Trying to figure out what to sell online? An online sales business can change your lifestyle.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Today, Harlan and Miranda are joined by Steve Chou from My Wife Quit Her Job. On this episode of Adulting.tv LIVE! we will discuss finding the best product to start an e-commerce business. Selling products online can be a great way to earn a living.

Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses. He currently works for a startup company in the Silicon Valley.

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Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato
Music bybensound.com

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No matter what job you do, soft skills can help you do it better. Make it a point to develop the skills that translate to any job.

Are you already looking for your next job?

If you’re under the age of 32, there’s a good chance you are. After all, according to a recent survey from LinkedIn, the new normal is four jobs by the time you’re 32.

That’s almost double the rate of job change for Gen X.

I have a number of friends who are open to the next opportunity and looking to move beyond the job they’ve taken out of desperation.

When you’re ready to make a career change, there are skills you can’t take with you. Hard skills might not translate from one job or career to the next.

But you can develop soft skills that can help you almost anywhere you go, and no matter what you do.

Problem-solving.

One of the most translatable soft skills is problem-solving.

No matter where you work, or what your position is, problem-solving is always in demand. The ability to identify issues and find solutions is one that helps in work and life.

Creativity in problem-solving will get you even further in whatever work you do. Someone with the ability to see things from a different angle, or find a solution that others couldn’t see, has the potential to go a long way in any profession.

Organization.

We don’t often think of organization as a skill. However, it’s on of the soft skills that can set you apart from others.

It’s not just about keeping a neat and orderly desk, either. Being organized is about seeing connections and being able to manage logistics.

Can you keep track of different moving parts and put them in an order that makes sense? Do you know which team members are best suited for different tasks?

If you have good organizational skills, you are more likely to to be of value as a manager, or fulfill other important responsibilities where such talents are needed.

Adaptability.

We live in a world that changes quickly. Technology advances at an increasingly rapid rate. Social conditions change. Work conditions change. Everyone is scrambling to keep up.

One of the most valuable soft skills today is an ability to adapt. Adaptability allows you to quickly conform to a new situation. It also means you can take on different responsibilities and manage different personalities.

Adaptability, and its related skill, resiliency, can help you approach any situation and turn it to good account. Think fast on your feet, make the most of anything, and your co-workers and bosses will notice.

Writing.

Thanks to the Internet, writing skills are increasingly important. The ability to craft a well-written tweet or Facebook post can help you get ahead.

Not only that, but writing is one of those soft skills that can be used in almost any profession. If you can write white papers, put together an internal memo, or create easy-to-understand emails, you can make yourself useful.

Consider taking a basic writing course. You don’t need a degree in writing. A little reminder of the fundamentals and some practice can take your writing to the next level and set you apart from others.

Presentation skills.

Don’t forget about your ability to present. Your comfort level in front of others can make a difference.

Do you want to be the go-to person for presentations to clients and potential partners? Brush up the way you make presentations.

Your presentation skills can also influence your ability to be more effective in your job. Good presentation skills include the ability to communicate your ideas. When you can effectively share your vision, you’re more likely to be applauded and taken seriously.

You can put your presentation skills to good use on behalf of your bosses, or as a way to be more effective in general. No matter how you do it, presentation means a lot.

Good work ethic.

Talent isn’t everything. Sure it can open some doors and give you a good start.

However, hard work can often make up for a lack of talent.

A good work ethic is one of the soft skills that just about everyone admires. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, working hard enhances your reputation.

Hard work gets you through even when other soft skills aren’t enough. Hard work added to just about everything leads to a greater chance of success.

Plus, when you show you can work hard, people see that you are willing to do what it takes to succeed.

While you eventually want to shift to working smarter and taking advantage of your talents, hard work can get your foot in the door and help you establish a good relationship with those around you.

Interpersonal skills.

There are no soft skills softer than interpersonal skills. The way you interact with people can make a huge difference in your success at work — and in life.

Sometimes it’s difficult to deal with other people, but developing that skill can take you a long way. As an introvert with ADD, I’ve worked hard to develop some people skills.

I still struggle, and it’s really hard work for me to filter and be sociable sometimes. But I do my best, and I find that these interpersonal skills have opened more doors for me than almost anything else.

Some of the best interpersonal skills to work on include:

  • Listening
  • Managing your body language
  • Learning to read others’ body language
  • Assertiveness
  • Speaking with clarity

You might be surprised at far you can get with good interpersonal skills. You’ll get along with co-workers and bosses better, you’ll be seen as a positive influence, and you might even be pegged as a leader.

Don’t neglect your soft skills as you prepare for a career. No matter your job, or your future plans, work on the skills that can help you where you go.

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Thinking about what it would take to change your career? Expert Alison Cardy shares her story and coaches you through a career shift.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Alison Cardy from Cardy Career Coaching joins Harlan and Miranda. In this episode of Adulting.tv LIVE!, we will talk about preparing for a career change and successfully following through.

Alison Cardy is a career coach who runs an international career coaching team specializing in guiding people through career changes. Her team’s work focuses on that crucial step before job searching: helping you figure out what it is you actually want to be doing with your life. She and her team have guided hundreds of people, in every industry imaginable, to innovative and functional career solutions.

Alison is the author of the 5-star rated bestseller, Career Grease: How to Get Unstuck and Pivot Your Career. Her work has been featured on Monster, Forbes, The Muse, Undercover Recruiter, and The Washington Post.

Watch the video above or listen to just the audio by using the player below.

Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
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Hustle Away Debt strikes a good balance, and the author shares what he learned from experience.

Over the next several months, I’ll be reading and reviewing a number of books that can help you with your finances, career, work/life balance, and all the facets of life that comprise #adulting. Welcome to the Books for Adults series.

While I’m not 100% on board with the self-improvement genre and gurus as gospel, I do believe that they offer some insights or tricks to make life easier or provide a “hey, I never thought of it that way” moment.

Up first for review is Hustle Away Debt: Eliminate Your Debt by Making More Money by David Carlson. David is the founder of Young Adult Money, and the book (and the site) is a result of the approach he and his wife took to pay off their massive student loan debt. He maintains that it’s not always possible to cut expenses but it is always possible to earn more money.

This extra money, derived from side hustling, is what you can use to ramp up your debt repayment or savings.

However, this isn’t just a “you need to side hustle” book. For those who’ve already decided they want to, or those who are on the fence, it reads like a comprehensive handbook or manual. Not only does the book provide an objective view of side hustling, covering both the pros and cons as well as dozens of easy to implement ideas, it provides a roadmap for how to start a side hustle.

The author guides you, step by step, even giving helpful information and instruction on the back-end tasks like taxes, improving your 9-to-5 performance, and seizing opportunity.

For those who are overwhelmed by the idea of a side hustle, this book breaks it down into small, simple steps. You can probably start a side job doing something you’re already doing!

But he also recognizes that having a side hustle isn’t for everyone and asks that you look at your motivations and circumstances for starting one. You might realize it’s not a good fit and that’s fine.

While the book comprehensively looks at both sides of side hustling, the best part is David’s tone. He strikes a balance between motivation and encouragement without making the reader feel like having a side hustle is something they absolutely, 100% need to do; he admits there are benefits to a full-time job that a side job cannot provide.

For the reader who doesn’t want to surrender working full-time, that’s helpful to hear. Beyond that, David asks the reader to look at their finances. Rather than berate or condescend to the reader who might be in debt, he accepts that it’s a fact for many people, including him and his wife, and provides a plan for taking control of their money that doesn’t involve selling everything they own, giving up their Dunkin Donuts coffee, or living a spartan existence.

Books like this, when they’re derived from personal experience, provide more value to the reader than books from experts who’ve never been there. There’s a level of understanding and practicality that you don’t always find, especially when you feel like the author is talking to you instead of at you and with a tone that doesn’t insult your intelligence.

These are the important Adulting takeaways.

  • Before starting your side hustle, define your “why.” Without your “why,” it’s almost impossible to sustain.
  • It’s possible to turn anything into a side hustle, even if you’re stuck at a desk 40 hours per week, if you use a little creativity.
  • Side hustles provide diversified income, can help protect your finances in the event of a job loss, and can help you get ahead.
  • A side hustle does not have to convert to a full-time job; in fact, there are benefits to a full-time job a side gig cannot provide.
  • There are tangible and intangible benefits to side hustling including time management, learning to prioritize, and skill building.
  • Look at all facets of your circumstances (for example, time, relationships, employment, finances) before deciding to side hustle then determine what kind you should implement.
  • Side hustles do not have to be permanent. They can provide a temporary boost in income for debt or savings and, once you’ve achieved those goals, you can let the side hustle go.
David Carlson

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Time doesn’t just show up for free. If you want time for your side hustle, you have to make it.

I hear this all the time:

“I really want to start a side hustle, but I don’t have time.”

It’s true that some of us really don’t have time for side gigs. After all, we’re busy people. We have real jobs and families and a desire to, at some point, to live a little.

But you might be surprised at how much time you do have. Here are some strategies to use to make time for a side hustle:

Track your time use.

The first thing to do is track your time use.

When I feel like I am running out of time, I start tracking my time use. Usually, the problem is that I’ve let unimportant things creep into my life, or I get distracted.

Keep a diary of what you are doing, and how long you spend doing it. You might be surprised at the patterns that emerge.

According to the American Time Use Survey, adults spend close to three hours a day watching TV. I’m always surprised when I track my online activities and discover how much time I spend just surfing.

If you want to make time for a side hustle, start with how you’re using your time now to see where you might find a place to cut back on some of your unnecessary activities.

Schedule side hustle time.

So often, we don’t make time for a side hustle. Instead, we say we’ll do it when we have time. Just waiting to see if the time appears is a surefire strategy to ensure that you’ll never have time for a side hustle.

You’ll increase your chances of having time for a side gig if you actually schedule the time. Wake up a little earlier. Instead of watching TV for two hours in the evening, schedule an hour and a half to work on the side gig.

Think of where you can carve out time during the day to dedicate to your side hustle and schedule it into your day.

Use the weekend.

I know, I know. We all love our weekends. It’s a break from work. However, if you want to make time for a side hustle, you need to give something up.

You don’t have to use the whole weekend for your side hustle, but it can be a good time to get something done with your side gig.

When I have things I want to do, I try to work on them during Saturday morning. My son has his own extracurricular activity and it’s a perfect time for me to hit something hard while I don’t have other obligations.

Figure out what works best for you. Saturday morning? Sunday afternoon? Whatever. The weekend is the perfect time to … make time for a side hustle.

Schedule a workcation.

Consider your real job. Do you get time off for vacation? If you want to make time for a side hustle, you can kick it off with a workcation. Take a vacation with your day job, and use it to work on your side hustle.

When you don’t have to focus on your regular job, you have a little more time to work on a side gig.

Of course, you can’t be constantly taking time off to make time for your side hustle. However, you can get a lot of good value out of a bit of time off to really dig into the side hustle.

A workcation can also help when you aren’t taking time off your regular job. When my son sleeps over at a friend’s house, I sometimes book a room at a local hotel. That change of scene for one night and the next morning really helps me focus. There’s something about getting out of the routine that provides you with a chance to work on a side hustle.

It’s totally worth it to get a hotel room for one night if that helps you focus up.

Ask for help.

Do you have a support system? If so, ask for help. Sometimes, when I need a little more time to work on my projects, I get help from my parents, or from my sister, in taking my son for a couple hours while I really get down to it.

We help each other.

Look around to see if you have a support system that can help. You might even have a life partner who can help you out.

I know a couple who helps each other with these gigs. They saved up an emergency fund. Then, he kept working while she worked to make her side gig a full-time reality. After a while, she gained traction. However, she wouldn’t have had time for the side gig without the full buy-in of her partner. He helped make it possible for her first reduce her hours at work, and then quit altogether.

If you can get help from your support system, it’s a little easier to make time for a side hustle.

Bottom line.

We all have challenges. I know I don’t do as much as I would like in a lot of areas. However, part of that is because I don’t make time. Use one or all of these strategies, and you might be surprised to see that you have more time available than you thought.

Are you working on a side hustle? When do you work on it? What’s your best way to make it happen? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook or leave a comment here.

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Do you have to start a side hustle to achieve financial independence? Here’s a practical look at the realities of starting a side gig.

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According to CareerBuilder, 29% of workers have side hustles. Chances are, if you spend any time online trying to figure out how to make more money, you have heard of a side hustle.

Indeed, a side hustle can be a way to earn a little extra cash. But it’s not the magical cure that many hucksters claim. Before you jump into someone else’s idea of what it means to make money, remember that “hustle” means “scam.”

You can do well with a side gig, but you need to be careful about how you proceed.

Concepts

  • Why are side hustles so popular, anyway?
  • How technology makes it easier than ever to make money with a side hustle.
  • Examination of how a side hustle can migrate into a lifestyle business.
  • Difference between a side hustle and a hobby.
  • A look at the history of side gigs and how they’ve changed over the years.
  • Downsides of a side hustle.
  • Understanding the impact a side gig can have on your life.
  • How to know when it’s time to give up on your side gig.

Use our “do nows” tips on figuring out if a side job makes sense for you. We also have ideas for helping you figure out exactly how which side hustles make the most sense for you. Our latest listener question addresses how to get a S.O. involved with your gig.

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Resources

Millennials and side gigs
Income and the “American Dream”
Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

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Your first job can teach you tons. Including what you don’t want in a job. It’s all about the life lessons.

When I graduated from college, I was lucky enough to find work with a newspaper.

I wasn’t supposed to be picky about it. I hated my first job, but it was only until I left that I realized I learned a lot of things about myself while I was there.

Not every job will be your favorite, but there are tons of things you can learn about yourself and what you need while you’re there. The worst experience can teach you more about yourself in a year than you’d learn anywhere else.

Here are the five best things I learned from my first job, and why I’m still grateful for that opportunity.

I learned to pay my dues.

Like every newspaper, we were open during the holidays. Reporters signed up for holiday assignments on a first-come, first-served basis. The longest-standing reporter got his or her first pick, then the second-oldest reporter got to choose and so on. Since I was the newest staff member, I had to work whatever holiday was left: Thanksgiving.

The longest-standing reporter got his or her first pick, then the second-oldest reporter got to choose and so on. Since I was the newest staff member, I had to work whatever holiday was left: Thanksgiving.

I remember being crushed that I wouldn’t be able to spend Thanksgiving day with my family. I drove down to my boyfriend’s family’s Thanksgiving at 10 p.m. and left early the next day.

That Thanksgiving was hard, but it taught me that I wasn’t special or entitled. I wouldn’t get any special privileges, and I had to put in the time and effort to get the benefits I wanted.

I learned to trust my gut.

Before I got my first job, I was hesitant about entering the newspaper business. I knew I was more interested in magazines, but those jobs were scarce. I figured I was better off taking the first job offer I got instead of holding out for a magazine gig.

As soon as I got there, I realized I’d made a huge mistake.

Anyone who’s had a job knows that the first day is mainly filled with HR paperwork and meeting new people. The first day is the best. No one expects you to do any real work, your new boss usually buys you lunch, and you can head home early.

None of those things happened my first day. That’s how I knew I was screwed. I couldn’t even enjoy that first day. After that, I learned to trust my gut more instead of making the rational choice.

I learned what I wanted out of a job.

Before I started my first job, I thought I wanted to work a regular 9-to-5 schedule like everyone else. But that job solidified those feelings for me.

At first, I worked 9-to-5 with occasional weekend or holiday assignments. After a few months, our night cops reporter left, and my editor asked if I could take over his shift. I started working from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Suddenly, my social calendar was ruined, since none of my coworkers and friends worked in the evenings. I was also driving every Friday to see my boyfriend, who lived three hours away. Now that my workday ended at 10 p.m., I got into his city at 1 a.m.

I hated working when everyone else wasn’t. Even when I wanted to call my parents back home, I had to do it while they were at work or wait until my break.

Working nights made me averse to working any sort of unusual schedule. During my next job search, I only sought positions where weekend or night work was minimal.

I learned to find something I care about.

During my newspaper gig, I reported on fires, car accidents, and the occasional murder. Most of the stories were similar, and I could find few ways to differentiate between one car accident and the next.

At the time, I was getting more interested in being frugal and saving money. I convinced my boss to let me start a blog chronicling my money-saving tips. It was the highlight of my day, and I continued blogging about money when I left.

Even in a job that I hated at times, I learned how to carve out a little piece of it that I loved.

I learned I wanted more autonomy.

As a young reporter, I had little say on what stories I wrote. The editors made the assignments, and I followed through. This is standard at most newspapers. I’m sure even a young Woodward and Bernstein weren’t telling their editor what they wanted to write about.

Before that job, I didn’t think of myself as a self-starter. But I quickly learned that I wanted to be in charge of my day. In my next gig, I had more responsibilities and could tell my bosses what I thought we should be doing. I loved having that type of independence.

Now that I’m a full-time freelance writer, I get to direct how my day goes. And I love it.

Don’t assume that you can’t learn something from your first job, even if it’s something you hate. Take every job as a learning opportunity and you’ll be more successful down the road.

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