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Build Your Side Hustle- NEW

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>> Hello, good morning. >> Good morning. >> You know, usually it's the challenge of the first guest speaker to make sure that everybody's awake... [laughter] And everybody's excited, right? [cheering] But for some reason, I don't think that's an issue here. I don't think I've ever been to an event where I've been greeted with pom-poms and cheerleaders. [laughter] I'm not sure Lincoln Center is used to that either. But you guys are awesome. And I don't think I need to inspire you or motivate you since you are already inspired and motivated. It is a huge honor to be here. I'm excited. I've been learning from some of you as well, looking forward to the rest of the speakers. So no excitement, motivation because you come with that, but I do have a challenge for you today. And this is the challenge. And this is kind of my mission of 2017, pretty much everything I'm doing this year relates to this concept. I have a daily podcast. In the fall, I'll be doing 100-city tour, bunch of other stuff. And it's all about helping people to create economic empowerment for themselves. And I passionately believe no matter where you are in your career, no matter what your goals are, life, work running different stages, different seasons. I really believe that everyone needs more than one source of income. And we're living in an age in which so much is possible, so many opportunities, so many possibilities. And in fact, I think it's never been easier to create something for yourself. And so that's what I want to talk about with you here this morning, what is a side hustle, at least the kind of I'm talking about, why it matters, right? [laughter] And what to do next if you choose to accept the challenge? So I'm probably the least important person in this room here, at least in the process. This is about you, not me. But just by way of background, kind of what brings me here to share this space with you. I learned kind of, at an early age, that I was basically unemployable and was really not good at working for companies. Now first, I was a high school dropout, and then a juvenile delinquent. And at some point, I turned my life around a little bit, but not so much that I actually wanted to get a job, right? And I discovered this thing called entrepreneurship and... [cheers and applause] I really liked it. [applause continues] And I realized that it wasn't that I didn't like to work, I was actually very motivated to work on something that I was excited about and something that I believed in, right? And so I did a few different things starting from 20 years ago when I first discovered online auctions and sold things on eBay. And then I had a little coffee importing business, worked for Google, not worked for Google, but did some things with Google, advertising, a bunch of different stuff for about 10 years. And I never built a huge business, that's not what it was about. For me, it was about how can I create this, you know, economic empowerment for myself so that I can do things I believe in, that it can support a lifestyle that's important to me. And I was thinking before I came to share with you guys this morning, I actually did kind of have a job for a while, in fact, the only job I ever really had. For about four years, I lived in West Africa and worked as a volunteer aid worker. So I was in Sierra Leone for about a year, Liberia for about a year, a couple of other countries in the region. And it was a wonderful transformative experience for me. And I learned so much. And I was personally challenged, learned things that have kind of carried with me ever since. This was in my early 20s when I was there. And a big part of the reason why I was able to do that for four years is because I had this little side hustle that I did at nights with this really shaky Internet connection. I spent about an hour or two a day working on this business back in the States and the rest of my time was with our aid organization. So I realized I might not have actually been able to have that meaningful experience without having embraced, you know, that side hustle lifestyle, which didn't even have a phrase or a name 15 years ago. And so when I talk about side hustles, as I said, this phrase is kind of in the culture now, you've probably heard it in different ways, but I am specifically talking about an income-generating project. And so there's nothing wrong with a hobby, a passion, something you just love to do. Not everything you do has to make money. There's nothing wrong with nonprofit charity work. That's wonderful too. But I'm specifically talking about economic income generating projects, something you do that will bring more freedom to your life, that will bring more possibilities and opportunities to your life. And the benefits of doing this, first of all, extra money is nice, but I have seen over and over just how much confidence and security it can bring to someone when they create a new source of income, especially for the first time, especially, if someone has been an employee, and, you know, all the money that they've earned before has come through a paycheck and then they create something for themselves. It feels really good. It also helps people learn new skills or apply skills in different ways. And then lastly, I believe that a side hustle should be fun. It's not something that you don't look forward to. It's something that you're actually excited about. So that's what I'm talking about when I speak of this concept of a side hustle. And I'll tell you a few stories as we go along today. This is Julie Wilder from Orlando, Florida. And Julie works in the restaurant business. She'd done a few different things in that industry, actually ended up as a co-owner of a cafe for a number of years, and then she transitioned out of that, and she was seeking to enter a new career. But she had a couple of months, she had a little buffer. And during that time, she looked at one of her passion projects, which was astrology and she was also a designer. She just kind of dabbled in design, and she noticed that all of the astrology calendars, at least the most popular ones, the three most popular ones, all had very similar designs. They were very kind of older designs, and some people like that aesthetic. But she had the idea to create a more modern design for an astrology calendar. So she spent about a month designing that, and then she put it up for sale on Etsy. And people really liked it. They started purchasing it right away. Her first month, she saw $3,000 to $4,000 worth of this calendar, and before about 6 months, she has sold $15,000 worth of this calendar. Now $15,000 is not enough to live off of, but this was extra for her. And she talked about how I never imagined that like a piece of art that I made could pay my mortgage, but it does, and that feels really good. Julia is also a single mom. She talks about how her daughter works with her in the business. Her daughter is learning about making art, but not just about making art, also about selling your art, also about creating income. So her daughter is kind of learning from this early age how it's important to do that and how she can actually do that. So it's affected her life in a very positive way. This is a calendar that costs about $1 to manufacturer, all of the work is in the design and the marketing. And then when she sells that, she sells it for $15 each. And she sells them every day. She can go to bed at night, she can wake up in the morning and see, you know, how many calendars have been sold. So it's affected her life in a very positive way. Andrea Hajal is actually a Health Coach, originally from Spain, and moved to the US last year to be with her fiancé. And before she kind of transitioned her practice over and figured out how to apply in a different context, Andrea had always loved dogs, and so she started hosting dogs in their home creating her own little Airbnb for Dogs whose owners would go away and didn't want to put their dog in a kennel. Now you might think this is, you know, just kind of a fun thing, it is a fun thing. But Andrea is actually making $200 a day in hosting dogs in her home. Obviously, this is a part-time kind of thing while she looks for something else. So she has found a way to create this $4,000 to $5,000 a month side hustle, you know, and before she kind of moves on with the rest of her career. So again, it's very empowering, right? It's empowering, it's fun, it's something that she was able to start pretty quickly using the skills that she already had. And I realized not everybody likes dogs. Some people think this is a very awesome idea and some people not so much. So if you don't like dogs, just imagine someone who does. Amy Peterson is originally from upstate New York but moved to Michigan. Amy is a lawyer. She went to be an attorney for the Detroit Tigers baseball team. And she enjoys her work. She feels fulfilled there. But one day, while she was running, she actually moved next to a women's shelter, and so when she would go out for her run, she would talk with some of the women at the shelter. And one day, when she went on her longer run, she went to this part of town that had all this old graffiti. And some of the graffiti was coming down. And through a process of working with another partner, she decided to create a jewelry business or a jewelry design business using reclaimed graffiti. And this business now employs women from the shelter, and they're making this beautiful jewelry that you can see at named after Eleanor Roosevelt. And so this particular project is something that's using skills that she had while she was in college. I should have mentioned while she was in college, she had learned to make jewelry and sold it to kind of pay her way through, so it's like full cycle a few years later. So she's doing something that is meaningful, she's helping women gain new skills, have more opportunities, and she's making money with it. So she's doing good, and she's doing well. Now let's transition for a moment. I said I used to live in West Africa. This is where I lived in Freetown, Sierra Leone. And in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and lots of Africa, and lots of South Asia, and other parts of the world as well, some parts of Latin America, side hustlers are not new at all because everyone there is a micro entrepreneur. They don't walk around saying like, "I'm a micro entrepreneur," but there's very little formal economy in these places. So in fact, 80% of the world, you know, is kind of in the informal economy, and people are just kind of managing. And they have little businesses, and you could drive down the street in Freetown, and all kinds people would come up to your car selling all sorts of things from Coca-Cola to full sets of clothes, to pom-poms probably, refrigerators, you know, it was just very creative. So creative, wonderful, people have been innovating and doing this in lots of different ways throughout history since the beginning of commerce. But there's a couple things that are different about this time that we're in now. It's actually three things. And the first one, not surprising, is globalization. So if you're one of those vendors in Sierra Leone or other parts of the world, you can work really hard, you might be able to do okay, but your environment or your market is pretty much constrained to those people around you. Or if you're out in the village, you can trade with people in your village, maybe the neighboring village, but that's pretty much the extent of it. Whereas all of us, each of us here today, each of us who have chosen to kind of invest in this experience and see what we can learn and apply to our lives, we have the opportunity to connect with people all over the world in all sorts of mediums. And remarkably, we have the opportunity to connect with people based on shared values and shared ideals as opposed to just people in the same neighborhood. So in fact, this event this weekend, it's a great example of a values based gathering. Last night, I was at the reception. I talked to some of you who traveled from Wisconsin and Virginia, my home state, Oregon, Canada, other countries, so you've all kind of come together because you share values, you share interests, so that wasn't always possible before, but it's possible for each one of us. Second thing that's changed is ecommerce or at least the widespread adoption of ecommerce over the past 10 to 15 years in particular. How many of you have bought something online in the past month? Raise your hand, right? That's good. How many in the past week? Keep your hand up. That's good. How many in the past day? Okay, right. So 10% of you didn't raise your hands at all, you need to get out more. We'll take you to the Apple Store during the break and get a phone. So the whole, not the whole world, but big parts of the world are now very, very comfortable with ecommerce, with buying things online, with making transactions either with mobile or desktop. And the third thing, the third characteristic is just kind of mainstream recognition of a hybrid life and work style, which is increasingly common. And if you're a millennial, maybe you grew up with this, but for a lot of the rest of us, it actually wasn't always this way. It wasn't always the case that, like, you could walk into the coffee shop and there would be 10 people there working on their laptops, and probably 6 or 7 are doing something for some kind of work. And people are doing coaching, and consulting, and starting little businesses. And some people might stay in their job for a while, some people might transition back and forth. This is very common now, but it wasn't always. And when I was starting 20 years ago, doing the online auction thing and other stuff, I didn't really know anybody who was doing that. Like, obviously there were other people doing it. But in my circle, in my village, I felt like the only one. In fact, I don't think my friends and even my parents really understood what I was doing. I think my parents were like, "We know he's doing something on the Internet, we hope it's not bad. We just hope it's not drugs, like maybe it's online gambling or something," but, you know, but now it's not unusual at all, right? Now it's almost an aspirational thing. So that's what's different. That's what's been different about the past 25 years that kind of brought us to this point to where it was always possible to start something before, but now it's much easier and the path to be getting is much quicker. So all of that's good. But there's one thing that's missing. How do you actually do it? And people have kind of figured it out in different ways, there's more than one way to do it, of course, many of you have probably figured it out in different ways. But maybe some of the rest of you, you haven't been able to figure it out or you tried, it didn't work super great. Maybe you saw a friend or somebody else who started something, we thought, "Oh, that's really great that they did that. But, you know, for some reason, not quite sure why it's not working for me." Well, the reason it's not working for you is probably because you've been told the wrong things. And if you have ever had much business education, you were taking a class. If you've ever read traditional business startup, entrepreneurship books, you're hearing things that aren't necessarily wrong, not saying they're universally wrong, but you're hearing things that don't necessarily apply to this model. And the whole reason why I started this project a year ago, is I was talking with someone who's a designer for a studio, my hometown of Portland, and she likes her job, she enjoys it, has no plans to leave, but she also wanted to do something on the side. She had that desire that almost all of us do to have more than one source of income, different outlet of creativity. And so she registered for an eight-week class in the community college in entrepreneurship, and she said she was really disappointed. Again, it's not like everything was wrong or false, but she said she felt like 80% of what she heard there didn't really apply to her. And so something you need to understand kind of right away is that there are some real differences in a side hustle model and what you might hear in business school or anything that kind of comes out of that strain of thought. So business school, that strain of thought is very much about long-term goals. It's very much about a company or organization based structure. Side hustle is about immediate goals. It's about reducing risk. It's about not jumping off a cliff, it's about, "Let's start something really quickly and see what happens and then regroup, so there's low pressure, there's low risk to it." And if you've had any of that education or maybe just kind of even watched shows like Shark Tank where, you know, people hear about a business for 30 seconds, and then pretend to offer, you know, all sorts of advice about it, you might hear these kind of questions. "Is it scalable? You have this business idea, can you really scale it? Is it sustainable? Is it going to last, you know, forever, however long, can you build business apart from yourself?" So in the model that I'm talking about and what I've seen thousands of people do, these questions are kind of irrelevant. If you think about the stories I've told you so far and think about it and the ones to come as well, the astrology calendar from Julie, she made that calendar with something she really enjoyed doing, wasn't a burden to her. She thought it was really fun to put it out in the world. People bought it. She made $15,000 from it. She's probably going to keep making money from it. But if it stopped at one point, that's okay. She made $15,000, she had this great experience. Andrea with Airbnb for Dogs, is she going to do that for the rest of her life? Probably not, but she has $4,000 to $5,000 a month coming in to cover her living expenses and allow her to figure out what to do next while she's doing something she believes in. Here's another story. You might know some... You might know this one. [laughter] This is a friend of mine named Jen Glantz, who's actually from the New York area. And a couple of years ago, Jen was very popular. She had two friends asked her to be their bridesmaid on the same day. And at the time, she already had at least one other wedding booked in her calendar, maybe two. So another friend of hers said, "Jen, it's almost like you're a professional bridesmaid." Well, Jen was very creative, like I know a lot of you are, and so later that day, she wrote an ad on Craigslist. And she said, "Are you feeling overwhelmed with your wedding plans? I'll be your bridesmaid for hire. And I can do, you know, everything from flower selection to therapy to dealing with, you know, troubled parents of the bride or the groom, basically, whatever you need me to do." So she wrote this ad, you know, partly as a joke, but also partly just see what would happen. And it kind of went viral, and the next day, she had 200 inquiries from people who wanted to hire her, as well as a lot of other women who said, I want to do this business too. If it works out for you, let me know. And so instead of just treating it as a joke, she decided to treat it as an experiment. And she actually created a package of, you know, here's how I can help with your wedding, all the way down to an option of actually being the bridesmaid, and, you know, participating in the entire ceremony. But for the most part, it's more about like facilitation, arranging logistics, making sure everything goes well. And then as an offshoot to that, she created a course for other aspiring professional bridesmaids. So two years in, this experiment is making $20,000 a month for Jen. So one, pretty awesome. She's also able to write a memoir of the experience. But if we think about those previous questions like is it sustainable, it's not scalable, it's just her, of course. Is she's going to do it forever, does it matter? You know, if she stopped tomorrow, you know, last year, she made $200,000 from this project, and she also has an amazing story, right? It's a great thing. So side hustle is about having fun. There was no way to validate this idea, by the way, before she started, that's another thing you hear a lot in traditional business education. It's all about validating an idea, how do you understand if there's a market for it, etcetera. You don't know. So you just kind of try and you just see what happens. This is the side hustle perspective on all of that, right? You don't have to ask a lot of questions. If it seems like it's something that could be fun and interesting to you, it seems like other people might find value in it, why not do it? Like why not try? I hear from a lot of people who feel overwhelmed with indecision, kind of paralyzed by choice, like, "I have like five different ideas. I don't know, you know, which one to choose." You're not making a choice for the rest of your life, just pick something, you know, pick something, see what happens. If it works, great. If not, do something different. So if you accept the challenge, like, "Okay, I like this idea. I feel like I need this in my life or maybe I already have it in my life in some way but want something different. I want to expand or evolve it," what do you do? What do you do? What do you not do? Offer you some suggestions, so you're free to accept or reject as you see fit. And this is kind of the guiding principle. It's really important to understand what your goals are. And you've already heard a little bit about this. You'll probably hear about it more throughout the whole weekend. We're all in different seasons and stages of life. People want different things from an additional income generating projects. And some people are in a place where it's really important to them to get this up and going like super quick, and they really need extra money, and they really need to pay off some debt or they're trying to make a pretty quick transition from something, maybe they hate their job, and they really are trying to escape, build something different for themselves. Or maybe you love your job, and you actually do feel fulfilled in a traditional career, but it'd be nice to have something else, it'd be nice to have a backup plan. What if you don't love your job at one point? And there's all kinds of other goals, so it's just important to understand, "Okay, what is it, you know, for me that I'm trying to do, and then I'll base my decisions based off of that because there is no one size fits all. There is a process, but it's not one size fits all." So here are a few things that you need and a few things that you don't need, right? And some of the things that you don't need, you probably heard before that you need. That's why we cover it. So you don't need a business plan, you don't need money, at least not a lot of money, you certainly don't need employees. When I'm speaking about a business plan, you know, here's what I mean. A lot of people when they go out to start their first project, they've been told, like, "Oh, I need to, like, create this really extensive document." The problem is a lot of the information that's supposed to go on the document, you don't have. You don't necessarily know what's going to happen when you put this out in the world. Consider every story that I've told you so far. There's no way to kind of predict that. So you could spend a long time trying to write something that is probably going to be inaccurate or you can experiment and see what happens. Maybe you write your business plan after you have your business, after you see how people respond. And the list of things that you actually need, it's a pretty short list. You really just need the right mindset and a willingness to take action. Mindset is all about curiosity... In working with a lot of accidental entrepreneurs is what I call them, that's kind of what I am. You know, I didn't set out to like have this strategic plan. I set out to do things that I cared about and find a way to pay for them and eventually turned into this career. And I work with a lot of different people from different backgrounds, different countries, ages, different projects, etcetera. One thing I think they have in common is they're curious people. And they're really willing to ask interesting questions, and they're willing to kind of explore a little bit. They're willing to invest in themselves. That's why all of you are here this weekend. So they're willing to invest in that curiosity, to experiment, to explore, and then also not just think about things but actually follow through, actually follow up and see kind of where something leads. So here's a story to illustrate both these principles. There's a guy named Tanner Callais, this is his wife and child. And last year, this is key... Just last year, Tanner and his wife went on a cruise for the first time, and they actually had thought they would never really be into cruising. I think it was his in-laws that gave him the certificate or something. So he wasn't really looking forward to it. But he actually went and had a good time. He said, "Oh, maybe, that's actually kind of fun for us." But before he went on the cruise, he tried searching for information to learn what was it going to be like, how do I need to prepare, how can I save money," etcetera. And he didn't really find what he was looking for. It's not that there wasn't information there, by the way, obviously, there was a lot of information. But when he would search online, he would find one of two things. And the first thing was, he would find all the information from the cruise line, which is essentially propaganda, right? And then he would find all of these forms with like, tens of thousands of opinions. So it was like you had, you know, the information that wasn't really objective, and then you had like, way too much unfiltered information. It's like who do you believe? Which opinion do you trust? So Tanner worked in advertising. And while he was actually on that vacation, he started writing down a list of like all the questions that he had. And when he got back, he created a little website called And the entire website consists of questions and answers. So all the questions that he had before, others that he came up with, I mean, he would write the question and then he would provide the answer, like a detailed explanation. So for example, one of his questions before he left was, "Can I watch Netflix on a cruise?" So when he got home, he wrote an article, "Can I watch Netflix on a cruise? Here's the answer, like, here's how it kind of works out." So on that little very basic website, he wasn't a designer, by the way, very, very simple website. On that basic website, he added Google advertising, like all those little ads you see when you search for something on Google on the right and the top. And when visitors come to the site, they read his articles. If they click any of those ads, he gets a commission. So this project started, as I said, last year, and he had the willingness to not just be curious but also kind of follow through on that curiosity and kind of see where it led. The project is the blog is making $3,000 a month. Now... Did he know he's going to do that? Of course, not. He hadn't had a side hustle before. He just had a day job, but he was willing to kind of figure it out. Now I mentioned, the key point was like this was just last year. So the reason I emphasize that is because a lot of people, people feel like they kind of miss the bus for these kinds of opportunities, whatever they are. I'm just providing a range of different examples, right? A lot of people feel like, "Oh, you know, if I thought of that 10 years ago, or 5 years ago, that would be great. But now, like, isn't it too late?" Well, it's not too late. And new projects are kind of springing up all the time. And let me just tell you personally, like, I started my blog, eight years ago, The Art of Non-Conformity. When I started my blog, I was a little bit depressed because I was like, "Man, I should have done this five years earlier," like, I'm looking around and like my friend Jonathan Fields, you'll hear from him later this afternoon, he had already started his blog. Gretchen Rubin, who's now another dear friend of mine, writes The Happiness Project. She had started two years earlier, I felt like I've totally missed the boat, you know? But obviously, I wasn't too late. I'm so glad I made that decision, you know, eight years ago to start the blog because it's led to so much else since then. I just started a podcast three months ago. I thought I'd miss the podcast boat, right? If you had asked me, by the way, I'm a terrible futurist... If you had asked me like five years ago, what the state of the podcasting industry is, I would have said, "Oh, it's on the way out, like it's an old thing, right, like that was fun for a while, but it's not going anywhere. So obviously I was totally wrong. It's not too late to start a blog if you haven't had a blog before. It's not too late to start a podcast. It's not too late to start a YouTube series. It's not too late to explore. In fact, more and more people are coming online every day, more and more people are available in the market. So take courage. And so I said I'll give you a couple of suggestions. Now I'll just warn you, some of this might be a little contrarian. Some of this might be different than what you've heard before. So I'll tell you something I would suggest not to do, and then I'll give you my suggestion as an alternative. First suggestion... Have you heard of the sharing economy? Yes, of course, we've heard of the sharing economy. Sharing economy has disrupted a lot of things, positive in lots of ways, makes life easier for us in some ways. But driving for Uber or Lyft, or for participating in a lot of these different platforms, it's really just kind of a glorified part-time job. And they've done a really good job of marketing themselves, as like, "Oh, we're creating opportunities, you know, you can work for yourself, you can set your own hours, etc." That's good. Like, it's not a bad thing to have a part-time job, we've done that in different parts of our life, most of us. But you're not really creating any ownership over something when you do this. And in fact, your entire like earning potential, your entire process, your entire way of operating that is tied directly to the platform or the website or whatever it is, you're not actually really creating something for yourself if you do that. And what might be better is to kind of follow the path that I've outlined in each story so far. Every person that I told you about, they're creating some kind of asset for themselves. They are creating something that they have ownership over. They are able to look at that thing with pride. And so, you know, I made that. Like whatever the amount was that it brought in, like, whatever the outcome has been in my life, like, it's very positive. It's because I took action. And I kind of brought this thing into life that didn't exist before. That's very powerful. This guy named Marc Gaskins, who lives in South Carolina. And... Marc wandered into an upscale men's store one day, and he saw a candle for sale for $85. And he said a couple of things. First of all, that's ridiculous. And second of all, "How can I learn to do that?" That's pretty cool. So Marc worked in catering. He had this business in South Carolina. It was really busy during certain seasons like when weddings were happening, but then during like the really hot summer months and the cold winter months, it was kind of a lull. So he used that time to learn a new skill. And in doing so, he didn't take a candle making course, he didn't apprentice with a master candle maker. He followed the age old practice, just like our great grandparents did, sitting around the fire watching YouTube videos. [laughter] And you can actually go on YouTube and learn how to make candles and learn how to do all kinds of other things. And so that's what he did. And like I don't mean to exaggerate, it's not like he was an expert candle maker the next day. There was a process, trial and error, lots of deformed candles, but eventually he kind of figured it out. And then he developed this brand called Meeting & Market. And he sells this brand on his own website but also directly on, which anybody can actually register and sell things on And a few months ago, just from, the side hustle is bringing in $1,000 a month, so it's not huge, but it's definitely significant. He's on a trajectory. He has a goal of getting just the Amazon sales to $5,000 a month before the end of the year. So you can clearly see he's creating an asset for himself. He's creating something that he has ownership over. Second suggestion. So a lot of people kind of begin this venture by thinking, "Okay, what are the skills that I have? Like what's the degree I have? You know, what do I do for my day job? How can I apply that in the same way? If I'm an accountant, maybe I can do people's taxes on the side, maybe I can be a part-time bookkeeper." That's a good way to burn yourself out because you're doing kind of the same thing. And so a better approach is to think about not just the direct skills you have, not like how you spend your time or what you have spent in a previous career, but what are the complementary skills to that. "Or what kind of creative outlet do I lack right now? Even if I have a creative job, there's still probably some creative energy or desire I have to do something different. And if I have kind of a boring job, like that's fine, but I do need to do something, you know, for my creativity." So that's often a better focus, a better approach. Amanda MacArthur lives in New England, and she works for an agency, and she's happy in her job, but for several years now, she's also followed the ketogenic diet and lifestyle. Now most places, I'd have to actually explain a lot more about ketogenic diets or specialized diets in general. I'll just say if there's anybody who doesn't know what ketogenic is, I didn't know either until I researched her story, but this is a diet, kind of like paleo, but with no sugar at all and no starch. And so she had followed this for herself and had good results. And so she created a website, a free website, nothing for sale, where she uploaded recipes and kind of shared her experience. And even though there was nothing for sale, she was a marketer for her agency. So she had a little bit of skill there, and she decided to install an email capture form on that website. Just so if anybody was interested, you know, they could get recipes by email, they could sign up. So this is a very part-time thing, wasn't her focus. She's kind of like whenever she would think about it, she would add recipes to that website. And one day, she looked and realized that about 3,000 people had joined that email list. And she thought, "Well, that's notable. That's pretty cool." But she still didn't do anything about it. So another like six months goes by, and she checks again. Again, she's pretty busy. And she sees that 3000 more people had joined the list. So now there's like 6,000 people on this list. And so she decides, "Maybe I should try to, you know, actually do something with this, and see what happens." So she compiled her recipes into a cookbook that was available digital download, almost no manufacturing cost, and she sent an email out to those people. And funny enough, it was the first time she'd ever emailed this list. You know, they'd all joined the list, but she never had anything sent to them. [laughter] So she was kind of like, "Hey, this is me, by the way." Like, "You might have joined this list five months ago, but I'm making a cookbook, you know, if anybody would like to purchase it." Very, very soft sell, just kind of like if it fits, you know, take it. So the first day, she had it online for sale, she made $1,000. And the second day $500 to $700. And the third day about $300 and, you know, eventually kind of, you know, evened out. But, you know, as time went by, she was selling this cookbook online for $200 a day on average, and then she made another cookbook, and she's still very busy with her job. Again, that's her career, but this is her creative outlet. And it's bringing in about $2,000 a month on average, she's not really trying to scale it, she's like, "For me, this is fun. This is something that I would have done anyway. I'm sharing a resource that I actually believe in, I'm very passionate about. I feel like I'm helping people, but then when I turned it into an income-generating project, so much the better, you know, now I have this $25,000 side income that I can put in my savings account or I can use to travel or I can use for whatever I want." So complimentary skills, unused creativity. Here's my third suggestion. Yeah, so you'd actually probably heard this advice a lot. Like, oh, if I want to, like, make money doing something, not sure what to do, I should make a list of like all the things I'm passionate about and all the things that I really enjoy. And maybe I can find a way to do something now. Well, maybe you can. But it's really important to keep in mind that not everything that you're excited about or passionate about, other people are actually excited about or passionate about it, right? There's lots of things that you do, as I said in the very beginning, just for yourself or a hobby, something that you like to do, right? So you shouldn't necessarily try to connect these two things. So I don't think you should make a list of things you like to do only, I think you should make a lot of lists. And I think you should make a list starting with your hobbies but also your skills, all of your skills, not just the college degree skills, what you've done for traditional work, what did you learn at some points, what's being applied in different ways or not applied to all of your skills, what kind of art do you like, what kind of music do you listen to, do you make art, do you play music, do you like sports, do you watch sports, do you play sports, what do you like to read, do you read fiction, do you read nonfiction, what kind of magazines do you like to read, what are your broad interests, and then when you go online, like, what do you do, like so you got... You have like 10 minutes, you know, with your phone or with your laptop, like, where do you actually tend to go and gravitate toward? How do you spend that time? Do you like to travel? Have you traveled before? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would that be? And then here's a big one. Let's say you have this like wide open day that just shows up out of nowhere. And you thought you had your day, like fully planned out, but all of a sudden, you're completely absolved of all responsibility, and you don't have work responsibility, you don't have family or childcare responsibility, and you're not... You're also, let's say, in this scenario, you're not exhausted 'cause a lot of us would be exhausted, you're like, "Great, I'm going to sleep, you know," okay? So let's say that the day arrives and you're not actually exhausted, like you want to do something kind of fun, kind of active, what do you do during that day? Like how do you kind of fill that day? So it's often you're looking for the connections between these different things that side hustle ideas tend to arrive. It's not always just like one thing, it's like, "Oh, I had this little skill, you know, I learned to make jewelry when I was in college, and then I moved to this other city, and I got to meet these women at the shelter, and I kind of... You know, then I went running and discovered graffiti that was coming up," and I kind of put all these things together, you know, to create that project or astrology or the cruise example. Lots of different ways to look at it. And here's a good model to consider, speaking about passion. You've got all the things that you're interested in, you know, the rest of the world, all the things that other people care about are willing to invest in, not just are interested in, but what are they willing to spend money on? And somewhere there's a little bit of overlap between those two things. And so I think your challenge is to kind of find that overlap and figure out, "Okay, what is the convergence point between things I care about and, you know, things that other people care about as well." So don't just make one list, make a lot of lists. Two guys from Philadelphia, who had a shared appreciation for cocktail culture, meaning that they like to go out and drink mostly. [laughter] One of them worked at a hospital. He was in development. I felt like he was doing important work kind of fundraising for cancer and other diseases. And they had an idea to create this homemade gin kit, you know, which would allow people to purchase a bottle of vodka and then use the ingredients in The Homemade Gin Kit and make your own gin at home. So they learned about packaging, they learned about distribution, you know, everything that they had to kind of figure out to do that. This has been extremely popular. This has sold 50,000 units at about $49.95. So 50,000 units, $50 sales price, it's actually in a lot of stores now, and the end of the story isn't... Oh, and then they quit their job to like be entrepreneurs. They both kept their jobs, you know, they're still doing that work that they believe in, but now they have this very successful project as well. And it wasn't so much a matter of like following their passion. It was a question of connecting different interests. And so, yes, they were excited about gin. But then they also found a way to make something that was valuable and useful to people. So one of the principles of all this is that ideas really are everywhere. And I mentioned curiosity. If you can develop your curiosity and acquire the power of observation, it's really one of the most valuable skills you can learn 'cause you can apply it in so many different ways. If you can kind of learn to spot different possibilities or just spot problems and spot things that bother you... Another good thing to think about is not just like what excites you but what bothers you, like what troubles you about the world 'cause that can often lead you to all kinds of things that are interesting and also helpful to others. So ideas are everywhere, but some ideas are better than others. And I've used the word asset a couple of times. Having ideas enough, having ideas on its own is not enough because it is all about follow through. It's all about follow-up. Imagine that you have a rich relative who passes away and leaves you a stock certificate worth $2 million. It says $2 million on the front of it. But you can't actually figure out how to exchange it for cash or for some other asset, like what is that $2 million stock certificate worth? Nothing, right? So it's great to have ideas, but the goal is to transition from having an idea to actually having an offer to actually taking action on that. That's where the real value is. So earlier this year, I started daily podcast as I mentioned, and on the show every day, I'm telling a story of a different employee who starts a side hustle without quitting their job. And I try to look at it like, how they got their idea, and what happened along the way, how much money it cost, how much money they made, lessons learned, etcetera. And one thing I say pretty much at the end of every episode, and I was also thinking about it as I was coming to speak with you this morning. It's not enough to just be inspired, like inspiration is good, it does feel good, but inspiration combined with action is so much better. Being able to say like, "Yeah, you know, felt inspired, felt motivated, but then I went and did this. It wasn't just inspiration, I also had a list, you know, I had a list of things to do." If you'd like to see some of the things I talked about, you can go to That will be up by the end of the day. There'll be some free resources for you there about starting a website, other things that you might want to do. There's nothing for sale there, it's just some of the things I talked about. And I really like this quote as I prepared and thought about you guys and actually looked up some of your websites and tried to see like, you know, what you're hoping to accomplish. I really love this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. "In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." So all of you have made an active choice to be learners, all of you are very curious. You've chosen to do something new. A lot of you are in a place of transition, a lot of you are looking for something different, and along with the theme of what I've talked about, you're not just thinking about it, you're actually doing something about it. And so I applaud you for that. The last book I wrote was called Born For This. I spent a lot of time kind of researching and interviewing people who had found what they call their dream jobs or they had created their dream job for themselves. And it was really interesting to see how, like I mentioned this, hybrid way of life, people going back and forth between, you know, careers, and changing careers, working for themselves, sometimes working for others. It's really interesting to see, like, when someone kind of finds something that they're so excited about, you can kind of recognize it in that person, you kind of look and say like, "Wow, it's not just that they're happy," that's good, "it's not just that they're successful," you know, that's good. But you can look and say like, "Wow, that really makes them come alive." You know, like that's their thing, that's what they are meant to do, born to do. And so for you, this morning, this weekend, if there is something that you were meant to do, born to do, and you're in that discovery process, why not do everything you can to find it? Why not do everything you can to create it, to discover it, to bring it into light, and to make it your reality? I know that many of you are doing that in different ways and I will be cheering you on. It's a huge honor to speak. I'm very grateful to IIN, and I'm grateful to all of you. Thank you. [applause]

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Duration: 52 minutes and 22 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 4, 2019

Build Your Side Hustle- NEW

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