November 14, 2018

How to Make Your First $1 Million Through Side Hustles


Making money with a side hustle has never been easier. Thanks to the internet, people can make money at any time from anywhere.

You can certainly make a decent income from moonlighting, but there is a major difference between the average side hustle and the million-dollar side hustle.

The key to a million-dollar side hustle lies in shifting your mindset about making money. Here are a few tips to help you adopt that mindset — and make your million:

1. Saving Is Just as Important as Making

We all know that making money is essential to financial well-being, but many people focus too much on making money and not enough on saving money.

Saving money isn’t fun in the short term, but its long-term value cannot be overstated. If you want to become a millionaire through your side hustles, you have to save and invest wisely.

When it comes to saving, the first thing you need to do is track your spending to identify opportunities to cut back. For most people, cutting back on big-ticket items is the quickest way to make a big impact. Consider selling your car and driving something cheaper or moving into a smaller home or apartment.

Once you’ve reduced your major expenses, start chipping away at smaller monthly bills like your television subscriptions, eating out at restaurants, and your cellphone plan.

Aim to save enough to have an emergency fund. After that, you can start investing. Prioritize long-term investments, and you will make a million dollars faster than you think.

2. Be Your Own Boss

Most people start side-hustling by taking on additional projects for other people. If your side hustle does not transition into something more, though, you’ll have a tough time making $1 million.

The best side hustles are scalable and earn money passively. Driving for Uber or Lyft can be great ways to earn extra cash, but while doing so, you should be building passive income streams. Look for side hustles that can transition from working for someone to having someone work for you. Tim Ferriss talks about this a lot in The 4-Hour Workweek. I recommend reading it for a more in-depth exploration of passive income.

3. Focus on Helping 1 Million People, Not Making $1 Million 

Obsessing over money is not the best way to make money. Investing in your network or the people you know may not make you any money directly, but it can help you make $1 million down the road.

Instead of thinking about how you are going to make your next dollar, think about how you can help someone. At the end of the day, people pay for things that will help them. If you can come up with an idea that can meet this demand, you are on your way to making your first million.

If your product or service costs $1,000, you will have to sell it to 1,000 people to generate $1 million.

If your product costs $5, you need 200,000 people to buy it to make a million.

If your product costs $1 million, you better be a hell of a salesperson.

4. Fiercely Protect Your Time

Operating a million-dollar side hustle takes a great deal of time. If you want to be successful, you need to use every available hour of each day wisely. Try implementing time-blocking. Time-block everything, from when you are going to check your emails to when you are going to walk the dog.

Learn when and how to say no to things that do not help you reach your goals. Furthermore, take the time to invest in doing absolutely nothing every once in a while. It will help you avoid burnout.

5. Prioritize High-ROI Investments

Identifying which activities are worth your time starts with making a list of every side hustle idea you’ve ever had. Then, prioritize them according to which ones make you the most money for the smallest amount of effort. Also, consider if the hustle can scale.

You do not want to spend all of your time and money on something with a limited ROI, as this is a surefire way to fall short of $1 million. Focus on the 20 percent of the work that makes 80 percent of the money.

6. Acquire the Necessary Skills

After completing your gig list, it should be pretty easy to see which gigs are worth your time. Focus on those gigs and take the time to learn every single aspect of the business.

Take advantage of free online resources to become an expert in your chosen field(s). YouTube is a great place to start, as are website like edX and Coursera, which allow you to take college-level classes online. Get a library card and read every book you can get your hands on.

One huge caveat here: Some people get caught up in the learning phase. Don’t let learning stop you from actually doing. Sometimes, the best way to learn is by trial and error. Bear in mind that knowledge does not make money. Applying knowledge in the real world makes money.

7. Execute Better Than Anyone Else

If you want to side-hustle your way to $1 million, you have to be better than every other person in your industry. To be realistic about this, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. If you are not the smartest, make sure you work the hardest.

According to Angela Duckworth, success does not come from talent. It comes from a mixture of talent and perseverance. Duckworth explores this concept at length in her best-seller Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. It’s worth the read.

“Grit is living life like a marathon, not a sprint,” Duckworth writes. This is how you should approach your goals. Getting to where you want to be will take time, effort, and careful planning, but it is all worth it in the end.

The road to riches is not easy. The journey will be littered with failures. However, utilizing grit and prioritizing your time will make the journey a lot easier.

Brett Helling is the head of Ridester.

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Brett Helling is the head of Ridester, a site that provides in-depth articles on the gig economy, with a particular focus on the rideshare industry. Outside of work, Brett enjoys spending time in his home city of Omaha.