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Starting Your Side Hustle vs. Launching Your Side Hustle
If you’ve read my post, Start Your Side Hustle In 5 Easy Steps, and are a little confused, the answer is yes, starting a side hustle is different from launching a side hustle.
To start things off, let’s talk about the movie Ocean’s Thirteen. It was on TV when I first started writing this post. Well, all three movies in the Ocean’s trilogy were on. I figure because cable wanted to take advantage of the release of Ocean’s Eight. Ocean’s Thirteen, for those of you who don’t know, is the conclusion to the trilogy that started in 2001 with Ocean’s Eleven. And Ocean’s Eleven is a remake of a movie of the same name, released in 1960 with Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.
In Ocean’s Thirteen, Danny Ocean, Rusty Ryan, and Linus Caldwell (George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, respectively) and the rest of the gang reunite to go up against Al Pacino’s Willy Bank, after Bank double-crosses Elliott Gould’s Reuben Tishkoff. Why? Because Willy Bank is basically a giant, not very nice businessman. The overall revenge plot doesn’t matter to this post, but what does matter is when the crew goes after Bank.
The gang hits Bank’s hotel, called The Bank—because Bank is a giant narcissist—during its ‘soft open’ and the days leading up to opening night. There’s a running joke throughout the movie about how a ‘soft open’ is like an out of town preview. But without actually leaving said town, because buildings don’t move like a Broadway show does. For the hotel business, a ‘soft opening’ is an unofficial opening, that’s usually held with little publicity, in the weeks and months prior to the official grand opening.
And why do hotels have ‘soft opens’?
Because that’s where they work out all the kinks. Because kinks always, always, always come up.
Now, for us as side-hustlers, it’s not going to be about having issues with the turndown service or needing to make a few final tweaks on the cocktail menu at the bar or the decorations in a hotel lobby. But the period between starting a side hustle and launching a side hustle is about refining your theme, finishing off the last of your 15-20 blog posts, and making sure that all your funnels are working properly.
Why is this important? Because want to start capturing your email list from minute one, or even ensure you’re ready to sell your digital product or whatever else you’re offering from minute one.
Before you launch your side hustle to the masses, you need to get started, make sure your t’s are crossed and your i’s are dotted. Remember these three things:
Launching A Side Hustle Tip 1: Set The Dang Date Already
“The point is, if you can accomplish one thing, even a small thing, it gives you the boost you need to finish the mission… Look, the most important part of any project or assignment is to finish. You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you start.” – Tim Daly’s Henry McCord, from Madam Secretary Season 4, Episode 5.
Two references to popular media in one blog post? Looks like it!
I am a fan of shows in many genres, including political dramas like Madam Secretary. The quotes above were from a conversation between Henry McCord and his daughter Ali McCord. Ali is fresh into college and so terrified of failing her midterm that she…just doesn’t start it in the first place.
Procrastinating due to fear of failure is an uncommon. College students do it, as do adults or even people trying to launch a side hustle, especially one that brings in significant income. Taking big, life changing steps can be terrifying, and that’s just a fact of life and something you have to make yourself move beyond.
You can always say, “I’m launching my side hustle soon.” But tomorrow becomes the next day and the next day and the next day. Before you know it, you’re never going to do it, because so many other things have come up in the intervening days between thinking about starting a side hustle and actually launching a side hustle. Just set the date, block it out on your calendar and make it clear to you and everyone who asks that you are not available on that day, and commit to launching your side hustle on.that.date.
Putting the launch date off is only going to give you more anxiety about doing it, so you might as well just dive in. If it’s not perfect, then it’s not perfect. Sometimes that happens, but that shouldn’t be something that stops you.
Launching A Side Hustle Tip 2: Remember Your Fundamentals
Keep it simple.
You’re just starting off, so remember that you don’t have to be perfect at everything all at once. It took time for all those bloggers and side hustlers you admire to get to the place they are today. Know that you can take some time and have some breathing room too. We all want to be there. If you try to do it all at once, you’re more likely to get overwhelmed and want to quit. That’s how 90% of online businesses fail.
Take it one step at a time, one goal at a time, one new blogging trick at a time. While it’ll be slow and steady, you’ll get there and see the rewards you’re hoping to see. I challenge anyone who is starting a new side hustle to set a series of mini, month-long goals. Work toward achieving them one or two goals at a time. Write down these goals, make sure they’re somewhere that you can refer to them often, and remind yourself how great it’s going to feel when you reach that goal.
And once you do reach that goal? Set a new one, rinse, repeat.
Don’t forget to refer back to Start Your Side Hustle In 5 Easy Steps as a reminder for what you need to do to get your website up and running, and download the FREE Blog Startup Checklist to help you brainstorm and keep your ideas all in one place.
Launching A Side Hustle Tip 3: Read Your Posts One More Time
It may seem silly, but yes, you need to edit your posts one more time. Now, if you don’t have your own editor (most don’t, so don’t worry), the method I recommend the most for self-editing is to read your post aloud, one word at a time. You’ll will hear things that read weird, or even find words that don’t match up with spell or grammar check.
You can pay for an editor if you really feel like you need to, but try the talk-out-loud route first. You can also install a free grammar checking program like Grammarly. Programs like Grammarly are a great way to have an extra virtual ‘eye’ on your work without splurging on the real live, human editor.
The third option is one of my other favorite things to do. It’s something that works really well for me: I rewrite the entire blog post, word by word by word. I just open a fresh document, line it up side by side with my draft, and get to rewriting. The program that helps me do this the best is called Scrivener. Scrivener is a popular platform for novelists, but has a lot of great options for bloggers and side hustlers. In fact, it’s what I use to write all my blog posts for this website. If you’re just starting out with it, just pull up a Blank project template and start writing!
It’s also MUCH cheaper than a Microsoft Word subscription (Who likes spending $100 a year? I sure don’t!). You can get Scrivener for Mac for just $45. Run on a Windows machine? They’ve got you set as well. Are you an educator? They have discounted licenses for you as well, for Mac and for Windows. (Full disclosure, if you purchase through my referral link, I’ll get a little bit too. I wouldn’t be recommending this product if I didn’t believe in it wholeheartedly!)
Remember: set your launch date, remember your fundamentals, and take one more editorial pass of your posts. Have you set the date to launch your side hustle? Let me know in the comments below!
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I think sometimes the scariest step can be setting a launch date. I was so nervous to launch my blog but once it was live, everything else was easy to do!
Exactly! And it’s not even the hardest thing to do in blogging! Keep at it!
This is good to keep in mind! I always have a date in mind when I want to do something. I think that’s important.
So important! Keep on that schedule!
Thanks for this! My blog is my side hustle and I find myself writing and re-writing posts…then I go back later and edit and adjust again. There is always something to add or change!
You can always go back and edit, but don’t forget to post!
So true! Gotta just start with the date and stick to it! You’ll never launch if you keep second guessing yourself.
Exactly! And all those little things you worry about, tend not to actually BE issues at all!
Such great tips!! It seems like everyone is about the side hustle these days, but it is so important to remember that you still need to have a plan and a good foundation for success!! Thank you for sharing these tips!
Exactly! It’s so, so important to have a plan! Without it, a side hustle is really just a hobby, and that’s not what we’re looking for.
This is a good thing to keep in mind. I will keep it scheduled.
Yes! Scheduling is SO important!
My blog is my side hustle but at the beginning, i was so unorganized that it was quite overwhelming! Having a date always helps!
Exactly! Scheduling your goal is so important!
This is one of the more informative and entertaining articles I’ve read! You’ve provided a great use of humor to get the point across. And great points and tips they are! I majored in English in college, and also manage a blog site, but I still make mistakes like everyone else. I utilize the “talk-out-loud” method, too! Wonderful! Thanks for sharing
I do what I can to inject levity. Glad you like it! Keep at it!
Timely post. I’m planning to launch a side hustle. Actually, it has been a plan for five months, I haven’t set a date. I’m so bad at it. hahaha but finally, I got to finish one thing and that definitely prompted me to make more so finally the plan can happen.
Set that date and go! You can do it!
I agree with what you said in Tip #2 that ‘you don’t have to be perfect in everything at this point.’ Sometimes we do want everything to be perfect before going ahead and we end up not doing it at all.
Exactly! It’s hard to push the perfectionism aside, but you have to or you’ll never move forward.
These are great tips. I have to remember to just take things step by step and to be patient. I am also going to check out Grammarly. Thanks!
Patience is KEY, especially when it comes to blogging. It’s so hard because we live in such a now, now, now society. But this is the long game!
I remember the days leading up to the launch of my blog. It does get easier but there is always something more to learn
You’re never truly done learning! Keep at it!
My travel blogging is a side hustle. Great tips, because I am still trying to get organized.
Keep at it! As long as you’re taking consistent steps and making consistent progress, you’ll continue to grow your side hustle!
This post was meant for me at this time! It’s confirmation that I just need to stop procrastinating and do it! Thank you for these tips!
Happy to help!
I agree with you about everything takes time. As they say “Slow and steady win the race”. We just need to stay consistent with our blogs. And yes I do use Grammarly sometimes when I don’t have time to read the blog again and again.
Grammarly is a huge help! Makes it so much easier to catch those little mistakes!
Great tips! It helps to start small, decide on a simple plan and build on that. My site has evolved so much over time. Blogging is a fun personal project too!
Yes, exactly! You don’t have to do everything at once to be successful! Take it step by step and build on your success!
I think setting a date is so very important. It keeps you in check and makes you stay on task. If you don’t, you’ll never get it done!
Exactly! You have to do whatever you can to keep yourself honest!
I agree with setting the date is important! The key to success is the right timing 🙂
Exactly! That and some hard work and persistence!
Really great tips!! I remember the hardest thing for me to do when launching my consultation site was to set the launch date. It was like ripping off a bandaid but once it was done – things took off!
Exactly! It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to go live, or you can’t take those next, awesome steps forward!
With good preparation, it can be well worth it! I have a very successful side hustle.
That’s so great! Keep at it!
Side hustles are great because they’re usually something we love doing and are great at, so why not make money off of it? Thanks for sharing these helpful tips!
Exactly! Making money doing what you love is SO possible (and I touch on that in my post Passion to Profit). It’s so important that people know what’s truly possible!
These are some really great tips for launching something to make you some extra money. So many times we get excited and we do not proofread things and this is someone’s first glimpse of you. Start off on the right foot!
Exactly! Proofreading is critical!