1033
8 min 42 sec

Medical Emergency Inspires $90,000/Month Consulting Business

An ambitious startup employee pays for his parents’ medical care through student consultations, then grows a side hustle into a real business.
Coaching Family High Profit Service Transition Story

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What It's About

A systems-driven business to help aspiring graduates get jobs in management consulting.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Coaching & Marketing
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

Davis encourages other side hustlers to focus on one important thing: "You just need to quickly find people who are willing to pay for what you are offering. Nothing else matters. Not a name (we didn't have one for 11 months), not a website (didn't have one for 11 months), or a logo (we still don't have one)."

Fun Fact

While playing poker in college, Davis made it a goal to save up enough money to pay for his first WDS in 2014. It paid for his ticket, flight, hotel, food and even a small vacation in Portland before WDS started.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1033
Davis Ngyuen grew up in a poor community in the southside of Atlanta, where 1 in 5 people live in poverty. The high school he attended actually lost its national accreditation. Thankfully for Davis, Yale University didn’t care and still offered him a scholarship.

The campus had a large poker culture, with plenty of events and underground games. Eager to earn money, Davis learned to play. It turned out he had an aptitude for it. On a good month, he would play about two full days, spending around 8-10 hours per day at the table. He split the money he made with his parents.

But this story isn’t about playing poker for money.

After graduation, Davis moved to San Francisco, where he first did a stint in management consulting, and then took a job as VP of Operations for an educational startup. Busy with extracurricular projects since those college poker days, he produced a series of workshops on the side, so he would never have to rely on one income stream.

It wasn’t a bad life—until a call from his parents changed everything.

One of them needed emergency surgery, with medical costs estimated to top out at $20,000. Plus, they needed the money soon.

Davis sat down and tried to think about how he could make that much money fast. His workshops were focused on helping Silicon Valley executives to improve their public speaking, so they could better pitch meetings and funding opportunities. But this wouldn’t be a fast source for cash.

Going deeper, Davis recalled conversations he had again and again when he moved to California to take the management consultant job at a prestigious firm. Everyone wanted to know how he did it.

So with the urgent medical bills in mind, he decided his new hustle was to offer coaching for job interviews in consulting.

The idea was promising, but he didn’t even have a website or email list. Instead, he jumped on a Consulting Sub-Reddit and offered his advice in a free AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread for people who were trying to do what he had done. That first thread was titled: “Recruiting for Consulting? Post here for recruitment advice, resume reviews, questions about offers/firms or general insecurity.” The goal was not to sell services directly. Instead, he poured his experience and knowledge into the replies. If people wanted one-on-one, off-thread conversation, then he invited them to set up a consultation with him on the Zoom web-conferencing app. Startup costs were just $20 for that Zoom membership.

He worked twelve hours straight over the first weekend hunting for clients and hosting calls, having no idea if it would pay off. Ultimately, he gained his first thirteen clients off that Reddit thread.

The next weekend, he did much the same thing, and then the next as well. It was stressful working long days during the week for his day job, and then pouring weekend hours into his side hustle. The thought of his family kept him motivated—and the money coming in was rewarding—but the greater problem was that Davis was burning out fast.

He began making some bigger changes. He switched to more of an agency model, where clients are asked to pay a bit upfront, but it’s not until they actually get the job that they have to pay the rest. The sum is less than 5% of what they earn in their first year at high-paying jobs … but of course, that’s still a substantial amount.

After just one year, My Consulting Offer had grown to $10,000 per month with Davis as the only coach. That’s when he quit his full-time job, as it was obvious he was really onto something.

These days, Davis does no coaching. Instead, he works directly with top-tier schools and events, and refers all the new business back to his agency’s sales group. From there, his team handles the entire process from initial inquiry straight through to the celebrations when they land their dream job. The average success rate of getting a job in management in consulting is less than 2%, but for those who go through Davis’s process, the rate is more than 80%!

In 2019, just over two years after that 12-hour weekend sprint of desperately trying to hustle coaching calls on Reddit, Davis’s revenue reached $90,000 per month.

In a short period of time, he’s come a long way from his poker days as a student at Yale.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • My Consulting Offer Learn more about Davis's service at his website.
  • Reddit The online community Davis used to first offer his services. Davis knew this might be a good place to start to find his target audience. Note: we don't recommend this platform for anyone unfamiliar with it.
  • Zoom Host online video meetings/calls, webinars, and more.
  SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

cg-sig-newsletter


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Resources

CREATE YOUR ONLINE STORE

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Quote of the Day
"The key to life is to help others. I always think, how can I be a better son for my Mom, a better brother for my little brother, and a better role model for those who I am lucky enough to cross paths with. "
—Davis Nguyen #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau