Tuesday, 6 January 2015

How to Get Rich: Side Hustles and Startups




Want to know the secret to getting rich? Simple: side hustles and startups.


There are many reasons why side hustles and startups offer people the best chance at being rich. For one, most people are content being employees or working their way up the corporate ladder. That limits your competition.


Another reason side hustles and startups are the ideal path to wealth is that there is potential for them to turn into businesses that can be sold for millions of dollars. The likelihood of that happening at a corporate job is slim-to-none for a majority of workers.

We all know what pursuing a startup did for Mark Zuckerberg, but I think one of the most inspirational stories of success is that of Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. He had a number of failed startups and side hustles throughout his more than a decade and a half in corporate America before one of his ideas worked. Dilbert is now a household name and Scott has made more money than he knows what to do with.

Scott’s story should provide motivation to anyone looking to get rich through startups and side hustles: you only need one to “take off.” You don’t need every website, business, or idea to pan out. In fact, most won’t. But the beauty of startups is you can always work on a new one and expose yourself to the possibility of that startup taking off.

Why startups and side hustles are ideal for getting rich

Many people are skeptical of spending their valuable free time working on a startup or side hustle. Skepticism is healthy, but if you look at the advantages of working on a startup or side hustle it can become a very appealing path to wealth.

Potential Multi-Million Dollar Payday – The biggest advantage that startups and side hustles offer over climbing the corporate ladder is the potential for a big payday. This is the big motivation of most entrepreneurs: knowing that taking a risk and sacrificing time (and sometimes money) into their business ideas could potentially pay off exponentially.

This brings me to another point: while side hustles such as delivering pizza or working retail are good ways to increase your income on top of your full-time job, I think most people would be better off pursuing something that could potentially give them a multi-million dollar payday. This could mean a business that is scalable, work that can be outsourced, etc.

Potential for self-employment – Side hustles in particular give people the opportunity to potentially be self-employed and have a number of clients. Ideally you’d make much more than your current job and be able to outsource the more manual tasks.

Think about Scott Adams with his Dilbert comic strip. He *technically* still has to produce comic strips each week, but in the process of creating Dilbert he also created a brand and in-turn, a business that can sell books and other products. He also doesn’t have to grind 40+ hour weeks at the office anymore and can decide how to best use his time. Which leads me to my next point…

Potential to control your schedule – One of the drawbacks of being an employee is that no matter how much or how hard you work you will still get paid the same. Sure, working harder (or smarter) gives you a better chance of moving up at work, but that in almost all cases that is a relatively small incremental increase in pay.

If you make enough money on your startup or side hustle, you can potentially quit your job and run your business full-time. This means there is no more answering to anyone for your time – it’s up to you to make productive use of it. If you are exhausted one afternoon and think a quick 30-minute nap would be the best use of your time, you can do it. If you were still in the rat race you’d be forced to continue to sit at your desk regardless of how productive that time is spent

The bottom line is this: there is a lot of upside potential when it comes to startups and side hustles. This includes big multi-million dollar paydays, which should be one of the goals of every entrepreneur.

One criticism people have of those who push side hustles and entrepreneurship is that they fail to realize that there are millions of people who have become rich through their full-time job.

Don’t get me wrong, I know many people who have become wealthy through being a full-time employee. There are a number of drawbacks that come with trying to become rich through a day job, though. They include demanding hours and the fact that you are at the whim of office politics deciding your fate.

It’s important to realize that going “all in” at your day job poses some risk. You may never get the promotion you are gunning for. Industries might change and your skills and knowledge may become less relevant. It’s not as easy to move from one career trajectory to another as it is to move from one startup to another, especially if you work on these startups at night and on the weekends.

So my advice for people who want to get rich? Pursue startups and side hustles in your spare time. You just need it to pan out once.

What are your thoughts on startups and side hustles – opposed to climbing the corporate ladder – as a way to get rich?

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