For the first 5 years of my work life, I had a full-time job, but I also wrote for others on the side. Eventually, the side writing jobs had grown enough for me to face it fully and leave the 9-5 life. I love how we live in a time where many people are turning their talents into skills and into side-hustles that boost their incomes or just give them fulfilment. Whether it is selling products, writing, photography, or makeup artistry. There is such a wide range of talents people are making money from. No, not everyone needs/wants a side-hustle, but if you are on the journey to one, this is for you.
Don’t pick a side-hustle just because everyone else seems to be doing well in that line. It’s important that you pick something you like—this will keep you going on tough days. Also, remember that planning is everything. So, first, make a plan detailing what you need to do BEFORE you can kick off your side-hustle. This covers everything from listing your options to finding out what legal requirements you might need or even how much money or products you need. It also extends to what skills you need to make the side-hustle work. Which brings me to my first proper point.
Turn Your Talent into A Skill
Talent is great, but it will only get you so far. Talent is often something that comes naturally or effortlessly. A skill is the ability to do that thing exceptionally well. So, even though that thing comes naturally to you, hone it and make it a skill. You can have a talent for doing your own makeup but not be skilled at doing it in a range of styles or using the right products.
Turning your talent into a skill will often involve research, directly learning from others in that line, and/or taking online courses. Thank God for online courses. Besides those, you also have to spend more time doing that thing, doing it in new ways, and figuring out which ways work better.
A side-hustle is not a license to be disorganised. Register a small business if you need to. Have a brand identity and voice—you need this for most things. Know your expenses and set a proper price point. It’s weird when people ask how much a service or product is, and the seller says, “I haven’t really thought about that.” Or “Just pay anything”. No, please. You may make losses without realising it, and that will only frustrate you into quitting on it. Be deliberate every step of the way.
Take yourself seriously and take your clients seriously. When you do both, clients will also take you seriously. They’ll keep coming back and/or they will recommend you to others. You’ll spend and do less in marketing your side-hustle once you hit that point.
I don’t mean for money, yet—although you should do that too. You must be able to sell your idea to people. Find the best platform to do this. It may be digital or offline; one-on-one encounters or to the public. It all depends on what your talent-turned-skill is. Selling the idea is essentially you positioning yourself as someone skilled at that thing. In the end, this is what will sell your product or skill. When people see you in that light, it becomes easier to make an actual sale.
For some, a side-hustle is a way to make a quick buck. For others, it is a way to start small and eventually grow a business. If you fall into the latter category, start thinking long-term early. That way, you monitor properly and are deliberate about ensuring that it grows into a business that can sustain you full-time. I didn’t exactly start out knowing that it would become my sole source of living, but by being consistent at it, I began to see the possibilities.
By the way, research and learning must be continuous. That’s the only way to grow.
It goes without saying: Be bold and do it afraid if need be. Hope you learned something and do share your side-hustle or side-hustle dreams with us in the comments.