In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how to run a side business and side hustle. They highlight how to get started and give you some ideas on how to find a skill or hobby, that you can leverage to get started.

A side hustle is not about giving up your day job, it is about making a use of your time and skills and putting them to work to achieve some extra income. If you have dreams of becoming an entrepreneur but are worried about the risks of starting from scratch. With a side hustle you don’t have to risk it all, It is a great way to create new career opportunities.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Startup Chat to look at how to plan your side hustle and incorporate it into your schedule. Steli and Hiten, give you some hot and fast tips on the reality of running a side hustle and they tell you what it takes to succeed.  

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:48 How much time do you need to start.

01:14 Make a commitment to your plan.

02:12 Learning to prioritize.

03:23 Example of what to do next.

04:23 Where to start your side hustle research.

05:19 Defining your idea.

05:56 Important tip for your side hustle.

07:12 Take one step at a time.

07:20 Ideas for what to do.

09:17 Warning of what not to do.

11:07 JFDI – Top tip to start.

3 Key Points:

  • The number one thing that you need is ‘Time’.
  • Do something you can do yourself.
  • Use the skills you have, during the time that you have allocated.



Steli Efti: All right everybody, this is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah, and what are we going to talk about today on the Startup Chat Steli?



Steli Efti: Today, we’re going to talk about how to run a side business or a side hustle. You either have a full-time job and want to start something on the side. Maybe you run a startup that’s kind of like, not going to grow that much and you’re interested in starting new products and new things on the side. How do you do it? How do you do it well and successfully?



Hiten Shah: All right. I love it. I’m down. But, the number one thing you need to make sure you have is time. Do not even consider this shit, unless you can allocate at least one hour a week to basically doing it, and one hour is not enough, but one hour is a great start. One hour. Give yourself one hour to start on the side hustle every week or do not even consider it. There’s so many people who think they want a side hustle or start one, but then they can’t commit to 52 hours a year.



Steli Efti: Yeah, I think the main thing here, the main thing I want to double click on is the 52 hours a year because a lot of people will want to do a side hustle or start a side business or a product, and then they will allocate, you know, maybe eight hours on the first week when they’re like all inspired and in the moment, interest in this. And then, next week they’ll spend half an hour and then they will stop doing things because they’re so busy with other stuff, right? So, instead of spending 15 hours in one week and then nothing, like, can you consistently invest in this for a long period of time?



Hiten Shah: Yeah, that’s it. I mean, I think we can talk about what kind of side hustle, and the criteria, and all that stuff, but fundamentally, commit the time. In a year, 52 hours, yeah. I mean, it’s that simple. And here’s the thing, when you start thinking about it like that, I think everything changes Steli because then you’re like, “Okay, I only have an hour this week to work on it.” Exactly.



Steli Efti: Yes.



Hiten Shah: You have an hour. What are you going to do?



Steli Efti: Yes. Now, you have to prioritize. Now, you can’t spend eight hours doing quote-unquote research, browsing blog posts about this that and the other. You know, coming up with a domain name, and doing like, logo shit. No.



Hiten Shah: No.



Steli Efti: You have one hour. 60 minutes. How are you going to use it to create something and then to start building that up as a business? Right?



Hiten Shah: That’s right? That’s it.



Steli Efti: So, okay. But now, I’m going to play devil’s advocate, right? I have a full-time job. I can allocate an hour, two hours a week.



Hiten Shah: Awesome.



Steli Efti: I am committed for the rest of the year to do that. What do I do next? Do I build the product? Do I find the freelancers? Do I start a blog post?



Hiten Shah: No, no, no.



Steli Efti: What do I do?



Hiten Shah: Fuck no. Fuck no. No, no, no. Come up with a plan for that hour for today, this week, or that two hours. Come up with a plan. What are you going to do? Well one, you need to figure out what that side hustle is. So, I’m going to play it up. Let’s say I start from scratch and I’m like, “I want a side hustle.” Right? Well, you might have read about a side hustle. You might need to go like, figure out what that even means, right? And learn more about a side hustle, right? Like, that’s actually legit. There’s a lot of content out there, you know? And so, the first thing I would do, I’m starting from scratch. I have a job. This is an example, I have a job or maybe I’m even a founder, I want to do something else just to like, entertain my time. I think I have an hour a week to dedicate towards it. Great, awesome. Go learn more about side hustles. I mean, seriously. Go learn more about it. Spend one hour first, to learn and get context for yourself on side hustles. What does that look like? And the reason I say that right now is there are some amazing resources for that and so, I would, from scratch, that’s the first thing I would do. And I’m sure there are great resources. I don’t all of them in this category at all, but like, that’s the first thing I’d do. And for me, it just starts with like, googling around, searching in like different systems, and figuring out, or different areas, forums, or like you know, find a podcast on it, or find a blog on it, and really just spend a little time researching what a side hustle is, and how to start one.



Steli Efti: We’ll give a shout out here to a good friend of the podcast, and a member of the family, Ryan Robinson. He has a whole podcast on how to do side hustles and he’s interviewed amazing people. He’s blogging about this. He’s like the man on that, so if you want to learn more about side hustles, I’ll point you to one direction, which is just go to and check it out. He’s awesome when it comes to that. All right, so now I’ve done a little bit of research.



Hiten Shah: Wait, I got a shout out. I got a shout out. He has a five-letter domain, R-Y



Steli Efti: Yep.



Hiten Shah: I got a five-letter domain too,, so that’s another shout out. Ryrob, how can you forget that, and how can you forget either? But, I didn’t know he had that, so I really wish I knew he had that because I’d be pointing more people to it, so it’s ryrob, and there you go. You don’t even need to go do that, we saved you an hour today, right?



Steli Efti: Yep. So now, I’ve done that, right? What do I do next?



Hiten Shah: Yep. Figure out what you resonate with and come up with a plan. What is the idea? What is your constraint? See, here’s the thing. People don’t think about the constraint. They think they want to go build a product, or they think they want to go do some freelancing on the side, or they think all these ideas when they get into the side hustle because it’s exciting. You’re dreaming. You’re imagining, but really the reason I told you to go learn a little bit is because you need to figure out what works for you. What’s your skill set? Maybe your side hustle is just freelancing because you have the skillset and you think you can get clients for it, right? That’s an example. Maybe your side hustle is building a little tool or product because you’re an engineer and you can do it. My best piece of advice on this is do something you can do yourself. Period. That’s my number one piece of advice on side hustles, which is do something you can do yourself and that might be countered to what anyone else tells you, but if you’re just starting with a side hustle, that’s the number one thing I would recommend. In fact, I had some designers I have that I work with, they have like, a little side hustle that’s like selling icons on creative market and some of those other sites. They just came up with it on their own, but like, they’re fucking designers, right? They can spend an hour in a week and like come up with a bunch icons and sell them and make a little bit money. And they’re like, I was going to call them husband and wife, but they’re going to get pissed off if I call them that, but like, not really, but like they’re boyfriend and girlfriend, but they’ve been together for a long time. I just want them to get married. And they just work for my different companies, each of them, but like, they made a bunch icons and stuff. Like, and it’s their side hustle, right? They don’t spend a lot of time on it anymore or anything, I don’t think, but it’s so simple. They’re doing it though and they can do it on their own. They can make a website for it. They can go to creative market. They can do all that. They don’t need anyone’s help. It’s the number thing, do something that doesn’t require anyone else to help you. Again, people might disagree with me, but I can tell you that if you want to make progress in a side hustle, that’s the number one way to do it.



Steli Efti: And the important thing here is that what you’re starting with doesn’t have to be the end vision of what you’re trying to do, right? So, you might be thinking, “Well, you know, I’m not a designer. I’m not a programmer. I’m not even a writer, so what the fuck do I do?” Right? “I mean, I want to build a business and maybe I want to build a tech company, now do I use my skills right now?” Whatever, you’re working at a bank, you have a nine to five job maybe at an office desk. You’re like, “I don’t really … I don’t know what to do.” Well, ask yourself, what is something you can do to serve your ultimate audience already today? And that might even just be to ask yourself, okay, if this product that I’m imaging I might want to build or might want to create, it’s serving a certain type of person, what other services, what other products, what other things do these people need? Maybe I can start off by, I don’t know, just going to being a virtual assistant to this type of customer, right?



Hiten Shah: Yeah.



Steli Efti: To build relationships, to learn, to ask questions, to make money. You know, serving that customer that I eventually want to build products for. There’s no excuse. You have skills. You have time, as we said. Now, use the skills you have during the time you’ve allocated to serve the customer, to learn, to grow, to make money, and things will momentum will be built if you do it consistently, long enough. But, I really wanted to highlight that because I know there’s always a group of people that are going to be like, “Yeah, but I don’t have skills.” Right? “Oh, yeah, Hiten, you’re saying like, your designer friends, they did a little, but I’m not designer, I’m not a coder, and I’m not like a great writer, so if I take these three things out, what the fuck do I do?” Well, be a fucking assistant, right? Do research for people, right? Do customer research for people. Be a user on like, some user researching site and test. There’s many things you can do. You have time, you have energy, you have passion, you have intelligence, you have some skills, and somebody needs them. So, there’s no excuse for that. It doesn’t matter what your background is.



Hiten Shah: There you go, I mean, that’s it.



Steli Efti: I’ll say one more thing before we wrap this up and this is my tip for the episode before you give yours.



Hiten Shah: Cool. Sure.



Steli Efti: My tip is, my tip goes towards answering the question, when has my side hustle … A lot of people start a side hustle and for those that survive the early days, which are very few, some eventually, if they’re not building enough momentum with the side hustle, they’ll get impatient and they’ll come up with the excuse that the reason this thing isn’t working, or I’m not making enough money, or it’s not growing, or people don’t care, is because I’m not doing it full-time. So, what they decide is eventually, out of impatience, to and out of an excuse mindset, is to leave their job and do this side hustle thing full-time to make it work. And I have a recent example of someone that wanted to do that and this is somebody that has family, a wife, children, financial commitments, and he tried something for a very short period of time, and he’s now getting all antsy, and he wants to do the entrepreneur thing full-time, and I told him, “Dude, you have not earned the right to do this full-time. This side hustle has not earned the right to get you full-time. You don’t have enough traction. Prove that it really deserves, you know, 100% of your resources, and time, and energy.” Don’t just do it because you’re impatient, or because you’re not seeing success, so you want to see it has an excuse that you’re doing this full-time. Don’t accept that excuse. It’s only going to go down a . For all of you out there, the side hustle is a beautiful way, if can get a little bit of traction, then it might deserve eventually to become a full-time business, but don’t use the constraints you have as an excuse to say, “Well, I’m not seeing any traction after a year of doing this because I’m not doing it full-time.” That’s usually bullshit.



Hiten Shah: Love that. For me, I’m going to give my own advice on this. Something that a lot of people say, but it’s JFDI, just fucking do it. If you really keep talking about it, you’re not going to do it. We just gave you the exact way to get started on the side hustle, if you haven’t started one yet. One, make sure you can allocate an hour a week, at least, for a year. 52 hours. Number two, go listen to His podcast, Ryan Robinson’s podcast and that’ll help you because he’s interviewed people about their side hustles, perfect, right? So, spend your first hour just listening to a bunch of these interviews, a couple of these interviews that resonate with you on And then, I’m sure he has an email list. You should probably sign up for that. And then, we have a whole myrate of other tips that we just gave you. For me, just fucking do it. That’s it. Like, don’t talk about it, don’t think about it, just fucking start.



Steli Efti: Just fucking do it. That’s it from us. We’ll talk to you next week.



Hiten Shah: Bye.