Right from the start I wrote down my sidehustle goals – no matter what ideas I came up with, I was DETERMINED to ONLY explore the ones that fit my goals. I set these out BEFORE I even started with my piece of paper with 3 columns that I outlined in my Step 1 post.
Going through my thought process – in my previous professional role, I travelled most of the year round. I LOVE travel and I wanted to make sure that whatever I did as a sidehustle, I would be able to do it from anywhere I was. I didn’t want to be bound by geography by having to be “in a place” to do something. This was by far the most important aspect for me – I hope to one day achieve my sidehustle goals of the full #laptoplifestyle and be able to do exactly what the merch in the header image says “Work Wherever, Travel Forever“. I’m not sure my wife is on board with this particular aspect of my sidehustle goal though – she’s quite fond of the house and very attached to the cat 😜 – but our kids are all grown up and left home many years ago so if there is some way of achieving a location independent lifestyle before we both drop dead in our day jobs then I’d sure as hell love that to be an option to consider!!
Before I go on, I’ll clarify what is meant by “passive income”. This is a way of making money “while you sleep” as opposed to making money in a way that requires you to be present to earn.
For example, your typical day job requires you to work a certain number of hours or complete certain tasks in order to get paid. Many sidehustles like dog walking, baking, personal coaching, teaching etc require you to directly exchange your time and effort for money – which is absolutely fine for many people.
Earning a “passive income” disconnects the direct relationship between effort and income. You put in a LOT of effort – it’s STILL HARD WORK – don’t get me wrong here!!!
For example, you put in a lot of effort to write a book or design digital products or make a course or record videos or set up loads of affiliate links or establish supplier relationships for dropshipping (don’t worry about these terms if you’re not familiar with them – I’ll cover them later). You then spend even loads more time creating content (like this blog you’re reading) and promoting it, sharing and engaging on social media – but NONE of that directly results in income for the time you have spent upfront.
Your INCOME comes from when you SELL the digital or physical products you have made, designed, distributed online or via marketplaces.
People can view and buy these products at any time of the day from anywhere in the world without you being awake or there in person for you to earn the money – hence the term “passive”.
I was also determined that I didn’t want to do any “cold calling” or direct sales or parties and the like – being an “Avon Lady” just isn’t for me!
If you want to follow along with my logic, then this PDF template here has my own example on it.
So let’s go through a summary of my 3 columns:-
So – quite a diverse set of passions?
What kind of things could I possibly do that would achieve my sidehustle goals?
Let’s go through an abridged version of my skills:-
I think the most important of these skills is the fact that I learn quickly (well, I think I do!). I’ve picked up a raft of new skills over the last couple of years – for example I’m not a “deep techie” but I do know how to set up a web site from scratch – which many people would consider a “technical skill” – but I can’t write code anymore (I’m REALLY old and although I used to code in my youth, it’s all changed since then!) so I rely on people far more clever than me to sort out any problems I have.
The “mildly creative” bit comes from my passion for photography. Over years, you begin to develop an eye for aesthetics and what makes for a good image – BUT I’d not classify myself as a “designer” by any stretch of the imagination yet – but I am working on it!
The “skilled researcher” comes from my (previous) primary job – I’ve spent 35 years earning a living from researching, writing and talking about technology and innovation across various roles that I’ve held in the corporate world.
Next, let’s take a look at the “problems people pay for” to get solved:-
For the last 6 years, I’ve spent my time delivery keynotes and workshops on the topic of innovation and transformation – so I have a good handle on the fact that people pay for quality information, well packaged and delivered.
Solving people’s problems in an area you are passionate about is a perfect sidehustle goal (if you ignore my initial constraints) and I COULD actually still go ahead and do any of these.
- write a beginners book on photography and videography for motorcycle or scuba diving enthusiasts – I’ve certainly accumulated a wealth of knowledge in this area and many of my friends regularly approach me for advice on these topics
- create YouTube videos on the same – but there are already thousands of these out there so it would be difficult to carve a niche
- turn that content into a course and launch it online via a teaching platform
- set up websites specifically for photographers, bikers or scuba divers that wanted to showcase their won content and stories
But none of these things were appealing as a sidehustle – mainly because it would just feel like “more work” and I really wanted to find something that fit in with my passion. In other words, something I WANT to do as opposed to something I CAN do.
Hmmm – products – I have an unhealthy obsession with tee shirts! It drives my wife crazy – I have cupboards FULL of tee shirts and I refuse to get rid of ANY of them as each one is full of memories – even the ones I don’t fit into anymore!!!
So after looking at my lists I decided that I’d try my hand at merchandise. The ideal would be to find a way to incorporate my photos into products and I’ve already started to do that with a couple of the products on my site I won’t link them here – take a look and see if you can spot the four designs that contain photos I have taken and comment on the post below.
So that’s the backstory of how I decided on my own personal sidehustle.
Have you gone through the process of figuring out your sidehustle goals yet?
Have you already started your own sidehustle? How is it going?
Connect with me on social media via the links below and share your sidehustle so that I can follow YOUR journey – let’s see if we can achieve our sidehustle goals together!!