Having a side hustle seems to be a very popular thing these days. You've heard chatter from some of your friends who are working on something on the side, and you're interest is peaked.
Perhaps your main job that consumes most of your waking hours just isn’t enough. You may need that side hustle for extra income or to eventually grow into a main hustle. I’ve been doing my side hustle starting a premium undershirt brand, Sloane, while I’ve been rising in the corporate world in marketing at P&G over the past 7 years.
I’ve had some highs like hitting our Kickstarter goal, pitching on CNBC’s West Texas Investors Club and seeing the company continue to grow. I’ve had some lows like getting on the Today show while we were 100% out of inventory, borrowing money from a friend that took 2X the time I said I would pay it back and tireless nights where I come home from a long day and then need to log serious hours to get Sloane off the ground.
I’ve learned a few things along this journey that I’d love to pass along. We still have a long way to go to get to our goals, but we’ve been side hustling for 7 years, and we keep growing. It’s been a success in my eyes and we see massive white space to keep going.
Today, I hope part of my journey can help you with your side hustle. Here are 5 side hustle tips to help your side hustle be a success.
1. Do NOT Go Into it Thinking You’re Going to Get Rich
The number of startups that fail is sobering. Forbes reports that 90% of startups fail. 90%!!! So not only are the odds not with you that you’ll get rich, but the odds are that you would lose everything!
Going in eyes wide open is critical because you have to be ready to do what it takes to succeed. Be that 10%. Your product or service, work ethic, marketing, fulfillment, team, etc need to be on point!
But if your first idea fails, don't worry and don't stop! Chalk it up as a learning experience and move on to the next one.
2. Be Clear on Where the Hours Will Come From
A side hustle happens on top of your current job. If you are a person that works 8 to 6, then you need to find the hours in addition to those times to work on your business. Are those your TV hours? Are those your softball team hours? Are those your workout hours?
Sacrifices will have to be made to find those hours. I moved to Cincinnati when Sloane started and didn’t get a TV. Those old TV hours turned into Sloane side hustle hours.
3. Make Sure Your Idea is Strong
Before you jump in, make sure you do the leg work on the idea. What consumer problem are you solving? How do you plan to create your idea? How do you plan to sell your idea? Do people like your prototypes? Get input from people who you trust. The last thing you want to do is jump in by sinking your life savings into something that’s a bad idea.
If you get some initial wins with a concept or early prototype, then you will have a higher likelihood to succeed. We gave our prototypes out to friends. Once we received positive feedback, we put it on Kickstarter. Once that succeeded, we knew we had something.
4. Be Clear on Where the Money is Coming From
The rule of thumb in startups is that things take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think. Having cash is everything. If you don’t have it, then it becomes very hard to even take the first step.
If you are going to take money from savings, then you have to be ok with the possibility losing it all. Can you still go on? This is where the massive risk taking comes in that separates true entrepreneurs from wannabe entrepreneurs. Are you willing to put your own hard earned money into your idea? Where will the money come from if you need more?
5. Be Patient
It takes awhile to build a company when you’re working full time. It takes much longer when you can only give a few hours a day max. I had high hopes Sloane would take off quickly, but the reality was that giving 10 hours a week won’t move things quickly.
You have to be ok with making steady progress versus major leaps. If you have a team, then you can scale your time and move faster. It likely never feels like you’re moving fast enough when it’s just a side thing.
The fatal flaw is underperforming at the job that pays the bills trying to put in extra time on your startup to make it go faster. If you’re patient and have the right expectations you can make it happen!
About the Author: Mike Droessler is a Brand Manager at P&G working in Digital Innovation and also the Founder of Sloane Men, the maker of The Invisible Undershirt. He attended Wharton for his undergraduate and USC for his MBA. Sloane’s mission is to make guys better. His breakthrough undershirt helps them look their best, but he also shares style and professional tips to help men in more aspects of their lives.