Once you are embroiled in the gig economy, a cool benefit to claim is the ability to branch out.The thinking here is simple: you already have a penchant for the gig life and for reaching outside the norm, so go ahead and explore even more personal options.
If you are a musician, you might look into web work, writing, or crafts of some sort. If you are a handyman, you might look at a hobby that has merit in the marketplace, like collecting and selling antiques, or a similar passion project.
In 2019, I personally explored a super-side hustle of selling vinyl records. I can now buy and inventory record collections, then sell them to people all over the world as a part of my business. It does not interfere with my daily hustle of web related writing work, but I can nowmore actively enjoy my hobby and write-off a ton of expenses along the way.
Take Advantage of Your Set-Up
My case is like so many others, in that I was able to leverage my existing set-up. I had already established a business, so when I was thinking about the vinyl record-thing as my side hustle squared, I only had to ask my accountant a few questions to get rolling.
He guided me to think about what was going to be a good part of the business and what would not, which helped me shape the way I approached it all.
I rolled the business parts of my hobby into my running and long-established LLC, and wham-o: I was rather instantly buying and selling records professionally again.
There are a LOT of small costs associated with buying and selling records online, so the business structure I had in place was a nice foot up on the first steps I took. My gig economy lifestyleplayed in perfectly to establish a new business out of a beloved hobby.
Chew on this:
- Check with Your Pros: if you are using professional advisors or mentors, check with them to see if your business idea has legs. They will help you to shape your best approach, and get things moving in the right direction. I had a friend who was selling records all over the world, so he helped me understand packaging, safe countries to deal with, and so much more. Without his help, I would still be on the fence trying to figure out what to do next.Instead, I had a very successful year.
- Protect Your Interests: you don’t want to put a stable thing at risk by introducing somethingconsiderably less so. However, you may need to take a chance, and risk a little something to get a new venture started. There is a healthy balance to find, where you can explore new ideas in full without risking your existing structures. Aim there. In my case, investing in a couple collections to sell and the warehouse/shipping stock to mail it anywhere was worth the gamble. A few thousand in, and I am off to the races.
- Don’t Get Lost: it would be very easy for me to lose myself in the hobby part of my business, but it would not make any true business sense. I tend to see it more as being a perk to be able to do something I love so often, so I let it take a back seat to the things I HAVE to do, to keep the bread buttered. Getting lost in a labor of love might be romantic, but it is rarely practical…and in business, romance is just not as attractive as you’d think. I have perspective, and don’t want the record thing to become the main hustle – it would take away some of the fun I have with it.
- Give It Room: the point of bringing out your passion project as a developed side hustle on the side of your main hustle, is to allow it the room to grow, and expand. Give your idea some room and time to mature and grow – you may be pleasantly surprised at the directions you take, when allowed. For me, rediscovering a love of vinyl has been truly wonderful, in every respect. I couldn’t be happier, unless I found more and better collections to buy!
Squaring your side hustle is not necessarily a difficult task, and it can be very rewarding. The key is to take advantage of what you have going on already, and build. You’ll likely find it is easier than you think!