I hear this phrase a lot: “I can’t make any extra money on the side because I feel like I have no skills to start a side business with!”

And I can understand why you might be thinking this, but as I’m about to prove to you, it’s absolutely not true!

EVERYONE has a skill or idea they can turn into a money-making side hustle, you just need to follow a process to uncover your best ideas.

I covered how to do this in a recent H&G Live Workshop.

And because I love you guys so much and am really passionate about showing people how they can start a profitable side hustle, you can catch the replay below.

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Not really into watching videos? I get it. Here’s what I covered inside the workshop below.

Discovering Side Hustle Ideas When You “Have No Skills”Start blog or biz without online business skills

#1: Write down everything you’re good at

Grab a piece of paper or notebook. You could also do this in a virtual notebook like Evernote, but I prefer to do this on physical paper.

With a pen (or your choice of writing instrument), make a list of all the skills you’re good at.

Don’t veto anything. Write it all down.

Struggling to come up with any ideas? Think about the things that come easily to you.

For example, writing non-fiction books is a skill that comes easily to me. I don’t have to put a lot of effort into writing books because it’s a skill that I can do, almost with my eyes closed.

#2: Write down everything people say you’re good at

You’ll need a fresh piece of paper for this next exercise.

Using your pen, I want you to write down everything that people say you’re good at, or the things that people ask you for advice on—or help with, all the time.

For me, that’s anything to do with computers. I once had a client who paid me by the hour to jump on Skype and fire computer-related questions at me that he needed help with.

Again, don’t veto anything. Get it all down.

#3: Write down all the skills you utilize in your day job

New piece of paper alert!

Start with a fresh piece of paper for this one.

Now, write down all the skills you do in your day job. I want you to break it down to your daily tasks. What are you spending your day doing while you’re at work?

Here’s a list of what my old work-day used to look like in my job:

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  • Respond to client emails
  • Create and format reports
  • Create spreadsheets for tracking client program data
  • Answer incoming phone calls from clients
  • Schedule group meetings with senior doctors and overseas doctors
  • Facilitate program management


You can then grab the skills that you’re using from these tasks.

So sticking with my own example above here are the skills I was using on a day-to-day basis:

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  • MS Word advanced knowledge
  • MS Excel intermediate knowledge
  • Calendar management
  • Email management
  • Data entry


You get the gist of what I’m doing here, right?

You need to find the individual skills that you’re doing in your job.

Write them all down, even the things that you think are not relevant.

No vetting allowed.

#4: Write down what you’re passionate about, or what your hobbies are

This next list is different to the first list where you wrote down what you’re good at.

For this list, I want you to write down the things you love to do, that make your heart sing. The things you’d do for free if you didn't have to worry about paying for things.

For me, this includes writing, dancing (you can check me out competing below!), collecting shoes, all things stationery, reading, laughing out loud, making people smile, volunteering etc.

It's a really old video, but I'm the dancer on the right at the beginning 🙂

#5: Narrow your list down

Once you’ve got all those lists, you’re probably wondering what the heck to do with them?! It’s simple.

We need to narrow them down. Follow the steps below to get your list down to a maximum of 10 ideas.

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  • Eliminate the skills or ideas that you hate doing.
  • Eliminate any skills or ideas that are going to cost more than $100 to get started.
  • Optional: eliminate any skills or ideas that can’t be done online. The reason I say that this is optional because you might prefer to do things away from the computer, which is completely fine.
  • Eliminate any skills or tasks you hate doing.
  • Highlight all the skills or ideas you enjoy doing.


Once you’ve completed this exercise, check to see how many highlighted skills or ideas you have.

If you’ve got more than 10, the next exercise will help.

#6: Validate

Now it’s time to validate them! What do I mean by this? I mean we want to make sure that there is a demand for your skills and ideas so that you can ensure you’re going to make some money.

After all, that’s why you’re looking at starting a side business, right?

Grab the FREE Cheat Sheet!

Grab the PDF cheat sheet that gives you instant access to the "discover your side hustle skills" exercises now!

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How do you validate?

If your skills are largely service-based and online, then sites like Upwork.com and Fiverr.com are a good place to check.

You’re looking for gigs that are similar to your skill or idea. If you find more than three, then you can safely run with that idea.

If your skills or ideas are largely offline, then you want to check places like Craigslist and your local newspaper classifieds to see if anyone is advertising what you’re looking at offering.

Again, if you see more than three, you can safely run with that idea.

As I’ve just demonstrated, we all have skills we can use to start a side hustle with. It’s just about discovering them and then validating them to make sure they’re gonna make you some money.

If you’re ready to take the next step and get started, make sure you join the 5-Day Challenge!

Join the challenge now!


Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

    8 replies to "How to Start a Blog or Biz When You Feel Like You Have No Skills!"

    • Melissa Ricker

      I really enjoyed reading this! I felt this same way. I think that the validation part is something that a lot of people overlook and then we feel discouraged when our idea doesn’t take off. You have to make sure there is a market for your idea! Great article!

      • Lise Cartwright

        I couldn’t agree more Melissa on the validation part. We all have so many ideas, but not all of them will work. Doing the validation part ensures you don’t waste time on those ideas not worthy of your time 🙂

    • Shannon A

      I appreciate this list because I have a number of different things that I do, but I’m not sure if they’re actually profitable. Since I’m in my twenties it’s hard to figure out what to do since I don’t have a long history of doing anything.

      • Lise Cartwright

        Hi Shannon, I’m glad you found it helpful. It doesn’t matter what your history is of “doing anything” it’s about finding what you love and doing that, and that could be a whole lot of things 🙂 Find the things you love that help others too, and you’re on a winning path. 🙂

    • Rhonda Swan

      Helpful tips, great video and you’re certainly living unstoppable. Cheers!

    • John Chang

      lol – wow, that’s another funny connection, Lise! After I got involved with dancing tango, I ended up helping with organizing.. and, well, one thing led to another!

      Sometimes our curiosity side excursions can lead to developing skills. Not only did I have to learn how to teach, DJ and set up workshops, we even formed a nonprofit.

      But, yet, somehow we end up forgetting and discounting our skills as “oh, that’s just what I had to do..”

      • Lise Cartwright

        Hey John, amazing! And agree, we do forget and discount the skills we have because it’s just something that we do all the time… but that’s exactly why you can do this, because you have those skills 🙂 Awesome re the Tango and DJ connection, so fun!

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