Does this sound familiar?
You work 40 hours a week at your day job. You may enjoy it, but it leaves a lot to be desired. You know it's not what you are meant to do, but aren't ready to let go of the security of your 9 to 5.
What's the solution? Start a side hustle!
Everyone and their cousin (who has a blog) will encourage you to start a side hustle. But, just how are you supposed to do that? They make it sound so easy, but offer no guidance on the matter.
I started my side hustle in 2014, after reading many personal finance blogs praise "side hustles" as quick fixes to all my money problems. What those posts failed to mention, is that a side hustle will likely take time, money, and energy for a while before you start seeing returns.
If you are starting a side hustle to make a quick buck - I encourage you to seek other options. If your side hustle is an outlet for your creative passions, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Do some soul searching.
If you are anything like me, you're an avid project starter who wants to jump into the deep end somewhere (anywhere). Before you hurry off to JoAnn's or Amazon, take some time do soul search. Start with a blank piece of paper and write for 10 minutes, list anything you are thinking of starting as a side hustle, things you love, things you super don't like. Whatever you do, don't stop writing until 10 minutes has passed.
Follow your passions.
There is no point in starting a side hustle in something you hate. You'll be in for a rocky road. Choose something that you already really like to do (see, this is why I forced you into that writing exercise!). Take some online strengths tests, or a job-personality test. This may help you discern where your interests and skills lie. You may need to flex your creative muscle to match your skills, interests, and goals with a side-hustle that is enjoyable.
Start where you are.
You don't need a $4,000+ website or a $1,000+ to start your side hustle business or hobby. Start where you are, both with skill level and resources. Focus on networking with the right people, instead of spending money on flashy marketing tools. Bonus tip: find a way to work your new side hustle into your day job. Do you dream of working as a designer? Ask your boss if you can help design a flyer for an upcoming company event!
Find your people.
What kind of work excites you? Who are the people you click with? Find them, seek them out, and get to know them. This may mean joining some Facebook groups or twitter chats. Building relationships as you start your side hustle is vital, and could mean getting your first clients much sooner than trying to do everything on your own.
Prioritize your (limited) time.
Working full time eats up your days. Set goals and make plans to complete the tasks that will bring you closer to your goals. Carve out time before work, during lunch, or on the weekends to dedicate to your side hustle. Many blogs will tell you to dedicate as much time as you possibly can to your side hustle. I'm not about that! Pace yourself, or you'll burn out quick.
…and most importantly!
Start. Just start.
This time next year, are you going to be wishing you had started your side hustle? I encourage you to start, today. Start small. Jump in. Dream big. Dip a toe in the side hustle pool. What can you do today that will bring you one step closer to your side hustle?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kara Whaley helps young nerdy girlbosses make their business kick ass with strategy and wit. She can be found on Twitter sharing her business strategy tips and tricks. Visit her website to learn more about her Pure Genius Sessions and how they can transform your business, or idea, into something pure genius.