Looking to help people and grow in a new and challenging way? Starting a side business is one of the best personal growth tools out there and it also allows you to help people in a way that you may not be able to in your 9-5.
More than that as a career mindset coach I want to remind you that entrepreneurship is a viable career option as well. And the great thing about starting a side business is that you can explore different career options before making the jump. If you eventually want to work in another industry, a side business is a great way to explore different career options while trying out entrepreneurship!
I love talking about side businesses because I don’t believe in the narrative of “just quit your job and follow your dreams,” because not everyone has that privilege.
That’s why this is the first in a 3 part series on how to start a side business while working a full-time job. In this first part, I will be talking about how to get started, and more specifically the 3 questions you need to ask yourself before starting a side business through my signature TNT framework!
Let’s get started!
1. Target: What need is your side business fulfilling?
Before you start a side business, it’s important to ask yourself why? This will not only be important to keep you motivated during the process, but also it will help you determine what type of side business to choose.
As a part of the Work Life Money philosophy, it’s so important to find your work-life money balance by allocating your needs (such as financial, creativity, challenges) into another area of your life.
One of the things you will see when you Google “side hustle ideas” is that there are literally 100s of things you can do. And the thing is, they all work and it can be extremely distracting.
I know this from personal experience because I have failed at many side hustles prior to this one. Although every side business (no matter what anyone tells you will take time and work). And there’s no point in doing something you dislike in your free time and resenting the thing you build.
Before you start a side business ask yourself why you are embarking on this journey. Not only will it help you clarify which side hustle to choose (which I will talk about in the next point!), but it will also allow you to persist through the difficulties, impostor syndrome, and self-doubt when it comes to creating a side business.
Starting a side business is not all sunshine and rainbows, but identifying your why behind it will allow you to keep moving forward even through the difficulties.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying side businesses for fun or as a hobby, but it can fall to the wayside so easily. I started my blog in 2018 and when I first started, I had so many friends start a blog with me. However, 3 years later only a handful of them blog anymore because it is so easy to leave and fall into the blackhole of abandoned websites. Some people I know pivoted to different online businesses but everyone started blogging. I started it because I love to write and I still do it every single week.
When you start a side business, it’s really important to understand which part of your skillset and life you are targeting with this work.
2. Niche: What side business can you build?
After you figure out which area of your life you are targeting, it’s important to look at what type of side businesses you can create and this comes back to your target.
If you are someone who needs to start a side business for financial reasons (to increase your income), it will really be important to monetize a skill you currently have in order to bring in extra income as quickly as possible. If you work in marketing, you could start a side business as a social media manager or virtual assistant. Because you already have experience in this area, it will easier to transfer your skills.
However, you can start a side business for a number of other reasons. A side business can be a creative outlet. If you work at a 9-5 office job at a computer all day, you might want to start a side business making something or doing something completely unrelated to your job. For me, Work Life Money allows me to be extremely creative which is something I don’t get to do at my 9-5 job (even though I love it).
Or you can also create a side business where you learn a new skill. One of the great things about starting a side business is that it can provide a growth opportunity or challenge in your life if you like your 9-5, but feel stunted by the growth. Starting a side business can also allow you to learn a new skill. For example: If you want to get started in marketing, coding, or graphic design, you can start learning a new side business to start and market those skills.
3. Time: What kind of time commitment do you want to dedicate to your side business?
Everyone has different schedules, priorities and circumstances in life. It is so important to understand what kind of time commitment you can dedicate to your side business when you are first starting out because it’s so easy to have it overwhelm you or forget about it because you have no time for it.
It’s also important not to compare yourself to people who do this type of work full-time.
As you start your side business, identify how much time you can allot to your side business and what goals/tasks you need to move forward. As you start out, I would encourage you to create effort-based goals instead of results-driven goals in order to practice managing your time and creating a side business.
For example, as you first start out, it’s so much more important to be able to have consistency than X number of Instagram followers. It can be easy to get caught up in the vanity metrics and feel like you need to have 10K followers before you ever make any money in your side business. Remember as you are creating your side business, it will be a lot more work in the beginning but as you can continue you can re-iterate your strategies. One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting a side business is focusing solely on strategies and buying strategy courses that would get outdated as soon as there was an algorithm change.
Give yourself a realistic time frame based on the effort you are able to put in. Not only will this help you focus on the needle movers of your business, but it will also ensure you can consistently move forward without constantly feeling discouraged when you compare yourself to others.
If you are looking to start a side business along a 9-5 make sure to check out the next part of this series on how to balance a side business with a 9-5. Need some more personalized help in ensuring you are successful in your side business ALONGSIDE your 9-5 (yes you can do both!)? Make sure to book a free 1:1 Coaching Discovery Call to accelerate your side business and save yourself years of time and money.