Jealous. That pretty much sums up your feelings when your workmate ditched the corporate life and struck out on her own. Sure, you patted her on the back and congratulated her, but inside you were coming up with plans to switch places with her that rivaled the best sci-fi movies out there. Now she is posting pictures of herself working on the beach, and you are stuck in cube city.
If only you had a talent you could capitalize on…
You do have a talent. Probably more than one. If you are working the corporate life in any capacity, even if you are the janitor, you do have a talent. There are things you do well that can easily transfer to the entrepreneurial life. Read on to get a little help figuring out where your talents lie, so you can make your new cube mate jealous when you turn your side hustle into a dream career.
List Your Current Skills
Grab a notebook and a pen and list out your current skill set. Consider the things you do in your current position, or things you have done in a previous position. This list should be all of the professional skills you have. The diplomas on the wall, the projects you have conquered, and the designs you have dreamed up. Don’t worry about how this will fit into your side hustle, just make the list.
If you are having a hard time coming up with things to put on your list, take a gander at your resume. What skills do you list? Have you learned more skills since you wrote your old resume?
Find Your Hidden Skills
Your hidden skills aren’t really hidden, they are just things you don’t normally think of as a marketable skill. These are the things your friends, family, and even your bosses love about you.
Does the whole office wait for you to make coffee? Do you know the name of every tree and flower you pass on the way to work? Is your desk more organized than everyone else’s? Still got that pen and paper? Start writing.
Make a list of all of the things you are good at, even if you aren’t sure how they could translate into a paid gig. Even if they seem like simple, easy to do things, write them down.
Everyone has skills like this. If you are having trouble figuring out what your hidden skills are, ask your friends and family. Don’t ask them what you are good at, ask them “if I could do only one thing for you, what would it be?”
This gives you a specific skill to write down, not some wishy washy, no one wants to hurt your feelings answer.
What Do You Like to Do?
Let’s get to the fun part already. Now you have a list of things traditional employers will pay you to do, a list of things your friends and family know you rock at, now you need to make a list of things you enjoy doing. These are your hobbies. Everything from reading a book on the beach to skiing should be on this list.
Again, even if you see no value in these things, write them down anyway. There is opportunity in every niche. Think of all of the money you have spent on your hobby, and all of the money you would like to spend.
Compare Your Lists
Now you have three lists. Your professional skills, your soft skills, and the things you love to do.
As you look over these three lists, put a big circle around similar things occurring on two or more lists. For example, you might have best birthday party planner on your friends and family list and event organizer on your professional list, circle them. You might have some type of design work on your friends and family list and your things you love to do list, circle them.
Chances are as you go through your list and circle the things you find in common on the list, your hidden talents will emerge. Merge all of the things you have circled into one list, now it’s time for the most important part.
Let’s Find Your Side Hustle
When you look over your merged list, an obvious choice might jump off the page. If you are the best birthday party planner and organize events at your corporate job, a wedding and events planner might be the side hustle for you. If nothing jumps off the page, you might have to get a little more creative.
- Consider services you have used in the past. Could you provide those services to others? Could you improve upon them?
- Is there a product or service you have always wished existed? Could you create it?
- Remember that question you asked your friends and family, could their answer be the key to your new side hustle?
- Many skills translate easily into another area. Every business, non-profit, and government agency needs marketers, writers, accountants, designers and so on. Can your talent be used in a place you are passionate about?
There is no limit to what you can do with your side hustle. The better fit you find, the better you will do at it. The more creative it is, the better chance it has at success. If you don’t have a bunch of skeptics staring you in the face, you’re doing it wrong.
Still Not Sure?
If you have gone through the lists, done the comparison, and are still not sure what your side hustle should be, take a step back. Forcing something to shine through, isn’t the answer. Give yourself a day or two and then return to the list. Allow your brain time to breathe. It’s kind of like the name you can’t remember no matter how hard you try, then 7 hours later when you are washing your hair, it comes to you. Let this be that kind of thing.