2020 is the year of the side-hustle

March 27, 2020
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In Wednesdays article about how designers can offer help to local businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak I touched on how we can offer some out of the box thinking for businesses that might not be able to trade online naturally.

I want to expand on that a bit more here, and broaden your thinking beyond your clients to include your own business too.

It’s no great revelation to point out that whilst you help your clients build up businesses out of the ether, you too could probably do this for yourself. I’ve yet to meet a designer that doesn’t have a whole bunch of side projects and business ideas just waiting in the wings. Stuff they have all the necessary talents and skills to be able to put into the world if only they had the time. Well now is that time.

Obviously the people I’m speaking to here are those that might have seen their business slow down a bit over the past week or so. If it’s been business as usual for you then that’s great, keep on truckin’, but if you’re one of those designers that are starting to feel the pinch, I urge you not to stretch out what projects you do have in order to fill your days, not to sit by phone, or wait for that email whilst you ponder if changing the font on your website would be a good idea.

Start doing something!

Try something new

Now I know I started out by saying you should use the skills you have to build something up, but sometimes it’s nice to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Also – let’s not kid ourselves here; whatever you end up doing, at some point it’ll circle back round to those sweet design skills of yours.

For me something I’ve been wanting to try my hand at for ages has been leather working. I get mesmerised watching youtube videos from Little King Goods (also they’re really calming) – there’s something about the precision that really reminds me of web design. I know that probably sounds odd, but it makes sense to me so shut up. Plus it’s something that I can do with my hands instead of a keyboard, it’s something that not only doesn’t require me to look at a screen but actively prohibits it.

This is of course up to you, but if you have an idea in mind that maybe sees you step away from your regular workspace, why not give it a try?

Worst case scenario is that you waste a bit of time learning to appreciate your wallet in a whole new way, but best case scenario is that this might just turn into a new little venture for you. Something to ease the burden on your freelance design career or maybe just provide a bit of paid respite from it.

is owner of Hunting Town Design, a small design house based in Manchester UK specialising in Graphic Design and Illustration. Alex is also the founder and editor of The Design Range. Find out more about Alex on his website or follow him on twitter.
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