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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

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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