Start the New Year off right.   

By Henry Adeleye on January 3, 2017 

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flickr

It's officially 2017.  And unless you're Mariah Carey, it's going to be your year.  While 2016 was also supposed to be your year, this year is going to be different.  One of the most common resolutions people make is to grow their side hustles into something that can eventually pay the bills.  Of course that's easier said than done, but every journey starts with baby steps.  Check out some of these steps to do just that: 

 

1.  Have a side hustle to begin with.   

This should go without saying but you never know.   

 

2.  Do well at your current job. 

The last thing you need to do is get fired.  Don't bring on any unnecessary stress.   

 

3.  Visualize where you want your side hustle to be in 25 years.   

One of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to begin with the end in mind.  Figure out where you want to be ideally, and then conjure up the steps to get there.   

 

4.  Write a business plan. 

Write a business plan to detail the steps to make your side hustle legitimate.  Focus on your market strategies and how to overcome your competition.   

 

5.  Save your tax return. 

Your initial seed money may already be waiting for you.  You can survive not going to Europe for the seventh time.   

 

6.  Learn to live a very frugal life.   

Cash flow should become your favorite topic.  Never spend more than you take in.   

 

7.  Sell stuff.  

At the end of the day, you don't have a business if you're not selling.  This is the hardest part but also the most important part.  It's going to take you getting out of your comfort zone and doing something that may be slightly embarrassing.  It's easiest to start with your friends and family, but then you'll have to learn how to sell to people you don't know.  Make sure you're on all social media platforms and that your pages are focused and updated regularly.  Get a website that is clean and easy to navigate.  Figure out your target market and where they spend their time.        

Once you figure that out, keep finding ways to sell more.  If you eventually have to raise money, investors will want to make sure people are buying whatever you're selling, literally and figuratively.  There's no way around having to sell.  

 

8.  Find a co-founder.     

Not only is it impossible to do everything yourself, but you also need more contacts to leverage.  Find someone with complementary skills to yours and a different group of friends and co-workers to market your idea to.             

 

9.  Set deadlines. 

There's a reason people pull all-nighters in school.  When you have a deadline set for something, you'll do whatever you can to make sure you meet it, even if it means taking Adder...multiple shots of espresso.  The same goes for your side hustle.  Set deadlines for when you should have certain milestones complete, whether launching your website, having a certain number of customers, or getting your first storefront.  Deadlines are real and they work.     

 

10.  Sell more stuff.  

Just in case you didn't catch it the first time.  Do this well enough and you'll be ready to turn that side hustle into your main hustle.