I told my sister, who is a writer, that I was interested in writing an ebook and she told me I should go to the Library of Congress and trademark it. I followed her advice and documented all of the steps so that other Side Hustlers or writers could do it faster and easier.
About 5 months after starting my The Ordinary Parent Facebook group and deciding to brand myself as The Ordinary Mom for my side hustles, I decided that others might find value in going through this journey with me. I had the epiphany on one of my long drives for work that I wanted to publicly document this process. I will say that I’m an excellent documenter (I think it’s one of my special gifts) and realized I had tons of notes in Evernote and on Google Docs about my side hustle journey thus far.
I had been hearing on podcasts that Merch by Amazon is a great side hustle but that’s it’s hard to get approved by Amazon and the wait is long. That is why I tested the water on Teespring before jumping into the big leagues of Merch by Amazon with my https://teespring.com/stores/the-ordinary-mom site. After learning how to create on demand print t-shirts on Teespring, I decided I would attempt the big league of Merch by Amazon but I didn’t know how so I once again utilized podcasts for advice.
In the post, I am going to tell you how I did the few necessary steps to set up my business. I had an mentioned in an earlier post, I had used the free resources of a Small Business Development Center to help me come up with a business plan and get started on a side hustle. I didn’t ever start that original business but I learned how to set up a business in my state (California). FYI- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are funded by the government and offer free business consulting to anyone who wants to open a small business. It’s the best kept business secret out there.
So you want to start a side hustle but don’t have any extra time. As a mom of 3 elementary aged kids, 1 dog (we had 2 but, sadly, one died a few months ago), 2 hamsters, a full time job, tons of kids sports and other kid activities and a busy family life, if I can do it so can you. I set aside 2 hours a week to devote to it. That makes it a slow process but I look forward to that time every week and I have found it gives me more energy instead of taking it away. Part of my side hustle journey is that I want to share my learnings, successes and failures with others to help them on their own side hustle journeys. I want to help create a community of people who are passionate about what they do and have the freedom to follow their dreams.
In my ongoing journey to figure out a side hustle (or three or five), I stumbled across Fiverr in a podcast from The Side Hustle Nation: https://www.sidehustlenation.com/how-to-start-a-bounce-house-rental-business/ The podcast episode was about starting a bouncy house business (which I had no interest in doing) but what I am learning that no matter what side hustle someone is doing, even if it is something that you would never want to do, they always have at least one or two nuggets about starting or running a side hustle that I find relevant and helpful. In this podcast, the nugget I found was about outsourcing work to Fiverr. I had never heard of Fiverr so I went to their website to see what they do. They consider themselves “the world’s largest freelance marketplace” and you can outsource everything from graphic design, video editing, business plan creation to astrology readings. It’s pretty amazing and now that I know about it I wonder how I could have lived so long without it (I had the same realization a few months ago when my sister-in-law introduced me to Etsy).
As I described in my last blog, I finally took action on something and started a closed Facebook page in August 2018. (https://thesidehustlejourney.com/2019/04/28/taking-action-by-starting-a-closed-facebook-page/) After purchasing the URL http://www.theordinarymom.com from WordPress and all of the extras I thought I needed in case I created a website, I had spent $98. To sign up for your own WordPress account to start your own side hustle journey, click here: https://wordpress.com/alp/?aff=13401&cid=2093430 (FYI- this is an affiliate link and I’ll make money if you sign up this way).
After spending my summer binging podcasts on http://www.thesidehustlenation.com during my long drives for business, in August 2018 I decided I need to create a short list and then take action on something-- anything-- to move forward on this journey.
I’m on a side hustle journey. I don’t know where it will go but I’m enjoying the ride. My first attempt was to think about starting a propane delivery service. See that experience in my blog at https://thesidehustlejourney.com/2019/02/19/the-first-attempt-propane-delivery/. After researching what it would entail to start a propane delivery service, I decided it was too much work with too little margins and I didn’t think I could do it as a side hustle while keeping my day job and my sanity. I stepped back to regroup and realized that I had a blank slate and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I searched the internet for good side hustle resources and came across Nick Loper’s website called The Side Hustle Nation (https://www.sidehustlenation.com/). He has great information on it and tons of podcasts.
I had a clean slate with nothing on it. I had decided to embark on this journey and now I didn’t know what to do. I was trying to think of some business that I could do in my spare time that would solve a pain that people have. I decided to try to start a propane delivery company.