Why you shouldn’t start that online side hustle

So, you’re in quarantine and 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 idea. Congrats, hopefully this new venture 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 opportunity.

This article is not 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. This will give you a little 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. 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 obviously 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.

Why not 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? T
  • Who have I spoken/”sound boarded” this idea with?
  • How much knowledge do I have about the industry or product? Or what do I need to learn to start this?
  • What is the problem/gap I’m solving or filling here?
  • What is my end goal (i.e. write for myself, educate people, bring a solution to a problem, or just to make money)? 
  • Am I doing this as a hobby or as a business? And how much money am I willing to invest in starting it?
  • How much time CAN I give to this business? And how can I fit it into my schedule?   
  • What methods will I put in place to ensure I build this? 
  • What is my timeframe for this project? 

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”.