Running a Side Business: Is It For You?

Running a side business can be an awesome way to make extra money, or even to create a completely new career path that eventually turns into your full time job. But running a side business while you work full time can also be challenging. It’s not for everyone.

Is running a side business for you?

So how do you determine if it’s something that will work for you? You’ve got to know yourself, and then give it a try if you think you’ve got what it takes.

Start by asking yourself this: Are you truly all of those things people sometimes pepper their resumes with?

  • a self-starter
  • good with people
  • organized
  • and highly motivated

Those skills are all critical. You’ve got to be good with people (or offering a highly desirable and hard-to-find service) in order to get and keep customers. You’ve got to be organized to stay in business, make a profit, and keep your customers happy. And you’ve absolutely got to be a self-starter because no one else is going to run your business for you.

But the most important skill of all is being highly motivated.

Why motivation matters

Running a side business requires a ton of motivation, simply because you’re doing it on the side.

You’ve got to fit the work into the time when you’re not at your regular job. Note I didn’t say you’ve got to fit it into your spare time — because you won’t have much of that.

There are going to be days when you just want to sleep until a decent hour, go to bed at a regular time, or veg on the couch. It takes a LOT of motivation and willpower to keep on working when you’re tired, frustrated, or would rather be doing almost anything else.

But you’ve got to do your business stuff before you can relax. Try and do it in reverse, and you probably won’t finish the work you need to do.

Support matters too

The kind of support you have at home can also make a huge difference. Having a family that understands why your dream means you’re not as available, and why you haven’t dusted the house in three weeks is an amazing help. Having one who goes even further by pitching in (either with extra work around the house, or in the business itself) is even better.

On the other hand, an unsupportive family can kill your possible side business. If your immediate family is actively against the idea, find out why. They may have valid concerns that you can address. If they’re just generally unsupportive though, you’re going to have a very hard row to hoe unless you can somehow get them behind the idea.

Go for it

If you’ve got the itch and the dream, go for it. Overcome the objections, do the work, keep going through the hard times, pick yourself up and try again if things don’t go your way, and try again.

Although I imagine there ARE a few people, I don’t know anyone who was instantly successful right off the bat. But stay motivated, make the necessary tweaks and adjustments, and you can get there. That first dollar you bring in will be awesome. There’s a reason people frame those things.

So go for it, if you’ve determined that running a side business is for you.

Thinking of starting a side business but don’t have an idea nailed down yet? Check out 101 Ways to Make Extra Money in Your Spare Time.