How to Decide if a Side Hustle Opportunity is Right for You

As a side hustler opportunity is at every corner.  Since 2004 I’ve done a bunch of different side hustles myself from multilevel marketing to blogging.

The problem is with so many opportunities out there it can be hard to decide exactly what we should say yes to and what we should say no to.  I faced this problem just the other day.

Someone emailed me asking if I offered Amazon private label product research. After a few emails with this person, he said he would pay me $400 to research 3 products for him.

To be honest this sounds like an incredible opportunity but I have to take a lot of things into consideration from my time, to my current projects, to exactly what this person wants me to do for them.

In the end, I have to consider the opportunity cost that is at stake here.

What is Opportunity Cost

So what is opportunity cost you might ask?  Many financial professionals use opportunity cost as a way to determine risk when it comes to investments but that is not the opportunity cost I’m talking about here.

What I’m referring to is the opportunity cost in the decisions we make on a daily basis with our businesses.  It’s the value that we gain from saying yes or no to something.

A good example of this for me was starting a mailing list.  In the early days, 2008,  I thought having a mailing list was a waste of money because I wasn’t selling a service or a product back then.

In those days I just wrote content for my blog and monetized it through Google Adsense.  I had no reason to have a mailing list, but I was about to learn this the hard way.

In October of 2011 I learned that I had been hit by the Google Panda update.  Google hit my site with a huge penalty and literally overnight I lost over 50% of my traffic.


What made this worse was I had thousands of people visit my site before all this and if  I would have been building an email list the sting from that hit would have been a lot less.

I would have been able to switch directions, create a product, and market to that list. I would have been able to promote affiliate products, or even more importantly built stronger relationships with my audience.

I guess that’s why they say hindsight is always 20/20.

 How to Decide What Opportunity is Right For You

So now you might be wondering how do I know what I should say no to and what I should say yes to when another opportunity comes my way.  So to help I have 3 things you can do to help make this decision.

Now I also want to mention if you’re are someone who also suffers from shiny object syndrome these tips can help for that as well.  Shiny object syndrome is kind of like the grass is greener of the other side of the fence saying.

You might discover a great opportunity but you may not have considered all the variables involved.  These tips will help you make that right decision.

#1 Does it Line Up With My Overall Goal

First you have to decide if the opportunity you want to take lines up with your overall goals.

For example if your goal is to write a New York Times Bestseller but you want you to start a social media marketing business that might not be the best opportunity for you.

Knowing what you want to achieve in the long term can help you deflect these opportunities and bring you closer to the one that you do want to achieve.

#2 If you say Yes to an Opportunity What are You Saying No to?

Next ask yourself this question, if I say yes to this opportunity what am I saying no to?

Anytime you say yes to an opportunity you are also at the same time saying no to something else whether you realize it or not.

For example if you say yes to taking on 10 more clients you might be saying no to family time, and personal time.  It’s just like they say every action has a reaction and you have to figure out what that reaction is before you decide.

I know one opportunity I was offered back in the days when I use to play in rock and roll bands was when a friend asked me to run the sound board for their band and said it would be a guaranteed $100 per show plus free drinks.

Now this sounded like a great opportunity but after a short discussion I learned I would have to do this every weekend, giving up time with family and friends.  In the end I had to decline respectfully because it didn’t line up with my overall goals.

#3 Put a Decision Chart Together

The last thing you can do is put a decision chart together.  A decision chart has two columns in it, one side being the good, and the other being the bad.

On the good side list all the reasons you should take on an opportunity.  This can be anything that will benefit you and bring you closer to your overall goals.

On the bad side list all of the reasons you should not take on this opportunity.  This can be anything that will not benefit you and take you further away from your overall goals.

By the end of this exercise it should be clear what your choice is.  If the opportunity is driving you further away from your overall goal it’s a clear sign that you should not do it.

Wrapping Up

So have you received any great opportunities lately and are you finding it tough to choose which way to go?  Or are have you come up with a new side hustle  opportunity that you don’t know if you should do?

Feel free to share your thoughts, comments, and ideas below as to how you’re dealing with these issue.


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