From Side Hustle To Main Hustle Ep 526

Summary Notes


Speaker A, an entrepreneur and business strategist, emphasizes the importance of starting small and scaling up in business, cautioning against prematurely aiming for the "big leagues." He advocates for side hustles as a stepping stone to full-time entrepreneurship, provided they're treated with the seriousness of a main hustle. Speaker A outlines a three-step process for transitioning from employment to entrepreneurship: first, save six months of living expenses while learning and earning at a current job; second, grow the side hustle until it matches one's job income; and third, sustain that income level for six months before making the leap. He also shares his personal journey of starting with a charity project that evolved into a profitable online business, which supported him as he opened his gym. Speaker B, the host of the show, briefly interjects to encourage listener engagement on LinkedIn.

Summary Notes

Starting Small to Reach Bigger Opportunities

  • Begin with attainable goals and use them as stepping stones towards more significant opportunities.
  • Avoid jumping into highly competitive or advanced areas prematurely to prevent failure.

"What you start with is not what you're going to end with, but it will give you the stepping stones that are necessary to get to the higher leverage opportunity."

This quote emphasizes the importance of starting with manageable goals that can lead to greater opportunities, suggesting that initial efforts are foundational rather than final destinations.

"One of the bigger mistakes people make is they try and go to the big leagues before they're ready and then they fall flat."

This quote warns against overreaching too soon, suggesting that a lack of readiness can lead to failure when attempting to compete at higher levels.

The Journey of Building a Business

  • The speaker is documenting the process of building a successful business for educational purposes.
  • The speaker expresses a desire for successful entrepreneurs like Bezos, Musk, and Buffett to have documented their journeys.

"I'm trying to build a billion dollar thing with I always wish Bezos, Musk and Buffett had documented their journey. So I'm doing it for the rest of us."

The speaker is sharing their entrepreneurial journey, inspired by the lack of documented experiences from other successful entrepreneurs, aiming to build a billion-dollar business.

Defining and Approaching Side Hustles

  • A side hustle is seen as an undeveloped main hustle that cannot yet financially support an individual.
  • Side hustles should not distract from one's career but rather complement it.
  • The speaker advocates for focusing on learning over earning in the early stages of one's career.

"I'm going to define a side hustle as a main hustle that has not gained enough size to support you financially."

This quote defines a side hustle as an emerging primary occupation that has yet to become financially sustainable.

"If you're just trying to make side money, then to me that's a distraction from what your real main hustle is, which is probably your career."

The speaker suggests that side hustles should not be mere income supplements but should be aligned with career development and growth.

Balancing Job, Side Hustle, and Personal Life

  • The speaker supports maintaining a job for learning and earning while building a side hustle.
  • Transitioning from a job to a side hustle requires a shift in focus and a willingness to sacrifice personal time.
  • Belief in 'seasons' of life, where different periods require different levels of sacrifice and investment.
  • Emphasizes the importance of being fully present during time with family.
  • Encourages financial prudence by living below one's means and saving additional income from the side hustle.

"The remaining hours of the day, I am shifting 100% of my focus to my new thing."

This quote highlights the need for dedication to a side hustle outside of job hours, suggesting complete focus on the new venture during available time.

"Sometimes you have to have a season of sacrifice, sometimes you have to have a season of sowing in order to have a season of reaping later."

The speaker introduces the concept of 'seasons' in life, implying that different periods require varied levels of effort and sacrifice to achieve long-term goals.

"Try and maximize the time you are going to have their kids and be present for them so that when you are there, you're not scrolling on your phone and not actually present with them."

The speaker advises on the importance of quality over quantity in personal relationships, especially when time is limited due to work and side hustles.

"Now you have another 8 hours a day that you're probably awake, that you can do full time side hustle work."

This quote suggests an approach to time management, where the speaker proposes using the remaining waking hours for side hustle activities, assuming one's job and family commitments are already accounted for.

Financial Preparedness for Entrepreneurship

  • Importance of having savings before starting a business.
  • The speaker had $50,000 in savings, equating to 20+ months of living expenses.
  • Savings should cover at least six months of living expenses.
  • Savings provide a cushion for the initial phase of the business.

Once I have a certain amount of savings, which for me would be like six months of living is what I would feel comfortable with before starting my next thing.

The quote emphasizes the speaker's personal benchmark for financial security before embarking on a new business venture, highlighting the importance of having a substantial financial cushion.

Income Replacement Strategy

  • Side hustle should match or exceed current income to consider a full transition.
  • Assessing the potential of the side hustle based on time invested versus income generated.
  • Logical evaluation of income potential when scaling up hours dedicated to the side hustle.

Now, is there an exception to that? If for some reason you're only able to work on your side main hustle 4 hours a week, you're doing half of your income as you're doing in your 40, then I would look at that ratio and be like, well, in 4 hours, I'm making half of what I make in 40. If I had the other 36 hours back to add to my four, would I be able to match that?

The quote discusses a scenario where a side hustle's income in a limited time frame is compared to the income from a full-time job, suggesting a potential for the side hustle to replace the full-time income if scaled.

Risk Management in Entrepreneurship

  • Entrepreneurship involves transitioning from a stable job to an uncertain business venture.
  • The speaker describes this transition as the single hardest decision in their entrepreneurial journey.
  • Strategies to minimize risk include having savings, matching current income, and proving income reliability.

But if you want to be safe, which many people were trying to make this jump, which is just so you know, the single hardest jump in all of entrepreneurship is going from the safest thing, which is a job, to being 100% eating what you kill.

The quote reflects on the difficulty of moving from a stable job to entrepreneurship where income is not guaranteed, underscoring the high level of risk involved in such a transition.

Income Consistency Before Making the Jump

  • Importance of demonstrating consistent income from the side hustle for at least six months.
  • Consistency in income ensures the side hustle is a reliable source of financial support.
  • Sudden income fluctuations can cause stress and negatively impact all aspects of life.

And then three is that you've shown that it's reliable, because if you just the first month you match your income, you quit, and then the next month you drop back down to zero, or one quarter because you're doing gig work or whatever, that's going to be really stressful.

This quote stresses the significance of proving that the side hustle income is stable and reliable over time, rather than making a hasty decision to quit one's job after a single month of matching income.

Choosing the Right Side Hustle

  • The side hustle should be in a field where the entrepreneur has experience.
  • Starting as a contractor in the current field of work is a practical first step.
  • The initial side hustle may not have the highest enterprise value but offers valuable business experience.
  • Learning essential business skills is a critical part of the entrepreneurial journey.

I want the side hustle to be something that I have a high likelihood of success with, which is something that I have some sort of experience with.

The quote indicates the speaker's preference for a side hustle that aligns with their existing skill set and experience, thereby increasing the chances of success.

You'll learn how to hire people, you'll learn how to fire people, learn how to have heart conversations, learn how to drive initiatives. You learn how to market, you learn how to sell to get new business. You learn how to contract an invoice. You learn how to process payments, you learn how to set up an LLC.

The quote lists various business skills that one can acquire through starting a side hustle, emphasizing the educational aspect of engaging in entrepreneurial activities.

Entrepreneurial Journey

  • The journey to becoming an entrepreneur does not require a perfect start, but rather a directionally correct one.
  • Initial business ventures are often not the final or most significant ones for long-term entrepreneurs.
  • Examples of entrepreneurs who started with different businesses include Andy Frasella and Ed Mylett.
  • The key is to use initial business ventures as stepping stones to reach higher leverage opportunities.
  • Attempting to jump directly to major success without readiness can lead to failure.
  • It's important to be realistic about one's own prospects and to manage risk accordingly.

"You just need to be directionally correct. And the first direction is, I'm going to be an entrepreneur. So if you make the first jump, you've already taken the biggest jump in the right direction of what you ultimately want to do."

This quote emphasizes the importance of making a decisive step towards entrepreneurship, even if the first attempt is not perfect.

"What you start with is not what you're going to end with, but it will give you the stepping stones that are necessary to get to the higher leverage opportunity."

This quote highlights that initial business ventures serve as learning experiences and stepping stones towards greater opportunities.

"Be willing to do the basics, because realistically, I'm probably not Bezos, I'm probably not Zuckerberg, and you might not be either. And that's okay."

The speaker stresses the importance of starting with the basics and acknowledging that not everyone will have the same trajectory as famous entrepreneurs like Bezos or Zuckerberg.

Risk Management in Entrepreneurship

  • It's important to respect the risks involved in entrepreneurship, especially for those without a safety net.
  • Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg had fallback options that most people do not have.
  • The speaker suggests a three-step process for transitioning from a job to a side hustle.
  • Save six months of living expenses while working a job.
  • Start making money with a side hustle until it matches the job's income.
  • Sustain the side hustle income for six months before quitting the job, while continuing to save.

"And so if I were going to walk through the transition of being in a job and then deciding to go in on my side hustle, that would be my three step process."

This quote outlines the speaker's proposed method for safely transitioning from traditional employment to entrepreneurship.

Minimizing Overhead to Maximize Entrepreneurial Focus

  • Reducing living expenses can free up time to invest in entrepreneurial pursuits.
  • Living with family or friends and covering expenses with part-time work can be beneficial.
  • The goal is to minimize time spent on non-entrepreneurial work to focus on long-term goals.

"So it's like, massively cut your overhead so that you get as much of your time back to invest in the thing that you want to do most, which I categorize as entrepreneurship rather than the side hustle, because that'll change. But the directional decision to go out on your own won't."

This quote advises reducing financial burdens to allocate more time to entrepreneurship, distinguishing between temporary side hustles and the enduring commitment to working independently.

Phase One: Initial Savings and Frugality

  • Lived frugally on a $50,000 annual salary from a consulting job.
  • Managed to save $50,000 over two years.
  • Purpose of saving was to create a safety net for future business endeavors.

"I saved 50 grand from my consulting job over two years, living far under my means, only making 50,000 a year during that period of time in order to have a safety nut to make the next step."

This quote highlights the speaker's disciplined approach to saving money from their consulting job by living below their means, with the intention of creating a financial safety net for taking the next step in their career.

Phase Two: Side Hustle and Charitable Work

  • Started a side hustle doing fitness and nutrition programming for friends at home.
  • Charged friends $200 a month and donated the proceeds to charity.
  • At its peak, the side hustle generated about $4,000 a month.

"The second thing is that when I started my side hustle, I actually started a charity project where I got all my friends to pay me $200 a month to do their fitness and nutrition programming from home, and I donated all the money they gave me."

This quote explains the beginning of the speaker's side hustle, which was initially a charity project, and how they monetized their skills in fitness and nutrition by getting friends to pay for their services.

Phase Three: Transitioning to Main Hustle

  • Transitioned the side hustle into a main source of income by asking friends to pay directly.
  • Sustained the $4,000 a month income, giving confidence to quit the regular job.
  • Moved to a new location and reduced overhead costs, including minimal rent.
  • Reinvested earnings into business growth, such as hiring staff and purchasing equipment.

"And so the phase three there was that I had seen that they had sustained the level of donations for a six month period, and then when I asked them to go to for payment, that was my big risk, and they said yes."

This quote captures the pivotal moment when the speaker took a risk by asking their friends to redirect their payments from charity to personal income, which successfully turned their side hustle into a viable business.

Frugality and Resourcefulness

  • Demonstrated resourcefulness by renting a bedroom for $400 a month.
  • Gained additional value by helping the landlord with fitness goals and meal prepping.
  • Maintained relationships with early supporters.

"But before that, just when I got to California, I just rented a bedroom from a guy that I met at the gym for $400 a month. And so you can live super cheap."

The speaker shares how they minimized living expenses by renting affordably and leveraging their fitness expertise to add value to the arrangement, emphasizing the importance of resourcefulness in entrepreneurship.

Sustaining and Matching Income

  • Aimed to match the income from the consulting job with the online business.
  • Achieved a new level of income from the side hustle before transitioning fully.
  • Took six months to confirm the sustainability of the side hustle income.

"The second phase was when I wanted to match my current income. That's when I started an online business, and I got 20 of my friends to pay me $200 a month each so that I could make $4,000 a month."

This quote outlines the speaker's strategy for matching their job income with their online business to ensure financial stability before fully committing to the fitness industry as their main hustle.

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