128
10 min 7 sec

Epic Scavenger Hunt Becomes 6-Figure Income

An event planner creates a competitive scavenger hunt game that takes place across Boston. Can you really make money while having so much fun?
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What It's About

A scavenger hunt that expands to six cities and brings in six-figures annually.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Event Planning & Coordination
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Cashunt was growing in popularity around the same time that customer review services like Yelp and Trip Advisor were becoming more common. Where he had originally been getting customers through word-of-mouth, these new online platforms spread the word even further and offered him opportunities to expand his side hustle to include new cities.

If you do a good job and have satisfied customers, these platforms will end up becoming free marketing for you since a lot of people use those sites when looking for things to do. But you have to work for it!

Fun Fact

Players have run into quasi-celebrities while on scavenger hunts—Dr Drew, multiple Boston Bruins players, and a few TV actors. So far all the celebrities have been really cool about playing along for the game. One of the most surprising things to Chris was being approached by a producer about turning his scavenger hunt into a TV show.

Notes from Chris

Episode 128
Whenever possible, you should choose a side hustle that you'll have fun working on. It shouldn't be something you would consider a chore, but rather something you look forward to, either at the end of your workday or early in the morning, or whenever you’re able to squeeze it in. In today's story, an event planner in Boston, Massachusetts named Chris Damianakos finds a way to capitalize on fun by turning a passion for scavenger hunts into a six-figure scavenger hunt hustle called Cashunt.

As a passion project, Chris created an elaborate, 6-hour-long scavenger hunt for his friends and family. They absolutely loved it, and a friend of his that was in marketing couldn’t stop talking about what a great side hustle this would be for him.

Over the next few years, Chris kept advertising in newspapers, since this was a side hustle and he wasn’t dependent on the income he had fun making the game as epic as possible. Those first few years he designed a fully interactive game that used the city of Boston as the board. Players start off with a comic book that has some initial challenges in it and have to decide as a team how they’re going to get the most points before the two hours are up.

His players loved it and for the next few years Chris put on more and more scavenger hunts and saw his revenue increase steadily, solely through word of mouth and newspaper advertisements. Four years after starting, his income was up to $30,000. And in 2006 his business started to really take off even more, but not because of anything he directly did. Review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp had gained some momentum and he was getting excellent reviews, furthering his word of mouth business in a more technological way.

As of 2017 he’s making well over six-figures, has one other full-time employee working with him in Boston, and facilitators in five cities, with plans in the works to expand further. Oh, and he’s still having fun.

Cashunt really started to take off around the time that Tripadvisor and Yelp started becoming more popular, and these kinds of review services are essential strategies to take advantage of with this kind of project. You can’t opt-out of it because they will create listings and people will review you anyway, so you might as well actively participate and encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews.

If you actually do a good job and have satisfied customers, this will end up being free marketing for you since a lot of people use those sites when looking for things to do.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Cashunt: Learn more about Chris and his adventures in scavenger hunts on his website!
  • Yelp & TripAdvisor: Two popular customer review platforms that helped Chris grow Cashunt
SEE ALSO:

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

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"If you want to start a side hustle, don't listen to the noise, listen to yourself. Be prepared to put in the time. This isn’t like an office job where you just clock in and clock out. Never assume you know everything. But don’t talk about it forever, you have to just go for it!"
—Chris Damianakos #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau