Over the past few months I have realized that if I really want to get aggressive with paying off debt and saving, I need to find a side hustle. That’s somewhat difficult when on average I work 10 hours a day at my non-profit job before running off to class in the evening. (For those of you considering Graduate school let me warn you, most programs are pretty demanding) Anyway, throw MyFabFico in there and it makes for one busy gal. I have read of others like Michelle over at MakingSenseofCents.com who is blowing this out of the water. She made $10,000 in extra income last month.
So when I came across this post on OneSmartDollar I found it extremely helpful and wanted to share it with MFF readers.
Over the next several weeks I want to talk to you more about how to make money on the side. I run into countless people that complain that they just do not have enough money to meet their desires, yet they watch hours of TV per night (or engage in some other time draining activity). When I try to coach them on cutting expenses and earning more, I get the same excuses each time. Here are some of the more common hurdles to overcome, and how to work around them.
The biggest problem I run into is people claiming that they have no idea. They do not have a good business idea and therefore they shut down and do not even try. These people try to claim that they are not good at anything, and when I point out hobbies that they have, they claim nobody will pay them to do it. There are millions of ideas out there. And every one of them can be profitable if you just market it properly. Unfortunately, too many people think they need to have some unique idea or else it will never work. But how many mechanics do you know? How many carpenters? You do not need to be the only one; you just need to specify your niche. So how do you pick the idea that is right for you?
The first part of choosing what to do for your side hustle is to know yourself. Before you go any further, get out a pen and paper and make 3 columns. In the first column think about the things you like to do. Everyone has hobbies and interests, so list them all out. Do you like to read? Write? Garden? Build furniture? The possibilities are endless, and everyone spends their free time doing something.
In the next column over develop a list of the things you are good at, even if they are not your favorite activities. For instance, is your house spotlessly clean? Is your kitchen impeccably organized? Maybe you make your own clothes? Do you have a knack for fashion, music, or art? Alongside your hobbies and interests list, make a list of everything you are skilled at.
Now your third list is a list of all the things you do not like doing. This is the list of things that you are willing to pay to have someone else do. Do you hate washing your car? Mowing your lawn? Cleaning? Fixing your computer?
Now take a look at your lists. Your likes and don’t minds should far outweigh your dislikes. But those dislikes are opportunities that someone else has seen, and jumped on. They know you don’t like it (and there are millions of other people just like you), and they have made money doing the job you won’t.
Picking an idea
You should now have a plethora of ideas. Take the ones that interest you the most, and start to work out a business plan. It doesn’t have to be huge, and it doesn’t have to be intricate. Just weigh the pros and cons, and take a look at those who have made money doing it before you. Basically you need to look into this idea, and see if it is viable (which is something we will talk about more in the next few weeks).
Many people say they don’t have an idea of how to make money on the side. To that I call BS. Everyone has hobbies and everyone has skills. Sitting down and making a list of them all is the best way to get a visual of what you can do. After looking at that list you should start to realize that someone out there does not like doing, or cannot do, the things you have on your list. You can capitalize on their lack of desire.
Scott Sery is a native to Billings, Montana. Within an hour in nearly any direction he can be found fishing, hunting, backpacking, caving, and rock or ice climbing. With an extensive knowledge of the finance and insurance world, Scott loves to write personal finance articles. When not talking money, he enjoys passing on his knowledge of the back country, or how to live sustainably.
If you have a side hustle please share it in the comments section, perhaps you can help another figure out an additional way to bring in income.