A record number of Americans are now working multiple jobs. Whether you’re fully invested in the gig economy or you have a part-time job in addition to your full-time one, one thing is certain: If you’re giving up your free time in order to do more work, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.
Use these tips and tricks to make sure you’re maximizing your side hustle.
1. Identify the goal of your side hustle.
For some, a side hustle is a matter of financial survival—an extra stream of income in case of job loss, or additional money to make ends meet. For others, a side gig can serve as a stepping stone—an opportunity to cultivate a new skillset or get exposure to a new industry.
It’s important to get specific on your goals so you can make better decisions around what side gigs make the most sense for you.
If your goal is to break into a new industry, you might decide it makes sense to pursue virtual assisting for someone already working in that field so you can gain relevant skills and contacts in the industry. In this case, you might prioritize experience over pay.
If the objective of your side hustle is to make more money, you might need a different strategy. Start by getting clear on how much more you want to earn and why.
2. Audit your hustle.
Side hustles are not get-rich-quick schemes. They require an investment of your time and energy, and sometimes even your money. It’s important to stop every so often to assess the actual value and potential return of your side gig.
Consider how much time your side hustle takes versus how much it earns you or has the potential to earn you. Is it worth it?
Is your side gig causing you to overextend yourself in ways that negatively impact your primary income, your health or your relationships? If so, are those tradeoffs worth making? If not, what are the alternatives?
3. Dedicate time to managing the money you make.
What good is earning extra cash if you don’t give yourself the time to actually maximize the extra money you make?
Even if it doesn’t feel like much at the start, set up a separate bank account for your side hustle income.
Not only will this help you take your side gig more seriously, but it can also help you make the important distinction between business revenue and personal income so you can better account for taxes and relevant business expenses versus your actual take-home pay.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
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