Why It’s Good to Think Outside the Box

Do you ever have a “Why didn’t I think of this before?” moment?

I’ve had a few of them lately, and it’s annoying. And mostly because it’s been such simple stuff.

For example, I’ve been concentrating on making printables for my Etsy Shop and just came to the conclusion the same files can be used in Goodnotes or other notetaking apps. It looks like I have some listings to revamp.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Sometimes we get too set in our ways.

I’m the type of person who likes things as they were. It’s hard for me to make drastic changes in life willingly. However, those changes have happened whether I wanted them to or not.

When Ross died I kept as much the same in the house as I could. His clothes were still there, everything on his nightstand, and so forth. It took a long time before I gradually started giving away/tossing his things. When I moved, I probably kept more than I should have.

Getting settled into my new place has been an adventure to say the least. Once I wrapped my head around the fact I could change the colours of the walls, replace the flooring, and make changes as I see fit, it has been easier to do.

Me and my wanting things to stay the same is interfering with how the yard is going to change this summer. I love the grass (over an acre of it I’m sure), but the practical me knows that space can be better utilized for growing flowers, fruit, and vegetables. I even have trouble changing things other people did.

The point I’m trying to make is we all too often get in our own way. Just because something has been done a certain way for ages doesn’t mean that’s the only way. The older I get, the more I’m realizing it.

In order to improve, we have to be willing to make changes.

Improvement doesn’t miraculously just happen. We have to make it happen. Whether it’s improving our health or financial status, we’re the ones responsible. And the improvements also mean hard work on our part.

Sure, we’d like to think things will just fall into our laps, but that does not happen. And if by some chance it does, the circumstances haven’t been the best to make it happen. (Ask me how I know.)

I’ve spent the better part of the last 2 1/2+ years taking courses, reading, and working to improve what I do and how to do it. I have also ventured into some unknown territory regarding my writing and creating, but I know better things are in store.

As we all know, everything works in theory. But in order to make it work for real we have to take chances and be willing to make changes.

No matter what we do in life we have to be willing to make changes; or at least accept that sometimes change is inevitable. Plus we have to work on being better versions of ourselves. I have a quote on my office wall that says “It’s not about being the best; it’s about being better than you were yesterday.” It’s a quote I refer to often, especially when things aren’t proceeding like I think they should be.

So when you’re stuck in your thinking, or in a creative rut, take a step back and think about what you can do to make things better. Write it out, talk it out, or colour it out. You never know what will present the “aha” moment you need.

New Year and 3 New Opportunities for Side Hustles

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had an enjoyable holiday season and brought in the new year on a good note.

Now that the holidays are over and life is returning to somewhat normal, it’s time to get back to work. I’m enjoying writing for my 3 blogs, and am having fun creating new planners, colouring pages, and activity books.

The frost on the trees makes it look like a winter wonderland; so very pretty when it’s thick. The snow and frost are sparkling in the sun today. We had several days where it was overcast and didn’t get to enjoy the sun at all. (It’s days like those that my energy level goes to shit.) I’m very much a “need sun” girl. After spending a few November days in Vancouver several years ago, I realized a coastal home is not for me. I’ll take the minus 40 and sun any day.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

I know I haven’t talked much about side hustles for awhile, but with the beginning of a new year I’m going to give you a few ideas for them. I do have to say, one of my best resources is Printables by Number (John & Suzi Whitford). I have purchased courses and templates, and am very happy with the information that they provide. If you’re interested in creating a printables business as a side hustle, I highly recommend them.

If you’re not interested in starting a printables business, you can start with a blog. Blogging has been, and will continue to be, a lucrative side hustle. The key, however, is to stay consistent. If you want to know more about starting a blog, Suzi has a great free beginners course. The link is for an ebook, which I suggest you print out for offline reference. (I’ve been blogging for awhile, and I still refer to my copy.)

In addition to creating printables and having a blog, you can use your knowledge to create courses. The nice thing about a course is once you create it, you can almost set-it-and-forget-it. It doesn’t have to be a long course, and your lessons should be bite-size. In my experience as a student of online courses, I would rather have more lessons of shorter duration than one or two an hour or more long each.

Notice I said almost? Even if your course content is evergreen, you’re still going to have to do some updates over time. In Suzi & John’s Printables by Number Course they updated from the 2.0 to 3.0, just since I became a student. They realized they needed to include more information, and any existing students got the new version at no extra cost. (New students will get the updated version, which includes all of the updates.)

I’m partway through a course on Systeme.io and am learning so much. My next step is to create my own, but I’m torn on which niche (printables or yoga) I want to start with. I have invested in the software and accessories to create; now I need to make my decision and actually do it.

And yes, I know I’ve talked about printables, blogging, and courses before, and they’re not an opportunity you haven’t heard about. But, any one of them can be a new opportunity for you. And with the cost of living on the rise, and the expense of Christmas weighing heavily on many, it’s the perfect time to invest some time in yourself.

Don’t wait until you’re in dire straights and need thousands yesterday. Take the steps now to start building something for yourself. Whether you want to retire early, start an education fund for grandbabies, or just take a few more vacations a year, investing in yourself is never a bad thing.

I recently invested in some software to create activity books and puzzles, and have created my first. I’m still learning the ropes on the platform I’m using, and would love your feedback. Click on the photo below (or the Activity Book in the sidebar) and let me know what you see. I’m not sure if my funnel system is set up right; so if it isn’t I want to know so I can fix it.

Once again, I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year! And may the year ahead bring you happiness, joy, and prosperity. Enjoy each day and be grateful for the good it brings.

Turning Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle [Ep. 4]

Welcome to Episode 4: Turning Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle

In this episode I’m going to give you 3 hobby examples, and how you can turn them into some extra cash. Keep in mind these are suggestions, and the amount of money you make is entirely up to you. Remember though, implementation is the key factor no matter which route you take.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Turning Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle

Note: This blog post is copied from the episode script. There may be slight changes during the episode but for the most part it’s verbatim.

#1. For the Gardener

Many people, myself included, love to garden. It’s relaxing, is a good form of exercise, and is a provider of healthy snacks.

  • Market Garden. If you love to plant but find yourself with an abundance of produce during the growing season, selling your excess at a local Farmer’s Market or even at your farm gate is an option. Plant things such as carrots, cucumbers, radishes, cabbage, beans, peas, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, beets, etc and you will have a good customer base. 
  • Word of mouth is probably the best type of advertising, as are posters put up in your local community. If you’re active on social media you can post updates when you’re at a market or let others know how to contact you if they would like to buy. 
  • You will need access to at least an acre of land, depending on how much you want to plant. This is an ideal side hustle for farmers or acreage owners, simply because of the amount of space needed.
  • U-pick garden. Similar to a market garden, except your customers come to you and pick their own produce. U-pick’s are generally for fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, saskatoons, and apples. Your location will determine the types of fruits and vegetables you plant, as well as the amount of traffic you’ll get. A u-pick along a frequently used roadway will do better than one that’s off the beaten path.
  • Greenhouse. If you love to plant and tend to seedlings, then this is an ideal venture. A lot of seedlings can be grown in a backyard greenhouse that’s as small as 8’ X 10’. Access to water, and electricity for fans and heaters is beneficial. Depending on where you live, you could easily need the heater at night, and a fan during the day to cool down the greenhouse.
  • This is where you can experiment with flower varieties, vegetables, fruits, and even houseplants. Unlike the Market Garden and U-Pick, this is a gardening side hustle that you can do from your urban backyard.

If you have a green thumb and enjoy getting your hands dirty, gardening may just be what earns you some vacation money.

The tip of the iceberg when it comes to hobbies.

#2. For the Fiber Artist

This is one of my favourite pastimes. I love to crochet, spin my own yarn, and design new patterns for practical things. I have been crocheting since I was 8 or 9, and have made dozens, if not hundreds, of items over the years. I have earned thousands of dollars over the years by selling my items, designing and selling patterns, and by teaching others via Skillshare.

  • Sell ready made items. This avenue is perfect for craft sales, farmer’s markets, an Etsy shop, or even your own website. It’s the one I have pursued over the years, mainly around the holidays. It’s perfect for those of you who like to make the items, even though you don’t need them.
  • In addition to selling ready-made, you could also do custom orders. That way you won’t be filling up closets with items you might sell. Rather, you’ll be making the item for a customer after they have paid you for it.
  • Design patterns. If you like to design patterns for clothing, practical household items, or even toys, this could be for you. I have designed crochet patterns for placemats, clothing, and other household items. One of my best-selling patterns is for a lingerie bag, which is made from cotton yarn and can be used for lingerie, reusable make-up pads, or even doll clothes.
  • Teach others. If you’re good at a craft why not teach others what you know? Not only does it help someone else learn a new skill, it also gives you an additional stream of income. You can either teach one-on-one, have a small class, or record your lessons and upload to a platform such as Skillshare. I have made a few hundred dollars doing the latter over the years, and with only two short classes.

No matter what form of the fiber arts you pursue, there is money to be made. And since the entire world has had to spend more time at home, more people are utilizing the time to learn something new, or they’re shopping online. Why not try your hand at selling directly to customers, designing and making the patterns digital downloads. Or teaching via Skillshare, Teachable, or even your own YouTube Channel. No matter which format you choose, your earnings could be enough to buy that new RV or a lakeside cabin.

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#3. For the Artist

Anyone with some artistic ability can cash in on their talent. The invention of PNG and high resolution printers and scanners has made it so much easier for artists to share their work with the world.

  • Drawing. If you’re good with a pencil and paper, you can sell your art on sites like Etsy, or make it available for commercial use via sites like Creative Market. You can sell your drawings as PDF files for wall art, or JPEG or PNG files that other creators can use in their planners, calendars, journals, colouring books, and so forth. I myself have purchased commercial rights graphics from designers on Creative Market.
  • The beauty here is you can design, draw, upload, set your price, and it then becomes a form of passive income. I’m trying to convince my daughter to take this route, as her artistic talents could easily supplement her maternity leave in a couple of months.
  • Painting. Whether you paint portraits, abstract, or landscape, you can sell your art online, do custom orders, or consign it to galleries. Or you can scan your finished paintings and make them available as digital downloads customers can purchase via Etsy or another digital products platform. If you have your own website you can sell directly from there.
  • Making your paintings into greeting cards could also prove to be quite lucrative. No matter what you decide, be sure to sign your works of art. You could become a famous artist one day.

When it comes to creating, do what works best for you. If being put under pressure stifles your creativity, don’t commission portraits or other custom work. If a timeline fuels the fire, by all means, run with it. Either way, your artistic talent could fund a trip to Rome, Paris, or wherever you want to go.

Conclusion

This episode has only touched on a few ways on how to turn your hobby into a side hustle. And I haven’t even talked about the financial side of it, aside from giving you ideas on what you could do with your side hustle earnings. I am not here to tell you where to invest, or how to spend your earnings. I’m here to help you find little ways to add to your bank account, or the coffee can under your bed. 

I’m also here to tell you to keep it fun. If it is no longer enjoyable, then it is no longer a hobby. It becomes a chore, and we all dislike chores I’m sure. Keep it fun for you, and don’t let it interfere with your family time. I’m the first to admit when I start something new I eat, sleep, and breathe it. As I get older I am learning to prioritize and take a step back from spending every waking minute on one thing. 

Remember, it’s a hobby. If you want to turn it into a full time thing, that’s entirely up to you. But based on personal experience, take it one step at a time. There’s nothing worse than burning yourself out doing something that once gave you joy.

With Christmas just around the corner I’ll be taking a little break to spend time with family, get caught up on some little projects I’ve been putting off, and planning out the first quarter of 2022. I’m excited to continue this venture; or perhaps I should say adventure. My podcast and blog posts will resume the first week of January, with more about me and why I do what I do.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Thanks for joining me, and I’ll see you next year!

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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