How To Start A Side Hustle When You Have A Full Time Job

Starting a side hustle is one of the fastest ways to build wealth. 

If you are thinking of starting a side hustle, you are definitely amongst the individuals who support the backbone of the US economy.

A recent small business report published by JPMorgan Chase concluded small businesses are an anchor of the US economy. Small businesses make up 99.9 percent of all businesses in the US

The majority of small businesses start as side hustles to make money. Most side hustles were started by individuals who wanted to supplement their incomes during the recent pandemic.

The most significant mistake aspiring business owners make is quitting their full-time jobs to start their businesses. I would not advise anyone to quit their full-time job…unless you hate your job or staying at your present workplace negatively affects your mental health and wellbeing.

Why do I suggest holding on to your full-time job? Because you are likely to face setbacks at the start-up phase of your business.  Semrush, a leading SEO company, published an article on small businesses that showed that cash flow was the biggest challenge business owners faced. In addition, 39% of business owners used cash, and another 20% had to tap into their 401(k). You can imagine what it feels like if you quit your job to start a business, the odds of success is 10%…and you still have to pay your bills at the end of each month. You would agree it’s not a bright idea.

Instead of quitting your full-time job, I recommend starting a side gig in your spare time.

What do you need to start a side gig in your spare time?

… you must have the desire to break the chains of being stuck in the rat race of a 9-5 job.

… you need to set aside between 10-20 hours of your spare time weekly.  If you make excuses that you cannot find time… how about cutting down on watching TV? According to a report by US News, the average American spent over 3 hours per day watching TV, and over 28 hours per week. The moral of this advice is you can find time to build your business by cutting down on your leisure time.

… you need to start a business you know about.  Don’t waste your time buying into every “business opportunity “  business because of clever marketing pitches from sales reps. Instead, spend time researching the kinds of businesses that interest you and learning how the business works.

In his book Seven Years to Seven Figures, The fast-track plan to becoming a millionaire, Michael Masterson said 

The safest way to enter a business and the surest way to guarantee your success  is to spend time learning the ropes before you make the big move.”

I agree with Michael Masterson, who, by the way, is my mentor, that you need to learn the ropes and gain experience in an industry before you launch a business in that field.

Side hustle

…you need to know the critical skills about sales and marketing that are important to succeed in business.

…you need to focus all your effort on making the first sale…then the second sale…then the next sale until you become profitable. Why do you need to focus all your effort on selling? Because selling is always the first step towards having a profitable side hustle. Without sales, you cannot have a profitable business.

I am going to ask you to do me a favor..if you get nothing else from this article, but you take this advice that nothing is more important for a new business than sales, then you will save yourself from poverty and misery.

Why? Because the single most common mistake in starting a small business is spending your hard-earned cash on secondary considerations instead of selling.

What are secondary considerations in starting a business? My list will include real estate, office equipment, stationery, business cards, employees, software, and even products. I have a few examples to share from my personal experience and a few of my coaching clients. A client of mine wants to start a fresh juice business and needs $15,000 to buy all the pieces of equipment and all the other stuff she thinks she needs for the startup.  I suggested that she get a vendor license of $200 for one week to take samples of her product to the local farmers market and spend another $350 to get the initial ingredients before she takes the plunge to start the business. I hope she takes my advice. 

I recently wanted to purchase a duplex in a relatively hot real estate market for $550,000. I decided to make the offer subject to full inspection and appraisal. The property turned out to be worth less than it was marketed… This allowed me to ask for a $100,000 reduction in the asking price that the seller refused, and I could walk away from a loss-making real estate deal.

As you can see, starting a side hustle is not as simple as you are made to believe. You need more than just having capital because, as a startup entrepreneur, your chances of building a profitable business are 5-10%.  That is why keeping your full-time job is critical because your job will be the safety net when you fail in the early years of launching your business.  I owe my financial success to having the wisdom of holding on to my 9-5 job.

My parting advice is this; have the courage to start your side hustle. Be a chicken at the same time and keep your full-time job… you can always quit once your side hustles start to earn more than your full-time job.