Don't start a side hustle without knowing it…

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30 Oct , 2022

When you hear the word “hustle," what do you think of? If your answer is something like “long, tiring hours working with little reward," then you're on to something. 

But if you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that you have a more optimistic view of the world. 

The modern usage of the term "hustle" has evolved from a negative connotation to one that is almost universally seen as a good thing. 

In general, we use phrases such as “side hustle" when talking about an additional job, project, or business venture that brings in some side cash or want to realize the american dream. 

You might have a part-time job on top of your regular 9-to-5 work schedule. And maybe you have a side business selling vintage clothing or handmade soaps or another profitable passion project to earn an automatic income.

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Why start a side hustle?

There are many good reasons to start a hustle on the side. The most obvious is the need for extra cash. 

The average American household has about $100,000 in debt, and many people use credit cards to make ends meet. 

If you’re in that situation and need a way to make money fast, a side hustle could be the answer. 

A side hustle can also help you prepare for retirement, especially if you work part-time. If you have a regular 9-to-5 job, you can contribute to your retirement plan at work or want to become a 9-to-5 a serial entrepreneur.

But you won’t be able to make contributions to a company-sponsored retirement plan if you have another job. A side hustle allows you to set money aside for retirement while still working full-time.

Know before you start

Before you dive into a side hustle, you’ll want to be sure that you know what you’re getting into. 

You’ll want to know how much time you’ll need to put into your hustle and how much you can realistically make. 

You’ll also want to know if there will be any start-up costs. If you’re starting a business, you’ll want to know if you’ll need special equipment or if you’ll have to pay licensing fees. 

If you’re taking on an additional job, you’ll want to know how much you’ll earn per hour. Lastly, it's important to note that the income from a side hustle won’t necessarily be treated the same way as income from your 9-to-5 job. 

This income will be taxed as “self-employment income." This means that you’ll be responsible for paying both the employee and employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Decide what your side hustle is going to be

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to have a clear goal in mind when picking a side hustle. 

When picking a hustle, you’ll want to think about both the amount of time you can dedicate to the hustle and what your skills and interests are. For example : if you are able to work a few hours a week on your hustle and you love baking, consider selling your baked goods online. 

If you like tinkering with cars and have the time to devote to fixing up used cars, you might be able to make good money as a car dealer. 

On the other hand, if you are able to work a few hours a week and you love craft-making, but you don't have any useful skills or resources to make and sell your crafts, selling your crafts at a craft show or farmers market might not be the best option.

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Don't commit to a long-term commitment right away

If you decide to start a full-time business, that’s great. If you decide to take on a second job, that’s great too. But if you decide to start a side hustle that requires a significant amount of time and research, you may be in for a rude awakening. 

For example : one of the most common side hustles is blogging. If you decide to blog full-time, you’ll discover that it’s a 24/7 job. You’ll have to be on call to respond to comments and emails when they come in. You’ll have to come up with new content on a regular basis. 

You might even have to hire freelancers or other people to help you with some tasks. Before you commit to a long-term hustle, make sure you understand the scope of the project and how much time and energy it will take.

Don't waste too much time on research and development

One of the big dangers of being too enthusiastic about a potential side hustle is that you’ll spend far too much time researching and not enough time actually doing the hustle. For example : let’s say that you’ve decided to start a graphic design business. 

You’ve researched the best software to use and the prices of different computers and monitors. You’ve read different articles about how your business should be set up. You’ve looked at examples of different types of design work and pricing. 

You’ve read forum posts about mistakes to avoid in your business. You’ve done all of this research for one single graphic design project. That’s way too much time spent researching one small project. 

You don’t need to know everything about your business before you start it. You will learn as you go, and you will make mistakes. That’s part of the process. You just need to get started and figure things out as you go along.

Don't run out and buy new equipment just yet

One of the biggest mistakes that new entrepreneurs make is to go out and buy a load of new equipment without doing any research first. 

For example : let’s say you’ve decided to start an online furniture refinishing business. You’ve talked to some friends and potential customers, and they’ve told you that they’d be interested in buying your furniture if it was cheaper. 

You’ve looked online and seen the costs of industrial-grade sanders and paint sprayers. You’ve decided that the best way to slash your prices is to buy a few of these machines. 

Before running out and buying these machines, you should do a few things. 

First, talk to other furniture refinishers. See what they use and what’s practical for a small operation. 

Second, make a plan for how you’ll finance your equipment purchases. 

Third, do some research on what the best options for you are. Do you need to rent or buy a sander ? What’s the best brand of sandpaper ? How much will each piece of equipment cost you ?

Our final word

The main takeaway from this article is that you should always do your research before diving into a new hustle. 

You don’t want to spend too much time researching one project before switching to the next. You also don’t want to get too attached to any one idea or project before you know for sure that it’s a good fit for you. 

The best way to make a side hustle successful is to make sure it's something you love doing, something you're good at, and something that can make you a profit. Then stick with it, learn from your mistakes, and keep growing your business from there.

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