Want to keep productive?
Start pursuing even one side project will help you to avoid getting stuck in a rut and will allow you to grow your business in a controlled manner.
And it also makes a lot of sense from a financial standpoint.
If you consider your initial online pursuits to be ‘side projects’ on top of your main career, then this can give you the time and space you need to work on those ideas while still earning an income.
Maybe you’ve yet to start your business.
Maybe you are right now still considering the idea of launching a business but you’re worried that you don’t have the resources or the skills necessary.
Well, I’m here to tell you that that is nonsense!
In many ways, running a business is a lot like getting into shape. If you set up your own business and start being a self-made man or woman/financially independent, then you will be undoubtedly making your life better and at the same time improving yourself.
But just like getting into shape, becoming self-employed is something that a lot of people dream about, or promise to do, but never actually go through with. They write themselves training programs or come up with business ideas, but then just mislay them and end up getting on with life as normal.
As with training, becoming a successful entrepreneur/startup is all about having the drive to actually go through with your plans – and I’m here to tell you that there’s absolutely no reason that you can’t do that.
Now the first thing that you might tell me in defense of the inactivity is that starting a business requires money and that’s something not everyone has.
Well yes, it does, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start working towards it.
For starters, not every business actually does require all that much investment. It would cost you barely anything to set up a website tonight and start attracting visitors, or to start making craft animals and selling them on eBay.
This is the great appeal of being a digital marketer too – there’s no real overhead other than the very negligible price of website hosting.
And before you tell me that you need job security, those two examples don’t take up any time either. In other words, you don’t need to give up your job and pin your hopes on those plush giraffes – you can make them in your spare time and run the website mainly at the weekends.
If you make your job fun, then it won’t feel like you’re overworked.
Bootstrapping meanwhile is what you call it when a business raises its own funds. It might do this by coming up with two plans and two business models – doing the first in order to raise some more guaranteed cash and thus hopefully fund the latter which will be their side project (which is really what they want to eventually be the main source of income).
Then there are crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter for earning money from the general public and there’s all manner of loans you can take out. And once you start to make progress, then you can look into getting investment.
This is precisely what I was discussing before when I explained the option of having two types of work: work you do for love and work you do for money. You can work on your new mailing list or internet brand in the evenings when you come home from work and use your regular salary to pay for things like PPC advertising.
OR you can provide an online service AS a digital marketer to get a semblance of the freedom that comes from being a true entrepreneur.
You can perform search engine optimization or marketing for businesses and use the flexibility that this affords you in order to do some lifestyle design and to build your schedule in such a way that you can work on that passion project!
The next thing that might be holding you back is knowledge. Business is a term that most of us associate with very serious people in black suits that went to Harvard, and as such we tend to assume that we’re not going to be able to compete with our very little knowledge.
In reality, though, the best kind of business knowledge is the kind that you gain on the job. Create a website or a stall today and start selling something and you’ll find that you quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.
Then there’s books and advisors for the rest, and you’ll find that you become more confident and competent as you build up slowly.
And this is one more reason that you shouldn’t pin all your hopes on that one venture. It just doesn’t work like that. This will take time and effort to work and in the meantime, you’re going to need another source of income.
So, you have your main source of income and your side projects which you’re working on one at a time to hopefully one day sustain you. Gradually, your aim is to spend more and more time on the passion projects and less and less time on the grind. To gradually become someone who loves what they do and who is a ‘big picture’ kind of person in their own business.
And this is why it’s so important to focus on those ‘quick wins’ early – especially passive income options. This way, you are building up your own confidence to take on bigger and bigger projects and you’re practicing your internet marketing skills in a smaller pond with lower stakes.
If your first side hustle involves building a massive international brand, then you’ll likely put off doing it because you won’t have confidence it can work and the idea is too scary.
The time you do spend won’t start to repay you for months or more likely years.
But if your first side hustle is to sell an affiliate product from a landing page, that’s something you can build in a few days and test. That is a minimal investment of your time and effort and even if it doesn’t work, it will be a good learning curve to help you do it better next time.
If it does, then that’s a little more income and a little less time you need to spend performing SEO for clients to meet your daily income target.
This is what we call ‘fail fast’ in business. This is an approach to creating any product or business model that encourages us to create an ‘MVP’ quickly. This is a ‘Minimal Viable Product’ and it basically means that you’re going to get each project finished quickly so you can see if it works or not.
This is very important for your mental health and for your finances.
Spend months and months setting up the perfect sales funnel and that will be a lot of waste if it doesn’t take off.
But make a funnel in a day and you can always then spend more time on it if it turns out to be a big success.