S.H. Day 3: Brainstorm, Borrow, or Steal Ideas

Idea Image

Today’s exercise is to come up with 3 feasible side hustle ideas.  These ideas can be selling a service, product, or being some sort of “middle-person” (e.g. reseller).  When I first started thinking about side-hustles, a couple of years ago (before I knew to call them that!), my first thought was to start a life-coaching/service to connect women going through divorce with services they might need – good lawyers, financial planners, therapists, and realtors, and have revenue come from the professionals that I connected them to.  This was something I knew a bit about having been through a divorce myself, having a number of friends in the same situation, and being the kind of person who is a good listener, likes to help others and make connections.  I researched this idea a bit, to see if anything similar existed on-line – and there were some things, but most seemed short lived – indicating a sustainability problem. In the end, I decided that this was more than I could bite off with my existing networks.

The idea of doing something related to real estate is also appealing to me, and I spent a day in April with my Aunt’s wife who is a realtor in Delaware to get a sense for what that is like.  I’ve also talked to several people who do house flipping, and this seems to be profitable for them.  However, what I learned is, that in the case of Real Estate, I am not ready to be on call 24 hrs a day, nor do I really have the skills to do the work of house renovation and flipping myself, and would likely end up paying others more than would be profitable to do the work.  So those were the first ideas that I discarded (or at least put on a backburner).

The idea that has stuck, is the one I described in Day 1 – just the right, unique gift for the important people in your life, hand made/curated by your friend at A•Pri•Pos.  As I have begun to obtain items at local auctions, I’ve also picked up a couple of pieces of nicely shaped, but worn pieces of well made simple furniture that I am going to re-paint with interesting designs, and resell, not as the main part of what I do, but as a test to see if these will be of interest.  If this generates some interest, my initial samples can serve as a beginning of a portfolio, and perhaps I could custom paint items to match decor for people.  I have also seen people who start business selling their crafts, ladder this up to teach others how to do so, or to write books about how to do this (such as this one by Grace Dobush who founded Cincinnati’s Crafty Supermarket in Cincinnati in 2009).

Also, as I have begun to attend auctions – the idea of buying vintage items, and offering them as part of my Etsy site is appealing – for example today, I just obtained some really interesting Vintage purses, that could play well beside my hand made ones, and still be on theme.

What I love about this process, is the realization and encouragement that it all doesn’t have to be PERFECT to start – it just has to start!  And I will learn A LOT along the way!

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