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How to Start a Successful Side Gig

So I sorta started a new business last month. I totally didn’t mean to. And I still don’t want to call it a real business. I prefer the term side gig.

Or side hustle. There much better.

See, I already have a business. My full time professional jam is a website-slash-blog-slash-brand design business that I started a few years ago with my bff and fellow mom of multiple multiples, Jamie.

How to start a successful side gig

I’m also a blogger, a speaker, and a podcaster so I really wasn’t looking to add anything to my already full plate.

But then one of my best friends got diagnosed with breast cancer just a few days before Christmas. I knew immediately what I wanted to buy her but I couldn’t find what I wanted at an affordable price.

See, I’m Catholic. A pretty serious Catholic. I go to Mass every single week and sometimes on weekdays. I turn to God and my beautiful faith in every single aspect of my life. So when Danielle was diagnosed, I knew immediately that I wanted to get her a rosary.

Not just any rosary, but a St. Peregrine rosary. St. Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer patients. Danielle’s not Catholic, but I knew having something tangible to hold onto during this journey would provide her with immeasurable comfort.

I started with google and worked my way to Etsy. I found the perfect pink St. Peregrine rosary for her. Then audibly gasped with I noticed the $125 price tag.

My brain started moving and then I went to YouTube.

“Surely rosaries can’t be that difficult to make,” I thought to myself.

I watched a few videos, made a list and went back to Etsy. I ordered four crucifixes and four St. Peregrine centerpieces. I took $20 and headed to Hobby Lobby for all my materials. That night I strung my first rosary.

And I loved it. It was soothing, prayful and meditative and quickly became the most favorite part of my day.

So I kept buying beads, crucifixes and centers. I got fancier and more daring with my designs. Before I knew it, I had about 15 rosaries.

“What in the world are you going to do with those,” my husband asked.

“Donate them, maybe. I don’t know.”

“How much have you spent on this?”

Ah, the question I was dreading. I had really spent too much. And I knew it.

I told him the number and cringed inwardly. His eyes about bulged out of his head.

Then the following words came out of my mouth:

“I’m sure I could probably sell them.”

He gave me a doubtful glance, which was just enough to propel me forward. I took to facebook and instagram, posting photos of my rosaries just to gauge the reactions.

The response was positive and based solely on those few images, I had several gals contact me for custom orders. This was just the confidence I needed. I reached out to my girlfriend, Mindy, a budding photographer and asked is she wanted to play with some product photography. She graciously said yes and a few days later I was at her house playing with rosaries and her fancy camera.

Even though I’m a website designer and it would have taken me a few hours to get an ecommerce website up and running, I was hesitant. It took me a few weeks of trying to navigate selling through a facebook group before I tossed up a shop on a website.

But God had other plans and this little side gig has taken off and I love it.

So if you are looking to start a side gig, my biggest piece of advice, is JUST DO IT. Don’t spend a ton of cash, if you don’t want to. But start. All of us have gifts. All of us have special talents. Ask yourself which one of those special talents people always compliment you on and then just GO. Reach out to your social circle and let them know what you are doing. I guarantee you will be very pleasantly surprised at the response.


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