The term ‘side hustle’ is so overdone. We much prefer ‘passion project.’ Side gig, hobby, or that thing I love more than my actual job – all collective terms we use to describe our grind to the “top.”
A side gig use to be something we referred to as a job that brought in some extra cash. Now, the term describes someone pursuing one or more on -or offline activities designed to fulfill multiple needs while monetizing their efforts.
Super popular because they’re considered to be flexible, emotionally gratifying, and offer a sense of freedom. Side gigs are very anti-9-to-5 and are often sought after to find purpose and meaning that fulfills one’s truest desires.
Now, virtually anyone determined enough, equipped with a computer or other mobile device, and a sprinkle of creativity, can profit off of the ‘side hustle’ phenomenon. Countless of people from ages 13 to 83 profit every day from online platforms such as Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Creative Market, and more.
Got no skills or don’t care to DIY? Well, there’s a cure for that too. With just a few dollars, you can hire a social media manager, web developer, graphic designer, content specialist, and virtual assistant via sites such as Fiverr and Upwork.
But if you’re game to roll up your sleeves, then DIY design and post scheduling platforms such as Canva, Piktochart, Vistaprint, Hootsuite, and HubSpot, have just what you need to get started – free and paid access available. Even those sites have experts standing by to assist you with your project. How cool is that?
So yeah, it’s crazy how one day your love for medieval nail artistry could turn into a full-blown career in just a year. And how amazing if it could 100% replace your day job? Once only a dream for those with big bucks, in this day and age, it’s very, and I mean VERY, possible. So possible that it can sometimes seem scary and overwhelming.
But you’re not reading this because your scared. You want change. You want an “out” of a life working for “the man” and a real shot at living a life you absolutely love – on your terms.
Your passion project could be something you already love doing and find immense joy in practicing. You might even be earning some money off it or you do it for free right now but would love to monetize it in the future.
It could also be an idea you’ve been pondering on formally establishing for some time now. People can’t stop raving, complimenting, and encouraging you to set out on an entrepreneurial path. And you simply feel the genius of it in your bones.
So, there are a few fundamental steps you can take to turn your love for your side gig into a business you love. Check these out:
1. Design the life you want
What do you want and why? This is the fun part. Knowing this will help keep you focused and grounded. It serves as a flashlight when the light of your enthusiasm wanes and your confidence is shaken.
Take pen to paper and write it out – exactly how you want your life to be and how pursuing this will contribute to a life you love. Not to mention, how will it benefit others? Develop an all-around view of the business you want to create by developing a genuine and actionable plan for your business.
Who are the people most likely to buy your product? At what price? Where are they? And in what way will they be most receptive to buying? What are their characteristics – likes and dislikes as it pertains to what you’re offering or the environment around it? Are you willing to do whatever means necessary to be of service to them?
Take time in getting to know what market you’re operating in. Build an ideal customer persona. If you don’t know who you’re trying to sell to, it’ll be like trying to hit a target in the dark. You’ll be all over the place or worse, invest dollars in places that aren’t where your customer is.
!Caution: Don’t spend too much time in this research and discovery phase that you forgo taking tangible action towards making your side gig the real deal. Procrastination kills. Oftentimes, taking action, however scary it may be, is the best way to figure it out.
3. Choose and test
Once you’ve got an idea of who, what, where, how, and when, it’s time to make some more decisions.
After checking out examples of and reading up on what other folks have done and the tools they’ve used to turn their side gigs into real reoccurring cash flow, you get a sense for what you don’t want and what you do.
It’s okay to don’t want to write an e-book or advertise on Snapchat just because others are having success with those platforms. Choose what works for you and gets you excited to dive in.
Got it all set up and ready to go? Fantastic! But you’re still worried…
Okay, why not setup a little focus group consisting of your nearest and most objective cheerleaders. Be it family members, girl clique, colleagues, or the guy that mows the grass.
Better yet, why not organize a meet with some random people that you identify as your ideal buyer personas and get real feedback from people who could potentially be your direct customers.
4. Be seen and heard
Promote, promote, promote.
Maybe you’re not the ‘Look at me’ showboaty type, but in order to achieve results you’ve never had, you must do things you’ve never tried. Marketing ties all of your efforts together so that it makes sense – more importantly, that it makes money.
Revisit the budget section of your business plan to keep the budget you’ve allocated for promotion at the forefront. Again, promote for free wherever you can. Ask for referrals, testimonials, and opportunities to show off your amazing product to receptive audiences.
5. Know your worth
It may seem that you need to conform to the idea, industry standard, or acceptable practices of how you should conduct your business. Especially when it comes to pricing your product.
As difficult as it might seem to push forward with, don’t settle for less that you deserve. Know your worth and get picky. You’ll hone in on exactly who your business vibes with the most by developing genuine relationships and getting to know and love your customer.
Ask questions and get a feel for what they are willing to and not willing to invest. Or other valuable feedback to help you make changes that will allow you to command a higher price point and offer more personable service that make them, and you, feel wonderful.
It’s certainly worth scheduling time in your calendar to process through each of these items. Do a gut check of sorts. Find a peaceful place you can concentrate on working them out.
It’s important to have as much fun as possible with it or it may be a sign that this idea, venture, or side gig, isn’t really what’s best for you, right now. Be brutally honest with yourself.
There could be details or steps to this process we may have glossed over too quickly – some you might consider super important. Do share. Did I leave anything out worth getting a mention? I’m totally game for writing a follow up post to answer any lingering questions or concerns.
But first, let me know in the comment section below…
- What would your day-to-day look like if you were living a life you love? (no judgments)
- What’s holding you back from making your passion project a full-time enterprise you love?
- Have you successfully made the transition from passion project to full-time career or business? If yes, what would you caution to look out for or wish you knew beforehand?
- What tools mentioned in this post are you most excited to tackle?
Have fun, my love! You are the designer of your life. What you will, you will manifest. Take care to share these helpful tips with anyone you love, admire, and want more for.
Much, much love,