How to Set Up Your Side Hustle

You can sell pretty much anything, and that includes skills. For every task or process you’re good at (or even capable of), there’s someone willing to exchange money for the glorious freedom of not doing it themselves. Even with a daily grind, most of us could free up time that’d otherwise be eaten up by Netflix or Facebook-trolling, in order to make some extra cash or sow starter seeds for a new, improved grind. Consider these steps to finding part-time activities that’ll work best for you:

First, think strengths and hobbies. The first step is to consider what you’re good at, or, if you’re lucky enough, to be really passionate about. Neat-freaks? You could clean and organize, something the vast majority of people are terrible at and avoid. Eloquent kid-lovers? You could tutor and give parents a godforsaken break. Word obsessives could copyedit or proofread, good dancers/singers/players could give lessons, number-crunchers could crunch numbers. Consider how you spend most of your time outside of obligations, and you’ll find you have a natural leaning toward something.

Second, consider being hired vs. doing your own thing. Now that you have some ballpark idea of what your choice will be, whether it’s picking up doggie grass gifts around your neighborhood (it’s a paid thing) or notarizing documents, it’s good to consider whether you’d be better off taking up side-working for someone else or working independently. Does your schedule allow for set side-endeavor hours, or do you need to keep it loose? Is there licensing or a permit required for what you want to do? Talking to others who’ve already embarked upon what you’re about to is the best way to see forward and consider your approach: there’s security and structure to joining up with an already-existing model, but going solo provides more freedom and wiggle-room, which is what draws many to having a side-gig in the first place. Find some online side hustle groups to float your idea and get advice.

Third, set goals and keep a schedule. Now that you’ve made it to the starting line, the last step is to make room for your moonlighting by keeping a solid schedule and setting a goal for what it is you’re trying to achieve with the extra cash. Whatever the reason, set an amount and maybe squirrel it into a separate account to ensure that you don’t just up your weekly spending to new heights. The more money comes in, it can be easy to forget how much goes to what when the stress of spending dissipates. Time and money management will ensure that your new funds don’t just end up in some bartender’s tip jar, and will keep your multiplying job responsibilities from colliding.

Finally, hustle away. Now you’re good to go: enjoy productivity and its rewards, and don’t forget: you might just fall in love with your new side hustle and find yourself one day making it your main cash cow.

This post is the first of a two-part series on increasing your income. Read part two, “Profitable Side Gigs to Try” here.

Image via Unsplash/Oli Dale

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