The Side Hustle Show is the podcast for part-time entrepreneurs who are looking for business ideas, actionable tips to start a business, and killer strategies on how to turn their side hustle dreams into a growing business. We cover all aspects of starting a business and making money (online and offline), including small business marketing, sales, websites, social media marketing, blogging, time management, and more. Our topics include passive income ideas, niche sites, self-publishing, software and app development, coaching and consulting, freelancing, affiliate marketing, Amazon FBA, and much more.Learn how to turn your business idea into your own thriving small business. Starting your own business gives you the freedom and opportunity to quit your job. It doesn't take a high-flying start-up to make money or create an awesome lifestyle business.Guests include Jon Acuff, Chris Ducker, Brian Clark, John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, and many Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk proteges. Because your 9 to 5 may make you a living, but your 5-9 makes you alive. Hosted by Nick Loper, Chief Side-Hustler at Side Hustle Nation (.com).
You’ve started a business. You’ve created a product or a service. You’re selling it to clients and getting great feedback. That’s great, you’ve overcome so many of the hurdles we face as entrepreneurs. But the next step is finding a way to keep new customers coming through the doors and scaling up your services. That’s the challenge today's guest Matt Rudnitsky of Platypusbooks.com is facing. Matt helps entrepreneurs and other interesting people turn their ideas and expertise into books. For this, Matt earns $30k and up per project. But, as you might have guessed, it takes a ton of work and the client pipeline is sometimes dry for months at a time. Matt has also created an online course teaching self-publishing, but hasn’t enrolled any students yet. So, I invited Kurt Elster from EtherCycle.com back onto the show. (Some of you will remember Kurt from episode 71 back in 2014 where he talked about productized consulting). Kurt hosts the unofficial Shopify podcast and is a leader in productized consulting in the Shopify space. He’s faced all the same problems Matt, and a lot of you reading this are currently facing. Tune in to hear our take on Matt’s business and Kurt's recommendations for next steps. As you listen in, put yourself in Matt’s shoes and see how a similar product or service ladder can apply to your own business.
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. This post (and podcast episode) are inspired by my presentation at FinCon last month. I broke my own rule of not seeking out any speaking gigs, and submitted for a breakout session. The idea was a bit of an homage to the conference: 10 FinCon Breakthroughs that Tripled My Business. The powers that be stripped the "FinCon" part from the title, but I was still able to highlight some of my favorite -- and most impactful -- takeaways from the annual conference. I've been every year since 2015, and have seen some great steady business growth since then. This chart tracks my yearly profit: While there are certainly other factors that went into that growth, there is absolutely a concrete, positive ROI from attending. And on top of that, it's super energizing to hang around a group of motivated, talented, and generous individuals. So here we go with the 11 simple ideas!
If you have an online business, chances are you’ve tried your hand at outreach. If you want to expand and grow your business, especially from an SEO standpoint, you need good quality links pointing to your site from other websites. The problem is that getting other sites to link to you is not easy, as I’m sure you’ve found it. The “traditional” method is to send out dozens, even hundreds of emails to other site owners trying to land a guest post. But, as today's guest Brendan Hufford explains, this takes an awful lot of work, has a low chance of success, and the links you do get might not actually be doing much for your site’s SEO. Brendan is an SEO master, a long-time entrepreneur, and a master at building win-win relationships. His approach to SEO and link building is a little different. “Build friend’s first, not links,” is Brendan’s motto when it comes to outreach. He’s come up with his own Dream 100 Strategy for SEO, and he’s seen it work wonders with his own businesses and for his students. Tune in to hear Brendan explain how you can create your own Dream 100 list of the sites you’d like to work with to grow your business. He explains why most outreach is awful, how you should be reaching out to people, why there is long-term value in building friendships, and how you can improve your SEO and grow your online business.
Sick of trading time for money? Looking for ways to turn a service or a skill you already have into a digital product? This is exactly what Matt Bochnak of HowtoMotorcycleRepair.com has done. He’s turned a "blue collar" service business--repairing motorcycles--into a lucrative business with multiple streams of time-leveraged income. This is a “Where are they now?” episode. I first caught up with Matt early in 2016 when he was a guest on episode 160 of the Side Hustle Show. Back then, Matt’s revenue split was about 50/50 between repairing bikes and selling the video guides of the repairs. Overall, his business was doing around $800-$1,000 a month. Fast forward almost 4 years later and Matt is earning $4,000-$5,000 a month, still on the side from his day job. What’s more impressive is that this boost in revenue is mostly from passive income streams, and he’s spending less time than ever in his garage. If this sounds like a side hustle you’d like to replicate with your own business, tune in to hear how Matt’s creating content without repairing customer's motorcycles, and the various passive income streams he’s built up over the past 4 years. Related: Need a website for your service business? Here’s the fastest and cheapest way to get one online.
A small blog doesn't have to mean a small income. By helping a specific group of people solve their problems, Carol Tice has attracted more than 1500 members -- at $25 a month -- to join her community. Note: Click here to download Carol’s top tips for starting and growing a paid membership community from this episode. Carol went from working as a freelance writer, to coaching others how to become freelance writers, to building one of the largest online membership sites for freelance writers. (I found Carol while doing keyword research for terms like “get paid to write” and “make money writing” – and Carol OWNS this space.) The best part is that the paid membership model is an awesome way to build an online business, and it’s a model that can be applied to just about any niche. It didn’t come without sacrifice for Carol, who was working full-time and had two preschoolers when she started her blog. “I didn’t see a TV show, I didn’t go out to a movie, I didn’t go to dinner parties,” Carol explained. But with hard work, a laser-focused attitude towards her goals, and good communication with her audience, Carol has built something special for freelance writers. Tune in to hear how Carol built her membership site from the ground up. She explains how she uses funnels to constantly bring in new members, and how she keeps members engaged (any paying) for the long-haul. You’ll learn loads of actionable stuff, and how you can also apply the same tactics to develop a recurring revenue business of your own.
I wish I was half as smart now as I was at 16! But learning everything you don't know is part of the process. One thing I love about my work is I feel like I learn new things every day. Sometimes they're small little tweaks and hacks, and other times they're broader strategies or ideas. I originally drafted this list 7 years ago, after my 30th birthday, but decided it was due for an update. (I updated it at 35, too, but keep learning more!) For context, that was pre-Side Hustle Nation, pre-podcast, pre-kids, and pre-almost everything I'm working on now. I'd been a full-time entrepreneur for 4 years already at that point, but my business had seen lots of ups and downs. Turning 30 had hit me harder than I expected it to, and I'm guessing it was because I really wasn't where I wanted to be. I'd been battling with flaky developers, fighting with the state Assembly in Sacramento over affiliate marketing tax laws, and we were in the process of short-selling our home -- which had been a major source of stress. Seven years later, that stuff is thankfully in past, and I’m in a better place today. That's not to say I'm completely stress-free, but I'm incredibly fortunate to have a healthy family and to get to work on stuff I love every day. Each year that goes by makes me more and more aware of that fact. But the life I have today didn't happen overnight. It's the result of literally decades (well, at least 2) of entrepreneurial education, trial and error, hustle, and if I'm being totally honest, luck. In any case, here are 37 life lessons I've picked up in my 37 years on this planet. Enjoy!
The fastest way to multiply money? It might be reselling. That is, buy low, sell high, repeat. Keely Stawicki started reselling when she was just 12 years old, flipping a horse saddle on Craigslist and making $100 profit. Fast forward 15 years--and more than $270,000 in sales--and reselling is now her full-time gig. Today, Keely focuses mostly on vintage goods, clothing, and furniture--all items in great demand right now. Reselling is a business model we keep coming back to because it checks some of the boxes for an awesome side hustle: Anybody can do it It doesn't require a huge upfront investment It’s quick to get started and see results If this sounds like a side hustle you’re interested in, listen in to hear Keely’s top tips for sourcing profitable inventory, the types of products she sees doing well today, and where she lists and markets her items for maximum exposure and profitability.
Buy a house. Rent it out. Tenants pay it off for you. It’s possibly one of the oldest side hustles in the books, right? Done right, owning rental properties can be an attractive long-term income and wealth-building strategy. But done wrong, it can be a recipe for headaches and a mountain of debt. It’s a side hustle that I know a lot of the Side Hustle Nation readers and listeners are interested in (as am I). For this one, I collected my own real estate investing questions, and gathered more from the Side Hustle Nation Facebook community. On the other end of the line is Zach Evanish, a remote real estate investor and Director of Retail for Roofstock. Roofstock is a marketplace designed to make it easy to shop for, compare, and purchase rental properties. (Zach was Roofstock employee #3 -- and has bought 11 rental properties of his own through the platform.)
She always knew she wanted to start her own business, she just didn’t know what kind of business. Sound familiar? So, Sylvia Inks asked friends and colleagues what they saw her as an expert in, and what they go to her for advice and help with. Their answers? “They said I’m great with finances, and they said I have great research skills,” Sylvia told me. This helped Sylvia narrow down her focus to financial coaching. From there she started networking, wrote a book, and worked diligently on her presentation and speaking skills. Her business has taken off as a result. Tune in to hear how Sylvia found her niche, found her first clients, and continues to level up her impact and income. As you listen in, you'll notice the common theme throughout the call: conversations + action.
Michele Mattix of SedonaMeditationExperiences.com has a unique side hustle where she gets paid to breathe. As a tagline that sounds great, but there’s a lot more to her side hustle than just breathing. In fact, in Michele’s own words she describes her business as helping, “people experience the spiritual side of Sedona and to bring more awareness and wellness into their life through meditation, mindfulness, and a deep connection with nature.” Michele is able to offer all of this because she is a certified meditation instructor. The interesting part is how she's managed to carve out a profitable business model in the experience economy using Airbnb’s Experiences platform. When travelers book a stay in Arizona using Airbnb, they are also offered one of Michele’s meditation experiences -- at a cost of course. This enables Michele to take advantage of the huge marketing machine that is Airbnb. They drive the traffic and raise awareness of her meditation experiences, and it’s paying off. Tune in to hear how Michele found her first experience customers, what she’s done to market and grow her business, and how you may be able to apply the same strategies to an experience of your own.
It’s time to dive into the ol’ listener mailbag and answer a few questions in this week’s edition of The Side Hustle Show. I’ve had quite a few interesting questions come in since the last Q&A episode, and picked 20 to talk through in today’s show. Like this format? This is the 8th installment of “20 Questions” so feel free to go back and binge on the older ones too: 320: Multiplying Money, Morning Routines, and $100k Side Hustles: 20 Questions with Nick 291: Email, Ebooks, Platforms, and Conferences: 20 Questions with Nick 271: Brilliant Blogging, Ruthless Productivity, and Guaranteed Success: 20 Questions with Nick 245: Network Marketing, Imposter Syndrome, My Side Hustle Mistakes, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 219: Growing Traffic, Monetization, List-Building, a Day in the Life, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 198: Blogging, Branding, Book Writing, and Finding the Right Side Hustle for You: 20 Questions with Nick 181: SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Self-Publishing, Udemy, and More: 20 Questions with Nick A common piece of advice you’ll hear is to take audience questions and turn them into content, so here’s a meta example of that in action. This episode covers the dark side of side hustling, beanie babies, affiliate marketing, and much more.
Jaime Masters has interviewed more than 500 millionaires. On top of that, she runs some premium mastermind programs and is a sought-after business coach. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to get on the podcast for years, and I think we came up with something unique and hopefully compelling. Jaime agreed to actually coach me on a couple of areas of my business. In preparation, she: took a look at the last 12 months of my business finances asked me to complete a time-tracking study to see what I was actually spending my time on had both my wife and I complete a 5-year vision document So, if you want to hear what a millionaire coach thinks of my operations and what I could or should be doing differently, or just want hear the kinds of questions that come up, tune in. I think you’ll find the insights applicable to your own business, no matter what level you’re at.
A location-independent consulting business that replaces your day job income in a matter of months? That's exactly what Paul Minors accomplished with his virtual software consulting business. You might recognize Paul’s name. Paul is a productivity blogger and consultant from New Zealand. He was part of a fun productivity roundtable episode we did towards the end of 2016 -- that was episode 197 if you want to go back and check it out. What I now know, is that at that time Paul was putting the wheels in motion on his consulting business centered around specific software tools. Which as a side hustle tactic, is fantastic. If you can hitch your cart to a rising tide of interest in a particular tool, and become the go-to expert in that space, you can do really well. And, that’s exactly what Paul has done. Note: Click here to download Paul’s top tips for setting up a location-independent consulting business and landing your first clients from this episode. Paul was able to leave his day job within a couple of months of starting his business. He was then able to go traveling with his wife for 6-months while working 15-20 hours a week from his laptop. After arriving back home, he started working full-time on his consulting business. “I noticed the impact of that straight away, within a couple of months I had doubled my income,” Paul told me. It's clear Paul has figured out this business model. This one’s packed with ideas you might be able to apply to your own areas of expertise. Maybe you’ll even uncover some areas of expertise you never really considered that special before. Tune in to hear how Paul came across the idea of offering his first consulting services “by accident”. As well as how he’s used several different marketing channels to drive targeted traffic to his website, and how he’s been adding more products and services to his portfolio and seen his revenue increase as a result.
We all have a limit to our capacity. For some entrepreneurs and small business owners, that’s a tough pill to swallow . But when you’re up against that ceiling you have to decide between two options. You can: Settle in. Ask for help in breaking through. This episode is about growing your team in such a way that you have some breathing room in your schedule and in your mental bandwidth to do the work that’s required of a business owner. Even though I’ve been hiring virtual help in my businesses since 2005, I’ve still got a lot to learn! This is something that’s been on my mind this year as I think about where I want to my current operations to go and who can help get me there. To help dive into this topic, I’m excited to welcome John Jonas and Nate Hirsch to the show. Between them, they’ve got more than 60 virtual team members and have been practicing remote management for more than a decade. They both run platforms to help you make your first virtual hire as well: John heads up OnlineJobs.ph, the largest remote job board and resume database for workers in the Philippines. Nate created FreeeUp.com, a curated freelance marketplace for workers all around the world. Tune in to hear John and Nate’s take on when it’s time to hire, how to find the best talent for your budget, and some common mistakes to avoid.
Is options trading legit? Is it a viable side hustle? In this episode, we’re tackling trading options -- a topic that’s been frequently requested by listeners, but is somewhat foreign to me. To help school me on this, I’m excited to welcome my friend Kirk DuPlessis to the show. Kirk runs the super popular site OptionAlpha.com, where you can get all sorts of free options trading training. He’s been at this for over 10 years and the site has over 150,000 members. Options trading (when done right) is a high probability form of investing, but as with all investments it’s based on risk. Kirk explained options contracts are like insurance. As a trader, you can either be a buyer of insurance or a seller of that insurance. On the buying side, it’s a way to kind of amplify your trading power through leverage. Instead of buying 100 shares of a certain stock and hoping it goes up, for example, you could buy contracts for a fraction of the share price that give you the option to buy the stock at today’s price should it go up by a defined amount in a certain amount of time -- the contract term. If it does, you exercise your option and make a big gain on a small initial investment. If it doesn’t, you just lose your initial option contract purchase price, kind of like your car insurance premium if you don’t get into a wreck. On the seller side, you’re the person selling that insurance. You collect the cash upfront, and as long as the trigger event doesn’t happen, you keep it. Kirk argues that just like insurance companies are some of the most profitable in the world, option sellers are most often the winners in the options trading game. In this post and podcast episode, Kirk explains in more detail about how this all works in practice and shares his 8 rules for success in options trading.
Amy Feierman and Kristin Ostrander of MommyIncome.com have generated over $2 million in sales on Amazon over the last 12 months with a unique strategy that has high margins and lower costs per sale. What are they selling on Amazon? Bundles -- Think shampoo and conditioner, peanut and butter, or any 2-6 products that compliment each other and provide some added value and convenience to the buyer. Note: Click here to download Amy & Kristin’s top tips for sourcing, packaging, and selling wholesale bundles on Amazon from this episode. Amy and Kristin have both been selling online for over 10 years, but recently they have shifted their focus onto this specific strategy of wholesale bundles – and it’s working really well for a number of reasons. These bundles make life easier for the 1-click ordering, free Prime shipping Amazon customer, and they make life better for you as a seller because you face less competition and can earn better profit margins. Tune in to hear how Amy and Kristin go about their product research that leaves them confident their bundles are going to sell without any paid ads, product reviews, or marketing efforts. You'll also learn how they're sourcing their inventory, the kinds of upfront investment needed, and the price points and margins they're working with.
Over the last 10 years, the bulk of my energy and attention has been on building audience businesses. These types of businesses (usually) involve creating some helpful resource, and then figuring out a way to monetize the people who come by to use it. In my case, that's primarily been through affiliate marketing and more recently, advertising on this podcast. But you also have the flexibility to sell products and services to your audience once you have their attention. In this episode, I'll play a section from my latest book on Building an Audience Business of your own, and share why I'm giving it away for free on Amazon.
Robert Brandl is a German entrepreneur now living in Spain with his wife and twin 16-month olds, but 10 years ago he was working full-time, wanting to travel, and was just trying to figure out how to get a blog online. He did what most aspiring bloggers would do--he turned to Google for answers. But he was disappointed with what he found. Nobody was doing a great job answering his question and comparing all the different options. With that, WebsiteToolTester.com was born. This is Robert’s flagship affiliate site that now has in-depth reviews of all the top website building software. I invited Robert on the show because this is a really common side hustle business model: the affiliate review site. How it often works is you write product reviews, hopefully attract some organic search traffic, and then collect your commissions when someone buys through your links. We saw this most recently in the physical product space with Kieran MacRae in episode 313, where he was reviewing mattresses and other sleep-related products. But like most businesses, there’s an art and a science to doing this right and building a truly helpful resource as Robert has. And, he’s applied the same model to a number of different niches too, including email service providers, live chat tools, and more. You can check out his whole portfolio at ToolTester.net. Tune in to hear how Robert structures his review content to make it easy to consume, how he optimizes it for SEO, and how you might apply the same strategies to an affiliate review site of your own. Or even just to review content on your existing blog.
This week I’m excited to introduce one of the hottest side hustles of the moment, and that is low-content self-publishing. What is low-content publishing? Let me explain -- self-publishing has been around for a decade, and we’ve covered that quite a bit in both fiction and non-fiction -- it’s one of my favorite and perhaps most passive side hustles. Write the book, hit publish, collect royalties for years. Cool, right? Well, it’s the whole write the book part where a lot of people get stuck. You might not know what to write about, and even if you do, it can be really time-consuming, and at the end of the day, it still might turn out to not be a huge seller on Amazon. What low-content publishing aims to accomplish is to accelerate your product creation by focusing on a very specific sub-set of books: journals diaries planners notebooks sketchbooks and more With these types of books, the value doesn’t come from your years of experience and a 35,000-word brain dump. Instead it comes from how you’ve structured the mostly-blank internal pages and prompts, and who you’re targeting as your customer. With Amazon’s print-on-demand KDP print service, you can upload these products as digital files, hold no physical inventory, and collect passive royalties whenever they sell. But there’s an art and a science to it, and that’s why I’ve assembled a panel of experts in today’s show. I’m joined by three experts in the low-content publishing space with more than 1,000 titles between them: Rob Cubbon from RobCubbon.com - Long-time listeners might remember Rob from episode 81, back in 2014. Rob’s been in the low-content game for the last year or so and in that time has published over 1,000 titles. Flav Maderios from SideBusinessLaunch.com - Flav was a guest on episode 300 of The Side Hustle Show last summer, where we were talking about his merch business. Since then he’s expanded to the self-publishing space with around 300 titles so far. Rachel Harrison-Sund from RachelHarrisonSund.com - Rachel built her low content business to 6-figures a year on a very part-time basis. But as you’ll hear in this episode, there’s some seasonality that comes into play, there are some competitive factors that come into play, and there’s a little bit of a gold rush feel to all of this. Tune in to hear how these low content publishers go about their product research (so they don’t waste their time), how they price and market their books to maximize sales and royalties, and how they manage such wide-ranging portfolios. Download the Free PDF Highlight Reel: Click here to download Rob, Flav, and Rachel's top tips for starting a low-content KDP publishing business from this episode.
At the end of nearly every episode of The Side Hustle Show, I ask my guests for their #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation. There’s always a great variety of responses, and I wanted to take some time today to go through some of my favorites from the past 50-ish interviews. This has become an annual tradition on the show, and we just passed 6 years and 8.5 million downloads! If you like this short-and-sweet meta-style show, be sure to check out the others in this series: Episode 50 Episode 124 Episode 177 Episode 236 Episode 288 And even though my primary motivation is to extract helpful tactics for you, the listener, I can’t help but learn from my guests as well. You never know when inspiration will strike or where you’ll hear the one insight that has a huge impact. These episodes are a lot of fun to put together, and give me an excuse to revisit some of my favorite moments and wise words from the show. From the last 49 guests, the 3 most common theme I heard was to "Take action. Just start!" While it might sound overly generic, don’t be quick to dismiss it. If all these really smart and successful people keep saying these episode after episode as their “#1 tip,” I think it's worth paying attention to. My #1 tip this time? Surround yourself with people on the same trajectory.
Dr. Shirag Shemmassian decided to take action on a particular skill of his, and is seeing some impressive results -- all on the side from his day job as a research psychologist. What do I mean by impressive? How about $650k in revenue last year, which was more than double of 2017, which was more than triple of 2016. He’s on a serious growth curve!
“Everyone is researching a product, I’m telling you to research a problem,” Chad told me. Chad Rubin runs ThinkCrucial.com, a profitable e-commerce business that he’s built by selling products that solve a pain point for people. Every product follows a direct-to-consumer strategy that lets him source and sell in-demand products efficiently and inexpensively. Click here to download Chad's top tips for finding and sourcing direct-to-consumer products from this episode. Chad’s story began when he was laid off from his job on Wall Street. He started helping out at his parent’s vacuum shop, selling some of their inventory online. He came to the realization that the profit margins were being eaten up by intermediaries along the supply chain, so he decided to get closer to the manufacturers to make more profit per sale, while still selling at a competitive price. His first products, starting with what he knew, were vacuum filters. Once he had the blueprint down for selling at a higher margin than his competitors, Chad started sourcing new products to expand his product line, and he has an interesting and unusual way of finding product ideas. Tune in to hear Chad’s unique take on product research, what he calls the “anti-Amazon opportunity,” and some sneaky ways you can connect with expert manufacturers.
He'd just gained 3000 subscribers and made $8000 in a matter of days, but Chris Ritter's first virtual summit didn't deliver the result was looking for. As a personal trainer for swimmers, he was looking for more clients to coach online. Not a single one signed up. Still, the summit was a serious turning point in his business--one that turned into a 6-figure side project in its first year. He started serving an entirely different set of customers, and went from working one-on-one to one-to-many. Note: Click here to download Chris' top tips from this episode. His multi-year journey includes in-person personal training, seeking online clients, writing blog posts, selling an e-book, hosting a hit virtual summit, and more. Listen in because you’ll pick up some tactics and ideas you can apply to your own side hustle as this is one that’s ripe for replication across different niches. It’s a story about leveling up your reach and impact and income, and evidence that opportunities start to appear once you’re in motion.
There's a topic that no one really talks about in entrepreneurship or online business, and that's the unfair advantages someone had starting out. Behind every killer case study, every income report, every "overnight" success, there's a backstory you don't always hear. The truth is, no one ever really starts from scratch. We bring our own history, perspectives, and baggage to the table. We also have the advantage of learning from everyone who's gone before us. Like Newton said, we "stand on the shoulders of giants." In this episode, I'll share some unfair advantages that undoubtedly helped me, and offer up some you probably have working in your favor as well.
Kimberly Gauthier has been running KeepTheTailWagging.com since 2011, but things really started to take off when she niched down her focus to raw feeding for dogs. Raw feeding is basically the paleo diet for dogs -- attempting to mimic their ancestral diet. Her blog had than 2 million page views last year -- almost entirely from organic search in Google, and she’s monetized the traffic with a few different income streams. Tune in to hear how Kimberly arrived at his niche, what drives content and marketing today, and how the business makes money -- all on the side from her day job.
WTF man!? Are you willing to fail! Let that be your new mantra. That's the rule Brian Scudamore -- the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK -- lives by. What started with a $1000 investment (Brian's life's savings at the time) has turned into a home services empire that does $1 million in sales on any given day. Brian's come a long way since that beat-up pickup truck going door-to-door that first summer. His portfolio now includes house painting, moving services, and home detailing--all under the umbrella of Ordinary 2 Exceptional Brands. He’s formulated some unique and effective ways to build teams of passionate employees that share his goals and has leveraged the franchise model to grow his businesses and revenue from $0 to $444 million and beyond. Tune in to hear how Brian started the junk hauling business as a soon-to-be college student, his thoughts on marketing and hiring, and how you can apply nearly 30 years of his own successes and failures to your business.
A few years ago, a side hustler named Brock McGoff reached out to me with a guest post pitch. The post detailed how he was making, at that time, $4,000 a month, from his blog about men’s fashion, on the side from his day job. Since then, Brock has turned TheModestMan.com into his full-time focus, into a 6-figure income, and into a media empire that expands well beyond the blog itself. Note: Click here to download Brock's top tips for growing an online business from this episode. In this episode, Brock talks me through how he generates content ideas, how the business makes money, where he’s focusing his energy for the best results, and how he’s taken his site from a side hustle to a full-time business. Don't have a website of your own yet? Check out my free video series on how to get up and running in no time.
Roberto Chavez started his raw land flipping side hustle a little over a year ago, and with persistence, has already built it into 5-figure of monthly revenue. This is a business model that was first introduced to me by Mark Podolsky, from TheLandGeek.com, in episode 108 of The Side Hustle Show. He called it "the best passive income model" because it avoids "the 3 T’s" of traditional real estate investing: tenants, toilets, and termites. How the model works is you: acquire parcels of land on the cheap because the owners don’t want them anymore re-sell them either for a quick cash flip, or more commonly, as an owner-financed sale. This is where the passive income comes in as you collect monthly payments for a period of 3-7 years, or whatever terms you agree on. For example, buy a $10,000 parcel upfront for $2,500, and resell it for $199 a month for 5 years. In that scenario, your total payments collected would be almost $12,000, and you'd breakeven on your initial investment after about a year. Where the persistence comes in, is the initial seller outreach. It’s very much a numbers game, as you’ll hear Roberto explain. I think that’s what separates those who have success in it from, those who don’t. Tune in to learn how Roberto finds parcels to buy for 25 cents on the dollar, how he figures out how much to offer, the due diligence that goes into these deals, and how he re-sells them for profit. Note: Roberto is actually a student of Mark's. When I told Mark we were recording this episode, he offered his Land Investing Launch Kit (normally $97) free for Side Hustle Show listeners. I'm also an affiliate for his paid program; use code "sidehustle" for $500 off.
"Growth isn't the byproduct of success," Paul Jarvis told me. "Or at least it shouldn't be. The byproduct of success should be freedom." Paul is a talented writer and designer who’s made a living--and a name for himself--by often taking the counterpoint to the conventional wisdom, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship and business growth. His latest book, Company of One, caught my attention. It’s about why building a better business doesn’t necessarily mean building a bigger business. In this episode Paul talks me through: The decision-making frameworks he uses in his business and how you can apply them to yours How he’s intentionally set up his own operation to maximize time leverage and freedom How he’s built a list of 33k+ email subscribers over the 8 years and how this list drives his business today
As we’ve mentioned, “scaling” a service business can be one of the biggest challenges with this business model. In fact, it’s a sticking point that keeps a lot of people away from freelancing altogether. But if your goal is to get big or even to just avoid trading time for money your whole life, there are lots of ways to scale a service business. If you'd like to learn more about starting a service business and connecting with your first clients, check out this in-depth interview with Abbey Ashley (Episode 328). Abbey's claim to fame is she booked enough virtual assistant work during her maternity leave that she didn't have to back to that job she hated when her leave was up! Abbey also put together this killer free training on how to launch and grow your freelance business. In the meantime, here are the 7 Ways to Scale a Service Business from this episode: Raise your rates Go From one-to-one to one-to-many Hire subcontractors Create productized packages Play Matchmaker Look for affiliate opportunities Create a product Enjoy!
Starting a service business on the side is one of the fastest ways to build extra income. It's flexible, low-overhead, and you can probably start with skills you already have. “I had a lot of drive underneath me," Abbey Ashley told me, about starting her service business back in 2013. "I was super pregnant and I hated my job so much,” Abbey started offering her services as a virtual assistant, and connected with her first clients at local networking events in Washington, DC. My the time her maternity leave was up--just a few short months--Abbey had booked enough work to not have to go back to that job she hated. On top of that, she only had to work 20 hours a week to do it, and could work from home. There are almost no barriers to entry to starting a freelance service business, and the startup costs are minimal. (All Abbey did was make business cards for networking.) In fact, it was a service business, a house painting business in my case, that was one of my first entrepreneurial adventures. Over time, Abbey scaled her virtual assistant business from just herself at $20-30 an hour, to her own little virtual agency, to $75 an hour and up for some specialized work. Before long, the questions started coming in: How can I do what you do? How can I work from home and set my own hours? How can I do work I enjoy? In response, she built up a complete training program for would-be virtual assistants. She's helped thousands of people start their own service businesses and has built a thriving free community of virtual assistants. If you want to dive in deeper, check out her free training called Become a Booked Out Virtual Assistant. (That's an affiliate link; if you buy her full program, I'll receive a commission.)
Todd Tresidder took his own personal net worth from less than zero at 23, to self-made millionaire and retired at 35. When it comes to building wealth, he's the smartest guy in the room. His latest book is The Leverage Equation: How to Work Less, Make More, and Cut 30 Years Off Your Retirement Plan. We met through the FinCon community several years ago and I've learned a ton from our conversations. Todd has a unique perspective on business and investing, and our conversations over the years always get me thinking a little differently. He blogs at FinancialMentor.com. Tune in to hear Todd talk me through his 6 types of leverage and how you can apply those as needed in your business: Financial Leverage Time Leverage Technology and Systems Leverage Communications and Marketing Leverage Network and Relationship Leverage Knowledge and Experience Leverage Enjoy!
Jessica Larrew and her husband Cliff have been reselling on Amazon for years. And though it started as a part-time side hustle, it turned into a serious business--they've sold more than $1 million worth of stuff on Amazon! What's surprising – and I think exciting – is that they’ve done this is by finding profitable products to resell primarily in nearby retail stores. How Reselling on Amazon Works Jessica takes advantage of Amazon’s FBA program, or Fulfillment by Amazon. This is Amazon's way of crowdsourcing its inventory, and letting regular people like us tap into its world-class logistics network. That means this Selling Family doesn't have to ship anything to the end customer, handle returns, or write up product descriptions. How the business works is like any other retail business: you profit on the spread between the cost of your product and what it sells for. Now you have to account for Amazon's fees and shipping costs, but it's basically buy low, sell high. And the best part of this side hustle is that you can get started today with whatever initial inventory investment you're comfortable with.
Note: Click here to download Marc’s top tips for turning a hobby into a profitable website from this episode. Marc Andre made over $1.1 million dollars from his photography hobby. But what’s interesting is that he never: got paid to take pictures sold any of his photos held any photography workshops So, what did he do instead? He built and subsequently sold 3 websites related to photography – that sold digital products to other photographers. His journey started in 2012. Marc wanted to upgrade from a point-and-shoot camera to a nice DSLR and some lenses but couldn’t justify the $5k price tag for the equipment. Instead of settling for something else, Marc set himself a challenge to see if he could raise the $5k starting a photography-related side hustle. Things escalated quickly, from starting a site to creating digital products, he made that $5k in a few months. Marc carried on scaling his business, creating more products, starting two more photography-related sites, and over the next 6 years pulled in more than a million dollars in revenue. Tune in to hear Marc’s unique process for starting and growing sites, why he decided to create products before having an audience to sell to, how he used sites that already had traffic to drive sales, and how he scaled up his business to more than a million dollars in revenue in such a short space of time.
Mitch Davis is selling around $9,000 per month with private label products on Amazon Japan on the side from his day job. (Of that, around $3000 is profit, which cover's his family's living expenses.) Selling on Amazon Japan via FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) opens up a whole new marketplace for Amazon sellers, and one that Mitch says is a lot less competitive than the US. Tune in to hear Mitch talk me through: his process for researching profitable products how he deals with manufacturers and the shipping process, some of the nuances that come with selling on a platform that’s not in your native language For more, be sure to check out Mitch's YouTube channel and join his free Amazon FBA Japan Facebook Group.
Note: Click here to download Stacy’s top tips for buying, improving, and managing online businesses from this episode. Stacy Caprio was desperate to leave her day job. She ended up doing just that after acquiring – and improving – a portfolio of mini online businesses. In her case, these were websites that make money from advertising. Now, this asset class can be risky, and Stacy is open about her early failures. But if you have some online skills, (or management skills to bring people in if you don’t want to run the site yourself) this can be a fast-track to the cash flow you need to fund your lifestyle. Since websites often sell for 20x monthly earnings, they're perhaps 10-15x "cheaper" than if you were to rely solely on traditional investments and a 4% withdrawal rate. Sound like the kind of investment that suits your lifestyle? Tune in to hear where Stacy finds these businesses to buy, her unique filtering criteria, and a few quick ways she’s been able to accelerate the cash flow of her portfolio for even better returns.
"We are simultaneously gods and worms.”—Abraham Maslow Power plus humility, right? It's a great combination and something to keep in mind as we try and build our businesses. We can accomplish amazing things, and yet, we're gone in a flash. Mere blips on the historical radar. But let's be the gods of our side hustle universe today, and focus on shaping that business in a way that best serves ourselves and others. In this special solo edition of The Side Hustle Show, I'm breaking down my Top 5 books from last year, and the actions I took (or am taking) as a result of reading them. Hopefully there are a few nuggets you can borrow!
Can you make money hosting trivia nights at local restaurants and bars? I’m a bit of a trivia nerd, so this week’s show was especially interesting to put together! To help walk me through how this business works, is probably the best-qualified guy in the country to do so. Adam Johnston is the co-founder of LastCallTrivia.com, a business that started with just $300 and now powers trivia nights all around the country and provides tools for side hustlers to do the same. Over the last 10 years, Adam has managed to help turn "useless knowledge" into a 7-figure operation. Tune in to hear how this business works, how to pitch and price a trivia night, how to get a new venue off the ground, and most importantly, what makes for a great game. Adam and I even fire some trivia questions at each other, so have your score sheets ready!
It’s time to dive into the ol’ listener mailbag and answer a few questions in this week’s edition of The Side Hustle Show. I’ve had quite a few interesting questions come in since the last Q&A episode, and picked 20 to talk through in today’s show, including: Let’s say you’ve got $100. How do you turn it into $200? What's your #1 morning ritual? Should I create a course around self-care? Am I even qualified to? I haven't made a single sale (on Etsy) and am super demoralized. What can I do? How hard is it to make a website? How do you find a "tech" person for a reasonable rate? Why don't you use ads to monetize your website? In starting my online business, which social media platforms should I focus on? What side hustles do you recommend that could generate $100k a year within a year? When you started Side Hustle Nation, how'd you get engagement from Day 1? No one is buying my book. How can I market it? What WordPress template do you suggest? How do you refer to affiliate links when you haven't used the product? How big of a content backlog do you have / should you have? I'm a college senior interested in entrepreneurship. What do you recommend with the "real world" fast approaching? How was your trip to Mexico? Did you feel unsafe? How do you balance family, job, and business? What's the goal of your local meetups? Why'd you give away the PDF version of The Progress Journal for free? How do you organize your side hustle financially? Which gigs should I create first on Fiverr?
“What I want is immortality," Jack told me. "But I don’t want it in my name, I want it in actions of others.” With the size of his audience today and the number of people he’s helped along the way, there is a very real chance of this happening. Jack Spirko of is a little bit of a legend in the podcasting space, and he’s built a really cool and unique business on the back of his show--which of course started as a side hustle. Actually, it started with him recording the first year and a half of episodes in his car on his commute to work! For the last 10 years and 2300+ episodes, The Survival Podcast has covered topics related to “modern survival.” That is, things like growing your own food, generating your own power, and of course starting your own business. Tune in to hear how Jack built an incredibly loyal and active listener base, how he started leveraging his audience to help grow his podcast, how he built his no-extra-content-required membership site model that drives 90% of his revenue, and his tips for starting and growing your own podcast and audience today.
With 250 million active users, Pinterest is a content discovery platform nearly every blogger and business owner should be spending some time on. The Pinterest tactics shared on this podcast in late 2015 by Rosemarie Groner were extremely effective ... for a while. But I began to see declines in traffic, and today Pinterest brings in perhaps a quarter of the visitors it used to. Still, I’m convinced I could be doing better on the platform to reach more people and help more people with my content. Just like Google, a top-ranking pin can bring in consistent qualified traffic month after month after month. But also like Google, there’s a certain science to the Pinterest algorithm. To help me breathe new life into my account — and walk through how you can do the same even if you’ve never used Pinterest before, I invited Kate Ahl from SimplePinMedia.com to join me on the show. Note: Click here to download Kate’s top tips for creating and optimizing your Pinterest account from this episode. She’s an expert on all things Pinterest marketing, and in this episode, she breaks down everything I’m doing wrong and what you and I should be doing instead to start reaching more people and driving more traffic. Tune in to hear the right way to set up your profile, how to set up and optimize your pins and boards to increase your reach, and how to rank you content in Pinterest's search results to drive more traffic to your site.
“It’s a business with training wheels,” Timika told me. Timika Downes is a school nurse by day but was looking for ways to add income after hours, and ended up licensing someone else’s business idea. Her side hustle is a lice clinic; a brick-and-mortar facility that helps parents and kids get rid of lice. Not the most glamorous niche in the world, but Timika’s clinic did 6-figures in her first year, all on the side from her day job, and it now runs with little time investment from her. The lice clinic is actually just one of several side hustles Timika has going on – she also co-hosts the House of FI podcast, blogs at ReluctantFrugalist.com, and she has 3 kids. Her story is an interesting one. It highlights the differences between licensing and franchising a business, and Timika explains how you can leverage the support of a licensing company to get a business off the ground quickly. Tune in to hear how Timika evaluated the risks and benefits of the licensing opportunity, how she drives business, and how she’s set this up to be a hands-off 6-figure business.
Meredith Marsh is a “total introvert with over 3 million views on YouTube.” When Meredith started VidProMom.com she didn’t set out to be a “YouTuber”. She started a blog and YouTube channel because she wanted to help families better capture those classic, picture-perfect family moments. What she discovered was “a pretty big gap in the whole video creation side of things for people who are creating videos for fun,” Meredith said. She started creating a video series on how to use a GoPro and some of the software - and things quickly snowballed. Her YouTube channel was getting more subscribers than all her other social media metrics and blog visitors added together – so it was obvious that YouTube was the ideal platform for her content. Note: Click here to download Meredith’s top tips for growing a YouTube channel from this episode. A year after starting her channel Meredith left her day job, and her blog/YouTube channel that started as a side hustle is now her full-time job. Tune in to hear how to set up your YouTube channel for success, how to master the YouTube algorithm to reach more people, and how to make money from your new video content.
“There was no safety net, it had to work,” Kelly told me. Kelly Hardwick was talking about her business and blog, FemmeFataleAirsoft.co.uk. It’s a site she built to write about her new hobby in airsoft, which Kelly described as a war games sport, like the Call of Duty video games in real life. Kelly started playing airsoft regularly in 2014. However, she was disappointed with the lack of airsoft content online for women. "Be the change you want to see in the world, right?" she told me about why she started her blog. She started her blog along with an Instagram account, and it’s actually been her Instagram following that has become the linchpin of her business. Her Instagram following has gone from 0-65k in less than 4 years, and it's this popularity on Instagram that has helped her land paid guest posts, social media sponsorships, grow her social media management business, and secure other business opportunities. Tune in to hear how Kelly has grown her audience from 0 to more than 60k followers, how she first monetized her blog, and how she develops profitable relationships with other companies in the airsoft space.
Here's a behind-the-scenes look at my latest experiment, an Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing skill called The Money Making Minute. I think there's an opportunity for entrepreneurs to begin creating content for the popular smart speaker while competition is relatively low. Here's how I'm getting started with it and how you can join in. To learn more, visit TheMoneyMakingMinute.com.
After sitting in on a free webinar and seeing dozens of people buying a course about urban farming, Nate knew he could also create and sell his own course. Nate Dodson of MicroGreensFarmer.com began urban farming initially to take greater control over the food he was eating and to combat Crohn’s disease. But he soon found himself growing more than he could reasonably consume, so like any good entrepreneur, he started selling his produce – and specifically microgreens. With a little bit of effort, he was selling $400 a week worth of microgreens to farmer’s market vendors, local restaurants, and home delivery in his town. But Nate’s little side project has absolutely exploded in the last 2 years, and it hasn’t come from selling more produce. Instead, it’s come from teaching other people how to do what he did. Note: Click here to download Nate’s top tips for selling an online course from this episode. Today Nate is selling $40-50k worth of his microgreens business course a month, mostly on autopilot, and he’s followed a very straightforward path to get there that anyone can apply to their own business. Tune in to hear how he created his product, how he drives consistent traffic, the simple sales funnel he uses to convert browsers into buyers, and the changes he’s made in his business to increase his revenue to $50k+ a month.
“Everyone needs it, people tend not to get enough of it – so that’s how the site came about,” said Kieran. Kieran MacRae is talking about sleep. The site he started is called TheDozyOwl.co.uk, a UK-based site that Kieran has taken from $0 to $2.5k a month in revenue in its first 12 months. Note: Click here to download Kieran’s top tips for building a profitable site from this episode. Do you remember Alan Donegan from PopupBusinessSchool.co.uk in episode 306? He told the story of one of his students getting frustrated with the business generation process; they were having a hard time coming up with anything that really got them excited. "I just really like sleeping," they said in exasperation. And for a while, Alan didn't have a great response. That is, until he learned about Kieran, who was earning a full-time income blogging about sleep and sleep-related products. Tune in to hear how Kieran came up with the idea for his site, how he creates the content, and how the site makes money – without a server-shattering volume of traffic.
If you're still doing all the work in your side hustle or business yourself, you're limiting your growth. This is an episode about getting out of your own way--about the transformation from technician to business owner. To help me work through the 6 Rules of Scale, I invited Sean Marshall from FamilyRocketship.com back to the program. We last heard from Sean way back in episode 92 in early 2015. I think he’s someone worth paying attention to because he’s set up his business (an online marketing agency) in such a way that the day-to-day operations don’t require much of his direct involvement at all. On the surface, his is a freelancing business, but Sean has avoided the common freelancing trap (or ceiling) of trading his own time for money. In doing so, that affords him and his family a pretty cool lifestyle. Last time we caught up they were living in Cozumel Mexico, and today, he and his wife and 3 daughters are spending several months in Scotland. Before we dive into the 6 Rules with Sean, he proposed two questions to ponder as pre-requisites: Why did you start your business in the first place? What do you want out of it? How big do you want it to be? What’s the highest and best use of your time? To achieve that ultimate why from question #1, what things do you need to do to get there, and equally important, what are the things you need to stop doing. So those are 2 questions to keep in mind as we go through this episode.
Her escape plan was an interesting one. April Whitney was staring at a future of pharmaceutical copywriting, and wanted out. Today, April is the leading voice in the niche of petite fitness. Where the story gets exciting, is that it’s a niche that for all intents and purposes, April invented. Nobody was searching for this stuff, which would normally be a huge red flag. But when women came across April and her content, something resonated. Note: Click here to download April’s top tips from this episode. Starting a little over a year ago, she’s built a tribe of over 10,000 followers, raised $8,000 on Kickstarter for her first product, and now sells $1000 worth of that product on autopilot every month. April built most of her tribe on Instagram, a platform that’s saturated with fitness-related content and notoriously difficult to convert followers into customers. Tune in to hear how April found her tribe, converted them into followers and customers, and the products and services she created that ultimately funded her quitting that cubical job to do something she loves.
In this episode of the Side Hustle Show I’ve put together a round up of creative side hustle ideas that people have shared with me over the last couple of years. Here are the 10 creative side hustles I cover in this episode: 1. Flyer Distribution Business 2. Moose Poop Art 3. Tumbleweed Sales 4. BabyQuip 5. Subleasing Airbnb 6. Snuggling 7. Waiting in Line 8. Penny Posters 9. Funeral Cryer Service 10. The Death Reminder App Tune in or check out the show notes at https://www.sidehustlenation.com/310 for the full details.
Nikko Mendoza is one listener who’s taken a lot of action this year building his side hustle He runs a really cool business in the 3D printing niche that today has 2 main revenue streams: Selling digital files for masks and customer armor inspired by well-known comic book characters, where customers can print out their own physical products at home with their own 3D printers. A Patreon campaign, where fans of Nikko pay him monthly for behind the scenes access and members-only content. Currently, those 2 income streams combine to earn around $2k a month, but Nikko told me he had the goal of 10x-ing that income in the next year. To help me brainstorm ways to get that done, I invited Don the Idea Guy back to the program for this special coaching episode. As you listen in, we talk traffic generation and revenue generation for Nikko’s business, and I’m confident you’ll find some parallel opportunities to pursue in your own business too.
Busy doesn’t always mean effective! It's not just about getting more stuff done; it's about getting more of the right stuff done. So how can we be more intentional, proactive, and destination-driven with our days, instead of just reacting to everything life throws at us? Today I want to share 5 ways -- 5 key habits -- I’ve found that will help you be more effective, excited, satisfied every day. And because I've seen their power firsthand, these are the 5 habits I've baked into my brand new Progress Journal. (Official subtitle: A Simple Daily Planner to Make Meaningful Progress on Your Most Important Work.) Click here to order yours on Amazon today! Now let's dive into those 5 ways to be more effective every day.
Every house in the country is a potential repeat customer... Matt Rowell set himself the goal of generating an extra $5k over 5 years to fund some passion projects, and he’s well on his way. Matt runs AmericanEdgeSharpening.com on the side from his day job as captain of a research vessel. It’s a knife sharpening business, which was up to $250-500 a month when we spoke and is earning him $30-60 per hour. He saw an ad while posted abroad with the Navy that gave him the idea for his business. And then he took action. Matt: Picked up a knife sharpening kit Taught himself how to sharpen knives by watching YouTube videos Offered to sharpen knives for family and friends for the practice Found paying customers The best thing about the knife sharpening business? “If you drive down the road, every house that you pass has a bunch of knives in it,” Matt said. That means an almost limitless number of potential customers. Tune in to hear how Matt got started with this idea while he was deployed in Djibouti, Africa, including his equipment, how he learned how to do it, and how he’s marketed and priced his service.
Can you find Amazon FBA profit from the comfort of your couch? Amit Desai of CreditCard101.us has built a business doing exactly that, and now he’s on track to sell $250k worth of stuff this year – all on the side from his day job. We’ve covered Amazon FBA and retail arbitrage before on the Side Hustle Show, but Amit has a unique angle in that he sources most of his inventory online. Click here to download Amit’s top online arbitrage from this episode. Amit’s side hustle background is actually as a travel hacker. He’s one of those guys that racks up a bunch of points and frequent flier miles, so he can go on awesome trips for free. It was at a travel hacking conference where one of the speakers presented about his Amazon business, and how he was racking up tones of credit card points by buying inventory for his business that a light bulb went off for Amit. Flipping Items for Profit on Amazon Amit realized that if he could figure out a way to flip items on Amazon and breakeven he could step up his travel game. However, he soon found out there was real profit out there, not just from credit card cashback offers and free flights. He shares some interesting examples of how he's stacked cashback and other discounts on the items he's flipping to effectively increase the ROI on his products while being able to sell them at a competitive price. You'll hear where you should be spending your time if you’re starting out in the FBA space, loads of cool apps, websites, and tools that have helped automate most of his business, and the criteria he uses when sourcing goods. Tune in to hear Amit’s favorite tools for sourcing profitable inventory, his buying criteria, and how you can stack different discounts and rewards offers to improve your margins and get a leg up on the competition.
From no business ideas and no money, to making your first sales in 2 weeks. It’s not a far-fetched goal according to this week’s guest. Alan Donegan from PopUpBusinessSchool.co.uk specializes in guiding people through this transformation, and he says that everyone has a profitable business idea in their heads – and he knows how to find it. Click here to download Alan’s top tips for turning a passion into a business from this episode. He does this through in-person workshops that are free to attend by forming partnerships with government bodies in cities across the UK, and he’s bringing his workshops to the US soon. Alan is adamant about bootstrapping and not taking on a load of debt to start a business because he saw his family go through a multi-million dollar bankruptcy and doesn’t want anyone else to have to experience the same fate. He preaches starting a business around a passion or something that excites you. Because running a business you’re passionate about sets you apart from the competition and makes the process so much easier. He shares how he teaches his students to pre-sell and validate their ideas before putting down cash for stock that might end up collecting dust in the garage, and he outlines what makes a successful pitch. Alan also shares how he practiced what he preaches when he sold his first PopUpBusiness workshop to a housing authority in the UK selling his highest priced package right out of the gate, and his business has been gaining momentum ever since. Tune in to hear how Alan pulls business ideas out of people who don’t think they have any, how he has his students quickly and cheaply validate those ideas, and what makes for a successful pitch.
Could ethically “hack” the minds of your customers and prospects to persuade them to take action? It’s not some kind of magic or marketing trick. I’m talking about triggering a response in someone by triggering a response in their primal or reptilian brain. Patrick Renvoise of Salesbrain.com is a neuromarketing specialist, he’s the author of his recently released book - The Persuasion Code, and his TEDx talk has more than 140,000 views. Patrick argues that we basically have two systems competing in our head. Our 500 million year old primal brain, and our more modern rational brain. And however rational we think we are, it’s that ancient, self-centered, emotional, visual, primal brain that really drives decision making. Click here to download Patrick’s modern marketing techniques to ethically make more sales by stimulating your customers' primal brain from this episode. In this episode, you’ll learn how, as entrepreneurs, marketers, and side hustlers, we can tap into that ancient “buy button” to be more persuasive. Tune in to hear how to more clearly explain the value proposition, and ultimately make more sales and grow your business. Patrick breaks down the 6 stimuli that matter to the primal brain, and how you can work your marketing techniques around these “triggers”, which are: Personal – Patrick explains how certain words in your sales copy can trigger a person’s “Buy button” and stimulate the response you’re aiming for. Contrast – He explains why it’s important to show customers a contract between you and your competitors, and how you can do this in your industry. Tangible – He explains why you should be using marketing information that a 4-year old would understand, and how using a story can impact our reptilian brains. Visual – “Around 90-95% of all brain activity it about processing images,” Patrick said. He explains how you can use images to make a more powerful impact than the written or spoken word. Beginning and End – By design, we remember more about the beginning and end of a conversation, film, book, and so on, so understanding the importance of writing a compelling hook and call-to-action can make a difference in sales conversions. Emotional – We make decisions based on our emotions, then rationalize them later. He explains how to tap into your customer's emotional responses. Tune in to hear Patrick explain the 6 stimuli of the reptilian brain you need to be aware of, his Pain/Claim/Gain/Brain framework for crafting effective emails, marketing materials, sales copy, etc, and how you can apply these techniques in your business to ethically make more sales.
Jodi Carlson has been running her blog LeaderConnectingLeaders.com part-time since 2014 and has slowly built it up to $5-6k a month in revenue. The earnings come from a combination of mostly digital product sales, as well as advertising, and affiliate relationships. Click here to download Jodi’s top tips for growing a blog and creating digital products from this episode. The surprising thing – to me at least – is that she’s done this in a niche that theoretically doesn’t have any money. Her readers and customers are almost all volunteers and they’re donating their time to local non-profit groups – in this case, Girl Scout groups. On the surface that makes it seem like it’s as tough a niche as any to tackle, which makes Jodi’s results even more impressive. She brings more than two decades of experience in Girl Scouts to the table, as a scout, then as a troop leader, and even though the blog didn’t start out with dollar signs in mind she’s turned it into a substantial income stream. “I actually started it to help myself, and to then help troop leaders in my community,” Jodi said. Jodi started documenting the activities she was doing with her Scout Troops in her blog and making PDF books so she could refer to them again in the future, and shared her articles with a small circle of other leaders in her community. It wasn’t long before Troop leaders further afield started asking for her activity books. This sparked the idea to start selling her books and growing her blog. Tune in to hear how Jodi comes up with product ideas and prices those, how she made her first sales, how she’s grown her traffic to more than 100k pageviews a month, and income to $5k + a month – all while working full-time and raising a family. Related: Check out my free video series on how to start a blog.
Could you live for free? That's what The Side Hustle Snowball framework proposes: to erase your expenses with new income streams. Start out with your smallest monthly expenses and work your way up: Gym memberships Life insurance Netflix Utilities Cell phone bill Car payments Car insurance Day care Student loan payments Rent or mortgage We all want our business to cover our costs of living and then some, but the "Snowball" framework (apologies to Dave Ramsey) allows you to work your way up to that ultimate goal of financial independence. Celebrate the small wins along the way. In this post / podcast episode, I'll break down the 15 income streams I'm working on right now. Which ones can you start or add to your existing business?
Things were going great; he had a bunch of happy customers, he’d quit his engineering job to focus on it full-time, and he was doing what he loves. You might remember Jacques Hopkins from episode 223, where he broke down how he turned his hobby of playing piano into a solid $20k a month online business at Pianoin21days.com. BUT…. Between customer support, email, social media, phone sales, and all the other day-to-day tasks, it was taking a full 40 hours a week to run. Since then, Jacques set out to automate, optimize, and outsource different elements of the business. Those initiatives cut back his time commitment to maintain the biz to just 10 minutes a day — and still grew revenue to $30k a month. Note: Click here to download Jacques’ top tips from this episode. Jacques isn’t one to sit still, he’s using his newfound time freedom to work on more strategic growth projects and his other project; TheOnlineCourseGuy.com. He’s launched a podcast interviewing other people who have successfully launched online courses, and sells his own course giving customers a behind the scenes look at how he built and sold his courses on Pianoin21days.com. Tune in to hear how Jacques “plugged holes” in his course, outsourced time-consuming repetitive tasks to a virtual assistant, and successfully increased his revenue while reducing the time spent on his business.
At a certain point, you reach the ceiling of your own capabilities, of your own capacities, and no amount of productivity hacks are going to get you to the next level. So what do you do? You hire some help! That’s exactly what Bonnie Fahy started doing when she needed help with the day-to-day tasks running her real estate consulting business. Note: Click here to download Bonnie's top outsourcing and hiring tips from this episode. Soon after she put a virtual team in place -- headed up by a US-based project manager -- she was able to free up more of her time to focus on sales, marketing, and other areas of her business. Those shifts ended up quadrupling her income in just a few months. With more than 300 hires behind her, Bonnie now runs LiveMoreFormula.com where she teaches other entrepreneurs the skills of “Hybridsourcing” she’s learned over the years. This means finding a balance between hiring domestic and international virtual assistants with the right skills to take some of your workload off your hands – at a cost-effective price. She uses some interesting techniques too. Preferring to put candidates through “Interview dates” over traditional interviews, she explains the types of questions you should be asking potential hires, and what you should expect to pay for skilled international workers. Tune in to hear the simple 4-step process Bonnie has refined over the years to make finding hires quick, identify top performers, and start adding virtual assistants to your team.
300! In this special 300th edition of The Side Hustle Show, I’m excited to feature 5 listeners who took action on specific ideas they heard on the show or read on the Side Hustle Nation blog -- and turned that action into concrete results. Those results range from their first $1000 on the side, up to a $700k e-commerce empire, but the point is they made something happen. Tune in to hear how they got it done, and check the text summary below.
Remember the Red Paperclip Guy from a few years ago? In 2005, an out-of-work Kyle MacDonald started with a single red paperclip and traded his way up to a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan. Remarkably, this barter adventure took only 14 trades and was completed in less than a year. Kyle started out small, each time seeking something “bigger and better” in exchange. For example, his first trade was the red paperclip for a pen shaped like a fish. Then he traded the fish pen for a doorknob, and on and on up the ladder. The story certainly has some feel-good elements to it, and after a while the media attention definitely helped speed the process along, but I think it’s worthwhile to revisit because we’re all trying to “trade up.” By “trading up”, it’s important to note I’m not necessarily talking about acquiring a bigger house or a better car, but more along the lines of making bigger impacts and living better stories. I was reminded of the red paperclip story by last week's episode with Rob "The Flea Market Flipper" Stephenson. He talked about a challenge inside his community to start with something small and keep flipping the profits into bigger deals to see how much you could trade up over the course of a year. I think we all have a red paperclip story. Like Kyle, even starting with almost nothing, you can make big things happen with a little initiative and a little help from others along the way. This episode is about connecting the events that got you to where you are today, and thinking about where you want to go tomorrow. What’s the next trade you’d like to make? In the spirit of the red paperclip story, I’m going to use my own entrepreneurial journey to illustrate this; and similar to Kyle, I’ll use a series of 14 key decisions or trade points. But unlike Kyle, this took me a lot longer than a year!
Rob is a professional "money multiplier." The good news, he says, is it's a skill that can be learned. You might remember Rob "The Flea Market Flipper" Stephenson from episode 147 in late 2015. At that time, he was earning $30,000-$40,000 a year flipping random products on the side from his day job. Since then, the father of 3 has taken his buy low, sell high model and turned it into a full-time 6-figure operation. Rob doesn’t discriminate what the products are he’s flipping, as long as he can pick it up for a great price he’ll flip it. I can’t blame him, since some of these single deals are worth thousands of dollars in profit. In fact, Rob only buys items he estimates he can 10x when he flips them. Since we last spoke Rob has fine-tuned his processes for finding and flipping items. He still hits the flea markets weekly, but he also uses some interesting tools and apps to find more items. He’s also found a way to save big on shipping cost, enabling him to go after bulky items with even bigger markups. In this “where are they now” episode, I invited Rob back to learn how he scaled up his business, what his buying criteria or flipping process looks like today, and what he’s got cooking next.
"I'm this close to firing you right now." That's what Hung Pham's boss told him when he reached out about ways to get his team more engaged with the company's overall mission. "If you want passion and purpose," she said, "you've got to look somewhere else." Frustrated with the internal cultures at the organizations he worked in, Hung wanted to attend a culture-building conference. The only problem? That event didn't exist. Sensing a void in the market, Hung was inspired to create Culture Summit. With nothing more than a website, a few contacts booked as speakers, and a whole load of enthusiasm, Hung started emailing prospective attendees and getting the word out within the right circles. He had more than 200 attendees for that first event and was profitable from day one. By year two, Hung’s Culture Summit, at CultureSummit.co was a 6-figure business – all on the side from his day job. This was after Hung almost gave up and his partner left the business when they didn’t sell any tickets for the first three months. Tune in to hear how Hung validated his idea for his conference, how he sold his first tickets, and how he’s grown this side hustle into a full-time business with attendees from 5 continents, and where he wants to go from here.
“I feel like this is the most important project I’ve ever worked on,” Mike said about his blog YoungArchitect.com. Mike Riscica runs a blog, podcast, and has built a thriving community for young professionals in the architecture field. The idea for the blog came from a pain point in Mike’s life, and for many others – passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). After failing to pass the exam 4 times (before passing) and seeing his peers struggling, Mike started blogging about his challenges. “[My story] resonated with people in a pretty serious way,” he said, and he started seeing traction within the community. He started monetizing his blog from day one with affiliate products and continued to add more revenue streams to scale up his business with courses, speaking gigs, books, videos, and more as his traffic grew. Today his blog in a full-time business. He's had the opportunity to travel the country with his dog doing speaking gigs, has helped hundreds of students pass their ARE, and has some interesting plans for the future. Tune in to hear how Mike grew his blog, how it rings the cash register in at least half a dozen different ways, and the strategies you may be able to lift for your own project.
“I tell people I work on my cleaning business about an hour a day because 5 minutes doesn’t seem believable,” Chris Schwab said. Chris is the founder of ThinkMaids.com, a residential house cleaning service in the Washington DC area he started on the side while still a university student. Less than two years later, the business is doing $60k a month worth of cleaning work, all without Chris ever lifting a mop or dusting a shelf himself. Note: Click here to download Chris’ top tips for starting and growing a local service business that scales from this episode. In this episode, Chris shares some of the unique tactics he used to start and grow his cleaning business, and then remove himself from the day-to-day operations. Tune in to hear how Chris came up with the idea for his cleaning business, how he found his first customers and cleaners, and how he manages the entire business remotely.
Rene Delgado started an online drop shipping store with no ideas and no inventory and went from $0-300k in his first year in business. It was the search for an extra stream of income that led Rene Delgado to consider e-commerce; selling physical products online. “Drop shipping” is a form of e-commerce where your suppliers ship products directly to customers on your behalf. Note: Click here to download Rene’s top tips for starting and running a drop shipping business from this episode. Your role is to drive traffic to your storefront, forward the purchase order details to your supplier when a visitor makes a purchase, collecting the retail price and buying the goods at wholesale. Rene went through a very specific product research process and ended up starting BounceHouseStore.com, where he sells bounce houses and other products related to bounce houses. He’s already started scaling his business on the success of his bounce house store. Rene has now outsourced the day-to-day operations of this store and started a new drop shipping store that has already turned over double what his bounce house did in its first year. There’s no luck here. “It’s hard work,” Rene said. That and some careful planning and execution. Tune in to hear why Rene was attracted to drop shipping, the criteria he used to find the bounce house niche, and how he generated $300k of sales in his first year in business.
Bill Nowicki has a unique side hustle. He has a podcast show called MariettaStories named after Marietta GA, a suburb of Atlanta with a population of about 60,000. Having a podcast show isn’t unique but producing a show that’s focused on a local community is something a little different – and something you might consider doing for your local community after hearing Bill’s story. Note: Click here to download Bill’s top tips for starting and growing a local podcast from this episode. Bill is a former Navy submariner, still a nuclear engineer by day, and had different side hustle aspirations at first – he wanted to make videos for local businesses but was finding it hard to land clients. After meeting a charismatic 78-year-old woman at his local church he had the idea to start a podcast about people in his local community, for his local community. He thought this would be a great way to generate videography leads. But as his show has grown and become a profit-center of its own, Bill realized that not only in his time better spent on his show but the medium of audio is more enjoyable and profitable for him than video. Tune in to hear how Bill started his podcast show, how he marketed his show and became known in his local community, how he’s monetized the show to turn it into a revenue generating side hustle and some of the exciting things he has planned for the future.
Austin Miller built a $1.2 million real estate portfolio at 31 years old -- for free. Note: Click here to download Austin’s top tips for finding and financing property from this episode. He's a side hustling real estate investor specializing in "creative" financing deals -- houses he can buy without using his own money. Austin is the author of Free Houses: How To Build Your Real Estate Investment Portfolio With No Money. His basic strategy is this: Find a killer deal on a house that needs some work. Buy it with the creative financing methods Austin talks about in this episode. Either do the work yourself or hire contractors. Put a paying tenant in the newly rehabbed home. Refinance the home with a traditional bank loan and pay back the original funding source. The end game is positive monthly cash flow from rental income, plus building a long-term wealth through tenants paying off the mortgage. Austin has developed some unique and interesting ways to hard money and private money to fund his property purchases. The best part – it’s truly a side hustle that can be done in a few hours a week the end result is passive income from rental revenue. Tune in to hear how Austin finds killer deals, buys the houses without risking his own capital, and then rehabs them to get ready to rent.
It’s time to dive into the ol’ listener mailbag and answer a few questions in this week’s edition of The Side Hustle Show. I’ve had quite a few interesting questions come in since the last Q&A episode, and picked 20 to talk through in today’s show. Like this format? This is the 6th installment of “20 Questions” so feel free to go back and binge on the older ones too: 271: Brilliant Blogging, Ruthless Productivity, and Guaranteed Success: 20 Questions with Nick 245: Network Marketing, Imposter Syndrome, My Side Hustle Mistakes, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 219: Growing Traffic, Monetization, List-Building, a Day in the Life, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 198: Blogging, Branding, Book Writing, and Finding the Right Side Hustle for You: 20 Questions with Nick 181: SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Self-Publishing, Udemy, and More: 20 Questions with Nick A common piece of advice you’ll hear is to take audience questions and turn them into content, so here’s a meta example of that in action. This episode covers questions on conferences, affiliate marketing, ebooks, staying motivated and organized, and even bulletproof coffee. Tune in to hear my responses to those questions and a dozen more below.
Willpower predicts academic and professional success better than IQ, or charisma, or having rich parents. It’s not the only ingredient in our success recipe, but it’s a critical one -- and one I certainly struggle with at times. Derek Doepker of ExcuseProof.com is an expert when it comes to increasing willpower and strengthening this critical success muscle we all have. He is the author of 7 bestselling books in personal development, a speaker, consultant, trainer, and specializes in helping individuals create permanent change and achieve mind, body, and business success in as little as 5 minutes a day. In this episode, we walk through several powerful willpower strategies you can start with today. Big thanks to my brother Chris for the inspiration for this one. Check out his excellent willpower article at BecomingBetter.org.
May Najafabadi earned $12,000 in 8 weeks -- working just 1 hour a day. Her side hustle? After school enrichment classes teaching crafts and jewelry making. Note: Click here to download May’s top tips for creating and running after school classes from this episode. As a long-time entrepreneur in the e-commerce space, May was used to enrolling her son in these classes to buy herself an extra hour in the afternoons. Over the last couple years though, she wanted to diversify her income away from Amazon and wondered if she could be the one selling those classes instead. May chose arts and crafts, a subject her son enjoyed in first grade but didn’t see available for second grade and above. With no experience working with crafts or teaching children May jumped right in with a lunchtime demonstration and handing out flyers to the kids. “The kids went crazy, they just loved the crafts. It was a big hit,” May said. With her hopes set on 6 or more kids for that first class, May had 18 sign up at $120 each. She soon expanded to larger schools, with larger groups of kids, and hired helpers. She's released a book, a training course, and hosts birthday parties and summer camps, and has hopes of franchising her model. Tune in to hear how May has grown her after school class business and how you may be able to borrow this creative side hustle idea.
At the end of nearly every episode of The Side Hustle Show, I ask my guests for their #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation. There’s always a great variety of responses, and I wanted to take some time today to go through some of my favorites from the past 50-ish interviews. This has become an annual tradition on the show, and we just passed 5 years and 5.5 million downloads! If you like this short-and-sweet meta-style show, be sure to check out the others in this series: Episode 50 Episode 124 Episode 177 Episode 236 And even though my primary motivation is to extract helpful tactics for you, the listener, I can’t help but learn from my guests as well. You never know when inspiration will strike or where you’ll hear the one insight that has a huge impact. These episodes are a lot of fun to put together, and give me an excuse to revisit some of my favorite moments and wise words from the show. From the last 49 guests, the 3 most common #1 tips I heard were: Take action; learn as you go. Be persistent. It doesn't happen overnight. Charge more. Don't undervalue yourself. While those might sound overly generic, don’t be quick to dismiss them. If all these really smart and successful people keep saying these episode after episode as their “#1 tip,” I think they’re worth paying attention to. What action can you take today to apply those tips? My #1 Tip this time? Make progress every day.
Note: Click here to download Jonathan’s top tips for starting and growing a podcast, blog, and online community from this episode. 10 months! Just 10 months after starting his side hustle, Jonathan Mendonsa was ready to quit his 6-figure job and take the business full-time. What's the hustle? A podcast called Jonathan co-hosts with this partner Brad Barrett ChooseFI. “You need to either be first or be different. We couldn’t be first, so we wanted to pivot and be a little different,” Jonathan said. When the project started, he was working full-time as a pharmacist, living a frugal lifestyle, and was an avid consumer of financial independence content. From the offset, he knew that, “If we can create a show that’s information, accurate, good, entertaining, and also inspirational, that’ll be addictive.” In this episode Jonathan shares some of the unique tactics and tips he and Brad used to grow their audience, community, and business so fast. Tune in to hear how ChooseFI earned 2 million downloads in its first year, and how they monetize the show to support two families.
“It’s the best-kept secret in the real estate industry,” Mark said, talking about becoming a loan signing agent. You can make $100 an hour as a part-time, and the only real requirements are that you know what you’re doing, and you have a notary license. (A loan signing agent is the person who walks you through the giant stack of forms and contracts you have to sign when you close on a new home loan.) I was first introduced to this side hustle early last year, when I first sat down with Mark Wills and his business partner Roman Rosario. That conversation turned into episode 215 of the Side Hustle Show, where the pair walked me through how they built and sold an online course starting with no audience. At that time, the Loan Signing System course, which he teaches people how to become loan signing agents, was doing around $4k a month. A year and half later, and they're doing around $30k a month and hosting a national conference! But what we didn’t really cover in that episode was how to become a loan signing agent and what that business is actually like -- to the frustration of many listeners. So in response to audience feedback and several listener testimonials, I invited Mark back on the show, along with one of his successful students, to dive into the loan signing side hustle.
“I set up a big business just selling somebody else’s stuff,” Wes said. Wes runs TheSalesWhisperer.com and is the host of The Sales Podcast which started around the same time as The Side Hustle Show back in 2013. He’s an Air Force vet, a father of 7, and has built up an interesting side hustle that on the surface looks like a typical consulting business but is done in such a way that it’s set up to generate recurring passive income. Wes has been side hustling since the 90’s and started his online business around a decade ago. He saw an opportunity to become one of the first Infusionsoft resellers, a piece of software that not only streamlined his own business but offered attractive recurring affiliate commissions. Wes became one of the top earners in the world and was netting $15k a month in mostly passive income, all on the side from his primary consulting, speaking, and sales training practice. Note: Click here to download Wes’s top tips for building an automated passive income business from this episode. He’s adapted his strategies over the years and diversified his income streams but his business model stays similar to this day – scalable affiliate marketing with recurring passive income. Tune in to hear how Wes started generating passive income through affiliate marketing and how you may be able to use a similar strategy in your service business.
When Abbey made $8000 from her 1000-person email list, she knew she was on to something. Over the last several years, Abbey Ashley has gone from earning $25 as a virtual assistant, to coordinating monster 6-figure launches of her own product. I actually met Abbey at the bar during Traffic and Conversion Summit. Her “Virtual Assistance Is My Jam,” t-shirt caught my attention and I had to know more. Eight months pregnant with her first daughter, she couldn't imagine putting her child in day care just to go back to work at a job she hated. Note: Click here to download Abbey’s top tips from this episode. So she started devouring everything she could find online about working from home and virtual assisting. Before long, she'd landed her first clients and booked enough work not to have to go back to her old job when her leave was up. Eventually she started subcontracting out some of the work, which was her first taste of passive income. As some of her clients were doing really well selling online courses, Abbey tried to enter that world as well. Her first course launches were major flops. Then she did what all good entrepreneurs do when a first attempt doesn’t go as planned. She looked at what went wrong, made the necessary changes, and tried again. She pre-sold her next course idea to the tune of $8000 from a 1000-person list. Her second launch generated $40k in sales, and 6 months later her next launch generated $160k in sales. Tune in to how Abbey walked The Side Hustle Path, her actionable hacks and strategies along the way, and how she built and sold her online course even without a huge audience starting out.
You've got less than 3 seconds to make a first impression online. Is your website turning would-be customers away without you even knowing it? Your site and the words you use -- your copy -- could either be making you money or costing you big time. I invited copywriting pro Laura Belgray on the show to do some live "copy audits" of listeners' sites. Laura is a professional copywriter with nearly 20 years of experience. During this time, she has written everything from TV promos, launch campaigns, online content, and tons more. She is also the co-creator of The Copy Cure, an online copywriting course with Marie Forleo to help you "write like you talk and make people love and buy what you sell." In this episode, we check out the sites from our brave volunteers and critique their language and structure. We looked at sites in e-commerce, service businesses, and blogs. Listen in for some common mistakes that could be killing your conversion rates along with Laura's copywriting tips for compelling lead magnet offers and taglines. I'm confident you'll get a ton of value from listening in on these website reviews and have some homework to go home and implement on your own site right away.
FoodTruckEmpire.com generates $60k a year on the side from Brett Lindenberg's marketing consulting job. Why'd he start a blog about the food truck industry? “I started the blog at a time in my life when I was looking at just a whole bunch of different business ideas,” Brett said. Originally, Brett wanted to start his own food truck. While researching how to start a food truck business he discovered there wasn’t enough quality information online. So, he did what all good entrepreneurs do – capitalized on this gap in the market and started his own blog. Note: Click here to download Brett’s top tips for starting and monetizing a part-time blog from this episode. Brett creates the bulk of his content interviewing food truck owners and influencers in the industry. He’s grown his blog to $60k a year in just 4 years through building an academy course, securing paid advertising, running AdSense, and selling ebooks. And spoiler alert: he never ended up starting that food truck! Tune in to hear Brett's content strategy, the different ways he monetizes his business, and how you can apply these methods to your own blog.
In his first 3 months, he'd booked more than $4000 worth of work. “I’ve never been very good at working with people, so I wanted something that was flexible,” James said. Sound familiar? These are the words of someone who was not happy being a shoe salesman and wanted out. James was looking for that location independent lifestyle, and when he was approached to ghostwrite a book for $300 he knew what he wanted to do from that point on. Fast-forward a couple of years and James now charges $300 per 1000 words for his freelance writing, and most of his work is at least 2500 words ($750). Note: Click here to download James’ top tips for becoming a freelancer writer from this episode. He’s also started up a cool business at FreelanceWritersSchool.com teaching others how to follow in his footsteps. Tune in to hear how James landed his first clients, his strategies for growing a portfolio, and some of his favorite hacks to overcome writer's block.
Corey Jeffreys turned an $800 investment into $3k in the first year and has been growing his business and adding more automated processes each year. His entrepreneurial adventure began by exploring the world of real estate investing, when he happened upon a slightly different rental business model: inflatable bounce houses. Note: Click here to download Corey’s top tips for starting and growing a passive rental business from this episode. Corey started out renting a bounce house to his aunt as his first customer and doing all the labor himself, to where he is now with a virtual assistant from Upwork taking bookings and a delivery guy from Craigslist handling the delivery. This is a very different side hustle from the online businesses we see more often, but Corey managed it with a small up-front investment and it set the cogs turning with possibilities of other industries this can be applied to. Tune in to hear how Corey found his first customers, grew his business through word-of-mouth and online marketing channels, and hired help to automate his business processes and remove himself from the day-to-day operations.
Note: Click here to download Matt’s top SEO tips for writing and ranking epic content from this episode. “Go big or go home, that’s kinda my whole philosophy with SEO,” Matt said. And his results speak for themselves. It’s been more than 200 episodes since we last heard from Matt Giovanisci. Back then, Matt was explaining how he was growing his authority site SwimUniversity.com with epic content and strong SEO. Since then he’s started 3 more authority sites and has fine-tuned his SEO practices for even bigger and quicker results. His latest site BrewCabin.com is just a few months old and Matt is already ranking well for high traffic “money” keywords – without building backlinks or promoting this content. How is he doing this? It’s not through longtail keywords. Quite the opposite, Matt goes after those high traffic keywords and outranks his competitors by producing epic content that people want to read. Tune in to hear Matt explain how he does his keyword research, how he formats his content to ensure strong on-page SEO, and why he’s seeing such rapid growth across all of his sites. Note: This is "round 2" of SEO for Bloggers. Round 1 was this conversation with Joseph Hogue last year.)
A $425k exit on a 2.5 year old business!? Recently a friend of mine posted about how he sold his 2.5-year-old Amazon FBA business for over $400k, which I thought was incredible. The twist was it turned out the buyer was a familiar face as well. Spencer Haws of NichePursuits.com was the seller, and Ace Chapman of AceChapman.com was the buyer. They are both previous guests of the show. Spencer was on episodes 18 and 70 of The Side Hustle Show talking about niche sites and software, and Ace was a guest on episode 182, talking about investing in digital real estate. Note: Click here to download Ace and Spencer’s top tips for building and selling an FBA business from this episode. Why did Spencer decide to get into the Amazon FBA business? “I had an idea for a product I used every day, couldn’t find exactly what I wanted on Amazon. So, I decided to find a manufacturer that can make a variation of what I like,” Spencer said. Why was this business an attractive deal for Ace and his investors? “The thing that I liked about the deal was the different sources of income,” Ace said. I decided to invite them both on the Side Hustle Show to give you both sides of the deal. You’ll hear how Spencer built up the business so quickly, why he decided to sell up, and how Ace found himself on the other end of the deal. Tune in to hear how Spencer built an FBA business from $0-400k in less than 3 years with no prior experience in this private label space, and how Ace helps his clients raise the funds to buy online businesses.
Paul Brodie is a former special needs teacher turned 11-time Amazon bestselling author. What started as a side hustle writing about his own weight loss journey turned into a string of bestselling titles on Amazon, $3000 paid speaking gigs, 1-on-1 self-publishing coaching, and ultimately the group coaching program I invited Paul on the show to share more about. Why go down the group coaching route? After working with other authors on a 1-to-1 basis and seeing them achieve similar success self-publishing their books on Amazon, Paul had "an epiphany.” By developing a group coaching program there was no limit to the number of authors he could work with. Note: Click here to download Paul’s top tips for setting up and selling a group coaching program from this episode. Paul dove right in with a live webinar to test his idea for a group coaching program without a huge audience or list of his own. With 5 students signing up on the spot at $1.5k each, he started work on the content and drip-feeding modules out on a weekly basis. Tune in to hear how Paul used the momentum from self-publishing books on Amazon to open up several other business opportunities before landing on the group coaching program. He covers how he set the price for his program, the methods and tools he uses to automate accepting new students, delivering the weekly modules, and where he goes from here.
What are the quick, simple, and maybe a little "weird" productivity tricks entrepreneurs use to get more done? Well, I'm always curious about that myself so I decided to ask 26 of my most productive and successful friends for the "hacks" and tools they use every day. (And I added in one of my own to round out the list.) This episode was a ton of fun to put together and I owe a huge thank you to everyone who participated! I know I learned of a few new tools to try and I'm sure you will to. If you like this style of show, you might consider checking out last year's round-up episode as well, which asked 25 people how they made their first side hustle or business income. You can see the participants and the approximate timestamps of their advice below. Enjoy!
It's such an elegantly simple -- yet powerful -- way of looking at what really matters in your business. Perry Marshall's "Tactical Triangle" identifies the 3 primary levers in any business as: Traffic Conversion Economics And even more powerful, there's an 80/20 Pareto Principle inside each of those. Start tweaking a few of the most important variables and you start to see some serious impact on your bottom line. (image credit) Perry is the author of one of my all-time favorite books, 80/20 Sales and Marketing. (You can get it on Amazon, but you might want to get it at PerryMarshall.com for just "a penny plus shipping" -- which will get you a front row seat to some of the best copywriting and upsell sequences in the biz.) Over the last 15+ years, Perry has built a business as a copywriter, an author, and a sought-after trainer and consultant. In this episode we dive into the Tactical Triangle, looking for areas to improve traffic, conversions, and economics to double your business in the next 30 days. Note: Click here to download Perry’s top tips from this episode. Tune in to hear Perry’s Star Principle, how to position your business to be #1, how to run an 80/20 survey to find out what your customers really want, and why you might consider adding a Power Guarantee to your business.
John made $1614 before 11am the day we recorded this episode. His business model? Buying industrial byproducts, the kind of stuff that’s used for shipping like pallets, cardboard boxes, crates, and so on, and selling them on for a profit. John Wilker started out buying or being given pallets free by businesses that had no need for them and selling them to pallet yards. Realizing the pallet yards were selling them on for a profit to businesses that did have a need for them, John saw an opportunity. “Bottom line is I’m a middleman,” John said. Note: Click here to download John’s top tips from this episode. John hit the pavement and started knocking on the doors of industrial businesses, large warehouses, distributors, and scrap yards. He asked if they had pallets and other shipping byproducts they didn’t need, what they were currently doing with these items, if they needed any items, and explained how he could help. Wanting to operate without storage space and employees John has found the perfect balance between supply and demand. He spends his mornings picking up items from one business and selling them on to another just a few miles away. “It’s quite simple…but has to be set up in the correct manner for it to work,” John said. It’s certainly one of the more interesting side hustles, and it sets the cogs turning to think of other niches that can fit this model. Tune in to hear how John found his first suppliers and buyers, how he sets his prices, and how he transports this stuff without having to store it.
Getting paid to turn away work? Being in the position to turn away work as a freelancer or consultant is an envious place to be in, but being in the position to turn away that work AND get paid for it? Even better! John Doherty had spent years working in the digital marketing space, both as an employee and a freelancer. As his SEO consulting business crew, he reached the capacity of how much he wanted to work, and started essentially selling leads to friends and colleagues he trusted. That little side side hustle is now John's full-time focus, and today GetCredo.com is generating $500-600k worth of deals for its partner digital marketing agencies. As the connector and facilitator of those deals, John takes a commission. It's affiliate marketing, just with a bit of a twist from the kind we've covered before. Note: Click here to download John’s top tips for getting paid to play matchmaker from this episode. “I purposely set out to build a brand that is outside of just me,” John said. “I’m really trying to make this a high-touch service to really help businesses connect with the right agencies for their needs.” Tune in to hear how John earned his first finder's fee, how he's built up both sides of the Credo marketplace, and how he's priced his service in this high-touch affiliate marketing model.
How much will you save from the new tax law? It turns out that while there are some great "gives" from Uncle Sam for entrepreneurs, there are several potentially costly "takes" as well. Death and taxes, right? To help talk through how some of the most important tax law changes will impact your bottom line, I invited Josh Bauerle from CPAonFire.com back on the show. You might remember Josh from episode 208 where he answered tax questions from the Side Hustle Nation community. This time, Josh talks through the new benefits for pass-through entities, changes in C-Corp taxes, the new standard deduction amounts, changes to child tax credits, and more. Note: Click here to download Josh’s breakdown of how the new tax law impacts your personal bottom line. Tune in to hear Josh talk through the most important tax changes and how they affect you as a small business owner or side hustle entrepreneur.
It’s time to dive into the ol' listener mailbag and answer a few questions in this week’s edition of The Side Hustle Show. I’ve had quite a few interesting questions come in since the last Q&A episode, and picked 20 to talk through in today’s show. Like this format? This is the 5th installment of "20 Questions" so feel free to go back and binge on the older ones too: 245: Network Marketing, Imposter Syndrome, My Side Hustle Mistakes, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 219: Growing Traffic, Monetization, List-Building, a Day in the Life, and More: 20 Questions with Nick 198: Blogging, Branding, Book Writing, and Finding the Right Side Hustle for You: 20 Questions with Nick 181: SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Self-Publishing, Udemy, and More: 20 Questions with Nick A common piece of advice you’ll hear is to take audience questions and turn them into content, so here’s a meta example of that in action. This episode covers questions on blogging, affiliate marketing, productivity, my new email system, making time for your side hustle, the idea of guaranteed success, and more. Tune in to hear my responses to those questions and a dozen more below.
How would you like to add thousands of dollars a month to your bottom line, on autopilot? Sounds pretty good, right? Greg Hickman of System.ly has achieved this for his own 6-figure a month business and does the same for his clients using marketing automation and effective sales funnels. If you're wondering what marketing automation is, in Greg’s own words it's, “How to use technology to enable your sales and marketing and fulfillment strategy.” Greg is a master in the art of offering compelling lead magnets to attract potential customers, setting up onboarding sequences and follow-up emails to keep them interested, and converting them into paying customers. Note: Click here to download Greg’s top tips for creating marketing automation processes and sales funnels from this episode. The best part is that it doesn’t need to be complicated as his own simple 4-step formula from Facebook ad to paying customer proves. Plus, when your marketing automation sequence is set up it runs itself bringing in new clients all year round. Tune in to hear the types of lead magnets and sales strategies Greg sees working today, the questions you have to ask yourself before writing any email sequence, and how he communicates with prospects on an ongoing basis.
Women pay up to $2000 a month to hang out with Natalie Eckdahl for a few hours. The mother of 3 has turned her BizChix podcast (which started as a side hustle) into a thriving business based largely on paid mastermind groups. She curates groups of high-performing female entrepreneurs – and gets paid handsomely to do it. Is this a revenue stream you could add to your business? Note: Click here to download Natalie’s top tips for creating and selling a mastermind group program from this episode. If you’re in a consulting, freelancing, or coaching role and trying to figure out what the next step is to scale up your business, a group mastermind program could be the answer. In fact, a paid mastermind was the first thing I sold on Side Hustle Nation, but I put the program on hold after our son was born. All of a sudden that extra hour or two in the evening became a lot harder to part with! I wanted to pick her brain on how she set everything up and sold it to her audience. “What I’m trying to create is an amazing brainstorming opportunity for the women that join the group,” Natalie said. Today she’s running five separate premium-priced masterminds for 5- and 6-figure entrepreneurs, with prices ranging from $600 to $2000 a month. But it almost didn’t happen. She was a few weeks away from putting BizChix on pause, when a fateful few customers sparked a major turning point. Tune in to hear how Natalie sets up her groups for success, structures the meetings, and 20x’d her rates in 3 years.
Could a part-time blog really bring in that kind of cash? Rosemarie swears she only works 20 hours a week! Yes, The Busy Budgeter is back for her 3rd round on The Side Hustle Show, and it's a good one. If you missed the first two: In episode 142, Rosemarie Groner's blog was about a year old and earning $5k a month. She shared a step-by-step system for generating massive traffic from Pinterest, which I immediately implemented myself. A year later, in episode 199, she was earning $20-25k a month, and shared her "date your list" and "core affiliate strategy." A few months after that recording, she started posting consistent $100k months from her blog, so of course I had to invite her back to hear what changed. Note: Click here to download Rosemarie’s top tips for improving your blogging ROI. If you guessed creating her own products and driving paid traffic, you'd be the big winner. “I eliminated anything that wasn’t important for my growth,” Rosemarie said. Tune in to hear how Rosemarie started selling her own products, the sales funnels tactics and tools she uses to turn subscribers into customers, and her tips to keep improving your ROI so you spend less time working while increasing your revenue.
This should probably be episode 1, not 267, but if I'm being totally honest, I probably wasn't in a place personally or professionally to record it as episode 1. I’ve avoided doing a “mindset” episode for almost 5 because I didn’t think it was necessary. I thought if people are seeking out business information, entrepreneurship information, they’ve already got the right mindset. They know what’s up. They get it. But older and (hopefully) wiser, I’ve come to see the mindset conversation as an important one, and one I’ve been overlooking for a long time. This is foundational stuff, and before you dismiss this as way to fluffy for a Side Hustle Show episode, let me give you a couple points to consider on the mindset front. The first comes from one of my favorite podcasts, Tropical MBA. Their theory is for entrepreneurs making: $0-100k - the barrier is mindset $100k - $1M - the barrier is marketing $1M + - the barrier is your team I’m sure there are counterpoints but I think there’s a lot of truth in that breakdown. The second point to consider comes from Dane Maxwell, who was a special guest on episode 119 of The Side Hustle Show, during my public coaching experiment. Dane created several software businesses before founding The Foundation to teach others what he’d learned. He said the easiest way to test if your mindset is in the right place is to ask if you have or are you getting the results you want? If not, something must be missing, right? There’s some brutal honesty in that question, and it took me a minute to wrap my head around it, but the gist of it is this: if you’re not where you want to be, there’s room for some mindset growth or changes. In this episode I’ll share 10 traits of the hustler’s mindset and do my best to illustrate those with examples from either my own businesses or those of my guests.
Brian Winch calls it “America’s Simplest Business.” What started as a side hustle way back in 1981 has now grown into a $650k a year operation. So what does Brian do? His company picks up litter from parking lots. Sadly, it's still an essential service (boo litterbugs!), but has very low startup costs and Brian says you can earn $30-$50 an hour doing this on the side. Note: Click here to download Brian’s top tips for starting and scaling a service business from this episode. What prompted Brian to pick up the phone and ask property management companies if he could handle their litter picking contracts? “I decided I liked my job but I couldn’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life and I wanted more,” Brian said. In just a few months he was earning more part-time in this side hustle than he was at his full-time job. It's freelancing -- brick-and-mortar style. Tune in to hear how Brian landed his first clients, how he priced his service, and how he scaled the business to remove himself from the day-to-day trash pickup. With the decent pay, hours that fit around most day jobs, minimal start-up costs, and no prior experience necessary, it’s a side hustle success story that's worth checking out.
With a user base of 800 million people, there are enough potential customers for everyone on Instagram, regardless of your type of business. Instagram is the first app I check in the morning, but I don't really use it for business. To help school me on this massive social media channel, I invited Allie McAdam on the show. Allie is an Instagram strategist and the host of the Passion in Business podcast, which is primarily an Instagram marketing podcast. Allie started off on the platform as many of us do, using it for personal pictures and keeping in touch with family and friends. It wasn't until she started working for an MLM company and seeing some of the top earners leveraging Instagram for sales that she saw the potential for Instagram-specific marketing. Allie started to reverse engineer what they were doing. She went from 300 followers to 3k in just six weeks, now has more than 10k followers, and teaches others how to do the same. Note: Click here to download Allie’s top Instagram marketing tips from this episode. The first question everyone asks is, “Is there a market for my business on Instagram?” “More often than not your audience is there. What matters is how you’re going to market to them,” Allie said. Tune in to hear Allie explain how to find and market to your audience on Instagram, her top tips to increase your followers, and why Instagram might be the social media platform to take your business to the next level.
"I teach women how to get dressed in the morning." That's how Kelly Snyder from AdoreYourWardrobe.com introduced herself to me at FinCon. (The more "official" tagline is that Adore Your Wardrobe teaches women how to confidently dress their unique bodies through the principles found in math and science.) There's a niche for everything, right! It’s a really cool business idea that sits firmly outside of the usual internet marketing space and has helped thousands of women be less frustrated and a lot happier with their wardrobe. Kelly has used an interesting strategy of challenge marketing to grow her business to multiple 6-figures in under two years. Note: Click here to download Kelly’s top challenge marketing tips from this episode. But the 14 Day from Frustration to Functional Closet Challenge is just one piece of the puzzle, or one piece of the "customer success path," as she put it. As the challenge wraps up, she invites participants to join her flagship course, and she's added a couple more upsells beyond that as well in response to customer feedback. So how about results? Each time she runs a challenge she adds another $100k in revenue to her business! There are some interesting and unusual techniques to her challenge marketing strategies, and definitely some scope to apply these techniques to your own business if you sell courses or any other service. Tune in to hear how Kelly structures her challenges, how she gets people in the door, and how she converts free participants into paying customers.
It's no secret that Amazon FBA is one of the hottest side hustles going right now, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. FBA is Fulfillment by Amazon, the program that allows you to list your own products for sale on Amazon, tap into their giant audience of customers, and have them handle all the shipping when orders come in. The trick is figuring out which which products to sell, and that's where Greg Mercer comes in. Note: Click here to download Greg’s top Amazon FBA private label tips for 2018 and beyond. Greg has launched over 100 successful products on Amazon, including a few public examples like bamboo marshmallow sticks and hooded baby towels he shared on the JungleScout.com blog. Just those two products alone are earning $12k a month in profit, and he’s formed some cool partnerships with Doctors without Borders and Pencils of Promise to put the proceeds to good use. Now, you might remember Greg from an episode we did a couple years ago, How to Find Your First Amazon FBA Private Label Product. At that time, we talked about private label research and strategies for starting an FBA business. Since the landscape has changed a bit since then, I invited Greg back on the show to dive into how he's picking products today. The 3 strategies we cover are: Big demand / bad reviews. Big sales / poor marketing. New markets / immature listings. Greg also breaks down the criteria he likes to see in new private label products, how Amazon ranks products in their internal algorithm, and how he successfully launches his new products quickly.