How to: Create your first side hustle

Firstly, do you have the time?

To fit a side project into your schedule you must make the time.

We’re not going to lie, it isn’t easy for the majority of people. Start by saying ‘no’ to nice offers, setting rules, boundaries, and reprioritising what’s in your diary so there’s time for you to work on your side hustle.

There isn’t a hard and defined set guidelines, rules or plan to follow to do this, you’ll just have to look at your week and decide what can move or be removed to make the precious time you’re going to need.

Don’t worry when you really don’t have the time, but make the most of when you do. Remember, this is a side hustle not your main focus so it must work to fit into your routine as much as you having to make space for it.

Think big but start small

Dreaming big is great – its the reason we strive for more but without a plan, your dreams can come to nothing. Firstly, get the ball rolling! Starting small helps you focus on closing each action on your to do list. It’s important to get things up and running first before you start building and growing.

Be prepared to learn and adapt on your journey

If you’re hankering for startup success, you’re best placing your bets elsewhere as the odds are stacked against you – the sad fact is 90 per cent of startups will fail. Don’t aim for a narrow definition of success. As you build and test your idea, learn from the experience, notice what you enjoy, reflect on what works and what you’d like to do more of, seek out engagement, and be motivated by what excites, challenges and stimulates you. And when things go wrong, you’ll have the resilience to keep going. 

Forget perfectionism

You don’t have the time or money to keep tinkering. Make something and get it out to people quickly and often. Think of each version as an experiment to gather data to inform what you’re doing next. Focus on the people your business is serving and use their feedback to improve. By doing this in small increments you learn fast and improve your idea as it takes shape in the world and it stops you forging ahead with a failed plan when the evidence tells you to quit.

Connect with others

Working in isolation is the worst thing you can do for your idea’s survival. So, find friends and peers who can support you, early users who can test and feed back, communities of people who are interested in what you do, and networks of people on a similar journey. Relationships will help you and your idea thrive.

To summarise

While you can use various metrics to determine the success of your idea, whether you have the right solution to a problem, or how well you’re growing and reaching the market, the metrics for a happy hustle are personal. Only you can define your success. It all starts by starting. 

These approaches will help you overcome the barriers many of us face when starting something. They will help you start, build momentum and keep going. You just need to start.