Yuppies and Alibaba
Lately freelancers and entrepreneurs have been getting a lot of flack for being nothing more than lazy, gullible, cubicle escapees. To an extent, the naysayers are right, there is no light at the end of the tunnel for yuppies that have been sold the idea of a mindless passive income scheme. You have to admit the market for selling commodity products you barely ordered wholesale from Alibaba for a miniscule margin on Amazon is slightly oversaturated. Still, so many spaces continue to sing the praises of Side Hustlers who broke the mold and made millions from their college dorm room selling their SEO services or the like.
Connect with Real People
So what are these successful Side Hustlers getting right? For starters, they believed in their Side Hustle, and they made others believe in it too. Today it is too easy to go online and within a few clicks have a Facebook page or even a simple website. While these things are great to have, they mean nothing if all you do is sit behind the computer screen and wait for traffic. You can have the best product in the world, or the most poignant blog posts around, but if you aren't connecting with REAL people, you're wasting your time. You can't even buy the traffic you need because everyone and their mother is outbidding you on Google Adwords.
Automate and Outsource
Don't get me wrong, if you know what you are doing, you can definitely make passive income with minimal effort online. Expert Side Hustlers can swiftly go from idea to income. The difference between you and the serial Side Hustler lies in their ability to automate and outsource. The number one red flag for me when I see someone hustling is when they are using their home as a personal warehouse. You only have so much space and time, if you're playing the role of distributor in this day and age, you'll only make as much money as you can dedicate time and space. There is no room for scale and you might as well be running a lemonade stand (with the right permit), you'll have less headaches and more free space.
When we eliminate the hands on of the Side Hustle through outsourcing and take away the busy work with automation, what are we really left with at the core of our business? What is it exactly that you are doing in this version of a Side Hustle? The answer is: curating. At the core you are providing your services as curator for your target audience (and you better have a target audience.) You are cutting through the noise and finding that niche product or service at the right price, or more importantly to you, the right margin. You could take a whole course on each and every element of the Side Hustle; from your initial desire to make a few extra bucks to the first automatic deposit to your bank account. The formula is simple though, and if you follow it you WILL have passive income.
Viability and Flexibility
Start with a little research, maybe you already have an idea or you're just interested in the idea of starting a Side Hustle. Use a combination of online research and talking to real people to discover whether or not your idea is viable or if there is an underserved market. If you can't come up with a tangible target audience, then stop right there and start over. Once you have a viable idea and audience, you're ready to go to market. Don't hesitate, don't spend months dragging your feet. Put your idea and product/service out there so that you can make the minor tweaks and improvements that your target audience desires. If you don't hype of your business, no one is going to do it for you. When the stars align and you have all the right elements of a successful side hustle, you'll make money while you sleep.
Go For It
As a final note, this advice is not meant to criticize people for trying to hustle. I respect anyone who has the guts to think outside the box and who is working towards passive income. I've just seen too many people working way too hard and not seeing a return. I would never want to discourage someone from going for something they believe in. If you want to make homemade soap from fresh herbs you grow in your own garden, more power to you. Most people don't want to make soap though, they don't even want to look at soap, or have a garden. I'm talking to those people. The people that really want to hustle, they just need the right tools.