As a side-hustler myself it’s easy to feel “behind." Or maybe, more like you’re not making traction fast enough.
For instance, if you scroll around on Instagram or in Facebook groups you’ll see posts like “I've just had my business for 2 months and I'm already going full-time!" or celebratory posts such as those, which is all well and good but from my perspective can make me feel a little discouraged, if I'm being honest.
What I’ve discovered is, as great as it is to reach your goals quickly, there’s a lot to be gained and learned in slow-moving growth.
I would love to share my experience of slow growth and why I’m learning to embrace this way of thinking.
• Trust over likes
Slow progression is better than overnight success.
We’ve all seen those posts that go viral with 30k views or those pins that have thousands of pins. While this is great for immediate visibility, it may not be the best for long-term success.
I would much rather grow a loyal following over months or even years where people trust me enough to hire me or have return customers rather than get a bunch of followers who like my one thought or one photo who may just be following along because it’s trending.
It’s easy to like but harder to trust; earning trust is a million times better in the long-term.
• All great things take time
It’s true that nothing great happens in a matter of weeks, months or even a couple years.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called "Outliers" where he shares his thoughts that success isn't just about talent, where you were born, how you grew up or anything like that. Success, not only greatness, but excellence requires putting in 10,000 hours to achieve supreme authority in your field.
It’s definitely a read that makes you think and also one that reminds you that good ol' fashion hard work is necessary to reach your goals.
The same is true in business.
Persistence, consistency and diligence are qualities that are not as esteemed in my generation as they should be.
Some call us millennials the microwave generation where we expect to get results fast and now but the truth is reaching big goals may take years to accomplish, not to mention the skills that are developing during that time as well.
• Focus on what you have, not what you will get
It’s easy to fall into the “more” thinking instead of being grateful for where you’re at and what you have.
For instance, when a client books me, sometimes I think, OK one client, I need to more! But it’s important to not push what you have off to the side.
Give the very best client experience to your current clients and you will be sure to grow your client list slowly yet surely.
• Put the hours in
Similar to what Malcolm Gladwell writes about, another author Hugh MacLeod also talks about putting the hours in to achieve goals.
In his book "Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity" he talks about how his blog and cartooning only rose to fame, and he received the recognition he thought his work was capable of achieving, after 10 years of consistently creating.
In the book MacLeod says, "90% of what separates from successful people and failed people is time, effort and stamina."
And I think he's right. Most of the highly successful entrepreneurs and online business owners I know of have not just a couple years, but multiple even dozens of years under their belt of practice, time, and dedication to their craft.
• Don't be discouraged
I'm not sharing these things to discourage you, I know doing something for 10 years sounds like an eternity. But that's why it's good to pace yourself over the long run cause it may take some time for you.
Going full-time doesn't need to be a dramatic, "I hate my job" moment. While some of us hate our jobs more than others, it's good if you can find a way to not burn out, take it in stride, plan accordingly and stay positive.
What this looks like for me is taking on a very limited amount of client work at a time, continuing exercising, spending time with my husband and family, blogging consistently, maintaining a meager social presence and taking a chill pill.
I will get there eventually but I want to enjoy the journey while I do.
Now, I'm not perfect and some weeks are a lot better than others, but I encourage you to take some time for yourself, recharge by doing things that refill you and keep at with with hope and persistence.
I would love to hear if this resonates with you.
What's the hardest thing being a side-hustler for you?
Do you struggle with stamina or thinking long-term?