It is official.
I’ve decided to kick-off 2018 with a side hustle experiment. When the idea first came to me a few months ago, my initial thought was “hmmm, I like this, but it should probably wait. Maybe I’ll tackle it sometime next year…summer 2018 might be ideal.”
It almost found it’s way onto the list of “someday” projects. But that was before I announced a very BIG goal to my little corner of the world.
For the uninformed, I’m referring to my plan to climb DOWN the corporate ladder. More specifically, to create the ability to walk away from my 9-5 within 3 years (December 2020).
My rather public proclamation brought with it a sudden sense of urgency, the feeling that action needs to happen NOW! It’s funny how real your goal becomes when you tell people about it. In doing so, you make yourself accountable to others for that goal. If you ask me, it’s a very healthy thing, but not easy to do.
The impact is substantial. That dream that seemed to be way off in the distance is now hurtling toward you at light speed.
Needless to say, in comparison to the past 30 days, it feels like I was on cruise control throughout most of 2017!
As I’ve mentioned before, a central part of my plan to break the 9-5 is to convert scalable and location independent side hustles into a full time career. Please feel free to check out my current projects here on my Side Hustle Map. (I should note that things are developing rather quickly, so it will need to be updated again in the near future.)
My biggest ‘hustle’ in 2018 will be to develop a digital marketing business, and I’m happy to say that it’s well underway. I’ve undertaken some major upskilling via a very in depth Digital Marketing/SEO course, and have already had a well established business express interest in my services.
SIDE HUSTLE EXPERIMENT
Getting back to my newest side hustle idea, I’ve decided that it shouldn’t wait. In fact, I now view this as an key project for 2018.
Here’s the plan:
I’ve decided to create and launch a niche/authority website within a very short period of time, with the goal of it becoming a passive income source within a 12 month period.
This website will be a ‘digital marketing laboratory’ of sorts, a space where I can test in real time, the skills I’ve developed since I began blogging in August 2016, not to mention the in depth training I’m currently receiving.
SIDE HUSTLE SPECS
While I’m keeping the website details under wraps for the time being, here are some specs on the project:
- It will be a ‘micro-niche site’, set up as an authoritative resource on a VERY targeted topic. (It’s not in any way personal finance related, but let’s just say I’m confident I can make it the #1 resource online for the subject matter).
- The site will launch with between 5-10 pieces of high quality content, with new articles being added at least monthly.
- There will be a blog component, but that won’t be the central focus of the site.
- There is a monetization goal; to achieve at least $300 of monthly passive income by the 12 month period (Jan or Feb 2019).
- That income will be derived primarily from advertising with a lesser focus on affiliate income.
- There will be an effort to build community, primarily through social media.
As this is a ‘laboratory’ of sorts, there are a few challenges that I’ve already given myself:
One-Week Build Time.
When I launched Mystery Money Man last year, I had ZERO knowledge of web design. As I’ve shared before, it took me about 2 months, a couple hundred hours, and a steep learning curve to arrive at the launch date.
This time around, I set a deadline to have the site fully functional within 1 week, with the exception of the initial content I’ll need to write. I did this for 2 reasons:
1. I wanted to gauge how much my web design skills have progressed since launching this site in August 2016.
2. I need to be far more productive in 2018. I’ve set some ambitious goals. This means I have to find ways to execute with speed. How can I cut wastefulness, and maximize my productivity? The 1-week build time was an exercise in efficiency.
RULES OF THE GAME
To build the site, I made a couple of rules. To properly assess my skill development, I forced myself to choose a new WordPress theme and Page Builder, rather than something familiar. (Mystery Money Man runs on the X Theme, using the Cornerstone Page Builder Plug-In.)
I also decided to choose a free theme, to keep costs minimal.
I started building the site 5 days ago, and I’m 80% complete. In short, I was able to cut hundreds of hours (first site) down to about 10-12 this time around, which I’m thrilled about. Even with the new theme and page builder, it came very easily. I’m using the Hestia theme (free version) and the Elementor Page Builder, and I’ve found both to be really impressive so far. The site will be fully functional by the end of this week, and aside from writing the originating content, it’ll be ready to go.
I’ve set a launch date of January 15th, give or take a few days.
I’m really excited about the new website/digital marketing ‘lab’! It’s an opportunity to accelerate my skill development, it meshes closely with my digital marketing business, and I believe I can derive passive income from it as well, but only time will tell.
There is definitely some uncertainty. It could be a roaring success, or a miserable failure.
The most important thing is that I’m giving it a shot. I read this quote today, and it sat well with me.
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
– Benjamin Disraeli.