Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent had a side-hustle. When he wasn’t interviewing sources and writing powerful journalism, he was flying around Metropolis as Superman, saving the world one adventure at a time. In comic books, the outside-the-office gig was left to superheroes with alternative identities. In real life, however, those who pursue passion projects in addition to their daytime jobs are more commonplace than supernatural. If you haven’t given much thought to tackling a second venture in your spare time, you may want to read this.
A Profitable Hobby
This is your opportunity to delve into that thing you’re passionate about but not quite sure you can form a full career out of. You’ve crafted more gorgeous necklaces than one neck could ever wear. You may not be able to make a living selling your creations, but you could certainly turn that skill into an impressive side-gig. How you use your added income stream is up to you and your budget. Maybe it becomes the money that finances your vacations or what’s tucked aside for your retirement. Maybe it helps make up the difference between what you need to feel secure financially and what your primary income source is paying now.
Hone New Skills
The gig-economy is about more than the added cash in your pocket. Even if selling your hand-crafted jewelry is nothing more than a break-even proposition, you’re reaping more than monetary rewards. Pursuing an entrepreneurial venture (particularly when the pressure to pay bills from it is off the table!) gives you the opportunity to develop new skills from marketing to inventory control…and everything in between. This venture may never be more than that side thing you do when you’ve got the time to do it. The skills you’ve gleaned from it, however, will benefit other aspects of your career.
Shine in Your Day Job
Entrepreneurs are self-starters. They’re innovative. They’re proactive. They’re problem solvers. Here’s the good news: Those traits don’t limit themselves to your “other-job.” They follow you over into your full-time career, as well. What employer doesn’t want a motivated, self-starter who can proactively solve potential problems? Those same traits that drive you to create your side business also make you an attractive employee. The skills you master working on your own thing are going to impress your boss, too. Your side-hustle is like taking a master class in business. Make it work for you!
Expand Your Network
The more you do, the more you know, or rather, the more people you’ll know. You took a freelance writing assignment for a regional publication because touring all the micro-breweries in your county sounded like a fun way to spend a few weekends. Bonus points for getting paid to tell others what you liked (and didn’t) about each. There’s more to take away from the task. The editor you worked with is now a new business contact. The people you interviewed are new connections. Your professional network has expanded.
Test the Waters
You’ve got so many wonderful ideas for a new business but you’re not sure you’re ready to make the full leap into self-employed waters. It can be scary. Starting out with a side-gig, however, is a great way to dip your toe while maintaining the safety-net of your day-job. You’ve always had a passion for helping others find their academic way. You launch a side-business as a part-time tutor, devoting just a few hours a week to a handful of students. You’re getting your arms around what it’ll take to grow that business into a full-time endeavor.
You’re learning as you go. How do you find new students? How much can you charge and still make a profit? How much can you charge, make a profit, and not price yourself out of work? What other logistical concerns do you need to tackle? When you’re ready, if you ever are, you’ll have built a solid foundation to begin a full-time venture, and at that point, you can transition from your day-job to your own firm.
There’s nothing better to bolster your self-esteem than succeeding at something you care about. The glow you’re going to gather by selling your art, using your passion for photography to build a side-biz, nurturing others as a life coach, or whatever it is you put your mind to, is going to stick with you in other facets of your life. You’re going to walk into next week’s staff meeting with your head high, knowing you’ve got what it takes to get it done. Further, when the economy is uncertain or when there are worries about job security, you’ll have “Option B” tucked neatly in your back pocket. Those skills you’ve gathered, the business foundation you’ve laid, the contacts you’ve nurtured, are all there waiting like a safety net. You’ll have the confidence of knowing that no matter what happens, you’ve got what it takes to land of your feet and hit the ground the running.
Ready to get your side-hustle up and running? If you need help identifying what might be a viable second gig, or how to get your passion-project underway, let’s talk. We can set up a free 15-minute collaborative interview to help you evaluate our program options. You can reach me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.