What’s Holding You Back from Starting Your Side Hustle?

You decided you want to start your side hustle, but you still have some hesitation. Among the common reasons people give for not getting started, you’ll hear:

I’m not good at anything

I don’t know where to start

I don’t know how to find clients

I don’t have time

While these concerns are valid, we too often tend to paralyze ourselves with them, which results in inaction and ends up costing time and mental energy. As Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich says, “More is lost from indecision than bad decisions.”

Starting your side hustle

Let’s address each one of these concerns:

I’m not good at anything

Not even your job? Your employer wouldn’t keep you if you weren’t good at it, would they? So if nothing else, people are already paying you for what you do at your job, right? Even if you don’t like it, it’s something you can do well and that you can leverage to craft a side hustle. But because I don’t think anyone is only good at their job, let’s look beyond that.

As side hustle pro Chris Guillebeau told Forbes, finding ideas for a side hustle comes from “the power of observation.” In his Side Hustle School workshops, he encourages people to do so by asking themselves some questions and making lists. As he says, “Learning to spot potential opportunities is one of the most valuable skills you can acquire.”

Think about your hobbies or what you like to do on your free time. Anything you’ve gotten to master after watching 25 YouTube videos? If you pay attention, you’ll find that there’s something you know more than the average person. Could be anything, even something you’re embarrassed to talk about. You’d be surprised to come across people interested in what you can do once you put it out there.

Related read: How to Find What Connects All Your Passions

I don’t know where to start

Once you find what you’re good at, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to set up a successful side hustle. So much so that you might just end up doing nothing because of the many steps involved. Keep things as simple as possible at the beginning and let them build up to the bigger projects. The first thing to do is to articulate and flesh out the details of your WHAT, WHY and HOW. In other words, define your personal brand.

WHAT exactly you’re good at and can help people with?

WHY you want to help people this way?

HOW will you help people?

The third question is the hardest one because the answer is always evolving. Suppose you’re good at dancing and you’d like to help people exercise through dance. The next step is to figure out the HOW. Do you want to rent an event space and host dance parties? Or do you want to become a teacher at an established company and have your own classes? Consider your possibilities and start with the most feasible option. You can always refine your medium as you go.

Related reads: 3 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand

4 Brilliant Ways to Brand Yourself Online

I don’t know how to find clients

The answer lies in the way you decide to put yourself out there and find your people. Will you use social media advertising as part of your strategy or do it through word of mouth?

You can land your first clients in a multitude of ways, but the critical thing is to let people know what you’re doing and document your work (especially your wins). Start with your network and create an online presence to expand your reach. Keep your platforms active and work on constantly improving your craft. With dedication and consistency, people will be knocking on your door in no time.

I don’t have time

Time management becomes an even greater challenge when you add a side hustle to your workload. All of a sudden you have to wake up even earlier or go home to more work. What’s more, your weekends are now split between resting, hanging out with loved ones and (yep) working. But what’s life without a little sweat?

What has worked for me is making a daily list of tasks for my side hustle. When I had a regular 9 to 5, I would make my to-do list while commuting then tackle it during my lunch break or after work. Of course I felt exhausted when I got home from the office, but I made it a priority to work on my goals every day so that I’d have the freedom to not work a regular 9 to 5.

No matter what you do, you’ll have to make sacrifices on your way to success – even if that means saying no to hanging out because you have to send a couple emails and secure new clients.

Related reads: How to Make Time For All Your Gigs

5 Ways You Waste Time That You Might Not Realize

When starting a new endeavor, it’s important to remember that you won’t have all the answers. Mistakes are a natural part of any growth process and you have to be fine with making them and learn from them. It’s better to stumble along the way than not doing anything at all. There’s a reason you can’t stop thinking about your side hustle. Give it a try and you’ll have either gained more experience, made some money and expanded your network along the way. Win win either way right?

More reading: How to Leverage Your Side Hustles and Advance in Your Career

How to Include Your Side Hustles on Your Resume

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How I Got An Article Published on Forbes.

Two weeks ago, I had an article published on Forbes! When I received the email with the link to my piece, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I remember making a list last year of 100 things I want to do before I die and this was one of them. I couldn’t believe it happened before I’d imagined! Needless to say, I shared the post everywhere – my email list, social media networks – and with basically everyone I know.

The news was well received! This was one of the highlights of my writing career. A lot of people asked how I landed the opportunity so I decided to answer it in a post.

Here’s the story of how I got an article published on Forbes.

This may surprise you, but it happened in the most unexpected way. I was browsing my LinkedIn feed one day when a notification popped up. I mindlessly clicked on it then jumped out of my seat when I realized what it was about. A friend had recommended me under the status of an editor from Forbes. She was looking for millennial writers to contribute to their website and I was listed as a potential candidate. I immediately thanked my friend and affirmed my interest in the opportunity. Next, the editor reached out to me via email. She had actually checked out my website and found my contact information on there. I was over the moon.

What followed was a mini-interview where I had to craft a pitch and suggest some new posts. I didn’t hear from her until the following two weeks as she had to vet multiple writers. I was starting to get discouraged thinking there was a chance I’d get rejected. She eventually got back to me. They wanted to move forward with my piece.

And there it was! A few emails and a round of edits later, my article went live on Forbes! Although it happened unexpectedly, the steps I had previously taken led me to that moment. If it wasn’t for my work and my habit of showcasing it online, my friend would’ve probably never thought to recommend me. It may seem like no one’s watching when you share your work, but people do notice and this helps you stay top of mind when an opportunity comes up.

Whether you’re looking to take your writing career to the next level or grow your personal brand, you can apply my story to your particular situation. Here are the main takeaways:

Talk about your work online

Let people know what you do. Better yet, show them. Have a blog post, a cool graphic or an app you’ve worked on? Share it online! When people frequently see what you do, they will come to know you as an expert in your particular field.

Take care of your personal brand

Invest in your professional development by building a brand. You can think of it as your footprint. It tells the world the story of what you do and what you stand for. Entertain opportunities that allow you to expand your brand and reach new audiences. This can mean speaking at local events, contributing to different publications or being featured on podcasts. Be sure to always document your process along the way.

Check out

3 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand

4 Brilliant Ways to Brand Yourself Online

Leverage social media to build relationships

Just like you can make friends on Instagram, you can build authentic relationships with potential mentors, employers, business associates and colleagues. You just have to use each platform to its full potential. For example, don’t just passively scroll through your LinkedIn feed. Find new people to connect with and send them a message. Read about the news in your industry and repost relevant articles. Write a blog post that demonstrates your expertise. On Twitter, see what recruiters or people you admire are posting. Interact with them and eventually, ask them out for coffee.

You may not hear from everyone, but if someone takes the time to respond, be sure to follow up. A lot of relationships are left unbuilt from people not following up. So be sure to carry out the plan and take your connections offline. Your network is a crucial factor in your career development. Don’t neglect it.

If you liked this post, please share it and subscribe to my newsletter where I share tons of tips that help multi-passionate millennials make a living by doing all the things they love.