Trying to figure out which online business/side-hustle to choose can be a confusing and intense process. Brainstorming is really the best way I've found to find workable ideas, BUT as it turns out, brainstorming isn't something we're naturally good at.
And because of that, I've found it helpful to have an external resource to prime the pump.
But before I introduce my brainstorming resource of choice, let's talk about what brainstorming actually looks like. Oxford says it's where you:
"Produce an idea or way of solving a problem by holding a spontaneous group discussion."the group was observed brainstorming about their writing."
The most important aspect of brainstorming is the "free association" exercise where you let ideas "flow" without any kind of "editing" or "premature exclusion" of ideas.
This is hard for a lot of us as, because of the combination of our school training and the current societal climate, we're trained to not make "mistakes" and to constantly "self-edit".
You'll want to try and side-step that and just get some ideas down without, judging them initially. In other words, in brainstorming, there are no bad ideas (at least in the first draft).
So with that in mind, Nick Loper's book, “$1000 100 Ways”, is a thorough collection of side-hustle case studies that includes 100 members of his community and is the PERFECT resource if you're trying to brainstorm ideas about starting a side-hustle or online business.
The layout of the book will help you immediately laser in on what category of side hustle would be most relevant to your interests AND may actually serve as a mini-brainstorming session for some of your own online business ideas.
I’ll list the categories and give a few examples of just some of the case studies for each one. (I don't have enough time to go through all 100 here.)
There are 4 convenient categories that can help you laser in on which might be the best fit for you right now.
E-Commerce and Physical products
Let's get started with some examples of:
Knife And Tool Sharpening
Portable Hot Tub Rentals
Personal Grilled Cheese Chef
Water Slide and Bounce House Rentals
Handyman For Hire
Custom Pen and Ink Art
Tutoring and Academic Coaching
Personal Finance Writing
Narrating Audio Books
Project Management Blog
The Co-Working Handbook
Public Domain Publishing
Software Review Blog
Selling Specialized Spreadsheets
Viral YouTube Videos
Podcast and Newsletter About Craft Beer
Financial Education Coaching And Content (again that’s mine located on page 205)
E-Commerce and Physical Products
Custom Print on Demand Art
eBay Consignment Service
Online Store For Handcrafted Products
Reselling Books On Amazon
“Low Content Print-on-Demand Books
Mountain Bike Flipping
And again, there are a TON more for you to check out in the book.
Now, to give you some insight as to how thorough each case study is, here’s the list of questions the contributors responded to (to maybe help you flesh out questions you could be asking about your current or future side-hustles):
What’s the “elevator pitch” for your business”?
How did you come up with that idea?
What motivated you to get started?
How much did it cost to get started?
What are the best ways you’ve found to market your business?
Roughly how long did it take to reach $1000 in profit?
In a typical month, how much does this business earn today?
What mistakes or failures have you had along the way? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
What’s next for you?
What are you excited about these days?
On a side note, if you want to read my responses to these questions you can either 1) get yourself a copy of the book (page 205).
Two additional FREE resources that will help you get this process cemented in your brain (and there's a little more to it than what I'm able to cover today).
1) My FREE START. An Online Business quick start guid guide… It outlines this entire "idea brainstorm" process and goes into more in depth on what we just covered today.
2) This video here… once you've landed on a few of these ideas, you'll want to do 3 specific tests which I cover in this video here. So, I'm waiting for you in this video right here to show you exactly what to do next.
Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:
1. If you're wanting forward momentum in your business, I'd recommend starting with an affordable course:
➡️ The ADAPTIVE. Solopreneur - Course Bundle: Productize your knowledge with my niche validation, content, marketing, audience attraction and traffic growth system. Everything you need to start, grow and scale a profitable solopreneur business.
2. Register for my next free in-depth workshop on how to start, grow and scale an online business from a side-hustle to six-figures and beyond: Register here.
Take this FREE 60-second quiz and find out what type of online business is the best fit for your personality and goals.