culture

Work whilst side-hustling

I’ve been having some great conversations on ClubHouse (both as a moderator and as a humble listener 😇)! and it’s been great hearing people describe themselves as side-hustlers.

For me personally, I have alway been someone who’s been good at taking excited but calculated risks, and whilst I’ve been academic from young, I’ve taken loads of risks, some paid off some didn’t 🤷‍♂️

Looking back I definitely could have saved a lot more, it would have saved me going in the red 😂 but I used that to sharpen my financial literacy and was another growing period 📈.

One thing I will say is that the workforce tend box us into neat little boxes, - just like school and they have structures in place to suit them and make their lives easy. It wasn’t really designed for drawing outside the lines or being intersectional.

But do you know what? I believe there’s never been an easier time to start a side-hustle and we have great distribution channels such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Indie Hackers and the grassroots communities making it easier and easier!

Tools like:

  • Calendly
  • Zapier
  • No Code tools
  • AWS
  • Remote working
  • The Gig economy/ Passion economy / The information economy
  • Wave Apps

Do you side-hustle whilst doing the job or take the leap?

I believe this comes down to risk/reward and that’s at the surface level because in reality it gets more nuanced than that.

If you’ve never had to pay your mum half the mortgage you can’t relate - I’m sorry!

For example, when I left banking, I felt the nervousness from my Mum. Not only was she worried about the fact that maybe she shouldn’t have spent the past year boasting that her son was working at Credit Suisse 🤦‍♂️, but she definitely was speaking from a place of fear worried that I was throwing away the opportunity of a lifetime.

People from low-social economic backgrounds are generally less likely to leave their main source of income and that’s why I believe we’re seeing more and more people talking about having multiple streams of income, generational wealth and side-hustling.

Also, what’s a good cushion look like? Basic financial advice will tell you that you need 6 months worth of savings as a responsible fledgling adult.

Tell that to the YOLO boys 😂

Common misconceptions

I’ve been side-hustling for a few years now.

Doing client work, building websites and at one point really considered a digital agency. In the beginning this was super hard for me because I tied myself too much to my job title and it took me a while to shake that off.

When I started working in startup roles, I took a paycut initially and had to wear “many hats”. God makes no mistakes cause little did I know that this would give me real life skills in things such as marketing, analytics, working with data, integrations, design, etc.

  1. It will free up more time - not if you’ve never learnt how to use it
  2. You’re not making progress because your job is holding you back - not necessarily. It’s not like you’re going to quit and within days or weeks you’ll necessarily start making sales. You’ll most likely be searching for a viable business model or if you even like it long enough to play the long game
  3. You can wake up when you like - boy trust me, the biggest Entrepreneurs are around me hustle more than when they worked
  4. You need investment - this is the silliest one so many people run to get funding which means giving up equity
  5. You won’t have to answer to no-one. Not if you’re broke and knocking on the door of Angels/VCs

So how can you tell if your idea has legs?

All the planning, telling people on LinkedIn. Family. Friends. Don’t mean nish.

You best validation is paying customers and you won’t know till you go into the market and sell.

If you’re up for a fun challenge, take mine where you’ll get a more guided version

Top tips are:

  1. Have a plan of what problem you want to solve and for whom
  2. Build basic end-to-end experience using No Code tools
  3. Experiment on the distribution channel
  4. Actively recruit your first 10 customers

If you’re looking for the right tool to use this might be helpful

The best thing you can do right now

Be your own Angel Investor and stick to the job whilst you’re doing discovery and validation.

Also rather going into top secret mode 🤐 for several months and years when you should be doing the complete opposite. Learning in public/Building in public.

Learn to let go, let go of the status/title of corporate

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About Yommy Ojo

Product Maker & Cultural Storyteller