Decoding three common mistakes that could have bulldozed my dreams of becoming a writer.
I started writing in 2020 as a side hustle. In the initial months, I made a few hundred dollars, and it nicely supplemented my income from a 9–5 job.
At the time, even $200 extra every month felt like a huge win.
I started investing all my side hustle income. I was proud of myself for saving up this small amount.
Soon, I realized that it’s not a lot of money, certainly not life-changing money, even with wise investments. It was time for some hard changes.
I made a list of my expectations from my side hustle, i.e., writing. I then created a strategy and roadmap to achieve my goals. I also identified some side hustle mistakes holding me back from realizing my full potential.
Today, I’m a professional writer with a lifestyle I wouldn’t have believed a few years ago:
- I can take vacations whenever I wish without asking for permission.
- My business is automated and keeps making money passively, even when I’m off work.
- I have no boss to report to, so there’s no one piling unrealistic expectations on me.
- The only person I depend on to get rich is me. It adds a newfound sense of responsibility.
If you have a side hustle you’re passionate about, take cognizance of these 3 mistakes that may be wasting your precious energy.
Calling it a “side” gig forever
Your biggest hurdle is residing rent-free in your head: your small thoughts.
In early 2020, I started writing online out of curiosity. It was never my goal to become a full-time writer. Or rather, let me put it this way — I never thought of becoming a full-time writer.
With such a mindset, my interest could’ve slowly fizzled out. It’d have been the end of my writing career.
I realized that in the nick of time and became intentional that I wanted to generate a 7-figure income from writing. This changed mindset helped me massively, as I put in the extra hours required to make my side hustle take off.
If you keep looking at a profession as your side gig, it’ll continue to be so. You won’t ever feel like putting in enough effort to raise it off the charts.
I changed my thought process, and today, my work speaks for me.
Your side hustle can also be your life-altering opportunity if you broaden your horizons. Think of becoming the best at what you do, and that’s really half the job. The rest half is about making it happen.
Real results require massive efforts
Talking about making it happen, you have to put in more work than you can imagine.
When you’re trying to have a side gig in addition to your day job, time management gets all the more tricky.
However, if you wait for motivation to strike before working, you better be prepared to keep waiting forever.
In 2020, I was a whimsical writer, arguing to myself that creativity isn’t a faucet that can be turned on at will.
How can I just sit to write, and WRITE? What if I don’t have any new ideas? What if the words just don’t come to me? These questions haunted me daily and sometimes derailed my flow and spirit.
Slowly, I understood that’s not how a business works. If I have to generate wealth from writing, I have to treat it as a business — an income source. A few steps that helped me are:
- Having systems to create content even when I’m not motivated.
- Blocking time in my schedule for each task in my to-do list for accountability.
- Strictly dedicate 2 hours every day to your side hustle. Forget all about working whenever inspiration strikes.
These checkpoints are crucial for putting in the work required to achieve your goals. With consistency, you can grow your side hustle into a sustainable source of income, exactly like me.
Not having any accountability
I saved the most critical one for the last.
Not having any accountability partner was perhaps the biggest deterrent to my writing journey at the start.
My friends were not facing the same mental turmoil as me in 2020. They were pretty satisfied with their day job.
When I told them about my side hustle, they dismissed it as a momentary change of plans. They felt I was just looking for avenues to pass my time, and the booming response I was receiving now wouldn’t last long.
If I had continued spending more time with them, I might have believed them entirely.
Looking for a change, I started connecting with like-minded people online. My filters were simple — people who love writing, and want to make it a full-time profession.
These people gave me a sense of community while pursuing a lonely side hustle. They had similar goals to me, so working towards growth became easier.
My online community became my accountability partner and saved me from giving up at tough times.
Most freshers make the mistake of not having such support and tend to quit their side hustle. Build accountability, and let it carry you to shore when the waters get too turbulent.
James Clear writes in Atomic Habits, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” I believe in this strongly, as setting goals is one thing, but working to achieve them is a whole other ball game.
If you have a clear plan to generate income from a side hustle, don’t let the following mistakes come in the way:
- Thinking small and underestimating yourself
- Not putting in the work required to achieve your goals
- Not having any accountability
When you eliminate these challenges, you’ll find your side hustle skyrocketing toward success. I hope you’re ready for the flight!