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The Ultimate Side-Hustle How-to Guide: 10 Rules for Side-Hustle Success

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/the-side-hustle-how-to-guide-10-rules-for-side-hustle-success.html

inc.com

The Ultimate Side-Hustle How-to Guide: 10 Rules for Side-Hustle Success
Making a side hustle actually pay off, both professionally and personally? That's a lot harder. Over the last year I talked to scores of people who started successful side hustles to find out what works, what doesn't work, and the lessons they've learned. Here are their 10 commandments for side-hustle success: 1.

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See Your Side Hustle as "Me Time"

See Your Side Hustle as "Me Time"

When choosing your side hustle, pick something you want to do, be or achieve, and actively work toward it. Not only will you enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with progressing toward a goal but you'll also feel better about yourself and your life.

See your side hustle time as "me time." Because it is -- it's time you spend making the most of your life.

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Always Default To Action

Always Default To Action

Spend some time planning. Then spend a lot more time doing. If you're unsure, do something -- and then react appropriately.

It's easy to think and plan and evaluate yourself out of ever starting a side hustle. See starting a side business as the grand experiment it is. Never forget that the fun is in the doing -- not the thinking.

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Only do What Generates Revenue

Only do What Generates Revenue

You may need to spend some time on admin and infrastructure. But you don't need fancy spreadsheets, comprehensive reports, a catchy brand or a mission statement.

Successful side-hustlers focus on selling and working. Anything else is time taken away from generating revenue.

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Dream Big, But Focus Small

Dream Big, But Focus Small

Rather than finding a way to make a million dollars, find a way to serve a million customers. Start small and prospect where you have a reasonable chance of success.

Along the way you'll learn and build a customer base. Later, you can leverage that customer base -- and everything you've learned -- to successfully hunt bigger game.

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Follow a Strict Side-Hustle Schedule

Follow a Strict Side-Hustle Schedule

Decide how many hours you think you can spend a day on your side hustle. Then add 25 to 50 percent to that number, write it down and commit to that schedule.

See the schedule you create for your startup the same way you see your schedule for your current job -- as non-negotiable. Otherwise you won't see any progress and you'll quickly get discouraged.

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Only Spend Money On Actual Efficiency

Only Spend Money On Actual Efficiency

Avoid spending money before you actually have demand for what you are acquiring.

Allow yourself to be inefficient until you have enough work to make greater efficiency truly matter. 

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Don't Spend Money The Customer Won't See

Don't Spend Money The Customer Won't See

If you want to spend on something that doesn’t affect the customer, give up on it.

Spend what money you have where it makes a real difference to your customers -- because without customers, you don't have a side hustle.

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Don't Use a Side Hustle as An Excuse

Don't Use a Side Hustle as An Excuse

If you just want something -- and there's nothing wrong with that -- don't use starting a side hustle as an excuse to buy it.

Plenty of failed side-hustlers admit they started their business as a way to rationalize the purchase of something they had always wanted to own.

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Never Take On Side-Hustle Debt

Never Take On Side-Hustle Debt

To avoid having to work for years before turning a profit, start a side hustle you can fund through savings or that you don't need to fund. Provide a service that only requires the tools you already have.

Prove to yourself that there is a market -- and that you can serve that market -- before you take on any debt. If you can't find a way to start your side hustle without going into debt, find a different idea.

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Consistently Crush Your Full-Time Job.

Consistently Crush Your Full-Time Job.

Don’t be tempted to think about, dwell on, or even work on your side hustle when you're at your full-time job, because this is wrong and may cost you your job. When you start a side hustle aim to be great at your full-time job and your side hustle.

So even before you start your side hustle, work as hard and efficiently as possible. Get more done than anyone else, if only so you can leave on time without regret, and without raising concerns about your performance and dedication.

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Mentally Prepare

Think if you are willing to sacrifice your free time to struggle to establish a side hustle and if you can handle the consequences of it. 

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Your Skills And Areas Of Interest

Acquire relevant skills, experience or industry knowledge necessary and ensure you have the passion and competence for what you are going to work on.

A good start is to monetize the skills you already have that are related to the side hustle you want to establish this. And if you lack key skills that relate to your interests or the side hustle you want to create, there's no better time than the present to learn them. 

Validate Your Side Hustle

Your side hustle idea may seem awesome and disruptive to you, but your potential customers will likely ignore it like most “brilliant ideas” or even not have a need for it. So, ensure you're not creating a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, as this is one of the top causes of startup failures.

You can do that with objective feedback from potential customers and asking them to join a waiting list, pre-purchase your solution or hire you as a service provider. 

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Choosing The Best Idea

Keep your day job, and start a side hustle while you’re there. To do it, you need to create an asset that earns money for you. 

Spend your first week being observant, focusing ...

Develop And Launch

You’ve settled on your idea and transformed it into an offer. To convince your ideal customers to consume it, know your promises, pitch and prices, and have a short explanation of why your offer matters.

Aim to understand each action, deliverable, resource, and tool you need to launch and then follow through with it. Creating a schedule and sticking to it will help here.

Regroup And Refine

Decide whether to keep investing time in this project or head back to week two and try a different one instead. Knowing when to quit and when to keep going is key to making any side hustle successful.

Even if you decide to abandon the project and choose something else, the experience you’ve gained will help you be more successful with the next one.