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Hey, Colleague: How do I turn my side hustle into a full-time gig?

It'll be hard but one of the most fulfilling journeys ever.
Thinking of launching a side hustle? Make sure it's something you're truly passionate about.

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Hey, Colleague:

I have a full-time job but I’ve been selling handmade products on Etsy for a while. I love it more than my day job. I want to quit my job to do it full time but I don’t have much experience. I also don’t have much money saved up. What can I do?

— Anonymous

A job pays your bills but a side hustle builds your future.

We start side hustles because it's usually something we are passionate about. Whether it is selling plants, creating artwork, knitting baby clothes, coaching, or writing — we truly love it.

But when is it time to turn it into a business?

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone.

Don’t get caught up in the illusion of success because not everyone has the same dream.

Some people want to make millions — or billions. That’s OK if you do.

But not everyone needs a ridiculous amount of money to be happy while not having time to actually enjoy life.

Some people just want to make enough to fund their lifestyles and live comfortably while maintaining a good work-life balance.

How to uncover your motivations

You need to know exactly what you want to get what you want.

If you can envision your future and the person you want to become, you can work backward to attain it. That’s how your unconscious mind works.

There is a bit of science behind manifestation — it is a process and requires effort but I know it works because I’ve manifested everything in my life.

First, you must define success.

The most important question: what does success mean to me?

Pull out our journals and start exploring these questions.

Go deep. I dare you.

  • What kind of person do I want to be? (No one truly knows what they want to do but they know the person they want to be).
  • How do I want to make others feel?
  • How much money do I want to make?
  • What am I trying to prove? Myself? Others? (Go deep on this one even if it hurts to admit it.)
  • What is a day in my life going to look like? (Visualize and write this down in detail in story format.)
  • What do I love to do in my free time?
  • Am I ready to get uncomfortable?

Start building your plans around your answers.

How to turn your side hustle into a business

Now you’ve figured out that you are ready for entrepreneurship, come along for the ride.

I won’t sugarcoat anything; it’s going to be hard but it will be a wild ride and one of the most fulfilling journeys you will ever be on.

Let me warn you, this journey may take years. If you want quick results, you will fail in life. Good things come to those who are patient and can understand the value of delayed gratification. Think of compounding interest — you will see the same return on investment in your business with consistent hard work.

Entrepreneurship isn't for the weak-minded but the beauty of it is that you will build a mindset of iron along the way if you are ready to step out of your comfort zone.

1) Lay the foundation

Stepping out into the unknown is scary and your primal mind will always be the one holding you back because all it sees is “danger.” Your brain hates anything it doesn’t understand because familiarity means survival. Most people succumb to their monkey mind and never step out of that familiarity — the famous “comfort zone”.

To make it easier for your mind to comprehend, set yourself up for success by:

  • Know your numbers. Not quitting your current job unless you have enough savings to last you for up to six months.
  • Support. Make sure you have a strong support system of family or friends. If not, you can join online entrepreneurial communities where many others are building in public.
  • Priorities. You may need to learn the basics of a new skill so make sure you have a good calendar system to schedule time.

2) Stay persistent to find your passion so you can do what you love

The secret to finding your passions isn’t what you think.

Passions aren’t found. They are developed.

Once you have developed your passion, do extensive research to understand your market. Customers are the lifeblood of any business so you must have a clear target of who your ideal customer will be.

3) Make it a daily habit

When behaviours have been hardwired into your brain, there is no resistance. You no longer need to ‘force’ yourself to do it.

Only pure execution.

4) Develop a contrarian mindset

Stop taking conventional business advice.

Elon Musk, Martin Luther King, Napoleon, and countless figures we’ve all heard of think outside of convention, hence why they’re able to achieve great things.

A contrarian mind is a creative mind.

It is a mind that doesn't think in a straight line but laterally — sideways and in all directions. After all, creativity isn’t linear. They don’t do it because it's a “hipster” trend to be different, but they truly want to make a positive contribution to the world.

Change requires different results, starting with unorthodox ways of thinking.

It’s going to trigger a lot of people.

People will resist. People will see them as a threat uprooting how they’ve always understood their narrow views of the little bubbles they've formed.

But that’s because these people don’t think and see the world as everyone else does. They go against popular opinion.

You can learn to think laterally by:

  • Staying curious. Read and write as much as you can. Spend more time asking questions than talking about yourself.
  • Getting out of your bubble. Travel with an intention to experience different lifestyles and cultures.
  • Setting your environment up for success. Surround yourself with people you want to become.
  • Staying on top of the game. Identify trends and economical shifts because new opportunities are constantly emerging.
  • Embodying an abundance mindset. Don’t live in fear, lack and scarcity. If you want to succeed, you must understand that everyone around you needs to be succeeding.

Since you are an aspiring entrepreneur, here’s one idea for you:

Did you know that the “solopreneur” movement is the next big thing?

Running teams can be a hassle and may not be your thing. You don't need billions of dollars to prove yourself and to finance your lifestyle. Depending on your industry, you can easily hire remote contractors on Upworks to build your business. With the world at your fingertips, anything is possible with a bit of creativity and resourcefulness.

Since you are new, start small and only scale when you are ready.

5) Build in public

Having support makes entrepreneurship easier because it can be an extremely lonely road.

On top of that, you are building your own personal brand and inspiring others along the way.

To hide your success is living to live scarcity.

Scarcity means “lack.” You may be scared of other people around you succeeding because they will be ahead of you. You don’t want to feel left behind.

This may be a hard truth to hear but the reason most people don’t share their journey and hide behind the guise of “being humble” is because they are afraid of people seeing them fail.

I respect those who want privacy but I do encourage everyone to be authentic and question their true intentions.

Think about it — how do we get inspired?

We read books. We watch the news or documentaries on how people succeed. We listen to podcasts featuring experts. We attend TedTalks and conferences. There is a reason why personal development is a billion-dollar industry and why ‘gurus’ such as Tony Robbins are successful. They share and they teach from experience.

If you have a problem with that, you are living in scarcity.

Success is created through the sharing of stories because successful people have failed countless times. When we don’t openly share that journey, we give success a false illusion that the path is from Point A to Point B — that is false and unattainable.

To share is to live in abundance because there is no shortage of success and money in the world.

To live in abundance means you embody the paradigm that there is enough money in the world for everyone thus you want everyone around you to succeed.

We live in a cyclic universe and there is room for everyone. We must give back what we take.

6) Fake it until you make it

Fake it until you make it isn’t what you think it is.

What it really means is believing in yourself: self-confidence.

You believe in yourself to be able to get things done — acquire the skills you need to achieve your goals and keep on going when time gets tough.

Belief leads to confidence, which leads to momentum.

Momentum is needed because it helps with consistency.

To be successful in anything, consistency is absolutely required.

Start with believing in yourself.

7) Prioritize health

There is no wealth without health.

If you self-sabotage in order to achieve your goals, please go back to the first step to redefine what success means to you.

The takeaway

  1. Lay the foundation.
  2. Stay persistent to find your passion so you can do what you love.
  3. Make it a daily habit.
  4. Develop a contrarian mindset.
  5. Build in public.
  6. Fake it until you make it.
  7. Prioritize health.

There you go. I hope I gave you some tools and mindset shifts to help you kickstart this exciting path into entrepreneurship!

Now, it’s up to you to take action because as I always like to remind myself, “no one is coming to save you but yourself.”