3 Key Strategies Needed To Build A Successful Side Hustle, According To UPenn Grad And NFL Linebacker

successful side hustle

Side hustles have been around for generations, but they have never been more in vogue as they are right now. Fact is, what happened in 2020 taught us many valuable money lessons, and having a successful side hustle to fall back on was one of them.

Side hustles are so popular right now that they aren’t just for the average Joe. Even professional athletes like Atlanta Falcons linebacker Brandon Copeland are getting their hands dirty trying to build generational wealth. Because like any smart investor, Copeland knows that one income stream isn’t enough. Even if that income stream is bringing in $1 million dollars per year.

Copeland also knows that his days as a professional athlete are numbered. Although he is only 30 years old, he’s journeyman linebacker who has already been on 6 teams over his 8 years in the NFL. His current one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons could very well be his last. And that is why he wants to have a diverse portfolio of income generating assets and side hustles for when he hangs up his cleats.

3 Key Strategies To Build A Successful Side Hustle

Learn From Others Who Have Succeeded

If you’re lucky enough to find a mentor, it can be one of the greatest catapults to wealth and success you will ever find. Paving your own way is great, but learning from someone else’s past wins, losses and listening to their life advice will help you supercharge your own financial wellbeing.

For Brandon Copeland, that mentor was his high-school football coach, Biff Poggi. But Poggi wasn’t just any football coach, he also happened to be a former investment-fund manager. And he taught Copeland at an early age about the importance of investing and diversifying his income streams.

Per Business Insider:

Copeland worked at Poggi’s office in the summer learning about the stock market. It was there he saw a Bloomberg terminal for the first time. Copeland credits Poggi’s mentorship with getting him into finance and giving him the confidence to pursue an investment-banking internship at UBS while playing football at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

Everyone has a multimillion dollar idea, right? Copeland thought he had one when he launched his own fitness app. The app was not a success, but the process taught him a very valuable lesson. “That experience taught me that if I’m going to do something, I don’t need to create something new,” he told Business Insider.

So what did he do instead?

He decided to invest heavily into income generating real estate assets. At first he did a lot of the heavy lifting. But now that his portfolio is robust (he owns two buildings; one with 44 units and another with 66), he has started to outsource most of the work.

“I still check in on things. I still make decisions when I need to. But ultimately, what I’ve been able to do the last few years is find people, invest more in the business and in the systems so that I can grow it,” Copeland said.

That exact strategy is how you turn a side hustle business into a passive income stream. You start with a lot of sweat and then you slowly, and carefully, start to remove yourself from the day-to-day grind.

Build A Long-Term Mindset That Money Is Your Employee

If there is one thing Brandon Copeland is acutely aware of, it is that his playing career isn’t going to last forever. At 30, he has a few good years left in the NFL, but once he’s done he’ll still have more than half of his life ahead of him. That is one fact that he tries to keep front and center in his own mind and when he is talking to other players in the league.

In fact, his approach is simple: money is your employee. And that money needs to be making you more money. “I think of every dollar as an employee where every dollar needs to bring me back a quarter, so it’s just starting to train that mindset” Copeland said.

That is truly the way to think. And the kind of mindset that builds not only a successful side hustle, but also generational wealth.

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C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.