Side Hustle University

Chapter Two: Brainstorm Opportunities

Now that you have a deeper understanding of what drives you (both in general, and towards picking up a side hustle), it is time to start brainstorming. Don’t put away your pen just yet! We will be needing it in the steps to come.

While you could generate a random list and write down every random possibility that comes to mind, we have streamlined the process for you into three easy steps. We even have a handy little tool to help you get the most out of your brainstorming session. So let’s get started, shall we?

Step one: What interests and motivates you?

The first step to brainstorming your opportunities is to make a list of the things that interest you. These can be passions, hobbies, or even just topics and activities that you somewhat interesting or entertaining. Remember: A side hustle doesn’t have to involve something you are insanely passionate about. It should, however, be something that you enjoy.

To help you make your list, try breaking it down into categories. For example, you could make a list of hobbies you currently participate in and another list for hobbies you’ve wanted to start. You could also make a list of professional skills (i.e. what did you learn in college?), or a list for any random skillset you might have (like being a rockstar baker, or an amazing guitarist). Next, you could move on and make a list of topics you find interesting. And finally, you could round it out by ending with a quick list of activities you enjoy. 

Here are some examples to get your brain going. Keep in mind that some of the categories might overlap.

  1. Hobbies: Rock collecting, knitting, gardening, writing, bee keeping, underwater basket weaving … you get the point. What are your hobbies?
  2. Professional Skills: Coding, software design, editing, foreign language fluency, graphic design … basically, do you have in depth knowledge of any particular field?
  3. Other Skills: Baking, organization, home decorating, fixing things, etc.
  4. Interests: Literature, politics, religion, science … what subjects could you talk about for hours? What things do you want to learn more about?
  5. Activities: Walking the dog, going for a drive, mowing the lawn, cleaning, shopping, etc.

Don’t worry if these things seem random at first. We will help you turn this list into a master list of viable side hustles, tailor-made just for you.

Step two: The Side Hustle Skill Meter

Answer a few short questions on the Hustle Generator to get a sense of what types of Side Hustles might be best for YOU based on your specific criteria.  Click here

Step three: Use your master list to inspire new ideas

You should now be armed with a master list of side hustle possibilities. Cool, right?

You will be using this list in your third and final brainstorming step to inspire even more ideas. These ideas can be directly related (i.e. dog walking inspires you to add dog sitting to your list), or tangentially related (i.e. freelance writing inspires you to add freelance graphic design). Or they might not be related in any way at all! 

Perhaps the best way to do this is to print out your master list and take it to a quiet corner with your trusty pen (we told you you’d still be needing it). Then, scribble in the margins to your heart’s content. As you read through your list, write down every new idea that pops into your head. Feel free to complete this process as many times as you want, until you feel sure you’ve squeezed out every possibility. You can also refer back to your original brainstorm list (the one with your interests, hobbies, etc.) for more inspiration.


By now, you probably have a pretty long list of options for your future side hustle, and you might be wondering how on earth you will ever narrow it down — not to mention pick one.

In our next chapter, we will walk you through process of analyzing each opportunity and picking the best one for you. Don’t worry, the list won’t stay massive for long!