5 Steps to Finding Your Hustle

There is so much talk about the ever-elusive Hustle these days. What does it really mean to start a side hustle, spark your passion, and potentially grow a business from it... and how do you find the hustle that sets your life on fire? It takes guts to look deep inside of yourself and feel empowered to chase after what you love. Perhaps things aren't going so smoothly for you right now, you're barely keeping your head above water, how could adding in yet another activity make you any happier? Or maybe you feel lost, without any direction, and you're just floating through life not quite sure where to grab hold. There is no better time than NOW to step back, take a few deep breaths, and focus on YOU. Learn to let go of perfection, keep an open mind while exploring your passions, give back to your community, and take one action step every day to grow your future business.

1. START RIGHT NOW
Because life is never going to stop moving. Whether you're going a mile a minute or barely treading water, now is the time to take charge of your life. Earl Nightingale encourages us to "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, the time will pass anyway." Even if you can only take one small step each week to achieve your goals, just think about how far you can be a year from now. Start small and watch your hustle grow each day.

2. RELEASE PERFECTION
Let go of the perfect end goal and start sorting through things as they are right now. This can be difficult for a perfectionist brain to process ― you want to solidify your passions, have a concrete game plan, and go full blast towards your goals. However, life doesn't work that way; there are obstacles and delays around every corner, and if we expect perfection right away, we'll never get anywhere.

3. BRAINSTORM FREELY
Keep an open mind as you explore what makes you tick. Set aside one hour to brainstorm ― take the first 15 minutes to just breathe and let go of any fears or stresses. It's simple, but it will catapult you in the right direction. Draft a business plan; think about your SWOT ― Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. See where your visions take you, let it ALL out ― draw whatever comes to mind, write every thought, love, passion, and idea that pops into your brain, and doodle all over your notes ― no rules here. When you're done, soak it all in and see what sticks out to you and what makes your heart race ― you are unique and your vision will be unique as well!

4. GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Try out your passions and business skill set through offering your services to help others; it's a great way to put yourself out there and test your ideas within your community. If you love graphic design, offer to help an entrepreneur with marketing materials; if you are great at event planning, volunteer to help an industry group at their next event; if you are an outstanding baker or chef, donate goods to small businesses in your area to give them a sample. By putting yourself out into the world, you will gain personal momentum, and by helping others along the way, grow a strong community of supporters as you grow your hustle.

5. TAKE ONE ACTION STEP EVERY DAY
Once you have your vision and know what you are working towards, break down your goals into small action sized bites. Accept what extra time you have to put towards your goal ― even if it's an hour each day ― and work with what you have! Determine what you want to accomplish in the next year, then break each monthly goal into smaller daily steps that you will actually be able to do. Biting off more than you can chew will only hold you back; it's better to do one small thing than nothing at all. If you're ready to launch your business, solidify a launch date and work backwards from there on the steps you need to go live.

Our lives are a journey, one that will have many ups and downs, challenges and triumphs ― but know that you are here for a unique purpose. Most of us will work for decades to achieve our visions, but the beauty is that you can take small steps today to start this adventure. The boldest and brightest companies of today were created in garages and small studios ― why can't your spot be the next great incubator? I encourage you to never give up and to always be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire; be open to changes and new ideas as you transform your side hustle.

Stephanie Huston [@StrategicSteph |@StrategicStephanie], is a career mentor, volunteer, social media strategist, and world traveler living and working in New York City. Stephanie has served as the NYC President of The United Women in Business Foundation [UWIB] since 2014, leading the organization's long-term development in efforts to help members excel despite the challenges and inequalities that women face in today's business environment. A passionate traveler, Stephanie has explored over 25 countries across 6 continents and will be going on an adventure to her 7th continent, Antarctica, this November 2016 with Oceanwide Expeditions!