Skip to content

How to Start a New Side Hustle Part 3

How to Start a New Side Hustle Part 3

This is the third installment in a series of posts in which, as encouraged by Austin Kleon in his book Show Your Work,  I let you in on the process of creating my next commercial side hustle starting from the ground floor. In Part 1 of the series, I introduced my amended version of inspirational speaker Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle which also starts with defining my “Why”. In Part 2, I answered the next level in my circle: defining “For Who?”. In this third installment I tackle “For What?”

To set the context, here’s a summary of my “Why.” I want to start a side hustle to:

  • Apply and continue to develop business acumen.
  • Demonstrate to my girls that they can do many things at once.
  • Utilize my unique combination of skills to make a meaningful contribution to people's lives.
  • Validate that I have correctly applied the business best practices I've learned.

Here’s a description of the target customer I want to serve (my “For Who?”):



  • Geographic: lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Demographic: 40 years of age, in a relationship, has a university degree
  • Psychographic: introspective, high achiever, career oriented, interested in self-improvement
  • Vocation: office job, middle management, information worker, tech savvy, communicator
  • Behavioural: highly brand loyal, seeking certainty and affirmation, relationship oriented, risk averse
  • Digital consumption: frequent online shopper, frequent video consumer, moderate social media user
  • Purchasing process: slow decision maker, researcher, evaluator, comparison shopper, review reader
  • Pain points: self-conscious, concerned with public perception and reputation, aspiring for more
  • Purchasing power: high discretionary income, in debt e.g. mortgage, car loan, student loan

Now we get to benefit from having started our thinking on our side hustle focused on purpose and people rather than products and purses! Often, entrepreneurs get fixated on a cool idea but have no concept of the problem, need, or want their offering will satisfy. They’re later disappointed when no one is willing to trade their money, time, or attention to acquire their widget. Since we first defined our ideal target market (e.g. Jonas), we just need to list things someone like Jonas could have as problems, needs and wants. This list can later be matched with our unique combination of skills (more on this in Part 4) to narrow down a selection of potential side hustles. 

In 1943, American psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote a paper entitled "A Theory of Human Motivation" in the journal Psychological Review. In his paper, Maslow proposed a list of human needs presented in order of priority. Maslow's “hierarchy of needs” as it is most often called is shaped like a pyramid, with the most basic needs at the bottom and the most advanced need at the top. To this day, marketers refer to this concept to categorize what motivates people to exchange money to acquire their products. Generally, people are motivated to satisfy the following needs, wants and problems:


  • Physiological: the base of the pyramid refers to peoples’ desire to survive by consuming whatever is essential to sustain life such as food, medicine etc.
  • Safety: next people desire protection from the external factors that may get in the way of their continued existence. They acquire basic products such as shelter and eventually insurance, alarm systems etc.
  • Belonging: as social creatures, people want to feel that they are wanted by others, and they are part of a group. They will acquire products like club or group memberships and spend money on things and services that help them feel part of a community.
  • Esteem: people want to feel good about themselves and feel good in their own skin, but they also want others to see them as valuable.
  • Self-actualization: relates to the realization of an individual’s full potential. Here, people strive to become the best version of their ideal selves and pursue experiences that will help them achieve this ideal.

Here’s a tiny brain dump of possible problems, needs and wants Jonas (my target market) might experience for each layer of Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid. To come up with your own side hustle, I encourage you to dump even more ideas than I did below and to repeat the exercise over several days, adding more ideas every day.

Layer in the pyramid

Potential problems, needs and wants Jonas experiences


Healthy snacks, healthcare on demand, affordable housing, quick meals, healthy meal preparation, delivery of essentials


Sustainable transportation, fashionable dressy winter gear, income replacement protection, anti-theft, self-defence


Investment education, career growth advice, personal growth mentoring, skills gap to advancement, relationship help, group outing for couples, pre-marital advice


Encouragement to exercise, fashion advice, style help, personal grooming, mental health preservation, work-life balance, time management


Travel, charitable donations, volunteering, mentoring, side hustle development, financial future planning, continuous education, real estate investing


Excellent! I know why I want to start a side hustle. I know who my target audience will be. I now have a range of potential problems, needs, and wants that my target persona experiences and which they deem valuable enough to want to exchange their time, attention or money to address. In Part 4 of this series, I will evaluate my unique combination of skills and knowledge in order to select which of these opportunities I am best equipped to satisfy with a Unique Value Proposition (UVP).  

Remember, If you want to quickly see and read all my posts on this process in sequential order, just look for and click on this tag: About Side Hustles.

See you soon.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published