When I started my first blog about 7 years ago, I had no plan to make any money off of it. I was a bartender who had dropped out of college, who had no clue what she wanted to do with her life.
I just wanted a place I could rant and share my whatever thoughts to help process some of the toxic relationships I had endured as a teen.
I would see blog posts about affiliate marketing, getting more traffic, creating digital products, etc etc, and then I’d look at my dating and relationship advice blog and think, pffft, that ain’t for me.
It wasn’t until about 11 months later that I decided to write a book to supplement the content on my website. I started receiving so many emails about the same 9 things, so it only made sense to publish something titled The 9 Mirages of Love: How to Stop Chasing What Doesn’t Exist.
And people started buying it. Can you believe it?
When the orders started coming in, I felt a sort of way that I remember feeling I never wanted to stop feeling. My work. My money.
It wasn’t much, obviously, but it was enough to feel the high of being my own boss.
From there, I went on to start a magazine for women, which got picked up for distribution across major outlets like Barnes & Noble. Then, I ventured off into my own coaching business, which is what you see now here on Bold Self – and I get to what I love, full time, and I make great money doing it.
Blogging was never meant to become anything more, but when it did, it opened the doors to my whole entire life rearranging itself into the incredible journey it is now.
So what I want to do today is first, tell you WHY you need a side hustle, and then, give you the steps you need to get started. I also created a worksheet for you to use, which you can find at the bottom of the article.
Why you need a side hustle
1. Extra money
Yes, it’s going to take work to get it up and running, but damn, having extra money on the side, especially when you’re working full time, is a freaking GAME changer.
You’re not stressing about living paycheck to paycheck, you give yourself permission to splurge here and there, and when you want to use up your vacation days and go do something actually fucking exciting, you don’t have to pinch and go hungry in order to make it happen.
Yes, you can get your nails done in comfort, but the benefits of having extra cash in your pocket span a lot deeper than just material things; you get security, safety, pride, and most importantly, the ability to reward yourself when you most deserve it.
2. Projects keep you from wasting your time
Another awesome perk of having a side hustle is the fact it keeps you from wasting your off-work hours on bar hopping and Netflix binging. Don’t get me wrong, happy hour and a couple of marathons a month are good for the spirit, but it’s wayyyy to easy to come home after a long 8 hour work day and waste away on the couch or at a bar, when that time could be spent on improving the quality of life.
We have this illusion that, What a day, I just need to relax and unwind, and we give ourselves permission to cap our potential. But let’s say you get home at 6 and go to bed at 11 every night — that’s 5 hours a day, x 7 days a week, x 4 weeks in a month… We’re talking 140 hours a month (counting weekends) to contribute to crafting a better life.
Do you have any idea how much awesome you can create in 140 hours in just ONE month?
3. Growth, challenge
In case you’ve forgotten how much of a badass you are, starting a side hustle is a perfect reminder. The amount of challenge and stretching that happens is enough to make you go from “is this all I’m good for?” to, “holy shit, I kick ass.”
And we all know that growth happens outside of our comfort zones, right?
So how much are you stretching on a daily basis is basically asking, how much are you growing? How often during the day do you challenge yourself to see how much better you can be?
Imagine doing 5 extra situps every day at the gym, and let’s imagine you work out 5 days a week. You start by doing 5, next day 10, next day 15… etc, with 20 days in a month at an increase of 5 sit ups a day, you’re looking at going from 5 to 100 sit ups in a month. Like, MASSIVE growth, right?
Your belly will look a lot different at 100 situps a day than it would at just 5.
So growth happens with challenge.
4. Empowering as hell
Next, you should know all the feel good vibes that come with having a side hustle. It is empowering as all hell.
And with the right mindset, the challenges, hurdles, and even failures you face, especially when starting out, will feel empowering, too.
Because, holy cow, look at you take ownership of your life and financial freedom, and maybe even with the courage to pursue a passion you’ve always dreamed of.
5. And yes, it can completely become your real life
While I love hearing the plan to take the side hustle to full-time business, it doesn’t have to. You can be perfectly happy at your 9 to 5 with your new kick ass, badass, empowered attitude and some cash to splurge with on the side. So you can keep it a weekend gig and be absolutely fine.
But, in the case that you do want to take it full time, you absolutely can. And how kick ass does it sound to be able to say you found something you love doing and you created your own way for it to support your life, and then some? Super awesome, right?
So, all in all, those are the reasons you need a side hustle. And of course, there are a million and 1 reasons why you shouldn’t do it, but 1) those reasons are based on limiting beliefs and 2) it ain’t my style to support those. In fact, you should know that if we’re going to hang, I’m going to ask you to leave your negativity at the door because it has no place in the self-empowerment work we do.
So on that note, let’s talk about what you need to do in order to make it happen.
Here are the 5 steps you can take right now:
And remember, there’s a worksheet for you to download at the end of this post, so let yourself fully absorb the following info so you can do the work later.
1. Brainstorm a passion (or something you’re good at)
While many will tell you easy ways to make $$ on the side, I’m in camp of nah, not for me, and here’s why:
First of all, yes, it could work, but most of the time, get rich quick, proven method crap never does, and the cost of investing in those resources almost never finds its way back into your wallet.
Passion, on the other hand, just needs strategy and creativity to become a real source of revenue. You’ll love what you do and it’ll set up a strong foundation for your ‘why’, which will keep you going in times of challenge.
Of course, there’s gotta be a real, tangible way to actually monetize it, but that’s where the creativity comes in. And before you go all, I suck, on yourself, let me be the first to tell you: You are creative.
So, ask yourself what you absolutely love to do. What are some hidden, or not so hidden talents you have? If you could do anything for the rest of your life and not get paid for it, what would it be?
2. How much do you want to make?
I’m a big believer in numbers because I think, depending on your mindset, they can have massively positive or massively negative effects on our lives. In fact, I’ll tell you, before I dove deep into my money mindset work, they used to have such a (negative) effect on me, that numbers (or the lack-there-of) ran my life. It was always, How much do I NOT HAVE to pay that bill? Bleh.
Operating from a place of abundance is much, much better, and sets you onto a much more positive vibration to actually attract it. How much extra $$ do I want to earn this month? What are some extra things that I would love to experience to live a richer, fuller, more fulfilling life, and how much do I need to do them?
If you want to get your nails done every weekend, factor that in. If you want to travel every two months, factor THAT in. Find a number that feels right and that is big enough to excite you and scare you, but small enough to keep you from running away and hiding under a sheet.
3. What are some ways of making it?
Side hustle means, you’re going to have to hustle to make it. So what are you going to do to make that every month? At this point, you’re combing your passion with how much you want to make, and that can look different for everyone, right?
Maybe you went through a crazy health transformation and you want to help people do the same. You want to make an extra 1000 a month to make it all happen, and you only want to work on the weekends.
Awesome, so maybe that’s working with 5 people at $200 for the month to start off. Or maybe it’s starting a health blog and creating a mini intro course for $100 and selling it to 10 people.
Put pen to paper and write out every idea that comes to mind.
How can you make (insert amount) every month by (insert passion here)
4. Pick one to start
Next, you’re going to have to pick one and just get moving. There’s no telling what will work and what won’t, especially when you’re just starting out. So you have to take the, throw everything at the wall and see what sticks approach.
Pick one and leave the rest for back ups. And remember that the sooner you fail, the quicker you know what doesn’t work, and the closer you get to what does.
Also remember that if this thing takes off and you decide to take it on full time, you can have different streams of revenue.
5. Do your research and lay out a plan
And lastly, do your research and lay out a plan! Find examples of people who have done what you want to do and model your strategy after them. Reach out and ask them questions. Take courses or seminars, or start working with a coach. Do whatever it takes.
(Side note, that’s exactly what we do in Revamp Bootcamp, my group program that helps women beat mindset blocks to create the life of their dreams. It’s closed now, so I’m not pitching, but the next session is in Fall 2017)
Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Invest in whatever you need to. Carve out the time to lay out your plan, filled with actionable, measurable goals.
Then, get started.
One last thing…
It’ll get hard sometimes, and some things won’t work out the way you planned. Stick with it and keep tweaking until you get it right.
Make it your priority to make it happen. If you have a safe and secure paycheck coming in from your 9 to 5, there won’t be a hole in your net to breathe fire under your ass to succeed, which means you’re going to have to create it.
No bullshit, I’ll do it tomorrow.
And when in doubt, go back through the benefits listed at the beginning of this post. Think of how amazing you’ll feel with the extra cash in your pocket, and how empowered you’ll feel at taking ownership of your life and your bank account. Imagine what it would be like to stretch into your full potential and maybe one day, even create the life of your fucking dreams.
So what will your side hustle be?
PS Here’s your worksheet.