Bad Side Business Advice To Avoid
It can be really detrimental to your whole side business and entrepreneurial journey if you follow the wrong advice.
I want to share with you some of the worst advice I’ve seen out there, so you don’t fall into this trap like I did or that others have.
And you can really immediately start seeing and making results for your side business.
It can be super frustrating to realize a year later that you’ve taken bad advice and that you’re going to completely wrong direction and where you want to go.
And it can be super frustrating to have to turn your business around and head the other way as you try and build something successful following better advice.
Table of Contents
1. You Don’t Need Passion For Your Side Business
The first piece of bad business advice I see and I actually see many very successful entrepreneurs give this out is you don’t need passion for your business or your side business altogether.
Now, why is this bad advice?
Well, I strongly believe you need to be very passionate about your side business idea and your side business altogether. As there can be a period, it could be even six months to a year, depending what kind of business model you’re using, where you’re building a side business and it’s not generating any income for you.
During these periods, it can be really easy to get discouraged.
And if you’re not passionate about the idea and the problem you’re solving and the value you’re bringing to people, then you’re going to be easily discouraged to just shut down the business, sit on the couch and go watch some Netflix as that’s a lot easier.
Secondly, even if you are making money down the road, you could face challenges or there’ll be times when you’ll have to get up early before your day job to work with a client or get something done before you head out for the day, and if you’re not actually passionate about working on that side business and delivering that value and helping people, then you’ll just end up sleeping in and not working on those important pieces of your side business.
What Happens When You’re Not Passionate About Your Side Business
Now, I want to give an example of a story that I faced myself when I started one of a side business in university.
The side business was a landscaping side business. I needed something on the side to help pay for a bit of tuition I had and I didn’t really know what to do, so I had previous work experience in landscaping, so I decided to go online and see who is advertising spots where they needed landscaping done in their personal backyards.
I reached out to these people, ended up actually getting a few clients and was really busy developing the side business and landscaping for people.
But about four months down the road, I stopped showing up to my client’s houses. I was unmotivated and ultimately I lost the clients and I shut down the business and decided to get a part time job instead to fulfill that.
And that was ultimately because I wasn’t passionate about it. Showing up to his client’s house, I was really just in it for the money. I wasn’t passionate about landscaping or making their yard look better.
I really just wanted the money they could give me and just perform this service as quick as I could and get out of there. And ultimately, that drove this side business into the ground into something that could actually be really successful today. So that’s one story why passion is really important.
2. Building Your Company Off Another Company
The second piece of bad business advice I see and this can get a little controversial is building a business off the back of someone else’s business.
Now, if you haven’t heard of this, one of the most common terms for this right now is Amazon FBA. With Amazon FBA, you’re building a drop shipping company on the back of Amazon.
Why Is This Bad Business Advice?
Well, you can get down the road where you’ve built a very successful side business using Amazon, FBA, shipping products to people helping them out.
But ultimately, if you’re a service based on Amazon, what happens if Amazon decides to sell the same products as you?
What happens if Amazon stops allowing third parties to sell altogether?
What happens if Amazon changes their algorithm and you don’t show up in their search when people search for your specific product?
You could really send your business down to zero and you could end up losing money on a daily basis. And so while starting these other businesses on the back of something else can be profitable and you can reach success for a few months to a few years, in the long run, if you’re building something for five to 10 years, it’s going to be really challenging if you don’t have your own website where people can fulfill orders, your own systems and your own independent side business that’s not completely reliant on something else.
Another good example would be with Business Idea Insight, as I have a lot of our reliance on Google for getting search engine traffic. I’ve tried to diversify the traffic by developing YouTube videos going on social media, diversifying where I get my audience, so I’m not dependent on one source and I’m not building my business off the back of some other business where they can simply change their algorithm, change something they do to offer different information and something that would completely destroy my side business.
Be really careful with how you’re positioning your side business.
And if you’re complementing another company and their services, you really want to be careful about that.
One way to avoid this, would be if you start a consulting service and you’re offering services on other websites, you want to make sure you have your own website where people can come to view you, sign up for their own email list, etc, where you’re building your own systems.
3. Hustle, Hustle, Hustle and Sacrifice
The next piece of bad business advice I see people telling you when you work a 9 to 5 and you have a side business, it’s all about hustle, hustle, hustle.
You need to grind.
You need to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to work on your side business before you go to your day job. On your lunch, you need to work on your side business. When you get off work, it’s time to work on your side business until you’re so tired, you pass out at your desk.
That sounds like a horrible life. And it’s what a lot of people tell online. Hustle, hustle, hustle, grind, grind, grind until you find that success and then grind harder. And if you think about it, it’s not the greatest way to live life.
I used to actually run my side business like this and it can really tear your life apart. I ended up finding my health in steep decline, I wasn’t working out, I wasn’t dieting properly. My relationship started to fall apart. Me and my girlfriend would fight more. I lost touch with some very important friends that I had to reconnect with and build those relationships back up again. And so ultimately, if you’re sacrificing all your time and your health for your side business, you’re really going to notice it down the road.
Why This Is Bad Advice
Well, if you’re going to continue that momentum and that progress, you’re going to really reach a point where you’re burnt out. And this is when you stop working on your side business altogether, you may even take a week, even a month off working on your side business because you may be just so burnt out. W
hen you’re burnt out, you’re not going to have any time to rekindle those relationships, start working on your diet or working out again. You’re just going to be tired, and going to want to come home and sleep.
So it’s not always about grinding, guys. And a huge thing about starting a side business and what I believe in and value is you need to be building something that’s sustainable and for the long term. We’re building something here that can generate us a nice second income for five to ten years to come and we’re not depending on other services or we’re not grinding ridiculous hours to make that happen.
There’s ways to run a side business where it can be profitable. You can get the results you need to see to have that extra money in your bank account, pay off those loans that you’re looking to pay off, or ultimately add value to someone’s life without having to grind all the time and hustle, hustle, hustle.
So you don’t need to follow that advice.
And really, your side business is what you make it. And if you don’t want to be working that long, that’s fine. You don’t have to. Just realize, it’s going to take a bit longer to grow. And that’s sometimes that’s fine, too. Like, what’s the rush?
If you’re not in a huge rush to make a bit of money, you can actually go to the gym, have a social life, work on your side business on the weekend and make sure you’re getting enough sleep for your day job and you can have a still well-rounded life. You may have to cut out things like playing video games a bit here and there, but you can have a really successful side business while having a fulfilling life.
4. Quit your day job ASAP
So the fourth piece of bad side business advice I see is to simply just quit your job and jump into your side business full time as that’s the only way you’re going to see success.
When this would be good advice to follow
Now, this could work if you have a lot of money saved up and your spouse is fine with you quitting your job and not helping to contribute to paying the bills. Or if you’re living at home and you can afford to do that as your parents will be able to keep a roof over your head and feed you.
Why This Is Bad Advice
But for 99 percent of the people, this is horrible advice.
Don’t follow this.
Don’t quit your day job unless you have a profitable side business and you have enough money in your personal bank account to cover, six to eight months of expenses.
Now, usually people will have an emergency fund to cover three to four months. But if you’re going to go out on your own and run your own business and be dependent on customers and you won’t have any dependents on an employer or a salary coming in. It’s really important you have that longer time frame and longer reserve in the bank to help you get through those periods because it’s not always going to be bright and sunny days. You’re not always going to be raking in ten thousand dollars a month.
And if you go ahead and just quit your day job, you could completely screw yourself.
I’d hate to see you guys do that. So really, just avoid that one. You don’t need to quit your day job. You can actually have a day job and a side business. Have two incomes coming in for you at the same time, if that’s what you want.
If You Want To Quit Your Day Job…
If you do want to end up quitting your day job one day, I highly recommend you build up your side business to where you’ve surpassed your level of income a your day job by at least 30% because you have to consider taxes and expenses.
You’re also going to need to have a good lump sum of money in your savings account for those rainy days where you might have a hard time getting clients that month, etc. so you can still keep a roof over your head.
But definitely, don’t just start a side business and quit your job. Don’t fall that B.S..
It could really get you into a wrong position down the road where you have to look for a part time job that, you’re flipping burgers or something because you have to take a job overnight because you can’t pay rent. That’s a situation I don’t want you to be in so please don’t follow that.
5. Start a Blog
Now, another bad piece of business advice I see is when people who have started a side business and they haven’t:
- Developed their offer,
- They haven’t mapped out who their ideal customer is or
- They haven’t really built a business plan or anything else,
You’ll Hear People Say “Start a Blog”.
While having a blog can be great for creating inbound traffic to your website for leads, if that’s what you’re doing. If you’re just starting a blog for the sake of starting a blog, it’s actually not building your business.
An Example When Building a Blog Was The Wrong Path
This was actually a huge piece of advice, bad piece of advice, that I followed when I first started Business Idea Insight 3 years ago. It led me down a path where I wasted a lot of time.
I was so focused on building an awesome blog to provide awesome value for people and what it turned out as I was actually spending all my time just building a blog and that’s all it was.
I was getting a lot of visitors, people were emailing me saying “thanks so much for this content”. But guess what? Money was going out the door every month on website hosting, security, email, keeping the website up and running, keeping this blog up and running. And zero money was coming in the door because I didn’t actually have any services out there to provide value for people so they could pay me. People were just reading the blog and signing up to my email newsletter and saying thanks.
At the end of te day, I really wouldn’t have started with that approach, starting a blog in the beginning. What I definitely recommend is starting a blog after you’ve developed your service, after you’ve got your first few clients and you’re looking for that inbound marketing for those people searching keywords on Google for your related service. So then that’s when it’s a good piece of advice to take.
But if you haven’t done the prior steps I’ve talked about, definitely stray away from the blog for now. You can do that down the road to generate inbound leads. But don’t start the blog as your sole business or as your sole driver to create something that will bring value to people that they’ll pay you for.
It’s really not the right path.
6. “That’s a terrible side business idea”
The six piece of bad business advice I see generally comes from people who don’t run a business. They don’t have a business. They’re usually just working for someone or they may even be unemployed. And the advice they’ll usually give you is “that’s a terrible idea, why would you start something like that? No one’s going to buy your service”.
Why You Shouldn’t Follow This Advice
This is horrible advice to follow. If you’re not getting this advice from a very experienced mentor, someone that has built and run successful businesses and they tell you it’s a terrible idea, I would highly recommend to just, cut them out of your life ignore what they said, ignore that piece of advice.
If you know that you have a service that can add value to people, and if you’ve gone through something like The CEO Method where you’ve tested that in the marketplace and you know that there is a pain there that people want solved and you’re solving it with the value you can bring. Then you should know deep in your heart that you are solving a problem and you’re helping people. It’s just going to take a little bit to get started and get things off the ground.
Why People Give Negative Feedback
People love to present negative ideas and look down on you if they’re feeling insecure about that themselves. If you’re talking to them and you bring up your business idea, they’ll say, “that’s a crap idea”, “that’s a terrible idea”, mainly because they feel insecure about themselves. They don’t feel like they could actually start a business like what you’re doing. so it’s intimidating. So they need to sort of put you down, give you a negative feedback to sort of bring themselves in the same playing field as you.
Unless this person is from Dragon Den or Shark Tank or a famous entrepreneur that you really respect and follow. If they’re not in your target market and they tell you it’s a terrible idea, you should really take that with a grain of salt, maybe ignore it and maybe just use that for energy and be like, hey, this is a great idea and this is gonna be a successful side business.
7. Your Idea Needs To Be Completely New
So while there’s a lot of bad business advice out there, guys, the seventh point I want to touch on is that people say you’ll need an idea that’s totally new.
Educating The Market Is Costly
And why is this bad advice?
Well, if you’re starting something that’s totally new, something that the market’s never seen before, you’re going to have to actually spend a lot of time and money educating them on the features and the benefits, how it’s going to help them and solve a problem in their life.
Prototype Development Will Take Longer
You’re also going to have to spend more time and money developing a prototype as manufacturers may not know how to develop it. You probably don’t know how to develop that as it’s something new and it’s something people haven’t seen before. So it’s going to take up a lot more startup capital. It’s going to take up a lot more investment of your time. And it’s ultimately going to be harder to educate the market and get them to buy.
Competition Get Tough
This is where big companies come in and where you’ll run into huge competition because they have huge walls, billions of dollars, millions of dollars, they can invest and launch something right away. So I don’t recommend you start something new.
What To Do Instead…
I recommend you look to some start something that has a gap in the market of an already existing market.
To give you an example with Business Idea Insight, there are other people out there that help you with a side business. I specifically chose to help 9 to 5 workers. And there are people out there that help stay at home. Parents specifically even stay at home moms. There are people that help unemployed people. There are others that help 9 to 5 workers. But I’ve been able to position myself to help people with a service based business and stray away from the other advice they give, such as Amazon FBA and drop shipping, which I highly discourage.
Find a Gap In An Existing Market
As you can see, you can really find a gap in the market that’s already existing and you can offer a service from the value you can bring. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel and create something brand new, especially if this is your first side business.
You really want to save your time and energy for you delivering value to your customer. So you can get some profits coming in and get that second income, which is the ultimate goal here.
And even touching on the landscaping side business idea I started a while ago, this wasn’t something completely new, but I was able to generate some good monthly income that could help pay for my tuition for university. And even though there was a lot of competition out there, there were people that were looking for, a one person landscaping company that was going to charge low wares and get the job done quickly. So I was able to uniquely position myself in the market of the landscaping market altogether and find a side business that worked for me.
Be Careful of The Bad Business Advice Out There
There’s a lot of bad business advice out there, and I really need you to be careful about what you follow, who you’re following and who you’re taking advice from as it can lead you down the wrong path like it did for me in the beginning.
Why You Don’t Want to Follow The Wrong Advice
I’d hate for you guys to actually head the wrong way in the beginning, because as I learned about two years ago, a year ago, that when you do the 180 with your business, it’s super painful and it’s a super frustrating process.
You almost get to the point where you think about shutting everything down because you’re like, what did I just build? What have I been doing that now I have to turn around and switch and update all this stuff, so it makes sense going forward.