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Exercise: Figuring Out Your First Side Hustle

Exercise: Figuring Out Your First Side Hustle

I'm a huge advocate of earning your first "direct" dollars doing a small, seemingly boring side job that applies your current career skills.

This is going to be the quickest way to experience the basic concept of someone paying you directly for value that you provide. It's a very simple life lesson, yet most W2 employees earning a steady paycheck have never experienced it.

In doing a "boring" side job successfully, you will have accomplished a ton of things that most people will never experience:

  1. Gotten out of your comfort zone by working your network with a little "sales" work. Most people outside of sales have never really had to do that so it's a great learning experience.
  2. Priced a project, literally determined a price for the value you are directly delivering, and confidently putting that price on paper.
  3. Gotten out of your own way as far as your "executive" status or identity. You'll be providing value directly with your own two hands and possibly doing things that you may have previously considered "below you" or something you'd previously delegate. Not any longer!
  4. Committed to a project fully and saw it through, regardless of how uncomfortable parts if it may have been. This is totally different than doing a favor for a friend or helping out a family member. In this case, a business is depending on your work and you need to follow through with it.
  5. Billed someone for the work. This feels really weird at first. Seems simple but particularly if the client is a friend or family member it's really easy to just say "don't worry about it". It's actually hard to ask for payment, at least initially. Why? Because it reinforces the commitment, it holds you accountable to the work you provided. Huge difference between "well I didn't even charge them so they can't expect the world" and "I agreed to provide this XYZ service for money so I had better deliver, and deliver exceptionally".
  6. Received payment for the work. You've sold, priced, executed, billed, and now collected the payment. Another basic thing that will feel extremely odd initially. You've now tasted the concept of earning 100% of the value you provided, 1:1, vs. earning whatever your current employer decides to pay you. Isn't that nice? Don't you want more of that?

This first side job is the base of the pyramid. It is the most basic, fundamental step on your journey from "employee" to "employer". Having done this, you will have exercised 6 huge concepts that will help you with your passion business down the road.

Additionally, remember:

  • Every successful job is another building block in your reputation and business
  • Every successful job is a huge networking opportunity
  • Every small job has the potential to turn into a big job

All of this has happened to me. Yet, none of this will happen without starting somewhere.

To that end, I've created a worksheet to help you brainstorm on what that first side job might be. You can download it below.

Let me know how it goes!