Starting a Side Hustle


I have another business blog and this one is about starting a side hustle. Since I started mine, I’ve received a few questions and thought I’d share my experiences. Specifically surrounding what to do to find clients and how to manage all the new responsibilities. Now, before I give any advice, I will say this – I had zero clue what I was doing when I first started. But I started anyway and learned a lot along the way.

When I started The Mindful Virtual Assistant over a year ago, I did know a few things, though…

  • I knew I had skills and services that business owners would want.
  • I knew I was organized and could run a business smoothly.
  • I knew I had the know-how to run a business after years of watching others.
  • I knew I had the resources in place to help me along the way.

I didn’t really know anything else but I learned quickly. So let’s start with the first one…

Finding clients when starting a side hustle

Facebook Groups

I was clueless about where I would find clients. So I did the first thing that most people would – join a free Facebook group. It sounds silly, but finding groups specific to my business niche was helpful because I learned so much. I joined groups local to me that surrounded people in business. These were both networking groups and groups offering assistance to those in business. These were perfect because when I saw someone asking for advice on finding an assistant, I commented to share what I was doing.

I also joined a paid Facebook group specific to my industry – those in the virtual assistant and digital marketing assistant space. Even though I didn’t necessarily have the extra funds, I knew it would pay off in the long run. This group ended up being such a valuable resource because there were so many others in the group that had been working in the industry and were willing to share their knowledge. Even better, there was three to five job opportunities in the group every day. Yes… Every single day!

Improve my skill set

Joining these groups wasn’t enough, though. I had to improve the skills I had and learn new ones. Since I had started my business during the time when many were working from home, I took advantage of the virtual conferences, webinars and trainings that were available. Both free and paid. I became a sponge and attended anything I was interested in. When my skill set became stronger, I became even more available for client opportunities.

Tell it to the world

The last thing I did was tell everyone. Literally everyone. Even those who didn’t understand what I was doing or why. This I consider to be the most important act. If people didn’t know what I was doing, they wouldn’t be able to share my journey and refer clients to me. So I injected it into every conversation. Every time I was asked “What are you doing these days?” I mentioned my new venture.

Managing the work

Honestly wasn’t sure if I would be able to manage everything. Working 9-3, Monday through Friday, and working a side hustle is hard but it is worth it. Here’s how I did it.

Write down everything

I use my Agendio planner every day to record my meetings and my task list, in addition to a few other things. It’s a customizable planner that has worked wonders for me. I carry it with me everywhere and use it to maintain my running task list. Even if you think you’re not the type of person to have a planner, trust me, it will help tremendously.

Block off your time

In my planner, I’ll block off time so I know what I’m working on. You can block your time off based on the task you’re working on or the client you’re doing work for. I’ve used both methods and either works great. It’s just personal preference. Some weeks, I set out my schedule so I’m working on specific clients on specific days. Other weeks, I set out my schedule based on the tasks I’m performing.

Learn to set boundaries

This one was hard for me… Still is. I like to say I’m a recovering people pleaser. Being that way has made me a “Yes Woman” where it’s rare that I say no. To anyone for anything. I’m getting better, promise. If you take anything away from this, please let it be this – do not allow yourself to not have boundaries. Instead, set parameters on your time. Now I have a request rule for clients where they must submit work effort requests at a minimum of 24 hours in advance. This allows me time to focus and strategize how I’m going to work on that task.

Along with that, ask for deadlines. If there isn’t one, I ask because I need to make sure the work I do revolves around my schedule, not the other way around. If a timeline is provided that doesn’t work, say so. There’s no harm in being honest every step of the way.

So here’s my challenge to you… If you’re thinking of starting something, go for it! Don’t allow fear to hold you back. And if you’re feeling fear, push through it. Trying new things will only help you develop skills you may never know you even had. With each step you take, you’ll make mistakes, you’ll learn from them and you’ll ultimately grow leaps and bounds.

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