cover for Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau blog post

#Heya, welcome to the first book review post,

the format for this guy is gonna be a little different. I'm currently on day 3 and I will add a paragraph to this file every time I complete a group of days. If you wanna follow along, the newsletter is a good way to get an update later on when there is some content here :)

Day 1-3 of Side Hustle :: Build an Arsenal of Ideas

All of Side Hustle is divided into chapters each representing a single day on the 27 day journey to launching a Side Hustle. Week 1 is about coming up with ideas and validating them. Here's a summary:

Day 1: Predict the Future

Simple exercise here, just conceive of how your life will be different at the end of this process of creating a Side Hustle. The idea here is to focus on the future! Being Future Focused is a huge theme here. The effect is to charge your field with excitement! Excitement builds momentum, attracts equally excited and passionate collaborations and fosters synchronicity; it also just plain old feels good! So cultivate excitement by honing in on what you want and imagining it in vivid detail! Chris gives some common examples of how people answer this question:

  • Make cash for a specific purpose, like buying a car or paying off a loan. Here, concentrate on the feeling of attaining this specific goal, if this is you.
  • Build a proper Side Hustle, put that extra money into your bank account every month that you don't depend on for your bread and butter but allows you to take that extra trip a year, have a savings accounts or in house employment insurance, save up for that mortgage down payment or whatever else.
  • Emancipate yourself from your current job! Ha ha ok maybe you don't need emancipation, but maybe you want to make it on your own and stop working for someone else entirely. Concentrate on the feeling of freedom, or whatever other positive associations you have with running your own business.

In effect, this is visualization and trains your mind to focus on what's head, on growth. Always be thinking this way. Dwelling on the passed is good for the amount of time it takes you recognize the lessons, that's about it! Often, it's even backwards to talk about the passed (except where appropriate to extract the lessons, and sometimes this is a group work), it often lowers your vibration to go back there, so chin up, eyes on the prize (on the sky?) and forward always forward.

Day 2: Vet your Idea

Chris uses three criteria here: is it feasible, is it profitable and is it persuasive.

  • Feasible: can it be done, can you start it, can you start it today without too much money or investment? Is there a clear way to get paid? Ideally, you can get paid for a product or service that you can start offering to the world today or in a short period of time. Be prepared to fail and don't get stuck investing in one monolithic idea. If you can't start, make sales, test and improve your methods within 6 months, it's probably too complex for your first Side Hustle!

  • Profitable: thinking about this question forces you to get concrete. Who is buying your product or service? How many of them are there, how many will there be in a year, how much are they willing to pay you for your product? What does your product or service cost to produce? How many sales do you need monthly to keep going. How many sales do you need to make before you're profitable? Are you profitable on day one? Are there market factors that could swoop in and collapse your business? Still profitable? Great, green light. Chris suggests, as well, that if you can't convey the benefit easily in a sentence or two, you are probably over thinking the idea and need to get more specific.

  • Persuasive: timing is another component and comes into the conversation you will have with yourself (and ideally some prospects!). Is this the right idea for right now, is it timely and is the value on offer overwhelmingly obvious even when held up next to the price tag? It should be a no-brainer for the right person to at least want your product, and hopefully you worked on point 2 enough such that they can happily afford it!

Checklist of a good idea:

  • Simple to communicate and a simple path ahead for you as the founder
  • Something you already know how to do, make or can easily learn
  • Low maintenance and easy to deliver (think software!)
  • Solves a problem or makes someones life easier (probably #1 to consider)
  • Will produce income on a recurring basis by producing a steady flow of clientele

Day 3: Brainstorm borrow or steal ideas

Ok time to get some ideas so we can do this exercise and get going. Pick three or more ideas and vet them! I came up with a pretty substantial list, Chris gives a ton of examples in the book too. I'll list a combination:

  • Start a blog in a small town that is a one stop shop for tourists to find the hidden gems (I'm thinking about!). Easy SEO and easy to convert into paid add space if you can get the traffic.
  • Design and manufacture a net that attaches to fruit trees to catch the falling fruit. Market this to municipalities with a high volume of fruit trees in town, or to anyone with mature fruit trees who have a hard time picking the fruit. I just saw a sign that read "DANGER Falling Avocados" and I wondered if we couldn't turn a health hazard into a healthy snack for passers by!
  • Create an online, or even offline, course in your area of expertise, or become a tutor. Turn your quirky passion or hobby into a source of income. If you're keen on it, look around and see who might pay money to get to where you're at quicker. My favourite example of this is, producing high quality online courses in programming, it's genius, his work is great, his newsletter is awesome and unobtrusive and I bet he's making really good money putting out maybe 1-3 courses a year and doing his podcast!

Your turn! Try to come up with three, we'll vet them in the next post.

live alchemy - January, 01, 2019