9 min 15 sec

Hollywood Film Editor Optimizes Life Through Self-Care Side Hustle

Inspired by his own work/life imbalance, a film and TV editor starts a project to help his industry learn how to live more by staying present.
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What It's About

A Hollywood film and tv editor helps those in the industry strike a healthy work/life balance.

Business Model
Skills Required
Communication & Writing
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

According to Zack, the first step is understanding the reason why you would start a side hustle in the first place. There are plenty of ways to earn money online now, but some of them aren't rewarding. Knowing why you want to build a business and who you specifically want to help are key. Otherwise, it can be difficult to overcome the drudgery of what you're doing when you hit walls, have glitches, have failed launches, etc.

The bigger picture and the greater 'Why' is the engine that will drive everything.

Fun Fact

On average, Zack spends about 20 hours a week on Optimize Yourself. His work schedule changes often, so his time commitment shifts. But he’s built in a lot of automated systems over time. When he’s not busy with editing TV shows, he stocks up on podcast interviews. It took Zack a while to learn the lesson that he needed to delegate. Once he learned how to teach it to someone else, he did. Zack would spend weeks doing it by himself, only to realize someone can do it better and faster.

Notes from Chris

Episode 501

Is a work/life balance even a real thing? Zack Arnold, a successful Hollywood film and TV editor, doesn’t subscribe to the idea...at least not as it’s commonly known. Even though he was working on shows like Glee, Empire, Unsolved and others, his days were spent sitting in dark editing bays and then rushing home to be with his family at night. Trying (like many of us do) to divide and compartmentalize his days, he realized something.

Even though he may have been spending 50% of his days at work and 50% at home, he felt scattered, unhealthy, and unhappy.

One spring day, he decided enough was enough. He started an email chain he coined “Fitness in Post” with his fellow film/TV editors to get his friends together to do fitness-focused activities like hiking. In the beginning, it was more about starting a club than a business.

His initial email blast was with friends, but more people wanted to join, including a lot of people he didn’t know. So he decided to sign up for a MailChimp account to help manage it. With very little effort, he found an audience of more than 500 people. He realized he was on to something.

One of Zack’s friends wanted him to come on his podcast and talk about the clear need in the film industry for a better way to balance work, life, and wellness. Inspired by a suggestion from that same friend, Zack decided to start his own “Fitness in Post” podcast. At first, he thought it would be two to three episodes, something short-lived. Another surprise: The podcast caught on just like the email list. A lot of people in the industry really wanted to talk about how to make working conditions better.

Zack was inspired to make it his mission to push forward the conversation. At conferences and events, people started asking him about his podcast vs. his full-time job. Another push to charge ahead.

His friends were his first fans of the group and the podcast—really the catalyst to help to build his business.

And one day, a friend said something to Zack at a conference that really changed his whole outlook. He asked how he was going to monetize his side hustle. This friend said “If you don’t have a plan to monetize it, anything that takes this amount of time and dedication, you’ll have to give up in two years. It’s going to be too much.”

That advice shifted the way Zack thought about Fitness in Post, realizing that his audience would want him to continue creating. He got over the initial hesitation about asking for money, and that’s when he started to research different podcasts and sites. After a little rebranding, he created some online teaching tools and grew more and more excited as he considered the possibilities for his new side hustle, Optimize Yourself.

Last year, he added coaching to his side hustle skills. As he created courses, he wanted a place to test and try his methods. Coaching was the perfect way to help others and to hear first-hand their needs. This helped Zack cater his courses to help people with all different types of goals.

For the coaching, he offers a 12-week program, one hour a week, for $2,500. He has two to three students at a time, working with them one-on-one, setting goals and take actions. He’s coached six people so far, bringing in profits around $15,000.

Today, Zack’s side hustle monthly income varies depending on if he does a product launch or not, but in general, he brings in around $2,000 per month which is largely passive with the exception of two hours of coaching per week. His email list now has over 4,000 people, and he's still generating profits through the online courses and coaching. His priority is to launch new products with two courses in the works. He’s spent zero money on Facebook or Google ads throughout all of this. All of his audience growth has been organic through podcast listeners, the free guide on his website and his courses. It really proves great content can make your side hustle a box office hit.


  • Optimize Yourself: If you're like Zack and spend much of your day sitting at a desk, learn how to find some balance yourself on his website
  • MailChimp: The email marketing platform that Zack used to help manage the email blasts to his friends


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

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"The first mistake I made was NOT celebrating because I was so enamored with the fact that someone was actually willing to pay me money for my knowledge and view me as an 'expert.' Give yourself credit along the way, otherwise you’ll get burned out when you only focus on the things you haven’t done yet."
—Zack Arnold #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau