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“Side hustle” is a phrase that seems nearly inescapable these days. Whether you’re scrolling through Facebook or Forbes, “side hustle” pops up in articles, ads, videos. A side hustle is anything that isn’t your main source of income and is usually some sort of entrepreneurial endeavor. However, we have also begun using the phrase to mean any sort of second or third source of income, whether it’s a part time job at Starbucks or a freelance business you’ve started in your down time. Whatever your definition of side hustle, here’s how to make the most of yours!

Set goals.
Even though, by definition, a side hustle is supposed to be a secondary or tertiary source of income, you still need to treat it like you would your main gig. This is especially true if it’s freelancing work or starting a small business. You can’t accomplish anything if you only work on it when you’re bored or when you need some extra money. Even if your goal is only to “make extra money to pay off a debt” you still need to maintain a good reputation in order to get clients to pay you that money.

Make plans.
You’ve got you’re side hustle goal in mind. You may have even written it down somewhere to be reminded of it. But how are you working toward it? If your side hustle is a part time job, your plans are a little easier to put into place. Be a responsible employee and show up for your shifts. When you’re hoping to create a business or open the door for different opportunities, you need to put more thought into how you’re going to go from “I need a side hustle” to “this hustle is legit.” If you’ve never been solely responsible for a running a business, it may be worthwhile to take a class or course that can help you develop the skills needed to be as successful as possible. It’s especially useful to know how to make a business plan. Without a plan in place, making the most of your side hustle can be tricky.

Your time and your money. You’ve decided to start up a side hustle for extra income or to finally follow a passion. No matter the reason you’ve decide to get started, you could end up putting yourself in the negative trying to get everything going. Budgeting is important here. Make sure you are reasonable about your expenses and that you have the room in your schedule to make time for this endeavor. Don’t spend a lot on start up costs, because it’s difficult to get out of the red when you’re first starting out. Don’t spend a lot of time you can’t afford working on your hustle because you may be taking time away from your first job.

Be realistic.
But don’t forget to be a little bit optimistic, too. Statistically, you’re unlikely to be an overnight sensation and you probably will not become famous with your side hustle. But that doesn’t mean that what you’re doing can’t make a difference to you, your family, and your friends! Whether it’s just earning a little extra cash for the holidays or starting your own lucrative business, you can make it work.

With planning, time, and passion for what you do, you can make the most of your side hustle. If you’re not sure where to start making your goals reality, look into a short certificate course that can give you an idea of where to start!