The biggest excuse I hide behind is that I would start a business but I don’t have an idea for one. This seems like a good place to start. There seems to be infinite possibilities for businesses when you look, or pay attention to creative people with side-hustles. However, the idea seems elusive. There are parameters for a good idea, but I also need to be on guard for talking myself out of every idea.
There are many types of businesses to choose from and they don’t have to be an invention or backed by a new idea. There are franchises, services businesses and even taking an existing product or service and offering it in a new way or to a different customer. I understand deep down one is probably never “selling a product” and is probably selling change, or an experience, or education, or community, or customer service. These values should drive the business decisions and I want to discuss them later. Here I want to think about what it is that will be transacted.
One type of side hustle involves involves doing more of what you do. If you are an IT specialist at a company, maybe you take on some of your own IT clients outside of work. This has the benefit of multiple income streams and gives you leverage to negotiate with your employer for more flexible time. However, there is no large net positive in dollars you make for your time. You earn more money, because you are working more hours. Even if you can make better dollars per hour in your side gig, it won’t scale unless you start hiring to fulfill your service contracts. This is possible but also low margin.
The other type of side hustle involves upfront work and on going maintenance work, but can scale without employees. A way to think about it is, if you go on vacation, will your business still be making money while you are gone. This could be YouTube videos or selling products, versus coaching or tutoring or gig economy jobs (Dog/Baby Sitting, Task Rabbit, Driving, Delivery, etc).
Because of my current limitations on time being in school and working full time, the business approach makes the most sense for my situation. It will allow me to create in bursts and continue to grown in the meantime.