How To Earn A Second Income In 27 Days
Illustration by Mr Giordano Poloni
Everything you need to know about the art of the side hustle.
“Hustling” as a concept and word has an air of danger about it: the art of getting money by nefarious means. Every successful person in hip-hop claims to be a hustler of some sort. Jay-Z, for instance, used to speak about himself as a hustler first, rapper second.
Hip-hop, of course, is not a trade that offers most of us much in the way of job security, and so having a little something on the side makes sense. But then, in today’s economic climate, your day job probably isn’t that secure, either. It could be argued that having a “side hustle”, defined as a source of income separate to your full-time job, is the new job security. To survive in the precarious modern world of work, we all have to be hustlers now.
Thankfully, the writer and adventurer (he travelled to every country in the world by travel hacking), Mr Chris Guillebeau’s new book, Side Hustle, offers a step-by-step guide to launching a successful money-making scheme within 27 days. Mr Guillebeau, a New York Times bestselling author, who has never had a day job, says, ”A side hustle gives you the ability to decide. When you receive multiple paychecks from different sources, you are no longer dependent on the whims of a single employer. More income means more options. More options mean more freedom.”
So, here then are the most important things to bear in mind before launching your side hustle.
Stick with what you know
“Use the skills you have,” says Mr Guillebeau. “I hear a lot of people say, ‘Let’s make an app,’ but if you aren’t a computer programmer, or you aren’t from that background, that’s going to take a lot of time and effort. We’re looking for something that’s relatively easy and quick. The best side hustles result in you waking up and seeing money coming in to your PayPal account with minimal or no effort.”
Think about how your skills or hobbies might transfer into a money-making scheme. In the book, a British manager of a construction company writes a series of fish tank reviews for an obscure website. “He knew that he’d earn a small commission if visitors clicked through from the reviews to the Amazon listings and made a purchase,” says Mr Guillebeau. “A few weeks later a cheque arrived in the mail for $350. Several years later those reviews still earn on average $700 per month.”
How to come up with the right ideas
A feasible idea is one that you can turn into reality using the skills, time and resources you already have. An idea that isn’t feasible is not worth considering. For instance, building a new online payment method for people who don’t like credit cards or cash sounds “interesting”, but would take huge amounts of investment capital, expertise and time which most people don’t have, especially if they have a day job.
“Here’s an idea from a personal chef with a love for high-quality desserts: ‘I want to start an ice-cream-of-the-month club that delivers artisanal flavours to offices. The service is marketed to HR managers and small business CEOs as a way to increase morale and bring employees together for regular social experiences.’ In this example, there’s a clear target market. While the logistics of storing and delivering all that ice cream could get a little complicated, it might be worth exploring if you knew how to source the ingredients and who your initial clients would be.” This idea is also potentially profitable because it plays to the strengths and existing skills of the personal chef.
“If you have a hard time explaining the primary benefit of your concept in more than a sentence or two, you may need to rethink the idea. If the primary benefit is unclear to potential customers, you won’t convert many of them into paying customers. The most persuasive ideas have a simple path to turn the idea into reality that you can describe in one sentence, and also solve a problem or make someone’s life easier in a specific way (and that they will be willing to pay for).”