10 Rules for success

Don't crush your full-time job. When you start a side hustle, your goal is to be great at two things: Your full-time job and your side hustle. 

So even before you start your side hustle, focus on being a superstar at your full-time job.

Never take on side-hustle debt. Start a side hustle you can fund through savings -- or better yet, that you don't need to fund. Provide a service that only requires the tools you already have. Sell products you either make or can procure by consignment. Prove to yourself that there is a market -- and that you can serve that market before you take on any debt.

Don't use a side hustle as an excuse. If you want to buy that new bigger, better, faster laptop then don't use the start of a side hustle as an excuse to buy it.  First make money with your side hustle and then you buy that new laptop. Don't spend money the customer won't see. Before you spend money, always ask yourself one question: "Does (this) touch the customer?" If it doesn't, don't buy it. Always follow a strict side-hustle schedule. When your "normal" workday ends, your side hustle work day is just beginning.  Decide how many hours you think you can spend a day on your side hustle. Then add 25 to 50 percent to that number. If you're thinking two hours, make it three or four.

Then commit to that schedule. Write it down, and if your schedule says you will work from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every evening, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, work those hours. Dream big, but focus small. Almost every side-hustler dreams of finding an enabling customer, that one big customer that will let you bypass the "hustle" and truly launch a business. 

How many actually find an enabling customer?  Rather than finding a way to make a million dollars, find a way to serve a million customers. Start small. Prospect where you have a reasonable chance of success.  Only do what generates revenue. Sure, you might need to spend a little time on admin and infrastructure. But not much. You don't need fancy spreadsheets. You don't need comprehensive reports. You don't need a catchy brand or a mission statement.

What do you need? You need work -- and you need to do the work so you can get paid. Successful side-hustlers focus on two things: Selling and working. Always default to action. Making plans is great.  But stuff always happens.  Spend a little time planning. Then spend a lot more time doing. If you're unsure, do something and then react appropriately. See your side hustle as "me time." When you choose your side hustle, pick something you want to do. Pick something you want to achieve. Pick something you want to be, and actively work toward it.  Not only will you enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with progressing toward a goal even if that goal is doing something purely for fun but you'll also feel better about yourself and your life. 

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