Officially the Urban Dictionary defines a side hustle: “Sideline that brings in cash; something other than your main job. Maybe playing weekend gigs or life coaching.”
I started a second career knee deep in my first one, but it was the second one, writer, creator, independent publisher that I wanted to move into center stage. That second career, these days, is called a side hustle.
So HOW do you turn a side hustle into your main gig? It's not easy, here are a few things that worked for me. And it's not overnight, keep in mind I did this double life/double job for three and a half years before I turned in my notice at my old main gig.
1.Give up a time sucker. You are ALREADY busy. You've got to find a way to devote time to your side hustle. I gave up a lot of television, like seriously, two hours at night is the limit. I gave up weekends out. Yep, I know that may seem hard if you live for the weekend BUT I was living for a time that I didn't have to live for the weekend. The weekends became full-time side hustle days. I gave up shopping. Roaming around, looking for random whatever, nope, no time. If I need it I order it. Eliminating aimless shopping gave me focused time for the side-hustle.
2.Study study study. You need to learn from people who are doing it. I figured out how to learn for free, while still working the main gig. How? Podcasts, free courses, and FOLLOWING the people doing what I wanted to do. I watched, listened, and learned.
3. Do do do. Fail Fast: What? Huh? Yep. Get in there and get started. The faster you learn if something will fly or sink the faster you can adjust. Yes I spend time learning and refining but I didn't wait to do what I wanted while I learned. Start it, fail at it, learn, fix it. Start again. Ruminating about starting something means you're ruminating not doing. I'm not saying invest money or buy stuff. I'm saying actively do the thing. Whatever the thing is. Don't buy the stuff. Do stuff. Buying isn't doing. That's a trap. Do it, refine it, do it better.
4. Don't hate your day job! I picked a new career that was adjacent to the one I was in. I went from journalist/digital content manager/ host to fiction writer. The writing was the common thread and so was using social media to find an audience. Everything I learned in my day job about storytelling and reaching viewers I saw as powerful tools I could use to market my fiction. And the reverse was true, I learned and became proficient in new platforms, software, and techniques to market my fiction that made me more knowledgeable and well rounded in my day job! The day job and the side hustle worked in tandem to make me better at both!