The ‘FIVE MAGIC INGREDIENTS’ from Big Ideas for Small Businesses by John Lamerton


In the book, Big Ideas for Small Businesses, Lamerton introduces ‘five magic ingredients’ for success which are GOALS, DESIRE, KNOWLEDGE, ENVIRONMENT and ACTION. Each of these ingredients if used properly can help your side hustle succeed. Let’s explore each one

GOALS: A goal helps you define a destination you want to get to, so without a goal you really have no clue where you are heading or what you are aiming for. Goals help you to set up a ‘north star’ or destination you want to get to. What should a good goal look like? It needs two qualities:

  1. What exactly do you want to achieve?
  2. By when exactly do you want to have achieved it?

DESIRE: Having a GOAL for your side hustle is great but how bad do you want to achieve it? Do you have something strong that is driving you to achieve the goal no matter what? That is what the DESIRE ingredient is about. According to Lamerton,

when we say we can’t do things that we have the ability to do, what we really mean is that we don’t want to do it…Most people fail to achieve their goals because they don’t desire them enough to do the nasty stuff that’s needed to get the job done.. nothing happens unless you truly want it badly enough – everything has a price. Desire is the price you’re willing to pay.”

You must have a strong DESIRE that will drive you to do the necessary work to achieve the GOAL you set for your side hustle.

KNOWLEDGE: What you put in your head affects how you respond to your side hustle. Having the right kind of knowledge is necessary for you to succeed in the first place and to keep succeeding, you will need to keep learning. There is no such thing as a know-it-all, seek out the KNOWLEDGE you need to make your side hustle succeed. You need to start with identifying the key success factors for your side hustle and then deciding on how to get the right KNOWLEDGE about those key success factors. For example, to successfully sell your product or service, you may need to improve your marketing skills. Go and get the KNOWLEDGE you need and learn to be better in that area.

ENVIRONMENT: Lamerton writes that,

Your network equals your net worth. Who you hang around with matters. What you read, watch and listen to matters”.

Your environment refers to what you have around you and the impact they have on you. This can be the people you interact with, the kind of information you take in, where and what you spend your time on. Don’t overlook this. Not everyone will be in support of your side hustle. People may see it as a joke or waste of time. Move away or at least spend less time with people that diminish your side hustle. Look for people who can help you succeed whether they are in person or virtually. Attend both face-to-face and virtual events where you can meet likeminded people who can help you go forward. Don’t create an ENVIRONMENT where you spend endless time, consuming pointless media content. Change what you watch and hear to what moves you towards your GOAL.

ACTION: This is the last of the ingredients and the most important one. This is because, you can have a great GOAL, aligned DESIRE, lots of KNOWLEDGE and a positive ENVIRONMENT but if you don’t act on all of that, nothing will happen, nothing will change. This is the vital ingredient because it determines if you will succeed or not. Lamerton writes that,

“Imperfect action trumps perfect inaction every time.”

ACTION is what ensures that all the prior work and planning you’ve done will yield results. Lamerton warns us that,

“This is where most people go wrong – they spend most of their time in the planning stages of their goals, because, let’s face it – that’s the fun part – the bit where you get to imagine how amazing your life is going to be when you’ve achieved your goal.”

Don’t fall into that trap. Take ACTION and achieve your side hustle goal.


What about you?

  • Have you written your side hustle GOAL?
  • Does the GOAL clearly state what you want to achieve?
  • Does the GOAL specify by when you want to have achieved it?
  • Why do you want to achieve that side hustle GOAL?
  • What’s the driving DESIRE pushing you to achieve the GOAL?
  • What do you need to learn to move your side hustle forward?
  • Do you have the right ENVIRONMENT to support the success of your side hustle?
  • What may need to change in your ENVIRONMENT to aid your success?
  • Are you still dreaming or are you acting on your GOAL?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s