8 Mindset Shifts to Build Your Business on the Side

Not everyone is capable of building a business on the side because, let’s be honest — it’s so damn hard. People fail at building a business when they’re working on it full time, so imagine how difficult it is when you’re doing it on the side.

But still, some people are able to crack the code and make it. And they have the same 24 hours as you. Their unfair advantage? They have the right mindset, and they build everything based on that. In today’s post, I want to give you the same thing — the mindset of people who succeed. And to help you apply what I share here, I’ve created a simple cheat sheet.

1. Start with the end in mind, and be clear about it.

The reason I list this first is that 99 percent of the people I see failing don’t do this. As Steven Covey shares in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, you need to start with the end in mind. What do you want to achieve with this side business? Extra cash? Freedom? Travel the world or leave your job?

Go deep into detail on the end result. For example, let’s say you want to generate $200,000 within three years so you can leave your job and travel the world. Remind yourself of it everyday. Place a note on your desk so you know where you’re going.

2. Ship it 90 percent ready.

We all fall into the perfection mistake. We tend to spend a lot of time on the last 10 percent, yet it usually makes no difference to the end result. So what should you do?

Don’t aim for perfection; instead ship it 90 percent ready. Don’t wait till your product is complete or the formatting of the ebook is perfect. Ship it and modify as you go.

3. Time management and productivity is something you will start seeking more often.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” If you have three hours, or less, every day to build your business, you need to know how to get the most out of every minute. That’s why I’ve been seeking productivity and time management advice to help me build my business while studying dentistry. It all clicked when I put together this simple 3-step process that I shared in Entrepreneur magazine.

But I didn’t develop it all in one day. So keep seeking advice to get more done. Don’t forget to grab your checklist to kick start your productivity.

4. Every leisure minute is an opportunity.

It’s not just the hours at the end of your day that you have to get more done. Commute time and breaks are also free time. For me, it’s breaks between lectures, the time I spend moving from one hall to another and the time I spend commuting. What could you do during that time?

Maybe you could read a book, make a business call, listen to a podcast or read popular articles on your topic. Whatever you do, make sure it’s beneficial. Every week, you’ll have additional 10 hours for working without having to compress your schedule.

5. Cut your learning time in half.

We all fall into this trap. You keep hearing that you need to learn about your audience, learn more about productivity, and you keep soaking up information. That’s great, but when will you apply it all?

You can learn about every marketing channel out there, but if you can’t benefit from them, then you’re wasting your time. Your time is limited, and your job is not to learn for the sake of knowledge. Your job is to get stuff done and grow your business. Don’t be in learning mode all the time. Be in action mode 90 percent of the time — more if you can.

6. Don’t forget yourself.

This was a key for me last year. I went through two months of depression when I began last semester. I was completely burned out when the school assignments and homework started to increase at the same time as I was experiencing increased demand from my clients.

I had a week of complete burnout when I didn’t get anything done. Not one single thing. Deadlines were missed, my grades went down, and clients were lost. All from that one damn week. And the reason was because I forgot myself during that period. I was disengaged with my friends and had no free time to do anything.

Don’t forget yourself. Plan small rewards every week, and plan bigger ones for every milestone you achieve.

7. Physical activity is important.

So how did I get out of that burnout funk? One of the best things I did was get back in shape. I don’t go to the gym for the sake of getting extra muscles — but that is a great benefit. The main reason I go is to get the endorphins that I need to help me feel better.

Physical activity is important to recovering from and avoiding depression. Start with a 30-minute walk, and maybe listen to a podcast while you are at it.

This is the main mindset you need to have to grow your business. You’re not just building a side business. You are building a business on the side. If you think of your business as just a side business, you won’t go all-in. But you need to understand that you are, after all, building a real business. You need to be all-in.

You will face obstacles. People will try to get you down. Your job is to focus. It is not an easy task, but when you get there, you’ll be glad you did it. Start taking concrete action on building your business. You’re going to get there!


91 thoughts on “8 Mindset Shifts to Build Your Business on the Side

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