13 May How to Choose the Right Side Hustle
Jumping into the gig economy to boost your income is one of the best ways to save more, pay off debt, or have more spending money.
The question is, Where to start?
The key to having a successful experience is to choose the right side hustle.
With so many options available, it can be challenging to find the best way to enhance your finances in a way that’s worth your time and energy…and enjoyable.
Selecting the right side hustle can make a difference between being on fire and burning out.
Keep reading for tips on how to choose the right side hustle for you.
#1 Make a List of Your Skills and Interests
The starting point for choosing the right side hustle comes down to making a simple list.
Set aside 10 minutes and write down answers to the following questions…
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What are my talents?
- What do people say I’m good at?
Leave no stone unturned. Look at all areas of your life–skills you’ve developed from your full-time job, your hobbies, and what you’re curious to learn more about.
Focus on What Motivates You
The key is to focus on your strengths and the things that motivate you.
If you’re working a full-time job, chances are you’re physically and mentally spent.
You don’t want the additional hours spent on your side hustle to be ones you dread or that add to burnout.
Freelance writing might not be ideal if your full-time job requires you to sit in front of a computer all day. Instead, something that gets you moving or interacting with others like being an Instacart shopper could be a welcome change.
You could also turn things that may be a hobby, such as caring for pets or crafting, into a source of income. That second gig, then, won’t feel so much like work.
The goal is to find something that gives you a win.
Once you have your list of skill sets and what you’re good at, see which have the most potential of making money.
A good question to ask is, Do people want what I have to offer?
If you like shopping, consider making money by being a personal shopper.
Maybe you’re good with kids and can use that skill to offer tutoring services.
Are you active and like to exercise? Starting a side business walking dogs or helping people move is an idea that takes a strength and makes it side gig worthy.
The trick is to look at your strengths from the lens of being able to offer something others need.
Related Article: Why a Side Hustle Won’t Solve All Your Money Problems
#2 Narrow Down Your Niche
Broad side hustles can be limiting, as they make it harder for people to know what problem you can solve for them.
Niching down your side hustle sets you apart from everyone else. If you narrow down what you offer, you are more likely to be picked over your competitor.
Let’s take coaching for online business owners, for example.
If you niche your services down to coaching people who sell digital courses, you’d not only be clear on whom you’re marketing to, but also could be sought after for your expertise.
This definitely goes for having multiple side hustles as well. Taking on various gigs limits your bandwidth and ability to do one with optimal success.
If you have several side hustle options, refer back to your list of what you enjoy, what you’re good at, and where you’d make the most financial impact.
#3 Be Honest about Your Time
Part of choosing the right side hustle is having time for it.
Before starting your side hustle, you need to get clear on your actual availability.
Take into account the time needed for your full-time job, your family/home obligations, and anything else that regularly shows up in your schedule.
Then, evaluate how much time it will take for you to manage your side hustle on a weekly basis.
The last thing you want is for your side hustle to interfere with your main job and compromise your primary source of income.
Choosing a gig that offers the most flexibility in terms of scheduling and deadlines is key.
Once you’ve figured out how much free time you have, you can be intentional about the type of side hustle you select.
For example, if you only have an hour a day for your side hustle, you want to consider something that can be scaled in case your full-time job demands more attention.
Things like freelance blogging, selling items on eBay or Craigslist, or taking paid online surveys can be a good fit for a tight schedule.
Alternately, if you have a couple of days to spare in your week, you could opt for something that takes a little more time like online tutoring, driving for Uber, and graphic design.
#4 Research Startup Costs
Taking into account the cost involved in running a second job is an important factor to consider when choosing the right side hustle.
Most side hustles require some kind of investment.
Whether there’s the cost of maintaining and cleaning the space you rent on Airbnb or purchasing a domain name to make your blog more professional, it’s important to think through the startup costs.
According to a new study from the Economic Policy Institute, the cost of being an Uber driver could be enough to make it not worth it.
Typically, drivers collect $24.77 per hour in passenger fares. Uber takes about a third ($8.33) of all passenger fares in commissions and fees. If you consider vehicle expenses like gas and maintenance (about $4.87 per hour), you are left with about $11.50 hourly.
And, that’s not all. You may need to carry some form of extra insurance for coverage or upgrade your vehicle since a fairly new one is required.
The best way to avoid paying out more than anticipated for your side hustle is to do your research.
- Dig into what costs are involved with the side hustle you plan to start.
- Make a list of all these costs.
- Take into account what it will cost to keep your side gig running on a regular basis.
Once you know the true cost of a side hustle, you’ll be able to determine if the side hustle is worth your time and what you need to earn to keep things going.
#5 Pick Something That Puts Money in Your Pocket
Although you might genuinely enjoy your side hustle, chances are, the primary reason you’re doing it is to generate income.
So, if you’re going to invest time on a weekly basis to keep your side hustle going, you might as well get paid for it.
This doesn’t mean you should take on a side hustle you dislike just to earn more money.
But if selling handcrafted jewelry only earns you $7 hourly when you factor in your time and cost of materials, it may not be worth it.
Even if you love designing necklaces, you probably won’t see much of a difference in income when it takes up a good chunk of your time.
Instead, set your sights on something that will make a dent in your finances. If you can learn something from it, have a little fun, and make money, then you’re on track to choosing the right side hustle.
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