The big buzzword for 2021 and 2022 is without a doubt ‘Side-Hustle’! A lot is written and said about side hustle hacks. Many gurus dive into the hustle of hustles: Teaching you how to get it done.
The big conclusion: Their hustle is getting you to pay for their course. Obviously, that qualifies as a hustle as well.
Sadly though, it looks more like a pyramid scheme. A course teaching you how to sell your own course.
If you’re serious about hustling there is only one way to get it going. Stay curious!
Side hustles and ideas are born out of curiosity. This article is meant to give you some resources I use to feed my curiosity and get inspired. I hope it helps you find the spark you are looking for. Some (most) resources are free. One resource is paid, but 100% worth the investment! (I’m not getting paid to plug it).
Let’s dive in.
1. Hit the Streets
Next time you’re out take a good look around.
Every business you see makes money.
What are they doing? How do they make a living?
Look at the company cars driving by. Street artists performing. Look at the stuff you use when you consume at a local restaurant. Observe how the waiters work, and what they struggle with. There is a business behind every little thing involved in the process. And in every process there are flaws. Bottlenecks.
If you make it a habit to find out how processes work, it gives you many different angles to approach your next side hustle.
Asking questions is the fastest way to find a high-quality opportunity.
I’ve written about an idea that came to me this way. If you want to dig deeper check it out:
An easy side-hustle for designers who struggle to sign clients
2. The Hustle Newsletter
Get Smarter on Business and Tech
Whether you want to read how people make millions on “Listerine” Royalties or learn if a company can “own” a color. The Hustle provides you with insights.
Their newsletter is absolutely free. No strings attached. You can subscribe via the link I listed below.
If you ask yourself why it looks like an affiliate link, it’s because it is. In a way. I’m not getting paid, but they reward people for referrals with nice goodies. Eventually, a 1-on-1 call with Sam Parr is unlocked. And that’s my goal. So I’d appreciate it if you subscribe and help me get there.
Talking about Sam Parr. I love his content. He is the driving force behind this newsletter but also behind the next 2 sources.
3. Trends.co (Paid)
Finding the next big thing just got easy.
Access thousands of vetted business ideas you can launch in a weekend and a community who can help you make it happen.
For 1$ you get access to Trends for 1 week. You can cancel at any time. If you decide to stay they charge you a 299$ annual fee.
For this 300$ subscription, you get access to a whole lot of information. A community of 16k+ members who are very active and supportive and daily events to upgrade your skill set.
I consider this membership to be one of my best investments this year.
Learn more about Trends on www.trends.co.
4. My First Million Podcast
Every week we dive deep into different business opportunities and explain how to pounce on them.
Basically…we spoon-feed you interesting businesses you can start tomorrow. And hey, maybe it’ll help you get your first million users, revenue, profit, employees (that’d be wild), or whatever it is you want a million of.
This is their opening statement and not a word is a lie. I’m digesting their content like crazy. It has inspired me in more ways than I can think of. You can find their content on pretty much every platform of your choice.
Check them out at: https://www.mfmpod.com/
If it’s new and hot you can find it on Producthunt.
Upvotes do the hard work for you. So sit back and scroll through the latest innovative ideas people came up with.
Worst case scenario you’ll find a nice new tool to make your life a bit easier.
If you want to win in life, you have to learn how to listen.
Go to Reddit, search the niche you feel comfortable in and sort the posts on popularity.
Not only does this provide you with the main topics that are on people’s minds, (perfect for new content ideas) but it also shows you whether or not the questions get answered.
Is there a lot of traction on a specific topic but no viable solution? Then you’ve got yourself an entry point for your next side hustle.
7. Facebook Groups
Pretty much similar to Reddit are (niche) Facebook groups.
Find the top 5 groups in a certain niche. Join them and scan through them. Moving forward your feed will be filled with conversations you can learn from.
Soon enough you’ll start to recognise patterns. Learn jargon. What people hate and what keeps them busy. For me, this beats the fluff, my old friends, like to share every single day of the week.
Did you find an angle? Dig deeper and do some research on the topics your potential clients seem to struggle with. A steady tool to start your research AND find inspiration is the next one.
8. Google Ads Keyword Tool
If you don’t know about Google Ads. It’s the advertising platform that made Google filthy rich. The ads you see first when you Google something. The banners and videos on YouTube videos and many many more stuff your ad blocker loves to hide from you are placed via Google Ads.
You can create a free account right here: https://ads.google.com/. It’ll give you access to their free keyword tool.
Just drop some words and/or sentences in. Select your language and region, and let Google perform its magic.
You’ll be served a ton of things people search for online. It even shows monthly search volume and the level of competition you have on the terms. Maybe, just maybe there are some queries that spark your creativity.
“How to ….” questions provide a great starting point for guides, white papers, ebooks or courses. “Where”, or “…. near me” questions provide angles for lead generation hustles. You get where I’m going.
9. Study the Process.
The easiest way to generate side hustle ideas is to study the process of a business. Any business. You don’t even have to know anything about the market they operate in.
It sounds very basic but believe me. There are a shitload of companies that just do what they do because it’s what they’ve done all the time. No questions asked.
Shiiiit. Yes. It’s as stupid as the previous sentence sounds.
Just sit down and start at the beginning.
- What’s the first thing in the process you do?
- Then what…
- And then?
- What’s next?
- What’s the result?
- And after that?
After you’ve identified the whole process. (I like to use post-its and just line them up on a wall so the process gets visual). You start again. But this time you ask about the specifics.
At stage (X), what happens? Explain it to me, please.
- What could possibly go wrong here?
- How long does it take to complete this step?
- How much does it cost you?
- Do you use any third-party software or freelancers?
The answers to these questions will provide you with new opportunities. And on top of that. It gives you a base to calculate the potential impact of your future solutions and/or fixes. So it’s easier to calculate your price when charging for them.
Side note. If you want to learn about “Value Based Pricing” check out this video of Chris Do. It’s targeted at designers primarily but the concept works for any kind of service you offer. 100% worth the 40 minute watch.
Think of it this way. If you find a cheaper or faster method to get something done, and you’ll improve the process by 1% you could calculate your added value pretty easy. If you do this with 10 steps in the process the 1% improvement compounds 10 times, making the final impact you have even bigger.
Often you can just Google a part of any process to see if there is an easy solution out there. The only thing left is for you to apply it.
Sometimes whole new business models arise from this simple exercise as well.
I’ve used this method for a web design agency and created a detailed walk-through right here:
Piggyback — a ride on someone’s back and shoulders.
The easiest hustle is the one where you complement businesses that are already crushing it out there.
Who has a YouTube show or podcast filled with gems you love? But don’t recycle their long-form content into easy-to-grasp posts? Posts they could use on different social media channels to drive more traffic to their main content?
Which CEO or business owner doesn’t leverage his or her socials to educate their prospects?
Who has an awesome book but no course?
Get out there and find those people. Then, just do the work. Don’t cold e-mail them asking for money to do it. Use risk reversal. Show them what you can do before you ask for a ransom fee.
In a recent “My First Million” podcast the hosts talked about an email from a young hustler. He went through the effort of cutting up all of their past shows. He used the clips on his own socials and mailed them a piece to prove it was really him. Then he offered them to either buy all snippets or hire him to keep doing it.
He was rewarded with a 5k bonus. And on the show, they offered him not 1 but possibly 2 jobs.
Check out the whole fragment here:
The skill you need to do this is pretty easy to learn. All you need are editing skills. Not even that. You have to know how to cut video and audio files into smaller fractions. Instructions to use programs like Adobe After Effects, Abode Premier Pro, iMovie or even QuickTime are all over YouTube.
Download yourself a podcast and get grinding.
I started a slightly different but comparable side hustle a while back. I’ve described the case in a separate article. Check it out if you think you could duplicate it:
There is no go-to solution to make an extra buck. It all starts with your curiosity. Replace hearing with listening. “Listen” to reviews people leave on businesses. What do people complain about? Can you fix that? Listen to time-wasting struggles. Can you speed up the process by referring to a simple tool? Can you do something cheaper?
You get the point.
If you want to earn some extra cash, there are plenty of ways to do it. But they are all just… jobs. “Get a job as an Uber driver”, “Deliver Food”, and “Tutor people online”. That’s great if a little extra $$$ is all you want. But if you’re serious about your next hustle then I suggest you start to listen.