7 min 33 sec

Academic Advisor Creates Profitable Karaoke League

A Washington, DC man uses new entrepreneurial skills—and vocal chords—to turn a profit and cultivate community.
Community Creative Music Service Unique Ideas

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What It's About

After visiting a karaoke bar following his kickball league match, a college advisor decides to start a karaoke league.

Business Model
Skills Required
Coordination & Organization
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

For Jesse, this karaoke side hustle has brought several benefits: He’s been able to switch day jobs, a move he credits to the new skills he gained through District Karaoke. He’s been able to save money for vacations and surprise expenses. Not only that, he’s been able to find true love.

Fun Fact

District Karaoke has now expanded to Baltimore, Chicago, New York City and even Los Angeles on the West Coast. And its members have sung exactly 10,236 songs, with the 50 most popular songs sung more than 1,200 times in competitions including "Sweet Caroline" and "Don’t Stop Believing."

Notes from Chris

Episode 90

Five years ago, Jesse Rauch was like any other D.C. twenty-something working his regular 9 to 5 job as an academic advisor and competing in a weekly kickball league in his free time. He was out one night having a few drinks at a karaoke bar when he says he had what he called a “eureka” moment.

While nursing his cocktail and belting out “Sweet Caroline” with the rest of them, it dawned on him: Why not take the design of a social, competitive league, such as kickball, and apply it to karaoke?

In the harsh light of the morning, it still seemed like a great idea, so Jesse set to work on launching the league. Soon after, District Karaoke was born! Jesse's focus on building up this community has been key to his success. He says he sees great potential in forming communities around specific passions, and then, as a bonus, making them profitable as side hustles. His hypothesis is that people are always looking for other people who share their interests as a way to find friends and build professional networks.

This is an incredibly valuable lesson no matter what you choose as your side hustle. No man is an island, and we're all looking to connect. If you can find a creative way to encourage those connections like Jesse, you'll be on your way to a successful side hustle.

And remember: Don't stop believin'!



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

Yours in the revolution,

Chris Guillebeau



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Quote of the Day
"In a community-building enterprise, involve more people earlier—my community members are my best salespeople. They know what needs to be fixed and changed, or what needs to stay the same."
—Jesse Rauch #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau