Written by Marisol Dahl
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: gone are the days of climbing the corporate ladder at that job you’ve had since forever. Job hopping is our go-to dance move. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average worker stays at his or her job for only 4 to 5 years.
But what does this really mean? It means change, chances to start fresh, and a lot of new co-workers. It also means greater financial insecurity.
In steps Kimberly Palmer.
In her new book The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life, you’ll learn how to leverage the power of the side-gig, the key to gaining greater professional control and financial security in this modern-day economy.
As a successful side-gigger herself, Palmer knows exactly what challenges new entrepreneurs encounter. With everything from time management strategies to marketing tactics, Palmer offers great, practical tips for building your own thriving side business.
What I love about The Economy of You is that you can pick it up at any stage of the process. Whether you’ve had a side-gig for years or haven’t even thought of having one, Palmer’s book offers a perfect mix of big-picture inspiration and a focused set of resources to help you launch your business and stay afloat.
So, is your side-hustle in the works? Nowhere near starting? Don’t quite know yet what your side business will be? No matter where you are, here are the top 3 things you should be doing right now to ensure you hit a grand slam.
1. Start branding yourself—now.
Create an identity independent of your current job position or workplace hierarchy. What sets yourself apart from the rest of your coworkers? What are you an expert in? If you could be known for one thing in the professional world, what would it be?
But labels and name tags are only part of it. You’ve defined your brand, now embody it. How can your everyday actions align with the image you want to put forth? If you want others to come to see you as competent, dependable and approachable, you must demonstrate these qualities. Be up to date on the latest topics in your niche, engage frequently and showcase what you have to offer.
2. Build your posse, your community, your tribe.
Once you’ve established your brand, surround yourself with inspiration. Use social networking sites to connect with others in your niche, start reading the appropriate books and blogs, and most importantly: start a conversation. Business doesn’t have to be cutthroat. While others in your niche may be your competition, they are also trying to establish themselves and grow their own networks too.
Connecting with people will keep the creativity flowing, and while you may not at all be ready to launch your side-gig, your niche allies will have valuable advice and ideas. Connecting with them now will give your brand exposure and might lead to future opportunities for collaboration.
3. Expect failure—and embrace it.
Every success has a story behind it, and what’s a story without some plot twists along the way? There will be times of failure and rejection, but for each challenge there is an opportunity to learn and to extend yourself in ways you might not have thought possible.
Palmer’s own tale of a presentation fiasco is a great reminder that discomfort, while discouraging, can push you to re-evaluate, re-calibrate and improve your business practices and brand. Remember: when you overcome an obstacle, you aren’t just getting back on track. You are coming out stronger than ever before.
To enter to win a copy of The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer, answer the following questions in the comments by next Thursday, February 27. We will pick a winner via random.org and email to let you know!
Comment to be Entered to Win:
If you were to start a side-business tomorrow, what would it be and why? What is one thing you can do right now to put yourself on the path to side-gig success?
About Marisol Dahl
Marisol is currently a Sociology and Education Studies major at Yale University. A longtime New Yorker, she is interested in pursuing a career in education and child advocacy. Marisol started her blog in 2011 as a way to document her college years and beyond.
When not running around campus and catching up with her school reading, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading dystopian fiction and volunteering in her community. She can be reached at marisoldahl [at] gmail.com and on Twitter at @marisoldahl.