Introvert Boomer Male

Side Hustle

Takeaways From Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

Takeaways From Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau:

  1. Get a profitable idea off the ground with just a minimal investment of time and money, and make it happen alongside your job.
  2. In this day and age, it’s not just about extra cash.  Business has no loyalty to workers. Your company can move overseas almost instantly.  A side hustle is now “job” security.
  3. Even if you love your job, have more than one source of income gives you freedom and options.
  4. A side hustle has many benefits and no downside.  Guillebeau presents a way to create yours in 27 days.  For the IBM* who may be retired, a side hustle is the basis of Walkabout Solopreneur.
  5. You can exceed your retirement or Social Security income.
  6. Unlike a hobby that costs you money, a side hustle makes you money as you try something new or learn different skills.
  7. Undesirable ideas have characteristics like:
    • a grand vision hard to simplify or translate into action
    • something you don’t have the skills for
    • a vague idea people will not pay for
    • something that requires high maintenance
    • something with a long lead time
  8. High Potential Ideas:
    • a simple idea you can describe in one sentence
    • something you know how to do or can learn easily
    • solves a problem or makes a person’s life easier, and something a person is willing to pay for
    • low maintenance and easy to deliver
    • can bring in recurring income
  9. Checklist:
    • Can you describe your idea in one sentence?
    • Is there an obvious way to make money from your idea?
    • Does your idea solve a problem?
    • Can you make it happen quickly?
    • Low maintenance? (anytime, anywhere income)
    • Potential for recurring income?
  10.  Starter Ideas vs. Next Level
    • starter:  drive for Uber
    • NL: coach people on how to drive for Uber
  11.  Research:
    • What do you have to do to start?
    • How much will it cost?
    • What are the potential obstacles?
    • How hard will it be to get the first sale or client?
    • Has anyone done this before?
    • What is the best case scenario?
    • What is the worst case scenario?
  12.  Don’t spend more money than you take in.
  13.  Money grows on trees – if you plant the right seeds.  Constantly look around for potential opportunities.
  14.  Not all ideas are created equal.  Your ideas should be feasible, profitable, and persuasive.
  15.  Starter ideas are okay at the beginning, but you will want to transition to next level ideas.  (Scale, automate, or outsource.)
  16.  As you move forward with an idea, see what others are doing, and decide if you can do it better or differently.
  17.  Determine who fits the profile of your ideal customer.  What can you learn from that person?
  18.  Transform your idea into an offer with a promise, a pitch, and a price.
    • Promise – how your hustle will change someone’s life
    • Pitch – why should they purchase from you
    • Price – what it costs
  19.  5 Ways to Create Urgency in Your CTA
    • Use words like now and today in your call to action, even if the offer will not change and will not sell out, like a digital product.  (I laugh all the time at people who sell a digital product and say the quantity is limited. Yes, it is. To the number of people who pull out their credit cards.)
    • Respond to customers as quickly as possible.  When companies respond to info requests within one hour, they were 7x likely to become customers.
    • Use red text for to communicate urgency, especially if you are offering a time sensitive discount.
    • Announce an upcoming price increase to give people time to commit before the higher price goes into effect.
    • Add a countdown timer.
  20.  Copywriting Tips:
    • write to a person, not a group
    • talk directly to your ideal prospect as if she were the only person in the world
    • have a purpose for every word
    • every bullet point must be there for a reason
    • write multiple drafts and edit ruthlessly
    • use numbers – they grab attention faster than words, especially in headlines
    • use words that elicit joy, surprise, reassurance, and other positive emotions
    • help customers see themselves as part of the story
    • testimonials for social proof
    • use active verbs
    • keep it pithy
  21.  Like a comic book superhero, your side hustle needs a history.  Tell a story (maybe not the lame “I was horny and broke living in my parents’ basement but now drive a Ferrari while my hot girlfriend blows me”).
  22.  Some ideas are better than others.  Use the checklist to weed out the losers and focus on the better options.
  23. You don’t have to be better than the competition in all areas, just different in a significant way.  Know your competition.
  24.  Resourcefulness is your most valuable asset.  Start sourcing everything you will need to launch your project.
  25.  Get a business bank account just for your new hustle.
  26.  Get a separate credit or debit card for use for expenses associated with the business.  Almost all business checking accounts include a debit card.
  27.  Pay for everything up front if you can.  You don’t want 30 or 60 day terms that bite you on the ass.
  28.  Set aside 25% of income for taxes.
  29.  Invoice people quickly.  You want to be paid as soon as possible.
  30.  Use a written agreement for service work.  Use basic terms (not legalese) to avoid future disagreements and misunderstandings.
  31.  When you start making money, you may want to form an LLC or corporation.  Check with your accountant.
  32.  If possible, set up a dedicated workspace.  For many solopreneurs, your workspace is your laptop or Chromebook.
  33.  When you start making money, pay yourself first, not last like many business owners.
  34.  Pricing is always a challenge.  Use a cost plus model to begin. If you are breaking even, you are losing money.
  35.  Whenever possible, set up recurring income.  Memberships are good, and are regular updates.
  36.  Consider tiers, usually OTOs in digital products.  Customers get a cheap front end product but can pay more to get more.  You don’t need a Chinese menu, just a couple of upsells.
  37.  Don’t be clever.  Provide value, not gimmicks.  
  38.  Don’t stray too far from market prices – high or low.
  39.  If you don’t have a way to get paid, you don’t have a hustle.  Paypal will be the easiest for most people, but you can also look at Shopify and Stripe.
  40.  Create a workflow.  You want to copy McDonald’s and document and lay out every part of your system.
  41.  Focus Area 1 – change your customer’s life.  Underpromise and overdeliver. Go above and beyond expectations.  Keep tuned to any unspoken needs. Highlight positive results.
  42.  Focus Area 2 – Make more money.  Commit to a regular schedule of price increases.  Pursue incremental revenue. See what else you might be able to do that would earn additional income without a large investment of money or time.  You can even start a side hustle for your side hustle.
  43.  Chances are you will fall into the trap of trying to do too much.  For Walkabout Solopreneurs, you need to know how to do everything, but you may want to automate or outsource as much as possible.  Avoid employees and pay only for what you don’t do well or what amounts to busy work. Fivver.
  44.  Work smart.  Not hard. Get in the habit of doing one task each morning related to growing the business, not running it.
  45.  You make more progress when you concentrate on what’s important.
  46.  Ideas must turn into offers so people can pay you.  An offer includes a promise, a pitch, and a price.
  47.  For your workflow or system, list every action your customer will need to go from discovery to purchase.  Anticipate any potential bottlenecks.
  48.  Make it as easy as possible for customers to pay you.  Start with something simple like PayPal.
  49.  Launch your hustle before you feel completely ready.  This is a problem with the Web. Nothing is ever really finished.  Updates and improvements can be made instantly.  
  50.  Perfectionists don’t make good hustlers.  Waiting for the perfect offer usually means nothing gets done.
  51.  If you plan to use social media, create a Facebook page for your hustle, even before making a website or blog.
  52.  You need to sell your offer.  The people who need your hustle want to be marketed to.  Back up your benefits with features. Establish value in the prospect’s mind before introducing price.
  53.  No man is an island, but you have to swim there by yourself.  Instead of employees, outsource and automate. (I would only consider employees in China or the Philippines where you can get much more for your money.) 
  54.  Test.  Try different things and keep a record of the results.
  55.  You are not Amazon.  You don’t need to test everything, only the things that matter most.
    • test your product or service
    • test your offer
    • test different price points
  56.  Consider:
    • long vs short copy on your sales page (long usually works best for unknown businesses)
    • word order in headlines and in calls to action
    • website navigation and ease of use
    • free trial vs freebie
    • testimonials from customers vs expert ratings and reviews
    • hard sell vs soft
  57.  Always celebrate your early achievements.  Frame that first dollar. Small victories keep you going when times are tough.
  58.  Track what matters.  Ignore the rest.
    •  if it works, do more of it
    • if it doesn’t work abandon it and move on
  59.  It’s much easier to sell more to existing customers than to find new ones.  Don’t depend on customer acquisition alone. Remix your offers if necessary to make them fresh.
  60.  Keep a journal.  Document everything you do.  Makes your life easier. (I hate when I learn a program, then come back to it months later and have to learn it all over again.  One answer for me is ChkLines.)
  61.  A side hustle is different from other startup businesses.  You don’t have to follow the advice of experts or conventional wisdom.  You don’t have to hire employees. There is no prescribed right way, only your right way.


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