5 Steps To Setting Up
Your Own Side Hustle

At some point or another, we can’t help but feel burdened or otherwise tied down by full-time employment. It’s all too easy to fall into the same routine day in and day out with the 9 to 5. Which is why so many of us dream about starting our own business, becoming their own boss and finally escaping that day to day drudgery. It’s a dream felt by many here in the entrepreneurial city of Seattle. 

For that reason, here are some of the best tips you will need in order to effectively set up your own side hustle and eventually – fingers crossed – make a living from it!

1 – Check Your Contract

This is vital as someone who is considering starting a side hustle whilst still employed. If there is anything specific about this in your employment contract, no matter how small, it can really come back to haunt. Especially if your employer takes a particularly harsh line when it comes to employees hustling or setting up their own business.

There are a number of things you should know off the back of your employment contract without having to look. Things such as probation periods, notice periods, job description and working hours should all be known off by heart. However, sometimes throwaway clauses regarding potentially starting a new business or doing other work while being employed can escape you. So, it is certainly something which you need to check as soon as you are even considering starting a side hustle.

Also, you may want to take into account post-contractual obligations. These are things which may include non-compete clauses following your employment with the company. Especially important if your side hustle is in the same niche or you are planning to take clients with you, because in many cases you won’t be able to even attempt that for 6 months or more. Some non-compete clauses can last as long as a year.

2 – Organise Yourself

One of the keys to setting up a side hustle whilst working full time is to actually be organised about the whole endeavour. If you’re not, then it can quickly fall apart faster than you can even blink.

Becoming disorganised can quickly lead to your side hustle falling by the wayside. Or worse, your actual job. It’s all well and good trying to set up your own business. But, if you let this affect your actual job then you could quickly find yourself losing it. Therefore, losing the support and funding that you may vitally need.

3 – Don’t Talk About It

The key to starting up a new business on the side and without losing your job is to not actually talk about it. If you tell someone it can quickly get out of hand. Take the saying ‘loose lips sink ships’ to heart.

At best you should only tell friends or family about your aspirations and no one from your working environment. If you do, be prepared to potentially lose out or even face consequences for looking to make new business and money elsewhere. Especially if you’re looking to create a business in the same sector as your regular day job, as this could be seen as both undermining from within and a threat to the company. Be aware of the danger from day one.

4 – Keep Work/Life Balance in Check

All work and no play can really be damaging when it comes to your mental health and overall personal well being. Having a hectic work schedule and trying to start a business on the side can be very tiresome, especially if you are in full-time employment. Otherwise, you will have very little time to yourself overall.

You need a break, simple as. Ensure you carve out at least two evenings per week which are dedicated to ‘you time’. So that at least some days of the week you are able to enjoy the sweet sensation of doing nothing, simply watching television or whatever else that you may do for enjoyment.

5 – Know Your Finance Options

Sometimes starting a business doesn’t come cheap. Which means that you should know your finance options inside out, even if you’re not sure or a little unwilling to invest in your business in the first instance.

Part of understanding your finances is knowing how to do your taxes. You need to set yourself up as either a sole trader or limited company, which then dictates what kind of taxes you then pay. There are a number of important things to consider when it comes to the taxes that come alongside being self-employed, so it’s best to be knowledgeable in this area from day one.

Thinking about starting a side hustle? Join ProDev Seattle for a real conversation on what it’s like to work for yourself, how to grow your business, what it’s actually like to be a full-time entrepreneur, how it can feel to take the leap into self-employment — and how you can do it all too. Register now here.

Overall, setting up your own side hustle can be a bit difficult but that doesn’t mean you should stop. Show a true level of dedication and you should be able to create a mini Empire. Or, at the very least, something which can support you and help you escape the drudgery of the 9 to 5 lifestyle.


Emily Brungard
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