by Caz Wilson | Featured Contributor
If you’re reading this then there’s a good chance that you have a side hustle, a passion project, something which you hope to leave your soul-crushing day job for. I applaud you, friend. By starting a side hustle, you are walking down a path which will have mountains, valleys, and the occasional angel and evil villain thrown in there, just for good measure!
I know this path well. It was just a few months ago that I was right there, walking it with you. In June of 2017, I began building my social media business on the side of an intensely stressful brand marketing job in a very corporate, grey office.
My journey down this path took lots of personal sacrifices (think very little sleep, any sort of self-care going right out of the window, along with a social life and anything which fell under the category of “fun”).
As with most challenging journeys, the path was not always an easy well-laid track. In the beginning, when it seemed like nothing was happening, I took a good hard look at what I was doing. The truth was, I was making a crucial mistake which kept me stuck in one place. The fact is, in order to get your side hustle moving, you need to get out there and get visible, failing to do so will significantly hinder your progress. Here are some things I implemented and almost immediately, I saw a shift in momentum
- I became very visible when I made the decision to commit to my new business and I made the decision that I was not going to hide what I was doing on social media.I had done my research and knew the parameters of starting a side hustle while at my 9-to-5 and I recommend you do the same. You may find that you may not be able to start your side hustle while in your current role as there may be conflicts. Ask your HR department in confidence, or check your company’s handbook. Presuming there are no conflicts, it’s time to get visible and let the world know about your journey.
- I added my new venture to my Facebook personal profile, my LinkedIn and my Instagram bio. It is imperative that you start getting the word out that this is what you are doing and by adding this to your social media, you are are showing the world that you are serious about your new venture.
- I then put a post out on my Facebook personal profile that this was something new I was starting and that I would love to help any friends or family with their social media. At the time, I was gaining testimonials and experience, so I offered my services for free to close family for a set amount of time and I recommend doing this in the beginning. Not only can you gain valuable testimonials this way, but it will help to build your confidence and qualify your idea.
- I began acting as if my side hustle was my full-time job. Although this can be challenging, at some point, you have to make the mindset flip. You’re an entrepreneur now sister, you have to step into those gorgeous shoes, and doing so sooner rather than later is how you’re going to make the strides you need. For me, I printed business cards, I began attending local networking events and meeting local entrepreneurs. Any conferences I went to, I lead with the side hustle first.
The chances are very slim that you will bump into anyone from your 9-to-5 and even if you do, if you have done your due diligence there is nothing wrong with having a part-time source of income as long as it is within company parameters. What you must understand is that this side hustle is your future, you need to adjust your mindset accordingly.
Being invisible is a very risky strategy in any profession, but particularly in the entrepreneurial world. Visibility is what gets you clients and is what build your business. If nobody knows about you it is impossible to build a successful business.
Building a business on the side of my corporate job was one of the most challenging times in my life. It stretched me beyond what I believed my capabilities were and forced me to grow in ways that I know I never would have done if I had stayed in the corporate role. It can be tough, there will be many days that you want to quit, but perseverance and a commitment to being visible is what will turn that dream into a reality and lead you to the pot of gold at the end of your path.