In my last blog post, How I Started a Side-Hustle, I wrote about the benefits of having a side-hustle, why I did it and the mindset that one must have to be successful. Now that I explained that, I’ll take you deeper into how I created a foundation of a successful business. I had to start by building a blueprint of what my side-hustle would look like and I’m going to help you build your blueprint too. A blueprint are plans on paper, not the finished product as far as exactly what your business would be (that will be in the next post), but is critical to developing the best business model for you. Believe me, for a side-hustle, there are businesses that won’t fit your situation including your current work and family life, and this blueprint will begin narrowing down what business will be the most successful for you.
1. Do What You Love – Passion is Sustainable.
When was the last time you were truly motivated to do something you dreaded doing? Most people build avoidance around something they don’t want to do. But when you do something you truly love doing it’s much easy to make the time to invest, the motivation is there and you get energy from even thinking about it.
I’ve seen individuals create a business just to make money and may not passionate about what they put out into the world. I can tell you by client experiences that this is just not sustainable. You’ll be forcing yourself to do something unnatural and uncomfortable which will show in your product, service and your customers will see right through it. It will also take you so much more time (double that time in your time budget!) to get things done.
I often have people tell me they don’t know what their passion is and they need to find it. It makes me wonder if this search for passion seems like an Easter egg hunt...you don’t have anything until you find the egg and then you’re done! I think that passion is not something you find, but something you feel when doing it with a certain person or group of people. My passion is not exactly being a business coach. My passion is feeling energized and excited about people’s dreams to be their own boss, the satisfaction I feel when people see the potential in themselves, and the gratification when people have an “aha” moment when we are coaching. As you can see there is a feeling + an interest + person or people.
The Myers-Briggs personality type assessment has been a valuable tool for many to help articulate what people really enjoy, where they receive and give their energy and what business style they may have. If you are an extravert and start aa business that does not have any social exposure, some kind of community or way of getting energy from external sources, at some point you’ll be forcing yourself to be uncomfortable doing something unnatural and your business will not be sustainable. Vice-versa for those that are introverted and enjoy more time getting energy and reflecting inward. Just won’t work over time.
Build what brings your energy, build the feeling you want. Build from your passion. It’s the best start you can have.
What is your Myers Briggs personality type?
How do you know you’ve found your passion? What would you see, feel, hear and experience?
What is your feeling + interest + person/people equal to?
2. Start small with what you know.
Because a side-hustle is defined as a business or activity a person does while having a regular job, occupation, or full-time responsibility like a SAHM or caregiver, I advise people to start small. Finding those pockets of time and identifying what your passion is what can you do that would be a good fit.
If you love the satisfaction of when a parent learns new parenting methods that you have gained over your years of being a SAHM, you could write an e-book, manual or do a 3 hour in-person training class.
If you have learned how to grow the best cucumbers in the world and feel pride when people taste them, go sell them at the local farmer’s market including cucumbers and seedlings. You could also find a local restaurant that purchases local produce.
I know a woman whose side-hustle (turned full time) is creating amazing visual presentations. She started small with what she knew and grew her business exponentially.
People often ask me if they need degrees or certifications. It may help in certain situations, however some of the best people I’ve worked with are self-taught. They weren’t doing it for a long time either or are not members of an association related to their craft. If you do want more education, you can find options online. Don’t wait to start your business because you don’t think you are expert enough.
What you know also must solve a problem for your customer. This is EXTREMELY important and will help you really narrow down what your business will look like but we must start here. You’ll find problem solving in my next blog post so stay tuned.
What are all the different skills you have? Write them all down, don’t leave anything out.
What are experiences you can share with others?
3. Keep it flexible.
The beauty of a side-hustle is that you can be in charge on how much time and effort you put into your product or service. Try as best as possible to create a business that can be flexible to meet your personal time needs. For example, having a brick and mortar store-front usually requires that you are physically there. In keeping your day job and a side-hustle, it would be impossible to be in two places at one time, unless your schedule really worked to accommodate it. That is why you see a high percentage of online businesses as a side-hustle vs. in person businesses. This way your business can be run from anywhere in the world, is much easier to automate delivery of your product or service and you can choose the times of day when you work and customers won’t see you running your business in your pajamas.
We all know there are ebbs and flows with work and business and there may be a time where your day job will require your more of your attention. A flexible side-hustle will allow you to accommodate these times and pick and choose how many customers you serve or product you sell without compromising your business presence.
I also strongly recommend that when you have some time to focus on your side-hustle, do not waste it. Prepare ways and create backup plans for the inevitable emergencies or needs in other areas of your life. This means creating additional blog posts, scheduling your social media using services such as Tailwind, keeping ahead of your communications and customer engagement plans. We all need to go on vacation sometime so be prepared!
What does flexibility mean to you? Be specific.
Looking at your current schedule and life activities, what are things that could happen that could impair your ability to give attention to your side-hustle? What are some ideas to overcome that (hint: there are some in this post)
What kind of business/delivery of services or products would work for your schedule? (online sales, brick and mortor, training and teaching, etc.)
As you answer these questions that I’ve posed to you in this post, you’ll start seeing a side-hustle emerging. Are you getting excited yet? There is still more detail to give in creating this baby, so stay tuned to the next post to get just that. Aloha!