How to Create and Cultivate a Side Hustle
I recently ran a workshop on how to start a side-hustle and I want to share some of that insight in a blog post. So today I’m going to be talking about how to create and cultivate a side hustle.
There a few steps to finding a viable side hustle and it may lead you down the route to starting multiple hustles. For now, though focus on one.
Step 1: Write down your skills
Using a piece of paper, notebook or notes app on your phone write down your skills. This can be anything from your strong networking skills to your ability to code. If you’re great at podcasting or really love to study your family history then these are all skills. You can put down your education qualifications or your already discovered hobbies.
For me, I would put down skills like social media, podcasting, writing, blogging, coding, online design, basic photoshop skills, personal branding, public speaking, and communication.
Step 2: Write down your dream jobs
On the same piece of paper/app write down every dream job you’ve ever had. It doesn’t matter if it seems silly, unreachable or nothing to do with the skills you have, just write them all down. It’s likely that you’ve got more than one dream as well, and that’s great! Write them all down from the smallest dream to the biggest version.
For me, I would probably write down actress, novelist, genealogist, radio presenter, historian, journalist, business owner.
Step 3: Write down a three-step to-do list
Looking at your skills and dream jobs, see if any of them match up. You are good at public speaking and you want to be a radio presenter, ever considered starting a podcast? You love writing code and want to be a web developer, ever thought about starting up a small freelance business as a blog creator?
This step can take a while and you should come up with multiple streams to really put down a three-step plan.
If you take the radio presenter dream above as an example, three steps might be:
- Get a microphone to start a podcast
- Create a social media account for my podcast
- Contact 10 people I would like to interview and see if they would be interested in coming on my podcast
These aren’t the only steps you’ll be taking to launch a podcast but they are three that could get you started.
Another example might be an editor. If you’ve got writing skills already and you want to be an editor then your three steps might be:
- Take a course on proof-reading or copy-editing – whether via OpenUniversity, a writing course or from watching YouTube/Skillshare videos
- Do research into other freelance editors and see what qualifications they have, what their prices are, who they’ve edited for – businesses? Self-published authors? Publishing houses?
- Launch a website offering your services
Managing your expectations
The thing I really have to drive home to people when offering advice to them about creating and cultivating a side-hustle is this: it won’t happen at once.
It has taken me many a month to get my side-hustles off the ground. Some of them, such as my blog, was not producing any income for me for more than 5 years! Mostly because I wasn’t looking for a second income, I simply did it for fun.
If you’re doing something for fun it is a hobby, if you’re doing something offering a service, whether it be content production or actual hour-by-hour service then you are running a side hustle. And if you’re running a side hustle there should be some monetary gain in it for you. But that doesn’t mean you’ll become a millionaire, or even need to register as a freelancer overnight.
First comes Heart then comes Hustle
My next piece of advice, and probably the most important is this: YOU HAVE TO LOVE YOUR SIDE HUSTLE.
If you’re doing a side hustle purely for financial gain you’ll never make enough money to pay for those hours of enjoyment back. Make sure that you love what you’re doing, after all, a side hustle is a job that you choose to do on the side, not something you have to do. It’s not a second job, it’s a side hustle for a reason.
Don’t start a side hustle simply for the sake of starting one. First, find something you enjoy doing and want to do, then let it become a side hustle. You’ll be more passionate, see results at a much quicker pace and you won’t burn out.
When people ask me how I have so many side hustles and still manage to have a social life, this is the reason I give to them. I only do what I love, when I want to. And because of that, I am able to be a Marketing Manager, a podcaster, a blogger, a public speaker, and a freelance journalist.