What to Look For in a Side Hustle?

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Nowadays, every man and his dog seems to have some kind of side hustle going on. And with the rising cost of living and soaring bills, it’s easy to see why. After all, we could all use little extra cash in our pockets. But what to look for in a side hustle?

Side hustles can be an excellent additional source of income if done correctly. And by that, I mean you have to choose the right side hustle for you, not the one you think will make you the most money.

Not all side hustles are created equally, plus if you’re planning to start one on top of a full-time job, it’s important that you find it as enjoyable as you do lucrative.

There are some important things to consider when looking for a side job so let’s delve deeper into the subject.

TL;DR: If you want to start a side hustle, you must first consider your skills and passions. You should also figure out why you want a side hustle, how much time you can realistically devote to it, how much you want to be paid, and where it should be located.

Does the Side Hustle Align With Your Skills or Passions?

what to look for in a side hustle

First of all, what can you do? More importantly, what do you like to do?

Side hustles can be as much about having fun as they can about making money, so why not go with something you love doing? 

Considering your skills and passions is crucial when looking for a side hustle because if you don’t like what you’re doing, you are unlikely to commit to it for the long haul. 

Write down your skills and what you love to do, even if they don’t seem that important. For example, if you’re brilliant at putting flat-pack furniture together, that’s definitely a skill you could monetize. 

If you’re crafty and like making stuff, that’s a skill that can earn you money too. The same goes for writing, using your voice, baking, coding, or even walking the dog.

If you’re unsure exactly what you’re good at, your friends, family, and colleagues will certainly know, so ask them where they think your talents lie.

Once you have clearly defined your skills and talents, pick out the ones you like best and the ones you enjoy doing the most and start looking for side hustles in these areas. 

For example, if you love typing and listening, then freelance transcribing could be a good side job for you. Or, if you’re a hopeless social media addict, why not monetize it by becoming a social media manager?

What Are Your Reasons For Wanting to Side Hustle?

Next, you must pin down exactly why you want or need a side hustle. This helps get things clear in your mind about why you’re about to dedicate a good portion of your free time to extra work.

Do you just want extra spending money? Are you paying off debt? Saving for something big? 

Trying to find an eventual replacement for your current job? 

The type of goal you have will play a role in the side hustle gigs you choose.

If you want extra cash, then it doesn’t really matter whether or not your side hustle has the potential to scale. For example, you could take up weekend babysitting, cleaning, or odd DIY tasks. Each will provide you with a nice additional income, but they’re unlikely to make you a millionaire.

On the other hand, if you want a side hustle that could transform into something bigger – like a full-time career – starting a business or freelancing could be the better option for you.

How Much Time Do You Have?

As great as side hustles are, they can also be the source of experiencing burnout. 

Burnout is when you’re overworked and overtired, and it can lead to a host of health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

You definitely don’t want that.

Be realistic with the amount of time you have and how much you can commit to a side hustle. If you find you can only spare one evening a week, that’s better than having no time at all.

Don’t think, “I’ll be fine,” and end up with a bunch of side jobs that see you working around the clock. As superhuman as you are, there are still only 24 hours in a day, and you still need to find time to sleep, eat, and take the occasional break.

Choose a side job that fits in with your schedule without sacrificing too much of your downtime. This is especially important if you have family commitments. You don’t want to end up being the absent husband or wife or the Mom or Dad the kids never see.

How Much Are You and Your Time Worth?

Ahhh, the million-dollar question. How much do you think your skills and time are worth? 

I ask this because you don’t want to end up in a side hustle that makes you feel undervalued and underpaid. We get enough of that nonsense with our day jobs.

So, you must choose something that not only aligns with your skills but also pays you enough to keep at it.

It’s hard, to be honest, here, as we have a tendency to think we’re worth less than we actually are. It’s a good idea to look up skills that match yours and then see what other people charge for them. This will give you a good indication of your value.

Ultimately, if you think you’re being underpaid. You probably are.

Location Location Location

If you’ve decided to create your side hustle empire in your basement. Great! That’s a super short commute, plus you have all your favorite snacks and coffee at hand. 

If you’ve taken up a side hustle that involves you dashing from one end of town to another during rush hour, well, that’s stressful.

My point is that even the world’s greatest part-time job can become a real hassle if you’re spending all your time getting to and from it. Never mind the cost of gas or public transport these days. 

For example, if you decide you want to start pet sitting or babysitting, choose the radius in which you’re willing to travel and work. This can be a few blocks’ worth of houses or a wider area, but whatever you decide, it needs to be convenient for you to get to.

It can be tempting to accept clients from outside this area, but you’ll only end up regretting the extra time and money it costs you to get there.

What’s the Risk?

There are two types of risk when choosing a side hustle – personal and financial.

If your side hustle is based around setting up a business, then there is always going to be a financial risk involved. For example, buying inventory, advertising, and setting up a website all cost money.

In light of this, ensure you’ve researched beforehand to understand if your side hustle idea is profitable. Then, set a budget for your outgoings and stick to it no matter what.

If you deal with clients for your side hustle, then ensure you remain safe. Unfortunately, dodgy people exist from all walks of life, so don’t risk your personal safety for the sake of a few extra bucks.

For example, if you take up odd jobs as your side hustle, you will be going to strangers’ houses on a frequent basis. Even if you think it’s fine, tell someone where you’re going, what you’re doing, and what time you intend to return. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What to look for in a side hustle

You should look for a side hustle that aligns with your skills, passions, and reasons for wanting extra income. A side hustle must also fit into your schedule without creating burnout and pay you your worth.

How do you know what side hustle to get?

A good way to determine which side hustle to get is to look at what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing the most. Consider turning a hobby or keen interest into a side job or monetizing some of the skills you already have.

How do you know if a side hustle is worth it?

A side hustle is worth it if it makes you feel good and like it’s time well spent. If you come away from your side hustle feeling exhausted, undervalued, or underpaid, then it’s not the right type of side hustle for you.

Final Thoughts

A side hustle can be a great way to earn healthy additional income in a fun and exciting way as long as you’ve considered everything. The most important thing is that it should make you feel like you’re spending your time in a worthwhile way and that your skills are valued appropriately. 

If your side hustle has a negative impact on your life that outweighs the additional income, then you should stop immediately and re-evaluate what you want from it. Regardless of the extra dollars, if it’s not making you happy, why do it?

If you’re unsure whether the side hustle is right for you, start small and work your way up. Switching up side hustles is easier if you haven’t already made a big commitment.

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I truly enjoyed this course! Most things you may have heard before, but some were new or delivered in a new way of thinking. It's more than worth it - Tracey McKinney
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Get Started With Your Side Hustle (Fiverr Learn Course)