Dreaming of becoming your own boss? You're not alone. Tons of people wish they could quit their job and work for themselves, and some are even making it happen.
Today more than ever, working from home and starting your own business is a viable option. But running a business isn't easy - especially at the beginning. And the fact that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of new businesses fail within the first four years doesn't exactly make you want to run out and quit your job.
But the truth is you don't have to quit your job to start your own business - at least at first. Launching a business can be done in your free time. You'll get to keep the safety and financial stability of your day job, and make your new venture your side hustle.
Balancing both a new side hustle and a full-time job can be a challenge, but with the right plan, you can do it. Here are four steps to make your side hustle a success.
Before you go jumping on the first big idea you think up, you need to take inventory of your skills and your passions. What are your strengths, and will they serve you well in your new side hustle?
In an interview on 30 Days of Genius with CreativeLive, entrepreneur Mark Cuban reveals, "What I always ask people is, (1) is it something you love to do and (2) is this something you're good at?"
The best business ideas merge your strengths and your passions. Think about your business idea. What skills does it require you to have? If you don't have the right skills, will you be able to enlist help from others to make up for it?
You also need to think about your situation. Having a side hustle means you're going to have a limited number of hours to commit. If your business idea is too lofty or requires too much work, you may give up quickly.
Running an ecommerce store through dropshipping with the help of an app like Oberlo could be a good option since you don't have to invest a significant amount of time or money upfront.
You can't start a business without knowing what you hope to achieve. Where do you see this venture taking you and what will it take to get you there?
You need to think about both your long-term and short-term objectives. Consider setting monthly, weekly and even daily goals for yourself. Use the SMART criteria to set those goals. This means your goals need to be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Once you've set your goals, map out the specific steps you'll need to take to achieve them. Don't be afraid to set deadlines for yourself and stick to those deadlines. Without a plan in place, it'll be too easy to put off making the first move.
A business idea is just an idea until you take the first step. In an article for StartupNation, content marketing consultant Ryan Robinson says, "Nobody can launch your business for you."
What's the main difference between entrepreneurs who succeed and those who fail? Motivation. Successful entrepreneurs know how to motivate themselves and stay the course even when the going gets tough.
You have to want it, and you have to want it bad. That's why being passionate about your business idea is so important. Without that passion, it's easy to lose motivation. But motivation is what keeps things moving forward and keeps you headed toward success.
In his book "The 4-Hour Workweek," author Tim Ferriss writes, "The question you should be asking isn't, 'What do I want?' or 'What are my goals?' but 'What would excite me?'"
Balancing a side hustle with a full-time job is no easy feat, and sacrifices have to be made. That may mean turning down social engagements or losing sleep in favor of finishing your work. Whatever it is, you have to push yourself to keep going. You must be committed to your side hustle and be confident in your idea, in your goals and in yourself.
A side hustle is more than just a hobby. It's not something you do on a whim or only when you feel like it. It's something you work at every day and make time for no matter what you have going on.
But finding that time isn't always easy. You need to be strategic in how you use your time to ensure you get your work done and have time for the other important things in your life, such as your family.
With such limited time available, you need to have a plan ready every time you sit down at your desk. This is where setting your goals comes in handy.
You also need to think about what the best use of your time is. If you work a standard 9-5 job, you may only have an hour to dedicate to your side hustle on weekdays. That means you may want to focus on the simpler tasks these days and save the more mentally draining tasks for weekends when you have more time to devote.
One thing you can't afford to spend time on is distractions. At the iConic conference in June, Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, told CNBC, "My best piece of advice is to make sure that entrepreneurs connect with their own wisdom and creativity, and that's becoming harder and harder because we are so addicted to technology."
Stay focused on your goals, remember why you're doing this and what you want to achieve, and be committed. With these steps in mind, you'll be able to build a profitable and successful side hustle.
Have you found success with your side hustle? What tips do you have for balancing a side hustle with a full-time job? Share your thoughts in the comments below: