Did you know that 43 percent of working Americans report having a side hustle? With an increase in unpredictability around job security, a lot of people are starting side hustles with the intention of turning them into full-time businesses.
When starting an online side hustle, most people pursue a business model that they see others succeeding with, without giving much thought to whether or not that business model fits their own strengths and lifestyle goals.
When I first started working as a freelance Facebook ads expert on the side of my full-time job, I did not realize that as an introvert, the process of sales calls, social media outreach and networking would leave me feeling overwhelmed. I was burned out and ready to quit in my fifth month of business. I took the decision to step back and self-reflect. That decision has had a hugely positive impact on my business.
This does not mean that you should choose a business model that lets you be in your comfort zone. Not everything you do in your business is going to be easy and comfortable for you. But, if you choose to build something that energizes you, it is much more likely that you will stick with it in the long term.
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Below, I’ll share a few ways to find the side hustle that works for you:
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
The first step to choosing the right business model for you is to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
I like to map out my strengths and weaknesses using a quadrant to make sure that I choose to solve a problem that I am not only good at solving, but one that I also enjoy solving.
Once I have filled out each section of the quadrant, I focus on the opportunities in Q1, because those are things I like doing and I am good at.
Since Q2 contains things I like doing but am not necessarily good at, I’d analyze any skill that I think I could become good at by learning and implementing.
I would not look at exploring any skills in Q3 and Q4 since it doesn’t make sense to start a side hustle around something I do not like.
Identify your values and lifestyle goals
Most people forget that a side hustle takes time and effort to build (especially in the initial stages). This means that sometimes you will need to prioritize your side hustle, which is why it’s so important to focus on building something that aligns with your future goals and your desired lifestyle.
You want to have a goal that drives you, even on tough days, and that is not possible when you are hung up on someone else’s idea of success. Getting clear on what success means to you can make or break your progress in the long term.
Not everyone wants to build a million-dollar business. Maybe you want to build a minimalist business that lets you spend most of your time with your family, or one that gives you the ability to become a digital nomad. Maybe you are just trying to replace your day job income or maybe you want to make some additional income.
Whatever side hustle you start, it is important to keep your life goals in perspective.
Take personality tests to better understand yourself
If you are having a tough time identifying your values, strengths and weaknesses, personality tests like the ones mentioned below can help you get there faster.
- The Myers Briggs profile: This test provides you with a reflective personality profile that reveals why you do what you do and how you do it. Everyone has a Myers-Briggs personality “type” that refers to your most common traits, strengths and weaknesses.
- The Enneagram Test: The Enneagram test holds that there are nine major personality types, i.e., peacemaker, achiever, challenger, etc. Each person is assigned a personality type based on how they answer a series of questions. The Enneagram test offers a more general overview of personalities than the Myers-Briggs, which focuses on particular personality practices.
- The Fascination Test: This test aspires to motivate by revealing the most esteemed aspects of one’s self. By asking carefully tailored and specific questions, the Fascination test gives you an in-depth personality profile that highlights your strengths.
These tests can help you get a deeper understanding of your personality, so you can choose a business model that aligns with your strengths rather than building something that leaves you feeling resentful or burned out.
Identify the type of side hustles that best match your personality and lifestyle goals
Now that you understand your strengths and are clear about your desired lifestyle, it is time to choose a side hustle business model that not only aligns with these goals but is also profitable.
Here are some side hustles to consider:
- Coaching: Coaching is a great side hustle option for those who have an in-demand skill and love helping others. For example, if you are someone who loves helping friends choose the right nutrition and fitness plan based on your personal experiences, you could monetize this knowledge by becoming a health coach.
- Freelancing: With sites such as Fiverr growing every day, starting a side hustle as a freelancer can be as easy as setting up a profile that showcases your skills and expertise. The freelancing market covers everything from blog writing to logo design. Whatever you’re good at, you can do it for money.
- Blogging: Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge, even if you are an introvert. Although you might not make money with a blog immediately, there are several ways to monetize your blog in the long term.
- Start an Etsy shop: If you are someone who likes creating handmade things, starting an Etsy shop could be a great side hustle option for you. It could be the perfect way to monetize an existing hobby.
Build skills or outsource tasks that you are not good at
Based on your chosen business model, starting and growing a side hustle can involve performing several different tasks such as scheduling social media content, getting on sales calls, content writing, delivering client services, etc.
You can accelerate your journey by enrolling in training courses that teach you the strategies you need to make your business profitable. You can also choose to outsource tasks you are not good at, so you can increase your productivity by not spending time on tasks that take you a long time to complete.
Building a side hustle using your personality and personal experiences to stand out is the best way to ensure that you don’t burn out while working additional hours before and after your full-time job.