Imagine you want to try a side-hustle, which may or may not become big enough to replace your day job one day. How would you do it?
Of course, the side-hustle I would recommend is becoming a management trainer, but the following options apply to any plan you might have – drop shipping, making things and selling them on Etsy, buying and selling on eBay, setting up as a builder or plumber or window cleaner, or graphic designer, or making apps, there are so many options out there. Perhaps even building up to employing other people, though personally I wouldn’t recommend THAT – much too hard!
So here are some thoughts about how you might do it:
Option 1 – The All In
Your work (the red line) stops – maybe you are made redundant, or maybe you leave – and then you start your new business, your new life of freedom. No money comes in as you get set up, and then once you start talking to customers and delivering your product or service you start to build up your income. Snag: scary gap where you are making little or no money for a while….
Option 2 – The Reveal
In this option you prepare your new business in parallel with your day job (a bit of work in the evenings or weekends, but you can do it) and then, when you’re ready to start contacting customers, social media, maybe even advertising, and then delivering your service, you quit your job and go for it. Still a bit scary, but at least you wait until you’re ready before you resign. This option assumes your boss / employer won’t let you do a part time business alongside your work – as if they OWN you even when you’re not at work! However, this is all too common, and to be fair, a part time job does consume your energy and creativity, as well as possibly being a conflict of interest. (I feel conflict of interest is the easy claim for employers to make, and usually not the case, but sometimes it could be a genuine problem).
Option 3 – CAUGHT!
I don’t recommend this one, but if your employer refuses to let you do anything in your spare time then I can see why some people might choose it. In this situation you build your business, ready to launch, and then you quietly start doing it. And you keep building it up until you get discovered! At least when that point arrives you got a good start, you know your business is going to work, and you’ve already got some replacement income coming in, so getting fired isn’t the end of the world. Still, not very nice to get fired, and if it happens early in your build up it’s going to be a scary moment….
Option 4 – Allowed
This would be good if you can do it – your boss / employer is fine with your doing stuff in your spare time, maybe they don’t feel threatened and that it’s only a bit of fun (and indeed it might stay just as a bit of fun and some supplementary income) so you are allowed to go ahead and prepare your business and then you also start doing it, maybe taking days of holiday in order to do it, or maybe doing it in the evenings and weekends.
In the case of training you can’t really do it out of hours (unless you’re training the USA or the Far East – which is a thought…) so you’ll need to use your holiday. But still, 10 days of your holiday will bring in at least 10k, which a) is a nice pay rise, and b) proves you can do it, so if you get too busy to fit it in you could then resign your job.
So the snag with this plan is TIME – even if your boss is OK with it, can you find enough time to do both? And if you can juggle both until your new venture is well established, bring in a similar amount to your day job, then you can resign from your day job – and you’ve done it!
PS if it’s training that your’e doing, you’ll be equalling your day job income from only doing 1 or 2 days a week of training, so you can resign, earning the same, and have either time off or time to build your business to twice the size and income….
Option 5 – Double
Very similar to the last option, the difference being that in the last one you quit your job once your income from your new business reaches the same level, while in this option you carry on doing BOTH. No time, but loads of money! You don’t have to keep doing your job for ever, of course – you could just earn a great living for a few months or years, while you get really established in your new business, and then leave your job when you feel like it. Pretty great, as long as you can find the time to do both.
Option 6 – Part Time
This final option might be the best. It needs a lot of cooperation from your current employer, but there are good ones out there, and actually it might suit them too – the idea is that they let you go to part time working (so they save half the cost of employing you and still get access to 100% of your knowledge and skill) – and that gives you 2 or 3 days a week to build your new business. Certainly that would be enough for you to run 100k/year’s worth of training courses, in fact you don’t WANT to do more than 3 days a week of training!
So you don’t go part time until your new business is taking off, there’s no financial risk, and everybody is happy. And in the longer term you have the option to continue working part time in your old job, perhaps for years, or to give it up completely if your new business goes well.
If you’re already working as a consultant or coach, or in fact any self-employed or contracting role, then you have the option to do this last method, and you can start a training business in parallel with your current work, with minimal risk. More details here!
I hope the above helps you to think about options for starting your own side-hustle which may eventually grow into a full self employed business. Certainly, going self employed was the best thing I ever did, from the point of view of freedom, lack of stress, and income. It’s not for everyone of course, but don’t let fear of the transition be what holds you back!