It's another Monday morning. You couldn't sleep last night because you are thinking about the week ahead. You are basically miserable. You feel unappreciated, your manager doesn't have the tools, training, or resources to help you even if they would be so inclined.
If you are being honest with yourself, it's probably time to start thinking career transition. A new position, company, even different industry. Maybe not a complete change but at a minimum, it's time for you to focus on something more rewarding and fulfilling before your spirit is completely crushed. There is literally nothing from stopping you from finding fulfillment except YOU. In fact, the reward you may be looking for isn't another full time role in an industry being crushed because of audience/client attrition or with a stodgy 1970's manufacturing company. Your reward might be your side hustle!
You do have a side hustle right?
All the cool kids have a side hustle these days. A side hustle as defined by Urban Dictionary: side hustle
Side Hustle: "Sideline that brings in cash; something other than your main job. Maybe playing weekend gigs or life coaching. SELLING AMWAY IS NOT A SIDE HUSTLE -- it's just a stupid way to alienate your friends."
In fairness, Amway is a side hustle, so is Rodan+Fields, baking designer cookies, tax preparation, driving for Uber/Lyfte, Airbnb, etc.
How about this article on Business Insider highlighting 7 of the most unique side hustles which includes animal skull cleaning, bee keeping, or making cricket protein (yep, protein made out of crickets). So clearly these are people with special skills and passions but I'll bet many that read this article have equally interesting hobbies and skills.
The point is that you can find something very fulfilling by developing a side hustle while keeping your current full time job. Sometimes those side hustles can be so successful that they ultimately turn into terrific entrepreneurial opportunities. There are dozens of stories of people with skills baking, cooking, or maybe just scaling up a secret family recipe that turned into large thriving businesses. You don't need to be defined by that 9-5 role spent in a meeting room or cubicle. You can redefine yourself, literally creating your own LLC and develop a simple 1-3 page website for less than $200 in most states.
So reality check. You don't have to get crazy and develop some obscure talent or skill into a business. There are dozens of small side jobs you can do to diversify your skills and create a second source of income. Most of us in the gig economy actually string 2-3 of these side hustles into successful self-employed businesses. Here is a terrific website identifying 99 different side hustles you could explore today. See: https://www.sidehustlenation.com/ideas/
So, what if you think you've got a side hustle that could turn into an entrepreneurial opportunity or small business? You should take your side hustle and bump it up against this checklist:
Make sure it's relevant and you're relevant. It's not just your dream, but it's something that leverages your skills. That you actually have skills in that area. If you build websites, target clients that rely on e-commerce.
Make sure it adds value. Whatever your skill or process adds to bee keeping, or animal skull cleaning, it's adding value, it significantly improves what exists today and someone will pay for it. You can prepare tax returns using software and systems that others don't have. You have the network effect (aggregate knowledge and cost advantage) when you prepare 100 tax returns that the individual return doesn't.
What unmet needs does it solve? Pressure test your thoughts. Think about Uber. Think about how people use the service and all the problems it solves and needs that are met. Back to the tax prep example, EVERYONE needs to file a return but with the advent of online services, what unmet need are you solving (complexity - compliance - audit support, etc).
Is there legit revenue? Don't quit your day job just yet. This is your test drive. Don't make an impulsive decision and make sure it isn't your sole source of income unless you can build a bulletproof business plan. I ran my side hustle as a pro bono for 7 years!
In summary, I've found a side hustle can be helpful in two very important areas:
Gives you something positive to focus on if you find your day job to be a dead end road without compromising your current compensation. Be true to your employer and make sure you are loyal to them. They and their clients are your paycheck - mortgage, rent, car payment.
It might be the roadmap to the independence of self employment and financial freedom. Key word here 'might'. This is a great no risk outlet to explore opportunities!
You can find this article and much more from The MBAR Group and TalentBlvd founder at: MikeMcNamara.com or TalentBlvd.com
About Mike McNamara:
Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.
Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services to the underprivileged and underserved. Today as founder and CEO of TalentBlvd, he coaches a number of high profile business and media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.
Mike earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House – St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.