Side hustle ideas have to be the one thing we millennials talk about the most after our coffees! So why not talk about it on this blog too?
If you search the internet for side hustle ideas, you’ll get a 1,001 and probably more. And yet, the one thing that no one talks about is that they are suggesting you low value, dollars for time exchanges. They are not telling you that while gardening and lawn mowing are perfectly acceptable side hustle ideas, they are probably not the smartest ideas for 2022.
Also, if you don't know, The Abundance Psyche, and the Not-so-Corporate podcast, are a part of my side hustle. And, I typically don't like the idea of calling it a side hustle, because I am not in favour of hustling. And that is the one exact reason for this post. I like calling it a scalable side business.
But quite a lot of people will still call it a side hustle. You could call it a side gig. I prefer calling it a side gig because I find the idea of hustle rather disenchanting.
Anyway, because we millennials seem to have a finger in every pie, we want multiple income sources, we want to follow our passion and make something out of nothing. And if that's you and you are trying to find a niche that suits you, check out the Nail your Niche Masterclass.
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Why do you want to start a side hustle?
One of the things that I always tend to ask anyone who comes to me for advice is “Why is it that you want to start it?”
And there could be a number of reasons why you might want to start a side hustle.
One of the primary reasons could be that you want some quick money.
And if that's the case, like I said before, there are ideas out there that you can go and really take off the internet and literally put it in practice tomorrow. I'm probably not the person you want to be talking to if you are in a need of urgent cash injection. I believe in intentional planning and strategising- I mean, I am a strategist and an Economist, what else do you expect?
For me personally, I always start with the why- why is it that I want to be creating this side business? The reason being, if I'm not sold on my why I will not have enough motivation to be actually working on it during the lows of the business. And there will be lows in your business, if you want to run one!
Every entrepreneur, every CEO is known by their scars, not by their medals!
For me personally, starting the side gig was basically following my passion for personal development, and I wanted to help others with it. Also, I wanted multiple streams of income, and I wasn't in a hurry to inject cash. Because I have a corporate job that I actually like, I never feel like I want to be replacing it. My side hustle and my corporate job fulfills two very different parts of me. I don't want to be giving up my corporate job for my side gig.
Businesses that scale efficiently are the best side hustle ideas for 2022
I am obsessed about efficient scaling.
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I am obsessed with efficient business models because I love tech and automation and business. But more than that, it’s because I am a trained Economist.
Back in the day, when I was in university, I came across this concept of “economies of scale”. It completely changed the way I think about businesses.
It's a concept that I apply on an absolute regular basis in my corporate job. I am always the person who will think about scaling even before launching.
Why are we doing this? Can it scale?
And when the answer is no, I get demotivated really, really fast. And I have quit jobs and said no to employers because I didn’t believe that their products could scale beyond a point! Because that's how my brain operates. That's the reason I love tech!
I want things to scale efficiently. And not just by putting in more time and more money and more resources. So when I started The Abundance Psyche, I was very adamant about 3 things:
It is sustainable with my life with my lifestyle
I can be unapologetic about who I'm being in the business because I want to transform lives
It scales efficiently in the long run
That might mean that I have to put in a bit more hours at the beginning, I might have to hire a team without seeing many returns in the short term.
What is efficient scaling?
All businesses can grow and even scale. Think about it- if you buy a notebook printing press, it will not take that much more time and effort to print 2 more notebooks than to produce 200. So you can quickly adjust to the demand and supply of the market. That is efficient scaling.
As compared to for example, handmade jewelry, which is incredibly popular but you need to hand make it. You can scale the business but you have to put in more hours and resources towards scaling.
So, in practice, any business that uses technology is more likely to scale efficiently.
But there are some businesses that scale even more effectively and efficiently than my printing press example.
Because they are available “On-demand” without you, the entrepreneur, having to move a finger more.
Side hustle ideas that scale
If you are still with me, you probably understand the value of compounding and you understand that time is the most valuable asset. And that is the single most important factor in wanting to scale your business efficiently.
Yes, you might have to put in some hard work at the beginning. Yes, you might consider hiring a team without making crazy profits in the first couple of years. But you understand that it will all add up in the long run because neither Rome, nor Nike were built overnight.
1. Build software
One of the best ideas is to build software and put a wrapper around it and sell. This is the reason for the boom in the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry.
The app and chrome extension development industry understands what I'm talking about. That's why creating software is the rage of this generation. Think about it, when you are creating software you take a certain amount of time to build it. It doesn't require any extra manpower or resources into producing it and scaling it for other businesses or other people that you want to sell that app or software to.
Yeah, there might be technological things that you need to think through like server space and all of that. But it's definitely not like physical products, where if you have two products, you now need extra space to store and extra resources to deliver the products. You just need the tech to work and your software gets delivered to your customer without any additional hiccups. So, software is one of the best ways that you can build a sustainable, efficiently scalable business.
2. Sell art
If you are thinking, “Well, I'm not a techie, I don't know how to code, can I not make a business scale?”, I have good news for you. If you are an artsy person, if you like to take photos, do some paintings, etc, you can put a collection of your paintings up in a zip file somewhere, put a payment processor on top of it and market it. You can sell the same art copies to multiple people at the same price, or you can even increase the price without actually having to spend more time and energy and resources in creating more of those products. This works because of the tiny thing called copyright and if you can set up shop right, you can actually have one of the smartest scalable side hustles with your talent.
3. Content aka Blogs, Podcasts, YouTube
The third one is to create content- in whatever shape or form. This is what I'm doing with the Not-so-Corporate podcast, this blog, and I have a YouTube channel as well.
Blogs, YouTube channels and Podcasts are the quickest way that you can build authority online.You can dance on Tik Tok, you can do Instagram posts up to you. But what really remains as a good footprint on the internet is good quality blogs and YouTube videos, and podcasts because I can dance on Tik Tok... well actually, I can't dance on Tik Tok and tell you the 50 ways you can make money online today!
But if you wanted five scalable side hustle ideas that you can start today, and you will reap benefits from 10 years from now, that's me. And that's where I want to be playing. And that is what I believe quality content is. So I think I need to invest the time and energy upfront in getting it to you. If I am dancing on Tik Tok, and it's not really reaching you, it's not creating the impact that I wanted to create on you, then what's the point?
So content is a really neat way of creating authority and also making a business scalable. Podcasters, Bloggers, YouTubers make money from advertisements- not only the advertisements that come up on their websites, but also by actually collaborating and promoting products that they have used in the past and they get really sweet deals out of it.
You don't have to always run ads. You will see I typically don't run ads on anything that I do. And it's a matter of personal preference because I want my visitors to have a very neat feel. I don't want to be spamming you with ads. I find that really annoying when I go on to websites.
But you might have seen that I have a Work with Me on this blog. I create courses- I have a CV and LinkedIn writing course. I have a Career Change Mastery course as well. And I work with people to help them navigate their career change. That is the revenue generating part of The Abundance Psyche.
And that's one of the main ways that bloggers, YouTubers and podcasters make money- by creating courses. Let's be honest, it's not something that's easy. That's not something that will replace your corporate salary overnight. It's not even something that most people get traction with in the first couple of years.
I'm actually incredibly lucky that I got a lot of traction in my first year itself but I have to say that most people find traction in their third or fourth year. And actually, that is the time when most people think of giving up… well, actually people think of giving up on it around the two-year mark because it's not making money, it's just taking a lot of time... but stay at it, because it will eventually make money. If you can Front-Load the work, you will have to eventually not work as much. But obviously, you have to be smart about it- more on that later!
5. Subscriptions and memberships
The final one is about creating membership sites and subscription models as a side gig. And memberships are obviously extremely scalable because you don't have to add more resources to it when you add more people. And you can charge your client on a retainer basis.
Say, for example, you are a yoga teacher or a meditation teacher, and you teach on Video on Monday from 8 pm to 9 pm. Everyone is looking at your moves sitting at their home. You don't really need to add another hour of your time to accommodate one more person into your yoga class.
Of course, if it's a very intimate session, and you want to be charging a premium for it, and you want to only work with five people, that's great. But in the way that memberships and subscriptions are set up, they create a recurring revenue stream for you. And they will ultimately create that scalable business offer and you can raise your prices.
The final one is through investing, whether that be in property or in the stock market. But if you have quite a lot of capital sitting around, and if real estate is your thing, you could realistically put in your money, buy all-cash, rent it out to someone, and just pay the maintenance charges, whatever maintenance it requires from time to time. Other than that, whatever you get is pure profit.
Of course, if you have that much money lying around, real estate might be a good option, depending on which part of the world you live in. You might also want to put it in to tracker funds and get more returns over time. The power of compounding is truly something exceptional. I personally don't think real estate sometimes matches up to that. But hey, I am not going to debate on real estate or stock markets because both have their place. And what I would say is if you have that much cash lying around, you should be thinking of diversifying, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket.
How to market your scalable side hustle ideas
The wrapper around all of this of course is the scalable, efficient business model, is that you have to be extremely good at marketing.
And I'm learning this as I'm going. And it is sometimes extremely uncomfortable. Because marketing isn't something that comes naturally to me. I'm getting better at it. I have gotten a lot of experience in it over the years. But it is definitely something that is worth learning, whether it's for your side hustle, or for your career, or for just your corporate job.
If you can get into your buyers’ head with the messaging, if you really understand sales, psychology, then whatever it is that you're selling, you become unstoppable. And quite a lot of people give up on Courses or Software or YouTube or Stock photos because they can't crack that marketing piece.
In my opinion, marketing is the hardest thing that you will learn. But it is the most satisfying thing that you will do because it really helps you connect to your end-user, to your client, to your customer. And that is a level of understanding and energy exchange like no other.
When we do that, that automatically helps them and it is done in the highest order of service. Bad marketing is intrusive, but good marketing is transformational.
I am an Economist so I love all of the behavioural economics theories behind it. I like Psychology, I like all of how marketing actually nudges people to buy something that will serve them. And when you can actually add something good to your client's life, that's great marketing.
Most people feel really crap about marketing their own stuff because a lot of junk comes out, because a lot of self-doubt comes out, a lot of lack of confidence comes out, a lot of insecurities come out. It is because we have to deal with our own stuff before we can actually be of service to others and say, “Hey, I have this great product. And I really think it'll help you.”
It's not about being the car salesman who tries to sell you anything. It's about really listening and understanding whether your product is the right product and whether you are a good fit.
What’s next for you?
If you are starting one today, let me know what sort of side gig you're trying to set up.
If you want a list of 128 different niches in which you can set up these 5 scalable side hustle ideas that I have been talking about you can find them here. AND if you are serious about Nailing your Niche, my mentor has this amazing Masterclass that I wish came along sooner - the Nail your Niche Masterclass.