Did you know that a recent survey found that one in three Americans have a side hustle?
It seems like everywhere you look, someone is talking about their business ideas, how they’re making money outside of their full-time job, or how they’ve even quit their day job and gone full-time with their side gig.
All of that is exciting to see and read about, but what if you’re at the very beginning and aren’t sure how to find your side hustle?
First of all, you aren’t alone! Over 61 million Americans plan to start a side hustle in 2021.
And if you feel like you have a ton of ideas floating around in your head and haven’t been able to pin one down just yet, then hopefully this post will help you do just that.
How to Find Your Side Hustle
Make a List of Your Passions and Skills
We’re going to start with the basics here.
Think of this as a brainstorming exercise where there are no bad ideas. It’s just you and a blank piece of paper (or document, if you’re typing).
Now, place a line vertically down the middle of the page.
On the left side, you’ll list your passions, and the right side will have your skills.
For this first step, take as much time as you need to list out everything you truly feel passionate about and have a desire to do regularly.
For me, I really enjoy writing, talking to people, playing with my dog, watching game shows, stock trading, going on walks, and organizing things.
Here are a few questions that can help spark some ideas as well:
- What do you like about your current job?
- If you had the chance to work in any career field, what would it be?
- Did you have a favorite course in high school or college?
- Is there an activity you enjoy doing so much that you lose track of time?
- What type of work makes you feel energetic and alive?
Next, add your skills to the right side.
This could be communication, writing, graphic design, cooking, selling things, and so on.
Keep this list handy because we’re going to come back to it shortly!
Think About How Much Time You Have to Commit to Your Side Hustle
When thinking about how to find your side hustle, you need to keep your schedule top of mind.
Because burnout is REAL and so is overcommitting yourself.
You may find that you only have ten extra hours each week to dedicate to your side hustle.
The whole purpose is to know how much time you have so that you can choose a side gig that fits in with your schedule. (As you grow, this can always be adjusted, but it’s good to start with at least some type of plan.)
So if you work 40 hours each week, then you will need to figure out when you can fit in your side hustle around your day job.
I have an entire post on this topic, so be sure to check it out here: 5 Tips for How to Balance Work and Your Side Hustle
Decide How Much You Want to Earn
Do you have a set amount of money you’d like to make from your side hustle every month?
If so, you’ll want to calculate out how much money per hour you’ll want to be paid in order to reach that goal.
Now, some side hustles are naturally going to pay more than others, so if you have a lofty earnings goal, you’ll want to take that into consideration as you start to narrow down ideas.
Also, there are side gigs that pay right away whereas others are delayed until your work is done.
If you need the money right away, you’ll want to think about the types of side hustles that allow for that to happen.
Take some time to research how much various side hustle jobs pay and what the turnaround time is on receiving your payment!
Do Some Market Research
If some of your side hustle ideas line up with those that are already in existence, take some time to browse the web and see how saturated the market is, or how you can claim your unique stake in it.
Also, you can research potential sites where you can advertise your services, or connect with potential customers.
Now, if your ideas are a bit more unique, you may want to put some feelers out on Reddit, Quora, and social media sites to ask users what they think about it. Consider it initial market research to see if there’s interest!
Narrow Down Your List
By this point, we’ve covered the basics of how to find your side hustle, so let’s put it all together!
I want you to go back to your passions and skills list and start crossing off anything that doesn’t fit into your schedule and earnings goal.
You can also start crossing off anything that doesn’t scream “business” to you.
(As much as I enjoy watching game shows, there’s not really a way I can make money doing that, so it’s off the list.)
Also, don’t feel like you have to narrow your list down to one option right now.
Odds are there are a few side hustles you’ve found that fit the bill on everything, and that’s ok! You may want to test the waters in each and see which one truly fits you the best. That’s the great thing about this whole thing – you get to decide what work you want to do and when!
You Found Your Side Hustle — How Do You Get Started?
I wrote an entire post about how to start a side hustle, so definitely be sure to check that out as it dives into actionable steps to help get your feet off the ground.
But I also want you to remember this — sometimes starting can be the hardest part of this entire process.
You will probably go through periods of doubting yourself, wondering if you’re doing it right, or even being afraid to put yourself out there in the first place.
We’ve all gone through it at one point or another!
Just remind yourself of everything you’re working toward and don’t lose sight of your goals. Push through any doubts you have — I promise it will be worth it!