You are going to have to let yourself get bored. If you are always sucking up content via social media, YouTube, Hulu, TV, whatever, your brain is going to be too stuffed to till for ideas. This mindless consumption of entertainment is going to fill up the ground of your mind with weeds. To avoid this, you are going to have to take breaks from it for hours, if not days at a time to get going on your side hustle. To generate passive income, you’ll need a lot of mental bandwidth. So, weed out that mind and invite creativity. 

How to Figure Out What You Want to Do 

First: mine what’s already there. Where does your mind wander when you are at work, driving, or in those check-out lines? Pay attention to what you think about during your waning hours before sleep, what you read articles about, and what catches your attention on social media. Consequently, you’ll notice what is in there, bouncing around your mind already and that you have a natural interest in. Follow that vein of thinking. 

Second: Look for the patterns. Write down what you find. This is pretty simple, eh? Take notes on what your mind is doing. To make this convenient, you may want to carry around a small notebook or take notes in your phone. Notice and document what you have a natural, inherent, genuine interest in. Who are you following on social? What do they write about/create/build? Start a list of all the oddities, cool stuff, and engrossing things that you find your mind is already. Write down the list of all the stuff you are interested in and that you notice around you. Now, pick the scariest thing on it. It should feel thrilling or it’s not going to stick. 

Become the Expert in Your Chosen Field 

Third: Go to the source. Avoid as much as possible looking up who’s doing what in your area of interest. Do a deep dive of the history of the thing you’re interested in. For example, if you really love jewelry making, don’t go look at a bunch of jeweler’s websites. Get deep in the history of jewelry. Research what different ancient cultures did with it. Why it’s important, how it evolved. Same with car mechanics, religion, furniture building. It literally does not matter. You have the entirety of human knowledge at your fingertips. Become an expert in your field of genius. 

Fourth: Invest your time and money. If you want to build furniture and have no clue how, you are going to have to read books, buy the tools, and commit the time to learn your craft. You can also find a teacher and ask them to mentor you. In addition, you can watch a ton of YouTube videos. Do not enter this lightly. Approach your craft with a beginner’s mind. Because different people do things differently, learning different approaches to your process will bring special value to your expertise. Even the experts have stuff to learn, so stay open to the goodies. 

Fifth: Build the things. Just make. Don’t worry about quality, screw-ups, and waste. Just make. Document. Take notes. Make, make, make. Video if you want to record your process for yourself or for others. If it makes sense for you to pursue a new job in this field, do it. There’s no rule that says work has to suck.

Share What You Know 

Sixth: Go digital. There are literally no bounds to the numbers of people you can reach through various internet channels. Bob Burg teaches that Value You Provide x Number of People You Serve = Your Financial Success. Because you have already created a value proposition (since you have made yourself an expert in your zone of genius) you can share that expertise with others. Show them what you know and how you put it into practice. However, you don’t have to share your secret sauce if you don’t want to. The closer someone gets to the genius, the more your time costs. For example, putting out a 6-minute YouTube video on playing the guitar can be done cheaply. But, someone that wants to buy an hour or two of an expert guitar player’s time is going to be paying a much higher price. Giving away the good stuff is how people are going to find you in this interconnected world, so don’t be stingy with your gifts. 

Seventh: Pay it forward. Mentor someone else. If you lament the lack of good (diesel mechanics, hair color experts, ServiceNow implementation experts, whatever your zone of genius is), teach someone else. Take notes on your process. Jot down what worked and make note of what didn’t. Everything is progress. 

Go For the Passive Income 

Eighth: Create training, write a book, and blog posts. (You knew that was coming, right?) Keep building on what you’ve learned through this process and creating digital training. This is an excellent way to create passive income. Write a book that you charge to download. Record a video series. Create a course. A book download, an online course, or a video series is a great way to turn your side hustle into a passive income stream. You create it once, and it provides income for months, if not years. Passive income is the key to the kingdom. Eventually, we all learn that trading hours for money is a bit of a trap we can never escape. So, escape through your zone of genius, your genuine interests, and showing others your path. 

There is absolutely no rule that says making money must suck. Add your side hustle interests to your pepelwerk profile. Even if you connect with an employer for a part-time gig for some additional income, you now have a step-by-step plan to leverage what you learn for your future benefit and the benefit of the people coming behind you.