5 Things To Remember When Starting a Side Hustle

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Two months into 2020 and you can’t help but notice that things appear to be chugging along at much the same pace as they did last year. And while that might not be a bad thing necessarily, what happened to all the grand promises you made yourself at the start of the year? Where are the plans to boost your income and achieve financial independence? Where is the work / life balance you crave so desperately? Where are the opportunities that will take your career (and your income) to the next level.
If you’re hoping to change your life, a side hustle can be just what you need in 2020. At the very least, it can help you to make a little extra money in your free time so that you have more to put into your savings and pay off your household debts faster. Atr the most, it could set you on a path to being your own boss and running a successful small business.

But, of course, if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. A side hustle brings its own set of challenges. Even if you have a clear idea of what you want to do and how you’re going to make money from it, there are still perils and pitfalls of which you’ll need to be aware to be successful. So here are 5 things to remember when starting a side hustle to ensure the greatest chances of long term success...

Never use time or resources from your day job on your side hustle
It’s all too tempting to throw yourself headlong into your side hustle. Especially if you’re less than enamored with your current day job. Still, even if you’re not in love with your day job, you probably want to keep it. At least for the time being. And spending time at work developing your side hustle is a huge no-no and could even be a fireable offense.

Whether you’re using the phone to make business calls for your side hustle, building your website on company computers or even sending out marketing emails, this is all stuff that’s best done at home with your own resources.

Invest in your presence! You need to establish yourself as a professional
Your side hustle may be a hobby that you make money from right now. But if you’re to have any hope of turning it into a thriving business, you need to establish yourself as a professional online. Of course that means investing in a website, a logo, a social media presence and all the other accoutrements of business branding. It also means you should invest in a physical business address and PO box from You should also probably invest in a virtual receptionist and / or business phone line number. Nothing marks you out as an amateur more than a residential mailing address or a cell phone number as your only point of contact.

All your income from your side hustle is taxable (sorry)
You probably won’t be thrilled to learn this, but every cent you make from your side hustle is taxable, even if you already pay tax in your day job. Many a side hustler assumes that they’re small enough to fly under the IRS’ radar… and find themselves facing hefty fines as a result. Declare all of your income to the IRS now, and you’ll find that it results in much fewer headaches later down the line.

Take care of your mind and body or you risk burning out
In your zeal to start making money from your passions and skills, you may throw every available minute that’s not spent either at work or asleep into your side hustle. And while this is admirable, be aware that you’re only human. You need to take care of your body by giving it good quality nutrition, plenty of hydration (that means water, not coffee) and rest. Not to mention taking time to spend with your significant other, family and friends.

You’ll need to work hard to try and achieve a reasonable work/ life balance. But this will be absolutely essential to keep you from burning out.

Your side hustle is a business… and you need to treat it as one

Finally, remember that your side hustle is a business. And that means you’ll need to be professional at all times in your side hustle, even if you’re stressed and / or exhausted. Lapses in quality of your work or products or moments where you let your temper slip (however briefly) can do significant damage to the brand you’re working so hard to build.

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