6 min 47 sec

London Clerk Hires Ghosts to Visit Boss, Earns Passive Income

In search of medicine for his ill son, a London clerk outsources three ghost visits to scare his employer into paying up. Merry Christmas, everyone!
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What It's About

Side Hustle School takes on a Christmas classic!

Business Model
Skills Required
Resourcefulness & Communication
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Okay, holiday specials are great and all, but what exactly can we learn from this story?

First, if your morning porridge is the most exciting thing in your life, you definitelyneed to make some changes.

Second, don’t wait on your boss to change … create change yourself!

And third, outsource however you can, even if it includes hiring your friends to dress up as ghosts.

Fun Fact

Charles Dickens started A Christmas Carol in October 1843 and wrote obsessively for six weeks. As Dickens said, he wept, laughed, and wandered around London at night "when all sober folks had gone to bed." He finished the novella at the end of November so it could be published in time for Christmas. A Christmas Carol hit the shops on December 17, 1843, and sold out in three days!

Notes from Chris

Episode 724

Bob Cratchit, a records clerk from East London, was in trouble. He spent his days—every single day—toiling away for an ungrateful employer. Not only was his work tedious and unfulfilling, he wasn’t getting ahead. All he had to look forward to was the morning bowl of porridge (with extra raisins!) that he picked up from Pret a Manger on his way into work.

Worse of all, his son Tim was seriously ill. In these days before Britain’s National Health Service kicked in, Bob needed funds to care for him.

According to our sources, “Mr. Cratchit worked for 15 shillings a week at a rate of three pence ("thruppence") an hour.” And according to Wikipedia, “In terms of modern-day purchasing power, this would be approximately £63.00 or about $94 US per week.”

His boss Ebenezer was a miser, and couldn’t be counted on to lift a finger … in fact, Bob had asked Ebenezer for help, only to be rebuffed. “Get back to work,” said the boss. “Be grateful you even have a job."

There was no way around it: Bob needed a side hustle.

To find the solution he looked within himself, opening up a consultancy he called Cratchit Co. He also leaned on three friends for help. As part of a detailed delegation strategy (or was it early outsourcing?), he would send these friends to visit Ebenezer late at night in an attempt to scare him into paying up. Maybe Ebenezer would learn a moral lesson … but even if not, maybe he’d still cough up the coffers.

Bob did what consultants do best: he sent Ebenezer a bill. The bill was for a lot of money—more than he needed to cover his son’s medical costs. Thinking about the approaching holiday, he also itemized an expense for a large turkey.

When the holiday arrived, Bob was thankful. He looked around at the additional money in his bank account and the free turkey on his table. If he hadn’t taken action and started Cratchit Co., he would have continued to live on $94 a week. But he did, and now he was unstoppable.

One success tends to lead to another. Next, Bob thought he’d write an ebook about his experience. He imagined himself as a motivational speaker, traveling from town to town and turning stock clerks into consultants. Or maybe he’d just start a podcast.


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
"I got tired of waiting for my employer to take pity on me. When I sent him three visitors on Christmas Eve, he finally got the message."
—Bob Cratchit #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau