When I started JNF, I didn't make any money for about the first few months. I was working a main job and hustling on the side to build up a list of clients. Although JNF isn't where I want it to be yet, I have learned a lot about how to pick things up and what it takes to be successful. Here are the main things I learned. These aren't going to be filled with hearts and rainbows. These are things I learned through grit, failure, and years of putting my nose to the grindstone.
Step 1 : Learn a Skill.
Any skill that you can make a decent income from. Don't take up blacksmithing with the idea that you are going to be a billionaire from it. If you love blacksmithing great! Use it as a side hustle, but be realistic with expectations.
There are a number of FREE tutorials online to learn a variety of skills. There are also internships and trade schools where they teach you on the job. Learn a skill, get an education, but whatever you do, DON'T pay for some BS online course that is just designed to scam you!
Step 2: Get a JOB with that Skill
I know, the dreaded J.O.B. Too many wannabe millionaires think they can fly without first learning to crawl. The bottom line is, unless you're born into an industry and automatically get connections and business handed to you, getting a job in the field you want to run a business in is your best bet for success. Preferably, you want to get one in a smaller company where you can have influence, or get a job that has flexible hours that allows you to make money with said skill, or get an internship in that field that still allows you to hold a second job.
Here is a list of jobs with flexible hours (because I know you might be lazy, so I did the work for you) here.
This will allow you real life experience, will provide steady pay, and most importantly will allow you to BUILD CONNECTIONS. When you go into business for yourself, you can then call up these connections for future work/projects.
Step 3: Work Your Way Up
If I have learned anything about upwards mobility, it's that becoming more successful is tough. If moving up the corporate ladder was easy it would be called the corporate escalator. Or better yet the corporate sit on your bum and nap all day.
Putting in the work doesn't mean you have to try for a promotion. Working in small companies, that might not even be possible. What I am saying is by offering to do projects, pitch new ideas, take on new ventures etc., you are showing your employer you are a go getter.
This means they will eventually say yes to letting you do something outside of your normal job functions. This allows you to experiment without risking your OWN money, just your TIME. It's free reign to mess up now instead of when you're running your own company.
Do you want to see if you can do video marketing? Offer to make a company corporate video for free. Are you an electrician that wants to get into management? Talk to your supervisor and ask if you can shadow them. They most likely will just appreciate the hustle but if not offer them something in return.
Step 4: Start Your Side Hustle USING THE SKILL(S) YOU LEARNED.
After hustling for a year or so, you should have built up some real life work experience and connections. Now is the time to dip your toe into a side hustle while still keeping your job. Don't quit like an idiot.
All the extra hours you put into doing additional projects should feel comfortable by now. Now you just need to switch those hours over to making YOU more money instead of your current employer.
So many people work jobs and then do side hustles that aren't related to any skills, which means their earning potential is limited. You spent years honing your craft working for someone else, use that craft to start making YOU some money.
You built up the connections and learned on the job, it's easier to turn THAT into a side hustle than it is to just start from scratch. If you can make $20,000 profit remodeling kitchens why in the world would you start a business trying to sell pottery over Facebook Marketplace? Get the money first, then do hobbies. Build your website, put yourself on free lancer sites or home advisor. Create a Facebook page, just get started. Perfection is the enemy of progress after all.
And if you don't have time to do all that yourself? Don't worry, we can help you with that. Just contact JNF Marketing and we'll get you taken care of. ;)
Step 5: Work Your Butt Off
Long hours, sacrificing social time, still maintaining your main job while you work on your side gig. It can be overwhelming. However, you know what else is overwhelming? Being in poverty at a job you hate.
Some people's motivation is they want to sit on a beach all day and not work. Let me tell you, you don't need to be rich to do that. You can just get a cheap van and live down by the river and not work a day ever again.
Some people's motivation is wanting to be rich, my motivation is never having to live out of a car again. Let's just say vs the people that just "want to be rich" I have vastly improved my standard of living vs theirs. Don't just do what you "think" will motivate you. Do what actually get's you to take action.
Be disciplined, be organized, make sure that you still schedule time to relax, but KNOW when you are going to relax and KNOW when it's time to W O R K.
Step 6: Build Up Your Savings
You need to have 6 months worth of savings. Budget everything, put your savings in a place that makes sense, in a way that you KNOW you're going to consistently follow through on. For me, that's stocks and having a minimum amount in my checking account.
Making money is easier than keeping it. When your income increases you will naturally be inclined to increase your spending. Don't do it!
Eventually when you've saved up enough, and have built up enough steady clients, you can finally start to leave the job you're currently working (if you want). The savings will help take care of that dip, so don't skip this step!
Step 7: Invest in Yourself
After you have savings set aside, start investing in yourself and future endeavors.
Have a 5 to 10 year plan. Use your side hustle and invested money to go on trips, buy nicer things, etc. DON'T use your income. And when you buy nicer things make sure you KEEP them, don't just upgrade every year. Everything is an investment.
I have used this system to go from a college dropout (being KICKED out by the way) to being a college educated business owner and corporate machine. If you want to better your life, you need systems. I can't guarantee the future, but this is what worked for me. So maybe it will work for you too.