According to one study, 45% of working Americans — nearly half the population of the country’s workforce — have a side hustle. The interesting thing about this is that, according to Side Hustle Nation, 80% only want to make extra money — they’re not looking to make the side hustle into a full-time gig. This sentiment can be related to the success of their side hustle and how much extra money they make a month.
The issues that people have with growing their businesses are directly related to how many hours they invest in them. The same report from Side Hustle Nation shows us that those who invest less than five hours earn $100 a month, while those who invest at least 20 hours a week on their side hustle earn $1000 or more a month. These are the ones turning the side hustle into official businesses.
From this data, it’s clear that a side hustle requires at least 20 hours or more to make it a viable alternative to your 9-to-5. The truth is everyone wants to think of their side hustle as that “unicorn” business idea — one that is in demand, requires little time, and grows quickly. But even with the right idea behind the side hustle, it will never grow without time, even with the right idea. As with everything, creating a fully-fledged business out of a side hustle takes time, and time is the highest commodity.
All skills are transferable
As a junior in college, I taught myself digital marketing, SEO, and copywriting, and started my digital agency that same year. I also worked in the mortgage industry for two years, which helped me focus on the real estate marketing niche.
Industry-specific skills can help you with your side hustle, but more importantly, your soft skills are your greatest assets. Communication is the number one transferable skill that helps you achieve success. After all, you are your own boss when it comes to your side hustle, so you need to be able to communicate well to get clients, talk to other businesses, and promote your business through networking. Once you get in with people, building and fostering that relationship will help you find success.
Work ethic is another important skill to have, as this will be the true difference between succeeding and failing. The more effective hours you put in, the higher the results. By consistently investing your energy and staying focused, it will increase your likelihood of achieving your business objectives and making progress.
Additionally, your work ethic is what will drive your intrinsic motivation, which is the key to not giving up on your venture. Being able to set goals, prioritize tasks, and appropriately manage your time will help lift your side gig into a business. Pair that with factors like agility and adaptability that comprise the “startup mentality,” and your side hustle can be successful in no time.
The balance between a full-time job and a side hustle
Setting clear goals and understanding how and when to achieve them will help you allocate your time and energy accordingly. More important, it’s vital that you stay realistic and flexible with your goals.
The ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances, embrace new technologies or strategies, and continuously learn and improve can give you a competitive edge. Regardless of your niche, educating yourself and learning the best practices in your industry is important when starting out.
Additionally, understand that there will inevitably be setbacks. Staying determined will help you move forward and learn from the obstacles in your way and the moments of doubt you have. It’s times like these to analyze what you’re offering — perhaps your focus isn’t narrow enough.
In digital marketing, one of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is not focusing on a niche. Instead of being a jack of all trades, entrepreneurs should specialize in a specific area or service.
When to quit your day job
Since college, I knew I wanted my own business and to be my own boss. I did not want to work in the corporate world. This is why I ended up majoring in entrepreneurship, and I educated myself on topics that I felt would be beneficial to me when I started my business.
I also knew that it had to be in the digital space because, once it began booming, I knew it was never going to go away. While starting my business and working in the mortgage industry, I also offered freelance writing services on Fiverr.
Having a full-time job while starting a side hustle is a great place to be. You’ll need a stable source of income as you work to build your side business in your spare time, and having a 9-to-5 job allows you to do this.
I can’t tell you when is a good time to quit your job, but you should first self-reflect on a few questions about your full-time job and your side hustle. Do you have a side hustle for financial freedom? Do you have a side hustle because you need more income? Is your 9-to-5 bankrolling your side hustle? Is your side hustle just a side hustle, or do you want to turn it into a business?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can determine when you should quit your day job. The only thing I can tell you is that you should have enough saved up and be financially stable before diving into your side hustle.
Turning your side gig into a successful business to quit your 9-to-5 is an admirable objective, but the most important thing to remember is that it takes time. Be prepared for the ups and downs, stay focused on your overall goals, surround yourself with a supportive network, and seek guidance from mentors and fellow entrepreneurs.
The journey from a corporate job to becoming your own boss is filled with challenges, but it also offers incredible opportunities for personal growth, fulfillment, and financial success. By investing in your side business and quitting your 9-to-5, you have the potential to turn your passion into a thriving company .
Scott Leventon is the CEO of Interphase Marketing, a full-service marketing firm on the cutting edge of using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to streamline business operations and content creation. SEO Agency Roadmap is the most complete and comprehensive SEO and digital marketing book on the market and offers practical, hands-on advice for entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, and scale their own digital marketing business.