How to Succeed with your Side Hustle

Side-HustleThis post is *not* written for the following people:

  • Appropriately-employed, reasonably-compensated folks who contentedly make ends meet
  • People who are satisfied with their current company, industry, and/or career path
  • Individuals who have little or no intention to make a career change for the foreseeable future


If the above describes you, keep up the good work. Read another blog post with the extra minutes you’ve gained.


If you are still reading, then today we are talking about side hustles. When I was a kid, my mom worked four jobs during one financially lean time period. Now, these were not full-time jobs, mind you, but one primary occupation and three (what are now known as) side hustles. A side hustle is a job you do outside of your main source of employment.


A side hustle can range from something you do to make extra money now to a dream you are pursuing with the hopes of full-time engagement in the future. Several billion-dollar companies began as side hustles: Papa John’s, Yankee Candle Company, Craigslist, Twitter, to name a few.


Side hustles are not easy. They require time, energy, and money, and these are three things that side hustlers don’t often have in abundance.


Before you begin (or continue) your side hustle, consider the following:

  • Is it necessary? If money is the primary goal, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, what (if anything) can you do to reduce your current spending? Can you match your lifestyle to your current income?
  • What is the dream? Are you working toward a specific, measurable goal? If not, how will you know when you get there? Ideally, the side hustle is a means to an end. Understand your destination so you’ll know when to either stop driving or switch lanes.
  • Is it worth it? My pastor spoke about death recently. Death gives us a sense of urgency in life and a reality check for our choices. In the last hours of your life, how will this side hustle fit in to the evaluation of how you spent your time? Was it the right thing to do?


Now that we are all feeling incredibly chipper, let’s move on. Once you’ve decided that, “Yes, Melissa, I have considered death, Spontaneous Human Combustion, and Armageddon, and still want to succeed at my side hustle” then here are some tips:


Manage your time

  • Create bandwidth. Decide what you are going to give up in order to gain the additional hours you need for your side hustle. And, sacrificing sleep is not a sustainable option. Here are some suggestions.
  • Be very, very organized. Don’t let whims or moods determine how you spend your hours and the tasks you perform. The tools to do this are not unfamiliar: a calendar and a to-do list. Use them spectacularly.
  • Avoid multitasking. Even though you have many things to do, perform them one at a time. Use a timer to stay focused.


Sustain your energy

  • Seek the company of supportive people. You will need to be around folks who help you stay on track professionally and personally. Who is your tribe?
  • Allocate time for self-care. You will not have enough energy if you do not invest in the maintenance and development of your body and mind. Make sure you are replenishing your reserves.
  • Outsource tasks. Support the side hustles of other people: housekeepers, babysitters, personal chefs, writers, virtual assistants, lawn care folks, and so on.


Budget your money

  • Manage your spending. Track how you spend your money. What can you do without? If the side hustle is not worth sacrificing some nice-to-haves, then is it worth it at all?
  • Make some extra cash. Rent out your spare bedroom, sell your extra stuff, and/or make money (legally) with your body.  Then…
  • Allocate funds for your side hustle. If a plant is not watered, it will die. If it takes you two months to accomplish a task that you could pay someone $200 to do in a week, shouldn’t you pay them?


A well-thought-out side hustle can change your life for the better. It can be a path away from underemployment, or even the realization of your full potential in life. Oprah Winfrey said, “You can have it all. Just not all at once.” So understand that yes, your side hustle will have a cost, but the gain can be there in the end.


Hustle on, friends.


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


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