Get on a Platform
Being your own boss is great! However, ask anyone that has their own business and they’ll tell you that it’s hard work. Those that say it’s easy are trying to scam you out of money. Or not living in the real world. Even having a side hustle has its difficulties, but getting started in it can be easier than you think.
Note: Many of the services I talk about here are affiliate links where I would get a commission if you decide to sign up using my link. I put these here so I can continue to provide you with as much free content as I can.
Sometimes people ask me how they can break into Entrepreneurship. What are the steps I took, how did I make my choice to do what I do, how long it took me to make a living out of it, etc.
The truth is that you don’t want to do it the way I did it. I went into this before Social Media was big (check out my About Me to get that story). However, in the near two-decades I’ve been building websites for the local small businesses (sometimes referred to as “Brick-and-Mortars”), I’ve learned a lot about how business works. The unexpected benefit of working with so many businesses was that I learned a lot about how they work, how they get business to come in, how they market, how they sell, and so much more.
Enter Social Media and things were turned upside down. Once Facebook™ started using its platform to help businesses market, it changed the game of how we do things. Social Networks as a whole helped make side hustles easier to turn into a business, as well as necessity.
Well, What Are You Good At?
That’s my answer when people ask me how to start.
“What? What do you mean?” is the common response as most people come from the workforce.
Some people tell me that all they know is the work that they do. A few tell me that they have a hobby they would like to try to monetize. Some are even willing to learn a new skill.
All these are great and you do have to figure out what you would like to do. Some of you have the gift of time to explore what you would like to do. Many of you don’t, and need money here and now.
Regardless of your situation, what I’m going to show you here will get you started fast. If you stick with it, you’ll be able to work your side hustle and eventually graduate to a business. For those of you with time and resources to try other things, just repeat the process. There’s no need to over complicate things.
Entry Level Side Hustles
First Things First
If you’re in need of some fast cash, here are a few things you can do to start while you work your side hustle you’ll eventually be doing.
- Uber, Lyft – Drive people around for a few hours. Your best bet is to drive around populated places like big cities, airports, etc.
- Postmates, GrubHub, UberEats – Maybe your car doesn’t qualify to drive around. If that’s your situation, your next best bet is to bring people food. There will always be a need for food delivery, especially in this time during the Covid-19 crisis.
- InstaCart, Shipt – Similar to above, except you deliver groceries to people. The best part, you can do these in conjunction with the above to maximize your efforts.
- Old-fashioned 9 to 5 job – Yep, ultimately you can also do this. You won’t have control over your schedule like you would in other jobs, but at least you’ll have the money to fund your efforts.
Yes, You’ll Have to Sacrifice
On an episode of Life or Debt (hosted by Victor Antonio), one of the people he consults decided to take it upon himself to drive for Uber from 6am to 2pm Monday through Friday so he can then DJ later at night. He’s a family man and needs to make ends meet, so his love for DJing needed to be supplemented by this side-hustle until his DJ company could sufficiently sustain them.
Likewise, you may have to do the same thing. You may have to do an entry level job while figuring out or building your reputation on the service you have chosen.
If you don’t have the tenacity to work hard, you might as well stop now and go on YouTube and look up some guru that’ll promise you the world but take your money instead. In fact, visit Coffeezilla’s page and choose any of the people he talks about. They’re all gurus and more than willing to take your money.
For the sake of this article, we’ll say you are either a tutor that helps high school students in math or a local mover that uses his or her own vehicle (but you rent it). We wont always need this, but when some examples require it, we’ll reference these.
Get on a Platform
Getting on a trusted platform like Wyzant (for tutors) or TaskRabbit (for service providers like a local mover, plumber, painter, etc). There are many benefits to getting on these, primarily that they have guarantees. Another benefit is that they are rating based. For example, TaskRabbit has an Elite Tasker status based on your customer rating and how many tasks you’ve performed within a specific amount of time. To get Elite Tasker status, you have to maintain a specific set of requirements but you get much recognition for being an Elite Tasker.
Just a reminder, this is on top of doing the entry level side hustles! Some of you will have to be doing a lot to make ends meet.
Once you’re signed up and you have your profile optimized to start accepting gigs, it’s time to start optimizing your Social profile.
Although there are other platforms out there if you’re in the service industry, I want to focus on Task Rabbit because it’s one of the major players, has trust by its users, and will protect you, the tasker, should someone try to not pay you.
Note: If you’re in a country where the platforms I mention are not available, you’ll have to be resourceful and find an equivalent platform or a different way to offer your services.
More to come…