What’s Your I.D.E.A? How to Turn Your Passion into a Side Gig

I have always been something of a scatterbrain. My interests fluctuate wildly from one area to another and I find it hard to focus on any one thing. That is probably why I have a hard to throwing myself fully into any job, especially if it’s to make some other person’s dreams come true.

I should be making my own come true.

Now I try not to say that in any sort of greedy sense, of course it is an admirable thing to help make the dreams of others come true, if they are noble in nature. Some people are fine dedicating their lives to that.   

Just not me.

I am also not saying this with some sense of entitlement as I understand this will take work, more work initially than any regular job. I want to build a life where I get to do things that are of great interest to me while also providing any money I would need and then some. I am still in the infant stages of this plan, but I think I have come up with a method that could help lead me in that direction and I want to share it with you.

Why?

Because maybe you are in the same spot as me right now and this blog will help you decide it’s time to take the plunge. It is also a great way to hold myself accountable. Without further ado, I present How to Turn Your Passion into a Side Gig.

I have come up with an acronym to outline four simple things you should look at to determine if you can turn your side gigs/interests into cash: I.D.E.A

Identify you interests

Determine if you can monetize them

Envision how you will do it

Achieve your dream

1) Identify your interests

What is the thing that holds your interest? That one thing that you could think about all day and still not get tired of it. I have a couple including Comics, Writing and Music. If I could work a career that allows me to enjoy these items every day, why wouldn’t I?

There is no good reason.

This is the first step in the process. You must identify that one thing that you could do for the rest of your life and be happy. For most folks it’s not delivering pizzas or moving furniture, two things I have done. Though I had fun times doing these things, I realized fairly quickly that these were jobs, not careers or “a calling“. I took the time to sit down and identify my interests and they are as follows:

Comics – I am a self-admitted comic nerd and have been since my youth. Though I do not read them as often as I used to, I have obtained a large pool of knowledge related to them.

Writing – Storytelling is something that interests me and I find that I am pretty good at it. There is a natural groove associated with writing that I find leaves me feeling confident and comfortable when I do it.

Music – I play multiple instruments and there is nothing quite as fun as composing music. Bringing all the sounds together leaves me with a sense of accomplishment.

Drawing – Though I have strayed from this in the past couple of years, I do hope to get back into it. It is both relaxing and a great way to tell a story, in a whole different context than writing.

So, those are my interests, obviously you will have interests of your own, but for all intensive purposes I am going to stick with mine. By all means feel free to contact me and let me know all about yours. That being stated the next step is to see if I can turn those passions or interests into a stable and steady source of income.

2) Determine If You Can Monetize Them

So you’ve identified the things that you truly enjoy doing and you’re ready for the next step. You need to look at your interests and see if there is a viable way to monetize your activities in them. I have done so with my interests and I have outlined my approach to doing so below.

Comics – Start an Ebay business focused on selling comics.

The beginning of this is to sell off my collection while looking for good deals on large amounts of comics for sale at a good price. I then separate these into smaller, specialized lots and sell them at a profit. This fulfills my desire to collect and enjoy comics while providing a small, yet steady side income.

Writing – Create multiple revenue streams based upon writing.

How? Easy. I started by getting some portfolio pieces on Upwork that I could put onto my website when published. While making a small about of money this way, I have created a blog that I fill with my own value added content. As I continue to write this blog I seek to monetize it with:

– AdSense ads

– Affiliate marketing

– Passive income from book sales

Finally, I wrote a book that I am in the process of typing up. More slowly than I ‘d like, albeit, but the content is already on the paper. When that is ready, I will self publish it onto Amazon and create a passive income stream this way.

Music – I love to write tunes and play music. I have about two albums worth of material worked up and when the time is right, I will record them. When this is done I will get the music up on ITunes for sale. Having realized there is only so many hours in the day, this is a long term goal as is the next item.

Drawing – As much as I like the fact that writing allows the reader to create the story in his or her minds eye, I like to put my visuals on paper as well. I have conceptualized four different stories that I would love to get on the web for folks to see. I would love to draw it, but I may have to work with an illustrator to get it done.

The last two items are something that I will be working towards, so I will focus on the two items that I have started actively working on.

3) Envision How You Will Achieve It

Ok, so you’ve looked at the things that you enjoy to do and how you can earn money while doing what you love. Now is the time to create a roadmap to that goal. There are probably certain supplies you will need to have on hand to monetize your interest. When I started selling comics I realized that I would need mailers and packaging material along with bags and boards for the books themselves. Make sure you have the ability to procure the items you need to succeed. If I sell 100 comics and then suddenly realize that I will have no way to ship them, I would be in big trouble.

The key element to this part of the process is to get down to the brass tacks of running an actual business. Ideas are always great when they are swimming around in your head, but when it comes to the time of action, you have to ask yourself:

“What do I need to do this and am I ready and able to do it?”

By looking ahead before you seek to achieve, you will make sure you are ready to take that first step. It is hard to ever feel and be truly prepared for everything that your own business can throw at you, but by envisioning the path your business will take, at least some of those bumps don’t have to be surprises!

4) Achieve Your Dream

Now for both the hardest and most enjoyable part; executing.

Taking the plunge from and idea to an action can always be a little nerve racking. There is risk involved and aversion to failure is often the death knell of a dream. 

You must be ready to commit!

The beginning is going to be chaotic and it may not seem like the struggle is worth the endgame, but you must remember that it is. Here are a couple of valuable things that seem simple, yet are hard to implement in real time:

   – Set your Schedule – 

When I started selling comics, my concept of scheduling was all over the place. I would rush to push as many out the door as I could, and then wait for those to sell before I would rush to list a bunch more. I have now realized that if I continuously add small amounts through the week, I am able to keep a steady, reliable amount of inventory for sale. Set your schedule to fit your life. 

   – Stock Up – 

Make sure you have any necessary supplies you need for your day to day operations. Seems easy, right? It can be, but if you miss a beat and are not able to function properly, your business will suffer.

   – Marketing

If you are going to be doing any marketing for your business, make sure to have it prepared before launch. Now, you don’t want to hesitate on your idea too long, waiting for everything to be perfect. If it is time to launch, then do a soft launch and fill in the details on the way. I recommend a logo to give your business personality. A great program for this is Comic Life 3, which is a comic creator program that allows for many great logo possibilities.  

So, there it is, how to achieve your I.D.E.A. Starting a business with your passion is both fun and challenging. You tread a fine line between enjoyment and frustration, and it can lead to you disliking what was once your passion.

If this happens: STOP!

Access the situation and see if there is anything you can do to correct it. The last thing you want is for what was once your stress relief to become a burden. 

Until Next Time,

Peter

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