Most people have one.
From small projects in bedrooms and living rooms, to bigger ventures with their own dedicated spaces, side hustles – or an enterprise that you run in your spare time – are a key part of many of our lives.
At its most basic, a side hustle is a type of business that you run outside of your normal work. So, for example, by day you could be a mild-mannered receptionist, politely taking calls, but by night you’re running a powerful business selling stock across the world.
Side hustles are obviously a great way to gain extra income, which is why a lot of people have one. Some of the most common are:
– Handyperson work
– Delivery work
– Online freelancing
– Paid surveys
– Pet walking
I’m not going to attempt to list every single side-hustle there is (spoiler alert: there’s an awful lot of them). Instead, I’m going to give you some of my top tips for finding a side hustle that’s suited to you!
You stand more chance of success with your side hustle if it’s something you’re interested in and you’re passionate. After all, if you’ve just have a grueling day at your ordinary 9 to 5 job, the last thing you’ll probably want to do is go straight to a grueling shift at a side hustle which you have no interest in. For example, if you have a mortal fear of clowns, it’s probably not a good idea to become a children’s entertainer as a side hustle!
So, the lesson here is that if your heart isn’t in it, you’ll probably find it difficult to sustain in the long-term. That’s why your side hustle has to be suited to your passions.
Of course, you can definitely succeed if you aren’t experienced in a particular side hustle, but some form of passion in the area you’re focusing on will obviously give you a headstart!
When you’re trying to work out which side hustle to choose, think about your current passions and your hobbies, and ways they could be monetized. What are you passionate about?
Do you love music and play guitar? Why not teach it to others? Like cycling? Why not get a gig economy job as a bicycle food courier? Get a kick out of gardening? Offer your services out your neighbourhood.
To settle on a good side hustle, you’ll also need to have an awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses too.
It’s a bit similar to the issue we saw with choosing a side hustle that you’re passionate about – you’ll find more success if you choose something that you’re relatively good at or you already have a talent for. Likewise, weaknesses can tell you which particular side hustles you’re likely to be suited to and which you’re not.
Weaknesses don’t necessarily mean that you aren’t cut out for a particular side hustle – they just show you areas where you might struggle and where there’s room for improvement. Most can be relatively easily overcome with a bit of time, focus and patience.
All good businesses usually solve problems in some way, through the services they offer or the goods they create.
For example, Will Craig found out first-hand how difficult it was to compare car leasing deals online when he was trying to find a car for his business. He said, “I got really confused when I tried to compare car leasing deals and thought I could create something that could make the market easier to navigate.”
That set the wheels whirring in his head, and he came up with a simple comparison website, LeaseFetcher, that could compare a huge amount of car leasing deals and present them in a simple-to-understand way. “It was a happy accident that a really profitable idea came out of a frustrating afternoon spent trying to find lease deals!”
Will’s example just goes to show that potential side hustles are everywhere where you feel frustrations or experience problems. You just have to look for an opportunity that can be followed up!
As well as thinking about abstract things, like your skills, experience and interests, addressing concrete factors like how much time you’ve got available to spend on a side hustle can help you find the right one too.
60-hour working weeks might make it quite difficult to fit in a side hustle around your existing commitments so having a clear indication of your availability can be particularly useful in matching a side hustle to your overall availability.
Jim Wang from Wallethacks.com, makes a really important point in a recent blog. It’s something that a lot of people accidentally lose sight of in their quest to find the perfect side hustle. Jim argues that one of the best ways you can find your perfect side hustle is to think about why you actually want to start one. This will lead to choices that are suited to your situation and motivations because some side-hustles are going to be better at generating particular things or experiences.
Ask yourself some key questions about your motivations: is it a temporary measure to make a little extra money in the short term, or is it a career development tool? Doing so will help to keep you focused and make finding a side-hustle more effective.
Ready to start or grow your side business? Find out about the Futurpreneur Canada Side Hustle Program here.
Tom Butcher is a freelance writer who recently escaped the world of print journalism. He covers a wide range of topics, including finance, business and motoring. You can follow his (new) Twitter feed here.