If you’re working in Corporate America, then there’s a good chance you aren’t working towards your true purpose in life. You may be passionate about analytics or finance or marketing, but if you have any entrepreneurial cells in your body, then chances are that job isn’t truly fulfilling you. Would you like to know an easy and risk-free way to dip your toe into work you’re really passionate about?
I’ve worked in Corporate America for a while. I get it. The moneys good. And if you’re lucky, then the people you work with are good too. For a lot of us, Corporate America is just fine. But for the others like me, we need something that is going to align with our true purpose. The best way to do this is by having a side hustle. I do not advise on quitting your day job. Instead, start a little passion project on the side. No need to go all in on something that you don’t know for sure will work out. There’s no shame in starting small and building it up. I love the idea of side hustles. I use them as a creative outlet for my mind while making some extra cash on the side. Unlike my day job, it’s a constant reminder that the energy I put into it directly effects the outcome I see. This isn’t exactly true for my 9-5. In my day job, I can do moderate work and great work and still get paid the same amount. Of course, doing great work will increase your chances of getting promoted, but promotions in Corporate America take forever to actually happen. With a side hustle, the work you put into it directly and immediately effects the success or failure of it. It’s all dependent on you. And there’s an important lesson in there. Instead of being a zombie going through the motions at your day job, you directly impact every outcome in your small side hustle. This can be an empowering feeling, or this can be a scary feeling. Both are true. But it’s a good reminder that we are in control of our own success and our own lives.
One way that I started a side hustle is by creating ads that I am passionate about on Craigslist. I love Craigslist. I’ve used it in the past to sell things around my house, find apartments, and find some great deals on some furniture. Until not too long ago, I recently discovered another way to utilize Craigslist. One easy way is that people are constantly posting ads for small jobs on there. There is a wide variety of small jobs that people in your area need help with. I’ve seen jobs for moving, truck driving, writing, stock trading, and various product salesmen needed just to name a few. If small, short term jobs tickle your fancy, then this could be a great way to pick up some extra cash without a long term commitment. You may even be able to take this one step further. If you see a job that is constantly being posted and that you like to do, then maybe you just found a market that you could offer services too. In other words, Craigslist is showing you what jobs and services are in demand. You could very easily start a company, by yourself or with a friend or two, around that service. If you see landscaping is consistently being advertised for help, then you could fulfill that demand with your new company. Customers are reaching out on Craigslist. It’s very easy to start a business that fulfils those customers or, at the very least, pick up some small jobs for some extra cash. The other way to utilize Craigslist is by becoming the ad yourself. What are you passionate about? What are you good at or have experience with that other people can benefit from? For me, I’m a fitness nut. I played college basketball and still love exercising and working on my body. The obvious thing for me to do was to put up an ad as a personal trainer. Now, I have no personal training experience or certificates that would make me an official personal trainer. However, I’m very competent in my ability to provide value to someone looking for some help. In the past I’ve help friends out and I am constantly trying new things to see what works best for me in the gym. I clearly have a passion for exercise. So, why not give it a shot? On Craigslist, I created an ad for a personal trainer/fitness consultant. I explained my background in fitness and in sports and was clear about the services I would offer. While living in a pandemic, a bunch of people have transitioned to home gyms where there are no personal trainers. My service as advisor/consultant will help them make the most out of their home gym with the equipment they have. I added a hybrid in person-virtual schedule where I meet the client when first starting to see what equipment they have to work with. We discuss the clients’ goals and if there are any focus areas. Then I give my input on what to do and how to do it to get the most out of their home workouts. After an initial in person meeting, then we can communicate virtually through text and email for future workouts and current progress. Boom. I just became a fitness instructor. More importantly, I am following what I’m passionate about. Exercise is something I do almost every day regardless of what’s going on in my life. It’s one of the few constants that I have, and it’s become something that is so embedded in who I am that it’s clearly a passion of mine. I might as well share this passion with other while picking up some extra cash.
Working towards your passion might be easier than you think. If you are passionate about anything, try and offer your services in that area on Craigslist. It’s easy to create an ad for your area and see the feedback you get from it. You don’t need an official business or anything, just see how you like it first. If you aren’t sure what your passion is, then try as many things as possible. In this case, the best way to find your passion is by finding out what isn’t your passion. By process of elimination, you’ll find out what your passion is soon enough. An easy way to do this is by looking at small and odd jobs on Craigslist. Picking up some small jobs around your neighborhood can help you get some extra cash. Maybe if you see a pattern of services needed, you can even get creative and start a business that helps with that service. You never know. There’s no risk involved in either of these methods, so might as well give it a try.