Customers Before Quitting Your Day Job.

 

When should you quit your day job?

 

After you have went through all the nine steps above, chances are you may be asking this.

 

Here’s my advice:

Don’t leave your side hustle unless and until your day job is providing you a steady, growing cash flow that exceed or reaches at least 75 percent of what your day job pays you right now. Also have at least six months worth of savings for personal and business reasons.

 

The ’emergency’ fund is really important and you can’t just quit your job without some cash in savings to save you from the trouble.

 

Remember that having excited customers, and a growing revenue is your clearest sign that your side hustle is going to be a future success. 🙂

 

 

Make sure to save this guide and give a second read through to really master it. Take your time and think for yourself after reading each of the steps how you can use it for your own startup idea.

 

 

Share this guide with anyone who needs a guide on how to start a startup (even if they have a day job) and help them just as you would like to be helped. 🙂