If ever there were a time to consider a future side hustle, that time is now.

How many times have you thought to yourself, even pre-pandemic, “If I only had ‘X’ more dollars per month…?” Everyone could benefit from a few more dollars in their pocket on a good day, never mind in the middle of a world-wide crisis. On March 20, 2020, CNBC.com reported, “Within the next month, Americans financially impacted by the current pandemic estimate they’ll be short by roughly $900, on average, on the payments they owe.”

But what if you had a way to supplement some of that money that you’ve been coveting, or that’s been lost due to COVID-19?

According to Kim Miles, Founder & CEO of Miles in Heels Productions, there’s no time like the present to entertain that idea for a side hustle to help ourselves, and others, out.

She explains that even in the best of times, people come up with extraordinary ideas to supplement their income but they struggle with whether or not they have the time or wherewithal to execute their idea. However, in the middle of a pandemic, she explains, we are given the gift of time to be able to dedicate brain power and resources to explore these ideas and to see if they can blossom into legitimate businesses.

HERE’S WHAT TO THINK ABOUT FIRST

 

-CONSIDER YOUR SKILL SET: Ask yourself what your strongest skill is. Is it writing? Speaking? Baking? It doesn’t matter. The best side-hustles-turn-success stories usually come from a deep rooted passion or extraordinary talent. It’s a matter of monetizing that talent, and the drive to pursue it, in order to launch a side hustle into a legit business.

-WHAT’S YOUR WHY?: Why do you love to do what you do? How does it make you feel? Are you helping others? Are you filling a personal void? Understanding your “why” behind the “what” is a big key to success.

-BUILD A BETTER MOUSETRAP: When considering your new big idea, be mindful of what else is out there. Don’t shy away if a version of it already exists. Just be sure to know how to articulate how your idea is different, bolder, better.

 

HERE’S HOW TO TEST YOUR IDEA

 

-CONDUCT A FOCUS GROUP: You have a captive audience! With the stay-at-home order, you can easily conduct a focus group via Zoom or conference call to start brainstorming ideas. Cherry pick who you want “in the room where it happens” so that you get a strong cross section of ideas and opinions.

-SEND OUT AN ANONYMOUS SURVEY: To see if your idea has legs, why not conduct an anonymous survey to get the true skinny on how folks feel about your idea. You’ll be surprised at how honest people will be behind the cloak of the internet.

-TRY IT OUT: If the current climate doesn’t preclude you from executing…go for it! Try your idea out on a small test market. Make the mistakes. Get the feedback. Fix the bugs. Ask for input. This is a GREAT time to try…and fail…and try again!

Takeaway

These are trying times, there’s no doubt. Perhaps the hardest part about all of this is the uncertainty and lack of control over the timeline and the outcome. But what if we shifted our perspective and we looked at this period as a small gift? A gift of time to look inward and really ask ourselves, “Why not?” Why not try to fire up that small kernel of an idea that’s been swirling around in our brain for so long? We’ve been handed some extra time to slow down and truly let it simmer. Who knows, it might just be the perfect time for your future side hustle to pop.

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