Overcoming Obstacles: It Won’t Work

by Scott Sery on August 5, 2013

side hustleThis series is to help you find your side hustle that will allow you to live life to the fullest.  Too many people complain about not having money, and when coached on earning money on the side they throw up excuses.  Many people are just too comfortable in their routine to start a side hustle, but some excuses need help being broken down.  Last time we talked about not having any ideas.  Today we will tackle the barrier: “It will never work.”

Hopefully by now you have made your list of likes, don’t minds, and hates.  If you have yet to do so, do it now (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go start at the beginning).  Keep this list someplace safe, it is a working list and you will want to add and modify it as life goes on.  While reviewing your list you can cross off items that would be too hard to do as a side hustle and would be more of a full-time job (although most could actually start out as side hustles and transition to a career as they grow).  Whittle down your ideas to the top three; three things you would love to make money doing.  Now is where the fun part begins.

For the sake of ease, let’s assume the side hustle is mowing lawns.  You want to know if you can make money doing this, and you need to know just how much money you can make in order to be sure it is worth your time.  Start by developing 3 to 5 different scripts that you can use when pitching your product, and think of 3 to 5 different methods of distributing your script.

Script One:

“I am trying to earn extra money on the side; I would like to mow your lawn every week. I charge $20 for just mowing, $5 extra if I have to pick up dog doo, and $10 extra to weed eat around the edges of your lawn.  I supply all the equipment; all you have to do is make sure the gates are unlocked.”

Script Two:

“My daughter was just born and I would like to make sure she has the privilege to attend college.  I am starting a yard maintenance service on the side.  I charge $20 to mow (free dog doo cleanup if notified ahead of time), and $10 extra to weed eat.”

Script Three:

“I noticed that your yard gets pretty long each week, I don’t blame you for not wanting to mow it yourself.  I would be happy to take that burden off your shoulders.  I charge $35 for the whole process, including mowing, picking up poop, weed eating and cleaning up the grass clippings.  I have Saturday mornings open still, can I put you down for my services?”

Notice the difference between the scripts (not just the words)?  You are changing your approach each time, offering services that make the recipient’s life easier, and each one tweaks how you are paid.  The key is to make the service about them, so test to see how well script one works versus script three (“Your life will be easier” not “I want money”).

Now keep in mind you will need to talk to A LOT of people to get a true sampling of how this is going to work.  And keep in mind you MUST take notes of your results.  After every response make a note of how the person reacted.  Were they irritated, accepting, apologetic, or something else?  Write down if they bargained, agreed readily, hemmed and hawed, or slammed the door on you.  After talking with a dozen or so people you will start to get a feel of what script works the best, as you talk to more and more, you will determine there is one that is working better and you can start to modify and perfect it (that is, get to a position where you can raise your rates).

Want to have even more fun with it?  Change how you dress, your hair style, or how aggressive you are.  The possibilities are nearly endless, and every factor will make a difference.

Mowing lawns is not for everyone.  And if you are getting hung up on the mowing lawns part, then you probably aren’t ready for a side hustle.  The point of this article is that you need to test your idea, see if it will work, and then dive into it.  The scripts are much more important than people think.  They will give you confidence, they will give you a baseline, and they will help you raise your rates for new clients (you can mow a ton of lawns at $35 a pop, so now what script will land you clients willing to pay $40?).  When you get the process down, all you need to do is repeat it and it gets easier and easier.  If it doesn’t work, scrap that idea and move on to the next one.  Of course, you will need to find time to do all this extra work.

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Scott Sery

Scott Sery is a native to Billings, Montana. Within an hour in nearly any direction he can be found fishing, hunting, backpacking, caving, and rock or ice climbing. With an extensive knowledge of the finance and insurance world, Scott loves to write personal finance articles. When not talking money, he enjoys passing on his knowledge of the back country, or how to live sustainably. You can learn more about Scott on his website Sery Content Development
  • From experience, I think one should work really hard to land their first client, tweaking their methods as much until they do so. From there, things start looking very easy and smooth…landing more clients will look easier. Once you overcome the barrier of “It won’t work” by landing your first client, it really starts to work!

    • Scott Sery

      I have heard that your first client will be a friend or family member, your next client will be a fluke, your third client will be because someone wants your services. If you can get 3 you can get 1,000.

  • great post! it’s all about having your business plan summed up to get that quick sale.

  • I agree with Simon. The hardest part is getting your first client,but when people start to see what you can do, it trickles in from there.

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