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 Made $310 From Craigslist Gigs in One Week

Sometimes, you just want to increase your income without doing too much work. Craigslist gigs can do the trick. When your salary falls short of your financial goals and you don’t have time for a second job, these low-commitment tasks can help!

Making money on Craigslist is easier than finding a job because the standards are different. However, it takes the same proactive attitude. You have to aggressively look for listings that fit your skill set and apply. There is a part you can’t control and that is, waiting to hear from your prospective clients. But you can maximize your chances by applying to as many gigs as possible because making money on Craigslist is a numbers game.

It’s no surprise that a lot of people hate it. On top of competing with other job seekers, you have to screen the ads for potential scams. The saying, “Practice makes perfect” applies to making money on Craigslist. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

I’m always looking for easy ways to supplement my income and Craigslist is my go-to site for scoring work quickly. I made $310 this week from the platform. It’s not a huge sum of money, but hey, it covers a bill or four. I documented all of it:

Gig #1 Survey Writing – $110

making from craigslist - survey writing

Task: Write a 12-question survey testing how members feel about the potential sale of their club.

Time: 1 hour

The only reason I got paid so much is because the client really needed help. I was apparently the only person who responded to his ad and it was a time sensitive project. This was a pretty sweet deal.

Gig #2 Proofreading – $200

making money on Craigslist - copywriting

Task: Edit a 2-page article

Time: 3-4 hours

I found the posting while browsing the “writing/editing” section under jobs. I’m always on the lookout for these opportunities, so when they don’t appear under gigs, I find them in other places.

Regardless of your personal feelings, Craigslist is a legitimate platform to make money on the side. It’s not the most user-friendly site and the interface is updated, but once you get past the hurdles, it can lead to some real business opportunities. I will walk you through the process.

Once you go on the website (it automatically defaults to your location), click on the “Gigs” section at the bottom right of the page. You can select a specific category, but I usually click on the full list because I don’t think they efficiently filter out unwanted offers. Once you click on “Gigs”, it will look like this:

Craigslist

 

On the top left section, I like to deselect domestic and labor gigs because they aren’t what I’m looking for. But you can adjust it based on your own preferences. I then click on the “Paid” and “Posted today” sections to choose from the most recent postings. Applying these filters reduces the number of listings and makes it easier to find what I’m looking for. It then looks like this:

Craigslist

I then scan the column and apply to my listings of interest. Because I’ve been doing this for a while, I know how to spot potential scams. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Spelling or grammatical mistakes
  • Level of details/transparency (The more specific, the better)
  • Contact information (For accountability)
  • Reasonable compensation (If you think it’s too good to be true, it likely is)

These factors can help you determine whether or not a gig is legitimate, but there is no guarantee. Ultimately, you should always go with your gut. If something doesn’t sound right, follow your intuition.

There isn’t much you can do once you send your application, but making money on Craigslist is a numbers game. Apply to as many gigs as possible and the right people will eventually get back to you.

How do you make money on the side? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks so much for reading! If you like this article, please share it with your network. If you like this article, subscribe to my newsletter where I share expert advice and tips like these!

Related:

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Diversify Your Income

How I Earned $655 From Random Craigslist Gigs In One Month

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Diversify Your Income

If your goal is to be financially independent, you should diversify your income. Making a living from just one 9 to 5 is risky. Jobs aren’t as secure as they used to be so having different income streams is strategic. Whether it’s to increase your savings, pay off debt or achieve other financial goals, multiple revenue streams create a safety net. Who doesn’t like a little extra cash on top of their steady paycheck?
Once you identify your services, you’re ready to diversify your income. There’s this common misconception that you just sit back and passively earn after setting up these different income streams. In truth, nothing about making money on the side is passive. Whether you have a side hustle or do freelance work, you have to constantly perfect your craft and market yourself for more opportunities.

I started freelancing a few months ago and I already made around $1,200 from side gigs . I am still figuring out how to strategically market myself and grow my client base. But here are 3 ways that have worked for me so far:

Post an ad on Craigslist

I know the thought of Craigslist makes a lot of people cringe – and that’s understandable – but believe me, it works! Just like any other marketplace, you’re likely to come across scammers but you’ll also also meet well-meaning people.

You don’t get charged to post if you’re promoting a service, but there’s a limit on the number of ads you can have running. Each ad runs for seven days, but you can renew them as many times as you’d like. Below is an example of an ad that converted into two clients for me:

Diversify Your Income - Post an Ad on Craigslist

I was surprised by the number of inquiries I received from this ad, but things worked out with about 20% of people who responded. You shouldn’t place all your hopes on this one method, but it is a legitimate way to diversify your income.

It sounds easy, but in reality, finding clients takes time. You might have to renew your ads a few times before people start showing interest, but as long as you’re consistent, the opportunities will find their way to you. Whether you respond to an ad or publish one, Craigslist remains a legitimate way to find work and diversify your income.

Join a Facebook group

Marck Zuckeberg is genius for allowing users to create groups on Facebook. These specific niches can answer all your questions and connect you with a supportive network of like-minded professionals. When you join a Facebook group, be sure to actively participate and add value. Administrators go as far as removing spammers from their group so don’t become one of them.

I recently landed a writing gig by responding to a post in one of the groups. A startup was looking to pay contributors and I reached out to the founders directly using the email in the announcement. I’ve been working with them for a month and it’s turning into a reliable income stream.

You may not diversify your income from simply joining a Facebook group, but if you become an active member, it can put you in touch with prospective clients.

These are some groups I’m actively involved in:

Diversify Your Income - Facebook Groups

If you have some recommendations or would like to find out about more groups, please let me know in the comments!

Send a warm outreach email

Sometimes, landing gigs is a matter of asking. You’ll rarely find opportunities by passively waiting so don’t hesitate to reach out directly to the people who can offer them to you.

No one likes a generic message so make sure you personalize your pitch. Figure out why you’d like to work for that person or company and determine how you can help them meet their goals. Research some common grounds (maybe you went to the same high school or you have some mutual friends) and craft your email around that. If you don’t have anything in common, just express your interest and articulate what you can contribute to them.

Here’s an email I wrote for my graphic designer friend that got her an interview:

Hi X,

I’m a huge fan of your brand and I’ve been an email subscriber for over a year. You recently announced that you’re looking for a freelance graphic designer and I wanted to express my interest in being considered.

I have 3 years of experience designing logos and other marketing materials for small business owners and I am looking to learn from a more established brand. You can find my website here: _ 

I’d love to chat more. I hope to hear from you soon.

Cheers,

Y

Be clear and concise. Make it easy for them to say yes or no.

Related: 5 Steps to Diversifying Your Income and Making More Money

How do you diversify your income? Let me know in the comments!

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Millennial Spotlight: How Cori Large Is Knitting Her Way to the Life She Wants

Meet Cori: Librarian, Craftswoman & Blogger
Polk County, Florida
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1. Tell me about yourself

My name is Cori Large. I have a full-time job as a Librarian as well two side hustles: Tales From A Polk County Girl, my blog and YouTube channel; and a crafting business where I sell my knitting and other handmade items.

2. What inspired you to start your side hustles?

I started my knitting business about six years ago. I decided to knit cotton dishcloths as Christmas presents and a friend encouraged me to sell them. So for the last six years, I’ve been knitting dishcloths and other items nine months out of the year and I spend Oct-Dec participating in craft shows.

The blog originally started out as a free WordPress blog: A Head Without a Thought, where I posted book reviews mainly, but then branched out. In 2015, I decided to pay for a hosted site, and rebranded as Tales from a Polk County Girl. A few weeks later, I started a YouTube channel by the same name. On this blog, I post about planners and other things that interest me (books I’ve read, recipes I’ve made, etc.)

Earlier this year, I became interested in Traveler’s Notebooks, and wasn’t happy with the inserts that were out there, so I started designing my own. These are sold as digital downloads on my ETSY shop.

3. How do you manage your time to juggle all these projects?

I started making monthly goals that include working on my side hustles. I make X amount of craft show products, film 5 videos a month and write 10 blog posts (I like have a backlog in case of a slow month). Some months I do really well, others I’m struggling to meet my goals.

4. What advice do you have for anyone who’s looking to start a side hustle?

Start slow and be consistent before you add more work.

5. What are some resources that have helped or continue to help you along the way?

Alexis, or @MissTrenchcoat on YouTube has been an inspiration. Also, just listening to and believing in myself.

5 Steps to Diversifying Your Income And Making More Money

“I don’t need more money.” said no one ever. This is particularly true for New Yorkers on whom the pressure to spend has never been greater. Having extra income serves as a safety net and may help you reach your financial goals sooner.

If you’d like to get started on diversifying your income, consider these five steps:

Identify your skills

Diversifying Your Income -  Identify Your Skills

What are you good at? Do you braid your friends’ hair for fun? Maybe it’s time to start charging! Do you like bringing people together and organizing meetups? There goes your event planning business! Do people come to you for career advice or help with their writing? You could be a tutor, career coach, freelance editor and more. People will always need help. This much we know is true. Write down things you enjoy doing and things you’re good at. Somewhere in the middle you’ll find a new source of income.

Let your immediate network know

Diversifying Your Income - Networking

Your immediate network refers to your family, friends, old classmates, colleagues and even supervisors. These are the people in your direct surroundings with whom you’ve already established a relationship with. Once you clearly assess your skills, you can reach out to them and let them know about the service(s) you can provide.

Here’s a sample outreach email:

“Hi __,

I hope you’re doing well! I wanted to let you know I’m currently offering X (hairstyling, personal shopping, accounting etc.) services. If you or somebody you know could use them, feel free to get in touch or pass this email along. I’m happy to help!

Thanks so much,

Your Name”

This strategy didn’t help me find clients initially, but it helped spread the word. Don’t fret if this happens to you too. You’ll be on top of mind when an opportunity eventually comes their way. Don’t hesitate to follow up if necessary.

Lastly, don’t underestimate your weak ties. That gives you an opportunity to further connect with them.

Pick a platform

Diversifying Your Income - Social Media Networking

How will you advertise your skills? Time to get creative! You can either start a podcast, blog or make videos. After choosing your medium, be sure to include a social media component in your marketing strategy.

If your product (read: service) is visual (i.e. hairstyling, jewelry making, crocheting etc.), consider Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat or YouTube. Twitter and LinkedIn are great options for text-oriented services such as resume consulting, journalism, social media management etc. Facebook is where everything goes and it’s considered the most popular and effective advertising platform because of their targeted ads.

Promote your work

Diversifying Your Income -  Promote your work

As a freelancer (or side hustler), you are your own cheerleader. Work on perfecting your craft then promote it. No one will believe in you unless you do. You have to put yourself out there in order to land gigs. Keep creating and document your process. Collect evidence. You photographed your mom’s friend’s baby shower? Start building a portfolio. You styled your sister’s best friend? Snap a few pictures and share it on your platform. Go to networking events and tell strangers about your services. The quality of your work will speak for itself, but you have to go the extra mile and sell yourself to the right people.

Build an online presence

Diversifying Your Income - Online Presence

If you’re not making social media a part of your marketing, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to expand your reach and get more clients. Growing a social following takes time and requires consistency. It’s made even more difficult by the fact that the benefits aren’t immediate. Nonetheless, it’s necessary as consumers connect more with brands than with products nowadays. Besides, you wouldn’t want to limit the size of your audience.

Earning extra income is all about monetizing your skills or building valuable products. If you have a job, someone is clearly paying for your skill set so it goes without saying that you’ll find other people willing to do the same. You just have to strategically position yourself to receive that compensation.

What service can you offer? How do you plan on monetizing your skills? Let me know in the comments!

Check out: 6 Ideas to Diversify Your Income Streams

For exclusive resources and tips on diversifying your income, subscribe to my newsletter here.

I Added $700 to My Income Last Month. You Can Too. Here’s How.

I love finding creative ways to make money. I developed the habit of building different income streams after I got laid off from a job I really enjoyed. The startup was failing and they had to let go of most of their employees. It wasn’t personal. These things happen and this is why you shouldn’t rely on only one source of income. In today’s economy, it’s highly recommended to diversify your income as job security is no longer guaranteed. Luckily, I had some savings and my family support to fall back on but I needed to find other ways.

Let’s be real, we can all use some extra cash.  Whether it’s to support our travel plans, buy a new apartment or increase our savings, generating side income is often a lifesaver.

This past month, I added $700 to my income from different gigs. I hope you get some ideas on how you can increase your earnings.

Tutoring – $560

education-682606

As you can see, tutoring was the bulk of my extra income. I made this amount by having four weekly tutoring sessions at $35/hour after work. I signed up for a program at my school that connects students with parents who need help with babysitting, dog walking or tutoring in the area.

Now you may be thinking you’re not an expert in any subject so you can’t tutor, but that extends to anything you know how to do well. You can certainly monetize any service you can provide because people always need help. They are willing to pay for things they either cannot do themselves or are too lazy to attempt. Whether you’re a web developer, graphic designer, video producer or tutor, offer your services to your immediate network and you’d be surprised how you can fill certain voids.

Translating – $90

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Because I speak four languages, I quickly realized I could be of service to people or companies who need help interpreting or translating documents. I made $90 from translating documents from English to French for about two hours. How did I land that gig? I went to a meetup for French learners and connected with an art curator who needed help because she didn’t speak the language well enough. It might have been a chance encounter but there are agencies who look for native speakers of various languages.

Translation services cost a lot (up to $65/hour depending on your expertise) so if you speak more than one language – and if they happen to be popular like Spanish or Chinese – you have a competitive advantage and an automatic moneymaking tool. If you don’t, you can also learn from many free online resources.

Personal Shopping – $50

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Shopping can be tedious and energy consuming.  Not everyone likes to spend hours browsing aisles for groceries, clothes or furniture. If you enjoy it however, you can get paid to do it. All it takes is a combination of good taste and a penchant for all things visual and pretty.

I landed this gig via Craigslist and it’s now turned into occasional freelance work. I never considered styling or personal shopping until I started making fashion videos on YouTube. This comes to show that you can develop many skills once you decide to focus on a project. From video blogging, I learned how to film and edit videos, capture and retouch photos, market content on social media and more. You know that travel business you plan to start or these guitar lessons you’ve always wanted to give? You can’t begin to imagine how much you’ll learn from it. The simple act of practicing a skill can attract job opportunities. So let these creative juices flow and go prosper!

Remember: diversify, diversify, diversify. It’s key to making more money. Assess your skills and start putting yourself out there. Network your way to landing gigs and take classes if necessary. If you have any questions on how you can monetize your skills or where to find gigs, let me know!

Check out: 29 Smart Ways to Make Money on the Side in 2016

How do you generate extra income? Let me know in the comments!

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Millennial Spotlight: How Rebecca Van Djik Is Connecting Women Through Travel

It all starts with an idea, timidly germinating in the back of your mind. Or maybe an inclination towards something you’ve been doing for a while. No matter how it reveals itself, your passion should never be ignored. It’s your drive! It’s what you’d make time for and do even if it doesn’t provide any income. But what if it could? Would you be willing to take the risk?

We’ve all at some point wondered how to make our dreams happen. Often we find ourselves stuck in a job that’s unfulfilling because we don’t have the courage to do what we love. There’s nothing easy about creating a lifestyle you’re passionate about. It requires hard work, sacrifice and consistency.

I’ve talked to a lot of people and their biggest struggle is that they are scared. They know what they want but they hesitate to throw themselves into doing what they love. So, what does it take to make your dreams happen? Here comes Millennial Spotlight, a bi-monthly series that features honest conversations with millennials who are taking chances and creating their own path. They are people from all walks of life who will be sharing their journey – including their ups and downs, challenges and resources.

I went to the movers and shakers and asked them how they are turning their dreams into reality. I hope their stories give you some inspiration to get started and motivation to keep at it.

Meet Rebecca: Travel Entrepeneur
Notting Hill, London
DSC_0576

Tell me about yourself

I worked at UBS Wealth Management, heading a team of advisors. Outside of my day job, I traveled and documented my adventures on Becky van Dijk and We Are Travel Girls!

2. What inspired you to start your blog?

In 2014, after 8 years I resigned from my job at UBS. I had met a guy whilst on holiday in Croatia, and after visiting him for a week in Los Angeles we both decided to spontaneously quit our jobs (he was a lawyer at Deloitte), pack our bags and go on a six-month adventure through South America! On returning to the UK, I battled with re-joining the corporate life or starting my own company, but I wasn’t quite there yet with my ideas and passions, so I accepted a role back at UBS.

Going back after such a long time off was pretty hard. Whilst I put my energy into work, I was still looking for a creative outlet. In October last year, I started working on BeckyvanDijk.com and was thinking of how to get myself noticed in what some might call a saturated market. I quickly realized rather than getting myself noticed, I could build a platform to get others noticed! I decided I wanted to create a place to connect female travelers and promote their blogs, and so We Are Travel Girls was born! I spent hours and hours organically growing a following initially on Instagram and now the website curates and publishes travel stories from our community of over 100,000 followers!

3. How do you manage your time to juggle these projects?

Right now, I have put everything else on hold. I have given up the majority of social activities. My weekends are precious and waking up at midday after a night of partying is not an option right now! But on the other hand, life is about balance and I still try to make time for friends and to get away from the computer screen when I can!

4. What advice do you have for anyone who’s looking to start a side hustle or turn their side hustle into a full-time pursuit?

Do something you truly love! If you try and start a business, even if it’s a great idea, that you do not connect with personally or feel passionately about, having the drive and determination to work on it day in, day out whilst trying to hold onto your day job will be very hard. Secondly, take a risk, even if you are not yet making money from your project or business, you will likely get there faster if you can put all your time and energy into it, i.e. quit your day job. Whilst losing the guaranteed paycheck can be scary, a more frightening thought would be to look back and realize you wasted an opportunity to create something for yourself.

5. What are some resources that have helped or continue to help you along the way?

The main resource that has helped was bringing on a co-founder for We Are Travel Girls. My friend Vanessa had been travel blogging for some years and she was excited about the project and asked to come on-board. Having someone to bounce ideas with and who has different views has really helped us evolve.

Ask for advice and feedback from anyone and everyone, even if it’s critical it will help you to improve your product or service.

What’s next?

I recently resigned from my banking job (yes, for the second time!) and am working my notice period through August. My boyfriend and I are then moving out to Asia to allow me time to work on We Are Travel Girls, get back to painting and other hobbies, put my health first and to see how I can grow what has been my side project for the last 9 months into a real business!

What are you doing to make your dreams happen? I’d love to hear your stories! Comment below. If you’d like to be featured, please email me and I’ll be sure to follow up.