1. I REALLY, REALLY think it's worth your while to review your personal finances before starting a passive income/side hustle endeavor, so that you can make better business decisions. What I mean by this is, once you understand the foundation - how the market (compound interest) and index funds work, you can use it as a reference point on many decisions you make going forward. In addition, you want to make sure you are protected before starting a new idea, such as having disability insurance, term life insurance, umbrella insurance etc. all lined up. You should know some common themes like never sign up for whole life insurance, or only hire a financial advisor that is fee-only and NAPFA certified. [For doctors, to learn more, all of the doctors in the finance space are really amazing, so you can read any of their blogs - WCI, PoF, WealthyMomMD, Physician Philosopher, Frugal Physician, and the physician finance groups are also all great.] Remember to be careful of who you take financial advice from because there is a lot of misinformation out there.
2. Keep tax-saving strategies in mind along with other business decisions. In my opinion, there are mainly 3 ways to have more money. Make more money, save more money, or save on taxes. Yes, you can go on making more W2 income, but you will continue working more and paying more taxes. However, if you can implement tax-saving strategies such as creating 1099 income (which is another reason why consultations/side hustle can be great), or invest in real estate and declare REPS status/forced appreciation etc, you can save more by paying less taxes, so keep this mind as you progress forward. Letizia Alto and Kenji Asakura have a great website and course to learn more about real estate.
3. A great place to start is one day a week for your side/passive hustle until you can make it FT. This gives you the benefit of trial and error to acquire customers, test the market, and measure your growth before pursuing it full-time.
4. Remember, you have to create or offer something that people actually want, and hence, willing to pay for. This is the Y combinator motto (Y combinator is considered the best tech startup accelerator that has invested in many billion dollar companies). What they mean by this is, you have to fill a desperate need. Even if you create something logical, useful and beautiful, but it's not fulfilling a true need, it just won't be successful (hence why most startups fail). Start small, test on a small group of real users, and get feedback, before building a website, logo and doing marketing. A good example of this is Katrina Ubell; in a talk she stated she created something busy physician moms needed, so when she posted her product on the Physician Mom Group, she was able to get 10K downloads in one post because it was something physician moms desperately needed.
5. Whenever you are signing up for a service, such as someone to do marketing or build your website, speak to at least 3 people on the phone/video so that you can get a clear idea of their service and process. I will usually talk to 5-7 people because I personally learn more this way (whether it's hiring a lawyer, or a tech coder) because you can get more information and quickly figure out if the person knows what they are doing, rather than reading something they just emailed or put on their website. You will save a lot of money by doing this because you'd be surprised at the elaborate proposals people send, only to talk to them and find out there is no substance. The point is not to go with the cheapest option, but the most quality and affordable option. For ex, when I was incorporating, I had the option for a one-time law incorporation service or work directly with a lawyer for $300 more. After I spoke to all of the services, it was totally worth paying $300 more for working with the lawyer 1-on-1 because he answered all of my questions and so much more any time I needed it.
6. Whenever possible, USE a credit card for any transaction, or a third-party website such as Paypal, Upwork etc. This way if something happens and you don't receive the services promised to you, your CC company will fight on your behalf. I had a marketing team charge us 10K for services that were never delivered, and so my CC fought for that and refunded us all the money. Had I used my bank account or debit, I'd never see those funds again. Also, of course it helps using the card to get points/cash rewards.
7. Remember to try and do everything yourself first before hiring someone, so that you know and understand the process. It is not recommend for example, to hire a PR team right off the bat for 25K. Something like PR should be last (unless you seeing great success with a completed consumer product and ready to go with getting press exposure). With something like PR, you want to try HARO first (help a reporter out), which is a free service where reporters send pitches that you can respond to and get coverage. With things like logo, website, marketing and such, you want to start with Fiverr or Upwork to learn and iterate while keeping costs low.
8. Measure and analyze everything. So install google analytics, Goodegg or Hotjar, or other services so that you can monitor where your traffic is coming from and what is and isn't working. Keep all of expenses and numbers recorded on excel or similar type of software as you progress along. Also, keep all of your LLC and important paperwork that is not in a computer document, in a proper folder so that you can refer back to it as needed; it's surprising how easily things can get lost. Back up your computer drive, and also keep your passwords protected using something such as LastPass.
9. Do your own content. This is not something I'd recommend outsourcing because you are only you, and that is your super power. But also know when to outsource and ask for help - there are freelancers that can look-up databases for you, send mass emails on your behalf, design your website, make various entries for you and so on, so those things are great to outsource.
10. Marketing is a on-going pain, and finding quality people for this area is hard. The goal of course is to have organic exponential growth -- create something that delights where people will naturally tell all of their family and friends about it, but many times some marketing is needed. This is something everyone struggles with even with years of experience because it's always changing. Think about it, if marketing was so simple, than anyone can create a product and hire a good marketing team and have a slam dunk. However, every product/business/market is unique and that's why it's so challenging, and what worked once may not work again. So make sure to thoroughly vet someone before your hire in this area.
11. For Google SEO, it takes time to build, years even. There is on-page SEO which is content such as optimized blog posts with proper H1, H2 title etc., and then there is off-page SEO which are things such as back-linking from strong domains and cluster networks; these both take time to build. And then there is the issue that Google, FB, IG are always changing their algorithms, so even is something is working for many months or years, it can quickly change overnight if they change their algorithm.
12. Which brings me to my last point. Try to create your own data base of customers and emails. As many have experienced, Google and FB can change their algorithm anytime or easily delete your group, page or account, so it's good to have your own backup (and infact there is no customer service number to call FB if you have an issue, you have to find someone that knows someone to get an answer).
I'll end this post with this quote from my IG page from Mark Wahlberg: "That's the miracle of discipline: in strictness, you create freedom."