A regular job in the industry you love is a great place to start a career, but it can take years of making the tea, making connections, and accumulating experience before you find that your daily work is truly satisfying your needs. If you find yourself regularly putting in forty hours per week and still getting home with energy and inspiration to burn, it can be both lucrative and educational to redirect that force towards building your own small business – even if you have no ambitions to conquer the world on your own. Indeed, running a small, personal business in your spare time can be a great way to put your true ambitions in perspective and to have a bit of fun on the side while your serious career develops.
And unlike most start-ups, your ‘hobby business’ really doesn’t require any financial investment to get off the ground. If you have a computer and a decent wi-fi connection, today it is relatively easy to find a product or service you can provide on-hand. This could involve using Skype to tutor students in the subject in which you’re qualified, or writing articles or even eBooks about the same.
There are tons of websites out there that are able to put you in contact with customers for a bit of freelance work that’s related to your industry: fiverr, peopleperhour, and upwork are three of the best-known, although you need to take care to get paid a decent rate for what you do. On the eBook front, if you don’t mind hacking away at the format of your document a few times it’s possible to get it out to a range of online merchants via Smashwords; Kindle Direct Publishing is another option, and they also let you market your book as paperback to be issued by print-on-demand. Do note that you’ll need to put just as much effort into marketing your masterpiece as writing it, if you want it to reach further than family and friends!
You could take perhaps the more sensible option, and concentrate on making your hobby into a source of income – to give your mind a bit of rest from the pervading issues of your regular working week. If cooking is your thing (and you’re good at it) you can find freelance work preparing meals for special occasions as a chef-for-hire, via a website such as hireachef. This is a great way to meet new people, get a peek into how other people live, and get some totally new insights on life to put your main career in perspective. There might be the odd glass of wine in it, too.
Or perhaps you like to take photographs, to paint, or to make furniture. Instead of clogging up your hard drive or your garage with the things you make, you are sure to find a respectable customer base for your handmade crafts using Shutterstock, Etsy or eBay. Put your digital marketing knowledge into action, and you should at least find yourself earning enough on Saturday afternoons to fund your Saturday nights.
For some people, the idea of working on the weekends is a nightmare, but for those who are only relaxed when they have a serious project at hand, and only take a project seriously when the results are quantifiable, the appeal of the side-hustle will be strong. The key thing is to choose the right angle to work – and for a few more ideas on how to put a domestic twist on your business expertise you can check out this new infographic from Quick Quid.
G. John Cole is a digital nomad and freelance writer. Specialising in leadership, digital media and personal growth, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. A native Englishman, he is always on the move, but can most commonly be spotted in Norway, the UK and the Balkans.