Earning extra money on the side has rapidly become the mainstream whether through the gig economy, consulting, or side hustling. In fact, nearly four in 10 Americans have a side hustle, according to Bankrate.com. And while you could just do some odd jobs here and there to earn extra cash, you can take it a step further and transfer your skills and interests into sustainable, consistent income. The trick is figuring out your strengths and skills and identifying the right opportunities along the way. Here’s how to get started.
Play to Your Strengths
Just because your former colleague is making a killing at project management doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good fit for you. Take an assessment of your strengths from organization to leadership and start brainstorming ways to transfer those skills into income. For example, someone highly skilled at marketing and promotion may be well suited to help online entrepreneurs launch their info products. Another idea is to walk budding business owners through the process of gaining organic promotion through outlets like Instagram. The more you can focus on your natural superpowers in business, the more likely you are to find the right work opportunities.
Research Opportunities that Fit Your Skills
Of course, making up a list of strengths doesn’t always reveal a clear path to income generation. This is where researching existing opportunities from franchises to direct sales businesses comes in. Consider where your skills and strengths lie. If you’re skilled at sales and networking, selling products could be a perfect fit. Meanwhile, a passion for creating healthy snacks and smoothies while running your own team could lead to a franchise opportunity. It’s always wise to really research the validity of those companies — from Amway to Smoothie King — to find the best fit. Always look for proven business models with a track record for success that fits your schedule and lifestyle.
Keep it Flexible
It can take some time to match up the right skills with an ideal opportunity. While you launch that side business selling products to consumers to flex your entrepreneurial sales muscles, look for new ways to improve your business skills along the way. Take online classes or courses at community centers and stay flexible to new ideas and interests. You might discover that your interest in sales pairs well with your interest in healthy living and teaching others about the products you love to use.
Shadow a Mentor
Partnering with a mentor is also a powerful way to identify your skills and find a path to income. Ask a former colleague, supervisor, or someone in your community to help you on your journey. Make sure to choose someone who has proven success in areas you’re interested in. Try meeting once or twice a month and working through your ideas and questions. Your mentor can help identify how your skills in bookkeeping or copywriting can directly lead to opening your own business or consulting on the side. From there, you can work with a mentor to figure out how to fill in the gaps from start to finish.
Ask Your Network
Your own network has valuable insights to your skills and strengths. Meeting up for a coffee date with a friend or colleague and asking for help in identifying your skills and brainstorming income opportunities can spark new ideas. You may discover that you never thought much about your ability to come up with ideas quickly and how small businesses would value that skill in marketing and advertising.
Your skills are valuable with the potential to make real money, but it can take a little detective work to put all of the pieces together. Start by playing to your strengths and researching proven business ideas and models to help put money in your pocket.