Side Hustle Or 9-5? Ft. Iyia Liu | Lighthouse Financial

Side Hustle Or 9-5? Ft. Iyia Liu Episode 176

We sit down with multi-million dollar business owner, Iyia Liu, to gain insights into the world of side hustles. From starting small to scaling up, Iyia's journey offers practical advice for anyone looking to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is an additional income-generating activity that individuals pursue alongside their full-time job or main source of income. It provides an opportunity to explore entrepreneurial ventures, pursue passions, and increase earnings outside of traditional employment.

  1. Diversification of Income: Side hustles serve as a means to diversify income streams, offering financial security and flexibility.
  2. Versatility: Side hustles come in various forms, allowing individuals to choose based on their skills, interests, and market demand.
  3. Examples of Side Hustles:
    • E-commerce: Selling products online through platforms like Shopify, Etsy, or Amazon.
    • Freelance Services: Offering skills such as writing, graphic design, web development, or virtual assistance.
    • Consulting: Providing expertise in specific areas like marketing, finance, or business strategy.
    • Tutoring: Teaching languages, academic subjects, or specialised skills.
    • Digital Services: Creating and selling digital products like e-books, online courses, or photography.
  4. Benefits of a Side Hustle:
    • Extra Income: Supplementing earnings from a primary job.
    • Skill Development: Learning new skills or honing existing ones outside of the regular job.
    • Flexibility: Working on your own terms and schedule.
    • Entrepreneurial Experience: Gaining experience in entrepreneurship and business management.
  5. Considerations When Choosing a Side Hustle:
    • Passion and Interest: Opt for something you enjoy and are passionate about.
    • Market Demand: Assess the demand for your product or service.
    • Skills and Resources: Utilise your existing skills and resources to start.
    • Time Commitment: Determine how much time you can allocate to your side hustle alongside your main job.

Whether it’s selling handmade crafts, offering consulting services, or launching an online store, a side hustle can be a stepping stone towards financial independence and personal fulfillment.

Starting Your Side Hustle

Starting a side hustle requires strategic planning and leveraging available resources to kickstart your venture.

  1. Begin with a Small Investment:
    • Traditional Business: Iyia Liu’s journey with her shapewear business started with just ten units, keeping initial expenses low.
    • Low-Cost Ideas: Consider low-cost business ideas such as e-commerce or service-based freelancing to minimise upfront investment.
  2. Utilise Free Resources:
    • Online Presence: Set up a free Shopify website or utilise other e-commerce platforms to showcase your products or services.
    • Social Media: Create social media accounts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to reach and engage with potential customers.
  3. Starting a Side Hustle in New Zealand:
    • Low-Cost Business Ideas: Opt for business ideas that require minimal investment, such as online selling or offering services.
    • Online Platforms: Take advantage of free website builders and social media platforms to establish your online presence and attract local customers.
  4. Considerations When Starting:
    • Market Research: Identify your target market and assess the demand for your product or service.
    • Budgeting: Plan your expenses carefully and start with what you can afford to invest.
    • Testing the Waters: Begin with a small inventory or trial period to test your business idea before scaling up.
  5. Scaling Your Venture:
    • Gradual Growth: Start small and gradually expand your offerings as your side hustle gains traction.
    • Feedback and Adaptation: Listen to customer feedback and adapt your business strategy accordingly.
    • Invest Wisely: Reinvest profits into your business to fuel its growth and sustainability.

Starting a side hustle with minimal investment and utilising free resources can lay the foundation for a successful venture, allowing you to grow and thrive in the competitive market.

Balancing Work and Side Hustle

Balancing a full-time job with a side hustle requires effective time management and strategic planning to ensure success.

  1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job:
    • Stable Income: Maintain your full-time job to ensure financial stability while building your side hustle.
    • Reduced Financial Risk: Keeping your day job provides a safety net while you grow your side venture.
  2. Dedicate Time Wisely:
    • Prioritise Tasks: Allocate specific time slots for your side hustle during evenings, weekends, or other free time.
    • Time Management: Follow a schedule like Iyia Liu, who effectively managed her side hustle alongside her day job, demonstrating the importance of time management.
  3. Managing Time in New Zealand:
    • Work-Life Balance: Strive to maintain a healthy balance between your full-time job, side hustle, and personal life.
    • Flexibility: Adapt your schedule to fit the demands of both your job and your side venture.
  4. Setting Boundaries:
    • Avoid Burnout: Be mindful not to overextend yourself and schedule regular breaks to prevent burnout.
    • Communicate Clearly: Inform your employer about your side hustle to ensure transparency and manage expectations.
  5. Efficiency Tips:
    • Batching Tasks: Group similar tasks together to maximise efficiency and minimise transition time.
    • Outsourcing: Consider outsourcing tasks that can be done by others to free up more time for crucial aspects of your side hustle.
  6. Planning for Growth:
    • Transition Strategy: Have a clear plan for when your side hustle grows enough to become your main source of income.
    • Financial Planning: Prepare financially for the transition by ensuring your side hustle generates stable income.

Balancing a full-time job with a side hustle requires discipline, effective time management, and clear boundaries. By dedicating time wisely and maintaining a stable income, you can successfully grow your side venture while managing your primary employment.

Risks and Considerations

Starting a side hustle comes with various risks and considerations that need to be carefully evaluated to ensure success.

  1. Financial Stability:
    • Backup Income: Since side hustles may not immediately generate significant income, maintaining financial stability through a primary job is crucial.
    • Emergency Fund: Having savings set aside can provide a buffer during lean months or unexpected expenses related to your side hustle.
  2. Understanding Lending Challenges:
    • Loan Accessibility: Securing loans for your side hustle can be challenging, especially if your business is not profitable initially.
    • Alternative Funding: Explore alternative funding options such as personal savings, crowdfunding, or small business grants.
  3. Market Research:
    • Evaluate Demand: Conduct thorough market research to understand the demand for your product or service and assess potential competition.
    • Identify Risks: Identify potential challenges and risks specific to your industry or niche and plan accordingly.
  4. Legal and Tax Considerations:
    • Business Structure: Choose the right legal structure for your side hustle, considering factors like liability, taxes, and regulations.
    • Tax Implications: Understand the tax implications of your side hustle income and ensure compliance with tax laws in New Zealand.
  5. Time Commitment:
    • Balancing Priorities: Assess whether you have sufficient time to dedicate to your side hustle alongside your primary job and personal commitments.
    • Realistic Expectations: Set realistic expectations about the time required to grow your side hustle and achieve your goals.
  6. Scaling Safely:
    • Gradual Growth: Avoid overextending yourself financially by scaling your side hustle gradually as it becomes more profitable.
    • Risk Mitigation: Have contingency plans in place to mitigate potential risks and adapt to changing circumstances.

Starting a side hustle involves financial risks and challenges, but with careful planning, research, and a realistic assessment of resources, you can navigate these hurdles effectively and build a successful venture.

Testing Your Idea

Before fully committing to your side hustle, it’s essential to test your idea to ensure its viability and potential for success.

  1. Validate Your Concept:
    • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, their needs, and preferences.
    • Minimum Viable Product (MVP): Develop a prototype or minimum viable product to test your idea with a small audience.
    • Feedback: Gather feedback from potential customers to validate whether there is demand for your product or service.
  2. Utilise Free Trials:
    • Platform Trials: Take advantage of free trials offered by platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, or WordPress to set up your online store or website.
    • Low-Cost Testing: Use these trials to test your business idea, upload products, and assess customer response with minimal upfront costs.
    • Evaluate Performance: During the trial period, analyse metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, and customer engagement to gauge the potential success of your venture.
  3. Pilot Programs:
    • Beta Testing: Launch a beta version of your product or service to a select group of users to gather real-world feedback.
    • Iterative Improvements: Use feedback from pilot programs to make necessary improvements and adjustments before a full-scale launch.
  4. Market Validation:
    • Pre-Sales or Pre-Orders: Offer pre-sales or pre-orders to gauge interest and validate demand before investing in inventory or production.
    • Crowdfunding: Consider crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to validate your idea and secure funding simultaneously.
  5. Competitor Analysis:
    • Study Competitors: Analyse competitors in your niche to understand what works well and identify gaps or opportunities for differentiation.
    • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Determine your unique selling proposition and how you can offer value that sets you apart from competitors.
  6. Iterate Based on Feedback:
    • Continuous Improvement: Be open to feedback and iterate on your product or service based on customer responses and market trends.
    • Adaptability: Flexibility is key; be prepared to pivot your idea if necessary based on the insights gathered during the testing phase.

Testing your idea allows you to minimise risks, validate demand, and refine your business model before fully committing your time and resources. Utilise free trials and feedback mechanisms to fine-tune your side hustle for success.

Common Misconceptions

When starting a side hustle, it’s important to dispel common misconceptions to set realistic expectations and increase your chances of success.

  1. Side Hustles Require Effort:
    • Time and Dedication: Contrary to popular belief, successful side hustles demand significant time and dedication.
    • Balancing Act: Managing a side hustle alongside a full-time job requires discipline and effective time management to juggle both responsibilities.
  2. Continuous Improvement:
    • Initial Challenges: Understand that the early stages of your side hustle may involve challenges and setbacks.
    • Learning Curve: Expect the first months to a year to be a learning experience, involving troubleshooting and refining your business model.
    • Adaptability: Stay adaptable and be prepared to make changes based on feedback and market dynamics.
  3. Patience and Persistence:
    • Long-Term Vision: Building a successful side hustle takes time; patience and persistence are key virtues.
    • Learning from Failures: View challenges as learning opportunities and use them to grow and improve your business over time.
  4. Self-Discipline:
    • Consistency: Consistent effort is crucial for the growth of your side hustle, even when results may not be immediate.
    • Setting Priorities: Prioritise tasks effectively to make the most of the time you allocate to your side hustle.
  5. Financial Expectations:
    • Realistic Income Goals: Understand that significant income from your side hustle may take time to materialise.
    • Long-Term Growth: Focus on building a sustainable business rather than expecting immediate financial gains.
  6. Work-Life Balance:
    • Setting Boundaries: Maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting clear boundaries and allocating time for rest and relaxation.
    • Avoid Burnout: Guard against burnout by managing your workload effectively and knowing when to take breaks.
  7. Networking and Learning:
    • Continuous Education: Invest in learning and networking within your industry to stay updated and improve your skills.
    • Community Support: Join communities or networks of fellow entrepreneurs to share experiences and gain valuable insights.

Dispelling these misconceptions will help you approach your side hustle with a realistic mindset, allowing you to navigate challenges effectively and work towards long-term success.

Knowing When to Transition

Transitioning from a side hustle to full-time entrepreneurship requires careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure success.

  1. Financial Stability:
    • Consistent Income: Transition to full-time entrepreneurship when your side hustle consistently generates enough income to cover your basic expenses.
    • Emergency Fund: Have a financial safety net in place to cover unforeseen expenses or fluctuations in income during the transition period.
  2. Proven Business Model:
    • Stability and Growth: Ensure that your side hustle demonstrates stability and shows potential for growth before making it your full-time focus.
    • Market Validation: Validate your business model by assessing customer demand, sales trends, and market competition.
    • Profitability: Aim for consistent profitability and a clear path to scaling your business before taking the leap to full-time entrepreneurship.
  3. Risk Mitigation:
    • Diversify Income Streams: Consider diversifying your income streams within your side hustle to reduce risk.
    • Plan for Challenges: Anticipate challenges and have strategies in place to overcome them, such as marketing plans, customer retention strategies, and contingency plans.
  4. Time Management:
    • Evaluate Time Commitment: Assess whether you can dedicate full-time hours to your side hustle without neglecting other important aspects of your life.
    • Balance Workload: Ensure you can manage the increased workload and responsibilities that come with full-time entrepreneurship.
  5. Passion and Commitment:
    • Passion for Your Business: Ensure you’re passionate about your side hustle and committed to its long-term success before transitioning.
    • Motivation: Full-time entrepreneurship requires dedication and resilience, so be prepared for challenges and setbacks along the way.
  6. Exit Strategy:
    • Plan Your Exit: Have a clear plan in place for leaving your current job if necessary, including any contractual obligations or notice periods.
    • Seek Advice: Consult with mentors, advisors, or other entrepreneurs who have made a similar transition for guidance and support.
  7. Continuous Evaluation:
    • Monitor Progress: Continuously evaluate your side hustle’s performance and reassess your readiness for full-time entrepreneurship.
    • Adjust as Needed: Be willing to adjust your plans based on changing circumstances or new opportunities that arise.

Transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship is a significant step that requires careful planning, financial stability, and a solid foundation for your business. Take the leap when you’re confident in your side hustle’s potential to support your long-term goals and aspirations.

Conclusion & Key Takeaways

Iyia Liu’s entrepreneurial journey vividly demonstrates how a side hustle can evolve into a successful business venture. By starting modestly, navigating risks wisely, and investing time and effort, individuals can pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations while holding onto their day job.

  1. Start Small, Scale Gradually:
    • Begin with minimal investment and utilise free resources to test your side hustle idea before scaling up.
    • Gradually expand your business as you gain traction and confidence in your concept.
  2. Balance and Time Management:
    • Maintain your day job to ensure financial stability while dedicating focused time to grow your side hustle.
    • Efficient time management is crucial to juggle between your job and entrepreneurial pursuits effectively.
  3. Validate and Transition Wisely:
    • Validate your business concept by testing it with a small audience before committing fully.
    • Ensure financial stability and a proven business model before transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship.
    • Plan your transition strategically, considering factors like income stability and market readiness.

Iyia Liu’s story inspires us to pursue our entrepreneurial dreams with determination and strategic planning. Whether you’re starting small or aiming for significant growth, remember to stay focused, resilient, and adaptive along the journey.

For a no obligation discussion to see how we can help you on the path to wealth, please contact us.

The information in this article is general information only, is provided free of charge and does not constitute professional advice. We try to keep the information up to date. However, to the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all warranties, express or implied, in relation to this article – including (without limitation) warranties as to accuracy, completeness and fitness for any particular purpose. Please seek independent advice before acting on any information in this article.