While the whole world is facing economic uncertainty, starting a business can seem like an uphill task. On the bright side, a side hustle can be the perfect opportunity to invest your time and effort in what truly interests you and realize your entrepreneurial dreams. You don’t have to turn your life around or quit your job to tackle an entrepreneurial project that may even lead to a new career. What’s more, a side hustle can benefit you in so many different ways. Here’s how you can level up at your own pace.
Taking the Leap
“The biggest thing is just getting started,” observes Emily Seaman, founder and co-owner of Kohr Method, a wellness studio based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “First, you have to try something to see if people are going to like it. And then from there, you need to see if it has legs to grow on its own,” advises the Pilates instructor. The studio first started in 2020 as an online community. Their service offering has since extended to include a physical space and an app.
Whether you’re looking for a way to supplement your income or you want to reach personal and professional goals, a side hustle can be the answer to both.
Emily wanted to share with the world how movement healed her. “8 years ago, I was in a very bad car accident. They really thought I was going to have chronic pain for the rest of my life,” recounts the entrepreneur, who had to undergo physical rehabilitation. On her road to recovery, she fell in love with Pilates. She got her teaching training and discovered alternative forms of movement, which then led her to opening her own studio.
While you can take the opportunity to specialize in something you’re already well acquainted with, this doesn’t have to be the case. When Devon de Balasi Brown came up with the inspiration behind the social card game Fluster, he and his co-founder had no prior experience. “We were not board game enthusiasts. It was scratching like an itch in our own lives,” he says of the passion project that is now a successful venture.
Keeping at It
Growing a side hustle isn’t always easy and comes with its own set of hurdles including knowledge about cash flow, customer acquisition, marketing etc.. As founders, Devon and Emily both received support from the Futurpreneur Side Hustle Program, the program has been a tremendous help, both financially and resource-wise. “It really helped us make sure that we got our business plan together and that we had everything that we needed,” says the studio owner. The financial support allowed Emily to buy equipment and receive valuable mentorship from a fellow gym owner.
From the get-go, it’s important that you define the purpose. “Our vision is to reduce loneliness, bridge division, support well-being, and create connections through play,” states Devon. At times when he doubted his capacities, reminding himself of the purpose really helped him focus. “I think it’s important to take those first steps and fully own your actions,” he states.
It’s also best to aim for the long run. “Things will move slower than you expect them to. Set things up in sustainable ways knowing that you’re not just going to be doing a side hustle for a month, or six months,” he advises. He also notes that the time he and his partner dedicate to Fluster fluctuates: there are moments when the project requires more energy for the pair, who chose to maintain a career in other fields.
“A lot of times, when people found out that I had this on the side, they ask, ‘are you eventually planning on quitting and doing this full time?” explains Emily Seaman. She prefers to have a traditional career while running a business that uplifts her. “Of course, I want all of my professional roles to fuel me and be passion-related,” she points out. In her full-time job, Emily works as a digital strategist, a position that fulfils her interests. She also put her knowledge into practice in Kohr Methods. “I never want to feel stagnant. I have two things that fuel my passion for movement and my passion for learning,” she goes on to say. In the same way, you can develop many transferable skills from running your business — whether it’s time organization, finance, business, or decision-making skills.
As you see, you can do things your own way with a side hustle. Venturing into a business gives you room to figure out what you want and keep growing. You couldn’t ask for a sweeter deal, could you?