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For many, a side hustle starts as a hobby. For others, it could’ve been another stream of income, or a long-due passion project just waiting to happen.
No matter the reason why entrepreneurs start their own businesses, there are some who have succeeded in creating a brand that sustain them financially, by turning their side hustles into a full-time job.
How did they do it?
Mouthy Money has spoken to three entrepreneurs who have quit their own full-time, stable jobs to focus solely on their side hustle.
First in our series is Olamide Majekodunmi, a 24-year-old entrepreneur, who started her own side hustle when working full-time for an events company.
After a few months, she reached a point where her side hustle could sustain her lifestyle financially – so she quit her stable job to take a leap into the world of self-employment.
Now, she is the founder of All Things Money, a personal finance platform that teaches young adults how to manage their money effectively, making finance accessible to the younger community.
She says: “It was a little hobby that I did during lockdown to cure my boredom, and then it just started to grow bigger and bigger. I decided to focus solely on my side hustle, so I handed my resignation in February this year. A month ago, I started working self-employed full time.
“I’m very fortunate, I still live at home, so I don’t have huge rent and bills to pay for. One thing that I definitely made sure I had is at least six months’ worth of expenses covered. So, if my business didn’t make any money in the next six months, I knew I could at least cover the cost of living for the next six months.”
Her mission in business was clear from the start. Her friends have always depended on her for financial advice, which made her realise that there isn’t much support for the younger community when it comes to finance.
That’s why she took it upon herself to create an online community that caters to young people, in the search of smart financial decisions.
She says: “I’ve always been quite good with managing money, always had a clear budget and saved my money.
“During the lockdown, when the stock markets crashed, I was at university, and didn’t have spare money to kind of invest, but I still saw an opportunity. I got some of my friends investing.
“And I thought if I can teach my friends how to invest, why not teach others how to do the same? That’s why I kind of created this online platform to kind of help encourage people to do it.”
Olamide’s top tips to having a successful side hustle
‘It’s all about organisation and open-minded sacrifice’
Olamide admits that starting a business and being self-employed comes with more challenges and sacrifices than she expected.
She says: “I think it’s all about organisation, and a lot of sacrifice. For me, I had a lot of late nights, editing a podcast, and creating ideas creating content.
“There’s been times where I eschewed going out my friends. At the very early days of All Things Money, I used to host a workshop for free to get clients on board and add to my roster of the things I’ve done instead. I don’t do free workshops anymore, but it was a great way to network with potential clients at that time.
“It does require a lot of sacrifice. I think that is something people need to if they want to commit their time to it.”
Organisation makes it better for her though. She says it’s very important to treat your business as a 9-5 job, and be disciplined with your time.
That way, you get to enjoy some weekly outgoings with friends, or time well-spent with family. But it does require practice to get that work-life balance once you turn your side hustle into a career.
Have multiple streams of income
Instead of relying solely on the income of your business, Olamide recommends having multiple streams of income.
She says: “I also think it’s important to be open-minded as well in terms of where you’re getting your income. You have to realise, especially when you’re able to have a business, that there isn’t going to be just one revenue stream, you can have many ways to earn income within your business.
“For example, if you have a candle making business, you can also make an eBook for how to make candles. So you can sell that to people, or even an eBook on how to start your own business. Maybe even expand your product range. There’s so much people can do. Don’t stick with just one stream of income. I’ve got five revenue streams with All Things Money.”
‘Just start doing it’
Have you thought about having a side hustle for a very long time? Olamide is convinced that just starting is the most important step in doing something for yourself, and maybe even changing your life entirely. The rest comes naturally.
She says: “My one tip would be to do it. Absolutely do it 100%. Initially I was so scared about creating this Instagram page, I was worried about what people would think about me, what people would say, but if I never did that then I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am right now. I would have met half the people I know now and that is just crazy.
“I feel like once people start with a business, they can easily get tunnel vision and just focus on that. But it’s really important to open up your streams of income, especially with the cost of living going up. You want to kind of get as much money as you can come in.”
Photo by Vanessa Garcia
Dana is a former reporter at Mouthy Money, having previously worked for Times Money Mentor and the BBC.