A snazzy side hustle is an excellent strategy to making life a little easier.
A side hustle is great idea to earn a bit of extra money, especially as a student. It’s a great way to practice certain skills, to add something on your CV and to create something scalable for the future. As a full time university student, you don’t want your side hustle to be taking up your entire time – you simply want it be that: a side hustle. Ideally, you want it to be something you enjoy doing and that builds skills – not as hard as you think. Check out the examples at the bottom of this page.
So here’s a process to figure out a side hustle that works for you – I’m stealing it from the amazing American website Side Hustle Nation, but adapting it to us students 😉
1. Write down your skills
You may think that as a student you don’t have many skills, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Write down on a piece of paper what you’re good at and what you want to be good at. So if for example you know you’re good at internet and technology stuff, and you want to be good at programming, write that down.
These skills you write down can be the most randomest thing; maybe you’re good at remembering UK Pop song lyrics, or at organising parties, or at asking questions in class. Dive deep into what you think you’re good at, and write it down.
2. Write down what you like doing
Easy peasy, write down your hobbies, what you really enjoy doing. Think of what you do every day and every weekend that you look forward to doing. Once again, it can be as random as you want; going out for drinks with friends, watching movies, meeting new people, reading, writing, posting photos on Instagram, trying new restaurants and many more.
The more creative and random this column is, the better. Just think how awesome it would be if you could turn ‘what you like doing’ into a side hustle? Lit 🔥 That’s what it sounds like.
3. Write down your network
Once again, you may think you don’t have much of a network as a student, but let me encourage you to think twice – having friends who appreciate you, having a class you see at least once a week and being part of a huge educational organisation such as a university in the UK; these are all networks. If, in addition, you’re part of clubs, societies, have roommates and a family, that’s even more of a network!
By network, it just means the people you know. And in fact, as a university student I would say you have an even better network than adults in the working world. Why? Because you have direct access to professors with expertise, to funding for your business (sometimes) and people who are willing to help and educate you. An amazing place to start a side hustle in the UK.
So in this third column write the different networks you have – I’ve just given you 7!
Find something that connects the three
Aha! This is where the magic happens.
If you’ve done each of the columns next to each other, it’s super easy to see your skills, interests and network in one place. Now what’s something that could combine the three and make money? You’ll be surprised with all the ideas that will pop into your head.
Here are some examples to show you how it can work.
My example (I did this 2 months ago and couldn’t believe I had been missing out on this opportunity!)
What I like doing: listening to podcasts
Network: the personal finance bloggers
So as you guessed it, my current side hustle is writing the show notes of personal finance podcasts! I put ads on Fiverr, Upwork and started contacting people who would be interested in the service. Currently making a decent income!
Skill: Making friends easily
What I like doing: Learning about cultures
Network: the city I live in
Side hustle: organising meetups, pub crawl guide, promoter, etc
A crazier example:
Skill: Being a good listener
What I like doing: Partying 🎉
Side hustle: a party podcast? A party reviewer?
Skill: Memorising random music lyrics
What I like doing: Meeting new people
Network: The beautiful internet
Side hustle: Setting up karaoke competitions?
I’m just giving you those examples to show you that this is really something anyone can do thanks to the internet and people’s help.
Once you have a few ideas, you need to test whether this side hustle will actually make money and work. Could it replace a day job? Or be a part-time job? Some of the best ways to test:
- Put an ad up on Fiverr and see if people are willing to buy
- Contact people online and see they would be willing to pay
- Organise a meetup on Meetup.com and see if people would join
- Check out people who are doing the same and see if you can copy them
- Ask people on social media
Keep testing, keep researching, keep asking around and seeing if the idea will work. Start small: it’s not always easy and many times it takes hard work, but you’ll always be learning something in the long run (isn’t that what university is for?).
The sooner you start your side hustle the better – the earlier you can grow it, the more money you can make and the more time you have to fail and try something else. What’s important, is to have the mentality; keep testing, keep trying new things, keep working on your skills. A bit of hustle, and you can get anywhere you want to be 😉
Here are some related articles on Financially Mint that might also help you out 😎
- Simple steps to start a business in university
- 5 Ways You can Make money online as a student (No, not surveys 🤦♀️)
- How to Earn Money Freelancing in university