If we watch cable news these days, one would think the world is falling apart. Sure, there are issues, but I also believe there are a ton of things to be excited about. I believe the future is bright! Today I am going to make the case for EXTREME POSITIVITY & OPTIMISM! I mean no holds barred optimism about the greatness of the future that can be ours! One really cool thing about the modern world is that I truly believe more and more of us in the future will have the option to do things for work that we love and enjoy doing. This is in stark contrast to our not so distant ancestors that were often forced into a life of punishing physical labor or other mundane and mind numbing work. For 99% of human history we spent all day working towards one goal, providing enough food to sustain ourselves. In the future we may have increased opportunities to follow and develop our passions and interests as forms of work. We touched on this topic briefly in our post about the book, “The End of Work” by John Tamny.
This will all take work, planning and introspection, there is no free “Lyft” ride here. But if a person is willing to know themselves, understand their environment and work towards opportunities, I believe they can do things they enjoy if not love as a form of work. Here are some ideas and steps to think about increasing opportunities into “side hustles” and work on projects we love.
STEP 1, Build Assets & Limit Liabilities
In order to have greater and greater options, you must do two simple things: Build assets and limit liabilities. Liabilities and debts are like an invisible prison and slavery. You cannot see the walls, but they keep you trapped in a crappy apartment, trapped in bad jobs, trapped in whatever circumstances you may be in that are not ideal. Financial liabilities are an invisible prison.
Many years ago I heard a great quote from a designer, he said “practice greed control.” What he mainly meant was avoid lifestyle inflation in order to have more options as time goes on. The other side to this equation is building up a force of assets. These are basically equities or properties that pay you over time. Combine these two and you have built the foundation to pursue other interests and side hustles you may enjoy.
STEP 2, Identify Your Interests & Passions
In order to pursue a kind of side hustle of interest, one will need to explore what they are truly interested in. What kind of work and hours do you prefer? This seems like it should be self evident, but sometimes it is not. We are highly influenced by our environments and not everyone is from an environment that nurtures outside interests. Spend some time taking classes of interest, online courses, journaling, talking with others. Think about work or efforts you do that make you lose track of time because you are enjoying what you are doing so much. What aspects of this can be harnessed into some kind of product or service that others need or want?
SOME SIDE HUSTLE IDEAS
Rent out your Tesla on Turo
Shop for people on Instacart
Share a talent through tutoring
Do handy jobs and tasks at task rabbit
Amazon store or Amazon delivery service provider
Are you handy? there are plenty of opportunities out there to help people with projects around the house
Sell creative items on Etsy
Start a blog about an interest, passion or travel
For me personally, I have been able to pursue my interest and passion for illustration, art and books. I have turned this into a money making endeavor by harnessing the power of technology. I also utilized technology by taking online classes to improve my skills. For more, check out my past post about launching my children’s book:
STEP 3, Identify Required Training & Gatekeepers
Most of us are not “naturally” just good or great at something. If you want to learn to draw or paint, you may need training. If you want to be good at tennis, you will need to train and practice. Almost everything we do takes training and development to do well. Identify the training you may need to pursue your given course of action. You may find that training and mentoring is available at a very low cost. Khan Academy, Youtube, online courses, community college courses, etc. provide training in almost all fields of human endeavor. We are truly at the beginning of an educational revolution. In a way, education is actually free for those with the discipline to pursue it. You can learn almost anything with the smart phone in the palm of your hand. Think for a moment how powerful that truly is in the grand scheme of human history.
Identifying gatekeepers are industry folks that you may need to engage in order to achieve your goals or work in a desired field. An interesting thing is that technology is actually up ending the traditional order and power dynamics of many industries. I am neutral on this and the outcomes are dependent on each industry, but one example of this is the Uber/Lyft revolution. In the past, in order to drive a cab in a certain area of New York you needed to “own” certain routes like the mafia.The technology of Uber/Lyft took down the gatekeepers. In your chosen line of work you will need to identify the tech and gatekeepers. Perhaps a given technology , like Amazon, has removed the old barriers.
STEP 4, Run after your dreams with humility
Try things not solely for money or fame, but to see what is in you. See how you can become proficient at something. You might be surprised. But this takes work and dedication. The world and the future are there for people willing to go after it and harness. Willing to fail at times and then pick themselves back up.
STEP 5, Harness technology and social networks
I think technology is amazing and is rapidly changing the landscape of our world. It is also highly disruptive and has a kind of Pandora’s box effect. Many industries and business models are being turned upside down by technology. Look at how Amazon has completely changed the broader economy and how we shop. Lyft is changing the way we get around. Tesla and Elon Musk is pushing the automotive industry into new territory that was once the realm of science fiction. It seems like these developments show no sign of slowing.
How can technology harness your potential and help you reach a broader audience?
With some planning, work and creativity I believe people have some great opportunities to pursue avenues that were formally closed off to them. Think about how you may want to reinvent yourself or pursue something that has always been in you. Think about how you can find the nexus between something you enjoy doing and serve others in some way. It might lead one into being more prepared for the future and the changes that are coming. Jeff Bezos recently discussed how what seem like small things in the beginning can grow to great things over time with work and the right stewardship.
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