You have no time. That’s the explanation you give to yourself every time you feel remorses for not having started yet. You’ve been talking about how you’d like to start a side hustle for months now – if not years. But you can’t find the time to get it done. If you’re honest to yourself, you haven’t even tried to find the time. And nope, it’s not because you’d rather spend another hour on your comfy couch watching Mad Men for the second time now. The reason why you haven’t even tried to carve out some time to start a side hustle is that you feel overwhelmed only at the thought of doing it all – while working full time.
You’ve been reading blog posts about freelancing; you’ve even heard a couple of podcasts episodes about “mompreneurs”(nothing else than a fancy term for moms starting a business). And, although you feel pumped-up by all these women talking about how fascinating your life can get, it scares the hell out of you! Why? Because one thing is for sure. You’ve heard it over and over again: It takes TONS of work to succeed with your own business. And how are you going to find the time to do it all, right?
It’s not like you can quit your job next month to start giving it all for a side hustle you don’t even know if it’s going to work! You’d love to try that, but you can’t afford not to work. What would everyone say, right? So you keep working at the same office as you’ve been doing every single day. Feel a bit down. But it’ll get better. It always gets better. Until the next time you come up with an awesome idea for a new online business. Then your brain starts working at 200% again.
So, what if there’s a way for you to start a side hustle and earn money online without having to quit your job immediately? AND, without having to take intravenous coffee to get through your day without falling asleep on your desk 😉 The answer you’ve been looking for is called passive income! Huh? Well, it’s money you get while watching Mad Men for the third time – seriously, there’re other good shows you should check out 😀 Now, jokes apart, passive income is the key which gives you access to your first online business. It lets you earn money while working full time – until you’ve figured out whether your side-hustle idea works, and you finally quit your job!
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What are the steps to start a side hustle while working full time?
Step # 1 – Plan your time thoroughly
Here, we’re talking about the time you need to get your first product up and running. So you’re going to plan how to create time to actually get it done as a side hustle while you keep on working.
- The best way to start is by giving yourself a due date. Consider your timeline as a fixed date with a customer, so you can’t postpone it. When are you going to deliver the job?
- An excellent trick to commit to your due date is telling everyone about it! Tell people what you’re creating and when it’s going to launch. You’ll feel much more committed to doing it!
- Block out an hour per day, each day of the week. You think you can’t do it? What about getting up earlier, or going to bed a bit later? Do you take your kids to any activities? What about blocking your daily hour while they’re playing their favorite sport?
- Make a 3-month plan with small daily goals. Remember, you only have one hour per day, so you’d rather know exactly what you wanna do. That way, you can start working right away!
- If making a 3-month plan sounds too unrealistic for you, stick to the first month. Plan what you’re going to do every single day, every single week of that first month. Once it’s over, plan the second month, and then, the last one.
- Make sure you plan some time not only for the product itself but also to promote it! You can either plan the promotion time as part of your 3-month plan, or dedicate these first 90 days just for your product creation. And once it’s ready, take another month to plan your big promotion time!
- Let everyone know that you aren’t accepting distractions during that hour. Turn off your phone, close your email and – if possible – disappear!
Step #2 – Choose what you’re going to create
Passive income is possible with digital content, so you want to think about writing an ebook or creating an online course. There are other formulas, but you would need much more time to make them profitable.
- Your ebook doesn’t need zillions of pages. Just make sure you write valuable content that helps others accomplish a goal. Quality over quantity 😉
- Although an ebook is generally speaking quicker to create, in my opinion, it’s easier to earn passive income with an online course. That’s why we’re going to focus on courses, also because its creation process isn’t as obvious as with ebooks.
Step #3 – Outline your course content
How many sections is it going to have? How many lessons is each of those sections going to have?
- All sections should have a similar amount of lessons, and all lessons should be similarly long – but only if it flows naturally.
- Once you can calculate how much time you need to write a lesson, it’ll be much easier for you to plan when you’re going to do what.
- For instance, depending on the length of the lessons, you could write a section per day (or a lesson, if the sections are too long). If you’re going to write a book instead, you can apply this system for chapters (one chapter per day/week, depending on its length).
- If you think writing content is too complicated, check out this 6-step strategy to start writing content for your first online course.
Step #4 – Choose the content type you’re going to use for your online course
Unlike an ebook, an online course is a multimedia product, and that means that you’re going to need something more than a bunch of words:
- Text – Even if you think that writing is not your thing, you should provide your students with a transcript of your video/audio files.
- Video – A fantastic option for students who’d rather watch than read 😉 If you don’t want to appear on screen at all, create some slides on PowerPoint or Keynote.
- Audio – This is a great asset for students who would like to listen to your lessons while doing house chores or while driving, for instance.
Step #5 – Create your course
Now’s the moment to actually get it done. Follow these steps to publish your first online course faster than you think!
- First, write your course lessons following Step #3. Don’t forget to proofread your grammar and spelling! I use Grammarly, a free app that checks your writing automatically!
- Second, If you’re going to offer video lessons, create the course slides, in case you need them.
- Third, record your video – either with you in front of the screen, or by recording the slide presentation on PowerPoint or Keynote.
- Next, create any checklist, cheatsheet, worksheet, or any other material you’d like your students to work on.
- Upload all your materials (transcripts, workbooks, videos, audios) to a teaching platform, like Thinkific or Teachable, which is the one that I use.
- If you don’t know how to manage this all, check out the tools you need to create an online course on a budget.
- Build your online course sales page! This is the place where your future students will learn about your course. It is VERY important what you write, as this is your marketplace. If you were opening a brick-and-mortar shop, this would be your store. The place where your customers come in and stroll to check out what you offer before they buy.
- I chose the easiest option for me (I always try to opt for the easy way), so I went for the in-built sales page that Teachable offers.
Step #6 – Plan out every single detail before actually hitting Publish
In this step, you’re going to focus on automation. Let me give you a couple of reasons why:
- You already have a job, so let’s assume that you don’t need money straight away.
- As you’re working full time, you gotta watch out and avoid getting too overwhelmed. Once your online course is up and running, you want everything to work backstage for you! And with backstage, I mean that everything should work as automatically as possible.
- Save all your files on Dropbox or Google Drive, so you can work on your files wherever you are. I always work on Dropbox, even when I’m at home.
- Create a Paypal account. You’ll need it to get your cash 😉
- Set up an email welcome package. This is just a series of emails your students are going to get as soon as they join your course, so think of an email thanking them for their purchase. You’ll also want to tell them how the course is going to work (are you delivering all the lessons at once? Daily? Weekly?
- You’ll also want to set up an email series for the students to read during the course, or maybe even once the course is finished.
- You can either schedule those emails on ConvertKit (my favorite) or directly from the teaching platform you’ve chosen. I tried this option first, but in Teachable you can only send emails once each lesson is released. I thought that was a great idea, but it ended up getting too confusing for me, so I used Zapier to connect my Teachable and ConvertKit accounts and let it work through ConvertKit.
- If this all sounds way too weird for you, bear with me, ’cause it isn’t! Once you get to know all these tools, you’ll see what I mean 😉
Step #7 – Hit Publish!
Your content is ready, your sales page looks fantastic, and you’ve prepared the automated system which best suits you, so the time has come to let the world see your baby!
- Check one more time if you’ve uploaded everything to the right place/lesson.
- Check if your emails have any misspellings and if they’re scheduled correctly.
- Test your payment gateways. You don’t want your potential students to find problems when they’re trying to pay – ’cause this could make them distrust you!
- I always go and subscribe myself as a student, to see if I get everything as any student should – emails, lesson downloads, videos, etc.
- Publish! That was hard work! And now you deserve a nice reward. What is it going to be? A nice dinner? A relaxing day? Congrats!!
What can you do for your side hustle now that you’ve published?
- When your online course is out there, make sure you create business profiles on every social media network your potential students usually spend their time.
- Even if you don’t have time to do social media yet, block those profiles to make sure nobody gets them before you!
- Plan your social media strategy.
- Schedule all your social media posts in a way that they get out there automatically. You wanted to avoid too much overwhelm, remember?
- Check out this post about managing social media without going crazy. You don’t have to stick to the exact strategy, but you can get an idea of what I mean with social media strategy 😉
- If you’re ready to spend some money on your new side hustle, research some paid ads options, like Facebook ads pointing to your sales page, for instance!
If you feel you need help in any step of the way, why don’t you look for it? You can always outsource those tasks which drive you nuts, or those which take up more time. Now that you’re working full time, is the right moment to outsource: You are earning steady money, AND you don’t have much time. So, whenever you think that you could spend your time more wisely than trying to figure out how to create your logo, hire a graphic designer! Or, if you need some help with your content, why don’t you hire a professional content writer?
While it all still sounds a bit too much to cope with while working full time, think of these 3 months as a sprint you have to take in to get your side hustle up and running. Once you start earning some money online, the sprint turns into a marathon, where you’ll have to keep on working consistently, but without the overwhelming feeling of having such a bunch of open tasks.
Once the marathon starts, you’ll get some time back, you’ll even get back your Don Draper, and your final goal will seem nearer every single day. What is your final goal going to be? Keep your work and make some additional income? Or rather quit your job and start working from home? Are you ready for the next chapter of your life?
I’d love to hear what your plans are, and what your final goal is. Leave me your comments below and let’s chat! Have an awesome day!
Are you born to freelance?
If you need some time management tips to combine your home office and your housework chores, check out this blog post 😉