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Are you looking for a side hustle that aligns perfectly with your personality, your skills, and your interests? It can be difficult. I know.
My journey into side hustles started when I got “let go” from a job in January 2019. That was the first time I ever got fired. Before then, I hadn’t considered the dangers of relying on a single source of income.
In the months that followed, I found myself scrambling to find another job before my emergency fund ran out. I promised myself I would never again be fully reliant on a single source of income.
Even then, finding side hustles that worked for me and my lifestyle wasn’t especially easy. There are lots of side hustle ideas.
- Virtual Assistant
- Facebook Ads Manager
- Social Media Manager
- Voice Acting
- Podcast Creation
- Graphic Designer
- Teaching Online Courses
But not all of these resonated with me. Either I didn’t have any related skills or I didn’t have any interest. Or both.
I’m a programmer, but I didn’t want to start a coding side hustle because of potential conflict of interest with my employer who is, after all, my current single source of income. Also, I didn’t want to get burned out from the work I do for my day job.
My breakthrough and subsequent ability to stop procrastinating and start taking action happened when I took some time to think about what really drives and interests me — not just what I think I can currently do in exchange for money.
The last thing you want is to start working on things that stress you out. The goal is to find work that excites you while also earning you extra money.
I hope this article helps you discover side gigs that align with who you are, what you’re good at, and what you’re interested in.
Own Your Schedule
Before picking a path, know that any side hustle is going to require lots of time and energy, especially in the beginning. It will take some time to overcome inertia. But once you get the ball rolling, momentum becomes your friend.
Look at your current schedule — work, family/friend time, fun and relaxation — and decide up-front how many hours a week you’re able and willing to invest in your side business. Pick a time commitment, and then stick to it.
If you have to cut out activities that aren’t helping you reach your financial goals — like Netflix or video games — start by cutting out those things first.
Try to be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to a side business and about what you can realistically achieve given your available time. Working consistently in small amounts is better than doing large chunks of work separated by days and weeks.
Pick an ideal schedule and start working on it. Even if you only have a few hours a week, a consistent schedule over time will absolutely have positive results. Everything compounds and no effort is lost as long as you keep going.
Side Hustles That Work For You
Your ideal side hustle aligns with your skills and interests.
What are you good at?
That’s the best first question to ask to discover where you want to focus your efforts.
When I was in school, I always had a very easy time writing essays. I always got good grades, even if I waited until the last minute to start. Math? Not so much. I know I’m not the best writer, but I’m good enough at writing to make it part of my side hustle. Honestly, good enough and a desire to get better is all you need.
Start by listing your current skills. Then list what you’re interested in. There’s a place where you notice your skills and your interests overlap. In this overlap there at least one great side hustle for you just waiting to be discovered.
Remember: you don’t have to be an expert at something to start working on growing it into a side business. You just need an interest and dedication to make it work with your schedule. If you have more knowledge in a given subject than someone else and you can help them improve their lives — personally or professionally — you have enough to build expertise and start making money.
What Makes A Good Side Hustle?
Just because it makes money doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for a side hustle. In my opinion, the best hustles are the ones that have the ability to scale and make you more money without you having to do a lot of extra work.
You can make about $17/hour driving for Lyft or Uber, but when you stop driving, you stop earning. And no matter how good you are at driving, you’re income is limited. Ideally, your side gig helps you build skills that help you earn more over time as you become more efficient.
Scalable side hustles include anything where one of the following is at play:
- You do work once up-front and keep getting paid
- You work increasingly more efficiently (read: work smarter, not harder) while charging more for your services over time
On Part-Time Money, Philip Taylor has an amazing article on 7 Business Ideas That Scale.
“A scalable business can be served up to exponentially more and more people without incurring an exponential number of operating costs. Digital products, courses, and blogs are great examples of scalable businesses.” – Philip Taylor
I recommend you read that article. It will give you more business ideas and important mindsets to have while choosing and developing a side hustle.
Discover Your Perfect Side Hustle
The following is a page from a free guide I wrote called Your Perfect Side Hustle.
The best way to find your perfect side hustle is to get in touch with what drives you. The best work you do is when your efforts don’t feel like work. That’s the goal.
So grab some coffee or tea and turn off your phone. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Or open a new file on Google Drive or wherever you like to work. Answer these questions honestly and completely. If you do, I guarantee you’ll learn about yourself and what motivates you.
Your answers will guide you to the perfect side hustle.
- What do I like to do? (List everything you can think of, not just things you think you can do in exchange for money.)
- What am I good at? (List everything you can think of.)
- What do other people tell me I’m good at, even if I think they’re wrong or just trying to be nice?
- What have I been paid to do before? (List everything you can think of.)
- What classes or subjects do I enjoy the most when I’m in school?
- What are the skills (or sets of skills) I’d like to develop?
When you’re done answering these questions, look for themes.
What excites you? Highlight that. What stresses you out? Cross that off your list.
Use your answers to guide you towards the kind of activities you find fulfilling, and look for side hustles that build on those activities.
If you want to find a new side hustle that aligns with your personality, skills, and interests, it can be difficult to know where to start.
The best way to find side hustles that work for you is to spend some time on self-discovery. 15 minutes spent thinking and writing can give you the clarity you need to start taking action to make extra money on the side.
List out your skills and your interests. At the intersection of what you’re good at and what you like, you’ll find clues to your perfect side hustle.
Whatever your schedule, commit to working on your business as soon as you select the right one for you. Once you have a direction, just go for it.
Start small. Stay consistent.
Are there other questions that can help guide you or others to the perfect side hustle?