This week’s question comes from Bobbie Jean, who asks, “I’ve picked up a part-time job to make extra money. But I was wondering if I was doing more than just trading spare hours for loose change. The best description of the job is go-fer for a family run accounting business, but the owner has taken my input to heart and had allowed me to implement a few things that have reaped immediate benefits, and is paying me extra from the added revenue of the changes that work. So, am I just a part-time employee of the company, or am I also a side hustler?”
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Let’s start with a major congratulation. You are entrepreneurial. You are showing the skills and the spirit of the word entrepreneurial, as in ‘characterized by the taking of financial risks in the hope of profit; enterprising.’
You are not a pure entrepreneur, by definition as, “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”
What is the difference? You aren’t a true entrepreneur unless you are putting a stake into an actual business from your efforts. So the business you work for will not fail if your projects fail, but the projects that you are spearheading can be a significant boost to the company overall and you in particular.
If you want a way to shift past the semantics, just offer similar ideas and services to someone else, charge a fee, and pay the taxes, and you’re in the club. You are an entrepreneur by the basic definition of the word. You are not Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, or Richard Branson. But you are taking financial risk for your enterprise in hopes to make a profit (hopes to make a profit is an essential part of the equation).
But before you do get your business cards printed and launch your sales funnel, make sure that doing this is cool with your employer. For you, Bobbie Jean, it’s part-time, but for the rest of the listeners, could be part-time, full-time, or varying contract basis.
I will assume that you had some sort of process to make sure there were no conflicts of interest between your full-time job and your potential small business or technical other part-time jobs (you will call them clients), or at least you have a way to keep the business of the two businesses separate from possible prying eyes.
If you are giving away company secrets in the process of spreading your abilities, then discuss the limitations of your ability to work outside of your work to make sure it is ok. If it is not okay, still consider making the plunge to establishing the potential side-side-hustle as a real business endeavor…eventually.
If there is nothing proprietary about what you are giving, mostly good advice and recommendations, then there should be no problem other than time management and making sure you are not stealing time from any one entity in the process of helping another.
For my personal side hustle media business, I cannot work with direct competition, defined explicitly as other major radio or television broadcasters in my market or direct competition with the corporation nationwide. So most of my side work is done for churches, nonprofits, and individual people who do not do direct broadcasting.
This Week’s Business Questions Asked Here: Are you working your own side hustle or just being ‘entrepreneurial?’ (answer in the comments)
This Week’s Episode Sponsored By FreshBooks: The all-new FreshBooks is accounting software that makes running your small business easy, fast and secure. You can spend less time on accounting and more time doing the work you love by choosing Fresh Books. And you can get started for free, with no credit card required.