Top 5 Tips: Start Your Very-Own Creative Side Hustle

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Are you are a stay-at-home mum looking for something to keep the creative energies flowing and earn a bit of pūtea? Or a promising female entrepreneur with dreams of building a sustainable start-up to employ you, your whānau/friends and provide well being for you and your tamariki?

No matter what it is, Awa Wahine’s Creative Business Tips will help you make your best creative dreams a reality.


Today I’m going to give you tangible steps to identify your very-own creative side hustle. Then we will envision it and take action towards your creative business dreams coming true.

  1. Find What You Love

Ask yourself, “What do I love doing?”

“What do I love creating?

“What am I passionate about?”

“What do I love doing so much, that it isn’t even work to me.”

Write it down. Journal on it. If it adds value to others, but doesn’t even feel like work then you might have hit it on the mark. You will have to work hard, and take a lot of action to get your creative business off the ground, but if it is something you are passionate about, then all that becomes… a whole lot easier.

So, you’ve identified something that you love creating. Maybe you are a writer, an artist, an illustrator, a weaver or fashion designer. What could a life where you earn pūtea from this outlet of creativity look like?

2. Imagine Your Dream Future Life

Sit quietly, close your eyes and after a few minutes of deep-breathing, imagine your dream future life. If negative thoughts start to butt in, you know the “that will never be you,” “you can’t do this,” “who do you think you are,” just acknowledge them and keep dreaming and remembering that…

Anything is possible. NOTHING is out of reach for you if you believe and take guided + determined action.

Imagine the clothes future-you will be wearing. Feel the material on the duvet cover on your bed. Walk around your dream future house/apartment. Decorate your office/studio/creative space with all your favourite things (in your mind).

If you feel guided to, journal on this as well.

3. Who Else is Already Living Your Dream?

The next step, is to be inspired by the actions of those who are further ahead than you in realising their creative business dreams.

Get on Instagram, and start following some artists, writers, weavers, fashion designers. Read their posts, go to the events they are at. Reach out to them on Instagram. Purchase some of their artwork or clothing or see if they will mentor/life coach you. Send in a writing or art submission to Awa Wahine to build up your writer or artist CV/portfolio and/or your online presence.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • How do they add value to others?

  • How are the earning pūtea from this added value? If they aren’t, how might you be able to? (You may need to think outside of the box)

  • What products/services do they offer?

  • How can I use their business model as inspiration for my own creative dreams?

To be clear, this step isn’t about copying others. You have your own unique gift. It’s about taking inspiration from multiple sources to allow you to envision the best way to share your OWN UNIQUE GIFT, and add value to the people who really want to purchase your creative product/service.

4. Find Creative Communities That Attract Your Wairua

Become someone who seeks out sources of information to help them reach their dreams. Go to events like Wāhine Who Create run by Awa Wahine. Go along to the business support events that InnoNative (Whangarei) run, or the women-empowering events by Tuhi Stationery or NukuLive (Auckland). Attend a HineBoss workshop click here.

Network with other wāhine who like you, are wanting to create something of value. Approach the InnoNative Market Pop-Up Store in Whangarei (and any other friendly stockists in your rohe) to see if they will stock your products.

Don’t be disheartened if they say no. Tell yourself, “on to the next one!” Remember with every no that you get, you are one step closer to your first yes.

This step is all about finding people to keep your wairua energised, motivated and accountable as you begin to take guided action to create your side-hustle.

5. Work Out What Help You Need

So now you have a creative-calling or creative business idea. You know what skills you do have. But what help from others will you need to make your idea a reality? Write these down.

But don’t let them put you off, or overwhelm you. This is just about identifying who you will need to attract to your idea to provide the support you need to get it off the ground.

Then list all those around you, your whānau, your extended networks who may be able to help.

Then approach them. Today.

If they say no, that’s okay. Someone else who has the exact skills you need will arrive at the right time. You just need to keep your eyes open, so you know how to identify them when they turn up at your doorstep.

Search the web and find blogs/YouTube videos that can provide you with step-by-step guidelines on how to do the things you don’t currently know how to do.

Apply for free business coaching through the HinePreneur programme click here run by the Māori Women’s Development Inc. Enroll in the free business courses run by Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa. Find a life coach or mentor.

That’s it! Once you’ve completed these steps you are reading to start taking guided action. This will be covered in detail in next weeks post.

Thanks for reading!


Ataria Sharman (the founder of Awa Wahine) provides mentoring for wāhine who want to know their creative-calling and/or to start their own creative business. She can guide you step-by-step through how to create your own blog/website and/or social media accounts + social media strategy to maximise sales.

She is currently offering one free creative-mentoring session via Zoom to wāhine to help them craft their dream creative life. Click the button to take advantage of this amazing offer.