How Starting A Side Gig Changed My Earning Potential

I never thought I would start a business, although I always knew I was entrepreneurial in nature. However, several years back when I had to take the decision to stay at home because of some health challenges in the family, I decided to venture into a consulting business from my little study at the back of my apartment. I thought I would do this for a while before heading straight back to a corporate job, whenever the situation allowed me. I didn’t know then that this would expand into a massive coaching and online business, and some day, entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world would hire me as their business transformation coach.

There were 5 big changes my side gig brought to my brand and my profile that completely changed my earning potential. As one entrepreneur to another, I would love to share them with you.

1. A Business Makes You More Marketable

According to global employment website,, there are some key aspects that makes your profile more marketable to employers. Some of them are:

● Management experience
● New skill acquisition
● Demonstrating soft skills
● Building a strong online presence
● Having a strong social media presence and network

When I was in a job, I intended to up skill and expand my online presence, however the process was slow. I remember that in my first year as a consultant, my learning curve was steep and I learnt how to strategise and manage my own campaigns at a rapid speed. I didn’t have a choice. When I took on a client, I had to make sure that I had the skills to tackle their challenges.

When I rewrote my profile after 8 months in business, I realised that I had doubled my skills and marketability. Accordingly, I was also getting opportunities and offers at a higher rate. Most importantly, I was able to raise my per hour rates effortlessly.

2. Entrepreneurship Made Me A Skilled Problem Solver

Problem solving is a highly desired employability skill. Being your own boss trains you to be a master solver in your own business. Not only that, you have to problem solve in different areas of a business. Whether it’s branding, networking, prospecting, social media or mastering sales, you have to problem solve at every level. A business transforms your ability to handle challenges and breakthrough to solutions.

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The more I became adept at solving problems in my business, the more I could teach what I had learnt. My consulting clients started asking me to coach their teams and their managers. I started doing workshops, and without knowing, I stepped into a world of business coaching which later became the core of my business.

3. Who Knew Starting A Side Gig Could Give You Mad Marketing Skills!

For a decade before I started my business, I was in marketing and communication roles in 3 different countries. 10 years of marketing communications experience counts for a lot, however, that one year in business building up-levelled my marketing and communication skills to another level.

Sales and marketing are at the heart of any successful business venture. In an article published in Business Insider Australia, according to Australia’s Department of Jobs and Small Business, 31.3% of job advertisements stated that communication skills were a requirement – nearly triple the number that cited teamwork/collaboration and planning skills.

When I decided to grow my business, I invested in mentorship to learn the ins and outs of online marketing. Within a short period of time, I was able to use online and offline marketing to create a six figure coaching business. The secret to any kind of growth is strategic marketing and communications, focused on high growth campaigns. I was able to build campaigns quickly and measure the results and it became an invaluable skill that increased my earning potential, not just as a coach, but also as
a consultant in the corporate market.

4. Be Seen, Be Heard – My Business Grew My Online Presence

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Personal branding is not just for top entrepreneurs – it’s for freelancers, consultants, home business owners and job seekers. When you have a personal brand, when your online presence is strong, referrals and recommendations are easy to come by.

Marketing online allowed me to increase my social and online network. In marketing, connection is currency. I received several offers for interviews, appearing in articles, interviewing top entrepreneurs in my niche and all of this combined activity grew my online presence. I no longer was pursuing clients, one person at a time. I had learnt the science of attraction marketing.

5. Having The Choice

At the end of the day, freedom comes from having a choice to set your own earning potential, and easily achieve it. The decision to start my business took me on a 18 month journey and gave me that choice.

I cannot tell you the incredible freedom I felt when I knew that I could very successfully earn double, triple the amount I would get in a job, and do that working less hours, and on projects that I wanted. It also allowed me to manage my time at home, without having to make no compromises.

I won’t say that the journey was easy, but it was worth it. Over the years, working with hundreds of entrepreneurs at various stages of their business, I can also tell you that not everybody reaches that choice within 18 months. Some take longer. But some achieve it in under 12 months! Either way, it is achievable.

What Do You Want To Happen In The Next 12 Months?

This is a question I ask myself every year. I write down the choices I want to make at the end of 12 months and then try to figure out what strategies would get me there. So I want you to ask yourself, “What do you want to see happen in the next 12 months?” If you can get clarity on it, you can start putting a strategic plan to grow your side gig or a full-time business. Only you can decide to bridge the gap. When you do, resources and support will follow, and you can start the journey, just like me, to set and reach your earning potential.


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Ahana Lara is a Business Transformation Coach and Author. She helps coaches, consultants and service based businesses rebrand and grow influence, accelerate their lead generation/client attraction and build six figure online business. Download her ebook: Zero to $250,000: How To Create A Global Online Business and get a 100% free business mapping session with the copy of the book. Start now.

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