The Side Hustle
We now live in what is called the “Gig Economy”. According to CNN Money, Over 44 Million Americans reported having a side hustle. So when your boss asks you why in the world you would want to go to a StartUp Weekend event, you can calmly remind him/her that you don’t intend on quitting your day job. In fact, side hustles are a great way for people to invest in themselves, have amazing experiences with their friends and family, and increase their quality of life. The majority of millennials with side hustles right now make over $500/month…$6000 a year makes a pretty good vacation budget, covers rent, covers car payments, or just buys you a lot of extra shoes if that’s what you’re into. The moral of the story is that a side hustle shouldn’t be something that people should be ashamed of. If I was your boss and you had a side hustle, I would be proud of an employee that has that kind of creativity and commitment to innovation! It will absolutely help out the company in the long-run when you think of their next big idea!
How to Hustle
So an extra $6000 a year sounds intriguing, eh? Well how can you get in on that money? It’s easy…go sit down in a barber shop, hair salon, coffee shop, or wherever people congregate. Listen to what they complain about. “Oh I wish we had a local place to buy xxx”, “My life would be such much easier if I had someone to help me with xxx”, or “I would pay so much money if I could just get xxx” are all phrases that should get your ears perked up. Once you find a problem that you think you might be able to solve, it’s time to validate it. Brings your friends or co-workers to dinner one night and show them what you’re doing. Ask “Is this cool?”, “Would you buy this?”, “How much would you spend on it?”, and “Do you know people who would like it?”. If the respective answers are “It’s really cool”, “I’d buy 10 at least”, “I’ll give you all my money for it”, and “How could anyone I know not like this?”, then I think you’re doing pretty good. If the only person that likes it is your mom and she says that she will buy one…well then we might need to go back to the drawing board. Point being – let the market help you decide what your side hustle should be and then let them help you figure out just how much you need to hustle.
When people think about entrepreneurship and innovation, they always think about having to be the next Albert Einstein. People think you have to invent Facebook or Uber in order to be a successful entrepreneur. This is where we really have to change the mentality. Do you make jams and jellies for fun at home – you can be a successful entrepreneur. Did you used to place a sport competitively and now you can coach/give lessons – you can be a successful entrepreneur. Are you really really good at watching tv – you can be a successful entrepreneur (well not by watching tv…but I’m sure you’re good at something else too!). The idea is, most people have the opportunity to be entrepreneurial and it generally doesn’t require you to re-create the wheel. Make money doing something you like to do.
Diversity of Thought
Get away from work for a day. Don’t surround yourself with the same people. Sure, they are your friends and coworkers, but you need some diversity of thought in your life. If all you do all day is think about commercial loans, running your department or testing products, it’s really hard be creative. Opportunities like StartUp Weekend Laramie on September 21-23 (shameless plug!) are a great way to test out your creativity and learn from some diverse thinking. So many people want to “think outside of the box”. If you’re doing your job every day from 9-5, good for you, but your box has become pretty small, right? So it should be easy to think outside of it. Get some new people in front of you to make you think differently, and watch the creative juices flow!
So What’s Next?!
I don’t know about you, but I’m impatient. Like, you just told me I could make an extra $6K a year…so let’s go already! Well you have a few different next steps to take. Option 1: Go at it alone. Sure, you can figure something out and get to hustling, but that might make your hustle kind of lonely… Option 2: You and your skills + your friend and their skills = better and less lonely side hustle. Option 3: Your ideas and skills + a whole group of entrepreneurial thinkers ideas and skills = best side hustle! Come to StartUp Weekend Laramie and attend other community events for potential entrepreneurs. Meet a group of people with a variety of skills who can all help you be successful in this first venture.
StartUp Weekend Laramie
Yes, I’ve mentioned this a few times…I know you’ve officially heard of it now, but so many people still haven’t. Consider sharing this post with your friends. Young people can invest this money in themselves. Retired people can use the knowledge they have from industry experience to run a very successful side hustle. Stay at home spouses need to know about this to pay for a babysitter every Friday night for date night. Everyone is a winner here! So make sure to get your early-bird tickets and encourage everyone to get theirs before September 1st. You won’t regret it!
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