The Side Hustle: How to find your hustle

On Wednesday 12th September, 2018, we premiered ‘’The Wednesday Series’’  and last night, Sola Solarin, author of the Startup Entrepreneur discussed the ‘’Side Hustle’’. The side hustle is typically a harbinger of confusion because the employer expects every team member put in 100% and not be distracted by personal business. On the other hand, even Warren Buffet advocates multiple income streams and employees want to self-actualise necessitating a side hustle.


Sola discussed how becoming an entrepreneur differed from what he had learnt in the classroom, experiences that led to writing his book. He talked about the ethical way to side-hustle.


Enjoy the conversation here:


UnocasaHR: Good evening @sola_solarin Thank you for joining us on the Wednesday series #UnocasaWednesday


UnocasaHR: @sola_solarin, can you please give us a brief history into your professional experience. #UnocasaWednesday

Sola Solarin: A pharmacist with a career that started in marketing in a multinational pharma company. Has bought and founded about 5 companies in the last 20 years in pharma, financial services and consulting. I have an MBA from the LBS.


UnocasaHR: @sola_solarin , How relevant is today’s topic, considering the current situation of the day to day work-life in Nigeria. #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday it is very relevant. Competition is stiff, a lot more uncertainties in the economy. Jobs are not stable and and everyone can do with a little extra money.


UnocasaHR: Tell us about your book ‘’The Startup Entrepreneur’’#UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday The book is about my experience setting up and running small businesses in Nigeria. It highlights the differences and alignments between precepts and reality. The challenges that are peculiar to emerging markets and real life examples of how to cope with them. A handbook for all startup entrepreneurs.


UnocasaHR: Why did you choose to write the book? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday After my MBA at the LBS and attempting to apply textbook precepts, I noticed there are huge gaps when confronted with reality of starting and running a small business in Nigeria. I felt a compulsion to document my experience.


UnocasaHR: We encourage multiple streams of income often necessitating a side hustle. What are your thoughts? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday Multiple streams of income is a necessity for survival and success. It is true for businesses and individuals and countries. The greatest investor in the world Warren Buffet also recommends it. The world and life itself is full of shocks. Moreso in an emerging market that is beset with so many uncertainties. No job or business offer guarantees. Risks are always lurking at every corner. Another stream of income can help mitigate those risks.

UnocasaHR: What are the most important considerations for starting a side hustle? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday The opportunities in the market, Your skill set, your passion and the resources at your disposal. All these can come together to provide you a profitable niche that you can exploit for a profitable income stream.


UnocasaHR: How does one find work-life balance with a full time job and a side-hustle? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday It is easier these days, information technology has lowered barriers to reaching customers, suppliers and transfering money. A side hustle delivered from the comfort of your bed or your garage or kitchen or study will reduce time spent away from home and family. It could also be delivered in the course of work, but it is important it doesn’t conflict with your employer’s interest.


UnocasaHR: At what point should you consider moving your side hustle to a full hustle? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday When you have done your projections and you are convinced it will deliver enough to cover your financial needs. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. You need the buy in of your closest family members and confidantes. They may need to suffer with you if the project doesn’t pan out.


UnocasaHR: Your book offers advice on how one can identify investment opportunities even in a distressed economy, what should we look at in Nigeria today? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday The front pages of newspapers and your immediate environment. The long line of trucks on the roads to apapa shows we need urgent logistics solutions. We are still discussing power, housing and access to finance. Mountain of refuse is opportunity for recycling and refuse processing services. Carry a notebook and jot down every service failures you experience in the course of your day. They are pointers to opportunities and unmet needs.


UnocasaHR: What strategic decision has been most impactful to your business? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday Turning a department in the company to a full fledged business. It created a new income stream and proved very profitable. Much more now than the main business.


UnocasaHR: Top 3 advice for intending entrepreneurs? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday

  1. Look for a niche that is severely under-served
  2. Better if you can be first mover
  3. Just do it once you have the conviction it will work.


UnocasaHR:   Where can we find your book to buy? #UnocasaWednesday


Sola Solarin: #UnocasaWednesday Okada books, Amazon and an email to


UnoCasaHR: @sola_solarin Thank you for sharing with us tonight.

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