What It's About
A teacher takes on trivia night!
Words of Wisdom
If you want to become an entertainer, get comfortable in front of a microphone, work on your delivery, and get good at being in front of a crowd. Only then, do you buy your own equipment. You can always make arrangements to get the equipment you need as you get better (just like the two gentlemen in this story did!).
There’s a lot we can learn from Brad, whether from his example or from one of his trivia games. Trivia games have been extremely popular, with several mobile trivia game apps consistently having more than 1 million players. Guess we are all a curious bunch!
Notes from Chris
Episode 770Growing up, Pittsburgh native Brad Bonenberger always liked hosting events. In high school, he co-hosted his own Public Access TV show where he would give a bi-weekly recap of athletic events. When he attended West Virginia University, he joined the college radio station and became the play-by-play announcer for the women basketball team. After graduating, he took his talents to an award-winning radio station, where he worked as a DJ. While Brad enjoyed his job, he decided to pursue a further degree in secondary education at his alma mater. This would give him the skills and experience to teach high school students, which is what he does now full-time. But as he started his graduate studies, he needed extra money, so he moonlighted as a club DJ. During one of his gigs, Brad stopped by a club, which was coincidentally hosting a trivia night. Intrigued, Brad spoke to the host. He thought that this line of work could be especially suitable for him given his background. If it worked, it was also something he could count on each week, which was nice since his income at the time was sporadic. As he left the club, Brad started formulating a plan to land clients who would hire him to host trivia nights. He started by reaching out to his contacts in the bar and restaurant industry. From there, he was able to get recommendations and the first few gigs coming his way. Before long he’d achieved his goal of hosting trivia three nights a week, so he started wondering what he could do to scale up his business. He had some good gigs, but as he says, “good is only good until you’ve had better.” He started climbing his way up to more established outfits. At one of these events, Brad started meeting players who wanted to know if they could get involved in trivia game hosting, especially since it looked fun and was profitable. One of them was willing to commit, so Brad thought about what he could do. They ended up making a simple arrangement—his partner would secure his own gigs as an independent contractor while Brad would loan him all the equipment he needed for half of the revenue he made. Shortly after, Brad came across someone who was interested as well. At this point, not only was Brad making his full share of the 3 shows he hosted weekly, but also half of the revenue that the other two contractors made from their own shows. As he gained more experience, he was able to gauge the type of questions that his audience would find compelling, and the manner in which they were asked. Becoming a better writer was essential to ensure that these questions were elegant yet witty, and Brad put in the work, researching and writing 60-75 trivia questions weekly. The average game he hosts accommodates about 8 teams and 55 players, but after getting better, Brad quickly found that he could host games with over 100 players easily. Although he had started out hosting the events at casual clubs and restaurants, Brad now has no issue delivering at weddings and corporate events as well. From mics, mixers, and powered speakers, the list of equipment that one requires to host events can add up. Brad himself spent about $1,000-$2,000 initially to ensure that he could provide a good experience for his clients, and that has certainly paid off. He now charges a bar $150-$175 nightly, and a bit more for corporate events. He’s proud to say he never cancels no matter how small the crowd is. He also hosts a customer appreciation day twice a year. He puts up a $1,000 prize purse for this game and teams up with local liquor reps to ensure that there would be merchandise for the raffle and prizes. It’s a no pressure side hustle, and Brad is enjoying himself. As he says, quoting from a Beastie Boys song, “my job ain’t a job, it’s a damn good time.”
- Bartenders Turn Trivia Night Into $1.5 Million Business: From an initial investment of just $300, a pair of Cincinnati bartenders transform trivia night into a seven-figure franchise
- Quiz Master Creates Side Hustle Nobody Can Question: This expat’s local pub quiz night started as a hobby. It turned into an idea to sell his collection of 5,000 trivia questions online, earning passive income month after month
- Academic Advisor Creates Profitable Karaoke League: A Washington, DC man uses new entrepreneurial skills—and vocal chords—to turn a profit and cultivate community
Download 2019 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR Download 2018 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC Download 2017 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
Earn 50,000 travel rewards points (enough for 2 round-trip plane tickets or $625 in travel credit). You'll also earn 2x points on all travel and dining spend, with zero foreign transaction fees.
I use this card every day all over the world! ✈️
Want to build any kind of website for your hustle? If so, you'll need somewhere to host it! This is the reliable company I've used for my past 5 websites. It's cheap, flexible, and you can get support 24 hours a day.
Get your own hosting plan for just $5 a month!
Quote of the Day
Sponsors & Gratitude
Side Hustle School is brought to you by American Express.
No matter what you do in business, from working nine-to-five to working five-to-nine, it’s easier when you don’t go it alone. Get the powerful backing of American Express—don't do business without it! 💳
Side Hustle School is for you! If you’re enjoying it, please take a quick moment to leave a rating or write a quick review. It's really easy and it makes a difference! ✅
It also makes a huge difference when you tell your friends about the show. Remember, it's 100% free and listener-supported.
Keep in Touch
There’s a new story every single day on Side Hustle School. Episodes are produced to be short and to the point—I know you’re busy. Be sure you subscribe to get instant notification of the day’s broadcast!
To infinity and beyond,