Do you have a hobby or passion that has nothing to do with your nine-to-five job? Do you craft vintage jewelry, make handmade furniture, or offer expert negotiating advice to family and friends in your spare time? Then you, too, could join the 1/3 of Americans who turn their talents into a lucrative side hustle.
In What If It Does Work Out? life coach and professional side-hustler Susie Moore offers expert tips and guidance to help you earn an extra source of income by doing something you love. In her energetic and encouraging style, she guides you through all of the planning stages and potential obstacles, showing how to overcome any hesitation or fear, create multiple revenue streams, and more. Susie also presents inspiring stories from fellow side hustle successes, including the founders of Spanx and MindBodyGreen. Recommended by Entrepreneur magazine as a book "entrepreneurs must read to dominate their industry," What If It Does Work Out? features all you need to take the practical steps toward living the life of your dreams.
"Susie Moore has a truly special gift of making you feel like you can do absolutely ANYTHING your heart desires — and actually showing you how to achieve it. Her book is a highly practical, relatable and fun guide for anyone wanting to start or grow a Side Hustle." — Farnoosh Torabi, bestselling author and Oprah Winfrey's finance columnist
"Susie Moore is a powerhouse … highly energetic, positive, generous and creative." — Bruce Littlefield, New York Times bestselling author
"This book is the kick-in-the-pants side hustlers need to start living the life they want! An amazing reference for anyone who wants to not be 100% dependent on their 'day job.'" — Molly Beck, host of the Forbes podcast Two Inboxes: Interviews with the Side Hustle Generation
"This book is the only resource you need to start your own side hustle. Susie covers the practical, emotional and spiritual path to becoming a success. Warning, it will make you want to put down the remote and get started right away." — Carly Pollack, Nutritional Wisdom founder and author of Finally Fullfilled
"After working with Susie for more than a year, I've witnessed the incredibly positive impact her work has on our millennial readers — as well as my own personal and professional life. Her advice is down-to-earth, relatable, and encouraging, with just the right amount of tough love you need to make your goals a reality. This book is guaranteed to change your life, in the best way possible." — Locke Hughes, Greatist
"Susie is an inspiration. She runs circles around the rest of us and makes it look easy. Any insight into how she does it is worth reading! For someone so accomplished to open up so candidly is an opportunity for the rest of us to learn, and one we shouldn't miss." — Libby Kane, Business Insider
"Susie Moore is a light to everyone who meets her. Her immense insight and experience will help anyone who wants to craft a side hustle and live a life of freedom, security, and creativity." — Melyssa Griffin, The Nectar Collective
"Launching a side hustle is no easy task, but after reading Susie Moore's book, I found it not only to be manageable but also inspirational. Susie's positivity shines throughout the entire book, helping side hustlers overcome fear and doubt to help them move forward. Great read for anyone thinking of taking the plunge." — Andrea Huspeni, Entrepreneur.com
"Susie has a magic that energizes and motivates even the most jaded, 'read it all, heard it all' self-help skeptic. I'm one of those, and she's had a powerful effect on my life! Soak up all the Susie you can." — Laura Belgray
"When you're starting a side hustle, you need emotional support and a confidence boost just as much as you need practical tips and tools for getting started. Susie Moore effortlessly combines both in What If It Does Work Out, making this truly the ultimate guide to getting a side gig off the ground." — Adrian Granzella Larssen, Editor-in-Chief, The Muse
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"You don't have a career, you have a life."
–Cheryl Strayed, writer
"Happiness is the joy that you feel when you are moving towards your potential."
–Shawn Achor, author and speaker
"Is this all there is?" I contemplated one morning while feeling restless at work. I was a sales director in New York for a Silicon Valley startup recently acquired by a Fortune 500 company. I was on a conference call in my freezing office, doused in artificial light, scouring Pinterest. I gazed through the window at the beautiful blue sky outside. Sigh. Then I saw a pin that struck me: a quote from poet Mary Oliver, from "The Summer Day":
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"]
My soul screamed: "Not only this!"
It was time for change. And so it began. My side hustle. Does this sound like you, too? Maybe you are sitting in your air-conditioned boardroom, stuck in another mind-numbing internal meeting where the biggest egos just love to consume another hour of your life that you won't get back. Perhaps you are waiting for your (bad) drip coffee at 8:45 a.m. on a Tuesday, just aching to make it to Friday at 5 p.m. (Really, how can time pass so slowly?) Whatever your defining moment or moments are to you, you know it when you feel them.
For many, like tech founder Sean Behr, the impetus for creating a side hustle is dissatisfaction with their existing day job. As Sean says about the time before launching his company Stratim, "I wasn't creating anything new. As an entrepreneur I've always wanted to create — new ideas, new products, new companies."
In my case, after more than a decade in sales (which in large part, I loved) I felt ready for something new. I also know that as human beings we are wired for new challenges and experiences. And I'm not alone: a 2013 Gallup survey showed that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work.
I've read more than 550 personal development books and I am a natural adviser to the people in my life, especially when it comes to connecting them to their purpose, becoming more confident, negotiating, and networking. My side hustle, naturally, became life coaching.
I joined New York University's coaching program and used my sales skills to pitch article ideas to editors. I wanted to get my work published so I could attract clients. (It's called a hustle for a reason!) You may find that certification isn't necessary for the field you want to break into, in which case you can dive right in.
In my case, my advice-based articles helped generate a string of clients and within a couple of months I was earning money both writing and coaching. I couldn't believe my luck! Getting paid to talk to people and give life advice? There is a God! While writing for Marie Claire I even got to interview some pretty incredible people, including Arianna Huffington, Kris Jenner, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely.
Writing earned me between $75 and $750 per article (from the publications that paid) and I wrote multiple pieces a month. I was typing away everywhere: on the subway, in the Whole Foods line, while on a lunch break at the office. Each piece took two to three hours to complete. Writing for major publications with tens of millions of monthly unique visitors not only gave me credibility, it drove traffic to my blog — resulting in additional email subscribers who in turn often sought coaching or advice from me.
I started coaching people at $100 a session in my very first or second week of taking classes and, as demand increased (largely due to my content being shared on social media) and as my life-coaching skills developed, I was able to raise my prices every three months or so in $50 increments. Working around the commitments of my day job, which included travel and after-hours client entertainment, some months I made an extra $4,000 on my side hustle. That was working 12 to 16 hours a week on top of my day job. According to Nielsen, the average 35- to 49-year-old American watches more than 33 hours of television a week. You do the math.
What could you do with those extra hours each week? Think about that for a second. If you sacrifice some weekly screen time, or give up or reduce any other unproductive habit, what gains could you create in your well-being or your goals? What could an extra income from hustling in those hours do for your life?
I could not recommend side hustling more highly. You make extra money, use talents that lie dormant in your nine-to-five day job — and hedge your bets against an uncertain economy. Starting a business while employed also allows you to determine proof of concept more safely by providing for a test run that indicates your side hustle's viability. This means you can prove that your product or service is wanted in the world before you dedicate your full-time focus towards it.
But it's not always a breeze. You will need a combination of creative thinking and hard work to attract your first clients and build your brand. Add onto that the need to manage cash flow, handle various administrative tasks (including outsourcing as appropriate), and look for ways to make these more efficient so your hustle can scale.
You need to be committed for this. You will have to forgo that Game of Thrones binge session you planned and you will often be first to leave the bar. You will have to overcome self-doubt about charging for work that a lot of the time feels like fun. "No" will be your new favorite word. BUT the payoff can be incredible. After almost 18 months of juggling my rapidly expanding hustle, I resigned from my full-time job. This was no mean feat, as my job, in that final year, grossed around $500,000. That is how much I loved my new life-coaching gig and trusted in my hustles expansion.
Did people think I was nuts? Yes! Heck — I even thought I might be nuts. But, long-term, it didn't seem that risky really. Think about it. There is no security in the employment market. I, like anyone else, could be fired (based on a single person's decision!) at any time. I considered the value of freedom over my schedule, doing work that I cared about, and losing my income ceiling (especially as a woman — I felt I'd hit it) worth the downside of financial risk from ditching a consistent paycheck. After all, I also got to leave behind an unpredictable boss and the stress and pressure of continuing to do work that I had begun to resent. And I grew up in a household with no money — we were on welfare, in fact — so I respect money and do not take financial risk lightly. Consider if you are weighing the risks too highly, and whether you can't shift your perspective.
To help you make the plunge, at the end of each chapter you'll find a call to action to help you apply the principles I discuss. Homework, if you like. I hope these will keep you motivated as you read this book. I have also interspersed some advice from a range of badass entrepreneurs and people who've started very successful side hustles. I hope you enjoy them and learn something from them too.
I bet you're a lot like me; you just want freedom in your life and ownership of your work. We all want to make a meaningful impact in the world doing work that we love. On our own terms. The rest of this book will encourage you to take the leap of believing in yourself, examine what's holding you back, and push you to step up to the plate and knock it out of the park.
To hustlers everywhere — you're not alone. This is for you: a road map for how to strike out into the unknown of your passion project and take your success into your own hands.
over to you
When you're stuck on a conference call or dealing with corporate red tape or stressed out by your day job, what's the escape hatch you dream about? Create an inventory of your personal strengths and your pie-in-the-sky job list. What would your ideal side hustle be? You can start by asking yourself these questions!
* What problems do I help people solve?
* What makes me feel alive?
* What would I do if money were no object?
If you need a little help, ask a friend or loved one what you are good at, or something that you have helped them with. Be open to receive their feedback. The answers might just surprise (and totally delight) you — and if you listen closely, they might reveal a new path to follow!
Getting Over fear (It's Possible)
"Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will." -Suzy Kassem, writer, poet, philosopher
"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt." -William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
"Susie, the general manager would like to see you" My heart seized in my chest. "This is it!" I thought to myself. I was getting promoted!
I was young, naïve, and ambitious (not to mention a little cocky) when I started out in my career. I joined my first company in an entry-level support role and I was desperate to get into sales. I spent all my time with the sales team, listening to them, helping them with their clients, upselling whenever I had the chance. "They have to be noticing this great work!" I kept thinking rather confidently to myself while totally ignoring the data entry I was supposed to be doing.
So when the big boss wanted to see me, I was ready. I threw on a dab of lip gloss and strutted up those stairs, prepared to gracefully accept my promotion. Oh, and I was gonna request business cards too (in my mind, business cards meant that you had hit the BIG time).
Instead, as soon as my butt hit the chair these words slapped me in the face: "Susie, we're letting you go. It's not working out."
Full-body shock. My breathing stopped. My heart sank. Whaaaaat?!?!
I was in my early twenties, living in Australia with little money and no family to turn to (they were back in the U.K. where I grew up). But I found an inner strength that stirred in times like these. Our internal guidance never fails us when we allow it to rise. It told me what I needed to do. I needed to make a bold move — get up, get out, and start over. Immediately.
I wish I could revisit that sad, scared girl that afternoon and tell her that everything turns out OK. Much better than OK, even.
Was the fear of being twenty-three, alone in a new country with little cash — and now unemployed! — just in my mind? Hell no! I was terrified. The fear was real. Fear is always real. Fear of change is one of the biggest preventers for our changing anything in our lives at all.
I'm not here to diminish fear. I feel like I could write 300 books on the subject. It makes an appearance in almost every single blog post I have ever written. Fear manifests itself in a million ugly ways. It shows up as excuses. Or procrastination. It shows up as practicality: "Oh, I'd love to be a photographer but I can't make money that way" It shows up as confusion or ignorance: "I have no idea what my purpose is."
As a life coach, I find the trickiest part of getting to the core of what someone wants is having them say out loud what they really, really want. Not to me, but to themselves. Once we say it aloud it has a certain power. Many dreams are buried because we are too scared to voice them to ourselves. When we speak them, dreams become real. And that's terrifying because we know what we need to do.
It may not seem obvious at first but, more often than not, if something scares us it's because it's important to us. It's shining a light on something that matters so deeply to our being that it CAN scare us. Because it has the ability to. One of my friends with a stunning voice has a secret dream of being a singer. But she laughs it off, plays it down, and only allows the very existence of this long-buried dream to appear after a few sauvignon blancs. Why? Because she's afraid of what she'll have to do if she realizes it. I mean, what if she says aloud, "I'm a singer. I want to sing. I want people to hear me"? It's far easier for her to pretend that it doesn't exist. Because if she made it real by saying it, what then?
But once we understand fear, we can stop being at its mercy. So here is the skinny on fear.
According to Dan Baker, Ph.D., and Cameron Stauth, authors of What Happy People Know, unless your fear is the protective force that stops you from doing something dangerous (like hitching a ride with a total stranger, for example) all fears belong to two groups. Yes, just two groups!
All fears can be attributed to a belief in the following:
1. I AM NOT ENOUGH
2. I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH
As humans we have not evolved to take into account our new modern surroundings. Back in the day of the caveman these fears were real and the result of their being actualized was certain death. If you were not fit, healthy, and strong, the tribe would leave you behind in order to survive. And if you did not have enough — meaning if you did not collect food every day and have the materials to give you shelter and warmth — you would perish.
Being "enough" in today's world means being educated, connected, charming, smart, good-looking, thin, interesting ... the list is endless, especially when you are busy comparing yourself to your peers.
Having "enough" in our society means possessing the luxuries that we see touted as equaling success but that can also trap us: a large home, fancy car, great wardrobe. It requires dropping cash we may not even have on stuff we don't need to try and keep up with our friends.
The circumstances are very different but the two innate, "reptilian brain" fears remain. Observe any fear that is strong or subtle in your life and you will be able to attribute it to one of these two fear groups.
These are all examples of I AM NOT ENOUGH:
* "I can't tell that person I like them; he or she won't possibly be attracted to me!"
* "I can't ask for more money at work. It's not like I'm perfect at my job."
* "Who am I to start a business?"
* "I can't start a blog — no one wants to hear what I have to say."
* "I don 't want to go to that party. I'm not good with new people."
What about these:
* "Money is hard to come by."
* "John comes from a better family than I do ... I'm kinda embarrassed to introduce him to my parents.
* "Better to stick to the career I know than take a risk doing what I really would love to do and go broke."
* "Tom makes a lot more money than I do and always has nice things. I feel like he's better than me."
* "I won't buy those boots/that laptop/a gym membership — I hate parting with money."
They are all examples of I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH.
Not all of these examples will come down to fear for everyone. Perhaps you are more of an introvert than a partygoer. Maybe you would rather save for a vacation or a down payment on an apartment than go shopping for clothes. But only YOU know the true motivation behind statements you make or think. If your soul is stirred with a reason for not doing something that feels right and fair, great. If not — if your decisions leave you feeling insecure, small, and unsatisfied — fear has got you wrapped around its little finger, my friend. For my friend the singer, her fear keeps her dissatisfied, not empowered. She stays put to avoid having to feel vulnerable, exposed, and then in a position to have to do some work. Real work using a real gift that has the potential to bring real joy. But as my friend, best-selling author James Altucher, says, "Rejection and the fear of rejection is the biggest impediment we face to choosing ourselves." My singer friend, like many of us, won't even make that rejection (or its opposite, success) possible.
In some cases this may express itself as doing things for the wrong reasons, motivated by external opinion and "shoulds" that desire external approval above all else. Aaron Clausen, a client of mine who is the CEO of an app called NatureMapr, has insight on this from his own mistakes:
"Another lesson I learned the hard way was trying to build or design a business based on where I thought there was an obvious gap and/or opportunity in the market. But what I found was that nobody cared about what I was doing. It was so hard to get any help or interest. News flash: I was in fact doing it for the wrong reasons. I had started that business to 'try to be successful.' It was four years of huge slog, the hardest I've ever worked in my life, and I was only lucky to be able to get out by offloading it to a much larger fish in the pond. I wouldn't recommend that approach. The funny thing about NatureMapr is that when I hit rock bottom after much business and career stress I just started going mountain biking, bush walking, and wandering outdoors to escape all my stresses as a way to kind of meditate and chill out. And it was exactly there, where I loved what I was doing, that my next business found me. I definitely didn't force it and it just happened on its own. Don't force it, do what you love."
Excerpted from "What If It Does Work Out?"
Copyright © 2017 Susie Moore.
Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of ContentsPreface
Chapter One: Why Wait?
Chapter Two: Getting Over Fear (It’s Possible)
Chapter Three: How Can I Get Past My Fear?
Chapter Four: How to Find Your Side Hustle
Chapter Five: Why a "Vision Board" May Help
Chapter Six: Why You’ll Never Be "Ready"
Chapter Seven: How Do I Find the Time?
Chapter Eight: Think Big but Start Small
Chapter Nine: A Killer Way to Sell without Being a Sleaze
Chapter Ten: The Why and the How of Self-Promotion
Chapter Eleven: What You Don’t Know About Failure
Chapter Twelve: How to Leverage Your Talent to Make Money
Chapter Thirteen: Why You Must Start Your Side Hustle—The Spiritual Imperative
Chapter Fourteen: Why You Must Start Your Side Hustle—The Practical Perks
Chapter Fifteen: The Possibilities Are Endless