15 quick questions to evaluate your side hustle idea

Mark Jeffery
by Mark Jeffery
founder of the Open Web Mind
 
1.
Stamina
Can you see yourself working on your idea for the next 7 years?
   
Getting a side hustle off the ground takes longer than you think. If you can’t see yourself working on it for the next 7 years, it might not be the right idea for you.
2.
Validation
How hard is it to validate your idea?
   
Can you put up a landing page in an hour and see if anyone signs up? Or will you have to spend years building the product before you’ll know whether or not it’ll work?
3.
Opportunity
How much money can your idea make if it’s successful?
   
It’s up to you do decided how much is enough. If you don’t want to grow beyond a side hustle, $10k/year may be enough. If you’re aiming to start a unicorn, $100m/year might not be enough.
4.
Money
How exactly will you make money?
   
Starting a business without a business model is so last century. You need to know how your idea will make money.
5.
Customers
How exactly will you reach customers?
   
Do you know where your potential customers hang out and how to reach them there? If you don’t, your side hustle is going to be a struggle.
6.
Search
Are people searching for this?
   
If people really care about something, they’ll be searching for it, and maybe one day they’ll find you. If they don’t already care, it’s really, really hard to get them to care.
7.
Budget
Are people already paying for something like this?
   
If people are already paying for something like this, and what you’re offering is 10 x better, it’s a no-brainer for them to switch to paying you instead.
8.
Pain
Are people hurting because they don’t have this?
   
If you fix people’s pain, they’ll throw money at you, and love your forever. If, on the other hand, your idea is just a nice-to-have, you’ll find it much harder to sell.
9.
Differentiation
How different is your idea from what’s already out there?
   
Your idea doesn’t have to be unique, but it does need to be differentiated, even if that means no more than tailoring the same product to a specific niche.
10.
Energy
How do you feel when you think about working on this idea?
   
If you decide to go ahead with this idea, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on it. You’d better feel good about that.
11.
Dream
How long have you dreamed of entering this field?
   
The most successful people in any field have lived and breathed it for as long as they can remember. You don’t have to love the field you’re entering, but it helps.
12.
Expertise
How much do you know about this field?
   
Sometimes people without domain expertise can look on an industry with fresh eyes. More often, though, people with domain expertise have the advantage.
13.
Obsession
Do you think about your idea in the shower?
   
The idea you just can’t stop thinking about might not be the most promising objectively, but sometimes you’ve just gotta get it out of your head.
14.
Pride
Would you proud of your side hustle even if it failed?
   
If your side hustle is successful, you can be proud of your achievement. But if you’d be proud it even if it failed, that’s a sign that it’s truly worth working on.
15.
Death
Looking back from your death bed, will you feel your life was well spent on this idea?
   
You only have so much time. Spend it wisely.
Total
Evaluate as many ideas as you like. The tool will keep track of all your answers so that you can compare your ideas.
Totals range from −25 to +25.
If your total is −25, you definitely should not pursue this side hustle idea… but you knew that already!
If your total is 0, you still shouldn’t pursue this idea… you have better ideas in you.
If your total is +25, you definitely should pursue this side hustle idea… what are you waiting for?
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