VII. Set Realistic Goals and Timelines with Your Hustle
At this point, your side hustle is precisely what the label says, you work on it on the side, meaning it’s not your full-time job or your day job. You’re primarily working on your hustle on days when you don’t have regular work or even before/after you go to work. Obviously, your schedule will depend on you and how busy you are at the office.
When you’re just starting out at your side hustle, you need to be realistic with your goals. Sure, you may think your hustle’s got real potential, and you think you can make it grow to earn 10x your salary or something like that.
But, really, do you think you have that much time to devote to your business? Think about it thoroughly, or else you’d end up disappointing yourself big time.
You can aim for ambitious and lofty goals. You can also strive for straightforward goals. Or you can aim for the middle-of-the-road goals, not too hard and not too easy, just right.
When you aim for ambitious goals, you may end up stressing yourself to death. You’ll take on more work than you can handle, you’ll start missing deadlines, you’ll have clients complaining of poor quality work, etc. You don’t want that. When you pressure yourself to achieve something you cannot physically do, then you’re literally killing yourself.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, if you aim for goals that are way too easy for you, then you may end up procrastinating. You’ll think, “I can do that project in one day. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll just go play on my computer today.” So, you end up not doing anything and waste a lot of time in the process.
The right goals would be something that will push you or challenge you to use your time wisely. You’re not going to procrastinate, and at the same time, you’re not going to drive yourself up the wall. This way, you’re highly productive, and you ultimately bring yourself closer to your goals.
Your goal timelines
There are 3 different timelines for goals. When it comes to your side hustles, you can set short-term goals, long-term goals or life goals.
For short-term goals, think of what you want to happen to your side hustle over the next few weeks or months. Ask yourself how much you want to earn in the next month or so, and how you plan to achieve that goal. Having a daily, weekly and monthly to-do list or checklist would be beneficial as well. It will help keep you on track and make sure you stick to what you’ve planned.
For your long-term goals, think of where you want your side hustle to be in say, 1 to 5 years. Do you think you’ll still be working solo? Or do you think your little business will have grown by then and you’ve got a team to help you out? Or do you think you’ll still be employed at your day job?
For your life goals, apparently, this is THE goal. What do you want to achieve with your side hustle? Where do you eventually see yourself several years from now? You’d probably be the CEO of your own company, the one that started from your side hustle. Or maybe your goal is to see your local enterprise become a global one. Whatever your life goal may be, make sure your short-term and long-term goals align with it.
Constantly re-evaluate your goals
Your goals aren’t set in stone. Over time, you may realize that some of your goals may not be feasible. So, you need to adapt and adjust as necessary.
There’s no need to fret if you don’t achieve your goals as planned. Simply re-evaluate your goals and try to come up with something more achievable.
For example, if you find that one of your goals was too difficult or too complicated to achieve within the timeframe you chose, then perhaps you may want to adjust the timeframe or scrap that goal altogether.
No one’s going to tell you off. If you need to change your goals, then so be it. You’re probably just a one-person show at this point in your side hustle journey. There’s no need to be so hard on yourself.
Enjoying the process and the journey is essential. You have a big goal you want to achieve someday. You’re not going to be able to do that if you criticize yourself every time you make a wrong move. Learn from your mistakes and your failures. It’s the only way you’re going to grow as a hustler, as an entrepreneur, and as a person.