Side-Hustle 101: 3 Things to Consider when Contemplating Part-Time Entrepreneurship

A recent study predicted that in less than two years, 40 percent of American workers will be independent contractors, turning the “gig” economy into just “the economy.” Side-hustles have become a reality for many, either by choice or by need. They can allow us to pursue our entrepreneurial passions while working a 9-5 job that pays the bills. But they can also have a downside. Before making that leap, here are three things to consider when contemplating a new side-hustle.

A recent study predicted that in less than two years, 40 percent of American workers will be independent contractors, turning the “gig” economy into just “the economy.” Side-hustles have become a reality for many, either by choice or by need. They can allow us to pursue our entrepreneurial passions while working a 9-5 job that pays the bills. But they can also have a downside. Before making that leap, here are three things to consider when contemplating a new side-hustle.

1. Never let it jeopardize your main job.

Let’s consider this the “golden rule” of the gig economy. Until you’re ready for your side-hustle to provide your primary source of income, you must protect your “main hustle.”

Do you need more flexibility in your day job in order to pursue your side-hustle? Consider negotiating for it when you start a job, or at another opportune time; for example, ask for flex-time or one work-at-home day a week in lieu of a raise.

Is holding a second job permitted by your employer? If you’re not sure about the rules, find out what they are, and don’t break them – ignorance is no defense. And ask if your company has strict non-competes as well.

2. Maintain a very strict resource budget.

Time, money and focus are your primary resources when it comes to being an entrepreneur, so don’t let your side-hustle siphon them off, leaving little for anything else. Managing resources is easier when you have a clear business plan for your side-hustle. Not only should this include how much you will invest and how much you will see in return, but how much time you will devote each week, and how you will distribute your focus. Clarity always helps execution.

3. Find one or more mentors.

Many have already tread the path you’re on, so reach out to those who have already been where you are. Find someone who is executing a plan similar to yours and learn as much from them as possible. Then return the favor with someone else who is just starting out. Mentors and accountability partners help you keep in touch with other entrepreneurs, and stay on track yourself.

Like any business, there’s risk in starting a side-hustle. Implementing the three ideas above can help mitigate that risk, as well measuring, observing and being diligent – three behaviors to help make empirical decisions that will lead to better optimized outcomes and result in your dream career.

We can help you get there. You may feel like you’re on your own, but we believe that business is best done when done socially. We’re building a startup community in which you can connect with other entrepreneurs and help each other achieve more success. Join us!