So what are the best side hustles for 2021 to do while working?
What Is A Side Hustle?
A side hustle is a business you do in addition to your day job or in the spare hours of your day. Starting a business on the side can dramatically change the trajectory of your life. An extra $500 a month could mean your kiddo gets braces. An extra $1,000 a month could mean rent is paid. An extra $2,500 a month could mean you can go down to part time at your 9-5 job. An extra $5,000 a month could mean you can say sayonara to your day job altogether.
The reason networking marketing (think Avon, Mary Kay, Amway) is so popular is because they know that a little extra income a month could mean a lot to you or your family. They also know that you might not necessarily be super passionate about shampoo, oils, supplements, makeup, cleaning products, etc., but that if they sell you the dream of making some extra money, spending more time with your loved ones, or paying off some crippling debt could do wonders for your life.
You have probably been told over and over again that in order to be successful in business, you must be passionate about what you’re doing.
I have to disagree.
I think you have to be passionate about WHY you are doing.
In this “Ultimate Guide To Starting A Side Hustle” series, I’m going to delve into all of the areas you need to have in order for your side hustle to benefit your life and add value to it.
And part one is this:
Passion Is Not The Way.
Put in another way – you don’t have to start a side hustle around something you’re passionate about. (I’ll pause for reaction.) There are thousands of people who have lucrative, successful businesses that are quite unsexy – but what drives them isn’t the work. What drives them is what it does for their life.
A mom who was laid off can now pick her kids up from school because she has started building websites at night. A recent college grad who does virtual assistant work in her spare time is able to make extra payments on her student loan. A software engineer who builds small apps on the side can save up for a down payment on a house.
All of these things: picking up your children, paying off your debt or buying a home are what we’re passionate about. The means to getting there doesn’t always have to be the thing we’re passionate about. When we believe that we have to be uber passionate about our side hustle, we can get quite paralyzed in our thinking and end up not starting at all. That’s not what a side hustle is for. A side hustle can be a bridge to helping you achieve your goals, fund your dream business or turn into your main hustle. It’s totally up to you.
I give you permission to let the “passion” speech go.
So how do you find a side hustle that’s perfect for you? Let’s dig in.
1. Inventory Your Skill Set When thinking about starting up a side hustle, it’s good to take inventory of your skill set and other assets you have. If you have a trailer taking up space in your driveway, you may have a small hauling business on your hands. If you are a whiz at writing, freelance copywriting could be good for you. If you have always loved taking pictures, you might have a small photography business on your hands.
Think of the things that you are good at and/or are available to you. In addition, what can be done seasonally? Lawn care, holiday light hanging, snow shoveling – all great little side hustles.
Nothing is off the table here, brainstorm all of the skills you have and all of the assets you have.
2. Identify A Problem And Define A Solution Now that you know what you can offer – it will be much easier for you to pinpoint a problem you can solve. You can certainly do this the other way around (identify a problem, then inventory your skill set) but I don’t recommend it. Knowing what you can offer up will allow you to clearly see problems you can actually solve and you’ll ultimately be able to get to work faster.
No matter which way you approach it, the key here is to always solve a problem.
How to Start a Side Hustle This Year
I’ve read a LOT of articles on side hustles since choosing this lifestyle for myself, but most of them have fallen short in some way. They tend to be pumped up with generalities and vague suggestions that don’t actually lay the groundwork for someone to start their own side hustle.
It’s worth noting, though, that since this site is dedicated to the location independent lifestyle , this post will focus primarily on side hustles that can be done from anywhere–the kind of work you can do with just a laptop and a WiFi connection.
We won’t talk about side hustles like driving for Uber or listing your house on Airbnb, and we won’t go anywhere near multi-level marketing companies (even if the work is based online).
Furthermore, you don’t have to be based in a bustling urban center in order to succeed. You don’t have to be a millennial, either. And you don’t have to work 100-hour weeks to make real progress.
What I will ask of you, though, is to always remember your “why.” What is driving you to start (and maintain) a side hustle in the first place?
Your reason will be yours and yours alone, and it will sustain you when the going gets tough (because it will be tough at times). Without a clear purpose behind it, your side hustle is likely to fail.
So take a moment right now to write down that “why” and make sure it’s prominently displayed in your workspace.
It’s important that you see it each and every day to remind you of what’s at stake; this will be your motivation to work hard, even on the days you just don’t feel like it.
I remember the very day I made up my mind that I’d never work a nine to five job ever again. I remember how undervalued and defeated I felt, and how underutilized my true talents were in that setting.
I remember how much I yearned for creativity and autonomy. Or even just a basic level of respect.
I was educated, intelligent, and willing to work hard. I knew I deserved better.
So I didn’t have just one “why” but many. I remember that day and those feelings any time I notice my motivation beginning to wane.
Because no matter how hard my life is now as a creative entrepreneur, it’s still a million times better than the alternative and far easier to live with than the regret I would have felt if I’d never taken control of my life by pursuing my own incomes sources.
Here Are Three Best Options
How To Make Money On Your Side Hustle – Consistently crush your full-time job
Side hustles are fun. Side hustles are distracting. It’s tempting to think about, dwell on, and even occasionally work on your side hustle when you’re at your full-time job.
Don’t. One, it’s just wrong. And two, you aren’t that stealthy. People will notice — and no matter what your side-hustle dreams, losing your full-time income is the last thing you can afford.
When you start a side hustle, your goal is to be great at two things: Your full-time job and your side hustle.
So even before you start your side hustle, focus on being a superstar at your full-time job. Work as hard and efficiently as possible. Get more done than anyone else, if only so you can leave on time without regret, and without raising concerns about your performance and dedication.
Best At Home Side Hustles – Dream big, but focus small
Almost every side-hustler dreams of finding an enabling customer, that one big customer that will let you bypass the “hustle” and truly launch a business.
How many actually find an enabling customer? Out of over one hundred people I talked to, one. (And that was an accident; the customer approached her before she had thought about starting a side hustle.) Instead, do what Dharmesh Shah recommends: Rather than finding a way to make a million dollars, find a way to serve a million customers. Start small. Prospect where you have a reasonable chance of success.
Along the way you’ll learn. You’ll build your skills. You’ll build a customer base. Later, you can leverage that customer base — and everything you’ve learned — to successfully hunt bigger game.
How To Make Money Side Hustle – Only do what generates revenue
Sure, you might need to spend a little time on admin and infrastructure. But not much. You don’t need fancy spreadsheets. You don’t need comprehensive reports. You don’t need a catchy brand or a mission statement.
What do you need? You need work — and you need to do the work so you can get paid. Successful side-hustlers focus on two things: Selling and working.
Take me. I only make money when I’m writing or speaking. An ything else I do, however “important” it may seem, is time taken away from what really matters: Generating revenue.
It may be true that when you do what you love the money will follow, but only if what you love doing actually generates revenue. If it doesn’t pay, put it away.
Successful entrepreneurs eventually spend more time working on their business than in their business. Later, that might be true for you as well, but for now, a successful side hustle requires working in the business — because that’s the only time you actually make money.
It’s commendable to dream big. But when it comes to actually making your side hustle a success, you will get absolutely nowhere by aiming for the end zone straight out the games. In order to make your larger goals happen, you need to start with very small, incremental goals. After bringing on one satisfied customer, it’s time to get your second. Then your third, fourth, fifth and so on.
If you begin by aiming for 1,000 customers instead of just one, you’ll get too overwhelmed with everything that needs to be in place before handling that many customers. In my experience, having practical goals that are attainable on a daily, weekly and monthly basis helps you develop positive habits and train yourself for success. One good framework to use when formulating goals is the SMART Goals Criteria. Developed by management icon Peter Drucker, SMART is the acronym for S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant, and T ime-bound.