Since 2018, I’ve dabbled in and out of different side hustles.
From writing online to taking surveys, reselling, and more — I’ve had my fair share of wins and losses.
Besides learning which gigs worked right for me and which didn’t, I also learned how long to spend on a new project before moving on.
Knowing when to keep pushing the envelope and when to fold your hand is an important lesson for every side hustler. It keeps us from quitting before giving a side hustle a real chance and it prevents us from wasting too much time on a dead-end gig.
I set a predetermined goal within a set amount of time before starting any new side hustle or project. If I don’t come close to exceeding that goal when the allotted amount of time is over, I put it aside and look for other opportunities.
The amount of predetermined time I set depends on what the side hustle is and how big of a goal I’m aiming for.
Here’s what you need to know about the right time to quit a side hustle
- When should you keep doing your side hustle?
- When is it time to quit a side hustle?
- How to use your side hustle time wisely
When should you keep doing your side hustle?
If you’ve put in less than 6 months of work on a side hustle then it might be too early to quit. Your side hustle might still be blooming.
I started taking surveys on Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) in early 2020.
I had never tried to do paid surveys before that.
My goal before starting was to earn an extra $100 every month from MTurk.
The predetermined amount of time I set for myself for this side hustle was 2 months. I planned to move on to a different survey platform if I didn’t come close to earning $100 in either of the two months I allowed for myself to spend on this project.
Fortunately for me, I quickly cleared more than $100 on the platform in my first month taking surveys.
From there, I increased my earning goals and pushed forward on the platform knowing that there was an opportunity to expand that side hustle.
If you want a more difficult decision I had to make about moving forward, my time spent reselling on eBay is a perfect example.
Before getting my first sale on eBay, I had items listed for sale on my account for nearly 5 months.
The problem was since I hadn’t sold anything in the past, my seller score was 0. I completely understood buyers not wanting to purchase anything from a seller with no selling history. I’m the same way.
The allotted time I set for myself was 6 months because I had researched that it takes around that amount of time for most people to get their first sales. Plus, eBay wasn’t time-consuming enough to really affect the time I spent on my other side hustles on a daily basis.
After I got my first sale, I decided to keep pushing my luck on eBay and that it was worth my time. Now, a year later, I’ve made thousands of dollars in profit from selling on eBay.
All it took was a little more time and effort to let that side hustle bloom.
When is it time to quit a side hustle?
Spending too long on a side hustle can be just as detrimental as not giving one enough time to bloom. It might be time to quit a side hustle when you’ve put in around 6 months of work and haven’t seen the money you feel you deserve from it.
I started writing for content mills, which new writers should take advantage of, and was being paid by the word. As a brand new side hustler, I was making a nice chunk of change but of course, I wanted more.
Without doing enough research, I made the common fatal mistake of starting my own blog without any:
- Email list
- Prior audience
- Online presence whatsoever
I allowed myself an entire year to see this project through.
Needless to say, one year later I was quitting that side hustle and moving on with my life. It was a complete failure.
I didn’t get much traffic to my site — because, why would I? — and spent time designing, buying, and creating a blog that I didn’t know enough about to gain anything from.
Quitting this side hustle gave me time to look for other opportunities and analyze what went wrong. It led to other online writing gigs that were actually worth my time.
How to use your side hustle time wisely
Time is all we have. Leveraging the time you take for your side hustle by pursuing a project you’re passionate about can pay off in the future.
However, dedicating too much — or enough — of your time to a project or gig might result in the waste of a potentially profitable opportunity. Or worse, multiple potentially profitable opportunities.
Creating predetermined goals and slotting them within specific amounts of time will help you decide whether to keep pushing on in your side hustle endeavors or to try something different. Remember, it will be difficult to become an online entrepreneur if you don’t stick with your side hustle.
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