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Starting A Side Hustle, The Frustrations, Trials and Tribulations (Part 1)

A month or so ago I wrote a blog post about what I have learned from failed side hustles. Reflecting on what I have tried to get off the ground over the years. It was very therapeutic to do as it gave me a raft of positives from what I had deemed as negative experiences.

However, I still haven’t found “that one thing” that has gained traction and become what I deem a proper side hustle. I thought I would start a series of blog posts documenting the frustrations I am having with starting a side hustle.

My goal is to not go on for hours about how hard or how easy it is. It is more of a brain dump/rant of what I’m currently experiencing. So, what has my experience been like over the past month or two?

It Is Actually Bloody Hard

I have read so many books and articles. Listened to endless podcasts and audiobooks about people starting successful projects. Then make the transition to being able to work for themselves. It sounds like it is easy. Well, it isn’t.

I recently listened to a podcast where they managed to do $10,000 worth of sales in the first week after launch. Good for her. I keep asking myself the question “What am I doing wrong, why can’t I mirror these people’s success?”.

I have been grafting on a few projects and ideas over the past month. Here is what I am finding.


  • Lack of marketing skills. I am countering this by signing up for a few online courses and just trying to get started with a basic marketing plan.
  • No clear product direction. I have been playing with a certain project for over 12 months. The project is live for people to use, but I have zero users because I don’t know what problem to solve for potential users.
  • Finding people who are willing to offer their time so I can do market research is tough. Along with conducting the research. I’m inexperienced at it and for some reason put if off (as it doesn’t come naturally to me).
  • Too many ideas. I have a few things that are taking up space in my head. Can’t seem to focus and I keep flipping between different ideas and projects.


  • Running two ad campaigns on Reddit to test the water of two ideas I have. Both campaigns direct users to a one-page website. I am hoping to get an email list of people who may be interested in using the product. My current subscriber count is ZERO.
  • Running a Facebook ads campaign to try and get users to a website that is an online community. So far I have had one sign-up, which wasn’t from one of the ads.
  • Created a full-blown marketing site to promote the project that is live. Told that it is too techny and probably won’t work in attracting users.


  • I keep changing tactics and direction with my live project. This week I was given a piece of advice on which direction to promote my project. Which is where I was heading 6 months ago. Very annoyed at myself for not staying on this track and feel I have gone backwards.
  • Seems I am getting nowhere fast. People say it’s good as you are “finding what doesn’t work”. This isn’t giving me any solace. It’s just adding to my overall “pissed off mood”.
  • It is a slow process. Having tried for years to find a successful side project. Starting from scratch again and again is totally demoralising.
  • Having a full-time job and other commitments just adds to the difficulty and stress of the whole process.
  • There isn’t another option. It’s not as if I can say, I’m going to give that up. I don’t want to work 9-5 anymore for someone else. I want to be “master of my own destiny” and work how and when I want.

There you have it. This is part one of my regular rant about starting a side hustle.

I’m hoping over the coming weeks and months that it will become more positive and not just a complete slog. Which is currently what it feels like.

Thanks for reading starting a side hustle. Would like to hear your thoughts. Phil

P.S. If you looking to get started with your own side project. Or want to be more productive when working on one. Check out my resources page. Plenty of tools and tips on there to help you out.

Wait, want more tips & tricks? Yes, please!

Who Is Phil Hughes

I am a coder, content creator & software consultant for start-ups and FTSE 100 companies. I am obsessed with productivity, self-improvement, and building a lifestyle business.
You can work with me to transform your business! Setup a recurring revenue model designed for growth.

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