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October is National Women’s Small Business Month, and it’s no wonder we’re dedicating a whole month to celebrate.

There are 12.3 million women-owned businesses, and over 30 million Americans working as independent workers or “solopreneurs.”

With the endless free social media and selling platforms available to us today, there’s never been a better time or bigger audience for women to launch their own side gig.

Maybe you’ve always had a knack for repainting old thrift store furniture. Or maybe you’re a gifted musician who could coach other young aspiring talent. Maybe you have a specific education, training, experience or skill that you could develop into a freelance business such as financial planning or graphic design. Whatever your “thing” may be, there are plenty of great reasons to get going.

First, you can make extra money on the side. Extra money is always a good thing! Second, you can set your own schedule. That way you can build your business around your life versus the other way around. Also, a good thing!

Finally, you get to utilize something you’re good at and enjoy. Also, a good and fulfilling thing!

Regardless of where you are now, this can be the year that you get started.

But, of course, getting started is the hardest part! I coach women with side businesses through my Business Boutique events all over the country, and I know how difficult and overwhelming it can seem. So, here are the first five steps you can take to jump-start your side business:

1. Find community

Just because you’re doing it on your own doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Find other people who can help support your dream, provide resources or connections that may help you, or give you advice when you need it.

2. Create a plan

It doesn’t have to be fancy or fourteen pages long. You can make your own, or search for a template online. It doesn’t matter how you do it; it just matters that you do it!

3. Be prepared to get scared

Fear is just a part of the journey, and if you know that going in, you can set yourself up to overcome it. Putting yourself out there can feel vulnerable and scary, but you can’t succeed unless you do it! I write on this topic frequently because I battle fear just like you do.

4. Just take the first step

Business can be overwhelming with all that you have to do, especially when you’re starting out. But don’t focus on all that you have to do. Just focus on one thing that you must do. When you take that one baby step, it fuels your focus and gives you the confidence and momentum to take that second baby step.

5. Do it now

If you wait until you’re ready, until you have more experience, or until all the details are perfect before you go for it, you’ll never do anything. Go for it now—when you’re not ready, you don’t have experience, it’s not perfect, and you’re scared out of your mind. Do it anyway. Do it scared. Ready is a myth.


These are the first five things you need to do to get started. And notice not one of them was “go buy a bunch of equipment and materials” or “pay $10,000 for a professional website.” Those things aren’t a bad investment later down the line when your business revenues justify it. But when you’re starting out, the problem isn’t the design of your website; it’s your fear, doubt, hesitation and feeling overwhelmed.

If you do these five things, you’ll be well on your way to joining the movement of people making money doing what they love.

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