By Joseph James

A lot of new businesses begin life as a hobby or side-of-the-desk project that you tackle in your spare time. This is often referred to you as your side-hustle – you’re still holding on to a full-time job to pay the bills, but you’re hoping that your side-hustle will become profitable enough that you’ll soon be able to concentrate all of your energy on it.

But, how do you make that leap from passion-project to profitable side-hustle? I caught up with mindset coach and business mentor, Joseph James, to talk business.

What leads people to start side businesses or projects while also holding down a full-time job?

From experience with coaching clients, I’ve noticed that now more than ever, people want to feel like they are doing something that they love rather than just going to work.

Another reason is to create additional income streams for themselves.

Is starting a side-hustle the best way to tackle a new business? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on it full time if you’re serious about it?

It totally depends on a person’s unique situation and the nature of the business that you’re looking to launch.

More often than not, people come to me for mentoring because they have a business that they want to take to the next level. They hire me to help them put packages together, structure their marketing campaigns, and help them to map out their income streams.

As you’re building up your side business, set yourself a realistic goal that feels good for you and gives you the lifestyle that you want. Once you’re nearing that number, you’ll know it’s time to make the transition.

There’s only so many hours in a day – how do you balance a side-hustle and a job? How do you prioritise?

One of the best pieces of advice I can share is to plan. At the beginning of each week, plan out your activities for the next seven days so that you know what you’re working on and why, and batch your tasks up-front.

Instead of trying to come up with social media content on the spot, plan your content for the week and “batch” it. If you offer any kind of 1-on-1 client work, like sessions or done-for-you services, then I’d advise batching those as well – so, you would do all of your sessions on a Saturday, for example.

This allows you to manage your time a lot better and gets you in the flow of doing things, rather than doing them sporadically.

How do you know if your side-hustle is worth your time? How do you know it’s working?

One of the first things I do with my clients is set clear goals with them and create a customised plan that feels good for them.

Working on your business without having a clear plan or goals is a great way to stay “pretend busy” without really making any progress.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to set goals, create a plan, and get expert help. Regularly check in with yourself against your goals and assess how you’re doing with them.

When should you make the jump and quit your full-time job in order to focus on your side-hustle?

Each person’s situation is different, but I’d usually advise someone to set themselves some clear income and savings goals. Once those are achieved, you can comfortably move into your side-hustle full-time.

What advice or guidance would you give to someone who was thinking about starting a side-hustle?

I’d look at what you’re naturally good at, and how you can turn that into a product or service that helps people. Then, get some help on structuring it into a business.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when starting a side-hustle is to treat it like a business, and give it the time and care that it deserves.

Getting expert help is also a great idea. Instead of trying to figure it all out as you go along, invest in yourself and your growth.

Another piece of advice is to listen to your intuition and follow your instincts. Ask yourself – “What feels right as a next step for me right now?”

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