How to Harness the Gig Economy

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Have you ever felt like you wanted more out of life? Getting up each morning and doing the same old routine day in and day out is dreadful. Do you find yourself sitting at your desk at work twiddling your thumbs waiting until the clock strikes five or five-thirty?

My story resonates well with someone who was dreadfully fed up with the nine to five grind. I needed to find purpose in my life and go after that purpose with everything I had.

The 21st century is a whole new era. Many people have taken on work outside of their regular job and eventually started their passive income full time. Work ranging from contract positions to full-time side hustles, there is an endless array of opportunities.

In a recent study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “in 2017, the BLS reported that 55 million people in the U.S. are “gig workers.” This accounts for approximately 34% of the U.S. workforce, projected to increase to 43% in 2020.” The figure will only grow as time moves forward.

This article will explain how to harness the gig economy to expand your horizons and grow as an individual.

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

-John D. Rockefeller

Evaluate Your Current Mindset

A hint of psychology plays a significant role in your ability to manage both your full-time job and side hustle successfully.

What type of mindset do you need to be successful in the gig economy? Are there specific characteristics? Absolutely!

Below are a few major traits:

  • Fierce determination
  • Optimistic but being realistic simultaneously
  • How you handle multiple failures
  • Always willing to learn each day

Seriously take inventory of your current mindset. Be mindful by writing down how you feel emotionally in the past few months or days and the present moment.

The method above helped me overcome central negative beliefs about myself. I thought I would never be able to succeed in the gig world. If you work on yourself from the inside out, you will see significant gains.

A small shift in your mindset is the first step in taking the major leap into the unknown.

Assess Your Relevant Skills

You’ve worked in multiple jobs or one steady specialized career up until this point. The skills you gained during your career has made you multifunctional. How can you transfer these skills over to a gig?

First, you must list out in detail what these skills entail. For example, are you an accountant who works with numbers all day in Excel and organizes individuals’ financials? An ideal gig might be a freelance bookkeeper who is high in demand.

Now you may ask, “what if I’m passionate about a different skill separate from my work?” Well, you are in luck! All you need is an insatiable curiosity to learn more. Taking courses, learning from a mentor, or reading a book on the skill will increase your chance. Again, the insatiable curiosity comes back to your mindset.

My recipe for success is as follows:

  • Find what you truly excel at – you will still have to work hard at it
  • Pinpoint what you are passionate about – this could be multiple passions but pick one that sets your heart on fire.
  • Find a market in demand for that skill or service – there is always room for more skills in that market despite the competition.

What you need to do is simple: find what you are good at, find your passion, and find a market that is in demand for the skill and you will be very successful. The key is to blend all these into one.

Network, Network, and Network Some More

The name of the game is to network almost every day. Here’s a fun fact: you cannot go into the gig economy alone. Going at it alone is a recipe for disaster.

The best way to get your foot in the door is to search for a mentor or network through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

My advice is to get a one on one mentor or join a group with like-minded individuals trying to achieve similar goals. These people will help you fast track your success by writing down SMART goals each week.

SMART goals is a reasonably new acronym that helps individuals achieve goals clearly and concisely. My mentor gave me SMART goal worksheets, which helped me identify critical strengths and weaknesses.  The following acronym stands for:

  • S – specific and simple
  • M – measurable and meaningful
  • A – achievable and attainable
  • R – relevant and realistic
  • T – time-bound

A Facebook or Instagram group can also broaden your horizons. Ask people how they got started in the business, their strategies, and advice for moving forward without giving up.

Here is a great challenge for you to take on. Every day for one month, reach out to four people in your chosen niche. Some will ignore you, and others will be ecstatic to talk about their endeavors and how they can help.

Separate Yourself From the Crowd

Finally, separating yourself from the crowd is the key to success. How do you do this? Find a niche within a niche within a niche. Narrowing down your interests to a “T” will help set yourself from the competition.

For example, say you want to get into SEO copywriting. Specifically niche down saying, “I want to write ad copy for financial institutions who deal with clients looking to invest for long term growth in areas such as high growth stocks and investment-grade bonds.” Boom! You’ve identified a niche and expanded your interests within that niche.

Final Words

No matter your background or what you are passionate about, brainstorming and launching your side hustle is 100% doable. It all starts with how bad you want it. Networking and finding a mentor will skyrocket your success according to your skillset or your passions.

John D. Rockefeller said it best: “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

Stepping into the unknown is scary. The leap is worth it in the long run.