It’s never been easier to start a business.

This statement is true…yet deceptive.

Within a matter of 60 minutes, you could set up an etsy shop, build a one page website, send an email to hundreds of people announcing a new blog, order a new logo, start a podcast, etc.

You get it. It’s easy to start.

Every day my Facebook feed is filled with people who are doing something new.

  • “Hey Ali, I just wanted to let you know that I’m a XYZ MLM company rep now. I’m making great money and know you’d love to join in this incredible opportunity.”
  • “Hey Ali, I just launched a podcast and I’d love to get your support.”
  • “Hey Ali, I’m doing some market validation for an idea I have, would you take a survey for me?” 

These are simply a few real-life examples. And I while I support their enthusiasm, I don’t pay much attention until they’ve moved beyond starting to growing.

While starting is easy, what comes next is growth. And that’s not easy.

Moving from starting to growing requires more than tossing up a webpage and having your graphic designer cousin develop a logo.

  • It requires a business plan (even if it’s a loose one).
  • It requires thinking about the business outside of your own efforts.
  • It requires enough income to quit your full-time job and go full time.
  • It requires a marketing strategy that moves beyond posting updates on your Facebook page each Friday and emailing your circle of friends.
  • It requires you to embrace a higher level of risk.
  • It requires focus.

I have nothing against the side hustles that people are working on.

What I do have a problem with is the disguise of a “side hustle” as something that makes a person a business owner. After all, they are their own boss in that space. But they’ve still got a back up plan elsewhere. 

I ran a side business for a while as I was employed elsewhere, so I get it. I used that opportunity as a time to validate what I was working on. But at some point, you’re going to realize that growth requires your full attention. It’s your declaration to the world that you’re all in.

And when you make the choice to grow, you make the choice to sacrifice.

To invest.

To lead.

So embrace that side hustle. Have fun with it. But know this….

Because it’s easier than ever to start, it’s damn hard to grow. 

If you’re in that stage, congrats my friend.

Good luck.