So you’ve got this big, bold dream, a shiny new idea for a business that combines a valuable skill you just so happen to have with a passion that burns bright in your heart.
But there’s just one problem, one thing standing between you & your new business: A day job.
There’s no shame in having a day job – even Superman had one – but if you’re working a side hustle, chances are that’s your destiny, and you know it. Or, at the very least, you enjoy it more than your day job if you’re willingly adding more work onto your plate.
But eventually, you’ll hit a point where you have to decide whether you want your side gig to remain just that – or to become something new. At coLab, we thoroughly encourage growing side gigs, because that’s how you find fulfilling, creative work that makes a difference.
Imagine if Clark Kent just kept writing for the Daily Planet and allowed General Zod to enslave humanity and then turn Earth into a second Krypton. Not cool, Clark. Not cool.
So how can you cast off the I-can’t-believe-nobody-recognizes-him glasses and save the world with your side hustle? Here are just a few steps you can take to ditch the ‘Clark Kent’ job and help humanity in your own way.
Take the Time to Master Your Superpower
Before you try leaping tall buildings in a single bound, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve learned how to control your antigravitational abilities. The last thing you want is to be just a few feet from the next skyscraper when you suddenly lose focus and embarrassingly crash into the glass wall.
Any successful side hustler quickly learns how to validate business ideas, capitalize on early successes, and pivot when things that simply don’t work out. Before you officially launch your mittens-for-kittens Etsy knitting shop, it would be wise to survey cat owners to determine whether there’s a market for kitty cat gloves and work out the flaws in your design.
Schedule Your Superhero Hours
Ask any superhero ever and they’ll tell you that scheduling conflicts are the worst. Remember all the times Bruce Wayne got invited to a high-society soiree right when The Joker or Two-Face were planning to rob a bank/ blow up the earth/ cheat on their taxes? And he had to just sit there like some normal rich guy, unable to help the innocent hostages without his many Bat-Tools.
Of course, it’s not always possible to plan for every scheduling problem when you work a day job and a side hustle, but prioritizing your side business above everything else during your non-work hours can help you to gain traction, plan ahead, and free up your time for when crises strike.
Superheroes Wear Costumes for a Reason
Picture this: You’re standing in a dark alley. Out of nowhere, masked thugs show up and start demanding cash. They’re big, they’re mean, and they’re armed. But suddenly, before you even have a chance to reach for your wallet, you hear a voice in the darkness that tells the thieves to flee.
You peer into the darkness, and out steps…some scrawny, squeaky-voiced teenager. Not exactly the hero you had in mind, right?
But when that teenager is dressed head-to-toe in a red and blue spiderwebbed costume, suddenly he seems more…formidable.
When you’re trying to grow a side hustle, having a well-defined brand that gives off a strong impression is one of the best ways to scale quickly. Solid brand messaging and well-designed promo materials will give potential new clients the impression that your side hustle is your only hustle – and when clients recognize you as the superhero you are, it’s a lot easier to start saving the world.
Niche Down: Be Selective About Who You Rescue
One of the most frustrating things about being a part-time side hustle superhero is that you simply don’t have the time and energy to save everyone.
Sure, helping little old ladies across the street and rescuing cats stuck in trees will win you a ton of karma points, but using all of your alter-ego’s time on minor projects means that the Lex Luthors of the world will go wholly unchecked, and you’ll be no closer to quitting your job at the Daily Planet.
While you’re in the side hustle stage, you’ll want to prioritize projects that help you build traction and bring you closer to becoming a full-time hustle superhero – projects in your ideal niche, projects that help you gain publicity, et cetera.
Turning a side hustle into a full-time gig isn’t easy, but with great planning and a solid brand, you’ll find yourself gaining more traction faster and building a reputation for yourself before you’ve even left your day job. And once that happens, going from casual vigilante to full-time superhero gets a lot easier.