Hey boss babe, we are about to begin the second quarter of 2021. You might have hoped to secure the ring by now but even if you haven’t, let’s secure the bag. If you are looking to make the switch from your 9-5 job into full-time entrepreneurship, this one’s for you.
Here are 6 things that will help set you up for success:
Bulk Up On Savings
Most side hustles don’t become profitable instantly. You might have to do a lot of heavy lifting in the beginning without seeing initial financial results. In order to avoid burning out early from financial frustration, bulk up on your savings before taking the deep dive.
Build An Audience
My motto is to give first, sell after. But it’s almost impossible to freely give if nothing else is funding your life. So before you hand in your resignation letter and go full time on your hustle, build an audience. An Instagram following, a YouTube following, an email list, something somewhere. Just ensure that you get yourself in front of your target audience. At least 1,000 of them. How? By delivering value for free. Teach something. Show something. Make people laugh. Do a thing that’ll make strangers want to get close to you. But don’t give it all away. Don’t train your audience to expect everything for free if your goal is to monetize and go full time. Reserve the real magic for your paid product because you are not Santa Claus.
Start and Keep Going
When you finally decide on the thing you want to hone in on, start. Do not sit around doing ‘market research’ or waiting until you have the perfect tools. Start. Start with what you have right where you are. Start small and simple. Build an MVP – Minimum Viable Product.
Spoiler alert: you’ll be disappointed by your first MVP. I promise. Whether it’s the first video for your YouTube channel or the first version of your groundbreaking product idea, it will be trash. Or at least, close to trash. And guess what? That’s absolutely fine. Join the group. Many people never make it past this stage. You have a full-time job, you create an MVP that you hate the first time, you tell yourself that you’ll never be good at it and so you never try the same thing again. You might pick up a different side hustle, secure the domain name and Instagram handles, create the first MVP and ‘fail’ again. And at that point, most people just give up. But that will be a mistake.
Nobody starts out at anything as an expert. For you to turn a side hustle into a full-time job, you have to be the one who hates the first result but shoots for the second, and the third, and fourth and thirty-fifth. You have to be the one who is disappointed but still trying. That’s how you go from intern to CEO in the corporate world. That’s how you go from side hustler to founder in business.
Make It Real
Creating an Instagram account does not mean that you have a business. After snagging the handles on social and securing the domain name, get incorporated to receive an EIN. Do not skip this step. Until your side hustle has an identity with the IRS, it is not real. Once you get that out of the way, open a business bank account. You shouldn’t be out here receiving customer payments through your cash app. Fix that.
Remember That Cash Is Queen
Starting a business is really exciting for most people. Especially when it’s a business that’s in line with something you really care about. However, it’s important not to get carried away with things that don’t really matter while neglecting one of the most important things: cash flow.
In the simplest terms, cash flow is the relationship between your business’s income and expenses. Just about every activity in your business would require a cash outflow; so you have to ensure that your cash inflow is sufficient and regular enough to cover the expenses and sustain the business. Since we now live in an era of digital products and services, here is my take on it: after building your audience, find out their pain points, develop products that would solve their biggest problems and pre-sell to them. The key thing I want you to take away from the statement above is “pre-sell”. Get cash in before you put cash out.
Give It Your All
You wouldn’t go to work on Monday and then sleep in on Tuesday and Wednesday because that’s how to get fired. So don’t do that with your hustle just because “you are your own boss.” News flash: you are not your own boss. Your business is your boss. She pays you and she decides when she can no longer pay you. The only difference is that she would never lay you off unfairly and you would get out exactly what you put in. My advice: give her all you’ve got. Give her your talent, give her your humour, give her your money, give her your network, give her your discipline, give her your hard work and watch the magic unfold!
Till next time dear friend. Drop a comment and I’ll be there to respond to you. You can also check up on my other posts here.