As the days get longer and chillier, and as we get deeper into the holiday season, gift shopping and new eggnog recipes should not be the only topics swirling around in our head. Here’s why it’s the most wonderful time of the year to think of a side-hustle.
With the looming New Year, launching a side-business should be one of our top resolutions. People turn to a side hustle to amplify their earnings in their spare time, or explore new income streams in addition to their full-time jobs. For many, it’s the first step to escaping their traditional 9-to-5 and foray into life as an entrepreneur. And more than ever, many get into side-hustling to pursue a passion.
And before 2021 even kicks off, now may be the best time to get started, as many businesses will need assistance on seasonal projects during the busiest shopping season. For instance, a clothing boutique may need extra social media support to highlight certain holiday sales. Or, a local gym may need a graphics designer to create sales flyers for January, the busiest month for fitness studios.
And last but not least, with travel restrictions in place and more days spent in the cozy indoors, why not use this time to increase your earning power? Here is your roadmap for kicking off the new year with a side-hustle.
- Brainstorm your first side-hustle. Look for where the demand is plentiful. A recent study out of the UK outlines some of the most popular side-gigs: a) Buying & selling online. Think Etsy, Poshmark and eBay. b) Beauty & wellness, like personal trainers, hairdressers, stylists and more. c) Creatives, like artists, writers, musicians, designers, etc. d) Business & professional consulting, such as legal, accounting, bookkeeping, blogging, copywriting, and so on.
- What are you good at and what do you love? The opportunities may seem endless, but try to focus on your acquired skills or natural talents. You do not necessarily have to have direct traditional “resume experience” in a given product or service, but it is helpful to have some educational, work chops or natural knack in your final idea. Depending on the side-hustle, you must be able to demonstrate that you can fulfill the job, be it through an online portfolio or an explanation of how your past experience, education or talents relate to the projects at hand.
- Have confidence in your expertise. Depending on the side-hustle, be prepared to pitch to potential clients, be it with an online portfolio (which you can create a .co website via go.co), social media account (be it Instagram or LinkedIn) or a pitch deck (you can create pretty and professional ones for free on Canva).
- Don’t be afraid to start small. The whole beauty of a side-hustle is the part-time and low-risk nature of it all. It allows for the entrepreneur or creative to test the waters with small projects, small batches of production, and collaborations. Starting small allows you to test what works, what doesn’t and adjust accordingly for future assignments. Eventually these small steps can lead to a bigger business.
- Be persistent. Side-hustling is not for the humble and meek. Once you book and complete a job, be prepared to showcase your wins once again to the market and next round of future clients (with respect to any confidentiality agreements with your previous client, of course). Not only should you continuously update your online portfolio or social media accounts, but be prepared to identify what makes collaborating with you and hiring you an effective, and even enjoyable experience.
- Use your judgment and value your time the most. A side-hustle is still a hustle, meaning it involves hard work and grit. While not everyday will be enjoyable, it should by and large be an enriching experience for you. When you’re starting out, it is great to have an open mind to build your experience or portfolio. But throughout the process, you should take note of what kinds of clients, partnerships and projects fuel your passion for entrepreneurship and fulfill you professionally. Equally important, take note of what is fulfilling your financial goals. Always, always carefully track your time spent on each project and make sure your hourly market rate is being met.
Last but not least, stay motivated throughout the journey. Listening to entrepreneurial podcasts like the GaryVee Audio Experience and Side Hustle Pro or joining online communities like Side Hustle Nation may be a great way to gain new insights from more experienced side-hustlers, tips on managing your time and income, and how to make a side business work for you in 2021 and beyond.