by Kristina Harris

Look, you’re having a crisis. Who the hell isn’t? So, be honest: why are you working? Why do you do what you do everyday? You complain about it a lot. And you aren’t even too sure if you’re good at it. We don’t need to mention the pandemic, but, for argument’s sake, working from home has given us all too much time to think. All you know is that you don’t like it. But what’s next? 

You might be selling cupcakes on the side and that’s been bringing in extra money. Or perhaps you are a kick ass babysitter, and enjoying the tax free revenue it brings. But what you really love to do is knit. And you have found a way to make some money from that. 

So, you have a side hustle. (I get knitting might not be yours, but for the sake of this argument we are going to pretend that it is.) You love to knit sweaters for bunnies, and the market you’ve seen thus far is poppin’. But let’s say you take this hobby to the next level. You want to move it from a ‘when you have time’ activity, to a full on, money making, life thrilling, side hustle. But you have this massive wet blanket that’s keeping you down, and that’s your full-time job. You know – the place you show up to every day, where you stay way longer than 9-5 that helps pay your bills but doesn’t at all cover your lavish spending on your treat-yo-self items. You know – the thing that you “use your college degree” for? 

The point is, you can’t quit your real job, because of food, and rent, and other boring stuff. But you can’t give up your side hustle, because of your mental stability, your natural ability to knit, and overall happiness.

So, you’re stuck? Well, join the masses. If you’re anything like the youngsters I know, you are not alone. You just need to break it down. First, you need time management skills. Not necessarily a plan – but a plan would be excellent if that’s your thing. You need to set deadlines, the same way your real job does. If you want it to be real, you need to treat it like it’s real. In your dreams, you are the only one there. So, you need to hold yourself accountable. If your boss asked you to get them that spreadsheet by EOD you bet your bottom dollar you would find a way to get it in their inbox before you left. So, why not put the same urgency into what you love? Get a planner.

Make a plan! Put starts, set deadlines. Make a schedule. Decide what you need to prioritize and do it. Just by writing it down, you now have a better chance of achieving your goal. Will it magically just happen because you wrote it down? I doubt it. Highly. But why not help your odds. 

Okay, so now you’ve made goals. But they are going to be all kinds of overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Next, do some research. If you want to be the next big thing in beatboxing, you need to know what you are getting into. You need to find out which rings you should be in. You need to learn the fundamentals. Just because you love it, doesn’t mean you know a thing about it. And don’t just research beatboxing –  you need to know how to sell yourself, find your niche, and get going. 

So here are three starter books that will help you start your side hustle. Each brings something new to the table. Maybe you need a new plane book, or maybe something to spice up your coffee table. Either way, books are such great resources, and just reading them will help you feel better about yourself. Plus, they are workplace approved, and might even help you with your 9-5. 

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a perfect coming-of-age story about a young boy on his personal quest. There are many times where the world tries to steer him off course, but he has to find his way in the world to do what he knows he is meant to do. 

2. Selling to Vito by Anthony Parinello. If you have a hobby, and you want to make it a business, you’re going to need to sell it. Knowing who to talk to is great, but never having the courage to speak to them means you’re going nowhere fast. This was the first book I read when I started in my sales role, and to this day it is one of the best career books I have read. It’s a quick read and you can find the PDF just by searching for it online.

3. Starting a Business for Dummies. You can buy a used copy for three pounds. So, you really don’t have an excuse. Knowing how to legitimize your ideas into a sound business plan is something you are going to need to know. 

Also, if you need cash to help fund your dreams, sites like Ebay and Depop will help jumpstart the funds. Sell that old bag, get rid of those old shoes. Get cash liquid! No, you won’t wear it again. No, you don’t need it. No, it won’t come back in style. If it does, you will have new funds to purchase one. 

Illustration by Edel Rodriguez

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