With a background in Communications, International Aid and Innovation, Cassie created IZRA to empower young Australians with resilience and connect them with hope for the future.

Cassie has grown IZRA over the last five years to include a range of unique and interactive programs delivered by a team of speakers in Perth and Sydney, reaching thousands of young people a year.

Through her start-up and leadership experience, Cassie has the privilege of serving on the board of YouthCARE and has co-founded ‘Start your Side Hustle’, an event for budding business people.

Cassie presents a range of the Resilience and Entrepreneurial Workshops in schools for IZRA and speaks externally on topics such around starting a business, creativity and leadership.

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Perth | Sydney

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  • Cassie Kirtisingham

Start your Side Hustle

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

I started my business over 5 years ago and it was my side hustle for about 4 of those years, so I have learnt plenty of lessons when it comes to the side hustle! Here are some of them from our recently sold out 'Start your Side Hustle' event:

1. Start small: When we first have our idea it is often grand, exciting and multi-layered. We have these big dreams of what it will look like one day and all the different aspects to it. The problem is, often our grand plans are based on assumptions we have made about the market and what we assume they want, which can be dangerous if we invest everything into these assumptions.

It's not the exciting or glamorous thing to do, but to save yourself a lot of money and pain, the best thing you can do is pick one small part of your idea and test it with as little investment as possible. You want to test the product/service, the delivery, the price point, the target market and most importantly, the point of difference! Then, once you take your feedback, data and learnings, you can tweak the model where needed and invest in something you KNOW your market is looking for.

2. Ask for feedback

Often we want to keep our idea quiet until we think it is good enough for a perfect and grand reveal. So what we do is we invest everything into it without showing anyone, once again, basing everything on our market assumptions. Then, because we have invested all of our resources and so much of our identity into this idea, we are so scared of feedback that we get scared and avoid anything even remotely negative.

However, market feedback is actually your greatest tool in business and you want it as early as possible! In my first year of business, a potential client who chose not to work with us, offered to sit down and explain why they didn't want to work with us and what they were looking for. Everything within me wanted to protect myself and say 'no thank you!' but I went and her feedback led me to develop one of our most successful products yet!

3. Trust your gut but not your feelings.

We all love the high of a new idea. It’s one of my favourite feelings.

But then often after starting, that anxiety creeps and wakes you up in the middle of the night, or grips you when you go to talk to a customer. We often read into those feelings and think that they are a sign we shouldn't continue.

I was talking to a young videography earlier this year and he was saying that he loves his work, but when he thinks about it as his business, he gets anxious and wonders if that is a sign he should stop. Of course not!

A quote I love, says, ‘fear is most dangerous when it masquerades as wisdom.’

If your business is something that you feel you are supposed to do and you are testing your product/service with low investment, then when you ‘feel’ scared or anxious, you need to call it out as fear. It is not a sign.

Starting a side hustle can be scary and lonely, but your feelings are just that, fleeting and fickle.

4. Never be annoyed or embarrassed of starting small and running your business ‘on the side’

Any time you are doing something you love and you are connecting that with people, it is a success. It is even more of a success if they are paying you for it!

Everyone is so different and each business grows at a different rate depending on the founder’s time/capacity and the market. For me personally, those years of starting small and gradually adding other team members, while working other jobs, are the reason that we have the processes and brand consistency that we do.

Starting small allows for longevity and if that’s where you want to go, starting small is what allows you to grow big.

#BusinessStrategy #HintsandTips #StartUp #Entrepreneurialism

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