How To Identify Your Ideal Side Hustle

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Identifying your ideal side hustle is an entire process. There are many things to consider and in this article, I will summarize everything you need to know, in a few minutes.

“Sri Lanka’s female workforce participation is extremely low.”

The International Labour Organization

A major factor for this is the perception (across most communities) that the female is considered the homemaker while the male is the breadwinner. Further exacerbating this is the fact that the traditional 9 to 5 has always been given prominence as the main source of stable and reliable income. Many have not realized that this is not always the case and a side income is always possible and may even be a requirement given the increasing cost of living, however, this largely depends on the individual and their level of commitment.

This article is mainly targeted at those looking at secondary income sources or those who are unable to join the workforce perhaps due to family commitments, who left the workforce, or even those currently studying and aspiring to join the workforce.

This write-up aims to provide you with some guidance on your first steps to embarking on your side hustle journey.  

Tip #1 – Always play to your strengths

If you have been interviewed for jobs, this may seem like a mundane question to answer. But now you know why!

It is all about understanding your strengths. Those currently employed will easily know what they are good at, whether it is something simple as typing, or something more complex such as teaching or consulting. The main goal is to identify what you are good at (which may or may not be utilized in your core job). For example, if you are passionate about graphic design but have been recently promoted as a manager to lead a team, you can keep your skill alive by designing logos in your free time.

Now if you have not been employed or are in university, then this would be a bit more challenging. So it is best to experiment with several different avenues to establish what you are good at first. If you are confident or passionate about public speaking, for example, you can always compeer at events as a side gig.

The thing is you need to feel passionate about this strength. If not, your side hustle will be just a chore!

Indicated below is a basic model I came up with that may help you identify your strengths. You could even use any of the standard models they teach at university. Fishbone, SWOT, or 5W1H anything you are familiar with to help you exactly pinpoint what your main strength is.

Categorize your skills and experience into the above four quadrants. Then, pick your side hustle from the skills or knowledge that fall under the A quadrant. It does not mean that you cannot choose any of the skills or knowledge that fall into the other three quadrants (as this depends on your circumstance as well). But as I mentioned earlier, if you are not passionate about it, then it will not be sustainable.

Tip #2 – Seek for and use tools to help you

The internet is extremely helpful. Even if you do not know design, you can create your own advertisements using applications such as Canva. If you are passionate about communication but feel that English grammar may not be on your side, there are tools like Grammarly. It easily spots and fixes mistakes so you can focus on your strengths and not let the little areas for improvement drag you down.

Using tools available to help you identify your ideal side hustle, is efficiency at its best!

Tip #3 – Find legitimate platforms to scale your side-hustle

You may be tempted to click on an advert that pops up. And trust me they all seem nearly too good to be true. I have come across sites that have asked me to first pay a certain amount for a training session, then offer a special further discount, and then just as I attempt to close my browser, another ad pops up saying I can register for half of that cost too only if I sign up today. If that doesn’t scream scam, then I don’t know what will. Do your research and be smart about what you click, there are enough scams out there for the gullible soul.

Look at reliable platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr for example. They are legitimate sites that you can register on and do not ask for any payment. Build your profile and leverage your experience to grow your profile so that job posters will seek you out.

If the above is not for you – build your own platform. You can easily create your own website to showcase your skills. You can then advertise for a low cost across all your social media channels. Ensure you have sample and appealing visual content on your social media pages. That way, viewers can be enticed to reach out to you.

Tip 4: Adopt the minimalist approach

In order to identify your ideal side hustle, this is crucial. You might be very tempted to shoot from all angles thinking you are good at lots of things. Or you could be at the peak of your side hustle and want to take on all projects!

But the bad news is that this reduces your efficiency. You also end up biting more than you can chew which will affect your output – then your credibility drops and you could even lose clients and money.

Therefore, it is essential to focus on what you are good at. As Greg McKeown in his book, Essentialism,  advises to cut out the frills by always asking the question “Is this what I want?” we can twist that a little to “Is this what I am good at?” and if the answer is a definite yes, then go ahead. But if it is a maybe then its best to not attempt.  

Once you have achieved a certain rhythm then you can afford to be a little more flexible.


This concludes my article on how to identify your ideal side hustle. In summary, know your strengths and always play to your strengths, ensure you take advantage of tools and platforms that are easily available today to increase your efficiency as well as to help you scale. And lastly, always choose tasks that you are good at so that your passion drives you to completion. I wish you every success in your journey.

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