My brother was the one who introduced me to the idea of getting into “side hustles.”
It started by him recommending that I read the book The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. It’s basically the Bible of lifestyle design.
If you haven’t read it and you’re thinking about getting into entrepreneurship, side hustles, or jumping into a startup head on, check out that book.
The big thing I took away from it was that in today's world you can hire people to do things for you quite easily. The internet connects us to so many experts out there, and it’s just a few keystrokes away.
If you have an idea, just go for it. Go online to a hiring marketplace, and just hire people and see what happens.
Product design, packaging, marketing and advertising, website—it’s all stuff you can hire out. And for the things that you don’t want to hire out, you can find free resources online to teach you how to do things yourself.
But still remind yourself: it’s okay to hire out. You aren’t perfect. Hire someone else to do the logo. Don’t learn HTML to code your own website, use a platform like Wix or Wordpress or Squarespace. I use Shopify for mine.
The first deck I made had grammatical errors (we’ve since fixed them), the printing on the box was off, and the size of the packaging was horribly unwieldy. That’s alright, because pushing forward is more important.
Be objective; be critical, then adjust and keep pushing forward with your dream. If you find yourself too married to your product, find someone you trust to look at it objectively for you.
Have them brutally critique what you have made.
It is better to have a friend destroy you before your product launches than for a customer to have those criticisms because they have a bad experience with your product.
Lastly, know when to go all in.
Many of us are risk adverse. That’s alright. You don’t need to spend your life’s saving to start a business.
The trick is to figure out how to maintain it as a side hustle until you’re ready to make the leap.
That’s what I’m in the process of doing right now. I’m leaving Active Duty and I’m going for it.
The card decks pull in enough to pay for a small mortgage and that’s with me dedicating an hour or two a day at this and some long weekends.
I think it’s doable.
The only way to find out is to go for it.
Share my journey and share this article if it’s helped you out in any way. Tag a friend who’s thinking about making the leap!
My latest product is a West Point trivia card deck. Buy it from my site or Amazon to help support Army Flashcards.