How to Deal With Side Hustle Failure – 3 Lessons Learned

Have you ever failed at something?

Since 2008 I’ve faced a lot of failures when it comes to my side business. I’ve failed at entire business ideas, I’ve failed at starting businesses, I’ve failed at creating email lists, in closing sales, and much much more.

In fact to be honest I don’t know one person who has run a business who hasn’t failed at something at one point or another.

I guess you could say I failed at a lot of things when it comes to my business but here’s the reality:

I still had a lot of success is in my side business over the last 8 years. In fact I’ve been able to earn thousands of dollars in income, build some great friendships, travel, spend more time with my family, and even build a brand new house.

In this article I want to talk about how to deal with failure in your business because at some point it’s going to happen to you and it’s all about how you deal with it that makes the biggest difference so if this is something you’re struggling with read on…

Lesson #1: Just Because You Fail Doesn’t Mean You’re a Quitter

Back in 2004 I started my very first side Hustle. I started working with a network marketing company called WFG also known as World Financial Group . I started this as a way to earn some extra side income. I ended up getting a life insurance license and a Securities license so I could sell Investments like mutual funds .

However after working with that company for four and a half years on the side it was starting to take its toll. I was working long hours going over to clients houses and helping them with their financial issues, going to weekly meeting at my office, and attending regional training meetings every quarter.

I finally decided that enough was enough and that I was going to give up working with WFG and at one point a lot of people were telling me if I quit that I’m going to be a quitter for the rest of my life and that was a bit hard to swallow.

However what I realized was that it just wasn’t working for me I wasn’t making the income I wanted I was I was losing out on valuable family time and it just didn’t fit the type of lifestyle that I wanted to have.

In the end I realized that it’s just because I failed doesn’t mean I’m a quitter. What I realized was that I just wasn’t good at certain things and that doesn’t make me a quitter.

The reality of it is that failure is inevitable in almost anything that you do. If you look at any top business out there you’ll see a whole list of failures that these companies have made.

Don’t believe me: Just look at Apple. Here’s an article about Apple’s 11 biggest product failures that they’ve since 1976. These products include everything from the Macintosh TV all the way down to the iPod Shuffle.

Now you might be looking at Apple and saying but they’re a really successful company, they have the iPad, the iPhone, and iTunes, but the thing is they also have failures and that’s the point I’m trying to get across that failures is a part of everyone’s business and they will be apart of your business as well.

Lesson #2: There’s a Lesson to be Learned From Every Failure

It’s been said that 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 10 years. The reason for this: a lot of people claim are because most business owners don’t understand cash flow or aren’t very good with money and I completely disagree with that.

Side Note: You can check out this article from Inc Magazine that talks about why 9 and 10 businesses fail.

I feel the reason most side businesses fail are because they don’t learn from their mistakes.

In my last lesson I talked about working in my first side hustle with a company called WFG and after working with that company I learned three valuable lessons…

  • I don’t like doing direct sales. After four and a half years of doing direct sales I realized I hated calling people on the phone, setting appointments, and going to their house, and trying to shove some kind of product in front of them for them to buy.
  • Second I learn how to manage my finances. One of the best parts about working with WFG was that I got to learn how money works, how Insurance works,and how Investments work I got a great education from all of that information and as a result it helped me with my own finances.
  • Third and finally and most importantly I learned how to run a business. Before I started with WFG I had no idea how you run a business and what I learned was that it is completely different than what I had imagined and that the real-life experiences that I learn from running a business changed my entire perception of how to start and build a business.

So if you’ve failed at a side hustle take a moment now and write down the lessons that you’ve learned and answer these questions…

  • What have you learned that you are good at
  • What have you learned that you’re not good at

Knowing these things can help you better move forward in the right direction versus focusing on the failures.

Lesson #3: Keep Moving Forward

Back in 2011 I faced one of my biggest failures ever:

I had started my first website which have been running for almost 2 years and it was starting to make a nice monthly income of roughly $1,300 a month.

Then something happened:

My entire website came crashing down in literally one day. Google changed their entire algorithm and my business went from nearly 5 to 600 visitors per day down to just a few hundred. Along with that I lost hundreds of dollars in income per month.

At that point it almost felt like someone had literally kicked me in the gut. I felt like the world was over and that I was never going to be successful again and for the next four years that failure hung over my head as I tried to figure out how to get back on top.

The problem was I let the failure consume me instead of moving forward.

The worst thing you can do when it comes to a failure in your side business is not to dwell on it but rather keep moving forward. Moving forward is the only way you’re going to heal the wounds of your business and see the successes of your future.

Another good example of this is Netflix. Back in the early days Netflix used to send out DVDs to people as a means of renting movies and all you had to do was pay a monthly fee. However the problem came when everything started to go towards streaming media and for a time Netflix suffered big.

However in a few short years Netflix manage to change this all around when they shifted towards an entirely streaming media company. In fact today they’re now creating their own shows such as Fuller House, and House of Cards to draw in new customers.

This brings up my last point that things will change over time. What use to work at one day may not work tomorrow and that you need to continually move toward change.

In the early days of my first website almost all of my earning were made from advertising such as Google Adsense and today they’ve shifted towards affiliate products, and even creating my own products and services.

How Are You Dealing with Failure in Your Side Business

In the end failure is inevitable in any business that you start, it’s going to happen, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when and by following the three lessons that I’ve outlined in this article you’ll be better equipped to get through those tough times when they do happen.

So how do you deal with failure? Share your thoughts comments and ideas below.


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