It’s 2019 and you have promised yourself that although 2018 was not your year and it kicked you in the guts one too many times, this year “we go buy Benz”. If you are thinking about starting or already have a side hustle going, this series is for you. The goal is simple, here you learn the ropes for navigating starting and growing a side hustle in Africa.
You’d have noticed I used the term Side Hustle not a business, it’s deliberate and the reason is this. One, It’s more than likely not your primary income activity. Two, the urban dictionary defines Hustle as “To have the courage, confidence, self-belief, and self-determination to go out there and work it out until you find the opportunities you want in life” which is exactly what you’d be doing.
This leads me to my first idea to demystify. A Side Hustle is different from running a business. A business has structure and process, a side hustle is more fluid. As exciting and trendy as it istoday to have ‘comma’ C.E.O at the back of your name, that is not what makes a Side Hustle successful. You are a Hustler, not a business owner yet. Live it. Breathe it.
The second myth to debunk about running a side hustle is that it is any easier than a 9-5. If you are looking for a place to rest your back and relax your nerves while making easy money. I am excited to be the bearer of Bad news, you played yourself. To succeed at your hustle, you have to put in the work, server your time and pay your dues. HBR estimates that Home Business Owners (a white version of Hustlers in Africa) spend an average of 8-12 hours daily in research and development of their business. Post Script: These hours are unpaid labor, so maybe your 9- 5 isn’t so bad after all cause that alert must show on the 30th.
Not everyone can hustle, that’s not true. Every case is unique, but a successful hustle requires three key ingredients; Talent, Work Ethics & Marketing. Some people know how to do all three well, so they excel as a solo act, others need the right partnerships to make their hustle work. What is Talent? Simply, talent is anything you can do better than others. Anything. Work Ethics. This is the typical Nigerian story of the tailor that knows how to sow but disappoints. Once the talent is there, a good work ethic ensures that consistency can be achieved on a good product or service. Marketing. As the great philosopher once said “if real talent still needs promo” – Falz the Bahd Guy. Marketing is not advertising. Marketing is persuading someone to take action.
9-5 is not the enemy. I hear a lot of “entrepreneurs” criticize 9-5 job workers and I realized a lot of the folks in this category are narrow-minded because they usually are entrepreneurs who have never worked a corporate job in their lives. Entrepreneurs who pivoted from a corporate job would tell you that a Business or Side Hustle is not the opposite of a Corporate Job, in fact, it is a potential Corporation in its infancy. Except they have tied your sense to a calabash in your home town, when starting a side hustle, you envision that it grows to become an organization that hires people to work the same 9-5 hours that you are hell-bent on being against. Having a side hustle as opposed to being part of a corporation affords you the flexibility and human element most big Corporations lack. If you feel a Side Hustle is the opposite of a 9-5, maybe you are not ready.
Now that we have taken a few misconceptions out of the way if you are still ready to buy that Benz, join me and a host of Hustlers and now Business Owners to create relevant content and answer questions on How to Start a Side Hustle in Africa.
This week’s activity is “Are you willing to buy the Benz in 2019?” Write down three areas in which you are better than other people and how you can turn this into a business. Also, if you would like personalized review and follow-up on your write-up. Send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
See you in the next episode!