Got a side hustle? You're not alone. Around a quarter of Brits, a third of New Zealanders, and nearly half of Australians and Americans over 18 reportedly have a side hustle in addition to a full-time job.
With such a large portion of adults starting a side gig while maintaining their 9-5, some may believe that side hustles are an easy way to make extra cash.
But considering that you're here reading this, it probably means you know that having a side hustle takes time and energy and requires consistent motivation to succeed.
We’ll teach you exactly how to do just that in this article.
This article highlights the three best side hustles for passive income. It outlines common problems people face when starting a side hustle. And it shows you 11 ways to stay motivated in your side hustle while working a 9-5.
Why do people start a side hustle?
Why do people start a side hustle in the first place? There could be many reasons you've begun yours, but four main reasons tend to be the driving factor in why people start a side hustle. These are:
- More income for living expenses
- More income for leisure expenses
- Boost their savings
- Pay debts off faster
With increasing inflation, you may be feeling the pinch in your wallet. Or maybe you have your eye on that new Tesla? A side hustle is a fantastic solution.
But it's not just financial reasons that people start a side hustle. Side hustles can be a means to upskill, learn a new skill, or test a business idea.
And while your 9-5 may pay most of the bills and give you a living wage, it's unlikely that it also fulfills your passion. A study from The Hustle found that only half of all people "love" their job, but 76% love their side hustle.
The best side hustles for passive income
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of possible side hustles you could start. The sky's the limit with the accessibility to information and our capabilities to work remotely.
But not all side hustles are created equal.
Some side hustles require you to physically do the work, such as freelance writing, mowing lawns, or starting a crafting business. These kinds of side hustles typically have a ceiling, meaning you can only earn as much as you can do.
On the flip side, some side hustles allow you to keep making more money while doing less work, eventually becoming a passive income. This means you earn money, even if you're not physically working on the business.
A passive income side hustle sounds ideal if you're already working 9-5.
These are three of the best side hustles for passive income:
Investing used to be something that most of us left up to the professionals. But in today's digital age, it's becoming more mainstream for everyday people to become an investor.
One of the easiest ways to invest is to open a high-yield savings account, although it doesn't give you a considerable return. More lucrative ways to invest would be to try the stock market, cryptocurrency, or real estate.
The downside to investing is that you need funds to invest. And if you're on a tighter budget, this may not be the best pathway for you—just yet.
Airbnb is an excellent source of passive income. Short-term rentals can be a lucrative side business opportunity if you have a spare bedroom or are lucky enough to own vacant property.
The downside to AirBnB is that you need a space to rent out. And, let's be honest here, not everyone has that luxury.
eCommerce has become one of the best side hustles for passive income. And these days, you can find many options for eCommerce sites that are inexpensive and simple to set up, such as Shopify.
Once your store is up and running, you have the potential to make money on autopilot.
There are two business models for an eCommerce store:
- Buying wholesale and reselling at retail
- Dropshipping products
Buying wholesale and selling at retail means you invest money into purchasing the products. Three downsides to this kind of eCommerce model are that you:
- Have to buy the products you want to sell in your online store, which can be expensive.
- Need space to store the inventory.
- Need to invest in and organize the packaging and shipping of those products to the customer.
Dropshipping is where you set up an online store with products, but you don't need to buy the products. When a customer buys from your online store, the supplier receives the order and ships it directly to your customer.
Payments then get split between you and the supplier. You don't need to worry about storing or shipping inventory, and it can quickly become a passive income stream in no time.
But don't get ahead of yourself just yet. A passive income may be your ultimate goal, but it will take some hard yards and consistency to get there.
11 ways to stay motivated on your side hustle
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, side hustles are typically not easy to start and maintain. It takes time, energy, and consistency. But when you're already working 9-5 (or longer) for five or six days a week, finding the motivation to keep hustling after hours can be arduous.
So how do you stay motivated day in and day out? Here are 11 ways to help you stay motivated with your side hustle:
1. Set mini milestones
We all need goals in life. Your side hustle is no different. Short and long-term goals will give you something to aim for and keep you motivated.
An excellent way to set yourself goals for your side hustle would be to create mini-milestones weekly that you need to meet. Let's use dropshipping as an example.
There are dozens of things you need to research and set up before you can launch your dropshipping store. These include things like:
- Market research
- Finding suppliers
- Choosing an eCommerce platform
- Building your storefront
- Choosing a business structure
And the list goes on.
First, create a complete checklist of everything required to get your store up and running. You can then develop weekly milestones and monthly goals to stay on track.
Creating smaller and regular short-term milestones work great as they seem more attainable and aren't so overwhelming as big goals. These small achievements and victories will keep you motivated as you successfully progress with your side business.
2. Develop a mindset for success based on 3 principles
Your mind can be very persuasive. It can convince you that you feel unwell when you're as healthy as a horse. It can make you think you're not good enough for that promotion. And it can keep you from achieving your goals if you allow it to distract you from them.
Develop a mindset for success, which includes:
- Knowing your why
- Taking action
Self-belief is the basis of success. This doesn’t mean having a false sense of ego. But having a plan, visualizing what it feels like to be successful, and then setting small milestones you can easily reach will keep you motivated and moving forward on your journey to side hustle success.
Shift your mindset so your side hustle becomes your priority. Once you get your head in the game, it's game on.
3. Be super specific with scheduling
It's no surprise that having a schedule can help with your motivation. It's similar to having goals. You can become more productive and motivated to get things done when you know you have set hours to devote to your side hustle.
A great way to set a schedule that you stick to is to:
- Write down everything you do in a day
- Identify your priorities
- Decide how long you need for each task
- Create a daily or weekly schedule
- Set timers or alarms to stay on track
Writing down everything you do in a day may seem counterproductive. But having your routine down on paper helps with your planning.
Things like waking up, having breakfast, going to the gym, showering, going to work, taking lunch, eating dinner, and going to bed are all routine things in a person's schedule. These can be done at the same time every day.
If you commute to and from work on a train, there's a consistent daily opportunity to work on your side hustle. Add that to your schedule.
You may find that when you get home from your 9-5, you lose motivation to work on your side hustle, or get distracted by family or television. So instead of going home after working all day, change your schedule and go to a café or library.
Set timers or alarms while you work so you don’t get sidetracked.
Integrating your side hustle into your daily schedule becomes easier when you have everything written down. And when you have everything laid out before you, staying motivated with your side hustle is much easier to manage.
4. Remove distractions
Building a side hustle on the side of your 9-5 is already a big enough challenge. But when distractions are everywhere, it's hard not to lose motivation, productivity, and procrastinate.
To hack this, remove distractions while working on your side gig. Leave your phone in another room; leave the TV off; lock the door; and clear your desk so it's just your computer, a pen, and some note-taking paper.
Or, as mentioned in the previous section, don't go home. Work in café or library. Or find a place where you can work uninterrupted, where you are motivated and focused.
Read more on how to hack your productivity.
5. Find a community of side hustlers
Starting a side hustle can be a lonely journey if you do it solo. But, as mentioned earlier, quite a large percentage of adults have started a side hustle, so you're certainly not alone.
Join side hustle communities, such as Facebook Groups, and find like-minded side hustlers like yourself. Reasons why you should join a side hustle community:
- To share your experiences and learn from one another.
- To brainstorm, bounce ideas, and get advice.
- To make friends who are going through similar things.
- To stay up-to-date on industry news, tools, and information.
- To stay in-the-loop with events.
- To feel less alone.
- To stay motivated.
There’s really no downside to joining a community. And if you need a little extra motivation, hear what these business entrepreneurs and leaders have to say.
6. Make it an easy habit
It takes, on average, 66 days of doing something consistently for it to become a habit. Working on your side business is no different.
Five ways to make side hustling a habit are to:
- Stick to your schedule
- Be consistent
- Be present
- Make it easy
- Reward yourself
Your schedule is the holy grail of your success. It's a blueprint plan to follow daily to ensure you reach your goals.
Consistency creates habit. The more you do something consistently, the more it'll stick. Perhaps you are setting up your laptop with a cup of tea, notepad, and pen with your favorite playlist playing in the background.
It can mean that you do things at the same time every day. So as soon as you finish brushing your teeth, you grab a glass of water, log on to your computer and settle in for a few hours when the kids are asleep.
Being in the present moment is how you retain information and memories. Working a side hustle is exhausting, and you can become easily distracted when you're tired. If your mind wanders, take a break and reset.
Make it easy. If setting up your laptop and workstation demotivates you to work on your side hustle, find a way to keep it set up at all times so you can quickly transition into side hustle work mode. Make side hustling easy to follow through with, so you have no excuses not to do it.
Rewarding yourself when you reach milestones will reinforce your self-belief and motivate you. And when you incentivize your hard work, it inadvertently builds that habit muscle. Create a schedule that allows you to work on your side gig daily. Stick to it religiously, and you'll have made a habit after two months.
7. Take advantage of tools to be more efficient
Side hustling takes up a lot of your time and energy that you don't always have. One of the easiest ways to free up your time is to invest in specific tools that can automate or alleviate some of your workloads.
Using the example from the first point, if you're starting an eCommerce company, whether it be wholesaling or dropshipping, you'd need to spend time on market research and finding suppliers.
Instead of wasting hours on this, you could invest in the SaleHoo Directory, which takes all the work out of finding dropshipping suppliers. More than 8,000 suppliers and over 2.5 million products are in the directory. It gives you the freedom to source high-quality products from trustworthy suppliers.
You can also use automation in various applications to improve your productivity and motivation, like SaleHoo Dropship. This product locates and adds high-profit products to your Shopify store with one click, saving you time and making you money a lot faster.
To stay motivated with your side hustle, work smarter, not harder.
8. Outsource tasks that you’re too busy for
Another way to get time back on your side is to outsource some of the tasks. Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be a brilliant investment in your business, as they can help you with all the tasks you need help with.
Or perhaps there are areas of your business that are not your strong suit. If you're not tech-savvy, you might want to hire a web designer or developer to create your online store.
Don't be afraid to outsource. Investing in help will free up some of your time and take tasks you don't enjoy or can't do well off your plate, which will keep you motivated.
9. Don’t let perfectionism create procrastination
Your side hustle is your baby. You've worked hard for this, so it has to be perfect before you launch, right? Wrong.
Perfectionism kills motivation and harbors procrastination. So get comfortable with the idea that it doesn't have to be perfect to launch so that you can continue to move forward with your side hustle.
It will never be ready, and it will never be perfect. So launch that business already, because done is better than perfect.
10. Keep your eye on the prize
Can you imagine how it will feel when your side hustle succeeds? You could be debt-free and finally have that honeymoon. You could even quit your 9-5.
Create a vision board to motivate you. You can use a free app like Canva to create a canvas for your desktop screensaver. Find images from your life, Google images, and Pinterest that motivate you, and make a collage of everything you want to achieve from your side hustle.
Doing an activity like this can help you stay focused and motivated to achieve the end goal. Keep your eye on that prize, and you'll make it.
11. Take time off to prevent burnout
Perhaps taking time off seems counterintuitive. But taking time to recharge, especially when you're burning the candle at both ends, is critical to your mental health and wellness.
Several telltale signs that you're pushing yourself too hard are when you experience:
- High Anxiety
- Chronic fatigue
- Moodiness and irritability
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Excessive use of substances (i.e., alcohol, drugs)
If you're experiencing one, or more of these symptoms at any stage, you may need professional help. Or you may just need to take some time off from working so hard.
You're in workaholic mode when you're hustling on the side of a full-time gig. And you may feel guilty about taking time off. But to be your best and to work effectively and efficiently, you need to be mentally and emotionally sound.
Instead of waiting until you're at the tipping point, or experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, take shorter, more regular breaks. This will help you maintain your mental health while you're on your side hustle journey.
Remember, a side hustle is a marathon, not a sprint.
Staying motivated with your side hustle
Starting a side hustle can be one of the most stressful but rewarding things you can do in your spare time. And there's a good reason why almost half of all adults are doing it.
To stay motivated while building your empire, remember to have goals, use tools, and keep your eye on that prize.
To learn how to build a successful dropshipping store or start making money on platforms like Amazon and eBay, check out SaleHoo Educate's online courses and resources. If you have questions about eCommerce or starting a side hustle, you can reach out to our expert eCommerce support staff right here.