HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SIDE HUSTLE AS A STUDENT
A side job, also informally called a side hustle , is an additional job that a person takes in addition to their primary job in order to supplement their income. Side jobs may be done out of necessity, when one’s income from their main job is insufficient to support them, or simply out of a desire to earn more income. Working a side job can also, informally, be called moonlighting, usually when it is performed after normal working time. A side job can be a full-time job, part-time contract, or Freelance work, and a person can hold more than one side job.
Side jobs gained in popularity in NIGERIA, BENIN REPUBLIC and most African countries, due to wage stagnation and low wage growth that has not kept up with the rise in cost of living, with nearly a third of people with side jobs requiring them to pay expenses Nearly half of all Americans report having a side job, including 43% of full-time workers. The most common reason workers take on side jobs is to obtain additional disposable income. In the United Kingdom, 60 percent of students and graduates reported having a side job, and 43 percent required it to pay renting expenses. Millennial are the most likely to have a side job, usually to have a financial “safety net”, leading to them being considered the “side hustle generation”. However, they are also common as a means to pay off student loans, as well as to leverage one’s creativity in ways that would normally not be feasible in the typical workplace.
When a person’s primary job only provides income so that they may pursue their preferred side job, it is typically known as a “day job”.
WAYS A SIDE HUSTLE COULD IMPROVE YOUR CAREER SKILLS AND SUCCESS
Being an entrepreneur is certainly one of the ways that you can bring your entrepreneurial mindset into your day job but what about honing those entrepreneurial skills in your life outside of your career?
The reality is, today more and more people have side hustles, the difference is there are some organisations who are very clear that staff are not to have any other external income. And there are others that accept that having a side hustle, utilising creativity or perusing an external goal keeps their staff motivated and excited in their day job. It also allows them to bring the lessons they learn from their entrepreneurial pursuits into their career thus allowing them to be better enterpreneurs. But not every organisation likes that possibility, often I think for fear of the side hustle becoming a focus of their attentions or fear of them leaving to focus on the business. If we are really honest, if the scales were to tip, they would leave anyway so why not encourage them to bring those skills to work and add value.
Having a ‘side hustle’ gives people the chance to do something they enjoy (often unrelated to their day job) and to have another stream of income. But in what ways does having a side hustle improve your career skills?
Here are 5 ways a side hustle can help improve your career skills:
1. Time management
Having a side hustle will mean you need to improve on how you manage your time. As well as tackling your main job, adding a side hustle on top will require you to plan ahead, meet deadlines and utilise your time better. A schedule will be something you stick by as you will have goals set in place that you want to achieve in a certain time frame.
As you pursue your side hustle, you will begin to realise that you don’t have the time to waste and that it is important trying to be as productive as possible. This does not mean that you overwork yourself to the point that you achieve burnout by the way. It is about finding a schedule that works around you and utilising the hours you have after you finish your day job, giving yourself days to relax and do nothing so you can recollect your thoughts.
As the saying goes, you have your 9-5 and your 5-9.
Having a side hustle means you are your own boss, so you are required to quickly learn how to manage everything at the same time. You will find yourself questioning certain aspects of your side hustle, which could be anything including deciding which vendors are the best? How do I set up my own website? These questions you will have to research by yourself on the internet, talk to friends, find a mentor or even reach out to your established network you have.
Taking challenges by yourself will strengthen your multi-tasking and leadership skills, which will directly reflect in your side hustle and your career. By being your own boss, you are also responsible for critiquing your performance, seeing your strengths, weaknesses and goals for the foreseeable future. This ability to analyse your skill set will also support the work you do in your career.
Pursuing your side hustle means that you are doing something you are extremely passionate about which enables you to be as creative as possible! Working your day job may make you feel like you are creatively constrained, however when you work on your side hustle you are free to be as creative as you’ve always wanted to be.
By enjoying your side hustle so much and being creative, this could lead to you becoming creative in your day to day job too. You might find yourself enjoying your main job more, seeking ways to be creative leading to an overall enjoyable working experience.
Having your own side hustle will mean that you need to know how to communicate with your target audience well to sell your product or service successfully. Communication skills can be improved in many ways as a result of having a side hustle including:
– Listening carefully to customers and their feedback, whilst actively taking on their feedback and improving.
– Communicating with customers, interacting with them on social media to build a rapport, answering queries via email and other forms of written communication.
– Expressing your ideas well.
– Maintaining your personal brand consistency across all platform mediums.
These are only a few ways you can improve your communication skills whilst having a side hustle. These skills can then be directly replicated in your day job and you will find your communication skills improving. This will be from the way you interact with co-workers, to your presentation skills in front of a large group of people.
You will find yourself adapting to different situations when you are pursuing your side hustle. During your day job as you may have expertise in one specific role, you may find that you are not required to adapt as much. Whereas, pursuing your own side hustle will require for you to adapt in all aspects of handling a business. Some may make you feel uncomfortable, require more research than others or you may enjoy the whole process!
This could have a great impact on your career as you will be comfortable with the idea of adapting when required too. This may lead to you pursuing a different day job, putting yourself forward in your current role or being open to new opportunities that you may have been too scared to pursue beforehand.
So, having a side hustle can really help improve career skills and you may not even notice it. Having a side hustle requires a lot of time, patience, creativity, persistence and being able to adapt to the aspect of handling a growing business. These are essential skills that are required in your career and may lead to new opportunities or overall enjoyment at your work.
That side hustle idea you had? You might want to think about giving it a shot, you never know how it may change you as a person and where it may lead you. But always check your contract first, avoid side hustles that will be at conflict with your career and where necessary have a friendly chat with your boss.
TOP SIDE HUSTLE STRATEGIES
Let’s start at the beginning. Below you’ll find the best side hustle strategies for just getting started in your side hustle. Then as you move through the blog post, you’ll discover strategies for growing your side hustle as well as what to do when you decide to call it quits in your day job and go all in on your side biz.
Strategy #1: Choose a profitable idea
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see new business and blog owners make — not making sure that their idea is going to be profitable. If you don’t know if your idea is going to make you money, how can you plan for world domination?! It also helps if you’ve got an idea or skill that you can start your side hustle with, but if you don’t, then you definitely need a bit of help.
Don’t skip this step. Having an idea and then validating it is key to your successful side business helping YOU achieve your income dreams and goals.
Strategy #2: Choose the right business model
I feel that a lot of us want to start a business because we have to or because we want a different life and we do so without really thinking things through and looking at the types of business models available and figuring out what will work for us.
There are many options, and often the fastest (and easiest?!) path to earning some cash is through providing services, like starting your side hustle as a freelancer, consultant, copywriter, virtual assistant etc. But if you don’t want to be swapping your day job or another ‘trading time for money’ situation, then a service-based business probably isn’t the right option for you (although I’d recommend it’s where you start). If you’d rather work from home, out of a co-working space or even your local cafe and then scale the hours you work based on YOUR needs, not the needs of a client, then you’ll need to decide if you want active or residual income or a mix of both.
Strategy #3: Create your website
Make life a little easier on yourself and get your website set up as soon as possible. Why?
Because then you can start building your email list, which is one of the most important things you can do when getting started with your side hustle. But you can’t exactly build a list if you don’t have an online home to send people too, right?
Strategy #4: Figure out pricing
Now you need to figure out what amount you’re going to charge for your side hustle. Easier said than done it might seem…
But once you understand the simple formula behind pricing your products or services, it makes life a lot easier.
Strategy #5: Create your goal card
I’m not a fan of business plans… I’ve never created one for my own business because my business doesn’t really ‘fit’ the standard business plan.
Instead, I like to have a goal card for each year instead. This sets your intentions, financial targets, timeline, and the value you’ll deliver. I find doing this is a much better way of laying out the bones of my business for the year and makes me accountable.
Strategy #6: Create your vision, mission, and values
This is where things start to get a bit more ‘businessy’ but not so much that this is hard to do.
This is just a one-pager that allows you to keep your vision, mission, and values front and center, so that you know who you’re serving and why.
Strategy #7: Grow your email list
If you haven’t already, you need to be capturing emails and building your email list. Why?
Because you own your email list! This means that you don’t have to pay for advertising your latest product or service if you’ve got an engaged list of people who love what you produce.
Strategy #8: Master your schedule
If you want to grow your business, then you need to get a handle on your schedule. This doesn’t mean you need to fill every hour of every day, it just means you need to know when you’re working and when you’re not.
You need to stick to deadlines and ensure that you’re not dropping the ball when it comes to managing your client projects.
Strategy #9: Automate tasks
Automation is one of my favourite strategies to help you grow your side business, because it frees up more of your time so you can focus on doing the things that make you the most money.
I also love automation because you don’t have to deal with people like when you hire a Virtual Assistant or outsource.
And while there’s nothing wrong with having a VA and outsourcing, there are times where you just don’t want to deal with people, and this is where automation comes in.
Things you should consider automating:
- Social media posts
- Sharing blog posts
- Email sequences
- Todo lists
Zapier provides you with multi-app zaps. When you log into Zapier, you’ll be provided with a list of apps and all you have to do is choose the ones you use and then Zapier will provide you with a list of all the zaps they currently have in place!
Strategy #10: Create a strategic plan
Before you can escape your J.O.B. you need to have a strategic plan of how your business is going to run once you’re full-time.
This strategic plan is high-level only — don’t worry about all the nitty-gritty details yet, that’s for the next step!
Strategy #11: Create a 90-day plan
Take what you’ve written down in your strategic plan and then map out the first 90-days with all the nitty-gritty details of how you’re going to achieve those goals.
You’re going to work in 90-day stretches because things can change quickly and you need to have the ability to pivot. By sticking to 90-day plans rather than a yearly plan, you’ll be able to adjust quickly and change tack as needed.
Strategy #12: Pick a date!
Now that you’ve got your strategic plan in place and your first 90-days mapped out for when you go full-time, you need to pick an exit date!
There are a couple of things that you’ll also need to consider in conjunction with picking an exit date:
#1: How much money do you need in your emergency cash fund? Aim for at least 3 months worth.
#2: Do you have a dedicated home office at home? If not, where will you work?
When I decided on my exit date, I gave myself a good 6 months to get things in place and build up my client base so that I could at least cover the bills.
Pick a date and work backward from there.
Strategy #13: Grow your team
It’s time — time to hire some peeps to help you run your business. While automation is awesome, there will come a time where you just need another pair of eyes on all that you’re doing.
At the very least, a virtual assistant is on the cards. And don’t worry, you can start off with just 5 hours a month if that’s all you need. But get the help now, while you’re still in your J.O.B. and then scale their hours the closer you get to your exit date!
Strategy #14: Continue growing your email list
It’s time to increase your list building strategies. No matter what stage you are at in your business, list building remains your #1 strategy to get new people interested in what you’re doing.
Without email subscribers, your business will die.
Strategy #15: Get the right tools
To ensure your side business continues to grow and expand once you go full-time, you need to make sure you’ve got the right tools in place.
And you don’t need a ton of tools, you just need the right ones that work for you and your business.
NOTE: Use these side hustle strategies wisely and implement them at the appropriate time in your business. These are ALL the side hustle strategies I’ve used to create the life that I love and a sustainable business that truly makes a difference in peoples lives
Creating extra income with a side hustle is a great way to pay off debt, build your emergency fund, or invest for retirement. And as unemployment remains high, a side gig is a way for many people to pay essential expenses.
No matter the reason for making a little money on the side, there are a few simple principles you can follow to increase your chances of success. Once you’ve found an idea that’s a good fit for you, start small and make your project a priority. And when it comes time to sell your product or service, don’t be afraid to charge a fair price for what you’re offering.