Best Cases | Dec 8, 2021

Start up on the side - side hustle with passion

Foto: pathdoc

The experts at and GrowGetters provide answers to these questions. From their own experience and from working with their users, they know what is important

Why actually start up on the side? That's why:

#1 | Accomplishment. “On the side” can sound misleading. Of course, you don't start your side business just like that. You need ambition, an idea and the will to realize it. But above all, it takes fun and passion for what you want to achieve. And that is exactly the first reason: a side hustle offers the opportunity to realize what is really close to your heart. And that helps you develop professionally and as a person.

#2 | Challenge. Taking on a challenge and actively overcoming it helps you grow, as Tiffany from GrowGetters knows, “I think being a Side Hustler is pretty obviously enriching. You can take so much inspiration from your main job into your side hustle - and vice versa. And especially when you're working with others, you take inspiration from that as well.”

#3 | Synergies. Through this inspiration, knowledge and skills built in the part-time job can be used for the main job and personal life - and vice versa. But there's one more essential thing that will benefit: connections with other people who share the own passion for the project. “Especially in our user interviews, we noticed that we could establish a direct connection with our users because we share the same passion. In turn, our users were able to identify with us and our project. Through this connection, we were able to actually build something that fulfills a need,” summarizes Tanya from GrowGetters about her experience in user research.

#4 | Stability. Starting a business is not always easy and requires not only time and energy, but also funding. A stable income from a main job provides the basis for not having to worry about covering costs and other financial concerns, while conceptually developing one's idea. It should not be underestimated how much time and energy it can save to worry only about the content of one's own concept, at least in this respect.

Where to start? First steps to a side business

A side business does not necessarily have to run completely independently of your full-time job. Often it is a good idea to use your professional knowledge to realize another idea on the side. Peter Lutsch from reveals to us in the podcast: “It is worth considering: can I link up or expand my start-up idea with the business model of my employer? The first step is then to build a proof of concept, to find out if there is interest in the idea and then also to find collaborators among your colleagues.”

Ideas like these tend to get lost in day-to-day operations, especially if you pitch them alone. Together with employees and a proof of concept that clearly shows a need, your chances vastly improve to successfully present the idea for the side hustle within your own company.

Even if the idea cannot be realized in your main job environment, one thing is clear: It must be tied down. As soon as the concept is written down and the first step is taken with the proof of concept, it is much more difficult to break away from it again and pursue a new idea tomorrow. Most importantly, once the concept is communicated, the pressure to follow through increases. And this pressure is also absolutely necessary for Tanya from GrowGetters: “The members in our club are mainly in it to get their asses kicked. Without the right motivation, passion alone just isn't enough. It particularly helps when you're surrounded by people who are also willing to support each other.”

Apart from that, open communication also protects you from developing a concept that in the end no one is interested in. This makes it all the more important to test the proof of concept and get in touch with your target group as early and as often as possible during user research. The GrowGetters are doing this regularly, as Tiffany reports: “We have blocks throughout the year when we talk to 20, sometimes 30 or 40 users to test our ideas and get feedback - and sometimes in up to one-hour interviews.” This not only ensures an active community, but also helps to focus on and readjust your project again and again.

How the side hustle doesn't turn into total stress

Tiffany from GrowGetters speaks from experience, “You can't do everything on your own. One of the first things you should sort out when trying to build your side hustle is to seek help. Whether it's programmers for an app or just people who can help you get funding up and running,” and Tanya can confirm that, too: “What has helped us from the beginning is that we're co-founders and that we can support and help each other.”

To ensure proactively that the part-time passion project does not end up in stress, it is even more important to clarify early on which parts of the work can be taken on by yourself - and which should be outsourced. “Define for yourself what you're excellent at and put your energy into it,” adds Tiffany. Peter Lutsch of also suggests, “Think carefully about how you want to set it up and get help where you can. Nothing delays the process more than treading water because you're stalled by being overwhelmed.”

Eventually, there may still be roadblocks waiting. For example, because there is a lack of feedback or the concept is not as well received as hoped. What then? Back to user research, says Peter Lutsch: “The important thing to do, then, is to find out where the faults lie and get to the bottom of it in the user survey again.”

Because even if the name suggests it, side work doesn't “just happen on the side”. The most important point is time management, as Peter explains: "Maybe in the beginning it's good to agree with your collaborators on a day when you only work on the concept for the side business and the daily routine of the operational business is left out." It's also hugely important, as Tiffany from GrowGetters adds, to balance time management with personal life and other, important commitments.

But that's also one of the biggest assets of a side business. And it's summed up by Tiffany of GrowGetters in a very fitting closing statement: "Stability is very essential. Especially when you're trying to juggle personal life and financial obligations, it can become overwhelming quickly. I've become very conscious of balancing these things and see the side hustle as the optimal way to carry out ideas without having to give up that stability."


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