By: Kristin Bugden
Kristin Bugden is a New Jersey-based mom and communications consultant. She loves to write, take barre classes and believes in a good reality television binge-watching session. Here, she writes about how to jumpstart your dream side hustle.
Do you have a hobby or amazing idea that you dream of turning into a moneymaking side hustle? While earning a second source of income doing something you love sounds great, it can be scary to finally jumpstart the process. That being said, there are boundless opportunities out there thanks to today’s hyperconnected digital era and the fact that we no longer need to be defined by one job. We recently spoke with a few great experts who provided their unique perspectives on where you can start and how to keep going.
How to Find Your Side Hustle
The Absolute First Step to Take
When it comes to turning your side gig into reality, experts agree research is the best starting point. “Find out everything you can about the topic or business. Talk to people who may have done it before or something similar. You may even try joining an entrepreneur or networking group that is relevant to bounce ideas and make connections,” Dr. Michele D'Amico, CPC, CELC tells Lively. You’ll also want to ensure there’s a place in the market for your idea. “Validate your idea before going in too deep. Tons of people want to create a side hustle from their skills or passions, but quickly, or not so quickly, realize they are not monetizable. Being good at something doesn’t necessarily make it a cash converter, so seek out your first couple of paying customers,” adds Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES and founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com.
How to Get Over the Fear of Starting a Side Hustle
Branching out on your own can be a scary thought and hard to get outside your head once the wheels start turning. “Reframe your relationship with fear. Fear is simply an indicator that you are doing something outside of your comfort zone which is really where life is best lived,” says Bri Seeley, Life Coach + Hypnotherapist. Dr. D’Amico adds, “If you do the research and start networking, it may help you get over the fear. Set the goal and then break it down to smaller goals. Ask yourself these questions: What is the cost of me not doing this? And what's the worst that can happen if I do? What's the best that can happen? Why do you want to do this?”
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The Time Commitment
Our experts agree that there’s no right answer or set amount of time to dedicate toward your potential side gig. However, there is “power in consistency,” says Seeley. “Even if you can do one thing a day, do it. And do it every single day.” Seeley continues, “One thing I see with people who want to start a side hustle is they pour hours and hours and hours of energy into the beginning and burn out very quickly because it isn't sustainable. If you can only devote an hour a day to your side hustle, do that! And do it every day. Consistency builds momentum. After a year, you'll be shocked at how one hour a day allowed you to take huge strides when compiled together.” Elliott agrees that you don’t have to take an “all or nothing” approach. “That is a big fat myth of entrepreneurship. It is okay to go slow and steady,” says Seeley. “Consider carving out a few evenings per week or weekend each month to work on your side gig. Find what works for you, your lifestyle, and your goals.”
Dealing with Setbacks
Setbacks are never fun. However, they are a part of any journey. “Seek out a support system of people who are on a similar journey as you. Combine this with people who have already achieved what you want,” says Elliott.
Seeley adds, "They've reached your goal. Ask them how they got there. You do not have to go at it alone Setbacks are almost never setbacks, they're usually blessings in disguise. My biggest piece of advice is to trust. If a circumstance or situation was supposed to turn out differently, it would have.”