Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Turn Your Hobby into a Side Gig (aka Side Hustle)

Do you have a hobby that you really love? Could you use a little extra cash?

What if you could get paid for doing something that you already enjoy doing? We’re all good at something. Many people have turned their hobbies into a side business as a way to earn extra money. And lately here in the US, it seems that more and more people are no longer settling for unsatisfying jobs as pointed out by the latest strikes and what’s been going as “The Great Resignation”.¹

And is it any wonder when the big lesson from the pandemic that everyone seems to be able to agree on is that life is too short to spend it doing something that you don’t enjoy. And for nearly everyone, there’s a topic they know well or a skill they have that many other people don’t have. That niche can spell opportunity – and a chance to turn something you enjoy doing anyway into a money-maker.

We’ve been giving you suggestions on types of side gigs to pursue for years now. And depending on the type of hobby you want to monetize, your startup expenses may be quite low. For writing, coding, or graphic design, you might only need a laptop or tablet – something you may already have. If your hobby is fixing up old cars, however, you might need a place to do the work – possibly adding to the expense. For that scenario, you could check out the possibility of putting in a couple of Saturdays per month at a local shop to help save on rent and insurance costs.

With a little ingenuity, you might be able to earn $10 to $40 (or maybe more) per hour doing work you enjoy. Artists can earn extra money by selling arts and crafts items through virtual stores on specialized websites. Freelance writers, coders, designers, and even teachers can find work as well on similar type websites that bring clients and service providers together. If you have a knack for knowing what’s valuable, you may be able to turn garage sale and estate sale buys into a rewarding online business on any popular consumer-to-consumer and/or business-to-consumer sales website. (Hint: If this is something you’d like to try, start out small. Concentrate on one type of item that might be near and dear to you, like brass musical instruments, or antique mason jars.)

The old saying that asserts “knowledge is power” applies here as well. Let’s say your childhood fascination with dinosaurs never quite went extinct. Maybe there’s a successful educational blog or a YouTube channel in your future. Technology has given us the power to reach a larger audience than ever before and to bring our knowledge to anyone who wants to learn more. Sharing what you know can be monetized in many ways and – if you love doing it – you might not feel like you’re working at all!

Do your research and understand any legal or insurance requirements that may apply to the area you want to get into. Or if you’d like some help with the legwork, get it at our next free class on Sunday, October 31st at 5 PM EDT (UTC-4). But don’t let a little legwork bar the way to your next great endeavor – even if it just starts as a side gig!

Stop waiting to make that move!
1 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/women-job-market-economy-jolts/

Why People Aren’t Going Back to Work

It’s official—Americans aren’t going back to work.

Even though there were 10 million job openings in June of 2021.¹

If you’ve been out and about, you’ve seen firsthand that jobs aren’t getting filled.

You may have noticed the signs at your local grocery store. Or the longer wait at your favorite restaurant. Or slower service from businesses you depend on.

They all stem from the same source. Americans aren’t rushing back to work.

But why? The COVID-19 pandemic caused mass unemployment and havoc for millions of American families. Wouldn’t they want to start earning money again, ASAP?

It’s not the unemployment benefits holding them back. Those dried up months ago, and the numbers still haven’t budged.

And again, it’s not that there aren’t jobs. There are millions of opportunities out there!

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Here’s an idea—many people have woken up to the fact that most jobs suck.

Most jobs leave you completely at the mercy of your boss. If they mismanage the business, your job’s in danger. If you want a bigger bonus, your job’s in danger. If another pandemic breaks out, your job’s in danger.

They give you no control over your hours, your income, your location, or your future.

Who would want to go back to that?

Instead, Americans are looking for a better opportunity. They want control of their future, their wealth, and their hours. They want to replace the insecurity of a 9 to 5 with more reliable sources of income.

If they see an opportunity that checks those boxes, they’ll be willing to re-enter the workforce.

Americans are looking for a better path. The million dollar question is, who will provide it for them?

What ideas do you have for work, be it a side-hustle or a small biz, that check all of those boxes? Comment below.

¹ “Many Americans aren’t going back to work, but it’s not for the reason you might expect,” Paul Brandus, MarketWatch Aug 14, 2021, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/many-americans-arent-going-back-to-work-but-its-not-for-the-reason-you-might-expect-11628772985
² “What states are ending federal unemployment benefits early? See who has cut the extra $300 a week,” Charisse Jones, USA Today, Jul 1, 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2021/07/01/unemployment-benefits-covid-federal-aid-ending-early-many-states/7815341002/

Side Hustle expansion

So you know how we’ve been posting more sporadically than maybe ever before? When we do post lately, we’ve given you ‘what we’ve been up to posts.’ Here’s the grand reveal of it all!

Some of our longtime readers may remember our Divorce Your Job, Keep The House #DYJKTH series. (If you’re a newer Talker, click here to check out the 1st installment from 2014.) So you’ve probably followed our journey from employees to Entrepreneurs while keeping the house. Well that last part ( the 🏠) needed an upgrade and that’s where the pictures and our hit-and-miss postings come in.

"What we've been up to" recap

Amidst all of the chaos of 2020, we sold our primary residence and bought another larger one that actually came with a smaller home cost. Weird how that worked out! But what’s even better is that with the increase in size and the updates we’ve been posting, we finally have a guest suite to let out for short term rentals.

🎆 We divorced our jobs, upgraded the house, and added another side-hustle! 🎆 We won’t bore you with the step-by-step details unless you TALK BACK 2 US in the comments and say you’d like to read more.

Just know that we’re already expecting our first few guests within a few days of going public 😁 And expect more regular Small Biz/Side-Hustle Saturday posts going forward now that we’ve gotten this hurdle out of the way.

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Does anything sound better than being your own boss?

Well, maybe a brand new sports car or free ice cream for life. But even a state-of-the-art fully-decked-out sports car will eventually need routine maintenance, and the taste of mint chocolate chip can get old after a while.

The same kinds of things can happen when you start your own business. There are many details to consider and seemingly endless tasks to keep organized after the initial excitement of being your own boss and keeping your own hours has faded. Circumstances are bound to arise that no one ever prepared you for!

Although this list is not exhaustive, here are 5 things to get you started when creating a business of your own:

1. Startup cost

The startup cost of your business depends heavily on the type of business you want to have. To estimate the startup cost, make a list of anything and everything you’ll need to finance in the first 6 months. Then take each expense and ask:

  • Is this cost fixed or variable?
  • Essential or optional?
  • One-time or recurring?

Once you’ve determined the frequency and necessity of each cost for the first 6 months, add it all together. Then you’ll have a ballpark idea of what your startup costs might be.

(Hint: Don’t forget to add a line item for those unplanned, miscellaneous expenses!)

2. Competitors

“Find a need, and fill it” is general advice for starting a successful business. But if the need is apparent, how many other businesses will be going after the same space to fill? And how do you create a business that can compete? After all, keeping your doors open and your business frequented is priority #1.

The simplest and most effective solution? Be great at what you do. Take the time to learn your business and the need you’re trying to fill – inside and out. Take a step back and think like a customer. Try to imagine how your competitors are failing at meeting customers’ needs. What can you do to solve those issues? Overcoming these hurdles can’t guarantee that your doors will stay open, but your knowledge, talent, and work ethic can set you apart from competitors from the start. This is what builds life-long relationships with customers – the kind of customers that will follow you wherever your business goes.

(Hint: The cost of your product or service should not be the main differentiator from your competition.)

3. Customer acquisition

The key to acquiring customers goes back to the need you’re trying to fill by running your business. If the demand for your product is high, customer acquisition may be easier. And there are always methods to bring in more. First and foremost, be aware of your brand and what your business offers. This will make identifying your target audience more accurate. Then market to them with a varied strategy on multiple fronts: content, email, and social media; search engine optimization; effective copywriting; and the use of analytics.

(Hint: The amount of money you spend on marketing – e.g., Google & Facebook ads – is not as important as who you are targeting.)

4. Building product inventory

This step points directly back to your startup cost. At the beginning, do as much research as you can, then stock your literal (or virtual) shelves with a bit of everything feasible you think your target audience may want or need. Track which products (or services) customers are gravitating towards – what items in your inventory disappear the most quickly? What services in your repertoire are the most requested? After a few weeks or months you’ll have real data to analyse. Then always keep the bestsellers on hand, followed closely by seasonal offerings. And don’t forget to consider making a couple of out-of-the-ordinary offerings available, just in case. Don’t underestimate the power of trying new things from time to time; you never know what could turn into a success!

(Hint: Try to let go of what your favorite items or services might be, if customers are not biting.)

5. Compliance with legal standards

Depending on what type of business you’re in, there may be standards and regulations that you must adhere to. For example, hiring employees falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Federal Employment Laws. There are also State Labor Laws to consider.

(Hint: Be absolutely sure to do your research on the legal matters that can arise when beginning your own business. Not many judges are very accepting of “But, Your Honor, I didn’t know that was illegal!”)

Starting your own business is not an impossible task, especially when you’re prepared. Get a jumpstart on your preparation at our free class tomorrow, Sunday, August 22nd at 4 PM EST (UTC -5). Save your seat!

Find out how to transition from employee 2 Entrepreneur

*Registration is required. Your information will not be sold or shared. You will only receive invitations to future iterations of this and our other Entrepreneurship classes.

Support National Entrepreneurship Week

This past weekend was a busy one with Valentine’s Day and President’s Day happening back to back. But did you realize there was another day this past weekend? Saturday kicked off the start of National Entrepreneurship week.

Having taught aspiring entrepreneurs for some years now, National Entrepreneurship Week is not new to us. But we realize a lot of folks probably didn’t know there was an entire week where organizations across the country held events to support and celebrate entrepreneurs in their communities and provide resources to help emerging entrepreneurs.

So how will you show your support? Will you make a special effort to shop with entrepreneurs in your local community or simply show them love on social media by liking and sharing their posts? Whatever you decide to do, remember that now more than ever they are a key part of the economy. Last year caused a dynamic shift in the way many businesses operated resulting in losses for many and gains for some. However supporting local entrepreneurs helps them and helps your community in that as they expand they are able to create jobs for others.

So what are we at ECV Talks doing to support National Entrepreneurship Week? We’re hosting a FULLY LIVE & FREE Entrepreneurship class this Saturday, February 20th at 6 PM EST. Why is it special that it’s fully live? Well we started this Entrepreneurship week with a video replay of our first virtual version of this Entrepreneurship master class so that Ms. ME herself could be in the chat answering questions. But this coming Saturday we’re dropping the reformatted master class with the latest tips you need to save your side-hustle or escape to entrepreneurship.


So Reserve Your Spot TODAY! This is the last time this class will be offered for a few months as we begin our next small group session of our Escape to Entrepreneurism 6 week course. Want more info about the course? Come to the free class and ask questions. We’ll see you there!