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Should I side hustle or full time?

I may be a bit bias to answer this question. Because I was forced to take my side hustle to a full time gig quickly because I was fired from my day job with no warning. I know...You can give me your congratulations on getting fired in the comment section below!


Although, when I was fired from my day job I thought it was the worse day of my life, it ended up being the best thing that has ever happened to me. It was the kick in the ass I needed to take my side into a full-time business and full time income. I am not recommending that you get fired from your day job...Please don't. But, it taught me that I was replaceable and it changed my mindset on work and my value of working for someone else forever.


Why build someone else's business for them when you can build your own business for yourself. Other than the obvious reasons, a salary, health insurance and enough money to pay the bills ha. But, it takes does take serious effot time and energy to turn a side hustle into a full time income. I'll tell you how I turned my side hustle into a far more money than any full time job. My results aren't typical! I had passion, drive and a new born baby to give me more motivation than I every thought possible.


Start A Side Hustle When You Have A Day Job


Was the timing great? Absolutely not! I just had found out my wife was pregnant with our first child and it was the week before thanksgiving. And we all know that no one is actively hiring right before thanksgiving and going into the holiday season. Regardless of timing. Getting fired sucks, but having a side hustle makes getting fired suck a little less.


If I didn't already have a small business going it would have been incredibly difficult to start it after I was fired. It takes time to get traction for anything new and that is why the best time to start a side hustle is when you have a full time job.


The same scenario would be true if you decided to quit your job. The best case scenario would be to generate as much money as your day job from your side hustle before you quit your job. I would debate that I would try to run it even if it was outpacing your job income for awhile. The one thing about a side hustle or side gig is that the money is not as stable as a salary from a job would be. I wasn't so lucky to keep my full-time position when I was fired.

Not only did I have a new child on the way, but I barely had an emergency fund and I needed this side gig to earn enough money to become a successful business and fast.


Make A Business Plan


When you start a side gig and are ready to become your own boss it's so easy to spend your precious time on every business idea and create a lot of busy work for yourself. I wish I put together a business plan when I had my full time job. In hindsight I should have included different scenarios such as being fired or when to quit my job if it was going well! But, for my situation, I was having fun with my side job and really didn't have the time to think about it in that way. It truly wasn't until I was fired and I had no money coming in that I felt the pressure of making money from my online store.

How do you start a side hustle?


Turn something you already are doing into your side hustle.


For me, I was competing in the "home run derby" of golf and I became obsessed with golf equipment. To the point, that I decided to design a golf driver with my local University. This is not your TYPICAL way to start a business but it was my passion.


If you like to ski, start a ski company. If you like to mountain bike start a mountain biking blog, or community. I just think it's so much easier to be successful when you are already doing the thing you love as your side hustle. Because if you try to chase a trend, the trend is already gone by the time you try to catch it. And reality is that you likely will hate it if its just to make money. Why start a side hustle you will hate? My point is, don't just start a side hustle to only make money. Money will come far easier if you actually love what you are doing. You will be spending a lot of time doing it too, so you might as well enjoy it.


What are the different side hustles you can start?


There are no shortage of lists out there...But I wanted to go over the side hustles I have experience with that have opportunity to grow from side hustle to a full time income and real business that could be sold one day.


One of the companies I own is an email marketing agency. The team writes copy, designs and sends email for ecommerce brands that drive revenue and engagement for our clients. This business was started by my first employee at my own ecommerce brand...and guess what he was doing, he was writing and helping me with my email marketing! This type of agency is called a done for you and I want to go over what I love and what is challenging about that business model.


1 - DFY - Service-based business (typicaly can start freelance and build a team with traction)


PROS


- You can make a full-time living pretty quickly

- Low barrier to entry (legit anyone can start one, maybe its too easy)

- Only need 2-4 clients to replace income (depending on the service)

- Retainer model provides recurring income (if clients are happy of course)

- Great CASH FLOW

- Great margins if kept small


CONS


- Hard to find ideal clients in competitive B2B landscape

- Requires more and more people to grow

- High fixed overhead with scale

- Margins shrink as company size grows


This type of business can easily turn into a job because it requires a lot to service clients

Done for your services have a LOW barrier to entry and is a great place to start. You could do graphic design, email marketing, facebook ads, social media marketing, seo, write product pages, take product photos. Really anything that is of value that would save an business owner time and get a better outcome. If you have product expertise, start there!


A done for your service business can charge thousands or even tens of thousands per month if the ROI is high enough. The limitation with a DFY model is in scaling. Its very difficult to scale up a service-based business without extensive training, standard operating procedures and you need PEOPLE. GREAT PEOPLE. Which aren't easy to find.


The second business model that may be a good side hustle that I have experience is in ECOMMERCE.


2 - Ecommerce - Selling physical products on an online store like Shopify.


PROS


- Can become a full time income

- Easy to scale with proper teams in place

- "Easier" to find ideal customers with Facebook and Google ads

- Very low overhead in terms of people needed to scale (I scaled to 8 figs with my brand with 2 in house employees)

- Can be sold to an ecommerce aggregator if done well


CONS


- Will need significant capital for inventory

- Cash flow can be difficult when making your own products

- Many moving parts in terms of operations, logistics and marketing to scale

- Paid traffic costs are on the rise


Selling physical products online has existed for A LONG TIME, but ecommerce was put on a fast track when Covid first hit in 2020. Potential customers who would never buy online are now 100% comfortable and actually enjoy buying online. This is a pro and con...Ecommerce is far more established then ever before and many large brands now know how effective it can be. Paid traffic prices are only going up.


3 - Start a blog and monetize from ads and affiliate offers


Although my other website has around 180 blog posts on it and I wrote around 100 of those! I now outsource the blog writing for it. Blogging is a way to get Google to say this website has great content and we should show it at the top of the search results. As I am learning, it takes time to make money from a blog and you do need to learn SEO and actually produce quality content that deserves to be found.


This website is a more traditional blog. I will be documenting how the journey goes! I think like all businesses your positioning is the most important key to your success. Stand for something unique and be passionate about it.


I will add that I recently found a pretty amazing blog called Fat Stacks. I mean, who doesn't love that name. I am not a great student, so taking online courses are usually a complete waste of time for me. But I did buy his course and I am halfway through it. I will be doing a review it on another blog post and will connect it here. His overall strategy for growing the blog is fairly simple. Go after low competition long tail keywords and write create articles that will naturally attract backlinks. Hopefully like this one here. I will be doing updates on this blog as I build it out further.


PROS


- Lower barrier to entry

- Almost no expense to get started minus the website software and domain (under $50 a month)

-Can take a lot of upfront effort to see any results

-No guarantee you will drive enough traffic to monetize in a significant way

-What I really love about blogging as a way to earn money, is that it requires no inventory, no people, and really anyone can start one.


CONS


- Time - It takes time to build enough traffic to make monetization from ads meaningful

- Difficult to scale revenue to significant size without signifcant traffic

- Crowded marketplace and tons of people writing about money and side hustles

What will you decide? Side hustle or full time


One last thing. All the type of side hustles I mentioned are really businesses that can run without you. I see a lot of side hustle lists that mention side gigs that require you to do the work forever. You are still exchanging time for dollars. I wanted to talk more about side hustles that could turn into real businesses.


Because one of the best ways to make real money is to build a business that you can actually sell at one point. I am a huge believer in putting time, effort and money into something that can be sold. Not just a side hustle or side gig that makes some money. That is great, but I want you to think bigger than just extra income!



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