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How to get the perfect side hustle

Turn your passion into a side hustle, then career

Nicole Buergers spent 10 years in internet marketing before pursuing her passion: beekeeping.

“I always wanted to have bees," she said. "It was a goal of mine. I read books; I went to classes.”

On her 33rd birthday, a gift from her boyfriend led Buergers to a pretty sweet side hustle.

“I came home to a beehive in my living room -- an empty beehive," Buergers said. "He said, 'Put it in the backyard. You're going to finally do what you've always wanted to do and keep bees.' So I did.”

Buergers quickly became known around Houston as "the bee lady," according to News 6 sister station KPRC. Requests to help set up beehives all over town came buzzing in.

“I would tell people about my bees and they'd be so interested," she said. "'I've always wanted to do this. How do I get started? Can you show me? Can I see your bees?' So I started helping people getting started."

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Chris Guillebeau, known as the "king of side hustles," wrote the book and also hosts a podcast called the "Side Hustle School."

“For about 20 years, I've been operating a number of side hustles," Guillebeau said. "I'm not really good at working for other people, so I had to find a way to kind of work for myself.”

His first gig came years ago, selling Jamaican coffee and other items on eBay.

Guillebeau's side hustles developed over the years, and now he teaches others how to find their own. 

The first step in identifying your side hustle, according to Guillebeau, is finding out what you're skilled at that adds value to the lives of others. 

“There's a woman who teaches people how to make bread and she teaches these courses on Udemy.com, and she makes something like $80,000 teaching people how to bake bread," Guillebeau said. "I mean, baking bread is not a new technology. That's been around for a while.”

Guillebeau pointed out that your side hustle is something you look forward to doing, not a part-time job.

“Even some of this stuff in this so-called 'gig economy,' like driving for Uber or Lyft or whatever, not bad, but those are just glorified part-time jobs," Guillebeau said. "If they don't like you, they kick you out.”

Your side hustle should be your thing. If you have a great voice, maybe explore singing at events or weddings.

If you are a teacher, consider offering proofreading and editing services on sites like www.Fiverr.com or www.Upwork.com.

"Then maybe the next question is: ‘What's the next step to get this out to the world? Do I need to have a website? Do I need to have a mailing list?’” Guillebeau said.

For Sean Wilburn, of Persona Custom Clothiers, a passion for fashion turned into the perfect side hustle for the former educator turned insurance salesman.

“I actually, for free, have friends that I style,” Wilburn said. “I've always been the style guy. It's just how I was raised. It's how I am.”

After purchasing custom suits from a Dallas company, Sean was offered an opportunity that was just his style.

“For me, it was the perfect side hustle, because it married what I loved to the things that I like doing,” Wilburn said.

He's now a personal clothier and stays busy fitting both men and women for custom suits.

Buergers' side hustle became so successful -- bringing in thousands of dollars a month -- that she quit her day job. 

“I thought, 'Hey, I just really want to work for myself, and I want to be with the bees, and I really want to make this happen, and in order to make it happen, I have to take a leap. I have to go for it,'” she said. 

She now is a full-time beekeeper and sells her own locally produced honey products online.

Guillebeau said not every side hustle is going to work, and that's OK.

“I think it’s totally OK," he said. "You got a side hustle; it's low risk. If it doesn't work out, you try something else.”

Guillebeau said he has more ideas on how to scale your hustle and grow your bottom line.