How To Turn A Passion Project Into Your Main Money-Maker
Every successful business has to start from somewhere, whether it's in a dorm room as fun hobby (like Facebook) or after the 9-to-5 as a passion project on the side. The latter is exactly how Mixed Makeup began, as our founder Susan Yara revealed to Cosmopolitan.
Before founding Mixed Makeup, Yara worked at a beauty magazine as the editorial director of video — sounds like a dream job, right? Wrong: "I started to feel stagnant," she said, and one day she came up with the idea for a media platform aimed at working adult women interested in beauty. She bought the domain and trademarked the brand name, but waited to make a move on her business idea. "Blogs were such a saturated market," she said.
Yara also knew that not many people had her mix of beauty expertise, on-camera skills, and production background. "Brands were starting to ask me to work with them on the side, but my hands were tied because I couldn't while working at [my job at the time]," she said. "Everyone [also wanted to target] content at teenagers," Yara said, "but they were ignoring the demographic that spends the most money and probably does the most research: working women and moms."
Dream of making your side hustle into your main money-maker? Read on below for our founder's top four tips straight from Cosmopolitan, then check out her full interview to learn more about how Mixed Makeup got started.
1. Make it a full-time pursuit: "That means quitting your day job, and putting the majority of your time and attention into it. Otherwise, it really is just a passion project and not a true business. It's that focus and need to succeed, especially if you're potentially going to go broke, that makes you put your all into the business."
2. Choose the right business partner: "This can be tricky. I only recommend [working with a business partner] if the other person can truly bring a skill to the table that you absolutely need. I chose to work with my business partner, Min Lee, because I knew the quality of his work and I knew he had a strong work ethic. He also understood the hustle and struggles that we were inevitably going to face when we started. Every few months, we'd sit down and write out what we want to accomplish in the upcoming months and year. This helps us keep our eyes on the prize and work hard together."
3. Write down your goals, not your dreams: "You can't just hope for your dreams to come true. You have to make them happen. I start with small goals that feed into medium goals that eventually lead to long-term goals. That's how I plan my year. Create a realistic roadmap for your business, so you don't overwhelm yourself before you have the ability to get through step one."
4. If it's not important, skip it: "You can keep yourself busy all the time — that's easy. But it's on you to decide what's important to get your business going and keep it moving. Do you need to spend three hours answering emails? Should you really get lost in that Google black hole? No. Spend the majority of your time on what actually matters."
Check out one of the very first episodes of The Cut below and don't forget to subscribe to Mixed Makeup on YouTube for updates on on our latest videos!