Get Your Side Hustle On in 2017!

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Three of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are to save or make more money, learn something new, and get organized. If these sound like worthy goals for your 2017, why not consolidate them into one fun, productive, and maybe even profitable resolution? This year, start a side hustle! OppLoans and Side Hustle guru Nick Loper show you how!

What are your passions? Are you a hardcore foodie who loves explaining the difference between quinoa and couscous? Do you collect vintage video games because, come on, nothing’s ever going to beat Donkey Kong? Are you so up to date on the latest fashions and trends, that your friends ask for (and actually listen to) your style advice?

Well, good news! With a little creativity and work, you can turn your hobbies and interests into a side hustle—a source of extra income in addition to your day job. And the best part is, this will actually be fun. So why not make 2017 the year you get paid for what you spend your free time doing anyway?

We spoke with Nick Loper (@NLoper), author of The Side Hustle Path: 10 Proven Ways to Make Money Outside of Your Day Job and founder of SideHustleNation—a growing community of hard-working entrepreneurs—for his tips and advice on how to turn your passions into profits quickly.

Get started now.

If you’re curious about starting a side hustle, where do you start? The first step Nick recommends is, “Figure out your WHY. Why do you need the extra cash? What will that afford you? How will it change your life?

“Go where the cash is already flowing. Take advantage of pre-existing marketplaces of buyers, like Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist. There are hundreds of these markets for every niche imaginable. I outline these platforms and explore the stories of side hustlers selling on them in my latest book, Buy Buttons. (Think where can you add your own “buy button” to make it easy for people to do business with you.)

“Be of service. Money only follows value, so the question you have to answer is how can I be of service?”

Look to today’s already successful side hustles.

“When I want to make money, I turn on the app.”

There’s never been a better time to make money outside of your day job. In today’s modern world, we can work for ourselves when and how we want. So what are the tried-and-true ways to get started working for yourself on the side right now?

Nick says, “Three of the most popular side hustles I see are:

  • The sharing economy. Think of your Uber drivers and Airbnb hosts. They’re tapping into the renaissance of peer-to-peer commerce powered by these “sharing economy” apps and marketplaces. The barrier to entry is very low and you can begin earning right away. An Uber driver of mine in Chicago explained it best: ‘When I want to make money, I turn on the app.’
  • Freelancing. Freelancing is among the fastest ways to get started because you have essentially no overhead and are just trying to find a new client for your skills. You have a little more pricing power here than in the sharing economy above because you can charge according to your expertise—where that Uber driver is getting whatever fare the company sets.
  • Buy low, sell high. The age-old business model of buy low, sell high still works. I’ve met people earning a full-time income just buying and selling stuff on Craigslist, eBay, and at local flea markets. If you’ve got an eye for a deal, this can be a great way to multiply your money quickly… I’ve seen people turn $25 into $50, and $50 into $100 in a weekend following the ‘buy low, sell high’ plan.”

Use pro tools and resources.

There are tons of apps, tools, guides and resources available (many for free) to help you start your side hustle. Some of our favorites are…

SideHustleNation.com. Naturally. This is the centerpiece of Nick’s side hustling empire and for good reason. Here you can find tons of content like stories, interviews, blogs and a phenomenal podcast called…

The Side Hustle Show. Start where you want, but we particularly recommend Episode 87 with Bryan Harris. It’s called The 5-Step System to Quit Your Job in the Next 12 Months.

Shopify. Has your hoarding habit hit critical mass? Is it time to start selling those classic hip hop records, gently used gym shoes, or vintage Hypercolor t-shirts (we don’t know, maybe someone still likes those). Why not do it painlessly online? Shopify is a quick and easy ecommerce platform that can turn you into an online retailer in no time—and get you in front of customers where they already are (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest? Check, check and check!).

Etsy. Well, what do you know? Somebody still loves those Hypercolor shirts after all! Etsy is a peer-to-peer e-commerce platform that proudly proclaims, “Whoever you are, find whatever you’re into”. Etsy is the perfect rabbit hole for makers, crafters, buyers and sellers looking to do business on the side.

RescueTime. All this side hustling will require putting in the hours (typically online). Well, what if you could see how your own online habits are impacting your productivity? Would you learn that Facebook and Instagram are sucking time away from your side hustle? Probably. RescueTime runs in the background of your devices and lets you know where your “time leaks” are, so you can plug them and get back to hustling!

Don’t give up—but also, be real.

Side hustling is fun and can lead to extra money in your pocket. But not every idea is going to be a home run. Every side hustler needs to decide when to stick with it and when to move on to the next hustle.

According to Nick, “You have to decide if it’s worth it. It might not be. I’ve dumped probably half a dozen businesses and business ideas over the years because they either weren’t working or weren’t that fun to work on.

“As a side hustler, the last thing you need is a second job you hate. There’s no shame in pausing or pivoting to a different project or focus.

“Before you throw in the towel though, consider the gap between where your business is and a near-term vision for where you want it to be. Ask yourself, what’s it realistically gonna take to close the gap? And when you do, does that solve your problem? Or will you still be stressed by the time and energy the business sucks up?

“A friend of mine evaluated her ‘gap’ and estimated it would take three months of ‘sprint’ effort to get the point where she could make her side hustle her full-time business. Even though she admitted being sleep-deprived for those three months, she had a clear path and the finish line was worth it.”

Don’t stop having fun!

Remember, you’re side hustling because you want to turn what you love into extra income. If you don’t love it in the first place, it’s probably not the right side hustle for you. Whatever product you’re making, or service you’re providing, make sure it’s fun for you.

If you enjoy it, you’ll stick with it until you start to meet your financial goals. And then once you do, you’ll probably want to keep going. Nick says, “Those first job-free dollars are really empowering, you have to experience it to believe it.”

Good luck on your hustle!


About the Contributor: Nick Loper

A hardcore side hustler, Nick is an online entrepreneur and lifelong student in the game of business. You can find him online at SideHustleNation.com.

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