Side gigs. Multiple streams of income. Side hustles. These are all ways to describe embracing the opportunity to earn more money, expand your professional brand and use more of your talents, while still being employed.
Believe it or not, I started my side gig nearly 10 years ago, and it unlocked a whole new world for me. I’m referring to my career as a coach, author and inspirational speaker. When I stood in front of a room of people nearly 10 years ago, and declared my intention to become a coach, I had no idea how big a turning point that day would end up being.
One of the benefits from having a side gig is getting to spend time on things you love, natural gifts, or passions. It also gives you the opportunity to take time to build your business without sacrificing the ability to pay the bills. In fact, it can provide additional income until one day when you may decide to go solo.
Where are you on your journey? Have you already started a side gig? Do you have an idea for a side business or new profession that you want to pursue?
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way that may be helpful as you plan your next steps.
Face your fears. It’s been said that you can’t actually become fearless, because fear is a necessary part of life. However, the trick is to face those fears and harness the power available if you do so. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Many people don’t realize their dreams because they don’t even allow themselves to consider other possibilities. And starting a business or entering a new line of work, even if it’s in addition to a full-time job, can paralyze people. I invite you to take a step into the unknown! Anything is possible.
Start where you are. Sometimes the hardest thing is to just begin. It’s really as simple as taking the first step. And then the next, and the next. Depending on what your endeavor is, it may mean doing research, enrolling in classes or simply indulging in your passion. If you have a hobby or artistic endeavor, carve out time to enjoy it. Take lessons. It’s important to make it a priority, or life will intervene, and you’ll look up a year later in the same space, wondering where the time went.
Let your employer be your investor. This is excellent advice that received from a business coach. You can arrange your budget so that you can use part of your salary to pay for equipment, training, certifications, your website and marketing materials, consultants, business travel or other expenses.
Don’t go it alone. Share your dream with someone else – formally or informally. Hire a coach or business advisor. Look up a meet up group for people who have similar interests. You just may end up meeting someone ends up being a potential collaborator. When you get to the point of needing assistance, hire a virtual assistant, intern or part-time worker to help you keep things moving and relieve you of some day-to-day tasks. This will free you up for more strategic or revenue generating activities.
Plan your transition. It’s exciting to take that leap of faith but be intentional about when to leave your job. Don’t leap too soon. It can be easy to get excited about your new-found passion. Just be sure that you’ve got your ducks in a row. Set aside enough funds for living expenses. Get life insurance. Ideally you are earning enough through our side gig that leaving the job will not cause a hardship. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to leap. Some people are waiting for things to be perfect before making a move, but the truth is that there is no perfect time. When making a big change, it involves a mix of calculated risk, faith, and hard work.
The bottom line is this – you don’t want to be that person who at the end of their life wondered what it would have been like to take the road less traveled. I can personally attest to the power of embracing a new path while in your current profession. It has opened new doors for me and reignited in a sense of passion and purpose that I had not experienced in the past. I am truly grateful.
Best of luck to you! Embrace the journey. You’ll be glad you did.
Your friend, Trina
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Trina is the perennial "people person". Having spent over 20 years in nonprofit fundraising and management, Trina launched her business, Perspectives Plus Coaching in 2009 - as a way to express her talent for motivating people to create better lives for themselves. Life is busy, full and rewarding! You can design your life according to YOUR terms.