5 Tips for Mastering the Side Hustle
Side hustles are becoming an increasingly popular option for those of us who want to pursue entrepreneurship without giving up our full-time jobs. At JumpStart’s 2017 Startup Scaleup event, we learned tips for growing your side hustle while holding down your day job at the Mastering the Side Hustle panel.
Side hustles are becoming an increasingly popular option for those of us who want to pursue entrepreneurship without giving up our full-time jobs. At JumpStart’s 2017 Startup Scaleup event, we learned tips for growing your side hustle while holding down your day job at the Mastering the Side Hustle panel, featuring Robin Doerschuk, founder of The Women’s Leadership Conference of Northeast Ohio, Jason Estremera, founder of CLE Threads, Shibani Faehnle, owner of Bombay Taxi, LLC, and Tiffani Tucker, founder of Have a Slice.
Here are our five key takeaways from the session:
1. Have faith in yourself
Your side hustle will not be successful if you don’t believe in yourself, period. In other words, “Listen to your gut,” as Tucker said.
Having faith that you have the skills needed to make decisions, be flexible and deal with whatever challenges come your way is crucial to building a foundation for your business.
“Everything is a learning process, everything changes all the time - the only constant is you,” said Faehnle. “So, bet on you every single time.”
2. Listen to everyone - even those who only offer criticism
Constantly being open to receiving feedback—both positive and negative—is the only way to understand what your customers truly want. And using that feedback to refine your product is a thoughtful and effective way to better serve those customers.
When reviewing feedback, remember that there’s a difference between haters and people who want to genuinely give you advice, said Estremera. “We have to put our egos aside and determine if a person is being rude” or truly trying to help, he said.
3. You don’t have to quit your day job
Instead of rushing to leave your full-time job, appreciate how having that job can benefit your side hustle. For one thing, any monetary investments you make are less risky when you know you have a steady paycheck.
“Having a full-time job will save you because you won’t run out of cash,” Faehnle said.
You can also think about using your day job as a platform for marketing your side hustle and getting feedback. Tucker began bringing in baked goods to the newsroom at her full-time job and launched her side hustle at the encouragement of her coworkers.
On top of that, skills you learn from having a side hustle can actually make you more valuable to your full-time employer.
“The things I learned from having a side hustle make me a better employee,” Faehnle said.
4. Striving for balance is futile
True work/life balance doesn’t exist for side hustlers. There will always be more work to do, not to mention managing family and personal needs. Accept that from the start and you’ll be much better prepared for the often chaotic lifestyle being an entrepreneur while a full-time employee can bring.
“People ask, ‘How do you stay balanced?’,” Doerschuk said. “You don’t.”
5. Failure is not a bad thing.
Treat failure as a learning experience. Failure is inevitable, whether it’s a big, grand failure or a tiny daily task that got messed up, but what you do with that experience is up to you. Learn from your mistakes and you’ll be better able to handle hiccups in the future.
“Take the risk, fail and learn from what you did; pivot, refine,” Doerschuk said.