Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

How to Build a Side Hustle Into a Massive Success

Emmy-winning entrepreneur Natalie MacNeil's 10 tips for conquering the world.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Natalie MacNeil is an Emmy Award-winning producer and the bestselling author of She Takes on the World, The Conquer Kit and Conquer Your Year.

MacNeil is now focused on transforming businesses around the world through The Conquer Club, a 12-month incubator program for entrepreneurs. She has appeared in outlets such as Inc., Forbes, ForbesWoman, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Mashable and more.

I recently sat down with her to ask how others can take on the world -- and conquer it.

1. Quiet your mind.

MacNeil wanted to go solo after college, but faced opposition from friends, family and colleagues. Most recommended she first get "some real world experience." She also had doubts herself. To figure out what to do, MacNeil unplugged from life and went alone to Europe.

"Sometimes we need that," she explains. "Sometimes we know what's right for us, but as Steve Jobs said, we let the noise of other people's opinions drown out what we know is our truth and what feels right for us."

On her trip, she not only felt convinced she was meant to start a business, but also came up with the "She Takes on the World" concept. Listening to your intuition is key, MacNeil believes, and can lead to the best feeling in the world: alignment. She defined this as "when you feel like you are in the right place, doing the right thing."

Related: How to Start a Consulting Business

2. Make the time.

When MacNeil started She Takes on the World, she was actively running her first business with her co-founder. What she is known for now was actually her side hustle for about three years. How did she make the time? She made use of what she calls five-to-nine time, the space outside of one's nine-to-five.

"There were a few solid hours every day that I would focus on just doing two or three things to move forward," she says. "Sometimes that was creating a smaller digital course, sometimes it was writing for the blog or sometimes it was writing for another media outlet. Sometimes it was filming a video, but just small baby steps."

3. Maximize that time.

When you carve out that time, make the most of it. Like many of the entrepreneurs I interview, she swears by batching.

"Batching is my life," she jokes.

For example, she does all of her meal planning and preparation on Sundays so that she wastes no time on meals during the week. When I chatted with her, she had recently shot 72 videos -- basically her video content for the entire year -- during a four-day shoot.

But as entrepreneurs, we have new ideas and we want to tweak and to hone, so I had to know, do you still love that video when it actually comes out nine months later? Not always, she said, but as the saying goes, done is better than perfect.

"As an entrepreneur [you need to learn] to just let go of the perfection," she says. "My goal is to always get things to where I'm 80 percent happy, and then we get it out there, and we get feedback and we tweak it along the way."

4. Make the commitment.

MacNeil creates and publishes a massive amount of content each year. It's necessary, she explains, if you want to build a personal platform and grow a blog into business -- or grow any business in today's content-driven world. Many don't find success because they can't stay committed.

"It's a huge investment of time and resources and so many people give up along the way," she says. "If you want [big opportunities], you've got to be in this for the long haul. So find something that you are going to be passionate about, talking about on a regular basis, because you've got to do it and you've got to do it consistently."

Consistency is a key component of commitment, and one of her biggest pieces of advice to rookie entrepreneurs. She explains that between 2008 and 2011, there wasn't a single week that went by where she didn't work on the She Takes on the World brand.

Related: 10 Things Truly Confident People Do Differently

5. Choose your priorities.

Once you make time and start to maximize that time, it's important that you have your priorities straight. If you don't know the big picture goals, you'll end up putting effort into tasks that don't actually move the needle for your business. For MacNeil, those goals included getting press coverage, finding an agent and getting a traditional publishing deal. To stay on track she has a "5 by 5" Plan: five major goals a year, with five important tasks per goal.

"These are 25 main things that you're working on for the year, which I find makes your year flow a lot better," MacNeil says. "Focusing on 25 things in 365 days [makes it easier to know] what to say yes to and what to say no to."

6. Get really (really) detailed.

At this point in the interview, as MacNeil gave examples on how to break down goals and steps, I literally touched her arm to make sure she was human, and not a robot. The woman is a planning machine. She's passionate about this step because she believes many entrepreneurs don't realize just how much detail should go into their planning.

"The biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs make is not having enough deliverables," she says. "Not having enough things to hold yourself accountable."

7. Be proactive.

One of the big turning points for She Takes on the World was a Forbes feature on MacNeil. The feature came about, she explained, because she proactively followed reporters, journalists and editors on twitter. She made sure she was engaged in their conversations.

"That is an investment of your time but one that can definitely pay off," she says. "Business is all about building strong relationships. And Twitter was the platform that I used to build relationships with people who I otherwise may not have had access to."

Related: Why You Should Believe Anything Is Possible

8. Take care of yourself.

Like many peak performers, MacNeil is a believer in green juices, bulletproof coffee, staying hydrated and eating whole, organic foods. She is also a big believer in meditation and breathing exercises, which she's practiced for years.

"Health is wealth," she says. "You've got to take care of you, so that you have the energy to do the work that you want to do in the world."

9. Find support.

MacNeil says she believes mentors and mastermind groups are vital for success.

"I think you need to surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up," she says. "You need to surround yourself with people who have been where you want to go."

She warned about working with mentors that are too far ahead of you in their journey. Many times they can't remember what it's like to be in your shoes, so find someone who is just a few steps further along.

Support for MacNeil also includes a team of about 18, from part-time virtual assistants to production teams and a house cleaner. She recommend to look at your budget and start outsourcing small things as soon as you can.

10. Create a vision.

Early on, people in MacNeil's life didn't understand how she was making so much money from a blog. But She Takes on the World was never a blog to MacNeil. From day one, she treated the brand as a media company, even raising a round of funding to build the first iteration of her online membership platform. Having a long-term vision is vital not only for success but also for your own morale, she says.

"Know your purpose, stay in alignment with that, stay grounded in that, remember that why, always," she says. "Remember who you're serving."

Watch more videos from "The Pursuit" on the show's YouTube channel.

Related: How Amy Porterfield Went from Employee to Millionaire Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical and provides partners with distribution on Entrepreneur.com as well as our apps on Amazon Fire, Roku and Apple TV.

Click here to become a part of this growing video network.

Latest

How this Tech Entrepreneur, Biohacker, and Author is Helping Women with Their Periods

The founder and CEO of Flo Living on the future of biohacking and hormonal healthcare.

Duce Raymond of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ on Using Social Media Like a Boss

Interview with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Catering Culinary Director Duce Raymond about his fresh approach to social media content marketing and huge results with short video for the already world-famous brand.

The Key to Effectively Communicating Important Messages Is All About Simplicity

In our 'Creative Conversations in Advertising' series, award-winning Group Creative Director Giancarlo Rodas and Entrepreneur magazine Editor in Chief Jason Feifer discuss distilling complex ideas down to a simple message.

How to Deliver a Serious Message Through Humor

In our series 'Anatomy of an Ad,' Creative Director David Stevanov explains how humor can be a storyteller's most effective tool.

This Successful Shark Tank Entrepreneur Shares His Latest Innovation

The Founder of Ooonimals, Club 44, and the OOO Studio Lab talks about his current projects and what you need to know about the risks and rewards that exist in the NFT space.

Brendan Sweeney of Popmenu on How Ego is the Root of All Evil

Interview with Popmenu CEO Brendan Sweeney about building a positive user experience, the state of restaurant technology, and the importance of providing answers.

Recession-Proof Your Mindset with Neuroscience

With top economists fearing a recession, award-winning author Ben Angel teaches how to recession-proof your mindset with neuroscience to manage stress levels.

How to Find Your "Oxygen Points" to Sustain and Grow Your Business, According to an Investment CEO

Entrepreneur Network Partner Ashley Crouch sits down with the CEO of Al Zarooni Emirates Investments, Dr. Adil Alzarooni.

How to Get Investment Funding for Your Business

Entrepreneur magazine's Editor-in-Chief Jason Feifer and Narya Partner Falon Donohue have a lively and informative conversation about securing the funding you need to launch your dream.

Keith Koo Explains How Angel Investors Prioritize Startup Funding Decisions

Entrepreneur Network Partner Ashley Crouch sits down with the Managing Partner of Guardian Insight Group and Angel Investor, Keith Koo.

Why this Popular Web3 Esports Game Was Designed with a Play-to-Earn Model

The Chief Product Officer of MonkeyLeague discusses his company, why monkeys are all the rage for NFTs and gaming, and his advice for developers.

Want to Get Customers' Attention? Tell Them a Great Story.

In our 'Creative Conversations in Advertising' series, award-winning creative director Josh DiMarcantonio and Entrepreneur magazine Editor in Chief discuss the power of storytelling.

How Do You Get People Excited About a Product That Doesn't Exist?

In our series 'Anatomy of an Ad,' producer Liz O'Connor breaks down the components of the award-winning True Name by Mastercard campaign.

After Hearing "No" Dozens of Times This Entrepreneur Became Orlando's First $1 Billion Fintech Unicorn

The co-founder of Stax talks about the finding success, the pride she has as a child of Pakistani immigrants, and her advice for other women.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.