There’s a Side Hustle for you!
Four Steps You Can Take to Find Out Which Side Hustle Fits You Best
Use your Expertise to start your Side Hustle.
Some say do what you love and make money doing it.
I say find a problem that needs a solution. Use your skills and experience to try to solve that problem. Make money in the process and figure out if you like it.
Stick around and I’ll explain further.
If you can identify a problem or a need and figure out how you can solve that problem using the skills you already have. During that process, determine what would bring you the most joy while you’re fixing it.
Usually, our skills and experience are aligned with what we enjoy doing. Sometimes that’s not the case, and that’s where you need to reevaluate and look inward and figure out what brings you joy. Start associating your skills and experience towards that thing.
I recommend doing these four things first. Then, worry if you can find something that you enjoy doing.
1. Determine the problem.
The first step in finding a side hustle or business that suits you is to determine the problem.
You need to fix a problem, fill a hole, do the things that people are too busy or too lazy to do.
The first step of determining the problem is to fix that problem. Ask yourself these things throughout your day; What are your pain points? What are the things that bother you? What do you wish was improved during your commute, when you get to work, on your way home, when you run into the grocery store? What are the things that really bother you and say, “Dang! I wish somebody would fix this.”
This makes me think of Motion Activated Floodlights. In my earlier 20s, when I was single, I would get home and I’d always come home to a dark house. I’d have to keep the outside light on all day because I wanted a light to come on when I arrived at my home. Then my dad, or my uncle, or somebody recommended the floodlights.
I step foot out of the garage, up to the door, the floodlights beam on, and boom, I have the security I need. I can see where I’m sticking my key.
Someone recognized a problem and then solved it.
The spatula, the thing you used to flip pancakes, or the item you use to scrape the bowl and get all the cake mix or pancake mix out of the bowl. Someone was a baker, and they said, “I can’t get all this stuff out of the bowl” or “I can’t flip my pancake.” So they created a spatula.
It seems small and insignificant, but think about who has the patent on the first spatula. Think about how much money this person has made by filling a hole and solving a problem. DoorDash, Jiffy Lube, the Scrub Daddy, Uber, Lyft, Amazon, so many companies.
There’s always a problem that needs fixing. Be the person to fix it.
Fill a hole.
What is something that exists already, but there’s not enough of it?
Is there something missing in your community, your household, at your job, on the Internet? Do you go looking for something and it’s hard to find? Is there something that you like to buy that’s always out of stock?
You’re not the only person buying it. You’re not the only person looking for it. Maybe you need to get that inventory in and sell it yourself.
Are you tired of buying something super expensive, but you know it’s made out of plastic? So it can’t be that expensive to make. Figure it out.
Find out if you can be the person that fills that hole and solves the problem for everybody else looking for it as well. That’s what I plan to do.
Start a business or a side hustle that caters to people who are too busy or lazy.
One of my first businesses years ago, when I was going to college full time, was called Everyday Assistant. It was a personal assistant service. I started it when I lived in Tennessee, and it was meant to run errands.
This is before all of these popular apps. I was one of the first before anyone had it. Before there were all these easy-to-do websites. I was designing my own website and making it happen.
I advertised. I found people that needed it, that had the income to pay me, and at that time, I think I was charged $40.00 an hour. I would do the grocery shopping, I would run errands, I would pick up dry cleaning, I’d do personal shopping, organizing, I did it all. I just had a flat rate of $40.00 an hour, plus whatever I bought.
I had a business credit card, so I would buy the things they needed and get reimbursed. I got shirts made, I had a logo, I had a metallic decal I can put on my car. It was amazing!
I was fixing a need. I was solving someone’s problem, and now I’m that person. I’m the person who’s too busy to do something and sometimes too lazy, so now what do I do? I call Uber or DoorDash, or have stuff delivered, Postmates, or whatever it may be.
This all came from someone seeing a need for people who are too busy throughout their day, and they filled it.
The final way you can determine the problem is to ride the wave. When you’re riding the wave of something that’s already successful, you just get on, and you continue to help fix that problem. The perfect example of this is the fidget spinner. I don’t think the fidget spinner is as popular as it was a year or two ago, but think about when the fidget spinner first came out.
You saw it at one place. Then a month later, you saw it everywhere, from Best Buy to Target, to Home Depot to Bed Bath and Beyond. For goodness sake, there were fidget spinners everywhere!
Someone saw that there was a need. Someone saw people making them and people buying them, and said, “I want to make them too.” They got out there and started selling them as well. It filled the need of people who can’t sit still, not just ADD and ADHD, but some people just fidget. Some people need to have something in their hands.
I’m sure there were thousands of merchants, retailers, and manufacturers that were riding the wave of the fidget spinner, and I bet you most of them came out on top.
Some other ideas about determining the problem, are selling things on Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, driving for Uber, Lyft, becoming a consultant, selling an online course, writing a book, writing an E-book. The list goes on and on.
There is a side hustle that fits your expertise.
2. Determine if it's profitable.
The second step of finding the perfect business or side hustle is to determine if it’s profitable.
Once you determine the problem, figure out if you can make money fixing it?
This will require some market analysis and market research, and a lot of Googling. The best way to solve this problem is by doing a SWOT analysis.
This is figuring out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the product’s industry. Figure out what the good things are about it, the bad things, or you bring it to market.
What are the opportunities? Where can you sell it? How can you sell it? How much money can you make? Etc.
Then the threats. Is the market oversaturated? Is it hard to make this product? Is it expensive to make it? Do you have access to the materials? Can you find a manufacturer? Can you afford the franchise license? It helps you evaluate the barriers to entry and the avenues of success.
3. Figure out what you're good at.
The third thing you need to do is now figure out what you’re good at.
Figure out what piece of this problem you can solve. Let’s use the fidget spinner again. Suppose you’re not good at talking to people, but you’re a techie kind of person.
You’d be good at bringing the fidget spinner online. So if you can’t talk to people, maybe you wouldn’t be the person that’s going to bring the fidget spinner to Home Depot, in Bed Bath and Beyond because that’s going to require some phone calls. That’s going to be you putting yourself out there. That’s going to require you selling to those people, but if you’re a techie kind of person, you can create a website. You can help with the website.
You can write communications, then you can get the product from the manufacturer, FBA it on Amazon, and sell it online. You don’t have to be the person to talk to them.
Ride that wave, and capitalize on the talents you have, and not have to step out your box, step outside your comfort zone.
I do recommend coming out of your comfort zone though, because you might make more money doing things you’re not comfortable doing. If you do it long enough, you eventually become more comfortable and even good at it.
Think about the last time you captured someone’s full attention, and when you figure out that moment, what were you talking about? What was so captivating that you have their attention? Were you an expert at something? Are you just telling a story? Was it interesting?
Unpack that, get down deeper, figure out what it was. See if you can recreate that and see if you can make some money off of it while doing it.
4. Determine how much time you can dedicate.
The fourth and final step I have for helping you determine the best side hustle or business for you is to determine How Much Time you can dedicate to the side hustle or business.
If it’s a side hustle and you know you have five extra hours on your weekend and one hour each night to do it, then you need to base your side hustle around that.
How much effort do you have to put into it?
Some ideas don’t have an expiration date, like selling Kleenex, or flower, or sugar, or something that someone’s always going to need.
But if you want to ride that fidget spinner wave, your time will be pretty finite. If you don’t have the time to bring it to market while the wave is still high, you shouldn’t even pursue it.
A lot of things you need to strike while the iron is still hot. All I ask is that you be honest with yourself.
These four steps are not a complete list. I will continue to give you ideas and inspiration to figure out your side hustle and what your business will be.
I hope I’ve left you with some inspiration to help you reach your exponential greatness.