The Ultimate Recipe for a Successful Side Hustle

Have your cake and eat it too!

Nataly U
Nataly U
May 22 · 7 min read
Photo by Henley Design Studio on Unsplash

Having a side hustle might be the only way to get by when working with low wages, economic uncertainty, and the high cost of living, but where do you start? How can you figure out the right side job for you?

In this article, we’ll address the perfect formula to achieve success in your new endeavor. Juggling with your schedule while letting go of the illusion of perfectionism can help you undertake this new project with the necessary resilience to achieve your goals.

Now, let’s embark together on this list with the “best ingredients” to prep yourself for your new venture. Roll up your sleeves! It’s time to bring the bacon home.

Puree your romanticism and idealizations. Freeze them for later:

The first ingredient for a successful side hustle is realistic expectations. One of the crucial things I have discovered on my way to becoming a freelancer (a fancier name for “side-hustler for life”) is to stop romanticizing work.

Working on “something you love” will get you nowhere. But working in something you believe in will change your life.

What is your motivation behind having a side-hustle? Is it to repay your parents for raising you? Is it to pay your college loans? Is it to be able to make ends meet? Are you looking for a more fulfilling experience?

The world of love is full of negotiations, differences, and even arguments. We all need to overcome obstacles both in love and in work. There are immense sacrifices you will be forced to make if you want to make any progress.

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

— Chris Bradford

To get from point A to point B, you will bump into obstacles, anxiety, and despair. You will find yourself wanting to quit and promising you will never leave your comfort zone because that’s how human nature works.

If you really want something, you’ll have to keep working for it despite defying everyone’s expectations whilst pouring tons of blood, sweat, and tears into the mixture. That’s the only fuel that will keep you in motion towards success.

Dreams can change as soon as reality opens up your eyes to the strains of the market. Hard work, sacrifices, and results will last longer and won’t be replaced by a whim.

Especially when you’re getting started in a new field, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty, and it’s not going to be pretty, but it’s going to be rewarding. And that, my friends, is very different and substantially better.

Add self-awareness to the mix and stir it up:

You might be wondering: what side hustle is right for me? And I’m in the obligation to tell you that the answer is very uncomfortable too.

Most people already know which side hustle would be the right one for them, but they’re too afraid to accept their calling. What would you do for a living with a smile on your face? We’re so used to “being just another cog in the machine” that daring to think outside the box is terrifying, even painful.

You might have a whole family telling you to focus, to avoid any distractions, or it might be a clingy boyfriend preventing you “from messing up your resume.” Sometimes it’s your inner voice sabotaging your chances of changing your life for the better.

But the fact is you are probably already investing time, effort, and passion into the side-hustle of your dreams without even noticing it and, what’s worst, without making any money.

Think, for example, about the classes you took and loved from the very beginning. Or, if you’re an aspiring writer, think about those tremendously long social media posts you always write that are, in essence, ideas waiting to become an article.

That dedication and knowledge are validation enough to monetize it and start a profitable side-hustle. Could you muster the courage to accept there is something you would care enough for to get up early in the morning to work tirelessly every day? It’s up to you to make the next move.

Add a dash of realistic expectations for consistency:

There’s a critical part of the “side hustle motivational speech” I disagree with 100%. The line is more or less always the same “follow your heart, and you’ll find your passion. It’s not about doing what you’re good at, but doing what you love!”

Well… as a person who has successfully changed careers multiple times, explored academic studies with excellent results, worked as a writer, and started dancing in my thirties, I can honestly say: you can be passionate about more than one thing.

We are constantly changing, so how do you choose one thing and one thing only? What is the best side hustle for you? The answer is: go for the more profitable one.

Oh, boo-hoo! I made money a critical aspect of this discussion. While you dry your tears, let me break this down for you. In a sea of ​​ultra optimistic people, I’m going to speak from the heart and tell you that having a profitable side-hustle, one that actually has the chance to succeed, allowing you to quit your regular 9 to 5, is the best way to explore your other passions in the future.

As my father used to tell me, “if working were fun, you wouldn’t earn money for doing it,” I believe that he’s on to something we should consider. Yes, you’re going to love some parts of the business and others… not so much.

Pour large amounts of patience and keep whisking:

In the future, you might have enough money to make your side-hustle into your “regular job” and leave the prior one behind, but until then, you’ll have to deal with some things in your spare time that aren’t exactly what you would call “ideal”.

Who says you can’t have it all? Of course, you can, but in due time. Do you know how complicated it is to bake bread? During the pandemic, almost everyone experimented with sourdough or some form of pastry.

You seriously need to bust your ass to get one loaf of bread right. Why would you expect a side-hustle to be any different?

Add huge chunks of resilience into the mixture, and take it to the oven:

Try, fail, learn, try again. Resilience in the face of failure is the pavement of personal fulfillment. Remember, you’re planting a seed that needs to be watered with patience.

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.”

— Gena Showalter

Frost it generously with a fulfilling purpose:

Having a side hustle means that you have the concern of making money while achieving something of personal value.

As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs poses, there’s a point in which, after having all your basic needs covered, you’ll start wishing for something spiritually fulfilling. Something you can be proud of yourself for accomplishing.

Everyone’s dreams are different, but the last level of Maslow’s pyramid is called “self-actualization,” because it involves the desire to develop your full potential and aspirations.

Think about your new side hustle as a newborn creature that needs a purpose and some well-deserved TLC.

We’re talking about the force that drives you to push yourself further, taking advantage of all the tools you have so you can help others. Inadvertently, you’ll also be helping yourself achieve a greater sense of happiness.

Sprinkle some accountability to taste:

What type of work do you currently have? Having a bad uninspiring job is soul-crushing, but if you happen to have a job that imposes challenges in which you can thrive, there’s one thing I need you to reconsider.

Are you doing your best? These contacts, skills, and experiences are highly valuable to build your brand later. No matter what work you are doing, your references and skills will accompany you wherever you go.

If you don’t have an unbreakable work ethic, you won’t be successful at anything.

“You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.” — Stephen C. Hogan.

For example if, you’re a freelancer, hunting for side hustles is basically in your nature. You are living and breathing secondary gigs that complement not only your income but your calling.

Those who write for a living soon find that each publication, magazine, and publisher focuses on a niche market. And not only do editors know each other, but they can also recommend your work to other potential employers.

So, unless you are comfortable marrying a topic and keeping your bank account doomed to an average income, diversifying into multiple gigs is the only answer.

Let your brand rise and glaze it with your values:

Start cultivating your commitment to being responsible and productive wherever you are working now. Having a better understanding of the company you work for might convince them to become your first clients.

Do you want to be a professional photographer? Obviously, you have to start posting content as soon as possible. The process works faster if you’ve dedicated some time to work on your branding, even if you haven’t had your first “real client.”

Think about it! You can start working on your branding right now after you finish reading this article.

To do so, think about your goals, your brand’s values​​, and your target demographic. You can build an empire from your cell phone, but only if you make a bulletproof plan.

Use the right measuring cup for baking each batch:

Invest time in learning from the best marketers, reading the best business authors, and following the work of the professionals you admired the most.

“Even if your ambitions are huge, start slow, start small, build gradually, build smart.”

― Gary Vaynerchuk

Maybe lacking a plan is the reason why you aren’t making enough money at this very moment.

Focus on your values. They will define your product, and your brand’s message. Even your brand’s color palette must be cohesive with what you are offering.

In a nutshell, values are the compass that ​​will guide you to the right side hustle. Why not take some time to reflect on that? Trust me, everything in life becomes clearer when you know and accept who you are.

Embrace your values, work hard, and the rest will follow.

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Thanks to Elizabeth Dawber

Nataly U

Written by

Nataly U

Learning about love and humans. Writing along the process. Political Scientist/M.Sc. Communications.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +724K followers.

Nataly U

Written by

Nataly U

Learning about love and humans. Writing along the process. Political Scientist/M.Sc. Communications.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +724K followers.

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