How to Find a Side Hustle

By Jane Bertin. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to Find a Side Hustle

The phrase "side hustle" appears time and again on business magazines, blogs and networking events. If you are familiar with the term, you'll want to find your own.

What is a side hustle, though? It's a way to call a project or small business which you combine with your main job. While a side hustle is often a way of making your hobby profitable, it is not the same as a pet or passion project. In fact, it is a way to become self-employed and get extra money.

Not sure what your side hustle should be? Here at OneHowTo we'll show you how to find a side hustle. Stay with us.

You may also be interested in: How to Change Jobs Quickly

Know yourself

What is your passion?

If you're wondering how to find a side hustle, you should start by looking at how you already spend your time doing outside work: What is your passion? What hobby could you turn into a job?

If you can't think of anything at the drop of a hat, that's fine. It's probable that you have already had a side hustle and you didn't think of it that way: maybe you've been a babysitter, a tutor, a coach, or the proud owner of a lemonade stand. That is the secret of a side hustle - it doesn't have to be your life calling. It only has to challenge you to make the most of your time, to make you feel empowered and autonomous: you can be your own boss.

First, look outside: what side hustles do the people around you have? Then, look inside: what do you see yourself doing? Who are your inspirations, and how did they get to where they are now?

How deep is your commitment?

Not all side hustles require the same commitment and time. Take a look at your daily routine and optimize it, but remember to balance your main job and your personal life. Take it slow. How much time can you really spend running a side business?

Be realistic in your schedule: it's better to spend half an hour daily in a project than a whole afternoon once a week. For example, DJ-ing as a side hustle is very different from setting up playlists for your friends' parties. Even if you have very little time, commit to it.

Once you've set a pace, let it settle into your routine. Don't be overly ambitious in your deadlines, but stick to them. Remember that some side hustles require time to research and pitch to other people.

What are your main skills?

If you can't find a passion, that's fine: find what you're good at and develop it. Don't start a side hustle that requires a new lot of skills: that'll eat up your time. List your strenghts and your flaws. If you're don't know what your strenghts are, take a skill assessment test or ask your friends or co-workers.

  • Are you good at interpersonal relationships? You could be a good negotiator or middleman.
  • Do you need other's expectations to keep you motivated? Find a project with immediate engagement with an audience; you could be a blogger or a manager.
  • Are you a planner? You could plan events or business strategies.
  • Are you good at simplifying ideas? You could be a coach or a teacher.

Get to know the area you want to get into: take time to ask around and try it out first. Is it really for you, or are you simply in love with the idea of it?

How to Find a Side Hustle - Know yourself

Find your idea

A side hustle does not have to be unique, but it has to be yours. For example, there are a lot of lifestyle blogs: if yours is general, you will probably get bored with it and it will fade away. However, if you limit it to a small set of interests (from your hometown to your passion for terrariums) and commit to it, you will get a following.

Consider how you could multiply your side hustle's value. Network, get feedback - if you can, find a mentor. A side hustle is about autonomy, but no one is alone. Find a community of side hustlers and share tips: you might need freelancers and collaborators at some point. What are your advantages compared to theirs? What makes you and your idea competitive?

Work on your website, but don't limit yourself to the online world. You will find challenges and opportunities in your real-life community. Root your business there: give back.

How to Find a Side Hustle - Find your idea

Find an objective

You have a general idea for a side hustle, but what's its use? Consider who will be on the other side. Who wants what you offer? Is it a service to your community? Make sure it is needed. Is it a platform for your art? Do your thing, but remember you're courting an audience.

If you still don't have an idea, you can start with this step: Look around you and see what service is lacking. Maybe your brother has a hard time finding a sitter - what about an app that puts parents and sitters in touch? Maybe you notice your neighbor's lawn is out of control - could you offer to mow it for them?

Finding a target is not enough: you must receive input, and be able to communicate what you offer specifically. Explain your project, let it be known. Prepare an elevator pitch. Why would people want to give you their attention and their money? You must make them want to: show them your side hustle is worth their time.

Settle on a budget

Once you have an idea for your side hustle that fits your passion, available time and skills, plan a budget. Remember the "side" part of the name: start small, don't invest much, and reduce risks. Don't ask for loans, and keep your main job. It's good to be ambitious, but a side hustle is not your ultimate goal.

Take a look at what you have: find a side hustle that requires few new materials. What can you afford to put into your project? Will giving away your time for free be worth it? Most important of all: find a side hustle that motivates others to pay for your work, be it in actual money or in time.

How to Find a Side Hustle - Settle on a budget

Make the most of your strenghts

Still don't know how to find a side hustle? Here are some ideas:

  • Are you a good writer? You could be a freelance editor, proofreader, copywriter, researcher or consultant for all kinds of companies and authors.
  • Are you into arts and crafts? You could start a shop on Etsy for your creations and make good money from it. You could make your own media by starting a podcast, an online magazine or blog, or you could find your spot on Youtube and make money from sponsorships. You could put all those hours on Photoshop to good use and become a graphic designer.
  • Are you a people person? You could host tourists or students in your house.
  • Are you good with technology? You could set up websites or fix computers.
  • Are you good at housekeeping? You could be a house- or pet-sitter, a personal cook for special occasions or help with gardening or cleaning.
  • Are you good at explaining things and motivating others? You could be a tutor or a distance-learning teacher, a personal coach or a trainer.
  • Are you good with numbers? You could be a bookkeeper, a manager, or help others with their taxes.
How to Find a Side Hustle - Make the most of your strenghts

Get started!

It's time for you to start a side hustle!

Get organised

Use all the information you've gathered: your network, your inspiration lists, what you have and what you don't, what your target wants. Get organised: start a separate calendar from your main job, but keep them in sync if they're digital.

Start social network profiles and keep them up to date: build up followers, engage with them and remember to use tagging systems. It's also a good idea to get an independent email address for your side hustle.

Get known

You're about to become an entrepreneur! Don't buy into the myth that you can pull off an enormous success on your own. Find support and share your experience with others. Keep researching even once you've started: get to know your industry and find networking events. Don't get so caught up with your own project that you get thrown off the loop!

Businesses are constantly starting and shutting: your side hustle might fail. That's fine. Find another project, test the idea, start again. Know when it's time to quit and when it's time to move on and start a side hustle again. Don't be afraid of failure: you'll learn from it.

Keep looking

So you start a successful side hustle. What then?

Remember why you started it: to be challenged and to make the most of yourself. Don't get too comfortable! Listen to your audience and your fellow hustlers' feedback. What can you add to your project to strenghten and polish it? How can you turn it into a whole, well-articulated business?

Go back to your original idea and see what new side hustle can grow from it. Good projects are not static things. Keep moving!

How to Find a Side Hustle - Keep looking

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