How To Find And Prioritize A Needle Mover Inside Your Side Hustle

April 20, 2022

I'm Amy! I'm a small business educator who got hooked on entrepreneurship after starting a cleaning business in college. Since my Clorox days, I've built many businesses. I've sold businesses. And I've helped small business owners do the same.


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A Guide For Noticing And Optimizing Your Side Hustle Needle Movers

When you run a business, it feels like there are a million aspects to consider and operate. From social media to content creation; it’s hard to know for sure what to work on next. And as a side hustler with a limited scheule and precious time, knowing how to scale your business is everything. As a side hustler, time management is the one thing that can seperate sustaining businesses from others. This is why understanding what a needle mover is inside your side hustle and how to prioritize that thing should be a top goal.

Prioritization As A Side Hustler

When you run a side hustle, any needle mover inside your business can help prioritize tasks, scheduling, and new projects. Paying attention to what truly makes a difference in your business is huge. If the goal of your side hustle is to make money (and it should be), then you can identify a needle mover by asking yourself, “what directly helps me make money?”.

Since your business operates from fewer hours, you have to make use and leverage all of the time you can. Prioritizing the tasks that are directly related to your goal will serve you a lot more in the long run. And it doesn’t mean you can only touch tasks that make money, it just means you should prioritize. When side hustlers fail to prioritize needle movers, they often end up spinning their wheels with few to no results.

What’s a needle mover and how to find it

A needle mover is anything that directly grows your side hustle. It can also be thought of as anything that makes you money or creates an opportunity to make money via new leads. If you wrote your top goals for your side hustle, needle movers would be the items that directly help you reach those goals.

Needle movers will look different depending on your side hustle. When we think of non-needle movers, we often think of things like social media. However, if you generate your main income from social media posts, then this would be a huge needle mover for your side hustle! However, if you don’t generate the majority of your income (or any direct income at all) from social media, this may not be a true needle mover and should be a top priority.

It can be hard to let go of non-needle movers. And you don’t need to entirely. Instead, you simply need to know how to prioritize the items within your business that make a true difference. Write down all of your trule needle movers inside your side hustle and be sure you are scheduling time in each week to work on those.

Money Makers

No matter what type of side hustle you run, your goal is to make money and earn a profit. Therefore your needle movers for this can be thought of as anything that directly earns income in your business. These items that come to mind are true needle movers inside your side hustle and should be prioritized.


  • Products / Services
  • Systems for receiving money
  • Secondary income (affiliate income)

Believe it or not, it’s easy to overlook direct income drivers within our businesses. We may not even spend most of our time looking at these. Sometimes instead we pour our energy into social media, design and other aspects instead of truly refining the products or services that make us money.

And even though social media is great, we have to remember to prioritize the thing that is making us money. Only through that can we truly scale our side hustle and grow.

Lead Generators

A lead generator is another example of a needle mover inside your side hustle. Running a business, creating products, and showcasing you and what you do is great. However, it’s very short-lived if you do not generate leads. Begin to look at your lead generators inside your side hustle and how you can expand on them even more.


  • Lead magnets or freebies
  • Opt-in System
  • Online platforms and exposure

Any method or channel for getting a new lead into your side hustle should absolutely be prioritized. Without new leads, our side hustle becomes stagnant and we aren’t able to grow or scale along with our business. Pay attention to how new leads are coming your way and how you can leverage this even more.

Direct Income Influences

Another example of a needle mover inside your side hustle is a direct income influence. Now, this may not be the thing that truly earns you a profit itself. Instead, this heavily influences your direct income. It’s just as important to pay attention and prioritize what is getting your products and services considered (not just noticed) and see how you can expand on that.


  • Nurture sequences
  • Sales funnels
  • Ads to products/freebies

When you prioritize items like these inside your side hustle, you are directly supporting your products and services and thus, your income stream. It would be amazing if all of our leads simply bought or booked on the spot. However, purchases typically start upstream with a free offer or promotion and trickle into nurture and conversation. This is why prioritizing income influences is so important.

your needle movers

Oftentimes we already know what our needle movers are within our side hustle. If asked, we can likely recite 3-5 items that truly make a difference in our business and get us closer to our goal. The swift happens when we prioritize those items. Carving out intentional time to audit, review and refine needle movers is when our side hustles can truly see growth and scale.

Part of prioritizing your needle movers is getting organized! Download my FREE Trello Board Template For Side Hustlers to create your after-hours schedule, record all of your important numbers and make an action plan for observing your needle movers every day.

Get organized with your needle movers by downloading my FREE Trello Board Template For Side Hustlers!

I'm Amy Schmidt

Hi there!

I'm a small business cheerleader, strategist, and course creator who loves seeing others earn income in unconventional ways. I started a cleaning business in college and have side hustled since, selling my latest part-time business for $151,000.


I'm Amy Schmidt, your new business strategist!

I'm a small business development and sales strategist who loves seeing others earn income in unconventional ways. I started a cleaning business in college and have side hustled since, selling my latest part-time business for $151,000

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