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We live in an era of the “freelancer.” What was glamorized as the life of the hungry yet determined artist living outside the boundaries of the status quo, has now gone  mainstream where nearly 60 million Americans are active in a side hustle because their traditional 9-5 has created an emotional void and left them wanting something more.

The side hustle can be as small as a few hours a week or a venture that gains enough popularity to become your main source of income. The main benefit of a side business is freedom-freedom from a boss, an inflexible schedule, and, financial limitations.

It is much easier to launch a small business today, especially for women, who have a long established track record of success when it comes to running a small business. With the internet and a vast array of social media channels available, it is not difficult to instantly cast a wide net to reach your market at much lower cost than in the past when only traditional methods of attracting customers were used.

Starting a side business isn’t solely about making money, though.  Simply put,  if you are going to divert time away from leisure or whatever you do on weekends into a side venture, shouldn’t it be more about pouring your energy into something you’re passionate about than simply bringing in extra cash? Unless, of course you just need the money, period.

Finding a full time job that is fulfilling, enjoyable, and pays well,  is rare, which is why more and more of us are committing our off hours to a side hustle that brings happiness.

Hey, look at it this way-it’s your chance to throw the rules out the window and go for it on your own terms!

A lot of side hustle’s have to with providing a personal service like party planning or dog sitting, while others are tech oriented such as developing a cool APP to keep track of your meds. In any event, there are practical considerations with and a certain mindset one needs to adopt in order to avoid pitfalls or becoming discouraged, either of which can lead to failure.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way in developing my  little side business:

Accept Help

If true help is available, take advantage of it. It will save save you time and money. Guaranteed.

Lower cost of entry

For a storefront business, fixed costs remain such as rent and utilities, however in a business (like mine) with no employees and creative use of technology, there is a much higher probability of success than in the past.  Costs can be kept under control and the use of innovative (organic) means of attracting customers is very advantageous.

How’s that for appearing techie when I’m not?

No excuses

The point here is that if you are passionate about an idea and motivated to pursue it, there is no excuse for not pushing ahead with a business idea.

If financing is an obstacle, there is even wider access to funding now beyond traditional means such as friends and family, savings, retirement account, etc. So, there is no convenient shoulder to rest on there.

Have a clear purpose

The playing field has been leveled and the door swung wide open for budding women entrepreneurs, however, a fine point is not to be overlooked.

You simply must have a clear and simple purpose for doing it. If you have no particular purpose for going into business but rather just a reason, like making money, or getting out of a corporate job, it will be tough to convince others to invest with you or buy your product.

Reasons are fine obviously, they convey the logic for doing this or that, but passion and purpose fuel commitment and are powerful persuaders.

People are very perceptive and can tell when their best interests are being well protected.

In launching Lisa Rose, I believed wholeheartedly in the simple concept of helping make a little girl’s princess dream reality for a day. I had to look no further than my own two daughters for any convincing of that. Between the ages of about 3 and 9, they played princess all the time without any prodding.

Communicate simply

All of us walk around with dreams in our heads, and this is definitely one with kids of that age. I could see it with my own eyes and my job was creating the environment to facilitate and communicate it simply.

It doesn’t matter what you are selling

To prosper in business the product has to be worthy and messaging on target, but what makes it shine is the energy of a clear purpose. It is the “why” you are there. It doesn’t matter if you are selling shoes, ideas, computers, or dreams, your purpose in doing it is what connects with a market and creates a lasting brand.

In what I do, if we capture hearts and inspire imaginations simply by fulfilling a childhood dream, it also fulfills a parents desire to see their children happy, having a wonderful effect on business.

Institutionalize happy

This is nothing new. Disney built an empire on one simple premise. “We sell happiness!”

What I learned over time, reaping constant benefit is that a good formula for success is to have a clear purpose communicated simply.

Such is the key to prosperity in my view. Customers are less concerned with the exact product you sell them, as they are with trusting the quality of your brand and the integrity of the person behind it.

Referrals. That’s the ticket

Nearly all of my advertising is through word of mouth and social media. I could feature a different dress or costume, or promote a different hairstyle, but that’s not the point.

In this day and age, the ground is fertile for women to go into business, therefore, there is every reason to break into your dream career. The only person holding you back… is you.

Once you are in business, the mantra is to communicate simply. Speak to the heart of your customer.

Business is about profit, but not for its own sake

If messaging during recent big time sporting events are reliable indicators of what truly motivates people today the connection with customers is about family, people, and social impact rather than profit for profit’s sake.

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