A side hustle is more than a naughty fantasy.
It’s the label given to a generation of people who believe the way we work will fundamentally change in the future.
The ethos is that work should move away from being how we get paid, and get transformed into how we do what we love while getting paid.
A side hustle is a fancy word for an online hobby that has the potential to earn money. Think of it this way:
A job pays your current bills. A side hustle builds your future.
Here are the signs your side hustle will replace your job and become a 6-figure business you’ll be proud of based on my journey doing exactly that.
You created a donkey instead of a unicorn
Turning a side hustle into a unicorn startup with a billion-dollar valuation used to be cool in the Zuckerberg era.
Now, rainbow unicorns are for 4-year-olds. James Clear says side hustles that turn into donkeys are the new trend.
A donkey is a side hustle that turns into an online business generating more than $1M with only one employee — you.
They’re becoming popular because people are starting to see time is more important than money. And managing a bunch of adult babies in a WeWork office that fight about bonuses, beer fridges, free lunches, and how much stock they’re going to get is exhausting.
Who wants to lead an adult daycare center? Not me.
Zero employees equals the best life.
It’s a sign your side hustle will be effortless.
You don’t wait for anyone to tell you what to do
It confuses the heck out of me when I get messages saying, “how do I get started with my side hustle?”
No one is going to tell you what to do.
Use Google Search Engine to get started. Stop waiting for kindergarten teachers to hold your hand and walk you to the sandpit.
You’re not an adult baby with a diaper full of poop.
Waiting to get told what to do is what the corporate world infects our brains with. Side hustles are about putting on your big boy/girl pants and getting to work. The path is forged by doing the work.
It’s a daily habit, not a dream
Some dream of a side hustle that’ll change their life.
They schedule work to get done over the holidays or when they’re not busy. Never happens. What a waste of one’s life.
Those who succeed in this game schedule work to be done on their side hustle every day. No fantasies. Just execution.
You’ve found something you love working on after hours
A side hustle fails if it’s based on something you do for money rather than love. The trick is to find what it is.
If you conduct tiny side hustle experiments you’ll eventually find the love like I did. Once you do, it’s a sign you’re well on your way. Nine times out of ten it’s something you already love but have dismissed it as being a good side hustle.
“I love dogs,” you say.
Great. A side hustle built around dogs can be wildly successful. Just open the TikTok app and see for yourself.
Work you love is the most important side hustle ingredient.
Your goal is to create something that’ll outlive you
Death is a great side hustle motivator.
If you’re building something to outlive you then you’re building differently. There’s a certain type of energy and passion that goes into work designed to outlive someone.
The work is more spiritual. It gets done using a different part of the brain. The audience that sees the work you create interprets it differently too.
If this is the work you’re doing after hours, it’s a sign you won’t just have a successful side hustle, but you might build something that changes the world.
Make something your kids will be proud of when you’re dead.
You realize you don’t need 40-hour workweeks to make a full-time income
Jobs aren’t the only way to earn a living.
For years we thought it was the easiest. But now with the opportunities the internet has created, honestly, jobs are nothing more than a placeholder until your side hustle gains enough traction to stand on its own.
Working 40 hours a week isn’t necessary. When you create internet leverage your work can pay you money multiple times after it’s complete.
Focus on value created rather than hours worked.
Oh, and build in public to make an income from your side hustle faster. The onlookers become the free marketing and early customers of your side hustle. Not obvious at all 🙂
You don’t listen to your family, friends, or neighbors about side hustles
Your inner circle can often do nothing else than kill your side hustle joy.
Many don’t understand it. They’re trapped in the Matrix. Their minds have been institutionalized by the sludge from HR marketing at corporations. They can’t see how the current way of working transitions to a remote workforce no longer limited by borders or the legal entity of a business.
They’re petrified to imagine that the label ‘employees’ could go up in smoke. We could all easily become freelancers, contractors, or consultants.
Focus on your side hustle. Block out the noise.
You don’t think you’re boring
Every good side hustle needs content. Period.
The majority don’t create content because they think they’re boring. They think what they know, their experiences, their stories and how they view the world is all trash.
If you think everyone’s life is interesting then you’ve crossed over to the other side. You’re well on your way to producing content that will amplify whatever side hustle you’ve chosen.
Your creativity takes everyday boring life and makes it interesting. That’s the hard part. It can be learned — like everything in life.
You can’t explain your side hustle at a dinner party
When I go out for dinner and people ask what I do, I find it impossible to explain how my side hustle replaced my job, and what it is.
The average person just doesn’t get it. Good. The solution, I’ve found, is to be vague about the work I do. It’s easier than explaining it.
If you can relate, it’s another sign.
Your side hustle learning is more than you ever did at college
Learning done for a side hustle is way more interesting than the learning you do at college.
If you find you love learning again after the education system screwed it up, it’s another sign your side hustle will succeed.
You treat your side hustle like an investment portfolio
You don’t know which small side hustle bets will pay off.
You don’t give a fudge. All you know is if you invest in some skills and use a few different platforms, eventually, one will strike gold.
The diversified side hustler always wins in the long term.
You’re using your 9–5 to pay the bills, and 6–10 to build your skills
A human has gotta eat, so a job is needed. No problemo.
But what happens after hours is a great predictor of whether your side hustle will nuke your boss’s dreams and lead to a resignation.
After hours skills build side hustles. Side hustles built on internet skills create tiny online empires. If you’re not learning new skills, you’re getting closer to your boss’s goals and further away from your own.
Learn skills you can use online such as: copywriting, marketing, entrepreneurship, sales, illustrations, online writing, web design, coding, etc.
You’re taking smart risks
A bird in a cage is safe but God didn’t create birds for that — Paulo Coelho
The side hustles that grow into something special require risks. Not stupid risks like betting all your cashola on Shibu Inu coin.
I’m talking about smart risks where you travel to meet a fellow side hustler, or an online course that teaches you a platform, or an investment in a new software tool.
Risks lead to opportunities.
Take a few risks to expand your mind as to what’s possible. When you do, everything you do online grows exponentially.