Almost every person and their aunt has a side hustle these days. Gone are the days where people are defined by one job. In our connected digital world, we can all start a side hustle while working a 9 to 5. The benefit of side hustles is they allow you to make money on the side and expand your experience in new ways. It also gives you a sense of purpose outside of your usual 9 to 5.

Even though side hustles sound fun, exciting, and adventurous which they are they do come with a lot of hard work. Starting a side hustle requires a large amount of your time, commitment, and energy but if you stick with it, it will pay off in the long run.

If you are contemplating diving headfirst into the world of side hustle, here is all you need to know:

Prepare for the long haul

With every side, hustle comes many late nights, hard work marketing. To make your side hustle a success you need to have grit, determination, and a genuine interest in what you do. Before you dive in and grab the unicorn by the horn you need to make sure this is really what you want and how badly do you want your side hustle to succeed? One thing that many do not say about side hustles is how much time it may take away from your socializing, outings, and more. You need to be willing and open to saying no to things you want to say yes to purely for the success of your side hustle. If you are willing to sacrifice and put in the extra effort, then you are on the road to side hustle success.

Define clear goals for your side hustle

When you think about your side hustle where do you see in 5 years from now? Where do you want it to be? Where to you want yourself to be? For many, they start a side hustle because they want career happiness, create their schedule, and make themselves wealthy. To make your side hustle a success you need to set out clear, attainable goals. It could be as simple as having a goal of bringing one client on board a month and once you have achieved that you move on to bringing two customers on board a month. We all want to dream big and we should dream big but its highly advisable to always create small attainable goals at first and go from there.

Differentiate yourself from competitors

In a crowded market place, it’s important to differentiate yourself from the rest. It’s important to be completely authentic. Competition is inevitable in the side hustle game and you will come across many that are doing something similar to you so it’s vital to have a competitive edge. What can you give your customers that your competitors cannot? It could be anything from exceptional customer service, the best sales tactics, or other specific factors that make you stand out from your competition. It’s crucial to find your competitive edge and build on that.

Set a launch date and milestones for your side hustle

A good lucrative side hustle needs a launch date and it needs to be monetized at some point. Set clear milestone goals for yourself otherwise, you will spend countless hours trying to perfect everything else instead of putting your side hustle to the test to see if it resonates with customers or your audience. Speak to your friends and family about it and hold yourself accountable for the launch date. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses. After all, you have already worked so hard to get it to where it is and its time to share it with the rest of the world.

Continue working at your day job

The mistake many make is that they start a side hustle and immediately resign from their full-time job to jump headfirst into their side hustle business. While this is possible for some, it isn’t possible for all. I would highly recommend keeping your day job until your side hustle has reached a point where you are either making the same amount of money or even more with it. You never want to put yourself in a situation where you don’t have the funds to continue with your side hustle or pay your rent. Look at your day job as an angel investor. Your day job allows you to earn a salary every month which allows you to pay for certain things to ensure your side hustle is up and running.

Be prepared to reinvent yourself a few times

As your business grows, your look will evolve and change. Never feel stuck to your current look and feel of your business. All great businesses have rebranded at some point. Reinventing and evolving is an important part of getting your side hustle to where you want it to be. Don’t be afraid to change your logo design, your colors, or the theme of your website. It’s all a part of the fun and the journey to getting your side hustle to exactly where you want it to be. Stop trying to perfect everything right now and enjoy the ride. It will all pay off in the long run.