As we can tell you first-hand, starting any new venture is really hard! If you are still working a full-time job, starting something requires you to forego a lot of the usual after-work activities and hobbies to make it happen.
And if you are doing a
startup full-time, you are still facing a ton of work and time pressure to get
it to a point where it is viable and valuable. In either case, you’ll be
balancing some mix of product design, product development, marketing, sales,
operations, customer support, and more.
You want to be an entrepreneur. You have an idea, but not enough time. How do you make it go from zero to reality?
Look around, and you can always find hot tips about how to take your idea for a supplemental income from zero to reality in a fewquicksteps. We’re going to share a dirty little secret: that stuff is click-bait – that’s not how the world works.
Yes, many of those pieces contain some good info. But they are
also designed to sell you an idea you really want to buy. Namely: that a few
quick secret shortcuts will have you raking in the dough and living on the
beach in no time.
Here’s our alternative hypothesis: steady and consistent progress
is the best path to achieving success with your side hustle. That’s not a sexy
answer, but it’s the most likely way for you to succeed.
Develop a System
The key to consistent progress anywhere is to have a system in
place and making your side-hustle happen is no exception. Consider one of the
following plans that one of our users shared with us:
Plan work for the week (done weekly, reminder on Sunday at 7pm)
Do a 2-hour deep dive on key issue (goal: do once per week)
Reach out to 5 sales/partnership leads each week
Do at least 5 hours of development work each week
Ensure work inbox is clear (done daily, reminder at 10pm each day)
With this setup, the user needs to track 2 numeric metrics (# of leads reached, and hours of dev work) along with checking off three habits (planning the week, clearing the inbox, and doing a deep dive).
Of note – one good think our entrepreneur is doing here is focusing on the inputs (tactics, as we’d call them). While tracking sales and customer growth is great (and can be done in WeAchieve as well), the inputs are immediately controllable and impossible to create excuses for. It’s easy to rationalize why you didn’t get any new customers in a given week, but there’s no excuse for not reaching out to five of them.
Why Tracking Matters
Tracking this may seem like unnecessary overhead. Why not just do all this is a common refrain you’ll hear. But the reality is that humans are pretty good at cheating. Without cold, hard, numbers to track your progress, it’ll be easy to excuse missing the deep dive one week because you are grabbing a couple beers with a friend. It’ll be easy to excuse waiting a few days to reply to an e-mail because you are tired from a long day of work. And so on. While you may start with good intentions, there’s an inevitable draw toward distraction.
All that to say: you need a system and it needs to be quantified. Without
that, you don’t stand a chance of holding yourself accountable in the long-run.
With it, you have a way to be honest with yourself about exactly how much you
do or don’t do each week. Even with the system in place, you will still
encounter challenges: fatigue, conflicts, and complacency can still eek in. But
you’ll have tools to combat it rather than accepting your fate.
Naturally, the above plan is illustrative. For your business or
side hustle there’s going to be different actions to take. One benefit of
WeAchieve is that it is infinitely flexible. Not only can it handle whatever
you want to track now, it’s easy to deprecate some old habits and add new ones,
with a simple 0 to 5 rating that constantly gives you a one-number summary for
how well you are adhering to your plan.
Our goal with WeAchieve is to make it a lot easier for aspiring entrepreneurs
to make their products a reality. We can’t do that for them, but we can provide
the tools needed to drive projects forward.
Are you starting a product? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know, we’d love to feature you in an upcoming post!