What follows is my story of creating a business in 66 days. If you would rather listen to this, feel free to listen below.
But first, let me address why this is so difficult for anyone to start a side-hustle business.
As I hope more and more people out with starting businesses, I’m learning that everyone struggles with imposter syndrome. That is the voice in everyone’s head that says things like
You’re not good enough
You don’t have any experience doing that
Why would anyone pay you?
You’re not creative enough
Everyone has that voice. Even famous creators like J.R.R. Tolkien and Thomas Edison struggled with impostor syndrome.
I learned how you can overcome impostor syndrome.
Acknowledge your doubts and hustle daily
The easiest way to acknowledge your imposter syndrome is by writing down your fears as you experience them. You remove fear’s power when you do this.
Before I launched my latest media business, I struggled with whether or not this was a good idea. There was a lot of pressure to succeed. After all, I will be recording myself for 66 days. My hope is for success and bragging rights, whatever I created.
I wrote down my fears about this business idea. As I did, I took away fear’s power to shape into a new fear. Fear changes it’s shape so easily. Fear of failure can easily become the fear of success.
Working in the face of doubt creates confidence. Just like the apprentice practices his trades daily to eventually become a master, so will practicing mean your hustle create confidence within you.
When you acknowledge your fears and daily hustle in spite of those fears, you create the confidence to build a successful business.
Let’s look at what acknowledging my fears and hustling daily did for me.
Here are some of the accomplishments I made over 66 days:
Only after daily action was able to see the pieces coming together.
Here’s a quick scenario of what could have happened had I listened to my imposter syndrome voice (let me know if you relate to this)
Start hustling business daily
Begin to doubt ideas
Not achieve my abstract goals or expectations
Because idea does not gain traction (i.e. interest from others), I slowly begin to not work on the idea as much
I give up on the idea…
Here is what an outline of my action plan to create a successful side-hustle:
Validate business idea
I did this in two ways.
I confirmed that businesses within the chosen niche were spending high dollar amounts on advertising. I checked conferences within my niche and reviewed how much businesses had to pay to exhibit.
The second way I validated my idea was to convince someone to sponsor my show before it launched. This way was nerve-racking. After making dozens of calls to businesses, I convinced one business to sponsor the show.
Without validation, a business idea is a fun way to waste time.
I knew that sponsors will want a large audience in order to sponsor. The majority of my work was spent creating content for my business that would drive traffic to my website and podcast.
On a day-to-day scale, here it’s how I did this while working a full-time job, spending time with family, and operating two other businesses
5:30 AM – organize and delegate content creation and marketing plan to team
6:00 AM – email/Social media outreach to potential sponsors
Once per week (in evenings or on weekends) – record content for podcast
During 30 minute lunch break – cold call potential sponsors
Validation is essential
I learned this from failing so many times.
Here are my failure stories summed up:
I would come up with a “great” idea. Build a website. Create an email list. Create giant document with content ideas and even start a few blog posts. Create systems on how the business will operate. Create five-year Business plan.
I would spend weeks “building the business”, but never validate my idea.
I realize are the quickest and surest way to ensure success is to convince someone to give me money before I invest more time and money.
I’m not Superman
The biggest struggle I had was lack of time.
I mentioned previously how I would try to call sponsors during my lunch break at my day-job. More often than not, I was unable to make calls because I was either too busy at work or mentally exhausted.
I told a fellow business friend about my struggles. He told me “You’re not Superman.” He pointed out that I needed to give that work to someone else.
This is the first time I hired a sales person. I’m still training him now but I believe that working with him will maximize my time and create more sponsorships.
Success involves other people
I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mastermind. If you don’t know what that is, a mastermind is a group of like-minded individuals who meet on a regular basis and challenge one-another to grow.
Without my mastermind groups, I would have never been able to
You need a mastermind. You need a group that is dedicated to your success, even if you don’t believe in yourself. If you’re interested in joining one, you can talk with me! Click here to chat.
The unsexy truth of this article is that it takes discipline, daily hustle, and sacrifice to build a successful side-hustle business. If you are willing to harden yourself against imposter syndrome, you will find success.