Personal development

The Stress-Free Side Hustle – The 5 Keys to Building a Side Business Without Burning Down the Rest of Your Life

I still believe that every person, every American, every human being on the globe, anybody listening to this podcast, if they're serious about building wealth, you got to own a business, particularly in America. I've said it before, I say it all the time.

Hey, it’s your girl, Courtney Sanders and today we are talking all about side hustles. Yes. Shout out to all my side hustlers. I know how challenging it can be and how much heart and passion you have to have in order to basically take on two jobs. You are going to a full-time job doing your nine to five and then you come home and you do your second full-time job or rather your part-time job, which is your five to nine, your passion, your side hustle.

So I was definitely in that boat. I worked a nine to five job from 2012 all the way to 2016 and I was side hustling from maybe like the end of 2014 to 2016 so I was side hustling for almost two years. Exactly.  I know how stressful it can be. I was getting up super early. I was spending my time working on my business, every nook and cranny that I had. I know how it is, but today’s episode is all about how to side hustle stress-free, right? So just because you’re side hustling and you’re building a business doesn’t mean you have to be burned out.

So, today we’re talking about the five keys to building your side business without burning down the rest of your life. And if you can believe it, it is possible.  I wanted to do this episode for my women entrepreneurs out there because I know how much is honest. I’m a wife, a mom, man, especially since becoming a mom, I have so much appreciation for mothers from my own mother.  I didn’t know what my mom was going through. Mom, I’m sorry.

Raising kids is so much work. So to add that on top of actually side hustling, I mean, it can be a lot, but, it doesn’t have to be that way.  I don’t want to discourage people from side hustling because side hustling is how you get to turn your business into your main hustle. And you already know that. I feel that business ownership is a huge component in order to wealth building.

So even if you love your full-time job, you want to stay in it, it’s something that you’re really passionate about. I still believe that every person, every American, every human being on the globe, anybody listening to this podcast, if they’re serious about building wealth, you got to own a business, particularly in America. I’ve said it before, I say it all the time.

If all of the things we would have known if someone would have put us up on the game from the beginning, things would be a lot different. And so if you’re just starting your side hustle journey, you’re really going to love this episode because this is going to keep you from getting burned out and feeling like you’re neglecting the rest of your life.

Notes from the Podcast:

Here are the 5 keys to building a side business without burning down the rest of your life:

1. You need to focus on monetizing the skill before you build a brand.

Focus on monetizing this. Girl, before you build a brand, this is a big one. I know you’re listening to this and you’re like, what? But everybody says I need to build my brand. I’m building my brand. Right? Building a brand is more than just getting your logo and a website and stuff. I’m not talking about that. Like, if you’re starting a side hustle and you want to hire a designer to get a logo or get a website done, by all means, you should do those things.

Building a brand is more than just the visuals though. Building a brand is literally becoming known for something, for Your Business. It’s being synonymous with something. I’m putting out a lot of content out. You know, it’s really becoming known for something in the marketplace. And I find that when you’re side hustling and you’re just getting started, oftentimes people try to jump to this step prematurely.

They feel like just because they’ve started the business, they immediately need to move to become a household name. But really well I need to have this big brand that is synonymous with this particular product or offer. And it’s actually not a good idea because you’re not actually sure in the beginning if one your products and offerings are the products and offerings that you want to become known for.

If it’s something that you want to build your business around that you want to do long-term, and you’re not quite sure if you have the right target market.  If you’re even monetizing the right skill, when you’re first getting started with your side hustle, there are so many things that you’re just figuring out. So jumping to the branding piece, it’s kind of like branding what? You actually don’t really know what you’re branding.

So they’re spending all this money on advertisements, trying to grow their brand, on sponsorships, doing all this work, trying to be visible and trying to be known when that’s actually not necessary in the beginning to get customers. Focus on monetizing that skill.

If you’re trying to brand without proof of concept, it’s going to be an uphill battle. You’re going to spend a lot of time and a lot of money trying to make that work and that’s what’s going to burn you out. It takes more effort and energy to build a really big brand when you don’t even really have a product, you don’t really have like a customer base like the brand grows as the business grows, right? But you need a big brand just to get sales and to get initial clients. So chill, chill, chill, slow down. Don’t immediately rush to wanting to build this brand that is known all over Instagram and as synonymous for whatever.

2. Choose high-income skill.

I also see women especially burn themselves out because they are trying to build a side business around something that does it make a lot of money or something that they have to sell a lot of in order to make a lot of money. So I know that might sound kind of weird coming from me because you know, I’ve done a few episodes lately talking about my business model and how I have affordable digital products. But here’s the thing. First of all, I’m established, and I have a large following. So with my volume, I can do that. I can sell $50 courses or whatever, $100 like I can do that because I have a volume.

My audience size allows me to sell at a volume where those numbers make sense. And again, when you’re brand new, no one knows who you are. You have to spend a lot of money in order to get your product or your offer. You have to spend a lot of money in order to get your offerings out there.

Focus on a service that you can sell that will make you a relatively high amount per customer. Um, so don’t choose a service that people are only willing to pay you $50 for.

Because if you want to make, you know, $5,000, then you got to service a hundred clients in order to do that. And again, if it’s a side hustle, how are you going to do that? And so if it’s a side hustle, how on earth are you going to work with 100 clients when you have a full-time job? You’re not. So choose a high-income skill, a service that you can offer that you will get paid a significant amount for. So for me, when I was doing that website stuff, I was making $500 a website, which was nothing for me because again, I was paying like $35 to get it done and it was a quick flip so I could, you know, sell two of those a week, thousand dollars a week, that’s $4,000 a month.

So focus on a high-income skill. Ask yourself, how much can I reasonably get paid by one client to perform this skill for them. I mean I was talking about websites I was getting paid 500 so if you get paid at least a few hundred for your skill, that’s good because then you don’t have to service that many clients a month in order to have a good chunk of change as your side hustle.

3. The One-One-One formula.

This is basically focusing on solving one problem for one person with one product or service. I say this because it’s kind of going back to people trying to build a brand before they can successfully monetize a skill. People are out here trying to sell product lines before they have successfully sold one product. Why are you selling a jewellery line when you’re not even successfully selling one set of earrings, one bracelet, one necklace? Focus on one product or service. And you know, that’s a bad example because if it’s up to me, I would say focus on you know, a service.

The best thing you can focus on when you’re just getting started is just one the power of one. Can you monetize one skill, right? Can you solve one problem? So when it comes to your target market, ask yourself what is one problem?

If you’re like, I’m an accountant or I’m a bookkeeper, I only want to work with online business owners who sell digital products and I solve the problem of reconciling their thousands of transactions because that’s the nature of the business. They have thousands of sales over the course of the year. It could be a nightmare to reconcile all that stuff. That’s my focus. That’s my one target market. That’s the one problem that I solve.

And that’s the one service that I’m offering, reconciling your digital product transactions for bookkeeping. That’s just an example.

But in the beginning, focus on one-one-one; one problem for one type of person with one product or service. And you’ll find that it won’t be that stressful. You’re putting all your eggs in one basket. You’re putting on your resources, your time, and your attention. You don’t want your time and your attention scattered because that’s what creates the burnout.

So again, if you want to build a side business and have a life and still take care of your family, don’t go chasing all these different types of streams when you haven’t successfully nailed down one. Focus on solving one problem for one person with one product or service.

4. Focus on outbound marketing instead of inbound marketing.

This also goes back to that first point I made about getting focused on monetizing the skill instead of building a brand. So, because when you build a side business and you’re looking at other entrepreneurs and you’re seeing what everybody else is doing online, it seems like everybody has these big brands and they’re doing all these different marketing techniques to draw people to them.

That’s what inbound marketing means. It means people are coming to you. It’s pool marketing, you’re attracting your tribe, you’re attracting all these people. So it’s like, that sounds great. That sounds easy. Like why go out and chase clients when you can just have clients coming to you? So people inevitably then focus on trying to build a brand because they are like, the brand is the only way that I can attract people to me.

So they create content. But they don’t realize that it takes a lot of effort to create content in order to draw people to you, especially when you haven’t gotten your first customer yet or you haven’t consistently gotten another customer.

So when you’re doing all that content creation, all these different things, this is when the burnout comes in because it’s like,  I’ve got to focus on all this content creation, all this podcast, creating all these YouTube videos. I’ve got to shoot and edit and I’ve got to create all these Instagram posts. I have to do all the things in order to attract all the customers to me. And then I have to like service the customers at the same time. I get it. I’m working at full-time job. Maybe I have a family at home.

Outbound marketing is kind of like cold pitching or you’re going out, you’re finding, you’re prospecting, essentially, you’re finding people that are in your target market and you’re hitting them up and you’re like, Hey, I got this thing. I think you should, I think it’d be great for you. I think you want to do this. You know, a lot of people recoil at that and they don’t want to do that and don’t want to have to be sales, whatever. It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Again, going back to my example when I was slagging them websites to find, my business, yo, I didn’t record no podcast on how to make websites.

What’s more work? Creating a list of prospects to reach out to and reaching out to them or shooting video and recording podcasts and doing Instagram like all that inbound marketing stuff is way more work now you want to do inbound marketing. Once you’ve built a brand and you have like you know you have some money coming in, you have some customers, you have some success a little bit and now you just want to like scale it and grow it up and like turn it into a thing.

Essentially you’re going from being a freelancer to being an actual business cause that’s really all you are in the beginning when you’re doing side hustle. A side hustle is really like freelancing.  You’re not technically a business like freelancing. You’re doing like self-employed stuff. When you’re being successful with your freelance work and you want to build a business around your freelance, that’s when you get into building a brand. And now we’re going to create content and become known for this and doing inbound marketing and all that stuff. But if the goal is just to get money in the door, if the goal is just to get a client when you’re first getting started, you do not need to do all of that stuff. So, create a list of prospects and go pitch to them. It’s literally that simple.

5. Stop trying to quit your job.

 I have a podcast that’s called Don’t Quit Your Day Job.  I’m not saying don’t ever quit your job. Maybe if you’re truly entrepreneurial, you’d eventually want to quit your job. I support it. I did it. I followed the path. But I also talked about, a story of a black girl in her money part too, where I talked about my business model. I actually talked about how if I had to do it all again, I actually would have stayed at my job a little longer just to give me more time to figure out my business model because I left my job. I feel prematurely in the sense that  I was making a lot of money, but I was making money via a business model that ultimately was not sustainable for me.

And so I’ve had to kind of go back and undo that and rebuild my original business model. And if I just would have waited and had that, nailed down, then I wouldn’t have had to deal with all the drama that I dealt with that I talked about in that episode. So I’m not saying you don’t ever want to quit your job, but I’m saying sometimes I feel like because entrepreneurship is so popular and everybody’s following all these people on Instagram, we work ourselves up into this like tizzy where we’re like, if I don’t quit my job, I’m a horrible person. And we rushed the process and we take shortcuts and we get into like business models that don’t make sense the long term. Or maybe we don’t even have a business, but we just get into hustle mode or like I just got to get cash in the door.

I just got to make the money. I had to quit my job. And so we do that. And all right. You had a good month. You had, you made $10,000 at monk, congratulations. And now you quit your job. Well, guess what? Now it was all on you. You’re not even quite sure how exactly you made a tent that you just know. You threw a lot of spaghetti on the wall and $10,000 worth of it stuck, but you didn’t know how you did it.

So now you’ve got to figure out how to do it again next month and now you’re super stressed because just because you quit your job and you’re figuring out your business model, guess what? You still have bills to pay. However, if you don’t focus on quitting your job, you just focus on again, that first key, monetizing a skill and getting consistent income in the door in a way that you like and that you enjoy and that you think you might want to turn into an actual business.

So when you have some success freelancing for a few months or for a year or two, then we get into the conversation about quitting our job. But when you’re just side hustling, you’re just working on this thing and kinks and figuring out how to make money and figuring out if you even like working with these type of customers.

Now you’ve got your full-time job. You have some flexibility. That’s what you should be focused on. You should be focusing on how to successfully make money in a way that you enjoy and that’s you want to do long-term and that you ultimately want to turn into a business because when you’re side hustling and like freelancing, you’re making money off of like your work. But when you build a business, the goal is to make money when you don’t work right. It’s to build systems that allow you to make money while you sleep, but you can’t get to that place until you’ve successfully monetized the skill and then you know when you get to the business, then you figure out.

Once you’re selling to clients or getting some cash, you’re taking on more clients than you can handle, that’s when you start to shift into building a business. Once you’ve built a business or you know you’re on your way to building a business, that’s when you have the conversation about quitting your job, but you don’t have a conversation about quitting your job when you’re just building up the business. We are just building up the side hustle. That should not be your focus.

Basically, your focus should be getting the side hustle to the place where it becomes a real business. And when it’s transitioning to becoming a real business, that’s when you start to think about quitting your job.

So in summary, the five keys to building the side business without burning down the rest of your life is (1) monetize a skill before you build a brand, (2) choose a high-income skills, (3) practice one, one, one -that is solve one problem for one type of person with one product or service, (4) focus on outbound marketing instead of inbound marketing, and (5) is quit focusing on trying to quit your job.

 Your focus is on building a successful side business so that it can then turn into a real business. And once it’s turned into a real business, that’s when you can focus on quitting your job. But when you try to focus on quitting her job, you end up getting into hustle mode.

Hustle mode is what creates the burnout. So, I mean, take it from someone who’s been there. I side hustled. I successfully quit my job. I made all of them. I did lots of things right, but I made lots of mistakes as well. So I’m telling you, take this advice, or don’t, but don’t come crying to me if you’re like, oh, I’m building this side business and I can’t, I have no time for myself that I’m trying to tell you.

There are ways to do it where it won’t stress you out and it won’t take all your time. And I just shared all of them with you. So I hope you enjoyed this episode and I’ll see you on the next one. Bye. Talk to you later.

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