Want to Start a Side Hustle but Don't Have an Idea?
Your Biggest Vision
Season 2, Ep. 51
Are you patiently waiting for the day that you finally come up with a groundbreaking idea that will be worthy enough for you to start your side hustle or business? Spoiler alert: the most successful side hustlers (who eventually started a business) that I have seen did not have the best ideas in the beginning. You may be ready to start your own side hustle today and you don’t even know it. In this episode of the Your Biggest Vision show, we break down the side hustle fundamentals so you can find out whether you’re ready or not to take the leap.
Tune in to hear:
- The three reasons why you are ready to start your side hustle even without a perfect idea.
- The two most important things that you need in order to start a side hustle.
- What you should actually be focusing on in the beginning stages of your side hustle or business.
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Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries, welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I am your host, Leah, and I hope you guys are all having an amazing day? If you’re listening to this on the day of the release, it is an amazing Monday. I love doing these episodes on Mondays. I purposely released them at the beginning of the week because I remember when I was still in my nine to five job and I would listen to, you know, podcasts and books on tapes on Mondays on my commute when I was just feeling honestly kind of low, I was just feeling like really out of alignment with kind of the life I wanted to be living the person I wanted to be. I did not want to be on the subway, you know, going to a job that was contributing to someone else’s bottom line.
Now I had a good job, I was not one of those people that just hated my job, but I just knew in my heart that it wasn’t my forever plan. It wasn’t really what I was meant to do and I struggled with that sort of feeling of living a double life. And so on Mondays I would go into work and on the commute I would listen to the podcasts of someone who would always talk about what a blessing Mondays are because they are the beginning of a new week. They are the chance for you to recreate whatever you desire. They are a chance for you to have a clean slate. They are a chance for you to focus on whatever you choose and decide what you want to manifest during the week. And I always loved that perspective and I swore to myself that the minute I became self employed, I would really treat Mondays that way.
Now I probably should have treated Mondays that way even when I was employed, but I just did not because I did not like Mondays because I did not like feeling like I lived one life on the weekends and then in another on the weekdays. So anyway, that’s just a little backstory on why I released these on Mondays. And I will never forget just that message of how my days are a clean slate. There’s such a blessing. There’s such an opportunity and I really tried to live by that now. So I hope that, um, either you feel that way as you’re listening to this and can look at your week with that lens of knowing that anything can happen or you, um, remind yourself that it’s more motivation to get out of your nine to five jobs so that you are in a position where your weeks do look like that.
So anyway, happy Monday is the moral of the story. So today I wanted to talk to you guys about, this was a very specific reader question. A few people asked this, um, when I did an Instagram post about podcast episode ideas. And it’s such a great question because it’s to this day, one of the questions that I get asked the most and that is that you want to start a side hustle, but you don’t have an idea. And this is such a great question and such great awareness and honestly I really relate to this. I am one of the people that identified more with entrepreneurship in general and then kind of found my idea. You know, where some people like they just get this idea and then they all of a sudden have to become an entrepreneur because they have to bring it to life.
Mine was more just I fell in love with entrepreneurship and then everything kind of flowed from there as I kept saying yes to it. So I relate to this. I wanted a side hustle. I wanted to make more money in my life. I did not want to be confined to the nine to five world. I love the idea of, you know, making something that’s my own being my own boss and all that kind of stuff. So I am totally with this question and I’m very happy to share what I’ve learned over the years and what I’ve seen from successful side hustlers because I definitely wish I would have known this. And here’s a little spoiler alert. The most successful side hustlers I’ve seen, the side hustlers that have turned their businesses into full time businesses that have become six figure entrepreneurs, etc. They did not have the best idea in the beginning.
They didn’t have a bad idea.That’s what I’m saying. But my point is it is far from the most important part of a successful side hustle. So what I want to do is share three reasons why you are ready to start your side hustle even without a perfect idea or the idea fully crafted or fully brought to life. And then we’ll talk about why these ideas, um, you know, are relevant and, and kind of what to do from there. And then I’m going to share with you the one, well actually it’s two. So let’s say the two, the two things that you do need in order to start a side hustle. And you’ll see neither of them are a perfect idea. So this episode is for you if you want to start a side hustle, but you’re not sure what to start is for you.
If you maybe have started and you are still just kind of trying to find your footing around what your specific expertise is, it’s for you if you’re feeling frustrated by a lack of clarity and it is for you. If you are just wanting to know more about what your focus should be in the beginning and it is not even actually perfecting your idea. So without further ado, let’s dive in. And I hope that this helps any of you that have on your heart the idea of starting a side hustle this year or even this month because there truly is no better time.
Okay. So first things first, you do not need to have a perfect idea with your side hustle at all. As I mentioned, I did not, I started Urban 20 Something as a blog. I had no idea it was going to turn into the business that had had, I didn’t even know I was good at coaching. I didn’t even think it would be a coaching business. It just so happened that that is my, my zone of genius. But I didn’t know that at first. And so why my story should be a testament to the reason that you don’t actually need a perfect side hustle plan in order to start is that your idea will change anyway. So when I started at Urban 20 Something, my vision for it at the time was for it to be an anonymous blog about a girl living in New York in her twenties, trying to figure it out. And for those of you that follow me on Instagram, you probably are laughing at this point because you know that my Instagram could not be further from being anonymous. It is all me. I am very much on it. It is very much about me and my life.
So, but my vision was to have this anonymous blog and to get really popular and just write about my diaries kind of of living in New York and trying to figure it out as a 20 something and trying to figure out my career, how to afford it, how to date, yada yada. I even went back and forth with a good friend of mine who’s still a good friend of mine, Alex. Shout out to him if he listens to this, he actually took the original photos for Urban 20 Something so maybe longtime followers. Remember the picture of my shoes, my heels on Crosby street. Anyway, I had him and I working on a Google doc going back and forth with a mission statement for this anonymous blog that I was going to start. I wanted the mission statement to be perfect. And it still was a little bit like, you know, I never really found it to be perfect because I’m like, well what’s different about it?
And just all this stuff. But my point is, uh, my idea obviously dramatically changed. First and foremost, my business couldn’t be further from being anonymous. It’s very much about me and my story. Second of all, I don’t really blog anymore at all. Blogging is not a big part of my business model. It’s just not where, you know, my zone of genius ended up being. Between now and then, my business has had so many different forms and lives for a while there it was focused on my travels throughout Southeast Asia. Um, I wrote about freelancing, I wrote about side hustling, you know, all before I even really started doing what I do now, which is, which is elite business coaching. So all this is to say that you shouldn’t get too hung up on your side hustle idea now because it will change no matter what. It will change.
You change your customers change, you learn more about your audience, you learn more about your idea, you learn more about what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. Like for example, blogging just wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but I never would have known that if I hadn’t started and hadn’t tried. So all this is to say not having a clear idea is no indication that you’re not ready to start your side hustle because the sooner you start, the sooner you will have more information about what you are and aren’t good at. And honestly, I mean, you shouldn’t be able to totally think of what you want to do right now because this is you just thinking about it in your beginning stages. So what I do now, helping women get to six figures in revenue in a year, helping people quit their nine to five jobs.
When I started, I never could have had the vision to do something like that. I never could have plotted that this is where my path is going to go because I didn’t even know I could do it myself. I didn’t even know how to do it. So if I would have just based all of what Urban 20 Something was going to be on where I was at the time, it never would have had the room to grow and it never would have gone on with me with my journey. So much so that I could expand the way that it has. So don’t limit your thinking by what you think you need to have right now and what you need to know right now. Your vision will change, your vision should change. If you’re a nimble and thoughtful entrepreneur, your vision benefits by changing and correcting with everything you learned along the way. So you definitely don’t need to be worried about the fact that you might have not have an idea right now because it’s going to change anyway.
Okay. The second reason you should not worry about not having a clear idea for a side hustle before you start is because oftentimes this is actually a form of fear or procrastination. So a lot of times people will tell me that they want to start a side hustle book, but they don’t have an idea for it. And then after a little bit of conversation they have, they have some ideas for it. They actually do, you know, they’re not completely starting blank, but even if it’s just something like, well I love to write so maybe I could do some freelance writing or start a blog or I have a history in marketing and so I’d maybe like to do some brand consulting for people or I really love design and I’m not able to use it at my nine to five job, so I’d be curious about that.
So those are all ideas, right? Those are all pretty formed ideas for where you could take a side hustle, but when you really dig down to it and I start kind of asking them, well, why haven’t you then started your blog? Why haven’t you then done the consulting? Why haven’t you then started the design work? It’s usually because they’re not quite sure how or they don’t know where to find the clients or are they qualified enough, will anyone pay them? And all of those are fear-based thoughts, whether they seem fear based or not, they are all a bunch of “what ifs” in the pessimistic direction. So what if this doesn’t work out? What if no one buys? What if I don’t know what to do? What if I do it wrong? What if people don’t take me seriously?
So those are pretty clear indicators that those are fear based thoughts. That’s why it’s so important in the early days of entrepreneurship, especially to find mentors, to get into groups, to get into communities of like minded people so that they can pretty much call you out when you’re holding yourself back with fear-based thoughts. So in other words, not having a clear idea is oftentimes just a way of putting off what you want to do. It’s a form of procrastination. It’s a form of giving into fear. So really get into the habit of fighting that and the more you get used to taking action, even when all the steps aren’t clear, the more successful you’ll be because that is part of the equation every step of the way that never ends. If you are the person that can move quicker, that can move with more faith, that can move without too much hesitation that can move without everything being perfectly in line, you are going to be more successful.
Like I said at the beginning of this episode, it’s never been about the perfect idea. I’m sure there are people out there who have my idea or my vision or want to be a business coach like I am and they probably see me and they’re frustrated because they kind of wanted to do this. And it’s not that they still can’t, but it’s that they just, for whatever reason didn’t at the time. You know, and I’ve, I’ve seen people on the internet write about like Spanx, which Sarah Blakely invented and they say things like, Oh my God, I had thought of that 10 years before I had that idea, I wanted to do that. But they, they just didn’t. So it’s not about having this perfect idea or this golden idea or waiting for an idea to be dropped down to you. It really is about learning to take action when you are halfway there and when you don’t have all the information and a great place to start getting good at that and exercising that muscle is realizing you can move forward right now with your side hustle, even if the idea isn’t fully formed, taking this incompleteness as an invitation to be a better and more risk averse entrepreneur, or I’m sorry, a better risk taker of an entrepreneur. So that’s another reason why you are ready right now to move forward with your side hustle.
And then finally, the third reason, and then I’m going to tell you some more, so don’t turn, don’t turn off, have it set up after this. But the third reason why you do not need to have a perfect side hustle idea intact in order to move forward with it, is because you will have so much more to gain. The sooner you start. So the most precious asset in your business is not your idea. It’s not your million dollar idea. It’s not your billion dollar idea. It’s not your money, it’s not your team, it’s how much time you have. Time is the only finite resource that we are all fighting against.
So if you can start earlier on, you’ll be able to learn what you’re good at and what you’re not good at so much faster. I’m so, so grateful. I started when I did, even though I didn’t even know it would turn into a business, even though I dealt with so much doubt and fear for the first year or two of having it, even though I didn’t know what it would turn into, even though I felt more lost than ever and so afraid. But thank God I did it because I was able to leave my nine to five job at the age of 25 and I was able to hit six figures at the age of 26 and if I wouldn’t have done this stuff right when I had the inkling, and by the way, I had the inkling for months before too, I wasn’t perfect in just starting right away, I’m no different.
But I did it sooner than I could ever then I felt ready to and that has been one of the biggest rewards of any risk I’ve ever taken because now I am able to do so much at a pretty young age and so much faster since I started sooner. So, if nothing else on this list gives you permission to start, even though your idea isn’t fully formed, I think this is the most important one and the most powerful one because there’s no arguing with it. I understand that you see value in having a perfect idea before you start, but there is infinitely more value in having more time on your side throughout your journey. You did not want to be sitting in the same place in a year, still wondering when your side hustle idea is going to perfectly form. Think about that.
Even think about this time last year. Were you still list where you, you know, still listening to podcasts, thinking about how to get it off the ground? Did you have the idea? Did you have the excitement? Maybe you bought the domain, but you’re still dabbling. You do not have the luxury of dabbling, and I’m not saying that in a judgemental way. I’m not saying that in a mean way. I’m not saying that in a harsh way. I’m saying that in a way of in a form of care, in a form of really wanting your success to be yours and yours for the taking. It doesn’t happen through a dabble. I don’t even want you to feel like you’re in the same place that you are next month. So if nothing else lights the fire under you to start today. Even if you hear me say that you don’t need a perfect idea, even if you hear me say it’ll change anyway. Even if you hear me say you might be acting out of fear and none of that’s quite enough. Let this be enough that you will have so much more to gain in your journey than if you, you’ll never have more to gain in your journey than if you start today.
So those are three reasons why you are still ready to start your side hustle, even if you don’t have the perfect idea ready to go. But I do want to share what I think are the two main indicators that show you are ready to start. So it’s actually not having a perfect idea. I just debunked that. That’s not one of the two factors that show me you’re ready to start. When I see people that have come to me to start their side hustle and I look at all of them and those that have really been successful, these are the two common traits that have stood out amongst those that really, really make it really go for it, really go all in and really bring their success to life versus those who maybe go back and forth or maybe keep saying scared or maybe you know, continued dabbling.
So they come not with a perfect idea, but these two things, one, they are truly more excited about building their own dream than someone else’s. That excites them so much. So that is something I would ask yourself, do I actually care about building my own dream more than someone else’s? So if the answer here is no, that’s okay. But I would go back to the drawing board and make sure that a side hustle is really what you want, or having your own business is really what you want because it is a huge commitment if you want to do it right. And so what I mean by this, you have to care more about building your own dream than someone else’s. That might sound like an easy yes, but there’s a few things people get confused about it with. So if you just hate your job, like if you just hate your nine to five job and you want to start a side hustle or have your own business or get out of it because you just hate it, that’s not necessarily going to be the right fuel moving forward.
Because in theory you could be at a different job that you do love and maybe that would fix the situation because entrepreneurship is a huge undertaking. You will have to put yourself through things that people can’t even imagine that you can even imagine right now. And if you are having to go through those things, just out of escapism from another situation, going to be very hard to push through. However, if you’re going through those things with the motivation of building your own asset and building your own work and contributing to your own bottom line, it will have a different energy and it will feel not even just more worth it, but necessary. So if you just hate your job to hate your job, this might not be the path for you. But if you want to leave your job because you specifically care about this bottom-line concept, you do not like the idea of building someone else’s inherently, then that’s a very key entrepreneurial trait.
So another thing is if you just feel like you work too much, like if you’re at like an eight to eight job and you just feel like you work all the time and you want more freedom and you see people on Instagram and they’re, you know, drinking Mai Tai’s on the beach and all of that and you want the entrepreneurial life because the lifestyle is more appealing, that’s another reason that is probably not going to propel you through those really very big challenges of entrepreneurship.
Because you will work more on your own business than you ever did at a nine to five.
You will work harder. You will, it will be scarier. I mean it’s, it’s just harder. It’s just plain and simple. So once again, if you are doing this just because you don’t really like the lifestyle you have now and you think this lifestyle will be easier, I would maybe look at a different career path or a different job before I would go down this path because that bottom line is going to have to be your driving factor. You will work harder. It will be more difficult than whatever you’re doing now. Period. Okay? So if you, if that resonates with you, if you like are just nodding your head saying like, yes, I just want to contribute to my own bottom line, then you probably are ready to start today.
And then the other factor that I really see people that end up really successful having is that they are just genuinely ready to change their life. They’re just really ready for something new. Once again, this might sound like a no brainer, right? Like you want to change your life, you want more money, you want more freedom, you want to leave your nine to five job. But with every change that is for good comes in equal potential for challenge or for difficulty with it. So, wanting to change your life means you actually have to change things and you don’t get to be selective about it. Or I shouldn’t say that you always have a choice, but you don’t get to be as selective about it as you want. So you can’t choose to start a business because you want to make more money, but then decide that you’re not ready to change your own finances and investing yourself so you’re not going to do that.
But then you’re still waiting to make more money. It’s like that, you know, that’s a conflict. That’s not really changing your life. That’s magical thinking. Um, you can’t want to have more freedom and be your own boss, but then not be willing to cancel your happy hours, your brunches, your vacations. I mean like I’m so intense about this. I have had friends that didn’t work out for a year when they were really ramping up their businesses. Now I never did that. I do want to be clear, but there were a lot of other sacrifices, spending less time with family, you know, even rethinking the holiday sometimes because when you’re in your nine to five job, those are precious times to work because you’re not working. Um, so my point is there are difficult decisions that come with this and you can’t be ready to change your life in only the good way and then not willing to put in the work to make it happen. That’s magical thinking.
It’s just like you can’t be willing to, or you can’t want or feel like you deserve a hugely spectacular relationship and passionate love story, but then not be willing to date and put up with heartbreak and have difficult conversations with your spouse or even go to couples therapy. Like all of the good comes with, I don’t want to say the bad, but with the challenges, if they don’t, anyone would do that. So if you want to change your life, you really have to be willing to change your life.
So those are the two things I want you to ask yourself. If you’re considering starting a side hustle. One, do I care more about contributing to my bottom line than someone else’s? And am I willing to do whatever it takes to make that a reality? And two, am I truly willing to change my life in order to change my life? Importantly, on this list is not the question, what is my perfect idea and am I ready to start? Those are not part of your success equation.
So I hope that this episode brought some light to what you really do need to be thinking about. If you want to start a side hustle and if you’re listening to this and all of it resonated and you’re still just like, okay, I guess I’m ready to start. I’m just unclear on what to start or how to start. Please reach out to my team at email@example.com. We have a spectacular program called Start Your Side Hustle and it goes really into depth around this. We work with people just like that, just like you who have this passion. They have this drive, they’re ready to go, but they just need to kind of put it all together and put it all in an action plan.
These modules are concise. This isn’t about, you know, taking over your life, but they work. They sort of are like, we let you plug in all the information that’s going through your head, your goals, your dreams, your ideas, your likes, your dislikes, what you might want to do, who you want to work with, who you don’t want to work with, what you like doing, all of that kind of stuff. We put into these, you know, information in this information and in these information workbooks and we kind of like show you how to generate them and spit them out in a really cohesive, organized, actionable way. So you have resources. You’re not alone in doing this. And if this made sense to you and the reasons that I do recommend starting a side hustle were a yes for you, and this is a great fit for you. But just know that you are ready right now. If the desire is there to start a successful side hustle and your success is on the other side waiting for you and nothing will ever be perfect, nothing will ever be clear and you will be a better entrepreneur for moving forward and knowing that and doing it anyway. All right, guys, here is your biggest vision.
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