Success and the Shy Girl Podcast

The term “side-hustle” could be hurting your earning potential


May 2, 2018

How you frame your business has a direct impact on it’s potential to pad your bank account 

As an entrepreneur who has had several false starts in the entrepreneurial space, I feel like I get to say this and not feel bad about it. But I know I might catch some flack as well because the term side-hustle has taken on a life of it’s own and seems to be everywhere. I hear it in podcasts. I see it on blogs. And, I see it written in books.

If you are serious about building a business (you know – the kind that actually pays you), you need to think of it as a business and not just a side-hustle. When I hear the term, it makes me think “less important than my JOB” or “I just do that on the side for a bit of extra income”. Maybe those are true for you. But, if they aren’t, you need to shift your mindset.

Costing you like a hobby

There’s a phrase…

“Treat it like a business, and it will pay you like a business. Treat it like a hobby, and it will cost you like one”? 

I had someone I admire in business say that to me once (more like a hundred times) and it wasn’t until I got serious that I understood deep in my gut what that means. It means: it’s all fun and games until the bills come in. And if you’re an adult living in the real world, bills are not exactly on the highlight reel of life.

The women I’ve talked to start a business because they want to earn extra money (among other reasons). They don’t want to have more month than money.  And in some cases, they want to replace their income from a job with income from their business.

Then why, as entrepreneurs, do we not give our businesses the respect they deserve?

treating your business with respect

Would you show up to work at a job, proceed to ignore your boss, watch Netflix at your desk and still expect to be paid?

If yes, I’ve got some news for you…

That job is not going to be your job much longer.

Except when you’re an entrepreneur,  the boss is you. And you can’t fire yourself – the only way to do that would be to flat out quit.

Treating your business with respect means calling it a business.

 Plain and simple. Call it a business.

Even if you are building a business while working a 9 to 5 or working as a stay-at-home parent (look at you, being your bada$$ self doing both – that’s not easy!), you have a business. Not a side hustle.

Lead with your business

What do you say when someone inevitably asks you what you do while making small talk at a party?

Is it something like “I’m a nurse.”

That’s how I used to respond.

Granted, I’m not a small talk fan, but as an introvert, if you get me onto a topic I’m passionate about, you can’t shut me up.

What does it look like to lead with the business when asked what you do?

A little bit like this for me now.

“I’m a visibility and success coach. I work with heart-led, introverted entrepreneurs to help them find their voice and show up aligned and energized in their business.”

That simple shift in leading with my business as what I do has led to so many interesting conversations.

Build your Business into your life

If you work outside the home (or even if you don’t) you very likely either have a schedule of working hours or some sort of routine to keep things going so life and/or your job don’t fall off the tracks.

Your business can fit into that.

Make it a point to schedule in time on your calendar to take action in your business.

Action is anything that moves your business forward and has the potential to bring in clients, customers or any time of income.

Busy is an excuse

This might sound harsh, but it’s meant as a reality check.

Blaming unsuccessful business ventures or inaction on being busy is an excuse. 

I’ve used busy as an excuse lots of times. I have four kids (including one with high level medical needs), I’ve worked full time out of the home as a nurse while running two businesses. So yes, I’m busy.

But if I used being busy as an excuse to not get things done, I’d never get anywhere in business.

And never have written this post if I’m being completely transparent.

Even 15 minutes of concentrated effort can reap huge rewards in the long run.

So there you have it

I will never again call a business I’m building a side hustle.

 My businesses are as important to me as work outside the home.

What do you call your business?


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