With school now in full swing I’m sure many of you are like me, pinching pennies and praying that OSAP comes early this year. But hey, we’re business students and it’s in our blood to barter our textbooks, mooch the Starbucks Wi-Fi and use our vast knowledge of economics while grocery shopping to maximize our dollar, all while living off 25 cent ramen noodles. University is a huge time commitment itself and getting a job, or even second job for that matter isn’t always the best option. If you’re like me and don’t want to work for someone else to support this addiction known as knowledge, this blog is for you.
Working for yourself can be one of the most rewarding jobs and I can prove it. In my first year, I did everything from freelance work, to reviewing newly built applications, to growing and selling crops, to cutting down trees and selling them for fire wood. Even though these jobs didn’t come with the conventional minimal wage, I still managed to afford my student lifestyle and sometimes even go above and beyond trading in my Busch beer for Corona. Jokes aside, working for yourself develops management skills, intuition, creativity, independence, allows for renovation and builds pride, all while letting you do the things you enjoy. You pick the hustle, you pick the hours, you pick the clients and ultimately you take fate into your own hands and decide your own future (I don’t know if I can make the trend any clearer).
So, by this point I’m hoping the reader realizes, the best boss they’ll ever have is themselves and if they do realize this, I might be able to give them that last push they need and reveal their ‘light bulb’ moment. Oh, wait you’re still here, let me help you out now! Below are a few steps you can take in becoming that entrepreneur you always wanted to be.
Step 1: Rediscover what you have to offer
Everyone has hobbies and skills they have developed, we just sometimes take them for granted. In my case, cutting down trees and turning them into firewood was something I did for my own benefit, but it turns out others without these skills, would pay for my skills. These skills could be anything from building websites, playing a musical instrument, writing blogs, buying and selling products online, working well with pets, offering up qualitative feedback, or designing and drawing logos. These of course are only a few, as 18+ year of living and developing your skills are sure to have created hundreds more.
Step 2: Find you target and take aim
The driving factor of any economy is needs and wants, so it only makes sense that in order for your business to succeed, there are needs/wants that are being fulfilled. TIP: Remember, creating a market from scratch is a lot harder than utilizing one that’s already there, you just need to find it. Find your target market, take aim and fulfill their need.
Step 3: Put your skills to work
Here comes the fun part, getting to wrap it all together and start your business. This is the part where your creativity, marketing, entrepreneurship, and people skills all come together to form one big pot of bubbling success. Starting off can sometimes be a daunting task, but I promise that it’s more work to think about starting, than it actually is to just start.
Here’s a List of 12 Great Side Hustles You Can Start Right Now!
1. Online Freelancing
Through websites like Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer you can post your services and to reach the global scale. Complete tasks such as translating, son writing, website designing, Photophop editing, proofreading, logo designing and so much more.
2. Dog Walking
This is a classic side hustle for any animal lover.
3. Become a Field Agent
Apps like field agent allow people to make money right on their smart phone. Walk around town and visit local shops, while completing small gigs to make quick pocket change. These gigs normal pay anywhere from $3-$12.
4. Personal Chef
Everybody loves food, but if you’re one of those who go above and beyond when cooking in the kitchen, why not put your talents to use and cook for others.
5. Music Teacher
Play an instrument? Youth are always looking to learn and teachers aren’t always easy to find. Start private lessons right out of your own home.
6. Selling on Amazon
Those who can barter, trade and always seem to find good deals will love selling on amazon. Find deals locally, then ship them off to customers on Amazon for a small profit.
7. Selling on Teespring
Teespring is a platform where users can put their art on a variety of merchandise from t-shirt all the way to mugs. Use some Facebook marketing and viola, you’ll be selling original t-shirt in no time. Not to mention allowing your art to be displayed on human billboards.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to different subject, so if you want to pass on your knowledge and studying techniques become a tutor.
9. Virtual Assistant
Work from home while offering administrative support to various types of businesses. This could include document review, editing, technical support and social media management.
Believe it or not, you’re reading a blog right now. Almost every business out there has some sort of blog on their website and are seeking passionate writers to come up with unique, crowd drawing blogs.
11. Computer Repairs
Obviously, you must know quite a bit about computers to repair them, but if computers are your strength, there are plenty to be fixed.
12. Mowing Lawns/Shovelling Snow
Most of us have cut the lawn of shovelled the snow off the driveway at one point in our lives, so why not take it to a new level and start your own yard maintenance service.
Thanks for reading!
Director of Training, DECA U Guelph 2017-2018