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Thinking about starting a side hustle?
I’m all for it and judging by the number of people who have side hustles (it’s about 40% of Americans in case you’re wondering), I’m not the only one.
And why not start a side hustle?
You may want to make some extra cash to bolster the household budget. Or you might be looking for something that offers a creative outlet.
A side hustle can do both of those things for you.
When I started my freelance writing hustle as a stay at home mom, it was because I wanted to make a little money on the side. But I also wanted to have something that was just for me.
I jumped in without knowing what I was doing. And eventually my hustle grew into a full-time online business. But it was a lot of trial and error, not to mention some serious hard work.
And sometimes, starting a side hustle isn’t right for everyone. Which is totally okay but it’s something you probably want to know before you go all in.
So to make your life a little easier, I’ve put together a little side hustle quiz to help you decide if having a side gig is a good move.
8 Must-Ask Questions for Starting a Side Hustle
1. Why Do You Want to Start a Side Hustle?
My “why” for starting a side hustle was about making money and staying busy. But yours might be something totally different.
So take some time to think about your reasons for starting a side hustle.
Is your family in a tight spot financially and you need extra money to cover the bills?
Are you a stay at home mom who’s hoping to become a mompreneur?
Do you have some skills that have gone unused for too long and you just need to put them out there into the world?
Whatever your reason (or reasons) for starting a side hustle, get clear on them. And don’t feel like you have to explain them to anyone else.
2. What Are Your Side Hustle Goals?
You can totally start a side hustle without any goal or goals in mind but…I don’t recommend it.
Because if you’re going to put your time and energy into something there should be a purpose to it. And you need to have some way of measuring whether you’re realizing that purpose.
That’s what goals help you do.
When you’re setting goals for starting a side hustle, get really specific. The more detailed your goals are, the better.
So, instead of setting a vague goal to make extra money you might set a target to make $1,000/month from your hustle.
Or if you’re starting a side hustle to pay off debt, your goal might be something like I want to earn enough money to pay down $5,000 in debt in six months.
Just make sure your goals are realistic.
For example, I set some ridiculously high goals for myself when I started this blog. And I didn’t hit any of them because they just weren’t realistic. (I didn’t understand a thing about blogging. 🙂 )
So guess what? I quit blogging for a while because I got totally frustrated.
If you want your side hustle efforts to pay off, you can’t give up in the middle of it. And setting realistic goals that you can actually achieve matters for staying motivated.
Don’t forget to track your progress either.
Break your goals down monthly and weekly. Check in regularly to see what kind of results you’re getting as your hustle grows.
3. What Side Hustle Skills Do You Have?
The great thing about starting a side hustle is that there are just so many things you can do.
For example, you might try:
- Freelance writing
- Being a virtual assistant
- Graphic design
- Customer services
- Mystery shopping
- Dog-sitting or dog-walking
- Selling things on Etsy
- Reselling on eBay
Every side hustle requires a different skill set. Some take a little more know-how than others but there’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to what you can try.
Freelance writing was a natural fit for me because I’d always been a writer in some capacity. I wrote for my college newspaper, I wrote a ton of research papers in grad school, then after college I wrote short stories.
Writing became my side hustle because it fit my skill set. So think about what skills you have that you could turn into a side hustle.
Brainstorm some ideas and try to get down as many as you can. Then, go back through your list to see which ones are most interesting.
If you need some help coming up with side hustle ideas or figuring out how to get your side hustle going, my free Side Hustle Checklist is for you. So grab yours now!
4. Can You Earn Money From Those Skills?
If you’re starting a side hustle to make extra cash, then you can’t skip this question.
Go back to your skills list and pick out 2 or 3 that you’re most interested in. Then do some research to find out what kind of money you could earn.
I can tell you from experience that I was able to earn between $1,500 and $3,000/month from my freelance writing side hustle. And that was putting in what I’d consider to be minimal effort.
Just keep in mind that some side hustles are more profitable than others.
Earnest did some research and found that 85% of side hustlers make less than $500/month. The most lucrative hustle, at least in their opinion, is renting rooms on Airbnb.
But if that’s not for you, don’t worry. There are lots of other money-making options.
My best tip is to go online and do a simple search for “profitable side hustles”. That can give you a starting point for how much money you could make. (And here’s one article for inspiration.)
5. How Much Time Can You Put Into Your Hustle?
This might be the most important question on the list.
Starting a side hustle can take up a little of your time or a lot of it, depending on which hustle you start.
With freelance writing, I probably worked on my hustle a couple of hours a day to start. I had a newborn and a toddler so that was plenty for me.
But something like blogging or being a virtual assistant can be way more time-intensive.
So be realistic about your days and what kind of time you have. If you’re a stay at home mom, for example, how much work could you get done if your kids are home with you all day?
And if you’re already working a 9 to 5, how much time you could squeeze in?
Again, be specific. What days could you work on your side hustle? Could it be an every day thing or just a weekend thing?
And think about how much time you want to put in.
I spend a lot of time working on my blog, which I consider an unpaid side hustle right now. All of my income is from freelance writing.
And I won’t lie — some days, I don’t feel like doing anything with it. Even pinning a single thing on Pinterest is way overwhelming.
But I push myself to at least do one thing every day. Otherwise, I’d never see any results.
So ask yourself what you’re able and willing to put in time-wise. Being honest with yourself about that can help you keep your goals and expectations about starting a side hustle in perspective.
6. What Do You Need to Get Started?
Online side hustles are my personal favorite. A lot of them don’t require anything other than a computer and an internet connection to start.
That’s all I had when I started freelancing and it’s still pretty much all I need now. But other side hustles might come with more of a shopping list before you can get started.
For instance, you might be interested in doing transcription work online. You’ll need a computer for that but you’ll also need transcription software, plus several other pieces of equipment.
In other words, you’ll need to spend some money before you can start making any.
If you’ve decided on a specific side hustle, make a list of everything you’ll need to get started. Then check your budget to see if that’s doable.
If you can’t make a big investment, consider whether you could start a different side hustle with low or zero startup costs. Then, start saving the money you earn from that hustle to buy the equipment you’ll need for the one you really want to do.
7. Do You Have Any Support?
Having support is hugely helpful when you’re starting a side hustle.
It could be a friend, family member, sibling, spouse, someone you meet in a side hustle group on Facebook. Your support system can help you out in lots of different ways.
For example, your spouse can handle parenting duties solo for a few hours a day or a few hours a week while you work on your side hustle.
Or you could bounce ideas for growing your side hustle off your best friend or sister.
I like to go to the different Facebook groups I belong to for mompreneurs and bloggers to ask questions when I’m stumped on something blog-related, or to just vent about a struggle I’m having.
See who you can round up to offer support as you get your side hustle act together.
Even if that person’s only job is to offer you encouragement, that can be enough to help you stay motivated. And it should go without saying but don’t share your side hustle plans with any Negative Nancies who aren’t supportive.
8. What’s the Long Term Plan for Your Side Hustle?
So, when I first started side hustling I never thought it would turn into a business. But then life surprised me and I had to make a split decision about what to do next.
Hopefully, you never find yourself in that spot and you have more opportunity to think about what’s going to happen with your side hustle.
If you want to eventually grow it into a full-scale business, ask yourself what you need to do for that to happen.
For example, would you need to learn some new skills or start marketing yourself differently? Target a different kind of client? Start investing money into your hustle to grow it?
It’s a lot easier to work toward the result you want when you’ve got some specific action steps to follow.
Something else to consider is how you’ll handle your side hustle if it ends up being less profitable than you hoped or you just end up getting bored with it.
Will you bail out altogether or stick with it? And if you decide to stick with it, at what point will you say enough is enough?
Starting a side hustle is fun but it can also be a lot of work. So figure out what you’d like it to be six months down the line, a year from now, five years from now.
Then, ask yourself if you’re committed to making that vision come true.
Do You Have Questions About Starting a Side Hustle?
This list covers what I think are the most important things to ask when starting a side gig. And hopefully, they’ve given you a better idea of whether side hustling is a good fit.
But if you have a burning question I didn’t answer, head to the comments and ask!
I’d love to share what I know with you to help you get your side hustle up and running. 🙂
And please remember to pin and share this post if it helped you!