One of my guy friends got out of the military a few years ago and needed work. Rather than spending months or years agonizing over what he was passionate about and what his calling was, he took a practical approach.
He went to the library, got out a book about the top 100 professions currently in the highest demand (and predicted to be highly in-demand over the next decade) ... and then went to nursing school.
Just over two years later, he was an orthopedic surgical nurse bringing in $100,000+ a year.
There are lots of ways to decide what to do with your time and your work life. If you're not ready to quit everything and become a nurse (although if you aren't sure quite what to do and like helping people, you should think about it), there are other options.
One is setting up a side hustle. And again, instead of just doing something about which you're intensely passionate, you could more targeted and pragmatic in your approach.
Enter a seemingly random industry but one that will only grow in size: fish-free omega-3 supplements.
Yes, it sounds extremely specific (because it is), but it's also big business. In 2018, the fish-free omega-3 industry saw 6.5% year-over-year growth, reaching a market valuation of $550M. It's slated to be a $1B industry by 2029.
Why? Because there are tons of people who want to incorporate omega-3s into their diet but don't want fishy products.
By now, if you're at all educated about health, you know you need omega-3s and omega-6s in your diet. They lower your blood pressure; reduce your likelihood of heart attack and stroke; and improve brain functioning. There's also preliminary evidence that shows that DHA & EPA supplements can boost your mood and help those suffering from depression.
And you probably also you can find said omega-3s in fish like salmon. You may have even purchased fish-oil supplements in the past, which tasted ... well, kind of gross.
It turns out a whole lot of people are deterred by that fishy odor--or are vegetarians or vegans who object to the omega-3s in their diet coming from fish. They know they need omega-3s, but they want plant-based options.
In fact, consumers are already hunting for quality, vegetarian sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids--to the tune of predictions of this single supplement becoming a billion-dollar industry over the next decade.
Now imagine entering a multi-million dollar industry where you knew there was demand already, and not very much supply to meet it. It would be like shooting fish (oil) in a barrel.
So how do you get started? Well, it's pretty easy to enter the supplements market. There are plenty of companies that can help you white-label your supplements (meaning they provide the actual product and you do the rest.) Of course you want to research those places and ensure that you're getting high-quality, plant-based omega-3s and omega-6s--but that's just a matter of vetting.
Then these companies can help you drop-ship your product, so you don't have a bunch of cases of plant-based omega-3 hanging out in your garage.
Once you've found your white-label supplier, all that's left is to set yourself up as a seller on a platform like Amazon. You can do that in a few hours.
Then you market the hell out of your product. You write blogs, you do videos, you post on social media, you run Facebook or Google ads--whatever you want. If you use key words like "vegetarian omega-3s" or "plant-based omega-6s" you're already slated to succeed. You don't have to guess whether people will buy what you're selling--you know they will.
The search term "side hustle" has spiked in recent years. It's not a new concept, but in an economy that's increasingly comprised of freelancers and less-than-stable job security, it's no wonder.
What would you do with an extra $1,000 a month? Put it towards childcare? Pay down debt? Split it up between self-care activities like getting massages, and contributions to causes in which you believe?
Too many people start side businesses without actually feeling out the market. But if you know ahead of time that there's definitely demand for what you're going to sell ... you're in it to win it.