What To Learn From a Failed Side Hustle

Failing at a side hustles sucks. It’s disappointing, discouraging, makes you feel like a failure. But it’s important to remember that failure is not the end, and to find the opportunity in your failure to learn and grow.

Every failed side hustle should have at least one valuable lesson to help you be more successful in the future. But how do you find the lessons?

Why did it Fail?

Most importantly, you need to understand why the hustle failed. Be honest with yourself and reflect on what went wrong. Identify any mistakes that were made, especially in the beginning, and any poor responses you had to those mistakes. Did you fail to planning well or do your research? Was the market too saturated? Did you not actually have enough time or resources to devote to the side hustle? Understanding the reasons for failure is critical to avoiding the same mistakes in the future.

The Importance of Testing

One lesson that just about every failed side hustle should reinforce is the importance of testing and validation. Before investing a lot of time and resources into your next side hustle, try and improve on whatever validation you did before. Screen the idea with a small group of people and get feedback. Pilot the idea with a small number of customers or honest advisors. Or do an abbreviated version of your *thing* to see if it works before doing it all the way. This can help you identify any potential issues and make adjustments before fully committing to the idea.


Another lesson your failures can likely bolster is the importance of being adaptable and flexible. Even with the best planning and research, sometimes things just don’t go as expected. Being able to pivot and adjust your approach is crucial to the success of any side hustle.

More than anything, remember that failure is not the end of the road. Sometimes the first try may not work out, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea altogether. Take the lessons, refine the idea, apply them to your next attempt.

Or, abandon the concept altogether and apply the lessons to something new. It’s a free country!

Remember, failure is a natural part of any new venture, but folks who can bounce back from failure are always more likely to succeed in the long run.

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