What It's About
A side hustle with sticking potential!
Words of Wisdom
What’s NOT important, Michael says, is worrying about patents. He’s seen people spend thousands of dollars and five years waiting for a patent, only for another company to launch and sell the same idea in half the time. As he says, “a fifty million dollar idea is worth absolutely nothing in your head.”
Michael’s love of stirring words has led him to write his own. When he’s not selling Sticky Quotes, he’s writing poems and rapping them with his friends. His writing focuses on current affairs and social issues. We hope it sticks!
Notes from Chris
Episode 415Michael Russo was going to college just outside of New York City where he had his sights firmly set on Wall Street. Beginning with an internship at Morgan Stanley, he set off on his chosen career path with security and prestige—not to mention what he hoped would be a good salary. But things were about to take a different turn... See, ever since college, he’d had a seriously packed schedule. We’re talking seven classes, three extracurricular activities, and that internship. Time was short, and he needed to keep up the motivation. The answer? For him, it was positive, inspirational quotes. He was scribbling them everywhere, surrounding himself with—you guessed it—sticky notes. Except he couldn’t just call them that… he decided to call them Sticky Quotes. Could this be more than just an inspirational tool for himself? The first step was to validate his idea. Michael made a test version by putting six sticky notes on a sheet of thick paper and running it through the printer in his dorm room. Using these as a prototype, he got feedback from people around him at college and work. This information provided him with a strong understanding of the market and a good idea of the ideal price point for this product. For the first 18 months, Michael didn’t pay himself. It was just what he calls “straight sweat equity.” But now that Sticky Quotes is profitable with annual sales of around $40,000, he takes a modest salary and reinvests the rest. Meanwhile, he continues to grow Sticky Quotes and hopes to make it a household name. For now, Michael’s career in financial services is on hold. He’s having fun and making money on his own! In the future, he may work towards beginning a more traditional career, or he might start yet another business venture. Still, no matter what he has coming down the road, this looks to be one side hustle that is going to stick around.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Sticky Quotes: Learn more about Michael's inspirational sticky quotes on his website!
- Shopify: Michael used Shopify to set up his store for Sticky Quotes, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
- All American Donuts & Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop Company: While you're at it, check out Michael's other side hustle projects
- Designer Turns Bad Parking Into $25,000 Per Year: Ever been annoyed at someone who double-parks? This Los Angeles designer turned his frustration into a novelty gift item with growing sales
- Alcohol Fueled Idea Sells Over 1,500 Shirts in Less Than a Year: After a night at the bar, three friends come up with an idea to add huge pockets to the front of t-shirts
- Unusual Men’s Fashion Item Romps Way to $100k: After spotting a viral Kickstarter campaign for men’s rompers, two young professionals decide to create their own fashion line
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