Often I work with clients who aren’t quite ready to make a huge transition but who want to somehow find more passion and meaning through their work.  A side hustle is becoming more and more common in this situation – a great way to do something you’re passionate about and earn some extra cash while at it. It’s not just my clients. More than 44 Million people in the US now have side hustles. These rates are even higher among Millennials. One out of two Millennials have income generating work outside of their day jobs. Half of side hustlers hope it will become their full-time job, and many are simply just doing it for the extra cash.

Two women looking at a laptop while starting a side hustle.

A side hustle certainly isn’t for everyone. You first have to decide if you have the time, patience and drive to run a side hustle. But if you do decide that you have what it takes, then a side hustle can be a great way to honor your passions and find greater fulfillment, bother personally and professionally.

Below are some tips to help you get started!

Start With Passion. 

The most fulfilling and successful side hustle is going to be one that you’re passionate about. After all, you need to be prepared to work on this thing after a long day and even on weekends so you want to ensure it’s something that truly inspires you. Starting a side hustle because it sounds like a fun thing to do is not going to be enough to get you through the twists and turns along the way. Figure out who you are and what you love and use that as your foundation. It is also a great idea to write down your vision and your “why.” Look back to this during the difficult times to re-energize and remind yourself why you started. If you’re struggling to come up with things you’re passionate about, ask yourself what you do when you procrastinate. Or what you do that makes you lose track of time.

Brainstorm Ideas.

Once you have a few ideas that excite and motivate you, think about what opportunities there are in this space.  You can even google something as simple as “[your passion]” and “job” or “side hustle” to open your mind to different ideas.  This list provides 50 side hustle ideas to get you started. Remember to focus on ideas that allow for flexibility. For instance, if your passion is writing, perhaps your side hustle could be blogging.  Or if you love photography, maybe you can start taking photographs at friends’ weddings. Remember that it is ok to start small and gradually build it up over time.

Man holding camera while doing a photography side hustle.

This photo courtesy of James Bold.

Research the Market. 

Once you have some ideas in mind, it’s time to do your research. Look at websites and social feeds and seek inspiration from other people doing a similar thing. Think about what you want your side hustle to look like and how you can make that happen. If you know anyone who already works in the space you choose, talk to them! Find out more about the business and the industry, including not only what they love but also the greatest challenges. If you don’t know anyone yet, reach out to people! It is a great way to network and learn more the industry you’re getting yourself into. Maybe they won’t respond… but what if they do? You really have nothing to lose!

Build a Plan.

Breaking big ideas into mini goals, or bite-sized-pieces, helps the idea feel much more manageable and achievable and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed. Break the idea into as many small actionable steps as you can so that you have a clear and achievable plan which will help you get started. Also do your best to set time frames and find someone to hold you accountable. A side hustle can be a lot of work but having someone on side to check-in and encourage you along the way makes a huge difference. Hiring a great coach, of course, is a great way to achieve this!

Planner, phone and pens for someone planning their side hustle.

Leverage New, Cheap and Easy Platforms.

If you’re looking to start your own thing, use platforms to market yourself. Back in the day, it used to cost tens of thousands of dollars to build a website of an app. Nowadays there are lots of cheap and easy ways to get going, such as WIX or SquareSpace. There are also great design platforms to help you with your marketing material such as Canva. Here is a list of 41 tools to help with your side hustle. As you start bringing your idea to life, make sure you are constantly evaluating how things are working. Build, test, measure, build, test, measure. The best way to fail is to do it quick and early. Eventually, you’ll learn enough from your early failures to establish long-term success!

Stay Open Minded and Enjoy the Journey. 

Maybe this will stay your side hustle or maybe it will even become your career. Who knows? One of my clients started a side hustle in writing and is now published all over Australia and half-way through his second book.  Learn as much as possible and enjoy the ride (and trust me, it will be a ride!), but it will also be a ride that, I’m pretty sure, you will never regret!

Woman in coffee shop on laptop building her side hustle.

As you embark on this journey, remember that accountability is key. It is easy to have a burst of inspiration and then let things slide when you start to get busy or when building your side hustle gets tough. We are here to help! If you want support kick-starting your side hustle, fill out this form to be matched with an ALV coach for a complimentary consultation. Your coach will be your side hustle wing woman (or man) and will help you stay on track with your goals. Kudos to you for even being here considering a side hustle – can’t wait to see what you build!

Looking for ideas to help you start a side hustle of your dreams? Check out these articles:

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Katie Bennett

Hi I'm Katie, one of the Coaches and CoFounders here at Ama La Vida. My coaching approach is results-orientated and deeply rooted in neuroscience and positive psychology. I'm passionate about empowering individuals to arrive at new insights about their life and career and then take the action they need for meaningful and long-lasting change. When I'm not coaching or working on the business, you will likely find me on a plane or in a restaurant. I also love basking in the sun but since moving to Seattle, that doesn't happen too much. Feel free to reach out to me at anytime or read my full bio here.

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