Business The Side Hustle Secret To Start Earning More Without...

The Side Hustle Secret To Start Earning More Without Burning Out


A tangible revenue goal that is meaningful to you will help you scale your sideline business without overload. Here’s the one that worked for me.

I started my first business, a fashion retail business, seven years ago while working a full time job and attending school evenings and weekends.

Making “as much as I can” is a surefire way to burn out

An average of 4.4 million companies are launched in the United States each year. As a financial and business coach I teach starting entrepreneurs, who grow a company next to their job, how to increase their turnover without reaching a total burnout.

Like 59% of female entrepreneurs, I wanted to experience more balance between work and family. I mistakenly thought that being an entrepreneur would provide more flexibility, but the opposite turned out to be the case. My first year as a full-time entrepreneur was incredibly stressful. I couldn’t figure out how to balance all my responsibilities and not lie awake at night.

The worst part was that I worked twice as hard as I did in my corporate job, but I wasn’t making any money. I made the mistake of setting my business goal to “earn as much as possible” without a clear goal or strategy.

“Finding Your Why” was too abstract for me

When it comes to effectively setting business goals, a common piece of advice I’ve received from other entrepreneurs and thought leaders like Simon Sinek is “find your why”. Instead of just setting an arbitrary revenue target for your business, you can attach a meaningful reason to you to make it more motivating.

However, when I tried this myself, I came up with a list of reasons that still felt abstract, self-indulgent, and downright difficult:

  • I want to be financially independent
  • I want to be more generous
  • I want to have more free time
  • I want to go on vacation more often

“Finding your why” takes time and patience, and frankly, I didn’t feel like I was in a financial position to have that either. The fear of going deeper into debt paralyzed me from taking action to move my business forward. I had to make money or my bills wouldn’t get paid.

A simpler start is aligning your income goal with your housing

Instead, I set a very practical and measurable revenue goal for my early-stage business: I want to make enough money to pay my mortgage.

According to US Census Bureau datathe average cleaning cost for a house with a mortgage in 2021 was $1,672. a 2023 Lending Tree survey found that new mortgages now average $2,317 due to higher interest rates and rising home prices.

Whether you rent or have a mortgage, you will still have to pay for housing. Instead of making as much as I could, I reset my business goal to make $2,000 a month. That was the amount I needed to cover my mortgage at the time. If I sell enough of my services, I equated it to being able to live essentially mortgage-free.

Use this revenue target to drive your pricing strategy

With this more tangible goal in mind, I was able to set a realistic price to boost my activity each month. For $2,000 a month, I could choose from the sale of:

  • 100 customers for $20;
  • 20 customers for $100; or
  • 2 customers for $1,000.

I ended up choosing the middle option, rationalizing that on average I needed one client every weekday and I could still take the weekends off. In my mind I saved every sale I made for my mortgage and that made every sale more rewarding.

If you’re trying to scale a side job and feel like you’re not making progress, you probably need to recalibrate your money goals. I started with my basic need for a roof over my head, and the assurance that it wouldn’t be taken away from me.

Now I’ve made a six-figure income working less than 30 hours a week — in the hustle and bustle that eventually replaced my day job. Paying those costs through my company was the “why” I needed to keep moving forward, even when times got tough.

MORE FROM FORBES3 Side Hustles That Teach The Business Skills You Need To Succeed

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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