I’m able to make money my own way by starting a side hustle when I was working my full-time job as an engineer. This side hustle of mine is a frequent fly miles redemption service, which is helping clients redeem their own miles for air travel because it can be confusing or overwhelming for those who are not versed in the rules and guidelines of frequent flyer miles.
This is a guest post from Mike Choi, he’s an avid world traveler. He’s going to share his side hustle story about and ways to go about finding your own side hustle. You can find out more about his side hustle service here. Let me know if you would like to guest post on RFI.
HOW I GOT STARTED
A frequent flyer miles or award booking service isn’t a novel idea. In fact, there are a few of them out there akin to numerous web designers out there – there’s always space for more. I first learned about these types of service at a travel seminar and I didn’t get the idea to start my own service right then.
I only got the idea to start my own service by pure coincidence a year later. When I was working full-time at my engineering job, one of my colleagues showed interest in creating a website. Instead of crafting a website that would serve no purpose, I suggested making a website trying to sell my service. He liked the idea and we collaborated over the next few weeks.
After the site went live, e-mails slowly started to trickle in asking for help. The feeling was self-rewarding when I was able to put together a trip. I began to get referrals and repeat clients, which I think is a sign that you’re doing something right.
HOW TO FIND YOUR OWN CRAFT
The question of “what should I do?” I think this is the hard part about any side hustle. I think the best approach is to determine if there’s a common reoccurring question that people from your social circle are asking you for help. If there is, great, then you probably have some skill set or knowledge that can be marketable. For me, this happens to be travel.
Alternatively, if you can identify a market need where people are willing to pay for a product or service, perhaps, that’s something worthwhile pursuing. The best example I can give was during my time in Zanzibar, it seemed just about every local man on the beach was trying to sell seashell necklaces, snorkel trips, and taxis. Not surprisingly, many of the tourists weren’t buying these offers nor had any interest. There was one local man doing something different, he was carrying these long green sticks and asking sun burnt tourist if they would like to purchase these long green sticks. It turns out that these green sticks were aloe stems. Not surprisingly, it seemed that tourists welcomed his merchandise more than what the other locals were selling. As far as I could tell, this local man was the only one selling aloe stems and presumably making more in sales than selling seashell necklaces.
This is the next hurdle. A good idea isn’t enough unless you put some hustle behind it, hence the name side hustle. For me, with my hustle, the initiative came when my then colleague wanted to make a website, but didn’t know what kind of content to put on it. That was the catalyst for my side hustle. If the conversation didn’t take place, I don’t think I would have taken the initiative to make a website on my own. The best part was my colleague was willing to make the website for no cost so it was essentially risk free. I think it was the free “help” that I simply couldn’t turn down.
A side hustle is a great way to make some extra cash. Another challenge is to stay motivated. It’s like a gym routine when you first start out, you’re motivated and eager, but after a few weeks, the motivation dies down. I think this is a good metaphor and exemplifies the attitude needed to stay on track. I hope this posts helps people get started with their own side hustle.