Not everyone is willing to quit a stable job and a regular salary, but what if we could quickly and easily create an additional revenue stream (with a minimum investment of time, money and effort) without giving up on the security of a full-time job?
This article will show you how to do exactly this in just 27 days, guiding you step by step from the idea to its implementation. It is not only a means of having extra money in your wallet but a way to get more security and more freedom. When your earnings come from different sources it means that you have more choices and that you are no longer dependent on the whims of a single employer.
First week: Building an arsenal of ideas
Everything starts from an idea. The first week will teach you how to conceive business ideas that work.
Day 1: predicting the future . Side work can really change your life. It will give you more security both in terms of extra money and because it will open up new opportunities for you in the future. Start immediately to think about your future, what your life will be like in 27 days. Lateral work can satisfy 3 main objectives: 1) to obtain extra money for a specific purpose; 2) create a sustainable and continuous source of income that really makes a difference in the quality of your life; 3) replace or exceed the income of your current job.
Day 2: learn how money grows on plants. Some ideas are better than others, learn the three qualities that make up a great idea and find the one with the greatest potential. Your goal is to start a project that will earn you money in a short period of time. If when you think about your idea you don’t feel excited, if it doesn’t produce an income, if it takes three years to realize it, abandon it. A great idea must be feasible , profitable and persuasive. To understand if an idea has high potential, ask yourself the following questions: Can you describe this idea with a sentence? Is there an obvious and obvious way of making money with this idea? Solve someone’s problems? Can it be turned into reality easily? Does it require little maintenance? Can it provide you with recurring income?
Day 3: invent, borrow or steal ideas. Your goal is to turn an idea into something that has real value and that produces an income over time. Pay attention to everything around you, take note of all potential opportunities wherever you go. Constantly ask yourself questions like: What are these people doing? What do they need?
There are 3 basic types: selling a product, providing a service or acting as an intermediary .
If you have no idea, you can take a cue from this list: sell your handmade products on the internet; offer online tutoring services in your area of expertise; create and sell a tourist guide of your city or create a web resource for tourists supported by advertisers; create an online (or offline) course on a bizarre topic that you know well; visit flea markets or second-hand shops and buy items to resell; manage PR or social media accounts for small businesses; start a website where people pay a membership fee; to have access to useful information on a specific topic; rent a room on Airbnb; and so on.
Day 4: weighs the obstacles and opportunities of each idea. Now that you have several ideas, examine them in more depth to find out the pros and cons. Prepare a list of the opportunities and obstacles of each idea. You should answer questions like: What do I need to leave and how much does it cost? What obstacles will I find in launching this idea? How difficult will it be to make my first sale? Is there anyone who has already done the same thing? What will the profit be? If all goes well what would be the best scenario? And the worst?
Day 5: predict your profit on the back of a napkin . To estimate the profit of your side hustle you don’t need a degree in economics, just a sheet of paper, a pen and the power of observation. Compare the potential profit of your various ideas to see which one is more useful to commit to and abandon the others.
Second week: Select the best idea
Learn to classify and compare ideas instantly so you can be confident that you are going in the direction with the highest probability of success.
Day 6: compare ideas . Learn to apply logic to choose the best idea for that moment. It is a matter of creating a very simple table for each idea, which indicates on one hand the fundamental characteristics of a good idea, namely feasibility, profitability, persuasion, efficiency and motivation (the degree of excitement it gives you) and on the other a vote ( low, medium and high) for each characteristic. The idea that gets the highest marks will be the winner.
If you can’t decide remember that you are not making a decision for life, you are just choosing the right idea for the right time, you can use the other ideas at another time.
Day 7: become a detective. As you push your idea forward, inspect the terrain, study what your competitors are doing (look at their sites, read customer reviews) to see what works and where they go wrong, so try to do it better or differently.
Day 8: have an imaginary coffee with your ideal customer. There is a person out there who represents your perfect client, your “avatar”, the one who desperately needs what you have to offer: ask yourself what you can learn from him. Ask yourself what he really wants, what are his hopes, his dreams, his weak points. The answers will guide you to prepare a launch that has the greatest impact.
Day 9: turn your idea into an offer. For your idea to work in the real world, you need to turn it into an offer. A complete offer must include the following items: a promise (how your idea will change your customers’ lives), a presentation (why they should buy / sign up right now) and a price (how much it costs to buy / sign up, and how to do it).
The promise must be a short statement that attracts attention and makes the benefits for the customer immediately clear. The presentation must provide all the necessary information and convey an urgent nature.
The price must indicate how much your product or service costs, what it includes exactly and how exactly to receive it ( call to action ).
Day 10: create the story of your origins. Don’t give your customers simple facts, tell them a story, a compelling and stimulating narration of why your business was born. A good story usually presents a turning point, of transformation in which the character evolves significantly and understands what his mission is.
Tell us the reason that prompted you to start your business, because among many ideas you have chosen just that, as the inspiration came to you, personal details will help you connect with your ideal customer.
Third week: Prepare to take off your idea
You have chosen the idea, you have transformed it into an offer and you know who your ideal customer is. Now you have to learn to ensure that your ideal customer can no longer do without your offer, without getting bogged down in insignificant details.
Day 11: assemble the nuts and bolts. Enterprising is the most valuable skill for a side hustler. If you can’t find everything you need, build it yourself. If you encounter a problem, find a way to solve it. If you know what you want, you will also find a way to make it happen. The practical aspects of your business (and the administrative ones) are only details, often a consultation is enough, it is more important to understand if an idea is feasible than knowing which software you should use.
Day 12: decide how to quote your offer. As long as you don’t get paid, you have a hobby, not an activity. The detective day (day 7) will have taught you what is the price range for products or services similar to yours, but if your hustle is new? The price must be low enough so as not to drive customers away and high enough to make the business worthwhile.
Use the cost-plus model, that is, determine what the production cost is and add a surcharge that will be your profit. If you sell a product you have to understand what is the minimum acceptable profit per item or per sale, if you provide a service you have to determine what is the minimum acceptable hourly or flat rate.
Day 13: make a shopping list. Your idea will need specific resources and tools, learn to find, collect or create everything you need to bring your offer to the world. The right recipe for your side hustle will be unique and original, but some ingredients are common to all: a website, profiles on social media, planning tools (for time-based activities), workflow management, a system of payment.
Day 14: set a way to get paid. Before proceeding, make sure you have a concrete system in place to get paid for your work. Make the payment as easy as possible for your customer. Start with a simple technology, you can improve the method later, in case the idea works and the business develops.
Day 15: design your first workflow. You are about to launch your idea: prepare an ordered list of all the activities and processes that must occur along the way to complete the project. That is, it lists all the actions that the customer will have to do from the discovery of your idea to the purchase: this list is called workflow. To prevent possible accidents or find solutions to trivial errors, test the whole process yourself.
Day 16: spend 10% more time on the most important task. Don’t get lost in trivial details: avoid this trap from the beginning and focus only on the two most important things: change people’s lives and earn more money. To improve the experience of your customers you must go beyond their expectations, respond to their unspoken needs and highlight the positive results.
To increase your earnings you can schedule regular price increases, increase offers, start a new side hustle.
Fourth week: Launch your idea to the right people
After careful planning, you are ready to bring your offer to the world.
Day 17: publish your offer. The best time to launch your idea and see what happens is when you’re not fully ready yet. In fact, you never know if an idea will work until you see it in action, and the sooner you get an answer from your customers the better. If you seek perfection your program in 27 days will turn into a twenty year plan.
Day 18: sell like a girl scout . Even if you offer an excellent product or service, money does not rain from the sky, you need a strategy to sell and it is good that it is natural and not aggressive. Remember that your ideal customer is looking for you, you have to make sure that you are there. The advantages of your offer must be clear, specific and respond to an emotional need of some kind, they must improve life, simplify it, satisfy it. Remember to tell stories that show how precious, useful and fantastic your offer is.
Day 19: ask 10 people for help. No man is an island and few side hustles manage to thrive without the help of friends and supporters. Do not ask for generic help, but specific things to people who have the competence and position to do them.
Day 20: keep testing. When you are at the beginning of a hustle you do not yet know what the most effective approach will be, to find out, try different ways and take note of the results, the data do not lie. The simplest test to do is an A / B test, i.e. providing two versions of a product or offer and checking which of the two is selected the most. The 3 fundamental things to test are: the product / service, the offer and the price.
Day 21: all out! Sales, agreements, promotions, discounts and special offers are the not so secret weapon to encourage customers to buy. Remember the two psychological variables that always work: the perception of scarcity (resources and opportunities are limited, there are only a few items available) and the perception of urgency (resources and opportunities will not be available forever but only for a short period).
Day 22: frame your first dollar. Take some time to celebrate your first results. There is still a lot of work to be done, but even a small victory can prove extremely satisfying.
Fifth week: Reorganize and perfect the idea
Your idea is out there in the world, congratulations! Now let’s see what you can do to raise the game.
Day 23: Track your progress and decide the next steps. As you gain insight into the response your offer is having, take note of the most important metrics in the three most significant areas: profit (revenue less expenses), growth (the number of new customers), time (how many hours per week spend to make the project work), then decide if it is better to abandon the ship or if it is worth continuing, perhaps adjusting the route.
Day 24: cultivate what works and leave the rest behind. As your work grows, there are countless options to expand. Don’t get distracted, identify what works and focus on that. For example, if you sell three items and one of them is going better than the others dedicated to increasing the sales of the best-selling item and abandon the others. Ask yourself how you can develop and improve what works: if it works do it again, do more, do it better.
Day 25: look for the money that is under a rock . One of the easiest ways to grow a hustle is horizontal expansion. Remix your offer, consider adding another version of your idea: a premium version, a next level, a second volume of your offer, or something different, a new complementary service to the first.
Day 26: get it out of your head. Each hustle has key patterns, yours are probably stored in your head. To make significant improvements to your hustle (and save time) as it expands, you need to systematize as much as possible. Document your work, organize the procedures, make the process repeatable, create workflows for each result, take note of each step necessary to develop an idea.
Day 27: back to the future . Did you get to the end of the road … or is it just the beginning? Now you can decide whether to continue to grow your idea and turn it into a continuous source of income or to abandon it and try something else. Side hustles create infinite opportunities and great freedom.