Whether you’re a financial analyst itching to get into graphic design, a woefully underpaid twenty-two-year-old looking to earn some extra money, or a retiree looking to cash in on her carpentry skills, chances are, you’ve thought about pursuing a side hustle!

Like any big project, at the outset, the details are hazy and undefined. To provide clarity and determine what side hustle is right for you, here are 5 questions to ask yourself:

1. What motivates you?  

People embark on a side hustle for a multitude of reasons - extra cash, pursuing a passion, developing a certain skillset, or a desire to share their skills with others. Determining the why behind your side hustle will help define the what.

2. What are your goals?

If you see yourself as a burgeoning web designer, it makes sense to look for a side hustle that will move you toward this goal. On the other hand, if your goal is greater financial independence within the next 6 months, it may mean seeking out the most lucrative side hustle possible, even if it’s not necessarily aligned with your professional interests. A few side hustles with the potential to earn some serious dough: putting your home on Airbnb, hosting dinners on EatWith, and selling homemade crafts on Etsy. Depending on the market and the time you put into your side hustle, it could become your main source of income. Jake Bartlett now receives over 75% of his income from Skillshare!  

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3. How much time do you have?

Take a good honest look at your schedule. What pockets of time can you devote to your side hustle? A few hours? A few days? Consider what you may be giving up in order to pursue a new project. On one hand, it could be things you won’t even miss. For instance, devoting the time you spend watching TV each night to teaching a class on Skillshare. On the other hand, depending on the hours, certain side hustles such as babysitting, bartending, or photographing weddings could mean missing out on family time or weekend hangs with your friends. Have a frank conversation with yourself and come away with a clear understanding of what you are and aren’t willing to give up to pursue your side hustle.

 4. What opportunities are available?

Now that you have a clear idea of why you are pursuing a side hustle as well as how much time you are willing to devote to to your new passion project, start looking! Depending on the path you are pursuing, this may mean developing a portfolio and attending networking events. For tips on how to develop a photography portfolio, check out Indeena Underhill’s class, “Amateur to Freelance: How to Develop a Portfolio”. To connect with other creatives, consider attending CreativeMornings, an inspiring lecture and networking series.

On the other hand, you may decide to ask around neighborhood restaurants to see if they are hiring additional wait staff for weekend shifts or create an advertisement to offer your services as a tutor.

 5. What potential obstacles might you encounter?

Brainstorm roadblocks that could prevent you from making your side hustle a reality. Are you prone to procrastination? Consider setting deadlines for yourself or asking a friend to call and ask about your progress. Are there gaps in your skill-set? Find a class on Skillshare that can help you round out your knowledge. A few we recommend:

Whether you choose to establish a passive income stream by teaching on Skillshare, brush up your guitar skills and join a local band, or tutor high school students preparing for the SAT, your side hustle is defined by you!

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Written By

Mary Findley

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