How to Keep Your Side Hustle Alive When You Feel Like Quitting

Disclosure: This is sponsored content in partnership with Dropbox. I have been using this tool since 2009, and it’s a vital part of running my side hustle on the go. Sign up (it's free!) with my link throughout the article and get 500 MB of extra storage. Keep reading!

 

Managing my side hustle was really challenge until last year. My career took a few unexpected turns, with two layoffs and too many resignations that I’m ashamed to mention. The inconsistency of full-time work led me to dive into entrepreneurship while I searched for my next opportunity. Each time that I settled back into the comfort of a full-time role, I found myself struggling to find balance between my responsibilities. I have constantly leveraged my personal brand to land awesome jobs, but it felt like my business was neglected the moment I logged onto my company’s Outlook email. I wondered: is the side hustle dying; is it impossible to do both well?

From the looks of Twitter and Instagram, side hustles are alive and well. So many of my peers are frantically trying to find a way out of Corporate America and into freedom. The idea of being an employee seems unbearable for most. They think they need to leave the 9-5 struggle in order to make their dreams come true. However, if you can’t figure out how to make money in your business while you’re doing it part-time, more time isn’t going to be the solution. More time doesn’t equate to more money. You have to slowly replace your income while you’re an employee before you take the leap and quit.

There are so many times where being unemployed and working on your passion seems like the much better option. Working full-time to then come home to your passion project can be daunting, and you might feel like giving up. However, you don’t need to quit your job or your side hustle to find some balance and sanity. Here’s how you can survive your side hustle.

1. Know what motivates you.

The idea of having a side job usually comes from passion and necessity. Most of us are fueled by being able to help others, while also supplementing our income and creating a financial safety net. As time goes on, the excitement begins to die down and we begin to question ourselves and our business. Why are we doing this? Is this even worth it? Will anyone ever buy from me? Knowing what motivates you will allow you to push through during challenging times. If you’re going to dedicate a good chunk of your free time to this new venture, you better love it.

I struggled with this often back when I was still trying to figure out where I fit in. I created a thesis for my life that outlined what I wanted to accomplish. What was the legacy I wanted to leave? I settled upon freedom. I was fueled by giving people the opportunity to live life on their own terms. Not necessarily as full-time entrepreneurs, but with solid personal brands that would allow them to navigate opportunities fluidly. You life live in a very different manner when you know that you can generate revenue various ways - when you know how to communicate and leverage your value. Once I became clear on my “why,” figuring out the “how” was easy.

@@ Feeling discouraged? Keep your focus on “why” you’re doing something, so the “how” becomes second nature. @@

 

2. Prepare yourself financially.

There are investments that inevitably need to be made to get you to the next level in business. While you probably took a very DIY approach to things like graphic design, websites, and social media, there comes a time when you have to accept that you can’t and shouldn’t be doing everything yourself. Get comfortable with making it rain on contractors, coaches, or software to help your sales grow and keep your business running smoothly while you’re at work. It is better to spend money for the sake of progress than feel stuck or stagnant because you are unable to get something done.

It’s difficult to make money online if you don’t have the processes and tools in place to do so. Posting passively on social media with no real strategy behind your decisions will not get you great results. Spend the bulk of your time doing what you are excellent at and outsource the rest. It will take you more time to try to teach yourself how to do something, than just paying someone to do it. Remember, mistakes will cost you more than assistance ever will.

 

Related: 3 Areas You Need to Invest In to Automate Your Business

3. Don’t get discouraged by what you earn.

When I first started my business, I received a mere 50 daily visits to my website, and I can’t even remember if I made money in the first year. (Probably not.) Pathetic isn’t even the word; I felt like giving up. Those extra 20 hours a week that I worked to build my business seemed like they went to waste. Do you know how much turning up I could have done with all those hours!? However, my passion for helping millennials kept me focused and suddenly 3 years later, I was named one of the Best Career Websites by Forbes, had a team of 7 freelancers and interns that I managed, and couldn’t keep up with the demand for website design and personal branding services. My team and I were constantly in Dropbox, sending files, tracking projects, and making comments on proofs and drafts. I still have the folders for each of my past clients saved. It’s nice to look back and see where I started. I’ve learned that success is just a few steps beyond failure, and your bank accounts aren’t indicative of your worth or talent as an entrepreneur.

@@ Success is just a few steps beyond failure. Here’s how you keep your side hustle alive when you feel like quitting. @@

 

4. Don’t undercharge or decrease your value.

When you have a side job, the security of a consistent paycheck can decrease your sense of urgency to make money. Don’t get caught up in the foolery. You deserve to get paid what you’re worth. If not, it’s not worth your time. We cut our prices for the sake of attracting new customers or volunteer our services in order to get “exposure.” Please try to pay your phone bill or student loads with “exposure.” It’s not going to go well for you.  If you aren’t charging for your products or services, you don’t have a business, you’re volunteering. You need to transition from hobby into a business mentality. It is important to be more strategic about the things you give away, the discounts you offer, and the payments you are overlooking. This can be the death of your side business very quickly, because becoming profitable will become harder and harder as time goes on. Have your price list, a proposal template, and your media kit in your Dropbox account, so you can easily and quickly send the appropriate documents while on the go.

 

Related: Why Picking Someone’s Brain and “Coffee” Will Not Make You Successful

 

5. Find your niche.

Millennials are naturally more entrepreneurial and open to taking risks than previous generations were. We all know at least 10 people who have some sort of side hustle or freelance gig in order to fulfill a passion or supplement their income. This entrepreneurship wave is one that everyone seems to be riding, and it inevitably means more competition. My instagram timeline is full of people selling hair bundles, designing websites, running a boutique, or doing makeup. The ones that really stand out however, are the ones that have clear brand messaging and know their niche. By finding and highlighting what makes you different and unique, you will be able to build a business and brand that has longevity.

My book, Make Yourself Marketable, has an exercise to help you uncover your nice because it’s a crucial part of your brand. Find ways to narrow your focus and create products and services for one specific group of people. For example, instead of branding yourself as a life coach, be a relationship coach for women dealing with breakups. When you stay in your specific lane, you can go farther than if you’re running in multiple directions.

@@ How to Keep Your Side Hustle Alive When You Feel Like Quitting. @@


A side business isn’t always created with the intent to convert it into a full-time venture. Many of the side hustlers I know, still work their full-time jobs. The choice is up to you. I do however, challenge you to be resilient and treat your side business as you would if it were your only source of income. By using tools like Dropbox, you make it easy to manage your business on the go, collaborate with a remote team, or keep your social media images organized and ready to schedule out. Sign up  (it's free)  with my link throughout the article and get 500 MB of extra storage! Win!

 
 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dropbox. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dropbox.  The opinions and text are all mine.