The first step in the process of starting a side-gig is to find what you are great at.
On the outset, it seems like a very easy task but it is surely a challenging one and it may take a lot of months too. And there will not be just one thing you are great at. Be prepared to find an array of skills that you are proficient with.
With regards to this article, we are only going to look at your skills that can be monetized to become your side hustle/business.
1. Ask your best friends
Your best friends should be your first stop for this. They have spent a lot of time with you over the years and they would definitely know what gets you excited and what you are proficient at.
Let’s say, you are great at picking gifts for your friends. Your friends will say that you picked the perfect gifts for them every time. You would not have factored ‘gifting ideas’ as your skill-set but it has got immense business potential.
You can check the search volume next to every keyword suggestion using Keywords Everywhere (free chrome plugin). If your website/blog is able to rank on the first page of Google, you will definitely start seeing handsome profits.
Pro Tip: Let them know the reason behind your question and how serious you are to find what you are good at. Else, your best friends might set you up for a wild goose chase 🙂
2. Things you can never get bored of doing
Think of the tasks that you will do for long periods of time without getting bored. It may be sketching, reading, writing, photo-editing, video-editing or any of the normal things that you do a lot but you never get bored of.
When you do not get bored of doing something, it is definitely something that you love. It means you will spend a lot of time doing it and you will eventually get better at that.
3. Things you learned very quickly
Your parents can help you with this question. Check with them on the things you learned very quickly when you were a kid. You will be surprised to find what you were/are a natural at.
Even after growing up, you would have grabbed certain skillsets far faster than the others that it felt so easy while doing it. Jot down the same and it definitely is something that you are great at.
4. The Free Trial Method
Do you know why every SaaS product on the market provides a free trial to its users? Why does every car dealership offer test drive for their prospects? It is for the users to take it for a spin and understand if it’s the right fit for them.
Once you have found a list of things that you are good at, you can pursue all of them or zero down on the one thing you want to capitalize on.
The best way to find out which works best for you is to pursue every idea for a pre-determined time and think about how it made you feel.
If you got bored of doing something on the list, it is not worth it. If you did not feel a connection with something on the list, strike it off. You will definitely arrive at your top pick.
5. Your Academic History
Just like your medical history can say a lot about your health conditions, your academic history can guide you in your quest in finding what you are great at.
Was there a particular subject at school that you were always interested in?
Have you always contested in a particular competition with extreme enthusiasm? (Bonus points if you have won them as well). So take a trip down the memory lane and skim through the prizes you have won or the participation certificates to arrive at a pattern.
In my case, I liked writing poems during my school days. I won a contest for caption writing in a district level contest during high school. Came as a runner-up in Creative writing in a well-renowned intercollegiate festival. Started my personal blog as soon as I started my first job. The common line connecting everything here is Writing.
This does not mean I am great at writing. This means I have pursued writing right from my childhood in one form or the other without getting bored. This is a skill that I can sharpen and get better. Find your superpowers.
When you document your journey in a journal every day, you will definitely write about the moments that made you feel happy, excited and fulfilled.
Here are a few questions for which your personal journal should be the go-to resource
- For what do people often praise me for?
- In what area do I perform significantly better when compared to my peers?
- What do other people ask me for advice on?
- What is the one thing that I can never lose focus on?
- For what task did I bring out the high energy levels?
When you find answers to the above questions from your journal entries, you will surely find what you are great at. Journaling is one of the most simple forms of self-analysis that can provide great value.
7. SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis is not just for business. You can do it on a personal level as well.
Strengths — Weaknesses — Opportunities — Threats. Refer the picture below and make note of your answers to the questions under each quadrant.
8. Personality Tests
The personality tests are commonly used by workplaces to assess individuals on their work personality. It gives a clear picture of the character sets and personality type by answering research-backed questions.
When you do the assessment in an honest way without being vulnerable of sharing your weaknesses, your detailed reports will be very close to the truth. You will find your dominant characteristics.
You can get a DISC assessment for free here. Let’s say the results indicate you are highly influencing and you know you enjoy speaking before an audience, public speaking / motivational pep talks can be your side hustle.
Marry the dominant character trait with a skill set and you have your side hustle
Visualize a vivid scene in which you have already attained what it is you want. Your brain is super powerful and it will paint your future beautifully when you close your eyes and concentrate.
What’s your idea of a perfect day in your future? Ten years from now, what would you like to do for a living? What role would you take when you are part of a dream team working on a dream project?
If you were given an imaginary project, what would you like to be accountable for? By answering these questions, you will identify the key areas that appeal to you.
You will always attract the things that you love and you are definitely poised to become great at the things you love doing.
What if you do not find what you are great at
Yes. This is an important question as well. It’s time to reverse engineer the whole situation. Pick any random ‘something’ that interests you, put in the hours of practice and become great at that.
Passion + Practice = Perfection
Even if you start at an average level, once you spend enough time practicing the same every day, you will get better and someday become the best. You can become great at anything you choose.
You can also try doing new things which you haven’t done before. You can never realize how much you enjoy doing a particular activity without experiencing it.
Let’s take skydiving for example. It is not something that you would do every day or something that kids do when they are young. When you do it for the first time and feel the connection, you have a match 🙂 and you can get better with time.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article on how to find what you are great at. If you would like to recommend any new ways apart from the ones mentioned below, please add them in the comments and we will update the article if it’s cool.
If you are still thinking about why you should start a side hustle, read this.
Originally published at dosidegigs.com on August 21, 2018.