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4 Reasons 'Dabbling' Is Likely Not Enough to Succeed At a Side Business Success requires 100 percent commitment. Anything less is irrelevant.

By Nick Ruiz Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Roberto Westbrook | Getty Images

A lot of successful entrepreneurs start off building their business on the side. This gives you the chance to create an income without the risk of leaving your job and losing all financial security.

I've worked with many successful entrepreneurs, and many people striving to reach entrepreneurial successes, and I've realized that there is a significant disparity between people who dabble in entrepreneurship and people who are 100 percent committed to their business endeavors.

Related: How This Entrepreneur Turned His Side Hustle Into a Major Business

You can have a full-time job and still be 100 percent committed to building your side business. Work your full-time job during the day, and spend nights and weekends on your side business, all the while being committed to both. Some people think that 100 percent commitment means they have to quit their job and go "all in" on their business in order for it to succeed. That's simply not true. This false belief is what actually keeps many people from pursuing a business on the side. Being 100 percent committed means that you are doing everything it takes to build your business on the side when you're working on it.

Dabbling means you stick your toe in the water, and you try this or maybe that, and you leave some of the harder things for down the road. The problem is that "down the road" never comes because you've basically thrown in the towel before you start. The hard stuff is what produces the diamonds.

Dabbling simply says that you are interested in trying to be successful, but if anything comes up that's uncomfortable, you might change your mind. Here are four ways that dabbling will poison your side business.

1. Dabblers lack 100 percent commitment.

The only way to create success is if you are 100 percent committed. Anything less than that will eventually lead to your demise. People have a misconception that if they do some of the work, they'll get some of the results. Business doesn't work that way. You need to do 100 percent of the things it takes to create success, and it doesn't have a sliding scale based on the items you do or don't do.

There are a series of things that you need to do to create success as an entrepreneur, and you can't just skip over some because you don't feel like it. That's what dabblers do. Let me be clear, doing half the work does not mathematically equate out to getting half the results Doing a third of the work doesn't automatically give you a third of the results. Being successful in entrepreneurship doesn't work that way.

Related: Side Hustler's Life: 5 Ways to Make It Work

2. Dabblers defuse opportunity.

When you dabble, doors that should open for you will not open. In fact, when you dabble, you won't even be able to see all the possibilities because a subconscious stream is running in the background telling you that you're allowed to scale back, skip over things and not work on anything that's hard. The best doors that lead to growing your business are usually in uncharted territory, on the other side of the hard work. When you dabble, you'll never break the growth threshold because you're just doing some of the easier parts of building the business.

3. Dabblers repel mentors and successful entrepreneurs.

Dabbling destroys your chances of developing quality long-term relationships with successful and ambitious colleagues, friends and associates who you look up to. Ambitious friends and associates gravitate away from dabblers because of their less-than-100 percent commitment status. People who are 100 percent committed to their success spend the majority of their time and associate with individuals who are on that same level because it allows them to be challenged by their peers consistently.

In fact, most people who are successful have a competitive drive and being around individuals who are lazy, who dabble, and who only do the half the work needed are more of a waste of time for them than anything. If you're genuinely trying to connect with go-getters and successful people, you don't have to be at their level of success, but you should make sure you are at the highest level of commitment. This will motivate them to mentor you, help you, be around you and associate with you.

Related: 50 Ideas for a Lucrative Side Hustle

4. Dabblers implode during challenges.

When you dabble as an entrepreneur and don't commit 100 percent, hurdles and small bumps in the road will shatter you. Small issues or challenges will make you want to run away and stop putting in any more work. The reason is, again, because you have a subconscious stream of thought in your mind knowing and telling yourself that it's okay to skip some things and make a u-turn when things get a little harsh. When you are 100 percent committed to success in your business, those hurdles and small bumps in the road not only propel you further, but they teach you the most valuable experiential lessons that you will ever learn as a businessperson or entrepreneur.

Nick Ruiz

Entrepreneur, House Flipper, Author and Educator at

Nick Ruiz is a real-estate entrepreneur, author and blogger at

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