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How to Make Your Side Hustle Your Main Hustle

Hewitt Tomlin
Oct 5, 2020

This blog will draw on my experiences as someone who has, well, made their side-hustle their main hustle. This is additionally based on my conversations with coaches who I've spoken with that make a full-time living privately coaching people in-person or online; most of these coaches started doing it as a side-hustle. The most famous trainers in our industry started as part-time personal trainers while doing something else as their day job. Dr. John Berardi comes to mind, as does Mike Boyle with his bartending days which spanned more than 5 years.

How to Have a Side-Hustle in the First Place

In my experience, having a side-hustle is made possible by having a solid main hustle to begin with. We can also call this a "day job" although it doesn't have to be done during the day (ie: bartending). The main hustle is what pays the bills, gives you security, provides realistic/affordable health insurance for those of us who live in America, among other things. 

Having a main hustle was very important to me as I grew TeamBuildr on the side. It provided me with a steady paycheck so that I could always pay rent, buy a meal on date night, put a little away for retirement - these are things that provide comfort and peace of mind when enduring the stress of building a side-business. Your energy and confidence will be in a better place if your main hustle is providing security to support a risky side-hustle. Not to mention, revenues from main hustles can fund the needs of a side-hustle - important!

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Give What You Owe, and Nothing More

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Without getting into labor law, the standard workweek in the US for full-time employment is 40-hours per week; this is what you owe your employer, and nothing more without overtime pay. That being said, I can see the coaches rolling their eyes right now. Reality is often different, and I understand that. I worked longer hours in the day jobs I had before running TeamBuildr full-time. It's often a necessity when either accomplishing the requirements of your job or being a high-performer.

What I will say is this: When you are not required to work for your employer, that time is yours and it belongs to you. Do with it what you will, including investing in your side-hustle. This will inevitably mean nights and weekends (which was the primary schedule for my side-hustle). If you find yourself having worked the required time for your employer, take control of your time and invest it in yourself.

No one will tell you to stop working or leave the office. No one will tell you to block off time to work on your side-hustle. You will need to make that decision on your own.

Your Customers Will Bring You New Customers

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I have a saying in the office: "Our most effective sales team is our customer support team; they will bring us more new customers than anything else we can do here at TeamBuildr."

It's so true. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and while many people claim to know that, I think most companies are missing the obvious lever that most effectively stimulates word of mouth: How well do you support and service your customers when things go wrong?

Here at TeamBuildr we have tried all sorts of referral strategies using gift cards, discounts, cash... you name it. Nothing works as well as overdelivering to a customer when they have a problem. I will periodically tell our customer support people, if your customer is more motivated to solve their own problem than you are, then you have lost the support call... even if you still solve their problem. You have to be passionate about helping your customers. When that happens, you will see more customers come to you... and that is when your side-hustle becomes your main hustle.

Be Patient, Take Your Time

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Side-hustles don't become your new life overnight. It took three years for it to happen in my case. There were points where I could have gotten distracted or accept that it would always be a side-hustle. But by accident, James and I really enjoyed getting new customers, building them new features and giving them great support from the beginning. That simple process led to more customers, slowly but surely. Alluding to point #1 (solid main hustle), if you have a solid foundation, it will afford more time for your side-hustle to grow.


The reason I am writing about this is because of the launch of our new Online Payments Portal. This is a new feature on our platform that lets coaches put their programming up for sale and build an online clientele. Our vision for this was for high school, college and all other strength coaches with the ambition of training people online, easily, can do that using TeamBuildr.


Whether your ambition is train people online full-time or to simply make some side-income training former athletes, our Online Payments Portal makes it easy to get started and take the logistics off your plate by automating the process of taking payments and assigning programming to online athletes. If you want to know more, book a time with our sales team here.

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