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In this breakneck-paced world, one in which multiple income sources are increasingly embraced, side ventures unrelated to one’s primary line of work have been the prevailing models. However, this trend has also led to a long line of entrepreneurial scams, as people try their hand at side hustles for which “no experience is required.”
A recent and detailed-below personal experience, I hope, can be fuel for a new paradigm, one that has the potential to redefine the way both entrepreneurs and those seeking employment approach their professional journeys, and particularly how they start new businesses.
NanoGlobals began as a humble endeavor in 2020. Locked inside, and with an abundance of time on my hands, like many, I chose to pursue a side business. While I was enormously grateful to have maintained my primary source of income, a moment like 2020 offered a chance to reflect, including on facing the crises of tomorrow with stability and confidence. Rather than follow the usual path of a part-time enterprise unrelated to my primary expertise (dropshipping was the flavor of the month at the time), I quickly recognized that such a side venture did not have to be disconnected from the core skills of outsourcing and remote work I’d built over the previous decade. Instead, it could be a powerful extension, amplifying my unique value proposition.
Fast-forward to 2023, and NanoGlobals has grown to over 60,000 visitors a month — a steady-revenue, strongly branded and authoritative B2B asset that has been cited in media outlets from Business Insider to The Yale Law Journal.
Upon leaving my previous job, one question was weighing on my mind: whether or not to take this new venture on full-time, and I wound up pursuing it that way for a time. As is often the case, though, a job opportunity came up: a chance to join Formula.Monks, the tech pillar of Media.Monks — the digital-first operating brand of London-based S4Capital.
It sounded great on paper: a new brand in my domain of professional tech services — one with the resources of a global conglomerate. But a nagging question persisted as I engaged in the hiring process: What would happen to NanoGlobals? Unexpectedly, those thoughts were dispelled during hiring conversations that wound up focusing on the value my side venture could bring to Formula.Monks, as well as my inherent skill set. I realized something other companies, job seekers and entrepreneurs might be well advised to take note of: I wasn’t being hired despite my side venture, but because of it.
I’ve come to understand that embracing a side venture that aligns with one’s professional aspirations can usher in new realms of employability — that entrepreneurs no longer have to choose between pursuing passions and securing a dream job. This paradigm shift can help them redefine what success for their ventures looks like: It doesn’t have to be an IPO, it could be an acquihire. It’s possible to seamlessly merge the two, creating a harmonious symphony of skills that at once captivates employers and distinguishes applicants from their peers — demonstrating versatility, adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit.
This approach can be a particularly powerful asset for individuals striving to excel in the ever-evolving digital landscape, in which simply having functional expertise is increasingly not enough. With AI disrupting several white-collar professions, the key to success is navigating and thriving in the worlds of both building and selling. If you produce a successful side hustle, it proves to future employers that you can do both.
So, my advice is simple: Don’t be afraid to intertwine a side venture with your primary line of work. Embrace the power of synergy, and your employability will soar. In an era defined by disruption and innovation, it’s time for entrepreneurs to rewrite the rules and unlock their full potential.