4 ways to finally choose a side hustle you actually love

Finding a way to earn a little money on the side when you already have a packed schedule is only half the battle — picking a source of this new income can prove equally as challenging. Here’s how to choose a side hustle.

Finding a way to earn a little money on the side when you already have a packed schedule is only half the battle — picking a source of this new income can prove equally challenging.

Here’s what to do when choosing a side hustle.

Keep track of what inspires you…

Write down things that spark your interest — don’t let them get away.

Sometimes, you might get a creative itch, but you don’t know where to point your energy, or what to work on. Having a list of things that interest you can help you focus on where to aim your efforts.

…but don’t settle for second best

Some potential pursuits may seem obvious, but there’s no reason to play it safe. This means that what you choose to do outside of your day job may not be comfortable or easy.

So if you want to do something that truly fulfills you, why not go out on a limb? Just make sure you do it the right way.

Dorie Clark, an author, marketing strategist, professional speaker, and instructor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, writes in the Harvard Business Review about how when deciding on a side hustle, you should not “fall in love with your first idea.”

She mentions a life sciences executive she wrote about in her book Entrepreneurial You, named Bozi Dar, who worked on an app he came up with that ultimately wasn’t successful.

He says that it didn’t work out because he didn’t see if there was a market for the product beforehand.

“Don’t just come up with a clever notion; make sure people actually want it before you spend a lot of money developing it,” Clark writes.

Check out local job postings

Take a look at what people are hiring for in your area. You never know if you might find meaning in part-time work that is close to home.

If there’s a place that you love to go to in your spare time, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’re hiring.

Use your resources

Susie Moore, life coach, writer, and author of What if it DOES work out?, writes about questions you should pose to yourself to make your leisure activities into a source of income on the side in MarketWatch.

One of the questions is “What business can I start with where I am, and with what I already have?”

“Making your hustle real is all about doing the best you can with what you have. One client of mine started teaching swimming lessons: She has a swimming pool at her home. Another took advantage of her love of dogs and pet-friendly building to work as a dog sitter. One woman obsessed with natural remedies teaches her friends how to make home-based elixirs using just what is in their pantry,” Moore writes.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.