Everyday I’m Side Hustlin’
In 2015, 1.4 million students were enrolled in Australian Universities.
If you’ve gone through the education system, this may not come as a shock to you. Because you’ve probably had your own experiences with finding it hard to stand out from the pack. Whether it be when applying for graduate positions, work experience or just talking to people during networking events.
The good news for everyone out there is that you are in fact, wonderfully unique. And once you figure out how to work with what makes you unique, learn to harness it and eventually create your brand around this, standing out from the pack will be super easy.
And the world is trending in your favour - uniqueness is now being more commonly recognised as a huge organisational, political and social value add. Which means, this is your time to shine!
You might be thinking - ‘that’s great, but how do I show people that I’m special when all I have done is study for the past 12-20 years of my life?’.
This is a great question, because organisations often rely on work or life experience to understand your unique passions, skills and attributes that exist outside of academic achievements.
So how do you land your first internship or job without much relevant work or life experience?
Now is the time for us to start thinking outside of the box. Firstly, let’s stop thinking in terms of our CV, and start thinking about how to create a portfolio for ourselves.
Portfolios consist of things that an individual or a team have created. Because as the old saying goes, ‘actions speak louder than words’ - and creativity is an action.
So if you were to create a portfolio that represents what you care about and what your personal strength and attributes are, what would you create?
This my friends, is where we introduce the power of the side hustle.
A side hustle, in essence, is a project that you build on the side of your work or studies, that is typically part time, often unpaid and is usually driven by curiosity or passion.
For employers, seeing that someone has built a side project is incredibly enlightening. It shows that the individual exhibits high value personal traits such as passion and self motivation, discipline, adaptability, effective planning skills, self awareness, problem solving skills, curiosity, and a growth mindset.
This is a far more effective way of showing people who you are and what you’re capable of, than writing a few empty words on a CV without substance to back them up.
This all relates back to one of the core Generator philosophies - ‘Show Don’t Tell’.
Now that we’re on the same page, here’s one last gift for you...
A BRIEF GUIDE ON STARTING YOUR FIRST (OR NEXT) SIDE HUSTLE:
1 - Figure out what you care about
The best place to start when trying figure out what startup or side project to start, is to look deep inside yourself and your life and ask yourself:
A - What do I really care about in this world?
B - What problems affect me or my loved ones on a day to day life?
C - What do I love doing with my time?
D - If I could do anything with my life, what would it be?
F - What skills do you have? (building stuff, coding, photography, writing, etc)
E - You get the drift.
2 - Create a Hypothesis
Now that you have a whole list of things that you care about, what problems affect you, where you want to spend your time and what practical skills you have, start putting these elements together.
Your hypothesis should consist of:
A - the problem
B - potential solutions to this problem based on your immediate skills
Put together a bunch of ideas and see which ones feel the best.
Tip: Focus on deeply understanding the problem through research and talking to people affected by the problem first. Don’t worry about the solution until after.
3 - Just Launch
“The start is what stops most people” - some wise human
Paralysis by analysis is real people. So keep things simple, and figure out how you can launch your idea ASAP.
Example: Sue wants to solve problems in the mental health space, by creating an app where people can share their personal struggles with mental health. Building the app is stopping Sue from launching.
What Sue should do is scrap the app, and start a Facebook group or Medium blog to share the stories. A simple solution which will validate her idea before investing any money into building it.
4 - Get Help
We’re here to help each and every one of you (provided you’re affiliated with Monash), so make the most of our free resources.
Here’s a few ways we can help:
A - Join our next Validator Co-hort (a free five week course to take you from ideation to launching to market)
C - Join our ‘Startup Job Marketplace’ - we just launched this, but it will be a marketplace for side projects and co-founders.
In summary, try not to get bogged down in the details. Launching and learning whilst doing will be the most effective and fun way to get started on your side project.
It’s really not as hard as it sounds, so challenge yourself to launch in the next few weeks.