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Thomas Maples

2020 was a tough year for everyone, and if you’re one of the many who experienced a setback like lost income or health problems, getting back on your feet can feel downright impossible. 

Having a side hustle is one of the best ways to live a passionate life and find fulfillment in the work that you do. Not only is it a chance to earn income doing something you enjoy, it’s flexible. You get to decide who you work with, when you work and even how much you make. To help you get started, here are a few things you should consider when starting a side gig.

Start-up cost

When most people think about setting up their own business, they think about a big idea that would require hiring a large team and lots of start-up money. However, most businesses start small. Starting a business where you are the sole owner probably won’t require a lot of money and it will make the side gig process a lot easier. As you start brainstorming ideas, calculate the costs for each one and determine which ones will be the most valuable to you.

Finding an idea

Draw on your previous work experience. There are probably outside services or small innovations that you could do personally. If you’re stumped, grab a sheet of paper and write five to seven things that you’re good at or enjoy doing. Then, on the back of the paper, write five to seven things that you don’t think you’re good at or don’t enjoy doing.

Do the same thing thinking about your work experience. Look at patterns or trends in the things you write down. Think about needs you can fill, based on what you’re good at or specific niches you could work in. Find ways you can help people get past their little annoyances doing something you’re good at and enjoy.

Time management

Figure out your peak times of productivity. If you get the most done in the morning or evening, prioritize your tasks. Working at your best times of day will help you do quality work as you start your side gig. 

Also, a dedicated workspace can help you stay on track and provide an area where you can get things done. Make sure the area you select is free from distractions. If you’re constantly getting pulled in different directions when you’re trying to work, you’ll never finish anything.

Land your first client

Ask people you know about how your services can best help them. Remember to always help people see the value your service can bring to their life. You can also try job boards or social networking sites to improve your ability to find clients. Keep in mind that according to Format, good communication is your key to success when it comes to landing clients through social media.

Remember taxes

Calculating taxes can be a daunting process. However, if you’re not bringing in a huge extra income, the process is actually somewhat simple and won’t require too much knowledge about the tax process. If you end up having to pay more than $1,000 to the IRS, then you’ll have to prepay quarterly taxes. 

You’ll also need to keep records of your business expenses and transactions, so get organized. It’s wise to calculate taxes in advance so you know how much money you’ll need to save.

Of course, to pay taxes you’ll need to register your business. Things feel tricky when you’re making things official, but there are websites that can help you along the way. For instance, ZenBusiness is an all-in-one platform for entrepreneurs, with everything necessary to write your business plan, create a website and register with your state. They can even provide you with accounting information. It’s one option on the web; look around and you’ll find online services and tools for everything you need.

Starting a side gig does take some effort, but it’s a highly effective way to make extra income while looking for a job. What’s more, it can help build your portfolio or resume, and will look good to potential employers. They’ll see you as driven and determined to succeed, and the job hunt will be much easier.

For professional assistance in achieving your goals, connect with Dr. Thomas C. Maples. Dr. Maples provides mental health counseling and life coaching services to people just like you. Call (209) 565-1514‬ to book an appointment today!

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