How to Make Extra Money on the Side (and What You Need to Know)

People are trapped in a financial matrix – they work for somebody and never break free.

If you only have income from your occupation, you’re limited to how much time and energy you can put in.

We all run out of energy and out of time.

That’s why most of the population has become financially enslaved.

However, it is possible to break free from the financial matrix if you create investments that work for you.

You have to start investing some of your earned money into something that will create additional income over a longer period of time.

The present digital economy allows anyone with drive and desire to succeed and create something tangible.

The internet cut out all of the middlemen.

In today’s world, anybody can create content and put it online with very little to no friction.

If you think of services like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and many other similar platforms, they all have one thing in common: they were created with very limited resources.

The Internet lowered distribution, collaboration and communication costs.

That created something known as access economy and, with the rise of the gig economy, this allowed things to be created with low costs from the start.

Today, you can easily start a profitable side business that will provide you an independent stream of income on a monthly basis.

That will enable you to create the lifestyle you want for yourself.

Eric Reis is one of the few people who is recognized for pioneering a new business strategy: using the Internet as a leverage tool.

He explained the methodology of an effective start-up approach in his book, The Lean Startup.

If you wanted to make a video in the time before the Net, the start-up costs ruled out the majority.

For one, you had to have a studio, and big expensive cameras, a satellite transponder, or something to transmit things into the air.

That’s beyond your average YouTuber, right?

Internet took innovation, the ability to try something, away from large institutions that have authority and money.

Instead, it passed it down to ‘the little guy’ and the at-home entrepreneur.

It removes the need for thousands in investment to make a name for yourself.

If you wanted to be a publisher, you had to have a printing press.

For example, now, you can create an e-book publishing business without too much difficulty.

The Internet has provided you the ability to innovate and create without asking permission.

Information is free, but implementation is hard.

Don’t confuse the power of opportunity with the simplicity of creation; there’s a rather significant chasm from one to the next.

The reason why most people would rather watch Netflix than read a book is because watching shows feels good in the short term, but it doesn’t have advantages in the long term.

The difference between successful people that you might look up to, or even envy, is not that they are smarter than you, or better than you.

They simply took the first step of a 1,000-mile journey.

They simply got up and did it.

Only a few people execute it, and others just talk about it. It’s a fundamental truth that people don’t want to admit.

It’s not rocket science, but people just don’t do it.

Everybody shouldn’t get a trophy.

Someone is an MVP because he put more effort in than everybody else.

You don’t deserve the same trophy if you haven’t put in an equal amount of effort.

You shouldn’t even want it.

If you want success, you have to put in the effort, and most people don’t.

Challenges of Starting a Side Business

There is a giant gap between how you expect running your own business will be and what it’s really like.

The process, the actual technical part of starting a business, is easy enough.

Emotionally…it’s challenging.

Far more challenging than you might assume. It depends on how disciplined, motivated, focused, and persistent you are willing to be.

Once you deal with the emotions, then starting a business is straightforward.

Reaching emotional control and maturity can bring about the ability to succeed online, even with minimum resources.

Many people get overwhelmed by their challenges, because they are not able to do them right away.

You simply can’t do everything at once, as nice as that would be!

You need to break things down and look at them as a step towards the end-game.

Elon Musk didn’t build Tesla Motors and SpaceX overnight.

Just like Bill Gates didn’t wake up one day and create Microsoft as it is today.

It took Mark Zuckerberg years before Facebook achieved the level of success it has today.

Any successful start-up venture you can think of had humble beginnings.

For example, Steve Jobs (Apple), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google) started their businesses literally from a garage.

They could have given up at the first hurdle, but instead, they believed in their vision.

You do not wake up one day and run a 42 km marathon without any training.

Nobody gets to the top and does it without any challenge; it’s the challenges you face that makes your success possible in the first place.

As obvious as it might sound, only reading is not enough.

Taking action is what is required.

You need to create a step by step plan of action that will help you reach your goals.

From discovering your passion, purpose, what impact you want to make on this world, that will enable you to get clarity around your product or service.

Within one year, your whole life can change, but you can’t go from zero to a hundred in one day.

You have to start with small steps and slowly build it up.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all that…

If you really want to create the life you want, you have to get out of your comfort zone and develop the right mindset along the way.

You can’t play it safe and expect miracles to happen.

So, ask yourself why you want to head down this particular pathway.

Employee Vs Entrepreneur Mindset

Everybody is the happiest when they get to do what they want to be doing.

When you get to do what you want to do, you’ve won.

That is the seductive nature of entrepreneurship. Because you have control.

You are your own CEO.

But, overextending yourself and paying for your lifestyle can become your boss.

Not paying attention to what fulfills you can make things hard for you. It’s very easy to force yourself into this situation without even realizing it, unfortunately.

In the world of business, there are four types of people:

  • Employees: they look for a safe and secure job with benefits. Their core value is security.
  • Small business owners: they operate by themselves. They have an “have to do it myself” mentality.
  • Smart business owners: they want smart people to run the business for them.
  • Investors: these people have money and other people work for them.

Employees and small business owners work for security and for the money.

On the other hand, smart business owners and investors don’t want money.

What they want is personal freedom, so they can do things they are passionate about.

There’s a minor but fundamental difference to what both of these kinds of people want.

We live in the digital era.

Things happen fast, and there is so much information out there that you simply can’t process it all, no matter how hard you try.

So instead of working for your business, you have to work on your business.

You cannot and should not do everything on your own.

Every industry today lends itself to outsourcing and taking the weight off your own shoulders.

If you were building a home, you would never try and do it all alone…so why take that egotistical approach to this?

Avoid becoming the bottleneck that stops your side business from reaching its full potential.

Dealing with the mundane tasks that provide small results is the job of an employee.

If you are insecure about investing in your success and you aren’t willing to spend a small portion of your income on hiring help to make you more efficient and to spend less time working, you are looking at the benefits of this in the wrong way.

You cannot think as an employee if you want to become successful.

If you are not good at marketing or sales, find someone who is.

Don’t try and become an amateur at every business discipline because you fear hiring or outsourcing to another person.

People are outsourcing to you, so why should you feel like you cannot do the same with others?

What Is Your “Why?”

The first step in building a successful business is to understand your ‘why.’

Successful people are value-driven. They have an answer to their “why” question.

Sometimes, the journey to success gets really tough, and when it does (be assured, that will happen), you need to have an answer for why you do what you do.

What’s motivating you?

Without a fire in your belly, you won’t have the required drive to build something sustainable.

You need to have an ambition, a passion that drives you forward and tells you why you do what you do.

Without that purpose, you’ll easily give up. You simply need something that will drive you when the going gets tough.

These are the four most common reasons why you might decide to start a side hustle:

  • To earn some extra income on the side of a main job.
  • To be able to afford to quit a job you dislike.
  • To work on a project that you’re passionate about.
  • To become financially free.

If you have negative beliefs about money and think that it can’t buy happiness, there are some researchers that showed otherwise, so make sure that you resolve them first.

Think of money like a resource. It is an exchange of energy.

You get paid when you provide a value to someone else. That’s all there is.

Don’t overcomplicate it or add some kind of mysticism or nebulous importance to money; it’s a resource like anything else.

The more value you provide, the more money you make.

A basic formula, yes, but true regardless.

If you offer better value, then you make more of it.

If you want to make yourself a success, find out what you can bring to the table.

What Is Stopping You?

There are still some common myths and misconceptions about starting a business in the digital age.

Let’s take a look at some of the common fallacies stopping you.

Starting a side business costs a lot of money

Years ago, it was expensive. You needed a physical location that could easily cost you $500 every month.

In this day and age, anyone can start a side business for under $25 a month.

That’s all you need to connect and potentially serve the 3 billion people worldwide who have an Internet connection.

That’s not slowing down, either.

This hasn’t peaked; it just got started!

A side business will take months to get up and running

Not true. You can have a side business up and running in the time it will take you to read this post.

With that said, building your customer base and bringing in traffic will take some time.

However, there is absolutely nothing to stop you from laying down the key foundations.

If this is something you really want to do, you will find the time to make it happen.

You can always find a few hours to dedicate to starting your own business.

One hour a day will equal 7 hours a week, which equals 70 hours in 10 weeks.

Imagine what you can get done in less than 10 weeks.

Time is only a reference; you can start your side hustle today and work on it until it can make you enough to focus more time on it.

We All Learn By Doing

You will be up and running before you know it, but the learning process never stops.

The level of your success will depend on how willing you are to learn and taking each task one step at a time.

Very few people succeeding online were born prodigies. You don’t need to be some kind of a superstar to succeed online.

You just need a good enough reason and the willingness to face challenges. That’s it.

So, with the above in mind, hopefully you can see this isn’t as frightening as it might sound.

It’s not a smooth ride, either, so define your goals and be clear about your future.

You Need a Plan

If you don’t have a plan, you only have dreams.

Wishing, hoping and dreaming without an action plan is the same as doing nothing.

You might get ‘inspired’ by watching motivational YouTube videos, reading quotes that sound like ”We only get one shot at life, why not choose to make it big!”, or ”What one man can do, another man can do. It has been done it can be done again.”

And then nothing happens. Why?

There is only one answer.

If you don’t take action and do the work that is required ..nothing will change, unless you make it happen.

You need to develop your mindset and other necessary skills that will guide you through life in a smart and effective way.

If you want to lose weight, gain muscles, get healthy, run a marathon, create a business, you need a plan.

Make a list all of the goals you need to fulfill in order to achieve your main goal.

Then figure out what you need to do first, take the right action and start moving.

Set Realistic Goals

If you’ve never done it before, it will take you a few months before you will be able to make $1,000 on a monthly basis.

First, you have to find out how it feels to make a $1 a day to internalize the experience and see what it takes to run a side business.

When you can make $1 in your business, then you’re 95% on the way to making $10,000 or more, because that $1 validates that whatever you’re doing works.

Once you can make $1 a day, your next goal is $10 a day. After that $100, $1,000, … and slowly scale up from there.

Business is a marathon, not a sprint.

That will help you shift your belief systems, give you confidence and momentum to scale it up.

It takes a serious amount of work to get to the level where you actually can have the lifestyle you want.

It starts off very slowly and you won’t even notice it at first. But it’s worth it, because it pays off in the long run.

Be willing to invest today for a better tomorrow.

Over the next year or two, your entire life can transform.

Define Your Goals

As you may have heard before, planning creates perfection.

For example, think of blueprints in engineering or architecture.

They know that you cannot get from A to B if you don’t start with the A in the first place.

They can’t just guess their way from foundation to finish. Well, they could…but the results would likely be awful.

It is all about knowing what you want to accomplish, then having faith in your ability to do it and persisting until you have accomplished it.

If you want to get things done, if you want to achieve your goals, you need to have a strategy.

Techniques are the tools that will help you realize those goals.

You need to be ready to learn.

Failure will become your most powerful life lesson.

If you can learn to embrace it and improve due to its teachings, then there really is no limit as to where you can go.

Let’s say that you want to start a side business.

First, estimate the situation where you are. Instead of watching a television series, surfing the internet, spending time on social media like it’s your job, or playing video games — unless you actually get paid for playing games — write down a simple plan to start with.

You can use Mark Divine‘s strategy:

  • Mission (What you must accomplish)
  • Situation (What’s going on around you)
  • Course of Action (What you need to do to accomplish the Mission)
  • Strategy and Techniques (How you’re going to do this)
  • Analysis and Assessment (Which is the best option)
  • Decision and Operation (How to execute the plan you have chosen)

Then, you need to write down your goals based on those answers, with a series of small steps that will lead you to the main goal you wish to achieve.

Make each step small and find something that has a proven value to help your cause.

This will dramatically increase your productivity. Why?

Because you will have a genuine structure to work within, and that can be very uplifting.

Important task completion is a source of energy, enthusiasm and self-esteem.

Failure to complete important tasks, or completing them impartially, is a source of stress, but also depletes energy, enthusiasm, and self-esteem.

If you work on unimportant tasks, even after completion, there is no rush of energy or payoff like you would experience when completing an important task.

Sites like Asian Efficiency will help you learn more about practical systems that will allow you to be in the top 1%.

This is a very interesting way of thinking that I deeply suggest you look into more closely.

So, it’s important to prioritize completing important stuff first, especially when you are on the pathway to building your own business.

Brian Tracy likes to say that you need to prioritize your goals from A, B, C, D and so forth.

Goal A is the most important goal that needs to be accomplished before all the others.

Only when it is 100% complete should you go on to goal B, otherwise you stay with goal A until it is successfully completed.

This analogy goes for all other tasks throughout the day.

It’s a very good way to think, and it can help to create a more analytical mind-set that’s conducive to lasting success.

This will give you experience with self-control – the feeling of being in charge of your own destiny.

That’s a powerful feeling, and one that not many people get to embrace.

Define the Cost Structure

You don’t need thousands of dollars to run your blogging or website company, but there are a few things to consider.

While it’s a myth to say that you don’t need large sums of money to start your side business, you do need to invest in some start-up equipment.

The tech / equipment you need to run a side business goes like this:

  1. A reliable laptop or desktop.
  2. A reliable internet connection, router, and mobile plan.
  3. An external hard drive or online backup solution such as cloud storage.

The other part of this equation consists of services and products that are necessary to run a sustainable and profitable side business:

  1. Domain;
  2. Reliable Web Hosting; SiteGround
  3. Premium WordPress; Theme Forrest
  4. E-mail service; MailChimp, Aweber, or ConvertKit
  5. Legal consulting; LegalZoom

That’s about it.

It’s not that much; you could invest in all of the above for under $1,000.

The laptop or PC would take up the largest chunk of that, with the majority of the second branch of services needed costing you in the region of $100-200.

You cannot afford this?

Did you know that people are giving away things for free on craigslist for you to sell?

Make it happen.

Find a way to make additional income.

How Long Will It Take?

This is one of the most common questions people are wondering about.

The amount of time that you spend doing things isn’t really the key.

If you’re doing the wrong things for a 10,000 hours, you’re never going to create a success you desire simply because you’re going into the wrong direction.

What matters is doing the right things as many times as you can and learn what works. Then do more of that.

So, the best answers to that question is as following:

‘’It depends how many experiments you’re able to run in a condensed period of time, before you achieve your goal.’’

That is the best metric to estimate when and how successful you’re going to be at what you’re doing, or what you want to achieve.

No Shortcuts to Success

Champions keep going when they don’t have anything left in their tank.

When they are tired, frustrated, and ready to give up, they keep going.

That’s the difference between being ordinary and great; you thrive from failure, learn from it and come back stronger.

Nothing good has come about for those who stand around and wait for things to happen.

Success or however you define it is something that can be measured and reproduced.

It won’t just happen because you really want it or “deserve” it.

Imagine a time in your life when you wake up every day excited and wanting to do exactly what you’re thinking about doing, and you even get paid for it.

Your life will become a lot better.

There are no shortcuts, no easy ways to a successful life.

Doing something you enjoy, and earning from it, is your reward. Success isn’t easy, but it rewards you in the most wonderful ways.

If you are not ready to work and fight for your goals, then you might want to cut back on some of them.

But if you’re aiming high, you’d better work smarter, and be ready to adapt as fast as you can.

You need a wholesale transformation of mindset, mentality and belief to make this possible.

You have all the power within yourself to live a better life, as long as you are willing to improve.

However, that decision has to come from you; nobody can do this for you.

Our culture is filled with sensational news media and commercial marketing gimmickry.

That might explain why people buy into ideas for how to get from zero to $10K in 14 days.

They are trying to sell you illusionistic ideas, to make you believe that you can get fit, healthier and younger, all overnight.

With very little or no effort, for only three easy payments of $99. People buy into this kind of stuff, as they want the miracle tonic.

Rather than try to work to improve, they want to just snap their fingers and do it.

It’s like people who say for 20 years they want to learn how to play guitar…if they’d invested an hour or two per day for those 20 years, they’d be awesome guitar players by now.

You can’t become amazing at something in a short space of time and with such little investment in yourself.

It doesn’t work like that.

A lot of people will try to sell you an easy quick fix idea that, in the end, doesn’t work.

The thing is, if you’re constantly bombarded with this, you will start to believe it.

But, there are no shortcuts to a successful life.

You will waste more money and time chasing the quick hits than you would ever need to invest in something that’s a tangible success.

The only “secret” to success is dedicated smart work, discipline, and consistency.

Every choice you make, every action you take is igniting a compound effect.

Positive or negative.

Depending on what actions you take on a daily basis, this will have a serious effect on your life, time and time again.

Small, poor choices accumulated over time will get you in a situation where you don’t want to be.

Small, positive choices accumulated over time will get you where you want to be.

There’s no ‘grand leap of faith’ needed to be a success.

You cannot go from being an online marketing novice to a six-figure sum earner in a few days.

You need to earn that first dollar, then ten, then a hundred, and so on and so forth.

You need to build it up consistently and accept that no idea worth your time can turn you into a top earner overnight.

If you were to start a business on your local main street, you wouldn’t expect it to become a booming success in the first week, month or even year.

So, why expect that with a side business?

Most people choose the path of least resistance. They do what everybody else does.

But you’re not like everybody else, right?

You don’t wish things to be easier.

Because if they were, everyone would do it, and you don’t want to be like everyone else.

You want to be someone with a genuine shot at life.

So, stop looking for the quick fix.

Positive consistent discipline accumulated over time will bring you all the good things you can possibly imagine.

Just stick to your goals and have patience.

You can get almost anything you want in life, but it always takes a bit longer than you think.

Everyone started somewhere.

You don’t know the story and struggle they had to go through to achieve what they achieved.

Most of the time when we are getting started, we compare ourselves to other people who had an entirely different set of skills and life experiences.

Most people give up right before they are about to make it.

The temptation to give up is the greatest right before you’re about to succeed.

We always want to give up when we are on the verge of a breakthrough; history is full of such examples.

We live in a world where people want instant gratification.

They say, “I’m getting a six pack,” and two days later they give up because they expected to see progress super-fast.

One, dial back the expectation and, two, appreciate the results dedicated work brings.

Life is like a ladder.

If you want to get to the top of the ladder, you have to start at the bottom of it.

Nobody is offering you, for just three easy payments of $99, to go to the top by missing out on the beginning or middle.

Everybody starts at the bottom.

It doesn’t matter if you were born in a wealthy or poor environment; you always start at the bottom in your life.

A lot of people try to jump to the top – and make a crucial error.

Trying to cut out the journey to reach the destination is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

How would you have the experience, confidence and know-how to succeed if you could just magically shoot to the top of a business?

How would you know how to handle the demands without having the experience of handling the smaller problems on the way there?

You know what happens when you try to jump on the ladder?

You slip and fall back to the bottom, and it hurts.

A lot of people never get back up because the pain is too much for them.

Instead, to avoid that pain and hurt, you have to go step by step – and enjoy the process.

Final Thoughts

Many people are “keyboard activists.”

They are good at sending a tweet about how the world should be, but they’re not doing anything about it.

Make sure that your actions are in line with what you say.

If you take a day or two off every Saturday or Sunday for a barbecue with friends, or watch TV for hours every night, playing video games and stuff…you don’t really want it.

You might act like you want it, but in reality, you don’t.

You just have to be real with yourself.

If you always wanted to start a side business, you have to take action.

You don’t have to be accelerating from 0 to 100, but you have to start somewhere.

Have appreciation for the little steps, as they often drive us further than you could have ever imagined.

Instead of looking for shortcuts to cut out the hard work, commit yourself to doing the work that is required and persist.

Oftentimes, it’s the failure that drives us to our greatest successes.

So, now that you know all this, what are you going to do?

It’s really easy to watch motivational videos, sift through the thousands of podcasts that you could potentially listen to, browse through motivational Instagram pages, or read books or articles like this one.

At the end of the day, if you can’t implement any of that stuff, don’t even bother to waste your time, money, and energy consuming it.

You have to grind for what you want.

It’s not as easy as you might think, but it’s worth the effort if you persevere.

If you want your life to change, you have to do the work and implement what you’ve learned.

That’s the only way to make it happen.

The choice is yours.

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