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How to discover your own side hustle

Looking for a side project? Take some easy steps to understand what might suit you as a way of making money outside of work. 

The New Year is a popular time for reflection. Many people spend the start of January considering changes that have the potential to make day-to-day life more fulfilling.

Some decide to kick off the year by losing weight or getting healthy. Others look to focus on their passions and do more of the things they enjoy, potentially even making a little cash along the way.

If you are connected to the internet, expanding on your hobby or making extra money doesn’t mean having to completely abandon your day job.  

Rise of the side hustle 

In 2017, Aussies in search of better life fulfilment and a boost to their finances are predicted to take up a ‘side hustle’, using the web to create their own micro-business.

A side hustle is conducted outside of a regular day job, either to make extra money or as a way of pursuing passions.

nbn discovered through its recently-commissioned Side Hustle Report that this global trend is taking Australia by storm.

The report found that the majority of Australians (80 per cent) are seeking fulfilment outside of work, while one in four say they already ‘hustle’.

The benefit of pursuing a side project of this nature is that it is an outlet for channelling ambitions.

In the long term, it also provides the potential for a completely new direction in life.

Some of the most popular side hustle businesses for Australians include reviewing services or products online, setting up a food and drink related enterprise and providing photography services.

Aussies are side-hustling by selling fashion and beauty products online, or by offering their services as website developers or graphic designers out of hours.

Christian Stenta from global organisation The School of Life is a specialist in helping people to find fulfilment doing what they love.

“Research shows Australians are obsessed with having a better lifestyle and looking for ways to find happiness outside of work” says Christian. 

“Fortunately, we’re not limited to our day job to feel challenged and fulfilled.”  

Starting a side hustle 

Image courtesy: The City Lane

When it comes to finding fulfilment through a side hustle, nbn’s research discovered that the decision of what to actually focus on is the biggest stumbling block.

If you have a hobby you’d like to build on, The School of Life recommends the following steps as a way of using the online realm to open up a world of opportunities:

  1. Think about where you could find out more information about your areas of interest - jump online, read up, search blogs and watch videos as a way of learning as much as you can about your passion area.
  2. Brainstorm the types of people or communities who may be able to help you find a side hustle in the areas you are interested in. Reach out to them to make your first step. For example, perhaps cooking makes you feel energised and inspired. In this case, consider touching base with a blogger or a social media influencer who could teach you a few tricks. You might find there are online courses you could take that would connect you to the cooking community and help you gain your first clients.
  3. Once you have decided on an idea - jump into it! It can be surprising how satisfying it is to see incremental progression of your side hustle. Sticking with the cooking theme, once you have set up a blog, YouTube channel, or other outlet, and started making connections with other keen cooks it should be easy to build your followers. 

Some quick exercises 

If building on your current passion or hobby and turning it into a small business doesn’t interest you, but you’d still like to find something on the side, The School of Life has some further pointers:

  • Imagine a typical working day
  • Draw a timeline of a 12 hour period, starting from when you wake up to when you get home again
  • Write down ALL the frustrations you experience (small and big)
  • Try to be as specific as possible
  • Don’t edit yourself, just write it all down
  • What did it feel like to look at your frustrations?
  • What sorts of frustrations did you come up with?
  • Now pick just one of these – perhaps the one that maddened you the most. How might you be able to develop something that could prevent/fix/resolve it?

You may find something as simple as leaving your dog at home alone all day causes you frustration. If that’s the case, why not create a dog-sharing or walking syndicate that can be coordinated online?

Perhaps you feel you’re taking too long to get to work. Adding your name to an online carpool service may help you to travel in the fast lane, while offsetting the cost of petrol and parking.

Should you come up with an idea that is completely your own, you can find online tutorials, how-to-articles, online video tutorials and even social media posts to help you get a brand new business off the ground.

The possibilities for a side hustle are endless, with one of the biggest bonuses being that you can start off slowly and with very little cash investment.

Whether it’s a personal blog with monetised advertising, a service that pays you for giving your feedback or a larger project that is fast-tracked with the help of fast broadband, it is possible to create a side hustle of your own and add a better sense of fulfilment to everyday life.  

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