Throughout my own side hustle journey I’ve consumed more than my fair share of free resources.

From ebooks, webinars, podcasts and countless blog posts there is no short of free information to help you go from hobby to side hustle and eventually thriving business owner.

However, any #boss will tell you that eventually you’ll feel the desire to amplify your game and curiosity will make you wonder if the saying ‘you have to spend money to make money’ is true.

After consuming tons of freebies and using Google as a stand-in business coach on a number of occasions, I’ve learned firsthand that sometimes free will only take you so far and as with anything in life, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. Although you can start a business with $50 or less and bootstrap your growth, there will be moments when your big goals will require a bigger investment than a free ebook can provide.

So how do you decide where your dollars should go when you’re trying to grow your business and what to spend it on? Today’s podcast dives into this topic…



Before investing in your business, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I REALLY need this product/service/tool right now?

There are no shortage of awesome coaches, products and tools available online but before investing, take a moment to check in with your current goals and the state of your business to identify if what you desire is something you actually need or something you really want.

Business needs are tools that can help you solve a nagging problem, move your business forward, fill an education gap or create (and build) a strong foundation for your business. Your wants will spring up all of the time and can definitely help your business but probably shouldn’t be where you spend your money right now. Take for instance a bundle of ebooks that you know you don’t have time to read but want just in case or investing in a course about finding clients if you haven’t even figure out the focus on your business.

Takeaway: Make sure you can articulate how the purchase will help you meet a specific goal before you invest. Take note of what stage of business you are in and what it will cost you in you don’t invest in it right now.

2. Am I ready to take action right now?

The fastest way to feel overwhelmed AND waste your money is to become a product collector. Speaking as someone with dozens of ebooks on her laptop and countless others that I’ve purged over the years, it’s very easy to buy something or subscribe to a free download but what matters is what you do with the information. If you’re faced with the decision of investing in a course, the true value is not only in the information that receive from it but how you take what you learned and implement it in your own business.

Takeaway: If follow through is something you need a bit of help with, consider seeking out accountability systems to help you stay on track.

3. Do I have the money or a plan to pay for it later?

Are you willing to go into debt for a business investment? There is no easy answer to this because one person’s hell no is another person’s hell yes.  Only YOU know your financial situation and more importantly your comfort with risk. In some cases incurring business debt can work in your favour if you’re willing to put in the extra hustle and for others the risk and stress may be too much and could negatively impact your business and mindset.

Takeaway: Know your numbers and take a firm stance on what you can and can’t afford. If you decide to take a risk and take on debt to make a strategic investment make sure that you have a gameplan on how you’ll pay for your purchase or loan.

4. What is the return on investment?

When you put aside the fancy promises and look beyond the testimonials, what is the ROI? Take the time to list out how this investment will help your business, expand your reach or earning potential.

Takeaway: Articulate the benefits and potential returns of the investment. If there is no ROI, see question 1!

Tried and True in investments for your business

Now with a solid vetting process in place, where should you invest your hard earned funds? Even though every business is different, there are a few things you should put on your wish list if you want to take your business to the next level

1. Self Hosted Website

If you want to go pro, setting up shop on someone else’s turf isn’t going to cut it. A self hosted website allows you to have full control over your web presence and with an extra $5-10 a custom domain for your brand name.
Price: Starting from $4.00 per month if you use Bluehost

2. Productivity & Scheduling Tools

Scheduling tools are a side hustlers bff when it comes to freeing up time to work on more important tasks in your business. Tools such as Buffer make managing your social media a breeze by allowing you to pre-schedule tweets, facebook posts and now even Pins on pinterest!
Price: Packages for Buffer start at $10 per month

3. Contractors & Consultants

CEO shouldn’t mean Chief Everything Officer. Outsourcing tasks to skills pros will not only save time but helps you accomplish more in your business. Investing in folks with specialized skills such as Virtual Assistants, Branding Specialists and graphic designers can lend a hand when you’re ready to stop DIY’ing and hand off tasks that are outside of your skillset or schedule.
Price: $50-$150+ per hour

4. Mentors and Coaches

Coaches and consultants accelerate your learning curve and give you an edge push to help you make things happen. If you need extra guidance or accountability to meet you goals they are the best people to have in your corner.
Price: $150+

5. Advisors

Curious on how to file your taxes as a biz owner or need a little legal advice? Advisors have the specialized skills that can help you save money or even reveal ways that you can make more. My Financial planner made my tax filing process a breeze and purchasing a legal program on contracts for online businesses helped protect my work on previous projects. If you plan on being in business for the long haul, invest in folks that can help you set a solid foundation from the start.
Price: $200+

Share your investment stories!

How do you decide what you’ll invest in for your business? What investments have you made so far? Share your tips and best and worst investment stories in the comments!

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P.S: Looking for an Mentor to help you avoid life as a course collector? Check out our Services or book a complimentary Virtual Coffee Date* for some speed mentoring and learn how our services can work for you. (*Limited spots available)


Founder + CEO at Secrets of a Side Hustler
Chivon John wants to live in a world where individuals feel empowered to create their own opportunities instead of waiting for them. In 2014 she founded the Secrets of a Side Hustler community to inspire, educate and connect individuals who have or want to start a business in addition to their full time employment. You can connect with her at @chivonjohn