We all know that a job for life is so last century, but how do you make the transition to become your own boss whilst still working in your 9-5?

  1. Secure your business name everywhere: The name of your business is one of the most important things. Choose wisely and make sure it’s available everywhere, i.e. as a dot.com, .co.uk, .org. Secure social media handles from twitter, facebook, instagram etc.  Don’t forget your LinkedIn because it’s your professional face.  These promote your business for pennies in the dollar.
  2. Research/find competition:  Check out who is doing similar things to you?  What are their price points?  Are they exclusive? Is their product able to be upgraded, downgraded for your specific market? How can you set yourself as a brand worthy of note?
  3. Gap in the market:  There is always a gap that needs to be filled one way or the other because one size never fits all. If you have a service that is targeted at fresh graduates, there is a likelihood those in middle management might want a refined version too and might be able to pay more because their earning power would have improved over time.
  4. Test is out with a soft-launch: Don’t go full frontal too early.  It’s advisable to do a soft launch with a few good people first, see how they like it and tweak before you go live.  There will also be more changes ahead as business grows.
  5. Logo/design/card: These are the signposts to your brand and must be taken seriously.  A great design with a good back story will help connect more with your customers. Take your business card everywhere with you. You don’t know who you will meet in the milk aisle whilst doing your grocery shopping.

  6.  Tell everyone: Yes, tell everyone who wants to listen and let them know that you are open for business, even if on a part-time basis. If still doing your 9-5, make sure that it’s legit with your employers otherwise you run the risk of being out of a job before you are ready to fly solo
  7.  Your Network is your Net-worth: Network like it’s going out of fashion. The people around you when you begin this journey will be very important.  Join groups, online and in person.  Put yourself about in the best possible way because you cannot afford to be the best kept secret in town.

  8.  NO is never the final answer.  Think of the long game. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Unless you win the lottery, you will not make your millions overnight.  That said, work hard and keep your nose to the ground.  When doors are closed in you face, that’s when you find a window to get in and ask again. Your tenacity in believing in your offering will reap rewards eventually.
  9.  Follow the leader:  The leading brand is at the top because they are doing something right. Follow them like a hawk and soak as much as you can as you grow your brand.  A word of caution — don’t just copy – rather emulate with your own twist in order to stand out and be 100% authentic.

Now that you have your side-hustle tips, you can start dreaming about falling in love with your boss all over again, and that boss will be you, right?  Until next time, here’s to you and your dreams!

About the Author:

Sassy, spirited and inspirational is the multi-award winning brand called Lily Naadu Mensah! She’s an internationally savvy personal brand connoisseur with a flair for creating a professional and endearing presence online, in person and on paper. Her consulting and speaking practice spans over 20 years across USA, Africa and Europe. In her toolbox, Lily presents a collection of options for a 360 degree view of Brand-You. These are designed to increase visibility for personal and professional growth. Lily is author of the Personal Branding book “Work Your QUIRKs”. More about Lily and her work from http://www.lilymensah.com or grab a copy of her book from Amazon.