Grow Your Hustle During a Downturn
There’s no avoiding it. We’re all in this together. The entire world is now facing a stay-at-home economic shift. While there’s nothing we can do about many of the things facing our small businesses, there are many components we can control.
You can grow your side-hustle during this Covid-19 epidemic, and you should.
While the growth we’ll work-on might not look like the growth you had before the virus, we’ll plant the right seeds so you’ll be positioned to explode once the cloud lifts.
Your customers will regain their buying power.
Maybe the economy will be forever-changed, but one thing that won’t change is how your tribe will remember you. If you lock yourself away and get angry at the world, nothing will come of your business.
But, if you go external and focus on your tribe, giving-up on your own agenda for now—we’ll never forget.
When we give first—when we help others get what they want, especially during a global emergency, eventually, we’ll get what we want in return.
I won’t lie and say this’ll be easy. I won’t blow a bunch of smoke and say it won’t hurt. Many small businesses will disappear due to this virus. But yours doesn’t have to be one of them. While your business might look different post-apocalypse, it doesn’t mean your business will fold.
Let’s position your side-hustle for its best year ever.
There are Seasons of Business
While it may feel like a dark season right now, this is the time to plant seeds. We’ll give more than ever. We’ll discount our work until it hurts. We’ll create content even if it feels like no one’s watching.
Like life, every business has a season. This season happens to be global and hard.
But, like all seasons, they aren’t permanent. Like a terrible storm, this too shall pass. When we give of ourselves to help others first—to show our true humanity—now that we’ve got the idle time to work, it’s more important than ever.
Now is the time to plant seeds.
Maybe your sales go to zero for the next few months, or they turn-down to a trickle. The world is at a trickle right now. If you can plant the right seeds during the storm, you’ll be the first to tend a full-harvest once the sun shines.
- Don’t wait until the virus has passed.
- Don’t wait until we’re allowed to return outside.
- Don’t wait until your competition grabbed your tribe while you sat idle.
No, you may not have any sales right now, but it doesn’t mean you should avoid connecting with your readers. They need you now, more than ever.
Help Your Tribe More
You might not have much. Maybe you’re in dire straights since Covid-19 broke the world. But you do have something to give. Even if it’s your voice and your knowledge. Even if it’s the voice of calm during the storm.
- Can you give a deep-discount?
- Can you offer a huge deal on a future purchase?
- Can you offer your work for free, in hopes of selling more work once the clouds are gone?
- Can you barter for services among your network?
Although you may not have cash coming-in you’ve still got your knowledge.
Ask your tribe what they need. Find out how you can help them remotely. Maybe you become a mobile connector. Side-hustlers with lage (or small) networks can connect two people together. I’m not saying you should be altruistic for personal gain. That never works.
But we don’t forget those who help us during our darkest hour. We never forget.
You may help someone now and they’ll repay the favor in three years. There are car companies building ventilators now. There are shuttered breweries giving away branded hand-sanitizer. There are people sewing face masks in their kitchen to help with the ‘war effort.’
You have something you can do to help your tribe.
Ask them what they need. Find out how you can help during their darkest hour. Maybe you provide a little word of encouragement. Maybe you’ve got a funny story to share. You have the power to help.
If you’ve got a platform, it’s your duty to serve the people you. were meant to serve. Now is the time.
Control What You Can. Ignore What You Can’t
You’re home. You may not be working. It’s likely your customers aren’t working. Many may be out of a job completely. While we can’t control their buying power, this doesn’t mean we should stop offering our work for sale.
Control what you can. Ignore what you can’t.
- You can control making daily content
- You can control helping your readers
- You can control growing your tribe
- You can control making that product you always wanted to
- You can control doing your best work, daily, even if you’re stuck at home
It’s your job to remind your tribe that you’re still out there, ready to serve. Although we might be glued to the news right now, in a couple weeks that-too will get old. We’ll want to see your work again.
We need the voice in the wilderness, because we’re scared.
Although you might be hurting too, we want to see that you’re still out there.
Boundaries are a Gift
As an entrepreneur, especially a mobile entrepreneur, it’s easy to get side-tracked by the next best thing. Now that we’re stuck inside, with our laptops and thoughts, we’ve been given a present.
Boundaries are a gift.
Boundaries put a fence around our work. Now we’ve got to prioritize and execute. Now we’ve got time to launch that course we always wanted to. Now we’ve got time to build our flagship product, because we’ve been forced to face it.
The outside world is not competing for our attention.
We’ve got the tools to improvise and use this gift of boundaries to ensure our best work gets shipped. You might never get a forced gift like this again in your lifetime. Use it wisely.
We can’t control the virus, or who gets sick. But we can control the work we do today.
Today is Tomorrow
You know that giant to-do list you have for your side-hustle? The one that never ends—those ideas you gathered while driving and walking. Well, you waited long enough. That list was written for tomorrow.
Now, you’re likely shuttered indoors thanks to the Coronavirus.
Today is tomorrow. You likely have more forced solitary time than you’ll ever have again. If you don’t start working on those to-do items you know ust be done for your business, the seeds won’t be planted once we can leave the house.
Take the time and revisit your gian to-do list.
Here’s what you put-off until tomorrow:
- Negative attitude towards the economy
- Negative thoughts towards your fellow man
- Negative thoughts to your local government
Here’s what you focus on today:
- Any task that will feed your funnel
- Any task that will help your tribe
- Any task that will develop a new product
- Any task that will plant seeds of growth for later
Prioritize your gift of isolation.
What can you work on now, that you never had the time to do before? Today is tomorrow. This shut-down won’t last forever. We’ll be partying in the streets soon-enough.
What we need you to do now, is to sit at that desk and work your face-off. No need to squirrel-away toilet paper, or hoard all the crackers. We need you to keep working, so we can buy your next product once the cloud lifts.
Today is tomorrow.
You’ll never get this opportunity again.
I know you’ve got that huge project—the game-changer you’ve always wanted to build. Now is the time to build your game-changer. Once the cloud is lifted it’ll be too late. You’ll have missed your chance.
We’ll get busy again. We’ll be so busy trying to jump-start the economy we’ll forget about our best work. When you’ve got the time—and the entire world at your digital fingertips—you do yourself a disservice (and a dishonor) if you don’t build your best work now.
Get it done.
Get it shipped.
When the virus scare is over, we’ll be ready to buy, because you never stopped communicating with us. We need to build our next great product and feed our funnels, simultaneously.
Feed Your Side-Hustle Funnel
Now is not the time to slow your content marketing. Your tribe is stuck home too. Waiting for you to deliver some good news. While growth might feel like some distant fairy tale right now, you can’t stop feeding the funnel.
Whether you write an article daily, you post on social, or you buy ads—now is the time to plant seeds.
The entrepreneurs who fed their funnels during times of crisis will be the ones we remember once we can go outside again. There’s no doubt we’ll all feel the economic impact of this. Maybe you’re home and well, but your tribe lost all their buying power.
Give more than you’ve given before.
Keep feeding the funnel, even if it’s growing slower than it did a month ago. We need your work. We need to remember you’re still here to serve us. If you give more now—to help us up when we’re down—we’ll remember you later when we’re back on our feet.
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August Birch is an author, email expert, and entrepreneur from Michigan, USA. As a self-appointed guardian of writers and creators, August teaches indies how to make more work that sells and sell more work once it’s made. When he’s not writing or teaching, August carries a pocket knife and shaves his head with a safety razor.