Startups often commence as a side hustle. If you can begin slowly and be risk averse, it’s a great way to see if there’s a market for your passion.
With work from home currently being embraced, there has never been a better time to explore a side hustle with the time you are saving.
I started my first business while I was studying full time at university. While I assumed I would pursue my finance studies and become an investment banker, the reality was very different. I regularly wrote code while at university, and developed a hobby in the software development space.
At the age of 19, I spent much of my time in lecture theatres responding to client emails, working on projects, or leaving at a moment’s notice to answer a call. The whole charade was humorous, but it releaved to me an eagerness to pursue a different direction.
This is the merit of side hustles; while they may seem to be a hobby at first, they can turn into something much larger.
Side Hustle Case Study: The Ride Share Guy
A similar thing happened to a recent podcast guest, Harry Campbell (podcast). Harry was a Boeing engineer. But he wanted more.
So, he took the leap and quit his prestigious job to work on his website, therideshareguy.com.
Harry, like so many that start side hustles, saw an opportunity.
It’s the same opportunity many are starting to see while working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. While trapped indoors, it seems we’re spending much more time away from the usual “hustle” of our daily routines, and are given more time to consider what we really want. Often, that is the pursuit of entrepreneurship (or a “side hustle”).
The Information Age: Giving People What They Want
Harry’s story is the typical case of identifying a problem and building a solution. Harry noticed there was no information available to help people like him who were driving for Uber and Lyft. So, after taking the plunge with a blog and focusing on solid content, Harry has since been able to make a living with it, on top of helping 10,000 drivers per month through the ecosystem he has created.
What seemed like such as simple idea at first underpinned his full time job now which includes not just his blog, but consulting to Silicon Valley’s largest organisations.
How Do I Find a Side Hustle?
So, what opportunities have you seen since this all began? What do people need that they don’t already have?
The key to a good side hustle is making sure:
- It adds enough value to people’s lives.
- You delegate tasks and are not too controlling.
- It is easy to leverage help from remote workers.
- There’s a revenue generating opportunity.
- You have a strong support network from industry veterans.
Whilst plenty of millennials adopt side hustles (24/7 Wall Street suggests millennials make up 28 percent of the 44 million side-hustling Americans), anyone armed with the right information can get started.
The key is to keep your day job for as long as possible before taking the leap. Then, when your monthly expenses are covered by your side hustle, you’re on the right track.
But I’d advise against taking the leap without some form of financial stability. Ensure sure you look after yourself through all of this.
The other thing to keep in mind is to not live with any regret.
The Jeff Bezos Story
We are all too familiar with the work of Jeff Bezos through his brainchild, Amazon. However, many are unfamilar with his story.
Jeff was an investment banker, who one day in 1994 walked into his boss’ office in New York City and said:
“You know, I’m going to go do this crazy thing and I’m going to start this company selling books online.”
It seemed like a ridiculous idea back in 1994, but Jeff had been observing internet businesses for years and identified an opportunity. What seemed to be a ridiculous idea at the time resulted in the business called Amazon.
There was no guarantee of his success. For Jeff, it was about living without regret.
So don’t live with the regret of not starting your side hustle.
Get started slowly but make sure you’re thinking about the steps I’ve identified.
A Word of Warning: Time Commitment
I’ve seen startups fail more than I’ve seen them succeed. Time commitment is a huge contributing factor to their success. While not all ideas are worth pursuing, the nimble efforts of a startup in their early stages is what helps them to adapt to the market and create something that people can’t live without. Time commitment at the start of a business is critical, so while it’s important you don’t disregard your primary commitments, be weary of the pressure this will add to your life.
If you’re considering starting a side hustle, don’t hesitate to share your idea with me via the get in touch section of this website.
Otherwise, all the best!