Without a side hustle, I’d still be drowning in corporate buzzwords.
Ohhhh the pain. So draining. Years of my life wasted. Learning these lessons I’m about to share definitely helped me harness a side hustle and take my life to the next level. Perhaps they can do the same for you.
The “Good Life” sucks you in. Then it’s hard to escape.
Many of us get sold the dream that the good life is working 40–60 hours a week, taking home a fat salary every 2 weeks, and doing the work for the next 45 years until retirement.
As someone who lived this life, I realized once you start on this path it’s hard to escape. First you get into debt to pay for college. Then more debt to buy a car to get to work. Then more debt to buy a home. By the time you’re in your 30s you probably have kids or other responsibilities.
Escaping the predictable salary becomes too hard.
And it’s too damn comfortable to try something new. That’s why it’s so important if you’re younger to build side hustles at an early age.
The good life we’re sold is a trap. It’s what makes us think we’re in love with our jobs, when we’re not, but we don’t know any better.
“A single viral tweet can change your life”
(Nick Huber aka sweatystartup)
If you play the social media game for long enough as part of your side hustle, eventually a piece of content sticks. Nick says that has enormous power.
I know it did for me. An idea you release that goes viral becomes market validation for something bigger. Perhaps it’s a business, or a community, or a product, or a book, or a new career direction.
Don’t discount how bigger effect content can have on your life. Virality often strikes when you least expect it, so share your ideas online.
A side hustle combined with a 9-5 is a powerful tool to build wealth and reach financial freedom.
The most successful side hustle can start as a group chat
WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Messenger, Slack and Discord are game-changers.
Any of us can group together people with no code or effort and call it a community. Communities are powerful. They’re a place where people can get together and combine their efforts into something beautiful. And side hustles are less lonely when you’re part of a supportive community.
If you can’t find a good community then build your own. Then tell people the purpose of the community via social media and link to it so they can join.
Even 20 members is a lot of people to build a side hustle dream with.
Too much theory weighs you down
Far too many people never start a side hustle because they overthink it or overlearn. The trick is to practice in public and learn as you go. Not consume so much content that your brain is overloaded and you still have no clue where to start. That’s mental masturbation as illustrated below.
Timeframes make or break side hustles
If you can wait 90 days for a result, you can win.
If you can wait a year, you can win big.
If you can wait a decade, you can be the best.
If you can wait a lifetime, you can change the world.
Too many side hustles fail because the creator isn’t patient. They’re in it for the short-term gains of fame, vanity metrics, and bragging rights. That gets you nowhere.
When I started the side hustle of writing online, I gave myself a minimum of five years to make it happen. It took seven.
Wanting things too quickly destroys the potential outcomes. The longer your time horizon the greater success you can achieve. It’s how life works.
Go long or go home.
Online growth is overrated. Online monetization is underrated.
Too many side hustlers care too much about online growth of followers or some other useless metric. None of it matters.
The focus should be on monetization so that you can eventually quit your job and do this side hustle full time. Don’t get distracted.
Mentors are mostly a unicorn fantasy
Solopreneur expert Justin Welsh hates mentors nearly as much as me.
First off, no one wants to be a mentor because it’s code for unpaid slave coach. And mentors can easily become a form of fantasy solution you hope will fix all your side hustle problems. They won’t.
A mentor can amplify learning … but will never replace self-learning.
If you can’t learn on your own then nothing else matters. That’s why curiosity is so important. Being curious lets you learn after hours about topics related to your side hustle. It doesn’t require motivation because it’s fuelled by curiosity which gives all the fulfillment you need.
I’m not that good with side hustles, but I’m absolutely obsessed with being a learning machine. Learning is how you grasp the uncommon lessons that lead to the eventual side hustle aha moments.
Don’t see it as learning. See it as fun. Learn about things you give a damn about.
If you’re disciplined, 4 years of self-education will get you 10x farther than a 4-year degree — Dakota Robertson
Find a job that enables a side hustle
Looking back, most of my career decisions were made based on how much time I’d have for my side hustle.
The plan was to work a job and a side hustle until enough time passed that my side hustle could be my next job. That’s eventually what happened.
If I’d made career choices based on money or job titles, I’d never have had enough bandwidth to write online and work a job. The same applies to you.
A cruisy job is worth it’s weight in diamonds if it gives you the mental freedom and schedule to pursue a meaningful side hustle.
The side hustle paradox
You need experience to start, but you gain experience by starting — Dan Koe
This catch-22 lights many side hustles on fire. It doesn’t need to. Starting is the only path worth choosing. Whatever it looks like on day one will change anyway — but so will your life.
Stop waiting to have all the answers or trying to come up with the perfect plan. The corporate world teaches us to overplan and overthink because that’s how the day gets filled with useless meetings that give the illusion of work.
The internet is permissionless. The barrier to entry is zero. Just start.
Side hustle bonfires stem from here
In my online academy I get to hear plenty of side hustle excuses.
99% of them stem from manufactured stories nice people tell themselves about why they can’t have what their heart desires. There are no rules. No guru is 100% right. You can make sh*t up as you go and nobody will know.
Heck, I still don’t know what I’m doing after 8 years — but I guarantee you I’ll figure it out or die trying. That’s how bad I never want to work a cubicle job again for a lame boss that would happily toss me to the gutter if the economy went into a recession again.
The stories you tell yourself matter.
Start telling yourself this story: I can freaking do whatever side hustle I want and make a kickass living from it.
The networking skill to amplify your side hustle
No side hustle successfully grows with one person. Too many people try to hide that fact from you.
Many people have helped me over the years. In the first year it was a kind man from Perth Western Australia named Joel. In year two it was writer Benjamin Hardy. In the last year it’s people like Dan Koe and Todd Brison.
How do you network like a badass?
Tommy Clark says you actually have to be a nice person.
LOL. Too many people aren’t. They’re in it for themselves. They’re selfish. They don’t care about anything beyond vanity metrics. That’s how you lose the side hustle game.
Help others grow online and you’ll grow 10x faster.
A side hustle can save your life from a lifetime of salary mediocrity. Alan Watts said it best: “Sensible people get paid for doing what they enjoy doing.”
Why not you?