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How to turn your side hustle into your main hustle

By Juliana Meyer, CEO and Founder at SupaPass

We all have things we love doing, but very few of us get to live the dream of getting paid for those things.

At SupaPass we work with people every day who have successfully turned their side-hustle into their main-hustle. How do they do it, and how can you too?

When I was working at an Engineering Firm which studied mud samples for construction, I used to watch the clock every hour – wishing my time away until my next break, lunch, or end of the day. This was crazy. Life is short and our time is so precious, so I vowed to change that.

Doing what you love energises you, and it means working 16-hour days is easy.

Now I get paid to do what I love, work with the most fantastic team I could have wished for, my side-hustle has become my main-hustle, and my work feels like the best most natural job in the world for me.

Getting from where I was to where I am now was not as easy as flicking a switch. In fact, I spent the first few years of building my startup SupaPass working for free – paying the bills by teaching cello in the evenings. In reality turning my side-hustle into my full-time job was a process.

But these days there are more tools, opportunities and ways to ease this process than ever before. The “gig economy” has demonstrated that more people than ever are finding ways to walk away from the 9-5 and build careers and businesses around their strengths, natural skills and passions. So, assuming you’re one of them, and you’ve decided to take the leap to turn your side-hustle, gig or passion project into your main job, how do you start?

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De-risk it while you work out if it’s right for you

Taking the leap can be paralysing. However, these days technology and the internet can enable you to “validate” it first, giving you ways to start building something whilst keeping your main income.

Along the way you’ll learn so much more about what goals you want from it, and whether you will be able to financially support yourself from it, and when it is the right time is to fully make the switch.

Starting small also helps you work out if the move is right for you – if you love it, the time will fly, and it will energise you. Finding this out before you give up your main job minimises uncertainty. My husband was coding at 2am with our newborn, and knowing he loved it enough to be working at those hours made it easier for him to know he should make the leap being a University Chemistry Professor to being a Software Developer. A bold career move – and he’s never looked back.

Book time in your calendar

Create time in your week where you can start to work on your ‘project’ seriously. Book the time out in your calendar – otherwise it will never happen – as there is always something else more urgent and more important that will consistently stop you spending the time on it. This is even more crucial if you have kids. Juggling kids, work and developing your side-hustle may seem like the impossible challenge, but use your support network, whether it’s your mum, partner, babysitter or friend, to help you carve out “your” time in the week, every week, to give you the space you need to spend time on it. I know it’s hard. I have a two-year-old. I know it’s very hard.

Just start

“Just start!”. There will never be a good time. Tomorrow is never now. Just do it. By de-risking it as above, you can start right now, without taking life-changing risks, until you’ve removed some uncertainties and you can take the next bold steps.

Diarise a regular review date where you’ll assess whether it’s time to fully make the leap. Ask yourself if the time flies when you’re doing it? Do others want to pay for it? How much money are you making and how much do you need? At some point the limiting factor will be that you’re not making enough money because you’re not spending enough time on it – but you know you’re enjoying it and others are willing to pay. This is the perfect sign it’s time to consider the leap.

Stop exchanging time for money

Russel Brunson says, “Being an expert and selling information products is… the greatest start up in the world”. For many their “side-hustle” means monetising a special skill or expertise that they have. How could you share this with the world? These days it’s easier than ever to make content. You could make a video course about your specialist area to share that passion with the world. There will always be someone who knows less about it than you; inspire them with that knowledge. By creating content you can sell, you invest your time once and then can sell it many times over, in a scalable way. There are powerful digital tools that enable you to stop exchanging time for money.

Build it and they will not come

You’ll need to find customers. Tools like Google AdWords can find you customers searching for your keywords from as little as $10 per day, which is a great way to test out marketing messaging, language, and find the right audience.

Social media, groups, forums and other online communities is a great way to ask questions and get people to try out your work and give you feedback. The earlier you can start to get feedback from real people you don’t know, the sooner you will be able to know what people are looking for and how to calibrate what you are doing. Join in those discussions and learn as much as you can from your early customers. Then you can ramp up your reach with guest articles, podcast interviews, traditional flyers around town, leveraging your network or any other routes to getting your first 100 customers.

Tools to do it

As useful as the many different technologies are, spreading yourself across different platforms can be exhausting. When it comes to your own online presence, you’ll want a website that can beautifully curate all your content in one place whether it’s your courses, podcasts, audiobooks, performances, music, artwork, writing, or any other creative output. You’ll want it to be payment-ready, and you may even want your own mobile app. Doing all of this yourself is time and cash expensive. That’s exactly how SupaPass is helping lots of entrepreneurs with an all-in-one technology toolset that can do all of these things, empowering entrepreneurs to start right now without having to worry about their budget.

No matter what your passion, it’s easy to just start with these 6 steps, so you can begin to make your side-hustle into your main-hustle.

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