How to start a side hustle

Google ideas 2021 (pic by Lalo Hernandez) as the starting point for a side hustle

A side hustle is defined as an activity that adds income to an existing income stream. Nic Haralambous, start-up entrepreneur, author and speaker, provided this loose definition speaking at an entrepreneurs webinar hosted by Hirsch’s.

“Ideas are worthless but execution is a million dollar business,” he said. “You  can Google ‘side hustle ideas 2021’ and get thousands of ideas. Talk to different people to get different ideas. Look for ideas in things that happen in the day for example, where are bins needed, a place to put down a glass? Talk about your idea, let the idea out into the world to see if it can fit.

He said humans undervalued their capabilities and that writing a list of personal attributes could be a place to start. “Start by just starting. For example, I hate exercise but I put on my gym clothes which has me in the right frame of mind to train. There is no present like time.”

He said a side hustle should be approached with a short-, medium- and long-term view. “You just need one sale. Start with friends, family and fools. If they love you they will support you. Do not discount your first sale.”

He said it was important to find a niche. “Who exactly is your customer? Niche means specific not small,” he said. “Be specific – talk to these people.” He said sales and marketing was a numbers game and should include making  10 calls a day and offering free gigs.”

Side hustle fears

Haralambous outlined reasons why people delayed starting a side hustle as fear of failure, no money, no time, not knowing where to start and not having an idea.  

Self care

“Having time is a matter of priority. If everything is a priority; nothing is a priority.” He recommended a priority audit by writing down everything you do each hour for a week. “Watching Netflix for hours is not helpful and does not contribute to your growth.”

“Anxiety and stress are killers.” However, he said traumatic experiences could have positive outcomes and that people who experienced post traumatic growth also reported better sales after the trauma. He said it was part of building a better mindset.

Self-care was not selfish, he said. “If you are empty you can help no-one.” Putting yourself at the bottom of your priority list was terrible, he said. “When you do this you are not good to be around.”

He also said health was important. “Get more sleep and a better quality of sleep. Bragging that you worked till 3a.m. means you were not doing good work.”


Commenting on diet he said we should eat less processed food and more natural produce. Also exercise. “Exercise is scientifically proven to help you work better,” he said.

He recommended the Nike story (Shoe Dog) by Phil Knight, an 8-year side hustle. “Build a life that supports the business. You need a slow build-up to be sustainable. Be slow, consistent and intentional and integrate the side hustle into your life.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


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