It is great to have multiple streams of income through having side hustles. However, side hustles tend to dilute ones brand and put you on a shaky ground – lack of focus!
The multiple streams of income and this hustling thing was communicated to many wrong. Just because you want multiple streams of income it doesn’t mean you should go blindly into it and dismiss the basics of business.
With this post I’m talking to “serial entrepreneurs”, people who grab everything.
I have observed some of the business owners with a workable business model ;
I will do an example with one fictional character (it will resonate with many because lots of people are doing this and they are not aware that the reason they haven’t made money is because they are trying to grab everything in the name of ‘hustling’ and being a ‘serial entrepreneur’)
So our fictional character is David.
David is talented in and passionate about graphic design. He uses latest Apps/Softwares for his artworks and he is really great at what he does. On top of that we all know that graphic design services are important to business owners, every business need identity – so there’s a market.
One moment David is advertising graphic design services, the next moment he’s inviting people to signup for Forex classes, a week later he is talking about selling shoes. Well it’s clear that David is trying to make money – which is great. However, in the process of trying to make money by grabbing at lot of things, he is not only diluting his brand as a graphic designer (and killing his chance at making it big in that area) he is also confusing his social community. They’re getting to a point where they withdraw their attention because today is this and tomorrow is that.
This is my advice to David:
1. Calm down and check yourself
Entrepreneurship is tricky and challenging. And if you are to stay long in business, you need to calm down and ask yourself “what do I really want to accomplish in business?” Of course I’m not dismissing the possibility of David being a survivalist entrepreneur (meaning he’s into business to sustain himself. It is important that he get Rx so that he can buy food)
The tricky thing about being a survivalist entrepreneur is that, it is difficult to filter opportunities and to stay focused because you need to eat. However, if David’s dream is to build a career in the Creative space, he needs to make some tough decisions and cut off other ‘side hustles’ that are bound to dilute the brand he’s trying to build.
2. Practice patience and Believe in yourself
Trying to grab a lot of things is a symptom of lack of patience and lack of believe in either your craft or yourself.
When they say more than 90% new businesses don’t survive the first 3 years – they mean it. It is a fact! So prepare yourself for a dizzy ride for the first 3 years. And the only way to survive is if you practice patience, be consistent and refrain from trying to do lots of things.
Not having a client, not even 1, within the first year happens but keep at it. Don’t lose focus. You can’t be jumping from A to B to Z because A didn’t work out. Go all in. The resources you use to market other ‘side hustles’ invest them in your main!
3. Brand yourself
Branding is about building a relationship with your clients. It is about how you want your potential clients and stakeholders on your supply and value chain perceive you. You get to decide what you want them to say when they think of or see you. You need to architect that – you need to strategically plan that. And this will require you to be focused. Don’t tell them many different stories about who you are. If you want to be a ‘serial entrepreneur’ be strategic about it. Don’t just talk about Design, Forex, and Shoes in the same breath. There has to be some synchronicity.
I hope this helps somebody who wants to build a business/brand that lasts.