The nine golden rules of side hustling

1. Never side hustle when you’re supposed to be doing other things

One thing no one ever tells you about side hustling (working on a business venture outside your day job) is that you still have to make sure you give your best performance in every other area of your life. You still have to over deliver at work, be an awesome parent and be there for your friends.

So, no you can’t write blog posts in the break room instead of helping customers at work, and no, you probably shouldn’t miss your child’s first birthday party to meet with a client.


2. Don’t force your friends and family to support you

When you start a small business or blog alongside your 9 – 5 you’re probably going to expect every single one of your friends to buy your products, share your posts on all their social media channels and be shouting about your business from the rooftops until they are hoarse.

Unfortunately (in most cases at least) this just isn’t the case. Use it as motivation; be so good that your friends (and enemies) can’t help but share your work. Turn haters into customers.




3. Don’t overplay the hustle

I know you stay up until 2am every day writing/counting stock/learning how to speak Spanish, but we don’t need to hear about it every time you do it.

You’ll see a lot of creatives glorifying being busy. Always rushing from place to place, staying up late and talking about how many projects they’ve got going on. But how good is their product?

Use your energy to work hard on the product, market it, plan the next product and then get some rest ready for another day of work.

Showing behind the scenes is a great way to connect with your audience, but make sure you’re not overdoing it.


4. Stay in your lane

If you don’t know how to do graphic design, hire someone that can. If you can’t take quality photographs, or don’t have a good camera, hire someone that does. I think you get the idea.

In my humble opinion it is better to publish one piece a week with quality images, than three a week with low res pictures that make the whole post look shoddy.


5. Collaborate with other people to lighten the load

As I mentioned above, collaboration is the key to success. You don’t have to do everything yourself.

Think about what you have to offer someone, and don’t be afraid to pitch people. You can offer free content to an online publication in exchange for them linking to your website or free products to an event that targets the same niche as you to get your brand’s name out there.

Real life examples of when I’ve done this and it’s actually worked:

Bloggers of Colour gains hundreds of new followers anytime we have a Twitter chat because we collaborate with bloggers that have much bigger followings than ours

Anytime I have a guest on my radio show, the number of listeners on the podcast is at least four times that of a show with just me presenting on my lonesome.




6. Make time for rest, love and inspiration

Don’t ignore this step.

Rest: at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, preferably at night

Love: when bae asks you to hang out two nights in a row, don’t think about all the work you could be doing in that time, or be on your phone tweeting from your business account during dinner

Inspiration: take a walk or have lunch in an area you’ve never been to before to generate new blog ideas and get away from the computer screen.


7. Don’t build your house on someone else’s land

What happens if you build an entire business on Instagram and Instagram shuts down? Or Twitter decides to delete your account? Make sure your blog is self-hosted when you can afford to do so, and that you’re building on something that you own or that you can guarantee won’t lock you out.




8. Dream big and set your own limits

Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Your dreams should both scare and excite you at the same time, we’re not here to create poorer versions of things that already exist. Do better.

How you describe your side hustle is important too, see the difference:

“I have a little beauty blog that I update when I’m not working, it’s so hard to find the time though!”

“I’m a sales assistant and a run a beauty blog called The Contour Diaries.”

There is power in the tongue.


9. Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter five

I know it can be disheartening to see people with millions of followers or customers or subscribers and think you’ll never get there, but everyone started somewhere.

Three things I do to combat blog/business envy:

Stop reading every single interview with bloggers who make billions a year, success stories are great motivation, but reading too many will leave you feeling deflated and not good enough

Keep a record of follower numbers (for Bloggers of Colour), I put this into a chart so I can see how far we’ve come

Connect with hustlers on your level, Twitter is a great place to do this, there are people posting their content every single second, find some blogging buddies to make the journey to the top a little more pleasurable


Further reading

5 Survival Tips for Building Your Business on the Side by The Frugal Feminista


Bored of reading and want to listen to my voice instead? Check out the latest episode of my radio show, The Grimary School.

You can now sign up to my email list to receive my free workbook on how to market your content effectively on and offline:

“The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.” 2 Timothy 2:6


One thought on “The nine golden rules of side hustling

  1. Gail @The-Knitty-Kitty says:

    Hi Phoebe! I’ve just started my second side hustle, and I think number 6 is what I have to keep in mind the most. I have a tendency to get over involved in everything I am doing and I need to make sure I take care of myself. Another one I will need to keep in mind is number 1. I was inspired by a lot of different bloggers to start my own blog, and I’m hoping that one day I can make it with the big leagues, but for now I need to keep in mind that I’m still new, and just starting my own path. Thanks for the great tips!

    Liked by 1 person

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