What It's About
A profitable side hustle that celebrates Italian culture and helps a Boston woman revisit her roots.
Words of Wisdom
Francesca’s “Aha!” moment came when she looked back at all of the free advice she’d given out over the years. She’d shared her family’s authentic Italian recipes with her friends, helped them book entire holidays and taught countless people about Italian culture. So, she asked herself the all-important side hustle question, “Can I charge for this?”
A side hustle should be something that you look forward to—not just tolerate. And some of the best side hustles we've featured on the show start out as something they do for fun. Is there something that you love doing that would make for a good side hustle?
As a native Italian in Boston, Francesca started her side hustle as a way to travel back to Italy more frequently. This permits her to organize a few week-long tours, make connections by building private trips and helps with her constant craving for Italy! She is also a great cook, so she teaches Italian cooking at the adult education centers as well as private classes in her own home.
If you think limiting your travel business to one country could be a little too niche, you’d be wrong. Around 48.6 million tourists visit Italy every year. That’s 10 million more people than live in California!
Notes from Chris
Francesca Montillo's side hustle was 20 years in the making. Ever since she left high school, she dreamt of starting her own travel business and sharing a small pizza-slice of her native Italy with the world. But instead of following her dream, Francesca opted for what she thought was the safe option. After 20 years of waiting for the right time, she decided to finally go ahead and start her business anyway. Putting a basic website online that she called The Lazy Italian, she wrote about her experiences, holidays she’d planned and recipes she loved to cook. She made sure to mention she was the real Italian deal, too. Right now Francesca is making an average of $500 a month through her side hustle, although this number can get a lot higher when she’s got a big tour to work with. Francesca’s ultimate goal now is to turn this side hustle into her full-time work in the next one to two years, and she plans to start promoting her tours to bigger groups. She also wants to stop running stateside cooking classes (no matter how fun they are) and instead turn her attention to writing a Lazy Italian Cookbook.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures:Book your own all-inclusive Italian excursion on Francesca's website!
- ServSafe:The online certification course Francesca took so that she could teach her cooking classes
- What is an LLC?: Learn more about the pros and cons of starting your own LLC
- Urban Hiker Climbs to Steep Success in San Francisco: A project manager turns a passion for her city into a substantial side income of $50,000 a year
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