Before starting a side hustle there’s always a little voice that says, “But what if it’s not right for me?” Today we’re talking about a few things you can do to dip your toe in your side hustle pool before you take the plunge.
A few weeks ago I did an episode about how there’s no such thing as a perfect side hustle. And while that’s totally true, it’s natural to want to take your hustle for a test drive.
After all, you’re making a big commitment of time and energy, and possibly money, so you want to do what you can to assure yourself that you know what you’re getting into.
So how can you get some experience, get some inspiration, and make sure you’re taking the next right step?
Find an organization that works with the population you want to help, or does the kind of work you want to do. Spend some time learning the ins and outs.
Places like libraries, women’s organizations, animal shelters, and groups that serve the elderly are always looking for volunteers, and I would bet that many other places would be happy to have the help, too.
Get a job
Want to start a lawn care business? Go work for one. Start a cafe? Get a job at Starbucks.
You don’t want to find out that you hate getting up early after you’ve opened your own breakfast joint, or that you hate talking on the phone after you’ve started a tele-consulting business.
This option allows you to get experience while still earning money, and you get an idea about to treat your employees (or how not to treat them) if you have them.
Rather than starting a full-blown business, offer your services to individuals as a freelancer. Reach out to people you know, or in online communities and offer your services for a reduced fee and get a feel for what you want to do.
This is a great option for consultants and coaches, as well as assistants as it gives you a chance to practice your skills, narrow your niche, and get some testimonials for when you launch.
Talk to people
If you know someone in the field – or in peripheral fields – that you can talk to, offer to buy them a cup of coffee and ask them about what they do.
What’s their favorite and least favorite part of the job? Describe a typical day in their life. What would they do differently if they could start over?
Most people are happy to help and share their experience.
Start a group
The easiest way to do this is to start a Facebook group, but you can start a local meetup, too, especially if you want to serve your local market.
Put out some feelers and invite people to join. You don’t have to be selling anything, but a group can help you guage interest and get info on topics your audience might want to know about, so when you’re ready to launch you have people to launch to that you aren’t related to, and you hit them with amazing knowledge bombs right out of the gate.
Being the founder of a group also sets you up in people’s minds as an expert.
What you do doesn’t matter
The idea is that you get some experience and see what the work you want to do actually entails.
The benefits of this “try before you buy” period are:
- Get experience and make sure you like what you’re doing before you do it
- Make contacts and connections
- Sidestep some landmines and save yourself time and money
- Gain confidence in your ability