What It's About
Frustrated by mediocrity in the tourism industry, an Amsterdam local sets something in motion.
Words of Wisdom
For anyone looking to start a similar business, Vince says it’s paramount to get some time under your belt working for an established company first. Learn your trade and look for the areas that you would improve and do differently; this will give you the starting point for your own venture.
Vince was in San Francisco a couple of months after he started the business and met with fellow featured Side Hustler, Alexandra (from Ep 158), to get her tips and tricks for a tour-based business!
Notes from Chris
Vincent Linssen’s world travels had left him broke and looking for a fun way to earn some extra cash. Despite returning home to The Netherlands to a full-time job at one of Amsterdam’s major financial firms, he found himself in need of some extra cash to cover his expenses. Vince had always wanted to be a tour guide and felt he’d taken enough walking tours in other cities in the world to have a go himself. It was a time in his life where he had nothing to lose, so he figured he may as well give it a shot. He joined a company where he could give tours of the city on big yellow bikes. For two months, Vince gave ten tours a week, scheduled around his day job, and received a crash-course in the art of big city tours. However, he didn’t appreciate the way certain parts of the company were organized—and he felt he could do a much better job. A few weeks later on his morning commute, Vince tuned into episode 158 of the Side Hustle School podcast and heard about the Urban Hiking tour company someone had set up in San Francisco. It gave him an idea! By the end of the episode, his side hustle Amsterdam Experiences was already coming to life. The income for Amsterdam Experiences depends a lot on seasonal demand. Between March and November, they can earn profits of up to 20,000 EUR per month. But, in the winter months, this can drop down to just a couple of hundred. Despite achieving such success, Vince and Stephan still work their day jobs and have instead hired tour guides to help them scale the business. Because of their high TripAdvisor rating, many tour guides find them and offer their services. But they also look for guides through their personal networks. Vince says a good tour guide should be local, friendly, and good at improvisation. If you can think on your feet, tell a good story, and hold a group’s attention, you’ve probably got what it takes! For anyone looking to start a similar business, Vince says it’s paramount to get some time under your belt working for an established company first. Learn your trade and look for the areas that you would improve and do differently—this will give you the starting point for your own venture. Looking ahead, Vince and Stephan want to delegate and automate their operation. They both have lofty goals—like starting a tech company to fight global warming on a large, systematic scale—so they want to create a “set it and occasionally check on it” strategy. They’re not just spinning their wheels … they’re building a real business.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Amsterdam Experiences: Get an insider's perspective of everything that makes Amsterdam such an amazing place over on Vince's website!
- Squarespace: The website building platform that Vince used to create his website
- 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. This is the episode that inspired Vince to get started!
- Policy Researcher Offers Private Tours of Nation’s Capital: A public policy researcher starts a Washington, DC tour guide business and overcomes the hurdle of competitive TripAdvisor reviews
- Florida Man Leads Scooter Tours After Watching Macklemore Video: Had a broken keyboard, bought a broken keyboard: this corporate refugee relocates to Florida and kicks off a new hustle leading adult scooter tours
- Renegade Museum Tour Guide Earns $2 Million: A man in New York City proves that with enough passion and innovation a side hustle can thrive in museums
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