Why you shouldn’t start that side hustle

So, you’re in (semi) quarantine and you have a lot of time in your hands. You’ve decided that this is the perfect time to start that online business/ Instagram account/ YouTube channel/ website that you’ve always thought would be a great hit. Congrats, hopefully this new side hustle will launch you into success and will bring you heaps of money and endless satisfaction. Before you cannonball into the WordPress themes rabbit hole, there are a couple of things you might want to make sure you have thought about before it’s too late and you end up canning this idea.

I didn’t write this article to discourage you from doing what you love or starting a little side hustle that might let you explore your creative, funny side, or leverage your skills that go unused at your 9-5. What I am trying to do here, is to give you a framework that will help you assess and validate your business idea and your commitment to it.

If you are like me, I’m sure you’ve had a hundred, if not a thousand brilliant ideas that could change the world. Then you got home, bought a domain, started designing the logo, and six months later you are still paying for the domain and have nothing to show for it. Don’t blame yourself, we get excited and there is nothing wrong with that!

But that ends up being a waste of money, and a wasted opportunity. So before you get too carried away, let’s dig a little deeper into whether it’s really something worth pursuing, right now.

Start with this list of questions that will help you clarify and validate your business idea. And be honest!

  • How many times in the past 4 months have you thought about this idea? 
  • Who have you validated/”sound-boarded” this idea with?
  • How much knowledge do you have about the industry or product? Or what do you need to learn to start your side hustle?
  • What is the problem you’re solving for or gap in the market you are filling?
  • What is your end goal (i.e. write for yourself, educate people, bring a solution to a problem, or just to make money)? 
  • Are you doing this as a hobby or as a business? And how much money are you willing to invest in starting your side hustle?
  • How much time can you (realistically) put into this side hustle? And how will you fit it into your schedule?   
  • What methods will you put in place to ensure you see this through? 
  • What is your timeframe for this side hustle? 

These questions will help you clarify three things:

  1. Is this something you are truly passionate about, or just a passing thought? 
  2. The investment/effort you will need to put into this. 
  3. Your commitment to the project

The aim is to encourage you to take 15 minutes to really think things through, instead of being caught in the moment and then losing momentum soon after you have bought all your “materials”. As with all ideas and dreams, it is vital that you keep yourself accountable and as realistic as you can.  There are mechanisms that you can put in place to keep you motivated, accountable and engaged. Remember the Chinese proverb  “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.