These days, many articles explain how people must have a side hustle and create multiple income sources. Unfortunately, one significant disadvantage of this media is that it does not successfully demonstrate how to build such a side hustle. It does not list the disadvantages and sacrifices coming with having such. And finally, it does not explain how to create a team working on that side hustle. This part will address these challenges and describe how our hypothetical team can resolve them.
But let’s start with listing the main disadvantages of having a side hustle:
- Time-consuming – If the team wants to have a successful spell working on the hustle, each member must allocate a minimum of ten hours per week. Suppose you try combining it with having a family. In that case, things could become quite hairy because people start balancing between their family and their side hustle, which often leads to disaster.
- Distraction – Having a side hustle could affect people’s primary income source because they spend the dedicated weekly amount of time working instead of resting. Such a way of work requires motivation and internal drive in the long term.
- Could be expensive – By default, the main expenditure for every Start-Up is its marketing. And to generate an income, every company needs marketing. It does not matter whether it is a fully-fledged organization or just a side hustle. Without marketing, there is no money coming. And yeah, marketing could be costly.
- Not perceived as serious – One of the main problems with side hustles is that customers do not perceive them as a serious endeavor. And unfortunately, such prejudice is often correct – nowadays, customers expect organizations to have excellent support in addition to the products and services offered. Dedicating around ten hours per week for the side hustle is usually not enough to cover all the product development aspects and product support.
After listing all the most critical disadvantages, let’s see how our hypothetical team can overcome them. The mandatory requirement for a moderately successful side hustle is to have at least ten hours per team member per week. In real life, if one of the team members can not dedicate such an amount of time per week, the setup becomes fragile, and there is a high chance of disaster. Having this prerequisite fulfilled, our fictional group could use the following mechanisms to improve their efficiency:
- Meetings every two weeks – The standard agile workflow dictates having synchronization meetings at least twice per week. However, in our situation, the amount of time dedicated per week is four times less, which logically dictates that having four times fewer meetings will keep the team in good shape and, at the same time, will keep the work tempo high.
- Have a single decision-maker – With teams of less than seven people (the maximum number of people participating in a side hustle), the most efficient team structure is flat. Such form speeds up dramatically the decision-making process and makes sure that the team is not stuck in endless discussions and arguments.
- Make the expectations clear – With so few hours per week, there is no space for flexibility. From the beginning to the end, the team must know their priorities and what they could expect from this side hustle. Any change in these priorities will lead to a lack of focus and decreased level of motivation.
- Have fun – Too many people take too seriously their side hustles. They genuinely believe that they could scale their hustle to a multi-billion company with many employees and branch offices. Unfortunately, in reality, the main advantage of doing a side hustle is learning new skills and investing your time in something meaningful. Earning money for 99% of these endeavors is a chimera, especially if the team members do not have the proper background and experience in starting up new products or companies.
We shall have three back-end devs, one front-end/designer, and one dev-ops member in our hypothetical team. They will dedicate ten hours per week to the project, and one of the back-ends will be the squad leader. Every two weeks, they will have a two-hour call to discuss the current status and decide what they will do next. Additionally, they will use Slack, Github, and GSuite for synchronization.
In conclusion, I would emphasize taking the upper statements with a grain of salt. They helped me in my previous experiences. I have used side hustles from an early age to keep myself in shape and learn new skills. For example, I took my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and worked full time simultaneously. However, such dynamics will take their toll on most people quickly and could even lead to burnout or diseases. Given that, I would advise you to choose your teammates carefully – not everyone is “crazy” enough to live such a lifestyle.