This post is part of my ongoing series of exploring my next income-generating business venture. Go back and read the past two blog posts for some background and context.

Sometimes I wonder if I should be exploring the idea of a new business or if I should think of it as a side hustle. But first, let me explain the definition of these two options. Of course, these are not scientific definitions, just the way they are separated in my own mind:

Business – building a company that will provide the full income needed to sustain my lifestyle and all the expenses associated with living my life.

Side Hustle – building a project that provides additional income on top of (or alongside) the main income generating job or business that pays all the bills for living my life.

Right now I have a day job. It covers 100% of my living expenses and gives me enough play money to travel a bit, buy fun tech gadgets (a self-proclaimed weakness), keeps me supplied in leather notebooks (don’t ask, it’s a serious problem), and enough money to set aside for retirement. My current business – Tremble Creative Services – acts like a side hustle because the money comes alongside my day job income and gives me extra play money. That business could easily be built into a sustainable sole income if I put enough work and effort into it – the potential is there and sometimes the workload is so great that I feel overwhelmed.

In my mind, a side hustle is smaller and more “project-based.” It might bring in $1,000 to $5,000 per month but for a side hustle to be the sole income for me, I’d need more than one side hustle project. A side hustle is still a business (at least the IRS would say it is, anyway) and if you have a really successful side hustle or multiple successful side projects – those can be combined under an umbrella company and be sole supporting.

Am I talking in circles?

So to break it down. A side hustle is something I would do in addition to a day job or other business. It’s a way to make some side income while doing something different than the main income generating thing I’m doing.

But why all the attention to the difference here?

I’m mostly just thinking out loud here. I’ve been really focused on trying to come up with a new business direction now that I plan to back away from taking on new client service contracts. I’ve been trying to think about the next BIG thing that will help me quit the day job and move to the beach. But is that the right way to be thinking about this next venture? Or should I be thinking of it as a side hustle instead? I’ve settled on the notion that I need to think smaller because I’ve found that thinking big is making me feel overwhelmed and it’s paralyzing me from taking action. What action can I take that will help me earn an extra $1,000 per month? That’s my new question to ponder.

Over the past several weeks (or have we lapsed into months now?) I’ve settled on the notion that I need to think SMALLER. I’ve discovered that thinking big is making me feel overwhelmed and it’s paralyzing me from taking any action at all. So I’ve had to assess my original goal of building a big new business and taking on the responsibility of all that goes into building something from the ground up. Instead, I’m focused on small. Small action, done daily that will eventually lead to larger results. I’m focusing on building a new side hustle rather than building a new business.

OK then… I’ve said it out loud.

Well, maybe not verbally out loud, but publishing an article online for the whole internet to see, I guess that’s loud enough. My next new venture will be a side hustle project and my goal is to generate an additional $1,000 per month from this side project. I’m not setting a time limit on myself right now, but I’m determined to act with speed and have fun while I do it. Explore and be present, right? That’s the goal.  Let’s see where it takes me next.