Are You Ready for the Gig Economy?
Having a J-O-B isn't as stable as when your grandfather had one...for LIFE.
Learn how to leverage the "gig economy" to suit your life & lifestyle.
Brainstorm. Think seriously about how you can leverage your SET (Skills, Expertise, and Talent)
What skills do you have? In your past jobs, what have you done? Do you have any talents that you can fuse into a side hustle that could--someday--lead to a business?
The surest way to an exciting side business is to combine at least two skills and experiences into one in a way that nobody else has, using existing off-the-shelf technology. Even better--fuse three or more skills and areas of expertise into one unique combination.
Are you a good cook? Can you write in any creative manner? Oh, and you spent a year in college in Mexico? You could be a food critic or write recipes that focus on a particular area in Mexico.
Fancy yourself a photographer? Combine that with the above to build a "travel blogging" business--where you can negotiate free or reduced-rate stays at exclusive resorts in foreign countries in return for blogging about hotels, restaurants, and travel adventures.
Put together a plan. Write it down. Share it with a friend.
Nothing about business is "real" until you write it down.
We all have heard of internet startups who wrote down their ideas on a dinner napkin and turned that into a six or seven or even eight-figure business...why not you?
Of course, the idea with a gig economy is to turn small ventures into bigger enterprises. But you have to have a plan.
And then write it down. It gets REAL real when you share it with a friend who can critique it, poke holes in it, or maybe just give you the inspiration to make it happen!
Fill in any gaps.
Once you've started, you will quickly realize you don't have everything you need to serve your target audience. And that's okay.
You fill in any gaps. Perhaps you don't have the technical skills to build a website. Or you don't have the right tools to get the job done. For example, you may be able to do a job or two using a hand tool (think woodworking). But doing more than a few jobs will require a power tool to help you work faster.
What do you do? You fill in the gaps. You may not have the funds yet to purchase that needed power tool. You plow your profits from the first few jobs into a "gap-fill fund."
If you need to learn a new skill, there are literally dozens of resources online, at your local community college, or parks & rec department who offer hundreds and even thousands of courses you can use to fill in your educational gaps.
Some Ideas About the Gig Economy
First Things First
Don't get too involved in business plans, licensing, permits, and the like. You don't need financing, a business bank account, a fictitious business name, or any of that jazz.
Later on, as your gig evolves from a job here and a job there to a steady stream of income, you can--and should--look into doing all those things a "real business" does, like forming a business entity, getting a Tax ID, etc.
But not yet.
Let's get this gig going first.
The Most Important Thing...
At first, always think in terms of "one problem, one solution." Don't try to be everything to everybody. That will make you miserable. It will also make you money, so there is a balance.
You'll find, though, that there are a whole raft of things you don't really want to do, and while money is good, the whole idea behind starting a side gig is to develop freedom.
Freedom from a boss, freedom from a job, freedom to do something you are passionate about.
And right there is the keyword: Passion.
A lot of "business coaches" will tell you to follow the money and forget the passion.
I'm here to tell you that's only half the analysis. The other half is this:
If you don't really like what you're doing, it doesn't matter how much money you make. Trust me on this.
Oh, at first, it will be awesome. But soon enough, you will grow weary--and wary--of doing things you don't like. And now you'll find yourself in another job that you hate with an even worse boss (YOU)!
Lastly...before we move on from here
Earn some money. Take some jobs. Do the best you've ever done on anything before, and then some. Get some testimonials and feedback. Store those away. You'll use them very soon.
Find out what your existing customers want. See if it's something you can--and want to--provide.
If it is, great. Build those relationships. If not, hone in on what you really like doing and that you're good at. Keep pushing. You've got this.
It's time to take some forward strides.
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