Work Online » Freelancing

The Hedgehog’s Guide To Skill Selection

Something There’s An Established Online Market For

Something You Enjoy Doing
(Or At Least Don’t Hate)

Based on your research in the previous step, you now want to come up with a list of 5-10 jobs you think you would enjoy.

  1. ________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________
  4. ________________________________________
  5. ________________________________________

Again, it’s important to actually dig in and look at the jobs posted in each category to get a feel for the type of work you’d be doing. Don’t write off any category too easily.

Something You Can Do (Or Learn To Do) Better Than Most People

Some things to keep in mind here…

A) Time Constraints

I tend to believe you can learn pretty much any skill to a professional level given enough time and practice, but our aim is to get you earning as quickly as possible.

(Of course, if you’re in no major hurry and have more than three months to devote to skill-building, you can set your sights on higher-level skills.)

So we want to select a skill you can learn well enough in three months that clients will be happy to pay you at least $10/hour consistently.

Related: How To Free Up 10 Hours Per Week To Build Your Online Business

B) Your Strengths And Weaknesses

Your strengths and weaknesses go a long way to determining how quickly you can become proficient at a particular skill.

For example, some people can pick up programming concepts rather quickly and be writing and debugging their own functions in a matter of days, while others will find that kind of work frustrating and unintuitive.

Questions to help figure out your strengths and weaknesses:

  • What kind of work have I been praised for in the past?
  • What kind of work have I been most proud of in the past?
  • What kind of work have I found frustrating in the past?
  • What kind of work have I found easy in the past?

C) Resources

Lastly, you should take into consideration how much help there is available for learning certain skills.

For example, there are tons of resources online — many of them free — for learning skills like web development, programming, and social media marketing.

Not so much for skills like interior design and paralegal services.

For each skill you’re interested in, do a quick google search to see what resources are available. 2

  • Are there online courses?
  • Free tutorials?
  • Interviews with successful online freelancers you could contact for advice?

Quick Review

Our mission in this lesson was to figure out a solid skill that you can use to freelance online.

As per the Hedgehog Concept, we’ve been looking for a skill that lies at the intersection of these three circles…

To find that skill, you should have run through the 3-step process laid out above.

After that, it’s time to start narrowing down your options and making a firm choice as to which skill you’re going to focus on.

If you’re really hesitant to commit to anything right now, that’s okay, but it’s good to at least choose something (anything!) to start experimenting with. You can always come back and try something different later. Doing nothing now isn’t going to help you figure it out.

So, with that in mind, which skill are you going to focus on?

Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. In fact it’s not even the first (or second) place you should look to find clients. More on that here.
  2. Note that inside 3M1K Premium, you’ll find lists of the best free and paid resources for many popular skills, saving you the trouble of finding and vetting them yourself.