I’ve taken a bit of time before writing this article, despite jumping from one business to my side hustle back in April of this year. I guess this is the moment most dream of but when it happens it can often be a bit overwhelming.
My background as some will know its not in business at all but rather in the Engineering sector. That’s right, I used to be an Engineer of all things. I started on the shop floor back in 2008, and over a 7 year period worked my way up to Project Manager in charge of projects with an average value of £4m.
It was towards the end of this career I started to realize that if I followed this same path I would wake up 40 years later in the same role. I was no longer growing but rather stagnating. Towards the final 12 months of my engineering career, I started part-time within the property sector helping my uncle to build his personal portfolio. I didn’t know it at the time but this choice would carve the way for one hell of a journey over the next 5 years.
Having worked part-time on my side hustle I reached a turning point. I had the opportunity to jump full time into the property sector and leave my engineering career behind. Without a thought, I took it and haven’t looked back since. Over the following 3–4 years we all worked hard, putting in an average of 60+ hour weeks, to build the business into what it is today. (For those who don’t know we build a commercial to residential developer responsible for creating on average 150–250 new homes a year).
It was around the 2 and a half year mark when I realized I was in the same financial position as before. Sure I was no longer working for a large corporate energy giant and rather myself and the team, but I was still dependant on one source of income. I’d had an idea of what I’d like to do next, moving from the residential property side into something utilizing office space, and the time felt right to invest some of my earning/savings into a side hustle. With that what is now, Co-Space was born.
Alongside the long weeks, and weekends, I worked in the background to create a business responsible for delivering primarily serviced office space and co-working spaces. I did the first site on my doorstep in Lincoln, and after a rocking start, we built a test site with a model we could roll out. Over the last year this really started to boom. This leed us to landing sites in Reading, NE London, and Wakefield. By Q2 of 2020 we should have a combined member base of around 600 members across the 4 sites. (Based on an average of 85% occupancy).
In April of this year, having discussed an exit for the previous 4–6 months, I decided to exit the residential development business to focus full time on what was then my side hustle, the commercial office business. Realizing I would yet again be in the same position of having no side hustle I was left with a bit of a dilemma. I could start another side hustle but the reality is this will take I time I need, and can better investing in the business to grow it further. I decided to utilize around 80% of my savings into some investments. (I’m a bit believer in having at least 20% of any net worth, or investments, liquid if possible).
I now have an investment plan that over the next 12 months, if switched from accumulation to income, could cover my very very basic income needs. As in it could just service my outgoings if I was doing nothing. The goal is to use my income from the business over the next 4–5 years to create other income streams in the following areas:
Income from property/real estate holdings
Income from Stocks and Share ISA (Once converted to income not accumulation)
Income from business investments
On top of this, I will likely found or co-found another venture or two along the way as well as act as an NED (Non-Executive Director) to a few other ventures. I’ve found that once you’ve built something you get hooked on the creation stage and want to go again. Most of the friends who have had the option to retire early, or retire at all, almost always reject the notion and choose to sink their teeth into something else.
I can’t tell you when’s the right time to jump from your side hustle, only you will truly know when its time, but what I can say is where possible you should always have a side hustle and never ever rely on only one source of income.
True wealth is built over the long term and the best time to start building towards the next 10, 20 or 30+ years of your life is today. Nothing I say should be taken as financial advice but I started by saving 10% of my paycheck each month. At first, like for some, this was hard, but as I got used to doing it I found it a lot easier. I put around 80% of this into a Hargraves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA each month to build up the pot I used to start my first side hustle.
To finish this post I want to recommend 3 books that completely changed my life and investment strategy:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
How to Own the World by Andrew Craig
I’m adding this as a final point but in reality its the most important in my eyes. Always follow your passion. Doing something you hate for the potential of long term earnings is no way to go through life. Figure out what you love, what truly lights you up inside, become great at it and then figure out how to monetize it. Now, this is easier said than done granted, but its a good starting point.
This post is also published on Medium Here: https://medium.com/@mrwilliamstokes/when-your-side-hustle-becomes-your-next-gig-dee8895a606