Taking the Hustle Out of Side Hustle

How many times have you heard the phrase “side hustle”?  I don’t have any problem with the concept and know that lots of times businesses need to start on the “side” while people work other jobs or take care of their families.

No, my problem is with the word “hustle” and not only how it applies to part-time gigs. It’s not a great way to live when it’s also your “main hustle.”

When I first started my coaching business. I did it all wrong because I truly believed in the hustle. If I just kept hitting the pavement, engaged in non-stop cold calling and worked hard all day and into the night, then eventually it would all come together and lead to success.  

Unfortunately, that was the formula for hustling my way into burnout and eventually bust. I’ve seen so many other coaches, consultants, and freelancers do the same thing: hustling ourselves right into a lack of joy in our business and, sometimes, right into no business at all.

After two failures, I still had a strong desire to have my own business, so I launched again. This time, however, I flipped the script. I was done with hustle, striving, and burnout. And guess what? My business succeeded.

How did I do It? I’d like to share with you three steps you can implement to INTENTIONALLY create your own thriving coaching, consulting, or freelance business. These steps are essential if you want to create and build a business that doesn’t suck the life out of you, but rather sets you up on a SUSTAINABLE foundation for growth.

Step #1: Trust Yourself

Connect to your own inner guidance rather than constantly searching outside of yourself for answers.  Too many people ask others what they should do and how they should do it. They move along doing all the activities they see others doing and think they should do the same.

I certainly fell into that trap — not trusting myself or my own power to create what I was uniquely qualified to do. It was an attitude that only exacerbated my doubt and burnout, like being on someone else’s hamster wheel completely disconnected from the path to a thriving successful business.

Recently, I asked a colleague the deciding factors that made a huge shift in his business. He gave me three reasons: (1) focusing on what brings him joy; (2) being present; and (3) paying attention to his inner promptings rather than striving to win.  He described it as his “power source.”

I recognized his approach as what I teach about connecting to your inner coach. We are so consumed with input from the media, to-do lists, and packed calendars that we sever our connection to self, leading to a lack of confidence and trust that we actually have our own answers. The key is paying attention and always seeking the guidance of your inner coach.

Step #2: Identify your CORE Values

It is important to have a framework that aligns the type of activities, customers, and experiences you bring or do not bring into your business. our business core values must be closely aligned with your personal values, otherwise you will be compromising who you are. Over time, your business will burn you out, and you will not get the results you desire.

In my first two businesses, I sacrificed so much of who I was at my core.  That left me depleted, burned out, and hating my business. In contrast, if you start with your core values and do not compromise on them, you end up using them to inform all decisions. This leads to success and happiness.

Step #3:  Identify your unique gift to the world.

There is something that sets you apart from the crowd and has you working in your zone of genius. It provides value that only you can deliver.

Identifying your unique gift is the key to delivering an offer that provides results for both your clients and your business; energizes rather than depletes you, and is completely in your wheelhouse.  It takes internal and external investigating to uncover what brings you joy and resonates with your soul; what people say you do for them; and where your strengths lie.

Your unique gift to the world is a win-win for all. It eliminates the struggle and strife, and instead fulfills you and brings joy.

Can you see how these steps provide you with a foundation to build a business that fulfills rather than depletes you?  Can you imagine what it would be like if you had a thriving business that gave you energy, joy, and time for all the things that are important to you?