In this hustle-nomics environment, a lot of people think you have to turn your passion into a hustle; that’s not true.
You have to determine what it is you love and do you love it enough to do it for free? If money isn’t a motivator, you have so much more control over your craft/passion/hustle. When determining your passion we suggest looking for something that you do well, or think you could do well, and then practice that. If you love photography, simply start taking photos and build.
“No matter how hard you try, you cannot figure out your passion by thinking about it. You need to take action and feel your way to your truth, from the inside out.
- Marie Forleo | Oprah.com
Figuring out if that thing you're passionate about is a hobby or not is also a challenge. I suggest looking for something that is something you could see yourself doing for the rest of your life. Think about that famous coach, actor or musician, people often say why don't they retire or give it up, but when you're passionate about something, its simply in you.
Next think is this a mental release or something you want to do for additional income. For example the term "Bus drivers holiday", meaning do you want to take a break from work to do the same thing for your side business? or is this something that you can do for a mental release to exercise your brain in another function. Sometimes creators make the mistake of taking the job they do in a 9-to-5 and making it their side hustle. That is a good way to burn out. Your brain needs a break from one task. A good test I often use is " If you won the lottery tomorrow what would you do with your time?"
Lastly, can you provide something that is truly you? This often falls into the thought of determining your own style or voice. Take a walk down the bread aisle, theres what 60 brands there? They all make bread but they all have a special thing they do that keeps customers coming back time after time. Find that thing you do well and examine how to make it you.
People often ask me, "how did you know you were ready to do XYZ?", and the truth is you'll never be ready. You have to do it to know if you can. I'd suggest doing it for free the first few times until you learn what it takes.
You can research the market and do your SWOT analysis, but in the end there will always be things you learn on the way. For example if you ever ask a parent how did you know you were ready, they will give you various answers. However, if you ask were you ready for it, most will say no. Sometimes you just have to start. Starting has a certain power in the universe that gets the ball rolling.
Don't take this as a statement to just go running blindly. Plan as much as you can. Research the industry. Look at YouTube videos and see what goes into it. Do your best to plan your path. Eventually you have to stop planning and start doing though.
I can't state enough how important this is. I originally never knew the power of a business plan. However, after talking with my business advisor and she said "what does your business plan say?" I had to say "Ahh, I don't have one". When starting my first few endeavors I made this mistake and that is why I tell every business owner to make sure they do the same.
A business plan helps you determine what you want to do, how you want to do it, who you want as your client, and how you want to reach them. It provides a level of clairity and self-accountabliity to you that you wouldn't have before. After filling out my business plan I realized who I want to work with and it improved my efficiency and productivity because I was only focused on those 2-3 things I knew the business would go after.
Now that you have finished your business plan, and you've started working. Eventually you will need to build a team. It doesn't have to be a full operation but a team helps spread the work. Often times business owners fear taking on an employee or contractor but you are also limiting yourself because your ramp up time to do tasks that aren't your strength only slows you down and takes away from the joy of the job.
If you've never built a website, maybe now isn't the time to take on that task by yourself.
I spoke with another creative recently and he mentioned that he had hired a company to develop some lead generation for his business. Here is the breakdown:
They charged him $.30 per lead.
He invested $30 for 100 people. But then the next thing he said was that he would call these 100 people on the list and then proceed to sell his services.
Develop a standard operating procedure, script out most the questions you get, and what to say. How to figure out if this client is a good one, or someone that may be interested.
Next hire a service or contractor for say $4-8/hr and have them call all 100 people.
It may take them a day to call all 100, let's estimate one.
They return ~16 people for you to call.
Let's say you charge a client $150/hr for your services. That one day would cost you $1,200.
If you land one client at a average rate for $2,500
This also applies to an assistant. You don't have to be a Fortune 500 Senior Director to have an assistant. Hiring an assistant is a simple way to off-load some of the tasks you don't do as well. If you hate calling the client, or following up with emails, hire someone. When I hired my assistant, it was hard for me. I was so used to doing everything myself that it was hard for me to let go. I taught her my CRM system, gave her access to my calendar and things that I hate doing. She has been a great asset to my company and I've seen growth in my company since hiring her.
Nancy wasn't wrong in this statement. Having the ability to say no is one of the greatest forms of self-care. There are ways of avoiding a client that isnt right for you.
- They have a negative energy
- They attempt to negotiate your price down
- They complain about their last vendor
- They complain about the results the got in the past.
Emily Ruth Cohen says:
“For every red flag I see during the initial interview I raise my price 10%."
A way to help with this task of saying no is to stand by your pricing. It is extremely freeing to state your pricing and letting the project filter itself out. Sometimes you lose out on the clients you want by taking on clients you don't. Your bandwidth is limited. Pushing yourself beyond that will make you unable to take on new work. However, you also have to determine "is this a project I really want to work on". For some reason or another this project is one you really want to do. You have the right to take it on or give a discount. Just make sure it is something you can live with if the perceived value of doing the projected never comes to be reality.
I heard it said once "You can be walmart and target and compete on price or you can specialize and be Apple". While they are all billion dollar businesses the concept isn't lost. Specialization is what makes you look for a plumber at 1 am when your tub is flooding your bathroom, not the handyman. When you try to wear to many hats it tells the customer you're unfocused. If you are able to specialize your craft/business down to one to three thrings you can lean on that expertise. When I started Spaces By Antoine it was because I was because my work as a architectural photographer needed to have its own home. Even though I was shooting my clients office spaces or listings for their marketing I didn't want to confuse my client bases. Specialization in my opinion is a big key to avoiding burning out and also growing your niche market.