The Side Hustle Show on Smash Notes

The Side Hustle Show podcast.

December 28, 2019

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).



Recently updated notes

Liam Austin made $50k off his first online event, and hasn't looked back. Since then, Liam has hosted another 17 virtual summits and online business networking events.

In total, these events have brought together more than 400 speakers and 100,000 business owners.

Virtual summits allow you to connect with industry leaders and influencers in your niche while growing your own audience.

Hosting a virtual summit sounds pretty straightforward:

  • interview a bunch of influential people in your niche
  • collect registrations of people who want to watch those interviews
  • sell access to the recordings after they expire

But the virtual summit model has a lot of nuance and strategy, and behind-the-scenes action that all has to come together to make it a hit.

That's why I invited Liam on the show.

Note: Click here to download Liam’s top tips for planning and hosting a virtual summit from this episode.

If you’re looking for ways to grow your business and make meaningful connections within your industry, this episode lays out that blueprint for you.

Tune in to hear Liam talk through:

  • The core benefits of hosting a virtual summit
  • How he made $50k from his first summit and learned some valuable lessons
  • What it’s going to take to create your own virtual summit in your industry
  • And more

Key points in this episode

Are you stuck with the idea that you don’t have the skills to start a side hustle?

Today’s guest, Chris Misterek of SelfMadeWebDesigner.com didn’t let that hold him back.

He went from being in a tight spot personally and financially, to bringing in an average of $3k a month on the side through his new web design business.

With no previous experience with web design, Chris decided to start at the ground up by working through some free online courses.

Within a few months, he was introducing himself as a web designer, and within 18 months he was earning double his day job salary on the side!

Tune in to this episode to hear Chris explain how he:

  • Picked up this new skillset on the cheap
  • Found his first clients
  • Marketed and grew his business
  • Recommends you replicate this across any number of industries

Key points in this episode

$15,000 a month for 30 minutes of work? The passive income dream is real for Dustin Heiner.

Dustin achieved this by following a systematic approach to buying homes and renting them out.

He started with his first property back in 2006. Within 6 years he had 19 properties, and within 9 years he had 26 properties and had retired from his day job at the age of 37.

Today he has more than 30 properties bringing in (mostly) passive income supporting him and his family.

Note: Click here to download Dustin’s top tips for finding and buying rental properties from this episode.

Dustin is a serial side hustler, but once he realized the benefit of getting paid over and over again for work he did once – he doubled down on real estate.

Tune in to hear Dustin talk through:

  • His approach to property sourcing
  • The 6 ways he makes money with rental properties
  • How he’s been able to grow his portfolio so quickly
  • His advice for those looking to replicate his success

Key points in this episode

Side Hustle Show listener Kate Johnson started her bookkeeping business in 2017, and now serves several recurring clients. She targets an effective rate of $70 an hour, and is able to work from home.

With her youngest starting preschool, Kate found herself with an extra 9 hours a week. "I wanted to be a good steward of that time," she explained.

Tune in to this episode to hear Kate explain:

  • Why she decided to start working as a virtual bookkeeper
  • How she landed her first clients
  • How she’s grown her client base with little marketing
  • The surprising new side hustle this work has spun off

Key points in this episode

Is trading stocks a legit way to make money from home? Or is it just another get-rich-quick-scheme?

Admittedly, I’ve always kind of looked at stock trading as a glorified form of gambling. And to be sure, there are risks involved.

In this episode, Teri Ijeoma does a good job of convincing me there really is an art and a science to it -- and that it is a winnable game.

Teri is a former assistant principal at an elementary school, who turned her stock trading side hustle into a full-time income.

To replace her day job salary, the MIT grad set herself a goal of making $300 a day.

By trading stocks before school started and during her lunch break, she was hitting that goal in about a year.

Today, Teri’s on a Million Dollar a Day mission -- that is, to help 1,000 people start making $1,000 a day trading stocks through her online course.

Tune in to hear:

  • Teri’s trading criteria
  • Her advice for new traders
  • Why small players like you and me may have an advantage over billion-dollar hedge funds and Wall Street quants
  • Where and how you can get started trading today

Key points in this episode

Reports of email's death are greatly exaggerated.

Andrew Allemann has gone from zero to up to $10,000 a month in just 3 years with a low overhead side hustle:

An email newsletter and an online directory that helps connect podcasters with guests.

Finding it difficult to find guests for his own podcast, he wanted to create a solution that would not only help himself, but the greater podcasting community as well.

It’s a business model I’m excited about right now, and Andrew is proof that if you provide value through email, people are willing to pay for it.

Tune in to hear why Andrew decided to start a newsletter and an online directory, how he’s grown his audience to more than 19,000 subscribers and 500 paying directory members in 3 years, and how he’s turned this into a profitable business.

Key points in this episode

Would 10 new clients solve all your business worries?

That was the position Helen Pritchard was in back in 2008.

On the back of a financial and personal crisis, Helen needed 10 clients paying £250 each to pay her bills.

She turned to LinkedIn to find those clients, and it didn’t take her long.

Since then, Helen has pivoted her business and now teaches other people how to get clients and grow their business using LinkedIn.

Note: Click here to download Helen’s top tips for attracting your ideal clients on LinkedIn from this episode.

In fact, I found out about Helen through a listener of the show:

I do not work for Helen. Nor do I do her PR. I just want to nominate her because she changed my life. Thanks to her, I have filled my client roster and have more money coming in as an entrepreneur than I ever did working for someone else.

That’s an awesome testimonial for Helen, and solid proof that her methods work.

If your goal is to leave your job in the near future, you don’t want to miss this one. What Helen teaches is probably the fastest way to start your own business with the least upfront expense.

Tune in to hear Helen talk through:

  • the processes she teaches students on her LinkedIn mastermind
  • how to set up your LinkedIn profile as a landing page that converts
  • how to connect with potential clients
  • and more

Key points in this episode

Chris Guillebeau is a tremendous advocate for the lower risk brand of entrepreneurship we cover on the show.

He’s the bestselling author of several books including, The $100 Startup, Side Hustle, and The Art of Non-Conformity. On top of that, he’s hosted over 1,100 episodes of The Side Hustle School podcast.

His latest project is The Money Tree: A Story About Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard.

I've been a fan of Chris' work for years, so it was about time we had a meeting of the side hustle minds!

Tune in to this episode to hear Chris’ take on:

  • How you can come up with side hustle ideas
  • What actions you should take next
  • What may be coming down the road in the world of side hustles.

Key points in this episode

Are you struggling to get traction with your blog?

Are you concerned your niche is too competitive or you’re starting too late?

If so, you’re going to come away from this episode with loads of actionable tips to put those questions to the side.

“I have learned, it is never literally too late to ever start anything,” today’s guest Jennifer Marx from JenniferMaker.com told me.

Jennifer has taken her DIY/crafting site from a part-time hobby blog earning $33/mo to bringing in more than 6-figures every month in just a few years.

Note: Click here to download Jennifer’s top tips for growing a blog into a 6-figure business from this episode.

She knows a thing or two about entering a competitive niche, finding, and cultivating an audience.

First, she mastered Pinterest, then Facebook, and just over a year ago she entered YouTube and already has an audience of more than 225k subscribers!

Dominating a source of traffic and growing an audience is something Jennifer excels at, and in the blogging world, there’s huge profit in doing so.

Tune in to hear how Jennifer found her initial traction in a competitive niche, what’s driving traffic for her today, how her site makes money, and how she’s built an email list that’s almost the population of Cleveland!

Key points in this episode

Do you enjoy hunting for bargains that you can buy low and sell high?

Charlie William does, and his book flipping business is proof that this business model still works.

He’s become a master deal-hunter, selling more than $9,000 worth of used books last month on Amazon. 

The best part? Anyone with access to thrift stores, yard sales, and local charity shops can get started with this side hustle for just a few bucks a month.

I connected with Charlie though the Side Hustle Nation Facebook Group and invited him on the show to learn more about the book flipping business.

Tune in to hear:

  • How Charlie got started flipping books.
  • The tools and software he uses to run his business.
  • Where he sources profitable inventory.
  • What it takes to make this side hustle profitable and successful.

Key points in this episode

Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.

As you know, one of the core themes of Side Hustle Nation is to control what you can control, even when the world seems to be spinning out of it.

I’m still wrapping my head around what the coronavirus outbreak means for all of us. I mean, we’ve never been through a global pandemic before! We’re all learning as we go.

But at this point, it feels weird NOT to address the issue, so here goes.

In this episode, I'll attempt to cover:

  • Why I think this is a temporary setback, and how science says we can make that prediction come true
  • How to stay sane while working at home
  • Businesses that are positioned to thrive in this environment and on the other side
  • Some awesome free resources to help if you’re hurting right now

Key points in this episode

Do you want to generate more leads for your business?

Are you struggling to turn prospects into paying customers?

If you’re saying “yes” to either of those questions, you’re going to get tonnes of value out of this episode.

I invited Kai Davis of KaiDavis.com and DoubleYourEcommerce.com back onto the show as he’s a pro when it comes to this stuff.

(Kai was actually guest #4 on The Side Hustle Show way back in 2013, he also had an encore performance a year later in episode 59.)

This time around, Kai walks us through the 3 levers that anyone can use to grow their business:

  1. Find new customers
  2. Get referrals from existing customers or your network
  3. Sell more to existing customers

Note: Click here to download Kai’s top tips for finding prospects and turning them into sales and paying clients from this episode.

With a little creativity and tenacity, you can begin to implement his strategies right away.

Tune in to hear the techniques Kai is using to generate more leads for his business, how he’s turning these prospects into sales and profit, and the 3 specific actions anyone can use to generate leads for their own business.

Key points in this episode

Melissa Fassel Dunn from grouptize.com has built a thriving - and profitable - online community serving residents in her small town.

The interesting part is that she didn't start her Facebook group or website with the goal of making money.

She did so to solve a pain point she was experiencing finding information about services in her town of Milton, a suburb of Boston.

“I needed information about kindergarten, I needed information about a plumber, an electrician, and I felt like there wasn’t a go-to place for any of that.

“So, I thought, I’m going to start a group, I’m going to add some of my friends and we can exchange information with one another,” Melissa told me.

She started Milton Neighbors, a Facebook group for residents of Milton to share information and recommend local services.

That was in 2013, today the group has more than 11,000 members and is almost a 6-figure business.

Note: Click here to download Melissa’s top tips for growing and monetizing an online community from this episode.

Tune in to hear how Melissa built up her group, how she keeps people engaged, her monetization methods, and how you can replicate her model with a Facebook group of your own in just about any niche.

Key points in this episode

From personal pain point to a 7-figure payday!

That’s what Donald Spann did when he started -- and eventually sold -- his virtual receptionist company, Vicky Virtual.

Donald took a personal pain point of his -- handling incoming phone calls in his cleaning business -- and built out a fully remote virtual call center.

Tune in to hear how he found his first clients, what worked in terms of marketing and sales, and how you can apply some of the same strategies to a business of your own.

Key points in this episode

What would it take to make the 4-Hour Workweek a reality?

Since we last caught up, this stay-at-home-mom blogger has been on a mission to automate and simplify her business.

Yes, by request, Rosemarie Groner from BusyBudgeter.com is back for a 4th round on the podcast!

If you are just joining us, let me catch you up on the backstory...

In her past life as a state trooper and home daycare operator, Rosemarie made an incredible transformation in her own household’s finances -- reducing expenses and paying off debt.

She shared her winning money strategies on a blog for “chronically disorganized” moms. 

Within her first year, she was making $5k a month, mostly from ad income.

A year after that, $20-25k, mostly from affiliates and her own email list.

And a year after that, she’d even touched the 6-figures a month mark by creating her own products.

Tune in to hear how Rosemarie:

  • Turned her best content into a 2-year automated email sequence.
  • Fine-tuned that sequence to earn affiliate commissions and sell her products.
  • Drives traffic today.
  • Decided to cut off a profitable segment of her audience.

Key points in this episode

Can you build a new income stream on your lunch break?

This week's guest says yes, and shares how.

In this episode, I’m joined by Mike Zima from ZimaMedia.com -- a full-service digital marketing agency that got its start with a single $5 sale on Fiverr.

It’s been a while since we talked about Fiverr, but the way today’s guest has used the platform to start and grow his freelance business is an eye-opener.

Mike’s claim to fame: He’s the only Fiverr seller who’s mentioned in Fiverr’s IPO pitch deck.

But it all started with one $5 order.

He’s now doing thousands of dollars a month, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars a month in Fiverr sales.

Tune in to hear what’s working on Fiverr today, Mike’s “rapid gig prototyping" strategy to test out new offers, and how to wean your reliance off of Fiverr while building your agency.

Key points in this episode

Are you operating online fully compliant with GDPR and CCPA regulations?

Do you have the right type of liability insurance to cover you should the worst case happen?

If you’re unsure about any of the legal stuff surrounding you, your business, or side hustle, it should be a lot clearer by the end of this episode.

This is because Mariam Tsaturyan from FreelanceandMarketing.com has graciously agreed to do some legal listener Q&A for us in today’s show.

She’s a licensed and practicing attorney, who helps bloggers and online business owners navigate the often-murky waters of legal regulations and compliance.

Tune in as we tackle some of the big topics like entity selection, GDPR, and liability insurance. Then we'll dive into some specific questions from the Side Hustle Nation FB group.

Key points in this episode

Do you know how much cash flows through your hometown on a monthly basis?

In this episode we explore how to get some of that cash flowing toward you!

I'm joined by Nick Huber, co-founder of Storage Squad and host of The Sweaty Startup podcast.

Storage Squad, a student storage service, has grown to over $3M in sales since starting it as a little part-time project back in 2011.

I invited Nick on The Side Hustle Show to help walk us through his "sweaty startup" framework. That is, how you can start a low-risk, low-overhead, local, service-based business, set it up for success, and let that be the vehicle that drives you away from a lifetime of cubicle slavery.

Tune in to hear Nick’s thoughts on generating service business ideas you could start today, evaluating the market and competition, and scoring your first customers.

That’s why I think this is pretty exciting -- it really doesn’t take many customers to begin to make a meaningful income here.

Key points in this episode

Early last summer I joined Teachable’s “Creator Challenge.”

The premise was to research, create, and launch an online course over the next three months.

On top of that, Teachable provided expert support, a community of fellow instructors, and a little friendly competition.

People have been asking me about creating an online course for years — but since I tend to work better with a deadline, I jumped in on the challenge.

Key points in this episode

Creating your own website can definitely be a great side hustle–if you take the time to monetize it.

But the problem is that many people who create websites have no clue how to actually make money with them.

When this happens, your website becomes a liability. You’re sinking precious time and money into something that isn’t giving you a return.

However, it’s entirely possible to prevent that from happening or to fix the problem if it has already started. You just need to know how to use your website to generate income, and in this article, I’m going to show you how.

Let’s look at 15 great ways you can monetize your website and turn it into a proper revenue-generating machine.

Key points in this episode

As we turn the calendar on a new decade, I thought I'd reflect back on the last 10 years.

To paint the picture of where the 2010s started for me, I was:

  • coming off a great year in business, and had high hopes for the future
  • about to get married
  • blogging at nickloper.com, on a bunch of random topics
  • $150k underwater in our house, which was a huge source of stress

Let's see what happened next!

Key points in this episode

Rob brought in $40k last year hosting tours in of Washington, D.C. -- all on the side from his day job, and with no marketing budget.

However, if you Google “Washington, D.C tour guide”, Rob Pitingolo's TripHacksDC.com is nowhere to be seen.

So what's secret sauce?

He’s been creating helpful tourist-friendly content on YouTube, and outlet largely ignored by his better-funded competitors.

His channel has had more than 1.4 million views to date, and he’s funneling those viewers to his site where they can sign up for a tour.

In fact, his channel has grown so much that he’s partnered with YouTube and ad revenue from his videos has become another income stream for his business.

Tune in to hear how Rob has grown his business into a fun and cash-flowing side hustle, how he leverages YouTube to reach his target customers rather than traditional tour marketplaces, and how he’s growing the business beyond just himself giving tours.

Key points in this episode

How do you start a side hustle?

Well we can talk about side hustle ideas and marketing tactics until we're blue in the face, but in studying my catalog of past interviews, a few common traits popped up over and over again.

I've compiled those into this 7-step guide to starting a side hustle.

Whether you’re an established business owner, or you’re just starting out, I think you’ll find this a helpful framework for your projects. It'll also help you identify where you have the biggest opportunities for improvement this year.

Key points in this episode

Is there gold in your backyard?

Or, more accurately ... dog poop?

Erica Krupin found $1000 a week in hers, with a side hustle that can easily be replicated in your local area.

Erica started Kroopin’s Poopin Scoopin, a pet waste removal business in her spare time, and now has more than 80 recurring weekly customers.

With an average price of $15 per customer per week, that’s over $1,000 a week, picking up dog poop.

Sometimes it’s the simplest businesses that are the fastest to get started and see some results. Erica just left her day job to pursue this full-time, and with the plans she has in place, it looks like her business is set to continue growing.

Tune in to hear how she landed her first customers and markets this business, how she prices the service, and how she delivers on her promises.

Key points in this episode

Helping people make decisions is a big business!

In fact, these two Side Hustle Show listeners started a website to do just that, and it's now bringing in $17-20k a month.

Oh, and the project is only a little over a year old.

Alex Goldberg and Healy Jones run a site called FinvsFin.com, which focuses on reviews and comparisons of direct to consumer brands.

They earn money as affiliates -- basically earning a commission on sales that are referred through the site.

Note: Click here to download Alex and Healy’s top tips for growing and monetizing an affiliate site from this episode.

FinvsFin is an example of what I’ll call the modern comparison shopping site -- helping readers make decisions and getting paid for it. And since comparison shopping was my original side hustle over a decade ago, this was especially fun to dive into.

The impressive part is that this is still very much a side hustle. Both Alex and Healy have full-time jobs, and their business falls under the “passive income" business model.

Tune in to hear how Alex and Healy prioritize and create their content, what they’re doing to market the site and drive traffic, and how you can borrow some of their same strategies in your own niche.

Key points in this episode

Etsy is no longer just the marketplace of handmade crafts! Yes, you can sell digital products like printables and even drop ship physical goods without ever touching your inventory.

We haven’t really discussed Etsy in detail for a while. But I thought it was time to take a closer look at this platform again, as it’s seen tremendous growth in recent years.

Opening the doors for you to create your own passive products -- both through digital downloads and drop shipping physical products.

In fact, since 2015, the number of Etsy buyers has more than doubled -- far outpacing the growth of Etsy sellers.

So, if you are currently selling online or have an idea in the pipeline, you’d be crazy to ignore the potential Etsy holds as a "Buy Buttons" platform.

Melissa MacDonald is a long-time Etsy seller who now focuses her efforts on Etsy marketing and optimization for other shop owners.

Tune in to hear Melissa’s process for coming up with new passive income product ideas, her favorite tools for running a hands-off Etsy shop, and how to optimize your listings for conversion and sales.

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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 9th installment of “20 Questions” so feel free to go back and binge on the older ones too:

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 market saturation, getting up earlier, mapping out content, and lots more.

Enjoy!

Key points in this episode

Looking for a part-time side hustle where you get can your inventory for free and there are almost no startup costs?

This week, I’m excited to introduce the side hustle of public domain publishing.

This is the art and science of republishing classic literature - where the copyrights have expired - and earning passive royalties when your version sells.

Because these works are so old, they’re available online for free - but many Amazon shoppers and Kindle owners will pay to have them delivered straight to their device.

I think any business where you can get your inventory for free is pretty compelling!

Since 2013, Aaron Kerr has pocketed over $110k in royalties through this very part-time side hustle. You can see all his public domain projects over at TimelessReads.com.

Tune in to hear how this business model works, Aaron’s advice on what to publish and how to get past Amazon’s gatekeepers, and how to differentiate your public domain books from everything else out there.

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This week’s show is a re-take on last year’s Thanksgiving episode on 10 Creative Side Hustles that Make Real Money.

That show was a hit, so I’m returning to that format for another round.

Some of these will you have kicking yourself not thinking of it yourself, and some of these are 6-figure businesses you could literally start tomorrow.

Here are the 10 creative side hustles I cover in this episode:

  1. The 7-Figure Lemonade Stand
  2. The World's Most Boring Podcast
  3. Local Dog Poop Pick-Up
  4. The 6-Figure Dog Walking Business
  5. The 7-Figure Email Newsletter Business
  6. The Ambient Noise Alexa Skill
  7. Big Bat Houses
  8. The Niche Service Provider Directory
  9. The Niche Productized Service
  10. In-Person Classes

Enjoy!

Key points in this episode

Can you really get paid to answer questions?

That’s exactly what Debbie Gartner from TheFlooringGirl.com does - and her answers are earning her $20,000 a month.

Debbie used to run a local hardwood flooring consultation business. She’d estimate jobs, make recommendations, and match homeowners with reliable installers.

In her spare time, she started her blog with the goal of showing up in some local search results to generate some more business.

“I wrote blog posts that were questions that my customers would have,” Debbie told me.

Note: Click here to download Debbie’s top tips for growing and monetizing a blog.

But as you might have guessed, the site soon started to reach an audience well outside her local area. A couple of years later Debbie got out of the brick and mortar flooring business and decided to monetize her blog.

She was already pulling in more than 100,000 visitors and by simply turning on ads she made $1,100 in her first month.

From there she continued to grow her traffic numbers, added affiliate posts, created her own products, and is now making more than $20,000 a month.

Tune in to hear how Debbie is driving traffic, how her site earns money, and how you may be able to replicate some of Debbie’s tactics in your own niche.

Note: If you don't have a blog of your own yet, my free video series will show you how to get up and running quickly and affordably.

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Would you trade $200 for $4,000?

That’s exactly what today’s guest, Josh Elledge is doing.

Josh runs a kind of modern PR service for small businesses and has developed a unique and innovative way to break through the marketing clutter and have real conversations with real prospects -- and do it at scale.

He’s found a way to create what he calls “a speed dating environment.” That's his metaphor for the revolving door of new prospects he’s interviewing and selling his services to.

To do this, Josh has created a podcast called The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. It serves as a platform for business owners to talk about their businesses, and for Josh to demonstrate to them how he can improve their visibility.

It’s a win-win, and with streamlined processes in place, Josh is seeing a return of around $4,000 for every $200 he spends on producing his show.

If you’re a current or aspiring freelancer, consultant, coach, or agency owner… this is gold. 

Tune in to hear how Josh does his proactive prospecting, how he’s turning his content creation into sales conversions, and the foundational ground game he’s got set up that makes this all work.

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He knew his $12 an hour gig at Walmart was a dead-end job.

His escape route was a business idea you probably walk past at least a couple times a year without even thinking about it.

What's he do?

Today, Larry McGee's the guy who takes care of the aquarium at the dentist office and other commercial waiting rooms.

And it earns him around $70,000 a year, doing something he enjoys and working just 15-hours a week.

Larry’s aquarium maintenance business started as a lunch break side hustle with a friend while working at Walmart. More than a decade into the operation, he's got dozens of predictable retainer clients that pay him every month.

In this episode, Larry shares some interesting tactics he’s used over the years to find new clients and keep them around for years.

I'm confident he'll give you some food for thought as to what type of local service business could be right under your nose.

Key points in this episode

Just because a niche is insanely competitive, it doesn’t mean you can’t start an affiliate site and claim a slice of the revenue.

At least, that’s what Sa El of SimplyInsurance.com has done, and the way he lays out how he’s done it will pique the interest of affiliate marketers out there.

Sa was a door-to-door insurance salesman in Atlanta. He wanted to get into the online space and build an affiliate site, and with more than 11 years’ experience in the insurance industry, it made sense to enter the insurance niche.

He took Brain Dean’s SEO That Works course to learn the ropes. But, when he told Brian he was going to build a site in the insurance niche, he was advised against it.

Did Sa go back to the drawing board and look for a new niche?

Nope.

Sa told me there were two reasons why he decided to go ahead and build his site:

  1. He likes a challenge, and
  2. If the niche is that competitive, most of his competition is already at the top, leaving room for him to work his way up.

That was 2 years ago.

Today, Sa’s site is bringing in 6000 visitors a month and $13k-$15k in revenue.

These numbers prove how competitive the insurance niche is. That’s a huge revenue number for 6k visitors, and Sa told me that only around 4.5k of those visitors are landing on his "money pages." (Some examples linked below.)

Tune in to hear how Sa strategically built out his content to capture longtail traffic, how he builds backlinks (lots of them) to rank his money pages, and the tools he’s using to accelerate his efforts.

Key points in this episode

What if you could make your rent or mortgage payment go away?

Or, what if instead of paying that expense every month, your living situation actually paid you?

It’s not as far-fetched as it may sound.

In fact, that’s exactly what today’s guest, Craig Curelop, has done by intentionally "house hacking" over the past few years.

He’s even written a book on the topic, and it's one I wish I’d had when I was 18 or 19! I would have definitely done some things differently.

The basic idea is to use other people’s rents to offset, or even profit from your own housing costs. On top of that, you'll begin building wealth through real estate and earn tax benefits as well.

If you have a spare room or two in your home, or you're interested in house hacking, this episode is going to get the gears turning for you.

Tune in as Craig runs through some examples of how you can do this. Whether you’re a young professional, or you have a family of your own, you can offset some or all of your mortgage payments.

But keep in mind, this isn’t a common path -- this is living for a period of time like others won’t -- as you’ll hear from Craig’s story.

“Typically you’re going to sacrifice comfortability with profitability,” Craig explained to me. But living for a few years like others won’t has given Craig the financial independence to potentially live decades like others can’t.

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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.

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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:

the fincon effect

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

  1. Settle in.
  2. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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.

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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!

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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

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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:

  1. Raise your rates

  2. Go From one-to-one to one-to-many

  3. Hire subcontractors

  4. Create productized packages

  5. Play Matchmaker

  6. Look for affiliate opportunities

  7. Create a product

Enjoy!

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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.)

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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:

  1. Financial Leverage
  2. Time Leverage
  3. Technology and Systems Leverage
  4. Communications and Marketing Leverage
  5. Network and Relationship Leverage
  6. Knowledge and Experience Leverage

Enjoy!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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!

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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!

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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:

  1. Let’s say you’ve got $100. How do you turn it into $200?
  2. What's your #1 morning ritual?
  3. Should I create a course around self-care? Am I even qualified to?
  4. I haven't made a single sale (on Etsy) and am super demoralized. What can I do?
  5. How hard is it to make a website?
  6. How do you find a "tech" person for a reasonable rate?
  7. Why don't you use ads to monetize your website?
  8. In starting my online business, which social media platforms should I focus on?
  9. What side hustles do you recommend that could generate $100k a year within a year?
  10. When you started Side Hustle Nation, how'd you get engagement from Day 1?
  11. No one is buying my book. How can I market it?
  12. What WordPress template do you suggest?
  13. How do you refer to affiliate links when you haven't used the product?
  14. How big of a content backlog do you have / should you have?
  15. I'm a college senior interested in entrepreneurship. What do you recommend with the "real world" fast approaching?
  16. How was your trip to Mexico? Did you feel unsafe?
  17. How do you balance family, job, and business?
  18. What's the goal of your local meetups?
  19. Why'd you give away the PDF version of The Progress Journal for free?
  20. How do you organize your side hustle financially?
  21. Which gigs should I create first on Fiverr?

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“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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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“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.

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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

Key points in this episode

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.

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“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.

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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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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.

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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.

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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. 

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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"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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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:

  1. Take action; learn as you go.
  2. Be persistent. It doesn't happen overnight.
  3. 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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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:

  1. Big demand / bad reviews.
  2. Big sales / poor marketing.
  3. 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.

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Is your website guilty of these common sins? How secure is your site, really?

WordPress is like the new toy you unwrap on Christmas morning -- you know it's going to be awesome, but there's some assembly required.

To break down some of the most common website mistakes, I invited my friend Anthony Tran on the show.

Anthony runs MarketingAccessPass.com, a web design and development agency, as well as AccessWP.com, a WordPress support company offering unlimited support for a low monthly subscription.

(Get $20 off your first month of Access WP through my affiliate link)

With years of experience building websites for himself and for clients, he definitely knows his stuff.

Note: Click here to download Anthony’s top tips for optimizing your WordPress site.

In this episode, we walk through how you can tighten up the security of your site, speed up your load times, and some quick changes that’ll improve your SEO and user experience.

Whether you’re new to WordPress or have been blogging for years, I think you’ll take something away from this episode as Anthony shares his tips, tools, and best practices from years of working online for himself and for clients.

Note: If you don't have a website up and running yet, my free video series will show you how to get online quickly and affordably.

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I felt gross. I was tired from chasing a toddler around, out of shape, and fighting a series of frustrating injuries.

And I realized it was hurting my output at work. Building a business takes real energy and real brainpower, and I wasn't performing optimally because my body wasn't performing optimally.

I knew I had to do something about it.

A friend introduced me to Rob Dionne, a certified personal trainer who works with clients online and in person. He also co-hosts the Open Sky Fitness podcast with his wife Devon and runs the really active Open Sky Fitness Facebook group.

Since we started working together, I've lost 5 pounds, gained strength, and generally feel more energized during the day. On the surface, investing 20 minutes in a workout seems like going backward; that's 20 minutes I should be working! But I've found it pays dividends in better energy the rest of the day and better sleep at night.

Note: Click here to download Rob’s top tips for fitness and nutrition for busy hustlers from this episode.

During our coaching calls, I'd often find myself saying, "This is really good stuff, we should be recording this."

And that's how this episode came to be.

Tune in to hear the most important health and fitness factors, how they can fit into any schedule, and Rob's analysis of one Side Hustle Show listener's daily routine.

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A lot has changed in Ryan's "buy low, sell high" business built on Amazon's FBA program.

This week’s episode is a “where are they now?” show as I catch up with Ryan Grant from OnlineSellingExperiment.com.

Ryan first appeared on the show back in 2014 on episode 61. Back then he had just quit his $50k a year job to sell online full-time using retail arbitrage.

(He’d started out flipping textbooks in college and then got into Amazon FBA retail arbitrage; buying low from stores locally and re-selling on Amazon.)

Fast forward 3 years and Ryan’s business has grown at an incredible pace.

Note: Click here to download Ryan’s top tips for starting and scaling a retail arbitrage business from this episode.

He’s had some pretty impressive media exposure off the back of a Reddit AMA and is on track to sell more than $4 million worth of stuff in 2017.

What were the driving forces behind this accelerated growth?

“I wanted to make it a true business,” Ryan said.

He now has a team of 11 people working for him, has put processes in place to find more items in retail stores, has started buying at wholesale, and can now use his own time more efficiently to work on growing his business and finding expansion opportunities.

Ryan’s success is proof that retail arbitrage is still a viable side hustle. In this episode he explains what he’s learned over the last 3 years, and how the retail arbitrage landscape has changed for new sellers.

Tune in to hear Ryan explain how he grew his business into a multi-million-dollar operation, how he grew his team and developed processes to scale up, and what he’s focusing on in 2018.

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This week’s show is a roundtable episode on the topic of YouTube, and specifically how 3 different channel hosts have gone about growing their presence and profits on the YouTube platform.

My esteemed panelists are:

They explain how and why they started using the free YouTube platform to grow significant followings and income streams, and share some actionable advice on how you can do the same.

Note: Click here to download the panel’s top tips for building an audience and generating revenue on YouTube from this episode.

They each raise some interesting points as they have very different approaches to how they publish content and monetize their channels, proving there are many ways to turn a YouTube channel into a side hustle or a full-time business.

Jon uses what he calls a “spray and pray" strategy for content creation. Pete’s DIY videos are edited down from 3-5 hours of footage to just 8-12 minutes and he releases one a month, while Matt publishes once a week (usually interviews) to, “try to get the weekend crowd.”

On the monetization side, Jon has opted to go ad-free for a better viewer experience and earns $4-5k per month from affiliate income part-time.

Pete has taken a different approach making around $1400 a month from YouTube ads, but has several other income streams including courses, affiliate offers, sponsorship deals, website ad revenue, and direct donations.

Matt makes $10k a month funneling his subscribers to his money-making videos selling a digital marketing course, and $3k a month from YouTube ad revenue.

With more than 450k subscribers between them, this episode is packed with actionable tips to grow and monetize a YouTube channel that has worked for Jon, Pete, and Matt.

Listen in for actionable advice on how to grow and monetize your own YouTube channel.

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It's like owning a parking lot, Jefferson Lilly explained. And you can earn 20% cash on cash returns too.

That got my attention, though those returns are coming from a surprising real estate niche: mobile home parks.

Jefferson Lilly is a mobile home park investment expert, educator, and industry consultant who has been featured in the New York Times, Bloomberg Magazine, and on the ‘Real Money’ television show.

Through his company Park Street Partners, they currently own about $50 million worth of mobile home parks coast-to-coast.

Note: Click here to download Jefferson’s top tips for investing in mobile home parks from this episode.

Jefferson is also the host of the Mobile Home Investors podcast, so it’s fair to say he knows this niche inside and out.

The mobile home park niche doesn’t fit the typical real estate guidelines. It’s a shrinking market and offers some interesting and unique investment opportunities if you know where to look.

In addition to the shrinking supply, the tenant turnover is lower than other real estate niches, and most tenants own their own homes -- meaning lower maintenance costs.

Tune in to hear how Jefferson went from purchasing his first park after receiving 58 "no's" from banks when trying to raise the capital, to forming Park Street Partners and boasting a rapidly growing portfolio with more $50 million invested in mobile home parks.

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You might know Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from her super-popular blog MakingSenseofCents.com where she gets hundreds of thousands of readers and makes 6-figures a month.

Around $50k of that monthly revenue (or more) comes from affiliate marketing.

Note: Click here to download Michelle’s top tips for maximizing affiliate revenue from this episode.

Michelle’s online journey started in the summer of 2011 when she decided to start blogging about paying off her student debts, “I didn’t know what blogs were at the time… I literally didn’t know that you could make money with a blog,” she said looking back.

It was when she made her first $100 six months later with a sponsored post that she knew she wanted to build an online business.

“It became super addicting,” Michelle said.

Fast-forward just two years and Michelle had become a full-time blogger making money through affiliate marketing sponsored posts, working as a freelance staff writer and selling display advertising.

She started to focus on affiliate marketing, and with her most profitable post making more than $400k to-date it's fair to say she's nailed the right way to do affiliate marketing.

The secret to her success?

Listening to her audience and providing relevant content that solves a pain point.

Sounds simple, right?

Tune in to hear Michelle explain how she finds the right affiliate products to promote to her audience, as well as her tips to maximize conversions, increase your social media following, diversify your traffic sources, and much more.

Don't have a blog yet? My free video course will help you get started!

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In my annual member survey, one of the 3 most common obstacles I hear is the money needed to start a business. As in, "I don't have enough money to start a business."

(The other 2 are time and ideas.)

It's kind of a chicken vs. egg problem: you need money to start the business and you need the business to earn the money!

But the truth is that most side hustles these days don't take a ton of cash to get off the ground. In fact, most of the businesses I've started have cost less than $500 to start.

In this episode I'll share 8 business models that have no startup costs, and one of them even has a "better than zero" startup cost -- meaning you can get paid to acquire your inventory.

The 8 Models:

  1. The Perceived Value Plan
  2. The Dealmaker Model
  3. The Connector Email Model
  4. The Curator Email Model
  5. One Man’s Trash is a Another Man’s Treasure
  6. Repackaging
  7. The Pay for Performance Model
  8. The Agency Model

Tune in to hear my examples of real businesses making it work under each of those models. It's sure to get your creative juices flowing on what kind of side hustle you could start!

Stick around to the end of the show and I'll also share the actual startup costs for all of my businesses over the last 20 years.

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By day, Bryan Orr helps runs an air conditioning company in Central Florida, and by night he’s a father of 9 -- yet somehow he's found the time to build his HVAC School podcast into a 5-figure a month business in less than a year.

And it might sounds like an overnight success, but Bryan's actually been side hustling for quite a while, mostly in the podcasting and freelance audio production space.

Tasked with training technicians at his day job, he had the idea to put it into an on-demand audio format, and that's where he found his side hustle sweet spot.

Note: Click here to download Bryan’s top tips for growing a niche side hustle from this episode.

It was on a whim he decided to publish the content online and make it available to a wider audience. “In the process it just exploded, I never thought there would be an audience like the audience that I found,” Bryan said.

With 1000 downloads in the first 48 hours and synergy with his day job, Bryan started allocating more time to his show.

As his audience grew he started negotiating sponsorship deals with large companies in the HVAC niche.

Less than a year into this new side hustle, he's built an email list of over 7500 subscribers, generated more than 500,000 podcast downloads, and is earning $11k a month in sponsorship revenue.

Tune in to hear how Bryan promoted his show to gain that initial traction, how he worked with influencers in his niche for extra exposure, and how he secured sponsors to monetize his show.

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“You have a skill, but you’re not using it correctly."

That the tough love advice Vincent Pugliese's father gave him.

Vincent was working what he thought was his dream job as a photojournalist. He'd just won the most prestigious award in his industry (International Sports Photographer of the Year), and he and his wife Elizabeth had a baby on the way.

Yet the newspaper job didn't pay well. With the impending arrival of their son, Vincent took a hard look at his financial picture: he was in his mid-30s, 6-figures in debt, and earning $15 an hour.

Not great.

Something had to change, and something did.

Four years later, the family was debt free and self-employed, thanks to the success of their freelance photography side hustle.

Note: Click here to download Vincent’s top tips for creating freedom through freelancing.

I met Vincent at Podcast Movement and invited him on the show to share his inspiring and relate-able story. With a growing trend toward freelance workers, his transition is one many people will need to make over the next few years.

With his newfound time freedom, Vincent has kept busy with a number of new projects including his upcoming book Freelance to Freedom, and an online course teaching parents how to take better sports pictures of their kids.

(Even though Vincent had no "audience" of his own to sell to, the course did over $30k on launch day, giving us the hook for this episode.)

Tune in to hear how he and his wife got it done and how you can apply the same strategies to the skills on your own resume.

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Quit my job? “That’s stupid,” Kim Anderson said.

But she eventually did, and it turned out to be a really smart move. Together with her husband Cressel, they paid off $93k in debt in less than 2 years, setting themselves up for a life of “financial flexibility.”

They did it through a combination of conscious spending, creative side hustles, and having a clear goal in mind. And perhaps what’s more exciting is what that new time freedom has allowed: starting a family, starting new businesses, and most recently even “retiring” Cressel from his engineering job.

In this inspiring episode, Kim and Cressel break down their path to financial freedom, which I think will get your gears turning on how to do the same.

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Would you trade $1000 for $2000? How about $10,000 for $18,000?

If you're anything like me, I'll make those trades all day long!

Well, Deacon Hayes is doing exactly that every month through his blog, Facebook ads, and affiliate marketing.

Note: Click here to download Deacon’s top tips for running profitable Facebook ads from this episode.

Although he'd been blogging for years, his traffic and revenue had kind of stagnated.

Inspired by the success of The Penny Hoarder using a similar strategy in a similar niche, Deacon decided to jump in and throw $1000 toward his new Facebook Ads experiment. Within a month he'd effectively doubled his investment.

Ten months later he's built a beautiful machine that combines compelling helpful content, affiliate relationships, and the massive reach of Facebook.

In this episode, you'll hear the type of content Deacon has found most profitable to promote, the types of ads he runs, and how he's able to get his costs per click down to around $0.05

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Dustin Lien from StrategicSauce.com reached out to me with an interesting pitch for an episode.

Dustin had experienced a side hustle failure and wanted to know if the Side Hustle audience would be interested in hearing his story.

I threw the idea out to the Side Hustle Facebook Group and received an overwhelming amount of feedback saying, “Yes,” they wanted to hear the “other side” of a side hustle when it fails.

In this episode Dustin lifts the lid on a business he invested a large chunk of time and money into, only to pull the plug on it a year and a half later.

Note: Click here to download Dustin’s top tips for launching a physical product and the lessons he learned from his failure in this episode.

He designed a great product that solved a pain point for people in the fitness community.

So, what went wrong?

Tune in to hear exactly what did and didn’t work for Dustin, and why he decided to throw in the towel on this project.

Dustin shares what he would do differently if he had to start over, as well as what he's working on today. He's loaded with valuable insight for anyone starting a new venture.

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Ravinder Deol was a popular guy at a recent Side Hustle Nation meetup in Seattle.

Why?

He's a Certified Bitcoin Professional and everybody wanted to learn more about the red hot cryptocurrency market. Whether you think Bitcoin is a passing fad or a fundamental shift toward a global borderless currency, it was becoming (for me at least) a trend too big to ignore.

Ravinder has fully immersed himself in the alternative currency world, teaching more than 40,000 students across 20 different courses on Udemy about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.

I figured if anyone could help school me on it, it would be him, so I invited him on the show.

Note: Click here to download Ravinder’s top cryptocurrency and block chain tips from this episode.

In this episode, Ravinder explains what Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are, how they work, and how to safely invest (cough, cough, speculate) in them.

He shares a few side hustle opportunities he sees in this "digital gold" economy and why these fringe currencies just might be the future of money.

You can find out more about Ravinder at b21block.com, where you can also find links to all his courses and his B21 Block Podcast: Cryptocurrency and Blockchain School.

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The holy grail of side hustle business models is software, right? Built it once and sell it over and over again for almost zero incremental cost!

Having built the online graphic design tool Snappa to $33k in monthly recurring revenue in 2 years, Christopher Gimmer rounds out our "recurring revenue" theme for the month.

The software as a service aims to help bloggers and content creators make perfectly sized social media graphics or blog images easily and professionally. “Create online graphics in a snap,” the tagline says.

The cool do-it-yourself tool is sold on a freemium or monthly/annual subscription model.

Note: Click here to download Christopher’s top tips for bootstrapping and scaling a recurring revenue business model from this episode.

“I just wanted to know whether people were having the same issues I was having,” Christopher said, talking about the hassle he experienced creating quick and professional looking social media and blog graphics.

This is the fourth episode in this series of recurring revenue shows. If you’ve missed any of the previous episodes, be sure to check out:

In this episode, Christopher shares how he validated his idea, successfully launched his new tool just months later and generated $2-3k in the first week, and grew the business to where it is today.

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Three years ago Design Pickle didn't exist. It wasn't even an idea in founder Russ Perry's head yet.

That's why it seems crazy to me that today the unlimited graphic design service is doing $400k in monthly recurring revenue!

Back in 2014 Russ was running a creative agency, but he started to hate everything about it. “I felt like I was in a prison of my own creation,” he said.

By January 2015, he'd shut down his agency and started working as a freelancer. Not wanting to build a similar prison again, he sought out a different business model -- one with a simpler service offering that was designed to scale.

From taking on a friend as his first client to now completing more than 800 design jobs a day, it’s been an incredibly quick ascension and a great example of how to scale a service business.

Note: Click here to download Russ’ top tips for scaling a service business from this episode.

Tune in to hear how Russ grew his business from zero to $410k+ in monthly recurring revenue in less than 3 years.

We cover his marketing strategies, his hiring best practices, and what Design Pickle does to keep customers coming back month after month.

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Zeona McIntyre is earning $12-18k a month through her portfolio of vacation rental properties and her "co-hosting" service for other property owners.

All this has afforded Zeona financial independence at a very young age, as she built her operation largely by piggybacking on the growing popularity of Airbnb (get $40 off your first trip!).

Note: Click here to download Zeona’s top Airbnb tips from this episode.

She first became aware of Airbnb and the potential to earn some extra revenue back in 2011. She was in massage school at the time, but a friend of hers in New York subletted his apartment on Airbnb to the tune of $50k for the year -- all while traveling full-time.

“I couldn’t ignore it from then; I started right away,” Zeona said.

She started by subletting a room in her apartment, then her whole apartment, and now owns five rental properties and manages or "co-hosts" another 15-20 properties on the behalf of her clients.

With a small team, some smart decisions, and some online tools, Zeona now manages her business from her home in Boulder, Colorado relatively hands-off.

This is the second episode in our recurring revenue series this month. If you missed last week, be sure to check out how a full-time cop built a subscription box service to $15k a month.

This week, tune in to hear how Zeona chooses vacation rental properties, how she calculates the potential ROI, and how you can get started in this location independent side hustle today with just a spare room in your home.

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From the spare bedroom to $15k in monthly recurring revenue, Sam Gonzalez has grown the subscription style service UrbaneBox.com (affiliate link) all on the side from his day job as a police officer.

He noticed his wardrobe was getting pretty outdated and with family and work life, he didn’t have any time (or desire, really) to go shopping. So he decided to do something about it and create an online subscription box business with a cool value proposition: $120 worth of designer clothes for $60.

In this episode Sam talks through the steps he took from building his website, pitching suppliers, experimenting with different pricing models, and outsourcing the order fulfillment.

Note: Click here to download Sam’s top tips for starting and scaling a subscription box business from this episode.

He’s used a combination of AdWords, social media promotion, collaborating with other bloggers and YouTube influencers, and an interesting Facebook “hack” to rapidly grow his business.

Tune in to hear how Sam went from idea to 6-figures in 3 years, from packing and shipping his first order from his spare bedroom to a business that now does $15k in monthly recurring revenue.

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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.

It’s been 6 months since the last Q&A show I did (where does the time go??) and I’ve had quite a few interesting questions come in since then. I picked 20 to talk through in today’s show.

Like this format? This is the 4th installment of "20 Questions" so feel free to go back and binge on the older ones too:

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 affiliate marketing, audience building, network marketing, imposter syndrome, my income streams today, and my side hustle mistakes.

Tune in to hear my responses to those questions and a dozen more below.

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Chris Green is one of the foremost advocates for the side hustle lifestyle. He has 10+ years’ experience as an Amazon seller, author, software provider to others involved in the Amazon ecosystem, and most recently as a t-shirt designer selling shirts on the Merch by Amazon platform.

Chris calls Merch by Amazon “the best side hustle out there right now.” With no upfront capital, no shipping or returns, no customer service, and no risk, it’s certainly one of the easiest side hustles to get started with.

Note: Click here to download Chris’ top Merch by Amazon marketing tips from this episode.

If you’re just getting started with Merch, Elaine Heney (who made $50k selling shirts last year) shared how to sign up and get your first t-shirts for sale on the Merch platform back on episode 216.

Chris picks up where Elaine left off and goes into detail sharing some of his best tips for optimizing your listing, where he finds ideas for t-shirt designs and a few of the methods he uses to market his shirts.

Tune in to hear some the unique and interesting ways Chris comes up with t-shirt designs ideas, as well as how he markets them through paid ads and organic outreach.

You can find out more at merch.life, and pick up a free copy of Chris’ book Merch Resources (just pay shipping).

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Sarah Miller is still in college (and plays soccer for her school) but that hasn't stopped her from starting a pretty cool side hustle: painting custom pet portraits.

She's done 300 paintings so far!

But the business isn't without its challenges. She'd like to raise her rates, expand her marketing efforts to land new clients, and figure out how to make her work less of a time-for-money tradeoff.

To help me brainstorm some ideas for Sarah, I invited Don the Idea Guy back on the program to join us on a call.

As you might remember, Don is a creative genius and in this episode he definitely doesn't disappoint. Together we walk through a dozen different ways Sarah could take her operation to the next level and open up new income streams.

Even if your business has nothing to do with painting wiener dogs, I think this conversation will get your gears turning because the broader strategies can apply to lots of different business models.

Among the suggestions:

  • Raise prices for the custom work.
  • Create off-the-shelf prints for the most popular breeds (from the library of work Sarah's already done).
  • Use print-on-demand marketplaces to instantly expand inventory and sales options.
  • Her various upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
  • Partner with influential pet bloggers and Facebook group administrators.
  • Partner with pet-related stores w/ a low-tech coupon code-based affiliate program.
  • Partner with other pet-related Etsy sellers to cross-promote each other's products.
  • Tap into your database of existing customers for upsells and referrals.
  • Turn the preliminary pencil sketches into other product offerings and maybe even adult coloring book templates.
  • Teach others the skill of painting on Udemy.

I think you'll like it!

Here's an example of Sarah's work:

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John Cavendish of FBA Frontiers started his Amazon FBA business three years ago and has become an advocate for the e-commerce and FBA scene in Europe.

If you already have experience with Amazon FBA in the US, expanding into Europe is easier than you’re probably thinking and opens up a much wider customer base.

John says that Europe is about five years behind the US in terms of growth so it’s on that steep rise, and with “double the customers and half the competition,” it was a side hustle opportunity I was intrigued to learn more about.

Note: Click here to download John’s top Amazon FBA Europe tips from this episode.

You don’t need to be based in the UK, have a UK-based business, or be fluent in any other languages either.

In this episode, John talks through the few simple steps it takes to get started selling on the European Amazon marketplaces.

He outlines his product research process, how the EU bestselling ranks differ to the US, his supplier best practices, the tool he made to calculate profitability, and more.

Tune in to hear how John has gone from a $5000 investment just three years ago to a selling hundreds of products daily across the UK, German, French, Spanish, and Italian Amazon marketplaces.

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Over the last decade, Cathy Heller has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from her music and helping other musicians license their songs.

In fact, you've probably heard some of her music without realizing it. Songs of hers have been featured in ads for huge brands, like McDonald’s, Walmart, Kellogg’s, as well as many popular TV shows.

Note: Click here to download Cathy’s top tips for reverse engineering your dream job.

Today, the mother of 3 balances family, her art, her agency, her online course, and her new Don't Keep Your Day Job podcast, where she interviews other entrepreneurs, artists, and influencers.

Cathy's story is an inspiring one, and it follows a familiar trajectory: freelancer to agency to product.

When she moved to LA to be a rockstar, she didn't know where it would lead. That didn't pan out, but she landed at something perhaps even more fulfilling. She called it reverse engineering her dream job, and thinks other people can do the same.

Tune in to hear how Cathy walked The Hustler's Path from freelancer to agency to product, and how you can apply her ideas and tactics to find your dream job.

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Teresa Greenway is a mother of 10 who went from working part-time in a bakery to making $5k a month doing what she loves – baking and teaching others how to bake.

More specifically, she teaches how to bake perfect sourdough bread.

Teresa has built a really cool business around this niche at NorthwestSourdough.com.

In the past couple of years, her main revenue driver has been Udemy courses, to the tune of several thousand dollars a month.

The main driving force behind this? It turns out Teresa's secret weapon is a huge Facebook group of engaged followers, fans, and fellow bakers.

With almost 35,000 members, it's one of the largest baking groups on Facebook, and Teresa said it all started “by accident” back in 2013.

Note: Click here to download Teresa’s tips for growing a Facebook community and selling Udemy courses from this episode.

Since then her business and revenue have grown faster than a loaf of her sourdough bread. Teresa earned $1k in the month she released her first Udemy course in April 2015, and it was a life-changing moment. She went on to earn $20k in her first year, and now consistently brings in $4-5k a month.

Teresa did all of this will little to no promotion or marketing. Tune in to hear how she grew her Facebook group so fast, why she decided to start selling courses on Udemy, and how she also uses YouTube and ebooks to drive traffic to her courses and group.

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You can be a creator or a consumer, but it’s the creators that get paid.

I’ve argued before that creativity is the most important skill for entrepreneurs because before you can sell anything, you have to create that value proposition.

But what if you’re not creative?

I believe we all have that innate creative spirit in us somewhere, it’s just a matter of flexing that creative muscle.

In this episode, I talk with Carol "Stash" Stanley of StashSports.com, and David Fedewa who is an inventor mentor at InventRight.com.

Note: Click here to download David and Stash’s top tips to help you unleash your creativity and what to do with your ideas from this episode.

Stash holds six patents related to products in the baseball and softball world, as well as footwear safety. She’s worked on these products as a side hustle while working full-time at the University of Virginia.

David Fedewa is a serial inventor who has taken the product licensing route as described by Stephen Key in episode 173 to earn passive income from his product ideas.

Tune in to hear how they come with ideas, how to unleash the creativity in your own head, and what to do with those ideas once you have them.

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As the author of more than 70 books, Steve "S.J." Scott is one of the most productive and disciplined people I know.

His latest title, Habit Stacking, became a Wall Street Journal Bestseller and served as the inspiration for this episode.

Note: Click here to download the detailed explanation of Steve’s Top 10 hustle habits from this episode.

(Long-time listeners might remember Steve from WAY back in the archives; he was my guest in episode 9 where we discussed how to earn money as a side hustling author.)

This time though we're diving into a few of the habits that allow Steve to continually drive his business forward, and lead a healthier and happier life. Plus, you'll learn why we think they're important and how you can apply them in your own life.

The 10 habits we cover are:

  1. Tracking your time
  2. Reviewing your goals daily
  3. Writing down the tasks you got done
  4. Fixing your "broken windows"
  5. Wearing a step-tracking device
  6. Keeping a food diary
  7. Researching one side hustle
  8. Breaking down a big project into actionable steps
  9. Following an evening shutdown routine
  10. Practicing mindfulness

As you can see, they're not all directly business-related, but most take 5 minutes or less and are designed to increase your productivity, reduce stress, prioritize your workload, and help you find a healthy work-life balance.

Tune in to hear how Steve and I incorporate these habits into our daily routines (or plan to, in my case). As you'll see in the links section below, there are a lot of books, apps, and resources mentioned.

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Noah Kagan is Chief Sumo and founder of Sumo.com and AppSumo.com. He blogs about his personal and business experiences at OkDork.com, and his new podcast is called Noah Kagan Presents.

Noah has built up a number of successful businesses and is always toying with new ideas or looking for the next big business opportunity, so he was the perfect person to brainstorm with.

Note: Click here to download Noah’s tips to help you brainstorm and validate business ideas.

If you’re stuck at the idea generation phase or pulling the trigger on your ideas, this episode is going to give you food for thought. Noah is a master at this stuff and doesn't sugarcoat anything.

And if you already have an idea you’re sitting on, he explains exactly how he validates his own ideas before moving forward and what steps you need to take.

Don’t be afraid of failure either. “I’ve never actually met someone who has made money or grown successful businesses that hasn’t had things that didn’t work out,” Noah said.

Tune in to hear how Noah comes up with interesting and unique business ideas, how he validates them, and how he splits his time between content creation and marketing.

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The best advice from my last 49 guests.

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.

I first did this for episode 50, which was my first-ever solo podcast recording, and then again in episode 124 and episode 177. If you like this short-and-sweet meta-style show, be sure to check out those ones from the archives as well.

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:

  1. Get started.
  2. Take action.
  3. Build your audience.

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? Find your WHY.

Why side hustle? What are you trying to build? What will that afford you?

At the end of this episode, I share a new #1-ish tip: if success is owning your calendar and being free to spend your time how you like, start doing it today in some small but meaningful way.

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As one of several side hustles, Ryan Dowd runs HomelessLibrary.com, a training program that teaches librarians how to confidently and compassionately deal with their homeless patrons.

It’s something a little different from the business-to-consumer model we usually see with online course sales and comes with some advantages over the B2C market — namely potentially higher prices and the ability to perform direct outreach.

Note: Click here to download Ryan’s tips how to sell and market a B2B online course.

By day Ryan is the executive director for a homeless shelter in Illinois, but on the side he’s also an adjunct professor, a practicing attorney, and he’s writing a book — in addition to the 3-15 hours a week he spends on HomelessLibrary.com.

(And he’s married with a couple kids, so it’s fair to say he’s a busy guy.)

Ryan was working at the homeless shelter when a friend asked if he would speak at a local conference about homelessness to a group of librarian executive directors.

His talk went so well he started receiving offers to deliver training in person at libraries. Not having the time to travel to different locations, Ryan recorded a 30-minute video, posted it on YouTube, and sent people the link.

Now with over 13,000 views, his video has become a staple training tool for librarians across the country and there was a demand for more.

Ryan capitalized on this by recording a longer, more in-depth training. He broke it up into modules and began selling it to libraries across the US.

Tune in to hear how that first conference speaking gig Ryan did for a friend turned into a successful side hustle selling B2B online courses and started what he calls, “A crazy wild ride with a completely accidental start.”

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Listen in on a real life side hustle coaching call with customer acquisition and retention strategist David Hutcherson (he's the client), and sales pro Brendan Alan Barrett (he and I share the coaching duties).

On the heels of last week's sales-themed episode, I invited Brendan on because of his sales background both with companies large and small.

We're joined by our "client" David, who's seeking to grow his freelance/consulting side hustle and build on his decade of experience in customer service.

We dive into where David is at in his business today, how he got his first few clients, and where he'd like to go from here.

The good news is he's not starting from scratch. He's had a handful of clients for community management and customer market research gigs, including the world famous improv theater Second City, but nothing recurring and not much in the pipeline at the moment.

We do our best to point him in the right direction and get him to try and figure out what exactly is the service he offers and who he offers it to. And we just might have a breakthrough on that front about 20 minutes in.

Tune in to hear the types of questions you'll have to ask yourself in a service-based side hustle. Put yourself in David's shoes as you listen and think about what you'd do in his position -- and your own.

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“People don’t buy intellectually, they buy emotionally,” Jim Brown told me. By taking a unique approach, understanding your demographic, and identifying the pain points you can solve, you can attract clients and increase sales.

Jim is a former professional wrestler, a Marine Corps vet, a sales coach, and is the founder and host of the SalesTuners podcast at SalesTuners.com.

In this year’s survey results, a lot of Side Hustle Nation readers said they needed help growing their business and attracting new customers. This is exactly what Jim does with his clients, and he shares his tactics and processes in this episode.

Note: Click here to download Jim’s tips to 10x your service business in under two years.

As entrepreneurs and side hustlers, we are all the VP of sales for our own businesses. The only person driving a company forward in the early stages is the founder, and nothing happens until someone sells something to someone else.

Tune in to hear how you can 10x your service business by setting a revenue goal, breaking down the numbers and planning out a step-by-step approach, and making outreach calls the way Jim does with his clients.

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Ben Foley started writing about how to use mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety at FullyRichLife.com a little over 6 months ago.

Since then, his little side project has generated over 6000 email subscribers and $10,000 in revenue.

His secret sauce?

Tapping into the big audience of readers on Medium.com.

Note: Click here to download Ben’s tips for getting your content in front of huge audiences and building your email list.

Having overcome stress and anxiety issues himself, he knew this was a niche he could enter and help others. And, with a different approach to using mindfulness in the modern world to help reduce stress working for him, he knew he had a unique angle to blog about.

Before starting his site in December last year Ben had never even written a blog post. However, after finding a passion for writing and encouraged by positive feedback, he “tripled down” on content and started getting huge exposure almost right away -- something new sites often struggle with.

Related: My free video series on how to start a blog.

Tune in to hear how you can use Medium to growth hack your new or existing site, and how Ben is turning those readers into subscribers and revenue.

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Perrin Carrell is a senior contributing editor at AuthorityHacker and well-known within the internet marketing community for building niche/authority sites.

He has built several successful sites from scratch, including one recent project that went from a valuation of $0 to $200,000 in just under 20 months.

Note: Click here to download Perrin’s tips for starting an authority site and getting started in affiliate marketing.

Perrin started learning about internet marketing and SEO while working a day job at a global communications consulting firm. Desperate to escape the day job and turn his side hustle into a full-time business he started building sites and learning from his failures along the way.

He now has the blueprint nailed for building profitable sites with several different income streams.

From planning the site structure, ordering content, carrying out keyword research, to link-building, Perrin shares exactly how he builds his sites in this episode.

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What's the story of your first job-free income?

To celebrate the 4-year anniversary of The Side Hustle Show, the Side Hustle Nation community joined me in creating a really fun episode.

I asked people to tell me how they first started making money on the side, and got 25 different voicemails!

In this episode, you'll hear first-hand the steps your fellow listeners took to put themselves back in the driver seat of their own financial well-being. And no matter how you shake it, that first sale is a powerful one.

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Steve P. Young is a side hustler turned full-time entrepreneur. He has hosted more than 500 episodes of the AppMasters podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping app makers get more downloads and sales of their apps.

Steve was working full-time when he decided to start his podcast interviewing app developers and putting out content for the app community.

Note: Click here to download Steve's tips for turning a podcast into multiple income streams from this episode.

Using lunch breaks, early morning, and late nights, Steve found the time to put out two episodes a week and start building up authority and an audience in the app space.

Within four months he had his first consulting client, and within seven months he was handing in his notice at his day job as AppMasters became his full-time business.

Tune in to find out how Steve built up several income streams around his podcast:

  • The apps (how it all started)
  • Consulting
  • Podcast sponsorship
  • Digital products and courses
  • A private mastermind group
  • A live in-person event

You'll hear the hacks he used to grow his audience in a short time period, and how interviewing influential people in the app space helped double sales on his own apps.

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Kamila Gornia is the “Blow Up, Scale Up” Marketing Strategist who helps entrepreneurs blow up and scale up their businesses to become true leaders online.

And often that means helping them reach a broader audience on Facebook.

Note: Click here to download Kamila’s top Facebook ad tips and strategies from this episode.

If you’re a freelancer or blogger, Facebook Ads could be a way to grow your business faster. With the social network closing in on 2 billion active users, no matter what you're selling or where you're selling it, odds are your target customer is on Facebook.

Whether you’re new to Facebook and setting up a business page from scratch, or you’ve run ads before, Kamila shares tips and advice to help you turn your ad campaigns into a positive ROI.

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Don't you just love a good outsmarting the casino story? Bring me an Ocean’s Eleven, bring me a Bringing Down the House -- I’m all about it.

Colin Jones is a professional card counter whose blackjack teams won almost $4 million, and he earned over $500k himself.

Now a father of 6, Colin's playing days are mostly over, but he's turned his unique skill into a profitable online business at BlackjackApprenticeship.com.

Note: Click here to download Colin’s top online business tips from this episode.

Did you catch the Holy Rollers documentary about the Christian card counters? Yeah, it was about Colin and his team.

When we met at a Side Hustle Nation meetup in Seattle over the holidays, Colin explained that card counting -- though glamorized by Hollywood -- is "a hard way to make easy money." He also pointed out that the math involved is elementary-school level, and done right, it really can be seen as an investment and not a gamble.

Today, his Blackjack Apprenticeship site has more than 500 members and in this episode, you'll hear how he's grown this business, how he's priced his different offerings, and how he keeps customers sticking around for more.

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Scott Voelker is the host of the super popular Amazing Seller podcast, where he’s recorded more than 300 episodes about the Amazon FBA business model.

He's a family man and a serial hustler, having been involved with a number of businesses ranging from construction to photography to ecommerce.

His latest project is the 1k FastTrack Challenge, where he takes a group of students through the paces of making their first $1000 selling online.

Note: Click here to download Scott’s 5-steps to start selling and earning your first $500 on the side in the next 7 days.

One of the biggest challenges people struggle to overcome is deciding on, or even finding a side hustle they can start and take those important first steps.

In this episode of The Side Hustle Show, Scott takes you through the 5-steps he uses when guiding his students to earning their first $500 online in just 7 days.

He also shares some powerful words of motivation and some success stories he’s been part of, helping you to see just how easy it really is when you follow these 5 simple steps.

"You’re probably sitting on a few hundred, if not thousands of dollars in your possession right now that you’re not even aware of," Scott explained.

Tune in to find out exactly what Scott is talking about, and how you can start your own challenge today to earn $500 in the next 7 days. No investment needed, no prior experience selling online, just the motivation and willingness to stick to a deadline.

Sound good? Join the free SH Nation Facebook group and look for the #7daychallenge thread to post about your results.

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Dr. Kenyon Meadows MD is a practicing Radiation Oncologist by day, but by nights and weekends he’s a self-proclaimed alternative investment enthusiast.

His new book is called Alternative Financial Medicine: High-Yield Investments in a Low-Yield World, and you can find out more about Dr. Meadows and his adventures outside the world of traditional stocks and bonds at AlternativeFinancialMedicine.com.

In this episode of The Side Hustle Show, Dr. Meadows and I dive into three different areas of alternative investments:

  1. Turnkey Rental Properties
  2. Real Estate Private Lending
  3. Business Lending

Note: Click here to download Kenyon’s top alternative investment tips from this episode.

Dr. Meadows explains why turnkey rental properties are a becoming a popular investment vehicle right now, and a couple platforms and markets to consider. He shares how he evaluates the numbers on each deal (he now owns 7 turnkey properties) and what search criteria he uses.

(Am I the only one who can't read "turnkey" with thinking "turkey"??)

He also explains why real estate private lending is perhaps less risky than peer-to-peer lending, the sites he uses to find opportunities, and how you can get a 10-14% return on 6-18 month loans.

Business lending has also been a profitable alternative investment for Dr. Meadows, netting him an average yield of 14.5% over the last 2 years on one platform. He shares the sites he uses to find investment opportunities along with tips to help you find lower risk investment opportunities.

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Derek Murphy's book portfolio is bringing in $5k a month. He's is a world traveler, book cover design extraordinaire, and the author of a dozen different books, mainly in the young adult fantasy genre.

A lot of the self-publishing content and interviews on the Side Hustle Show has been related to non-fiction books, and to me, it's a more straightforward process: help someone solve a problem.

Fiction is a bit of a different animal, and something Derek covers in detail over on his site at CreativIndie.com.

Derek started out editing books and designing book covers while completing his Masters and PhD in literature. Having an interest in reading fiction and wanting to get away from client work, Derek started writing fiction books.

He explained there's a lot more demand for fiction than non-fiction, and because of that it can be easier to make more money.

Note: Click here to download Derek’s top self-publishing tips from this episode.

It’s not as competitive as you may think either. Although there are literally millions of fiction books available, when you cut through to the books that are being marketed and targeted to the right audience, Derek says it’s not that difficult.

Tune in to hear how Derek starts by finding keywords and researching what the readers want based on what's already selling, then testing the market for demand before committing to a series of books.

He also shares the methods he used to grow an email list of more than 32,000 as well as advice on how to launch a book with an email list of zero.

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Jacques Hopkins is a former full-time engineer who turned his passion for playing piano from a side hustle into a full-time business at the end of 2015.

With more time and energy to devote to Pianoin21Days.com, the business continued to reach new heights.

It was after reading the entrepreneurial handbook that’s inspired a generation to start side hustles – The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss – that Jacques knew he wanted to start "something on the side that could make money."

That was back in 2007, and after several failed ventures, each of which has played a part in getting him to where he is now, Jacques is crushing it with his YouTube videos, ebook sales, and online course.

Note: Click here to download Jacques’s top online business tips from this episode.

Tune in to hear how Jacques realized there was a market for teaching “regular people learn to play modern songs on the piano in as little time as possible.”

You'll hear how he used YouTube to generate lots of free traffic and build his email list, how he doubled his conversions by picking up the phone and talking to potential customers, and how he now lives the lifestyle wants and spends his time promoting the business.

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Chad Carson is a 30-something semi-retired real estate mogul, who together with his business partner, oversees a portfolio of 90+ rental units.

In fact, he and his wife are in the middle of an exciting adventure — a year abroad in Ecuador with their two daughters.

But of course he didn’t start there. Fresh off the football field at Clemson, Chad’s real estate career started more modestly by “bird dogging” and house hacking — two of the tactics he shares in this week’s show.

Note: Click here to download Chad’s top real estate investing tips from this episode.

You can learn more about Chad and his real estate business at CoachCarson.com, where he writes about using real estate investing to retire early and do what matters.

In this episode, Chad walks me through 5 real estate side hustles you can start on the cheap. Tune in to hear:

  1. How to use house hacking to earn rental income and live for free
  2. How to take advantage of tax-free live-in flips
  3. How anyone can start master leasing
  4. How to become a leasing agent
  5. How to start “Bird-dogging”

Chad proves that you that you don’t need a large down payment to get started in real estate. You can even learn “how to do one of the more important parts of the rental business on someone else’s dime” if you’re smart about it.

This episode is packed with actionable advice to help get you started with a side hustle in the real estate market, as well as some long-term options to set you on the path to building long-term wealth.

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Dan Meadors is one-half of TheWholesaleFormula.com. He and his partner Eric Lambert began selling on Amazon as a hobby with an original investment of only $600.

They would work nights and weekends buying products on clearance at local retail stores and selling them on Amazon for profit.

It took only a few months before they saw the potential to turn this hobby into a business and they both left their day jobs to sell on Amazon full-time. Since then they have been able to generate over $13,000,000 in total sales on Amazon.

Note: Click here to download Dan’s top wholesaling selling tips from this episode.

Most of Side Hustle Nation will be familiar with the Amazon FBA program, but Dan's strategy is a bit different from the retail arbitrage and private label strategies we've covered in the past.

In Dan's case, he's buying inventory at wholesale prices from a brand or manufacturer, instead of trolling the clearance section at Walmart or having a product built specifically for him by a manufacturer. Then, like the other Amazon FBA business models, it's on him to list and sell it through Amazon.

In this episode, Dan talks me through everything you need to know to get started with wholesaling on Amazon, including how to target potential products and brands to sell, and how to reach out to them in a helpful way.

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Joseph Hogue is a Marine Corps veteran, a former investment analyst, an author, a blogger, a freelancer, and an all-around super smart dude.

We met through FinCon and hit it off right away. Maybe because we have the same haircut??

He blogs at MyWorkFromHomeMoney.com (and several other sites) and his latest book is called Google SEO for Bloggers: Easy Search Engine Optimization and Website Marketing for Google Love.

Joseph runs a number of blogs, and through smart keyword research, great content, and some techniques he uses to attract lots of high authority backlinks, Joseph has seen his traffic, and more importantly his revenue increase quickly in the last two years.

Note: Click here to download Joseph’s top SEO tips and hacks to generate more organic traffic to your site.

Search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t need to be difficult, time-consuming, or expensive. Joseph uses a simple process to find keywords with “buyer intent”, optimizes his content with on-page SEO, and uses some innovative, but simple techniques to generate powerful backlinks that Google will love and in turn boost your posts in the search results.

Tune in to hear Joseph’s SEO tips, techniques, and hacks. He shares examples of his own link building techniques, loads of useful tools to help you gain that competitive advantage over others in your niche, and ultimately ways you can increase your blog revenue.

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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.

It's been a few months since the last Q&A show I did and I’ve had quite a few interesting questions come in since then. I picked 20 to talk through in today's show.

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.

I'll cover questions about my daily routines, driving traffic, growing a subscriber base, staying motivated, making sustained sales, and what I'm struggling with today.

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Kendell Rizzo made over $100,000 in profit in 18 months part-time selling services, workbooks, and other downloadable products on Fiverr. 

In addition to being a 6-figure Fiverr seller, Kendell is a crowdfunding expert, a world traveler, an ironman triathlete, and runs her blog at leadandlaunch.com.

Note: Click here to download Kendell’s tips and strategies to maximize your Fiverr Earnings.

It’s been more than 100 episodes since our last Fiverr episode where Mark (AnarchoFighter) talked me through how he was the first person to make a $10k sale on Fiverr.

Fiverr is still going strong, and it’s a great example of a Buy Buttons platform – there's no bidding for work and no outside marketing necessary. This is what attracted Kendell to Fiverr after being frustrated with other freelance endeavors that sap time bidding for jobs or submitting resumes.

Within a year and a half Kendell turned over more than $100k in profit, and went from the $5 gigs everyone starts out with to averaging between $500-$900 an order. And with digital products for sale, this was all possible while working part-time.

Tune in to hear how she made her gigs stand out from the crowd in the competitive Fiverr marketplace, and why “over-delivering” is a fast-track to Fiverr success.

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Nathan Chan is the founder of FoundrMag.com. The digital magazine started as a side hustle in 2013, and has since transformed into a multi-million dollar media company.

Nathan is perhaps best-known for growing his business through Instagram, a platform where Foundr now has almost a million followers.

But today I want to dive into a different angle of Nathan’s business, and that’s crowdfunding.

Note: Click here to download Nathan’s tips and strategies for running a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Time, money, and ideas are the big 3 challenges I hear from Side Hustle Nation over and over again, and this conversation attempts to address one possible answer to the money question.

Nathan and his team are fresh off a $200,000 Kickstarter campaign for the first volume of Foundr books, a really high-end, beautifully designed coffee table book, which you can find at foundrmag.com/book.

In this episode, Nathan shares why Kickstarter is such a powerful platform -- even if you don’t have a big built-in audience, and everything he did to make their campaign a hit. Stay tuned for his advice on why you might consider crowdfunding, how to make the most of your Kickstarter exposure, and some examples of other side hustler’s products that have taken off.

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I’m excited to introduce you to a new Buy Buttons opportunity under the Amazon ecommerce umbrella called Merch by Amazon: it’s a print-on-demand service for t-shirts now (and perhaps other merchandise in the future).

My wife and I have already made our first sales on this platform and it's become our latest side hustle obsession.

To help me explore this business model, I invited Elaine Heney on the program. She’s an app entrepreneur, a former Amazon FBA seller (a biz she actually sold), and last year she sold over $128,000 worth of t-shirts through Merch by Amazon program, of which $53k was profit. You can follow along with Elaine's Merch adventures at MerchEntrepreneur.com.

Note: Click here to download Elaine’s tips and strategies for running a successful merch business.

The advantage Amazon has over other print-on-demand sites is their massive daily organic traffic. Elaine doesn’t even need to do any marketing to promote her shirts, and using their interface is as easy as uploading a design, choosing colors, and clicking a button to list your shirts.

There are no monthly fees, and no inventory risk.

In this episode, Elaine takes you through the steps you need to take to start an account on the Merch by Amazon program. She shares how she finds graphic designers to help with her t-shirt designs, how to use the Merch by Amazon platform, and some of her best tips for creating designs that will sell well.

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Mark Wills is a professional notary public loan signing agent. It's something he started doing as a side hustle that eventually turned into a full-time business.

While his friend Roman Rosario was between startups, Mark showed him how to do loan signings to make extra money.

Note: Click here to download Mark and Roman’s online business quick-start marketing tips from this episode.

Loan signing agents are the people who walk you through the final paperwork when you are buying or refinancing a home. The signing agent is required to make sure you understand all the paperwork, answer any questions you have, and sign off the documents.

These appointments take around 1-2 hours and the signing agent can earn anywhere between $75 and $200.

Mark's system worked and Roman had his first signing -- and his first payday -- right away.

And that sparked an entirely new business idea. If Mark could teach him how to do this in just a few hours, he could probably teach others online as well.

Although Mark had no online or social media presence or audience to speak of, he and Roman set out to validate, create, and sell an online course teaching other people to do what he does. That became LoanSigningSystem.com.

Fast forward a year and the guys are making $4k a month selling their course. In this episode they talk you through the steps they took to validate their idea, how they built their course using content from free webinars, their marketing techniques, email responder series, and more.

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John Lee Dumas is the undisputed king of productivity, discipline, and focus--the guy is a machine!

John is the host of EOFire, where he interviews today’s most successful entrepreneurs 7-days a week.

(I was a guest on episode 932!)

JLD has grown EOFire into a multi-million dollar a year business with over 1,500 interviews and 1.5 million monthly listens. His latest project is The Mastery Journal: Master productivity, discipline, and focus in 100 days. You can learn more at TheMasteryJournal.com.

Longtime listeners may remember hearing John way back on episode 15 of The Side Hustle Show. Three and a half years and 199 episodes later, I’m excited and honored to have him back on the show.

In this episode, John takes you through some of his top productivity, discipline, and focus tips that anyone can incorporate into their day, business, and lifestyle. He explains why planning your day helps you avoid OPA (Other People’s Agenda) and keeps you on a productive and focused path.

Note: Click here to download John’s top productivity, discipline, and focus tips from this episode.

These are the things I struggle with at times--especially focus--and things I constantly hear as challenges from Side Hustle Nation. In fact, I’ve asked thousands of subscribers “what’s holding you back?”, and the lack of time and focus are among the most popular responses.

John has developed The Mastery Journal based on his own success building his 7-figure business, and in this episode he shares some of his top tips and gives an insight into the habits and routines that got him where he is today.

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Possessing creative powers beyond those of mere mortals, Don "The Idea Guy" is back to help talk through a common but tricky situation side hustlers run into.

You might remember Don from episode 170 of the show, where he gave us his 7 rules for business idea brainstorming and took a few live listener calls as well.

This week I invited Don back to help wrestle with the dreaded "conflict of interest" that might arise between your day job and your side hustle.

Inspired by an email from someone in the Side Hustle Nation Community, Don offers some suggestions on how to deal with this at your place of work. He covers how you can test ideas in your day job within a lower risk environment, and perhaps even leverage a raise from your boss based on the results.

Tune in to hear what options you have if your side hustle overlaps a little too closely with your day job.

It's a little bit of a different style of episode, so I'm curious to hear what you think? Would you like to hear more of this "talk show" style show? Or should I stick with the regular interview format?

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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

That line from Aristotle may be one of the most overused quotes in history.

But it's overused for good reason; it's a good quote. At least the first part. Aristotle was onto something for sure: we are what we repeatedly do.

I agree with that 100%.

The issue I have is with the second part: Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

There’s no such habit called excellence; you can’t wake up tomorrow and start your morning routine with a quick session of excellence before you go grab breakfast.

 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about setting new year’s resolutions or goals for the year, which I think is only natural when the calendar flips, but I’m had a hard time coming up with a SMART goal or set of SMART goals for the year I was really excited about.

It’s easy to pick a number out of the sky, like I want to make $1 million, or I want to reach 100,000 subscribers, or I want to become a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and those kinds of goals are great -- if they motivate you and you can reverse engineer a path to get there.

But on the flipside of Big Hairy Audacious Goals like these, to borrow a phrase from Jim Collins, is the micro habit. And that brings us back to Aristotle: we are what we repeatedly do.

I’ve seen the power of consistent execution first-hand; this podcast is probably my best most recent example of that. It started out as an experiment, it cost less than $100, and over the last 3.5 years, I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s been life-changing.

So if you’ve found yourself in kind of the same boat, with everyone around you sharing their resolutions and their ambitious goals for the year and not quite knowing what you should be aiming for yourself, I invite you to consider the micro habit as an alternative.

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Perhaps what we need isn't more hours in the day, but more energy in our hours. That's ultimately what this episode is about: feeling better and more alive so we can get more results from our businesses.

Yuri Elkaim is a former professional soccer player, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, the author of The All-Day Energy Diet, several other books, and you can find out more about Yuri and his health adventures at YuriElkaim.com.

Note: Click here to download Yuri’s tips from this episode to double your energy in 7 days.

Yuri promotes "energy through tranquility rather than stimulation," which is an ideal that resonated with me.

In this episode, Yuri runs through 7 energy commandments to be aware of going into 2017 if you want to be your most energized self to-date.

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Nagina Abdullah turned her weight loss blog, MasalaBody.com, into a 6-figure side business. By day, she works for a large consulting company, and with a busy work schedule, a young family, and limited time to work on her side hustle, Nagina has been very smart about her marketing and pricing.

Note: Click here to download Nagina’s sales funnel and high-end coaching tips from this episode.

After struggling with her weight for all of her adult life, she finally hit on something that worked and dropped 40 pounds! With friends, colleagues, and neighbors asking how she did it, she started her blog to share recipes and tips.

But she soon discovered that people didn't want recipes; they wanted to lose weight! Quickly, Nagina adapted and used her own success story as a catalyst to begin helping other women make some serious lifestyle changes.

Her sales funnel process is applicable across a broad range of industries and business models, and I think you'll find a way to put some of her tactics and strategies into practice for your own hustle.

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As a private label seller on Amazon, Andy has seen his revenue grow from $400k in year one, to $900k in year two, and he is closing in on $1.8 million for year three!

I last spoke with Andy "Slamazon" Slamans on episode 84 of The Side Hustle Show. Back in 2014, Andy was wrapping up his first year as a full-time Amazon seller and on the podcast he shared all his best tips for product research and getting started as an FBA private label seller.

I was excited to have Andy back on the show along with his Amazon FBA business partner Liran Hirschkorn. Both Andy and Liran are now running 7-figure Amazon private label businesses!

In this episode, they share how the FBA landscape has changed over the last couple of years, and how they have moved with the changes to build successful businesses.

Note: Click here to download Andy and Liran's top FBA selling tips from this episode.

Tune in to hear Andy and Liran explain the process they are currently using to perform product research so they know they are sourcing products that will sell. You'll also learn how they create “bundles” and unique products that separate them from their competitors, and how they launch their products and gain initial traction within the Amazon search engine.

This episode is packed with everything you need to know to start your own FBA private labeling business or start taking your business to the heights that these guys are at.

You can find out more about how they run their businesses at AmazingFreedom.com/hustle.

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Note: Click here to download Josh's top tax saving tips and advice from this episode.

Josh Bauerle is the CPA on fire at cpaonfire.com. Josh specializes in tax preparation, tax planning, booking keeping, and general consulting services to take the accounting side of your business to the next level.

Just 30 minutes with Josh about a month ago saved me thousands of dollars, so you owe it to yourself to listen to this episode and see if you can put some money back in your pocket too.

In this episode, Josh goes into detail about the tax implications with each type of business entity you can form, as well as how you can potentially save thousands of dollars by registering as an S-Corp.

Josh also covers which expenses are deductible to your business, how to include health insurance as a tax-deductible, and how you can reduce your tax bill by investing more into retirement accounts. He also spends some time explaining the often confusing issue of how much sales tax FBA sellers should be paying and under which state tax laws, as well as recommending a service to automate the process.

Tune in as Josh answers several questions from the Side Hustle Nation community and shares some of his best tax saving tips and advice. This isn’t another one of those dry conversations around tax, it’s packed with actionable tips and advice to help you put more money back into your pocket.

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Note: Click here to download Thomas' top YouTube tips from this episode.

Thomas Frank is the College Info Geek and you can find him at collegeinfogeek.com.

Thomas also has a podcast, and a YouTube channel with an impressive following of over 400,000 subscribers and over 14 million views.

Thomas’ blogging journey started back in 2010 when he applied to join a team of writers working on a blog in the college/student niche - but he was unsuccessful. He decided to publish his post on his own site, started introducing different forms of multimedia over the years, and stumbled across a love for producing entertaining YouTube videos.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of really compelling content for how to study, how to take tests, how to read text books, all the kinds of questions students were asking me about as a blogger.” Thomas told me. This was an open door for him to produce high-quality informational videos in his niche and provide the kind of content his audience wanted.

Thomas is now a “YouTuber”, and although he has many income streams his YouTube channel ad revenue makes up a large portion of his monthly income.

Tune in to hear how Thomas grew his YouTube channel to 400k subscribers in 2.5 years. He shares his marketing hacks, tips he used to write more compelling titles that perform well in YouTube’s search algorithm and attracts more clicks, and how he developed a lead magnet that not only attracts email subscribers but earns decent revenue too.

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I’d like to introduce some of the characters in my latest book Buy Buttons, and also give you a sample of the audiobook version I recorded.

I knew I wanted to create an audiobook for this title, because Audible is yet another “Buy Button” marketplace for me to test out, and because I’ve heard audiobooks can actually perform really well for authors.

Note: If you’re new to Audible, you can get Buy Buttons and another title of your choosing free!

But even for someone who’s been editing audio for the last 3.5 years on this podcast, it was quite a challenge to get the book recorded and approved for sale. In fact, it was rejected by Audible 4 or 5 different times for various reasons. 

Just reading my own words without messing up and with intonations that made sense was hard enough! 

That put a little damper on my timeline, as I’d hoped to get it out much closer to the launch date of the Kindle and paperback editions. Still, now that the audiobook is approved, it’s already been selling well with very little promotion.

In this episode I share the full introduction to Buy Buttons plus you’ll meet a few of the side hustlers I connected with during the writing process.

As you know, most business books follow a familiar format: big picture thesis, supported by case studies and examples. Feeling no need to reinvent the wheel, Buy Buttons follows this formula as well. The big picture thesis is that the fastest way to earn extra money is to go where money is already being spent: the hundreds of peer-to-peer marketplaces.

I was able to source several stories from The Side Hustle Show archives and the blog archives to back that thesis up, but still had a bunch of gaps to fill in.

For those, I turned to HARO, the Side Hustle Nation Facebook group and email list, and even reaching out to the marketplaces directly to see if they had any successful sellers I could potentially feature.

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Gabe Arnold is the founder and chief pencil sharpener at CopywriterToday.net, a subscription based article writing service. In his early 20’s Gabe saw his construction business hit by the downturn in the property market to the tune of a $1 million bankruptcy, and began freelancing to support his family. One common hold-up on his website projects was the words to paste into the pages, which gave him an idea. Tune in to hear how he took that idea from zero customers to $20k in monthly recurring revenue.

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As a small business attorney, Elizabeth Potts Weinstein helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, coaches, artists, etc, get all their legal affairs in order so they can focus on their businesses. In this episode, Elizabeth agreed to answer some legal questions from members of the Side Hustle Nation Facebook Group. We cover disclaimers, business registration requirements, entity selection pros and cons, trademarks and copyrights, and licensing.

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Nothing gives me a shot of inspiration more than when I look at my podcast feed and see episodes like “Zero to 20K a Month” or “Building a Multi-Million Dollar Ecommerce Brand on the Side.” Those are some incredibly sexy and enticing titles, aren’t they? Then, you dive deep and you listen in. You hear Jon Haws say, “Once a book is out there, you’re always making money,” and think to yourself, “Damn, Why aren’t I doing that? Why him and not me?”

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Erin Chase is a busy mother of 4, a former teacher, and today runs 5DollarDinners.com and the 5dollarmealplan.

Back in 2008, after some number crunching, Erin was excited at saving 50% on her grocery bills. She shared how she did this on her family blog, but with a low amount of interest she decided to start her own blog to help others make savings on their own grocery bills.

You may have heard the saying, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” – well there is such a thing as free meal plans. Erin carried on publishing free meal plans and tips how to feed your family on a budget and her viewership kept growing.

Note: Click here to download Erin’s top blog monetization tips from this episode.

In this episode, you will hear how Erin capitalized on the momentum of viral social media posts to set up paywalls and start generating more income. You’ll learn how she transitioned from ad networks and affiliate income to selling directly to her audience, and how she set up membership programs for recurring revenue.

Today, her online empire brings in a healthy 5-figure monthly income.

Related: Want to start a blog of your own? Check out my free guide on how to start your blog.

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In 2011, Joshua Lisec landed his first freelance gig--on Fiverr of all places. He said he wound up making $1.67 an hour from that job, but it sparked his entrepreneurial journey. Since then, he's gone from "dumpster-diving for clients" to consistently landing 4- and 5-figure contracts and earning $167 an hour on one recent project, effectively 100x-ing his hourly rate. In this episode we take a deep dive into what I'll call the OPA Plan: borrowing other people's audiences to grow your business, a strategy that's earned Joshua $9000 in just the last couple months.

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As co-host of the #1 marriage podcast in iTunes, the ONE Extraordinary Marriage show, Tony DiLorenzo speaks to a worldwide audience about sex, love, and commitment. Along with his wife Alisa, their goal is to reach as many couples around the world as they can, equipping them with the tools and strategies they need to create an extraordinary marriage.

With a hugely popular blog and podcast, Tony is a little modest in saying, “that’s consistency over 7 years.” Tony and Alisa sell coaching services, their own products, promote affiliate products, and have sponsorships as some of their income streams. Over the last 7 years they have come a long way with their brand from a side hustle hobby to a full-time business.

Note: Click here to download Tony’s top content to cash flow tips from this episode.

Want to start an online business of your own? It starts with a website, and my free 6-part video series walks you through how to set it up without breaking the bank.

Tune in to hear Tony taking me through the steps he took to build up his podcast to over 150k downloads a month, the tools and techniques he uses to drive traffic to his lead magnets, how he has a tiered upsell funnel, and how he and his wife have built up profitable and diverse income streams.

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You may remember Rosemarie Groner from episode 142 of the Side Hustle Show last year. She revealed how her blog Busy Budgeter was just a year old and receiving around 400,000 pageviews and making around $5k a month — primarily through Pinterest traffic.

It’s almost a year later now and I had to have her back to see how things were progressing. Rosemarie is now regularly making more than $20k a month, and while her pageviews are still at a similar number she has improved her ROI and diversified her traffic and income sources.

Note: Click here to download Rosemarie’s top traffic and monetization tips from this episode.

Rosemarie is still getting a ton of traffic from Pinterest and explains how she has moved with the changes on the platform to maintain her numbers. She also talks about how she has started focusing on SEO, has built different email lists to sell different products to, and why calculating the ROI on a project should be one of your first considerations.

Her first appearance on episode 142 was one of the most popular shows of last year and I expect this episode to be just as popular. It’s packed with actionable tips and information you can use to increase your own traffic numbers and earnings, along with some of the new tips and tricks Rosemarie has implemented in the last year.

Related: Want to start a blog of your own? Check out my free step-by-step tutorial series on how you can get up and running in no time.

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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. It's been 3 months since the last Q&A show I did and I’ve had quite a few interesting questions come in since then. 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.

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This week’s episode was something a little different as I was joined by three of my favorite productivity podcasters, Erik Fisher, Mike Vardy, and Paul Minors. Combined they have more than 300 productivity-themed podcasts under their belts and represent 3 different countries! Since getting the most out of our limited time is a ongoing struggle for side hustlers, I invited them on the show for a unique roundtable format to see what's working today and what wisdom we can glean from their archives.

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“The conversion rate ended up being about 10 times better than it was before,” Steve Cunningham told me. While attending meetings for the family business Steve would spot some of the business books he had read sitting on the shelves in clients' offices and saw this a good conversation starter. However, he would find out that more often than not that they had not read the books. This presented Steve with an opportunity.

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Last month I compiled a killer round-up post with book launch and marketing tips from 25 authors, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the self-publishing space. When I sent my weekly newsletter out about it, one subscriber replied and said something to the effect of, "That's cute, but let me show you how it really works." As you might have guessed, that subscriber was this week's guest, Adam Houge.

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"Find a hot trend and piggyback on it," Toni Anderson told me. And that's exactly what she did in launching her ecommerce business last year in the jewelry niche. It's not just generic jewelry, but jewelry designed to specifically ride on the "essential oils" trend. Toni said 90% of her business comes through Amazon vs. her own storefront, but that she and her partner did $190k in sales in their first 7 months!

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On any given weekend in San Francisco, out of earshot from the barking harbor seals at Pier 39 and the clang of the cable cars, a small group of urban hikers are exploring the city from a different vantage point. For three hours, they walk, climb, and even slide their way through historic neighborhoods and scenic outlooks. They’re led by Alexandra Kenin, or one of her carefully selected guides, and have paid $49 apiece for this unique travel experience. Alexandra runs UrbanHikerSF.com on the side from her day job as a content writer and editor. More than 1000 people take her urban hikes each year, and she now oversees a team of 4-5 guides that can lead the hikes in her place.

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Kara Lamerato is a work-at-home-mom of 2, but runs a successful business in her spare time. Kara's Vineyard Wedding supplies brides with wine-themed wedding decorations, and has shipped thousands of orders. Kara started the business before having kids while she was still working full-time in private banking. The idea came from her own wedding and thinking there might be other brides out there looking for similar DIY-style items. She put a listing up on Etsy, and a couple weeks later, she had her first order!

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Tom Morkes has worked on the book launches for a number of previous Side Hustle Show guests, including John Lee Dumas, Dan Norris, Taylor Pearson, and Neil Patel. What I wanted to do in this conversation was reverse engineer some of the steps that go into producing, launching, and marketing a bestselling book, even you don't have thousands of fans waiting for it. And selfishly, I wanted to get some insight on what I could do to make my latest book project, Buy Buttons, hit the top of the charts. Tune in to hear Tom's top tips from more than a dozen different bestselling launches.

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Rachel Pedersen was using social media to bring customers to her hairdressing chair, but never really imagined it would turn into a full-time business of its own. One of her hairdressing clients owned a popular restaurant chain, but was struggling with online marketing and social media. Rachel offered to help and the rest is history. Today her little social media management side hustle is a 6-figure business and she has even built a training program to help other people follow in her footsteps.

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Dropshipping is also a topic we haven't really covered in depth in the past, but many listeners have been requesting to learn more about it. I reached out to Anton Kraly, who's one of the most successful people I know in this space. He's been selling online for almost 10 years and he and his team have built out an impressive portfolio or drop ship stores. Dropshipping is where you sell a product and the manufacturer or supplier ships it directly to your customer.

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Matt is a former Air Force pilot who was looking into various side hustles to support his family after some salary cuts at work. After hustling and selling used books (among other things), he realized it really wasn't sustainable and took up too much of his time. That's when he found a gumball vending machine for sale on eBay for $36. The seller was local in Houston so he drove over with two of his kids and picked it up. Filling it with candy from Sam's Club, he knocked on doors of businesses until he found a home for it at a local karate studio. A couple weeks later, he went back and it was filled with quarters!

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Before people can do business with you, they have to know about you, and before they know about you, they have to find you.

And that’s universal, whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar shop, an ecommerce store, a blog, or a virtual consulting business.

Neil Patel is a master at solving the first step in that equation: getting people to find you. Through SEO, content marketing, and social media, we go through the traffic generation tactics that are working today.

Note: Click here to download Neil’s top traffic hacks.

Neil runs a handful of online projects, including NeilPatel.com, QuickSprout.com, and the heatmap software tool CrazyEgg.com. His latest project is a book called HUSTLE (a title I can definitely get behind), due out in September and all about how you can (and must) make your own luck in an economy rigged against you.

This episode is all about how new and experienced content creators can get more visitors to their work.

Don’t have a blog yet? My free blogging course shows you step-by-step how to get started.

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Dan Harris had me at "meditation for skeptics." In the last 5 years, it seems like meditation has gone from a weird woowoo practice to a daily staple of most top entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders. But so far, I haven't been able to get into it. Have you? I've tried a few of the guided meditation apps, including Headspace and Calm, but when I tried meditating in the morning, I had this impatient feeling like I should just get on with my day and start work.

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Eight years ago this month I pulled out of the parking lot of my corporate job for the last time. It was a weird moment, filled with hope and excitement, but also nervousness. Sure, I'd built my side hustle to the point I was comfortable taking the leap, but it was still a leap. The responsibility of cutting your own paycheck each month is stressful! In this episode I attempt to pull out 8 of the most important takeaways from the last 8 years.

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Teaching what you know in the form of an online course has become the bread and butter for many online entrepreneurs. You can see the appeal: package all your best stuff into a logical and well-presented lesson plan, record it, and sell it over and over again.

Course creation has the potential to be a fantastic passive income business, just like book sales or software. Build an asset that has low-to-zero incremental costs, and sell as many copies as you can — sometimes for $1000 or more.

Note: Click here to download the free PDF highlight reel with Bailey’s top online course sales tips.

In this episode I’m chatting with Bailey Richert and her advice for budding “infopreneurs.” In her words, you don’t need a huge audience to start building a successful business, but you would be wise to follow a few important steps.

Related: To build an online business, you need to get online. My free video course will show you how to quickly and affordably set up your first website.

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Last fall, Chris Deardorff had a passion for startups and entrepreneurship, but wasn't sure which direction to go. He had -- and still has -- a good job doing product marketing. But as he studied the local startup scene, he noticed a common problem. Many startups struggled to gain traction for the products and services; a problem an experienced product marketer could solve. In this episode, you'll hear how Chris landed his first clients, the suite of services he decided to offer, and how he's delivering the work in addition to his full-time job.

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As you know, I'm excited about alternative investments like peer-to-peer lending. And if your aim is to replace your income, I think it makes sense to invest for cash flow. This week's Side Hustle Show guest argues when you want something in other areas of your life, you go out and buy it: a pair of shoes, a computer, a new car. You don't make it from scratch! So why are we so insistent on building income from scratch? He says there's a faster way, and that's to "buy" assets that are already generating positive cash flow.

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It's time to dive into the ol' listener mailbag and answer a few questions in this special Friday edition of The Side Hustle Show. The last Q&A show I did was back in November and I've had quite a few interesting questions come in since then. Today we're chatting about SEO tools and strategies, affiliate marketing, self-publishing, Udemy, real estate, taxes, consulting, and more.

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Scott Tarcy reached out to me with a listener success story of taking some of his on-the-job skills and turning them into a business on the side. Scott's a mechanical engineer by trade, and his job involved lots of product design work, including computer aided drafting and 3D modeling. Recognizing that other individuals and companies might have a need for those skills, he took to the interwebs.

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More than 150,000 women have completed Tiffany “The Budgetnetista” Aliche’s Live Richer Challenge. The roughly 30-day challenge participants step-by-step instructions on how to get their financial lives in order, get out of debt, and start saving money.

Collectively, Tiffany’s tribe has saved $17 million and paid off $1.5 in debt!

I first heard Tiffany tell the story of how she started the challenge and how that’s turned into a thriving business at FinCon last year, and am excited to share it with you this week.

This year, The Budgetnetista expects to bring in more than $500,000 from speaking, book sales, sponsors and affiliate relationships, and a new private membership academy.

Note: Click here to download Tiffany’s free challenge marketing and monetization tips.

I think her model can be replicated across a number of different niches and industries so you can apply these same strategies and tactics in your business.

Tune in to hear how she came up with the idea for the challenge, the innovative way she grew her tribe, and how giving it all away for free turned into a very profitable venture.

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Darrel is a full-time Operations Manager for a startup in Atlanta, but has built a sizable side hustle on eBay. In the last 12 months, he's sold over 6-figures worth of merchandise. eBay still gets massive traffic; it's currently the 7th most popular site in the US and 26th most popular in the world. That's a lot of eyeballs, and more importantly, that's a lot of buyers! In this conversation, Darrel breaks down his inventory acquisition strategies, his step-by-step auction strategy, and how he batches packing and shipping to make the most of his time.

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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. My #1 Tip? Find your WHY. Why side hustle? What are you trying to build? What will that afford you?

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Matt Inglot was following the hustler's path. He built some skills on his spare time, and began selling those skills as a freelancer. The first project he sold was to build a website for $300. Soon, he had a full-time freelance business, and decided to grow into an agency. But before long, Matt found himself working 80 hour weeks and stressed out during down months about covering rent and payroll. While outwardly successful, Matt knew the business was broken.

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If you want to learn English, you may have come across one of Gabby Wallace's hundreds of YouTube videos on the subject. Her channel, which started only because the video she recorded for her classroom students was too big to email, has grown to more than 170,000 subscribers and nearly 9 million views. Gabby is a long-time teacher and found a way to turn her subject matter expertise into a business.

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Jesse Gernigin is a professional stage hypnotist and online freelancer. He used to do up to 200 shows a year and even sold his own products, but realized there was always going to be a ceiling to his earning power. Turning to the world of online work, Jesse applied his performance and sales skills to land freelance work in his spare time. Today he specializes in copywriting for email sequences, sales letters, and crowdfunding campaigns. He shares some of his favorite tactics for figuring out what type of service you can offer, identifying high-value clients, and writing winning proposals.

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"To build income you can hustle, but to build wealth you need to build something that doesn’t require your hands." That's what this week's guest told me, and then walked me down an interesting path in building that elusive "hands-free" business. His angle? Product licensing.

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Carey Green had spent the last 20 years as a pastor, before making the leap into entrepreneurship. As he studied to become a licensed mortgage broker, an idea took hold to put his study notes online. Today Carey helps other aspiring mortgage brokers pass their certification exam, a test he says was the hardest he ever took. That business, which actually derives most of its traffic from YouTube, generates $1000 a week! But Carey didn't stop there.

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Want to get paid to create content? Jason Zook is the undisputed king when it comes to sponsored content. You may know Jason as the IWearYourShirt guy, where he earned over $1,000,000 wearing t-shirts for various companies. He's even sold his last name (twice -- each for $40k+), formerly going as Jason Surfrapp and Jason Headsetsdotcom. In this episode, he shares his tips for getting sponsors for your work, even if you're just starting out. I think you'll like it!

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In my recent annual member survey, one of the biggest challenges named was coming up with the right side hustle idea. Over the years, I've been on both ends of the idea spectrum: feeling hopeless in search of a business idea, and (more recently) feeling like there are more ideas than I could ever hope to tackle. Still, if you're in the brainstorming stage, I think this week's podcast session with Don "The Idea Guy" Holliday will help.

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This is the second in what will (at least) be a 2-part series on side hustlers earning income from their land investment endeavors. In this special Friday edition of the show, I'm joined by Chris Pritchard. Chris is a software developer by day, but has built his land investing business up to $1500/mo in recurring revenue. In addition, Chris does the occasional cash flip and also has more than $70,000 worth of land payments under contract. Not bad for a year of dedicated focus and effort!

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In episode 108 of The Side Hustle Show last year, we met Mark Podolsky, a real estate investor specializing in raw land. He called it "The Best Passive Income Model," because there are no products to build, no tenants or toilets, and you can start without a huge upfront investment. This year, I wanted to feature a couple listeners who took action based on that episode. The first is my friend Josh Brooks, an Army Battalion Commander and founder of The Enduring Charity Foundation.

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The Sharing Economy is one of those "too-big-to-ignore" trends, and I think it's a great opportunity to get your feet wet in side hustling. We've talked about Uber and Airbnb before, but there are literally hundreds of different platforms where you can put your buy buttons. These app-powered peer-to-peer transactions are unlocking an estimated $300 billion in economic activity by 2025. Want your piece of the pie?

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We first heard from Robert Farrington back in 2013, on episode 10 of The Side Hustle Show. At that time, he was earning $3-4k a month from a portfolio of different sites, and looking to expand his online empire.

This week, we catch up on what’s changed since then. Robert’s doubled down on his main site, TheCollegeInvestor.com, narrowed his focus, and roughly tripled his earnings.

Oh, and he’s still working full-time too.

We chat content, traffic, and monetization strategies, as well as how he manages the business in his spare time.

Note: Click here to download Robert’s top part-time blogging tips.

I think you’ll like it!

If you don’t have a blog of your own yet, use my free 6-part video course to get started today.

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Kenny Azama has worked with massive global brands like Nike, Samsung, Apple, Chevrolet, and Coca Cola, but he's not an ad agency or a top secret marketing mogul. He's a professional brand ambassador, "someone who is temporarily hired to represent a brand in a positive light, and provide consumers with a memorable face-to-face experience." I think this in an interesting side hustle, and one we haven't covered on the site before, because as Kenny explains, there are always gigs nearby, they're fun, and they can actually pay pretty well.

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Gina Horkey has come highly recommended by a number of listeners, and I’ve seen her work what seems like “all over the Internet” for the past couple years so I’m excited to finally connect and bring her on the show. She’s a freelance writer extraordinaire, but also a virtual assistant, and someone who now helps others follow in her footsteps. Gina successfully built her freelance writing and virtual assistant business to be earning several thousand dollars a month; enough to quit her day job and go full-time.

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Do you know Jon Dykstra from FatStacksBlog.com? I've been following his work since last summer and have been really impressed.

Jon is a former attorney turned full-time entrepreneur, and he’s the master of building high quality niche blogs and monetizing them to $10k-20k per month in record time.

(Sixty days to $10k in one case.)

 

Note: Click here to download Jon’s top blog building tips.

On the call, we use the example of a snow sports site, which in years past may have been considered too broad. Niche down to something like “powder ski reviews,” experts might have said.

Jon takes the opposite approach: broader appeal means more visitors and more ad revenue.

Inspired to start a blog of your own? My free video course will show you how.

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Voiceover acting may be -- at least in my mind -- one of the most universal side hustles. I mean, almost all of us can speak, right? My guest this week, Carrie Olsen, assures me there's a little more to it than that, but also says it's a business with low startup costs and low barriers to entry. Carrie went from her first audition to quitting her job in a span of just 4 months.

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Parenthood has got me thinking, every BIG victory is built on the back of a ton of mini victories. You don't wake up one morning and win the Super Bowl. You win it one quarter at a time, one possession at a time, one down at a time, one yard at a time. We all want the BIG win; quit our jobs, passive income, early retirement, location-independence, whatever it is. But what's the next mini win to help get us there?

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A couple months ago, Matt Bochnak sent me a note about his motorcycle repair side hustle. As someone who is, shall we say, less-than-savvy when it comes to mechanics, I was impressed. But Matt shared that the passive income from this service business now actually exceeds his revenue from "turning wrenches."

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Teaching online is a fantastic way to earn money from your experience, skills, and expertise Phil's built up a HUGE library of more than 50 online courses and teaches more than 130,000 students. While he now focuses on his business full-time, he hit the 6-figure income mark before leaving his day job. In this episode we chat about how he comes up with course ideas, how he structures his content, and he markets his material, along of course with the tech he uses to get it all done.

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I'm happy to introduce Greg Mercer, who is the go-to guy for Amazon product research. His own ecommerce empire has grown to $400k per month in revenue -- yes, per month -- and he's the founder of the popular Jungle Scout software tool that helps make the product research process faster and easier. In this call we dive into his specific sales criteria and next steps in evaluating a product's profit potential and how to bring it to market on Amazon.

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Assad's a Finance Director by day so he's got some street cred when it came to offering consulting, and quickly built that business up to around $1000 a month. In April, he mentioned he'd also started selling products on Amazon FBA using the clearance arbitrage model Travis Scott shared on the show. Nine months later, that little experiment had grown into a six-figure side hustle. Check out our conversation to learn how it happened.

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When it comes to your side hustle, the words you use matter. In so many businesses, our first impressions with customers often come from a website, an email, or a product description. Are you sending the right message? Is it unique and powerful enough to stand out from the crowd?

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My guest this week, Brian Swichkow, is a viral marketing pro, having achieved outsize results on several different projects. Having one viral hit could be considered a lucky fluke, but to be able to do it again and again, and you start to recognize a repeatable, learnable pattern. That's what listeners can look forward to in this episode; how you can apply Brian's tactics to your own side hustle to get more visitors, leads, and customers.

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Jonathan Stark says the key to side hustle success -- for consultants, at least -- lies in finding an expensive problem, and solving it. Jonathan's a pro at finding these expensive problems, having run a successful online consulting business for several years, focusing on mobile-ready web development. At the recommendation of two-time Side Hustle Show guest, Kai Davis, he dropped by to share some of his insight on how to get a side hustle consulting business off the ground.

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We've heard of niche sites seeing success with AdSense or Amazon Associates income, or even with selling private advertising, but Jon Haws took a completely different approach. Since last November, Jon has masterfully experimented with 5 different avenues and built up a huge email list. All told, these different channels -- that didn't even exist a year and a half ago -- are earning more than $20,000 a month! If you're looking at a niche or authority business and need some new ideas on how to serve your audience, this is a can't miss episode.

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What separates the 5% of fulfilled, successful people from the 95% rest of the population? Author Jeff Olson argues it's The Slight Edge. Successful people have harnessed the power of relentless incrementalism, the daily practice of making progress toward their goals -- even if imperceptible at the beginning. Today is a brief solo show to discuss how you can find your slight edge in 2016 and beyond.

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Can you see yourself walking away from your day job in the next 6 months? In 2013, Amanda Abella decided to start taking her side hustle (freelance writing and coaching) seriously so she could make that glorious exit. Six short months later, she was free. How'd it happen? Well that's what this week's conversation is all about.

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Three years ago, Bryn and her business partner Brooke had each made less $500 from photography -- far less than they'd spent on equipment. Fast forward to this year, and they shot more than a dozen weddings and booked top-line revenue in excess of $40,000. Listen in to hear what happened in between. Remember, every professional starts as an amateur, and there are parallels in this conversation I think will apply to any freelance service-based side hustle.

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Recurring revenue models are all the rage these days, and for good reason. You can make a sale once and continue to earn from it as long as you keep your customer happy. There are quite a few recurring revenue business examples from The Side Hustle Show archives, but today I'm excited to introduce Ross Simmonds, a side hustler turned full-time entrepreneur, and the founder of Hustle & Grind, a coffee subscription box service.

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Elizabeth Colegrove and her husband are budding real estate moguls. So far they've acquired 7 houses, and neither of them are 30 years old yet. Between their 7 properties, they're earning around $1800 in cash flow every month, and their tenants are paying off $1650 in loan principal. But real estate investment is not without risks and Elizabeth joked that I just have easily could have called the episode 27 and $1.1 million in debt.

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This week I'm excited to welcome Rob Stephenson to The Side Hustle Show. Rob is the "Flea Market Flipper" and he's got an interesting take on the age-old Buy Low, Sell High business model. In fact, it earned him $30,000 last year working just 10-15 hours a week. This is on top of his day job as a real estate inspector.

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I met Lauren Bowling at FinCon in September and was impressed with her "story" and her hustle. In this conversation she shares the random path she took to starting a blog, and how that turned into a new job and a new side hustle. Eventually she turned that side hustle into a full-time business, and is now hiring subcontractors to "scale" her operations and add another side hustle project or two into the mix.

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We've covered Kindle publishing in a variety of ways on The Side Hustle Show in the past, and it's one of my favorite side hustles. But one area of frustration, at least for me, is that for all the effort put into writing, editing, publishing, and launching the book, it's still tough to sustain sales for long periods of time. My guest this week has a way to keep moving units month after month, and it works for both books AND physical products (for all you FBA sellers out there).

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This is my attempt at a Q&A show, based on some questions of the interesting questions that have hit my inbox or the Facebook group over the past couple weeks. It actually stems from a new inbox "trick" I've been playing with lately. Maybe I'm a super-latecomer to this game, but I just created 2 new "labels" in Gmail: one for Questions and one for Testimonials.

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If you've ever been frustrated with the products in your life, and thought "there's gotta be a better way!," this conversation is sure to hit home. Jeremy Michael Cohen and Fred Perrotta created Tortuga Backpacks after an awesome trip to Europe -- and a less-than-awesome experience with their luggage. They resolved to create a better travel backpack, and did it, starting as a side hustle of course.

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Rosemarie Groner is a former state trooper turned blogger and stay at home mom. In the last 12 months, her site The Busy Budgeter has grown from zero to 400,000 page views per month.

More importantly, Rosemarie earned $5000 from the site last month while working on it part-time.

Note: Click here to download Rosemarie’s top blogging and Pinterest traffic tips.

Want to start a blog of your own? My free video course shows you how.

(For the sake of comparison, SHN was around 73,000 pageviews for the last 30 days at the time of recording.)

I met Rosemarie (and several other members of her mastermind group) at FinCon in September, where she shared a surprising secret weapon to her success: Pinterest.

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It's a special Friday-before-Halloween edition of The Side Hustle Show! Today we're diving into some of the scary moments in my business and some frightening tales from Side Hustle Show listeners. Even though we're told to "punch fear in the face," I think it's something that will be a constant in our lives. There's always something to be afraid of.

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The self-publishing world has changed quite a bit in the last couple years. Amazon is constantly changing the rules and rewards for authors, and more and more writers are entering the fold. In today's show, I'm joined by Jyotsna Ramachandran, a "stay at home mom entrepreneur" and best-selling author. She shares candidly how she built her Kindle empire to more than 50 titles in less than 2 years, primarily with ghost-written content. As the game has changed, she's shifted her focus to produce more quality products and less quantity.

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I'm excited to introduce you to John Rouda, an IT manager near Charlotte, North Carolina. He's built a variety of non-job income streams on the side, while still working full time. In fact, we recorded this session from his office at work! John calls his side businesses for-profit hobbies, which I think is a great attitude to take. He has a handful of books on Amazon, dozens of apps in the app store, is a part-time professor, and runs a local IT/computer maintenance service business.

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I first met Ryan Gray at New Media Expo in 2014. He introduced himself and when I asked what he did, he said he was a doctor. Turns out that Dr. Gray, along with his wife (also a doctor), was building MedicalSchoolHQ.net, a resource for med school and premed students. It's another perfect example of building an authority site around a particular area of expertise.

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The battle for attention is one that almost all new businesses find themselves mired in. You may have the greatest product or service in the world, but if no one knows about it, how will you get paid? You can write the best blog articles, guest pitch big sites, and tweak your SEO until you're blue in the face, but despite all our new media channels, it's still hard to trump the pull and power of traditional media.

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Brian Clark has been content marketing since before the term even existed. In fact, he left a miserable corporate job and built several successful businesses using these effective new marketing techniques. Then he started this little side project called Copyblogger to share some his findings, tactics, and ideas with the rest of the world. Fast forward 10 years and Copyblogger is now Rainmaker Digital on track to do more than $10 million in sales this year.

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I've had an idea for a new affiliate site kicking around in my head for a while now, so I thought I'd do a live walk-through of my thought-process and analysis of whether this is an opportunity I should pursue or not. The idea? A comparison and review site for meal delivery services like Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh, Gobble, and others.

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Tyler Zey turned his web development side hustle into a full-time business, but not without a few twists and turns along the way. Tyler's actually a classically trained musician (clarinet), but now runs EasyAgentPro, one of the leading marketing services for real estate agents -- despite having no background in real estate. What he lacked in real estate knowledge he made up for with hustle.

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Jon Schumacher is a side hustler turned full-time entrepreneur. In fact, when we met at Podcast Movement this summer, he'd punched the clock for the last time just a few weeks before. He mentioned he'd been side hustling for years, and finally had hit on a business and marketing plan that worked. His target was $5k in monthly income before he quit, which he achieved this year and made the leap.

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A viable startup business in 7 days ... sound to good to be true? Dan Norris is the co-founder of WP Curve, a service that offers unlimited 24/7 WordPress support for small jobs for $79 per month. He went from idea to paying customers in less than 7 days. Based on his experience, Dan penned the bestselling book The 7 Day Startup, and stopped by The Side Hustle Show to share some of his insights.

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Is there still an opportunity in smartphone apps? Carter Thomas thinks so, and shares some interesting and insightful ways to take advantage of the 3 giant app marketplaces (Apple, Google, and Amazon). Carter and his company are app-production machines, pumping out a crazy 1500 new apps in 2 years (mostly 2013 and 2014). Nowadays, the strategy has shifted somewhat to creating fewer apps and putting more resources and marketing behind them.

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Navid had been blogging and podcasting about lifestyle business topics, but wrote one epic "round-up" post that went viral on the subject of personal branding. Sensing he was on to something, and noticing the success of virtual summits in other industries (like health and fitness), he decided to put together The Branding Summit. At the time, Navid had a modest list of 1000 email subscribers. The summit quadrupled that number and generated $20,000 in revenue the month it went live.

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Should you quit your side hustle? My guest this week says you should, and argues that what you should do instead is find an apprenticeship. Taylor Pearson is the author of the bestselling The End of Jobs, and one of those super-smart individuals we should all pay attention to. The book is largely a historical perspective on where our economy is today and where we're going; and it's at once terrifying yet optimistic.

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I met Steve Chou at New Media Expo this spring, and was fascinated by his story. He's built three different six-figure businesses, all while still working a day job in Silicon Valley. In fact, I was really surprised to find out he's still working TODAY, despite all this side hustle success. Those businesses are an ecommerce store at BumblebeeLinens.com, his blog and podcast at MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, and his online course teaching others how to get started in ecommerce.

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How do you know when it's time to step back, take a "time out," or stop the hustle? There's no spreadsheet or matrix or formula to give you the answer, but I think you know it in your gut. And even then, there's probably a part of me that wants to say, no, this is just "the dip" -- keep pushing. If you've been following along with my public coaching series, you know that Wellington has been working some insane hours at his day job.

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John Logar is the king of pre-selling software. As one of The Foundation's top students, he's broken all their records and even broken the mold on some of the methods they teach. In fact, he sold $120k worth of software within his first 6 months of joining the program. Since he was already a consultant, doing idea extraction and finding pain points for businesses was second nature. He just knew nothing about software before so just added a new weapon to his arsenal. (Without learning how to program.)

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I was really excited to sit down with Travis Scott from StuffParentsLike.com to share his success with the Amazon FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) clearance arbitrage business, and also to get his insight since I just started playing around with this side hustle myself. Travis has seen impressive results with Amazon, netting $25,000 so far this year through July, in addition to his full-time job and duties as a dad. You may remember Travis from a guest post he contributed on his FBA adventures last year.

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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 interviews. (I first did this for episode 50, which was my first-ever solo podcast recording.) 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?

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If you're looking for ways to squeeze more out of your limited side hustle hours, this is the episode for you. I'm excited to introduce Julie Sheranosher, host of the Time Hackers podcast. Julie and I met at World Domination Summit in 2013 -- she flew in all the way from Israel -- and she is one of my favorite people and true time management pro. I feel like my productivity has improved over the years, but I'm always learning about new systems and "hacks" to test out. One of those hacks was simply writing down my top 3 priorities for the next day the night before.

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This week, I'm joined by fellow online entrepreneur and freedom-seeker, Natalie Sisson. Natalie is a masterful marketer, blogger, podcaster, and speaker, and on this call she breaks down how a blog post idea became a major turning point in her business, and was eventually re-purposed and repackaged more than a half-dozen ways -- all ringing the cash register in some unique fashion. The breakthrough moment was going from $0 to $15,000 in one month, with what I thought was a pretty savvy strategy.

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Tim Johnson is a man of many hustles. In fact, when he applied for my Inner Circle Mastermind last year, I had a hard time keeping them all straight. Between his day job as a product engineer, his awesome self-publishing business, his Amazon FBA activities, and an upcoming brick-and-mortar project -- and twin 2 year old boys -- there's no doubt he's keeping busy! On this call, we focus on his book business, which has earned a consistent $1000-1500 a month in author royalties.

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I was able to catch up with Kathryn, one of my public coaching volunteers who’s starting a gluten free baked-goods company in Portland, Oregon. Where we left off, things were going pretty well. She’s been pounding the pavement doing some good old fashioned cold calling to land her first clients, focusing on coffee shops in the local area. She had 2 recurring clients and around $250 a month in profit, but had just started a new job and was pressed for time.

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It's been almost 2 months since we last caught up with Wellington, one of my public coaching volunteers. Where we left off, he was working on a smartphone app for travel hackers and kicking around the idea for a software business in the home renovation estimating world. Our last session was a rough one. Wellington had just broken his foot and had his app repeatedly rejected from the app store for bugs that needed to be fixed. To make matters worse, his day job had become increasingly demanding and he was putting in 60-70 hour weeks at work.

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Can I make a confession? I'm a little indecisive. Maybe more than a little. Bryn calls me slow. (I prefer "methodical.") This episode is about making decisions -- or not making them -- without regret, guilt, or doubt. Have you heard the quote, "If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a NO!"? I believe this is attributed to Derek Sivers, and actually is a pretty handy decision-making tool.

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One podcast I've been following for a really long time is the Empire Flippers show with Justin Cooke and Joe Magnotti. It's been fun to watch their evolution from building tiny Adsense sites, running an outsourcing company in the Philippines, selling WordPress themes, and now really focusing in on their website brokerage business. Consider this: it's MUCH easier to buy an existing cash flow than to create one entirely from scratch. In this episode we get into the business model of investing in sites, where to look for these "digital real estate" opportunities, some pitfalls to avoid, and even some creative financing options.

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Travis Marziani is the co-founder of BDancewear.com, an ecommerce store specializing in dance-clothing handmade in the US. On this week's show, Travis joins me to talk about why ecommerce is such an awesome business model, especially for side hustlers, and the story behind the dance site -- since he is clearly not the target demographic. He's got some innovative content marketing ideas for online stores as well as how people can get started in ecommerce without massive overhead or investment.

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Ankur Nagpal is the founder of Fedora, an online course-hosting platform with more than 4000 instructors. From his unique vantage-point, he's got some insight into what separates top-selling courses from the rest of the pack. Ankur gives some innovative ideas on how to use free distribution platforms like YouTube and even Udemy to build an interested audience and drive them to your premium course. We get into how to come up with your course topic, the tools to create your course quickly, and some pricing strategies as well.

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I first met Melinda Fleming at an Affiliate Summit conference in Las Vegas in 2013. At that time, all she had was an idea -- no website, no online business, and no social media presence. She was working in Hollywood as a freelance writer and voice over talent, but could see the direction of the entertainment industry was toward hiring cheaper and cheaper alternatives. Should the trend continue, she'd be in a tough position. So she threw herself headlong into the online world as a way to hopefully build another income stream.

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Last year, Lise "came out of nowhere" as they say, and published 13 books in 6 months, and now earns between $3000 and $4000 a month in author royalties. Of course the truth is she didn't come out of nowhere at all; she came out of New Zealand and had already built a successful freelance writing business. However, the hustle of delivering work for clients all day had her seeking a more time-leveraged use of her skills. Since she already knew how to write well and write quickly, she figured book publishing was a natural next step.

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Creation, connection, and contribution are the 3 C's I believe everyone needs to live a happy healthy productive life, whether that life contains a side hustle or not. In this episode I share the audio from my TEDx talk, which breaks down the 3 C's and why they're so important. The idea for this episode came from an email I wrote last week in response to the statistic that only 30% of workers say they're "inspired and engaged" at work.

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Freelancing or selling some useful service is one of the fastest ways to earn more money. It may not be as sexy as "passive income" but it does come with instant gratification. Make deals, deliver awesome work, and get paid. In today's show, I'm excited to welcome back Daniel DiPiazza from Rich20Something.com. You may remember Daniel from Episode 35, where he talked about how his "marsupial method" took his tutoring business from $18 an hour to $1000 an hour.

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On this week's show, I'm joined by Steph Halligan, who runs ArtToSelf.com. She's a talented cartoonist who began a daily blog and email newsletter with inspirational and affirmational art -- all created by her. The site is 100% supported by donations from her followers, and even though it's very early in the journey, I think there's enough validation to say she's on the path her 1000 true fans doing work she loves.

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Where we left off with Wellington, he was facing some quality control challenges with his app developer in building the Getaway Geek travel hacking app. There was some back-and-forth after some testing and a lot of bugs that needed to be fixed. Since we spoke, those had been reasonably buttoned up and Wellington submitted the app to the App Store for approval. Unfortunately, it's been rejected ... 3 different times.

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I was very excited to sit down with Mark Podolsky, The Land Geek, to talk about his side-hustle-turned-full-time-biz of investing in raw land. In fact, he was able to replace his day job income and quit his job only 18 months after starting. Mark calls it the best passive income model because you don't have to worry about building a website, building a product, dealing with tenants, dealing with repairs, or selling a service.

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In today's installment of my public coaching series I'm catching up with Kathryn, who’s starting a gluten free baked goods business out of her home in Portland Oregon. When we last spoke, she’d just landed her first customer and sold her first $20 worth of product. Now she's up to two recurring clients and is also contracting to make gluten-free granola for one of her customers.

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Dorie's latest book is called Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, and it is the perfect companion to anyone trying to build a personal brand, an authority website, or an audience-based business. This episode is a little different from other Side Hustle Show episodes because we actually don't talk much about Dorie's personal story or experience at all, but rather dive into the research and examples that went into Stand Out. Listen in to learn how you can generate your next killer idea, get people to pay attention to you, and find a way to monetize it.

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I've been medium-obsessed with the idea of early retirement ever since I discovered this little blog called Mr. Money Mustache a couple years ago. The basic formula goes like this: once you have 25x your annual spending in invested net worth, you can theoretically live off growth/interest/dividends in perpetuity. On today's episode you'll meet Jeremy Jacobson, who retired at 37 and now spends his days traveling with his wife and soaking up new cultures and experiences -- and blogging about financial independence.

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Four months ago, Andy Slamans gave us a detailed look at Amazon FBA product selection, working with manufacturers, and bringing those products to market. But the most common question I get from listeners is how to find that first product to import. How do I find a profitable product? How do I measure the competition? How do I validate the demand and the pricing? In today's episode, I sit down with Will Mitchell from StartupBros.com to dive into those exact questions.

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In this episode we're catching up with Wellington, my public coaching volunteer in New York. Where we left off, he was working with an outsourced app developer to finalize a beta version of his travel hacking app for the app store. He shared that he'd previously only ever made $0.07 online, but has the goal of earning $2500 a month by the end of 2015. One of the biggest challenges for Wellington is time; he's been working 12-13 hour days for his day job, and making the most of his limited evening hours and commuting time.

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Dan Faggella sent me an email last month that essentially said, "Hey Nick, I'm a fan of the show. I have some expertise in email marketing, and I know many of your listeners are working to build their online presence and their email lists. Would it make sense to do an episode on some list building and email best practices?" And then he added the kicker: "I'm making $50k/mo selling martial arts training videos right now, and I have other businesses as well..." OK, I'm listening!

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In this episode we're catching up with Kathryn, my public coaching volunteer in Portland. Where we left off, she was starting a gluten-free cottage bakery out of her home. The ultimate goals were to be able to leave her less-than-awesome day job and figured with a net monthly side hustle income of $1500, she'd be able to lease some commercial kitchen space and scale up her operations. When you met Kathryn, she was pounding the pavement, calling on local coffee shops to drum up interest and had set a 2-week goal of landing her first customer.

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This week my friend Alex Barker co-hosts and interviews me on my entrepreneurial beginnings, my first side hustle, and the origins and future of Side Hustle Nation. We also go through a few listener questions as well. I realized I've told some of these stories only in bits and pieces on the show and on the Side Hustle Nation blog before, despite having mentioned them on several other podcasts. This episode is admittedly a little "fluffy" -- so I promise a return to the hard-hitting tactical stuff next week!

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Nate and his brother earned $300,000 in passive income by licensing one of their ideas to Mattel. They didn't have to design it, produce it, or sell it. But they found someone who could, and they cashed the checks. And to be fair, Nate will be the first to tell you these kind of results aren't typical -- but he's proof they ARE possible. Nate's actually a dentist by day, but a pretty serious side hustler by night, and on this call we take a deep dive into the world of product licensing.

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