You started your side hustle with the goal to make it big! But in the meantime, you still have to work your 9-5 and juggle all the other responsibilities on your plate. So how do you grow your side hustle and transform it into a thriving business?
When I started my business, I was working full time and raising two little boys. There are three things I did that helped me take my side hustle to a thriving multi-six figure business that I absolutely love.
Get clear on where you want to go, and what your priorities need to be to get you there. You’re working in the margins of life, you don’t have time to waste on distractions or shiny objects. It’s critical that you identify the activities that will make the most impact on your business while it’s still in the side hustle stage.
To do this, I recommend you create your own success roadmap. This roadmap will be your north star for how you get from point A (side hustle) to point B (thriving full time). Here’s how to make yours:
Identify your definition of success
Establish the goals do you need to set to achieve that version of success
Break the goals down into milestones
Determine action items for each of your milestones
Once you’ve done this, it’s easy to quickly understand if a new opportunity that comes across your lap will support you in reaching your goals, or if it’s just a distraction.
Become a time management ninja! I know - this sounds way easier said than done, but stick with me here. As a side hustler, it’s essential that you master how to take advantage of small pockets of time. You may have an hour dedicated to working on your side hustle every day, or 15 minute blocks here and there. Whatever time you have available, be prepared with a plan for exactly what you’re going to work on.
Weekly, list all the things you need to do, and assign a time estimate for how long it will take you to complete each task. Doing this does two things: first, it helps you to realistically see how much time your work will take you, and second, it sets an immediate boundary on your time so you don’t let simple tasks take longer than they should. Weed through this list, referring back to your success roadmap. Eliminate non-essential items and consider if there are any items that can be outsourced.
Once you’ve categorized your list and assigned a time to each task, you can easily scan your list for the most pressing task that will fit within the time block you have available. A little pre-planning helps to maximize your efficiency and you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.
If you’re struggling to find even small pockets of time to work in, think about how you can restructure your day to give yourself more time. Can you negotiate a different work schedule with your employer? Wake up earlier? Cut back on some Netflix? Remember, this is a temporary season - what are some things you can sacrifice now for more freedom and flexibility later?
Focus on the micro-movements. Micro-movements are the teeny, tiny consistent actions you can take that when done regularly, will start to move the needle forward towards your goals. What could micro-movements look like for you? Maybe that’s sharing a free resource with your target audience to help grow your email list, creating a system for something that will help you stay more organized, or pinning 3 pins a day on Pinterest.
Mico-movements help you gain momentum and you’ll start to see that progress is possible, even during really hard seasons.
CELEBRATE WINS! Even more important than making progress is actually recognizing it and celebrating it! As I was growing my subscription box business, I would track the number of subscribers on a large poster in my office. I had milestones listed for every 100 new subscribers and my family and I would celebrate whenever we hit a milestone. Celebrate the big wins, but celebrate the small ones just as much. Because small progress is STILL progress!
The secret sauce truly is consistency. Taking small steps every single day, and staying focused on your definition of success no matter what others are doing around you, is exactly what will take you from side hustle to thriving full time. You’ve got this!
This article was written in partnership with wiseHer - a technology platform that provides on-demand expert advice for small businesses and women to accelerate their business or career.
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