As a married couple, one of the most rewarding accomplishments of starting our side hustles was the ability to eventually step away from our 9-to-5 jobs. Now we get to focus on things that are important to us, such as spending time with our kids, traveling and giving back.
Craig and I had several of our own side gigs prior to meeting each other. But we started our first business together in 2006, when we merged our two side hustles into one company, Tandem Consulting.
Today, Tandem generates $3 million in annual revenue.
We like to tell people that our financial success all started with side hustles. The money we earned from Tandem, combined with our savings and previous side hustle earnings, allowed us to branch out and work on several other projects, including a real estate investing firm and a nonprofit, Tandem Giving Inc.
We currently have a total of eight income streams that altogether generate 7-figures a year. Two of them are passive income streams through our rental properties in Wisconsin. Most recently, we co-wrote a book called “So You Want to Start a Side Hustle.”
A lot of people, especially younger folks, often ask us about what to know before turning their side hustles into a full-time business. Here are five mistakes we learned the hard way:
1. Ineffective time and task management
In the early stages, we were woefully unprepared for the craziness that ensued when we really got into the thick of juggling our full-time jobs and fast-growing side gigs.
And since we saw our side hustles as an extension of who we are, we struggled to manage our time effectively. But eventually, what we found most helpful in boosting productivity was automating certain tasks and hiring people who could duplicate our efforts.
When deciding whether or not a task needs to be done by you, someone else, or anyone at all, ask yourself:
- Is this task important to you, your side hustle, or your values? If not, can you just not do it?
- If this task needs to be done, can you delegate it?
- If not, how and when can you complete this task in the most time-efficient way? When is the deadline?
- As you continue to perform this task, can you drop, automate or delegate it in the future?
2. Mistaking revenue for profit
We know several people who have attempted to start an online coaching business. The mindset went something like this: find 20 clients, charge each client $4,000 per year, and make $80,000 in profit.
No problem, right? Wrong.