Many of our Side Hustle School listeners have mentioned that they would like for me to elaborate on a few things, so each month I will include a monthly “Extended Cut” to help answer some of these questions more in depth. For the time being, you can find links to each Extended Cut episode here in addition to the links and resources I mention. Check in at the end of each month for a new bonus episode!
EXTENDED CUT #17: Six-Figure Drone Pilots
Can you really make six-figures using a drone to take pictures of houses? These people do, and most of them didn’t have special training before they started. This special episode also discusses how to spot other opportunities like this one.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EXTENDED CUT:
- Ep. 500 – Married Couple Goes From Crashed Drone To Soaring Side Hustle: A sky-high success story of a six-figure drone coaching business that begins after a man crashes a drone into a parked car in New York City. Look out!
- MarketWatch | Want to Make Six-Figures? Try Being a Drone Pilot: Despite what some call an oversaturated market, these freelance drone pilots say they’re making more than $100,000 a year
- The Atlantic | Electric Scooter Charger Culture Is Out of Control: “Bird hunting” has become a pastime and a side hustle for teens and young professionals, but for some it’s a cutthroat business
EXTENDED CUT #16: Working on the Road
For more than 10 years, I’ve traveled the world while working on projects every day. This special episode includes 7 lessons I’ve learned, along with a complete list of every tool and resource I use.
CORE PRINCIPLES FOR WORKING ON THE ROAD:
- 1. Set yourself up to succeed: This means don’t just have a goal, have a solid plan in place too. Having a plan will help you when other things get in the way, or when you just need to make choices!
- 2. Be intentional about what you plan to complete each day: When there’s a lot happening, or you’re just easily distracted (like me), you need to have a specific idea of what needs to get done
- 3. Let go of as much as you can: Both in terms of physical stuff, commitments, obligations, and really, anything else! Ask yourself, “what can I let go of?”
- 4. Accept less productivity change for the lifestyle: If you’re going to do amazing things out on the road, understand that your productivity may take a hit—and that’s okay!
- 5. Capture pockets of time wherever you can: When you’re on the road, it’s good to bring along things like a notebook, your phone, and your laptop so that you can take advantage of “pockets of time” in your day. Whether you’re commuting, waiting for an appointment, or what have you, you’ll have tools at your disposal to get things done
- 6. Be sure that you care for your mind and body: On the show, I often say that you should be investing in yourself, but that should extend into your physical, emotional, and spiritual self as well. Do what is best for you, whatever that may be!
- 7. Keep as much of your work online as possible: Things happen, but storing the bulk of your data in the cloud means that a broken or stolen laptop isn’t an absolute distaster
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EXTENDED CUT:
- Dropbox: The modern workspace designed to reduce busywork-so you can focus on the things that matter
- Scrivener: The go-to app for writers of all kinds that provides a management system for documents, notes and metadata
- OmniFocus: A personal task manager that helps you capture thoughts and ideas in the form of lists (for macOS and iOS)
- Evernote: An app (for mobile + desktop) designed for note taking, organizing, tasks lists, and archiving
- Highland 2: Another tool ideal for writers (especially screenwriters!) that helps you get ideas in writing without having to deal with formatting
- Audacity: An easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder—this is what I use to record the show!
- Day One: A simple journaling app for the person who prefers to use digital means
- QuickBooks: Accounting software that helps you manage your accounting, get invoices paid, accept payments, and much more
- Keynote: A presentation software application that makes it easy to create stunning and memorable presentations
- HelpScout: A help desk platform that makes every customer service interaction a more human one
- TextExpander: A text expansion tool that helps you recall your best words instantly, repeatedly
- Be Focused: An app that lets you get things done by breaking up individual tasks among discrete intervals, separated by short breaks
- TunnelBear: A really simple VPN that you can use to unblock websites no matter where you are in the world and browse the web privately and securely
- Zoom: A free remote conferencing service using that allows you to connect with your team no matter the distance
EXTENDED CUT #15: The $400,000 “Being Boss” Podcast
Go behind-the-scenes of the mega-popular Being Boss podcast and brand. Lessons include: set partnerships carefully, take a stand for something, and “choose your choices.”
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EXTENDED CUT:
- Ep. 404 – Business Besties Turn Skype Calls Into Six-Figure Podcast: After two friends create a podcast for fun, it turns into a side hustle that generates $100,000 in its first year, multiple six-figures in year two, and a book deal in year three
- Being Boss Podcast: Check out these awesome ladies and their super informative podcast over on their website!
EXTENDED CUT #14: Start a Service Business in Less Than a Week
What if I could show you how to pick a topic that you have knowledge in, or a skill you already have, and then help you extract a specific idea from that topic, turn that idea into an offer, and finally publish that offer for a chance to get paid?
Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today—starting a service-based side hustle in less than a week!
First and foremost, you should know that everyone is an expert on something. You might have heard me mention this in the past, and it’s true! There’s no such thing as a consulting degree, but you can still craft your knowledge into a marketable offer.
In order to build a service based side hustle that someone will pay you for, you really need to:
- Choose something specific
- Choose something marketable
With that in mind, listen to this Extended Cut to hear some examples of service based side hustles and how you can get started within a week!
SERVICE BASED SIDE HUSTLE CHECKLIST:
- Do you have a clear offer?
- Do you describe your offer in simple terms (two sentences max)?
- Do you have a clear market or ideal customer?
- Additionally, do you have an idea how to reach that person?
- Do you know exactly what you’ll do in terms of workflow when someone signs up?
- Do you have an easy and obvious way to get paid?
EPISODES MENTIONED IN THIS EXTENDED CUT:
- Ep. 346 – ESL Teacher Turned Travel Planner Sends Clients on Surprise Vacations: An elementary school teacher creates a for-profit service to “whisk away” travelers to surprise destinations
EXTENDED CUT #13: When to Let Go of Good Ideas
Ideas are like buses: there’s always another one coming. Yet so many of us hold on to ideas and projects long after we should let them go. In this special episode, you’ll learn 7 ways to know when it’s time to move on—and what you’ll gain by doing so.
Scarcity thinking is human nature. The fear of missing out (FOMO) can overtake all of us. This is not good because it prevents us from following up on what we already know is important, and also from being present and appreciating what we have.
It happens to me too. I’m getting better but it’s all-too-easy for me to hold on to something just because it’s familiar to me or because I don’t want to admit defeat or I’m just not able to see the forest for the trees.
I want to introduce you to a new way of thinking about this. If you can learn to take joy in letting go of opportunities, even good ones, what you’ll gain is far greater than whatever it is you’ll pass up.
You want to be able to jump on opportunities … but you also need to match an opportunity to your situation in life. You have limited capacity, especially if you’re like most of our listeners who have jobs and no shortage of other responsibilities.
You probably already know that this is a good idea, but because most of us have that FOMO ingrained in us, we’re still afraid to embrace it.
That’s why you need a reward! The benefits of letting go of good ideas include:
- You’ll gain more experience
- You’ll feel better
- You’ll likely be more successful
Even if two out of three: that’s a victory! Letting go of good ideas is a good exercise in thinking bigger and working smarter.
With that in mind, listen to this Extended Cut to discover 7 ways to know when you should let a good idea go!
EXTENDED CUT #12: How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review
Every year for the past decade, I’ve spent the better part of a week planning a series of goals for the next year. You can use this same method to live intentionally and accomplish the things that are important to you—here’s how.
RESOURCES & TOOLS MENTIONED IN THIS EXTENDED CUT:
- The Art of Non-Conformity | Annual Review: If you’d like to start your own Annual Review, here is a collection of all of the posts I’ve written about my process over the years
- Annual Review Template: Here’s a template you can use to start your own Annual Review!
EXTENDED CUT #11: Lessons in Podcasting
If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, what do you need to know? This special episode includes tips on marketing, content, gear, and more.
Why podcasting? From the perspective of getting your message out there and reaching people, it really is an incredible medium. It’s been a long time since podcasting came onto the scene (I still remember the first podcast I heard—The Accidental Creative—while volunteering in Ghana in 2006!). Since starting Side Hustle School and recording 300+ episodes, I’ve learned a few things.
RESOURCES, TOOLS, & GEAR:
- Transom.org: Tons of tips from the technical to the editorial aspect of things. A great place to start digging in
- NPR Training: If you want an answer to technical questions, journalistic ones, or otherwise, you’ll find many of them here
- Evernote, Google Docs, and Scrivener: Different writing tools I use to plan and prepare episode content
- Audacity: The free program that I use to record and edit my episodes for Side Hustle School (at least before passing to our ace producers at the podcast network I partner with)
- John Lee Dumas’s “Podcasting Lessons” series: A helpful course for those who would like a more step-by-step process.
- Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone, Audiotechnica Broadcast Stereo Headset, Behringer Direct Input Box, and Sennheiser HD 202 II Headphones : A complete list of the gear that I use to create the content for Side Hustle School. All of this comes with me on the road!
EXTENDED CUT #10: How to Market Your Book or Creative Project
Last month’s special episode looked at how to get a book deal. What comes next? Learn 11 ways to market your book or other creative project.
Last month we talked about how you can write a proposal and get a book deal, and this month, we’re taking a look at how you can market your book (or any creative project, really).
Let’s start with four important principles: 1. YOU are the marketer—not your publisher or anyone else, 2. Define your own success and set a goal, 3. Understand who your book or project is for, and 4. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Once you have these four principles down, it’s time to think about marketing your project! If you’re not sure where to start, here are 11 ways to market your book or creative project:
- 1. Give people a reason why they should order now. What is timely or important about it that they can’t wait to buy it a year from now, or even a week from now.
- 2. Recruit a street or launch team. A street team is a small group of people that you invite into your process that’s kind of behind the scenes. Use whatever platform you have (e.g. – blog, social media, podcast, etc.) to ask for people to join your street team and collect their information using a form builder like Wufoo.
- 3. Ask your publisher for galleys. Galleys are advanced copies of your book—often containing typos or formatting errors—that you can give out as an incentive for your super fans (street team) or anyone else that you’re hoping will support your book launch.
- 4. Ask 10 people to write a review of your book or project. And in the first week of launch, you may actually want to ask for more because there won’t be a 100% success rate. If your project is a book, two of the best platforms to do this on are Amazon and Goodreads, but this will vary for other creative projects.
- 5. Publish a sample chapter. Pick a chapter (it doesn’t have to be the first chapter) and give people a taste of your new book online.
- 6. Do podcast interviews. Podcast interviews are a great way to reach a lot of people! With so many podcasts out there these days, you can score an interview on at least a couple even if you aren’t well known. Bonus: Ask the hosts whose show you should go on next and see if you can make a connection.
- 7. Write guest posts for blogs. As with #6, blogs are always a great way to get your project out there. These days, they aren’t quite as influential (unless you can find your way onto a platform like Lifehacker), but it’s still a worthwhile option if you enjoy writing.
- 8. Create resources for purchasers. If your project is book-related, ask them to register their copy. This is great for a couple of reasons: 1) it creates a stronger sense of urgency, and 2) you have the opportunity to continue to communicate with them.
- 9. Host events. Host some events or meet ups (you can use something like Meetup.com) that allow your fans to connect with you in a new way; it also encourages them to bring a friend which helps you get more fans.
- 10. Give out a personalized gift. My friend, Gretchen Rubin had this awesome idea once where she sent out signed bookmarkers for anyone who asked for one on her website. This is a nice, personal touch that goes a long way without costing you too much.
- 11. Get creative! There are all kinds of things you can do (like Donald Miller’s branded bullhorn for his new book, Building a Story Brand), so brainstorm some unique ideas of your own.
EXTENDED CUT #9: How to Get a Book Deal & Write a Book
If you want to write—and sell—a book, there’s a process you need to follow. This extended episode will help you get started!
Once you find your message, your next step is to get a book deal. In order to do that, you need a book proposal, so we’ll talk about four main things: writing a pitch, acquiring an agent, putting together a proposal, and finding a publisher/editor.
- 1. Writing a pitch. To start, the pitch is very vital to the process, and you need to be able to answer why your book is important and what it’s going to do to change the world. The pitch is on the shorter side running from a few sentences to a paragraph or two, and it needs to be memorable and specific. You want it to be something that people get excited about when they hear it, and it’s what will help introduce you to agents and anyone else who can help you in this journey.
- 2. Finding an agent. Do you really need a literary agent? In most cases, I believe that the answer is “yes.” If you are self-publishing or moving forward with a publisher who utilizes an internet model, then you may not need one, but if you’re looking to go the more traditional route with getting your book on a physical bookshelf, you’ll greatly benefit from a literary agent. A good agent is a translator and an advocate who is a go-between for you and your publisher.
How can you find one? There’s a resource called Publisher’s Marketplace which contains a directory of pretty much every literary agent that works with major publishers (Note: some info is free and other info is only available after paying for a monthly membership). You can also used LinkedIn to see if there are any literary agents connected to people that you already know, and you can frequent events where literary agents gather at (like SXSW, Burning Man, or even WDS!).
- 3. Writing a proposal. I don’t want to sugarcoat it—this part can be really challenging. A book proposal is its own form of writing, so plan for more time than you think you need and more drafts than you expect. It will likely be at least 20 pages long and is a key part of how books are made.
First off, you need a strong introduction (1-4 pages) that clearly states why this book is important, and you want to make sure that you’re happy with that before it goes out.
Next is a section that is for approach and methodology—or how you’re going to write the book—including a table of contents and an example chapter or two to get a sense of your writing and approach. Include comparable books to the book you’re looking to write. Highlight your social media following or the social media following of your connections. Lastly, include a marketing strategy (few paragraphs to a couple of pages)—what will you do to get your book out there and successful?
- 4. Finding a publisher. Once you’ve put together your proposal, it’s time to find a publisher! This is where having a literary agent really comes into play because they’ll start taking your proposal around to various publishers trying to find interested parties. You may receive a little bit of rejection in the beginning (I did), but you have to remember that rejection is not always personal. They may have a similar project making it a conflict of interest or they may like some part of your book but not something else. Use this experience as a learning opportunity!
EXTENDED CUT #8: How to Recover from a Side Hustle Disaster
This special episode features a personal story from me, along with four tips for making the most of an unexpected crisis.
Disasters happen, but that doesn’t mean that you have to throw in the towel! Here are four tips that you can use in the event of a side hustle disaster:
- 1. Triage—a fancy word for prioritizing. Separate all of the other stuff from what absolutely needs to happen. It can be really overwhelming to think of the twenty different aspects to the problem, but there are probably three or so aspects that are the most critical of all. Identify those three aspects (of whatever that is) and direct your attention there first and worry about the rest later.
- 2. Make a list. Don’t try and keep all of this in your head. Write down immediate actions as well as your biggest concern or fear. If you’re starting to think about solutions, write those down too. Write down a list of people you can talk to—people who can help!
- 3. Make a recovery plan. And when I say “recovery,” I don’t mean for you, I mean if other people have been adversely impacted by this disaster (e.g. – your clients, customers, partners, suppliers, etc.). Ask yourself how you can rebuild those relationships, and try to identify a handful of practical action steps that you can take to begin to repair that relationship—one of which should be honest and open communication where you explain what happened and how you’re planning on fixing it. Build and maintain that trust!
- 4. Make a “getting back on track” plan. Now, this is your plan to move forward. Use this plan to help your turn this disaster into an opportunity to be even better than before.
EPISODES MENTIONED IN THIS EXTENDED CUT:
- Ep. 241 – Blogger Turns Leftover Cherries Into $5,000/Month Income: After being diagnosed with diabetes, a food blogger creates a sugar-free line of ketchup alternatives.
EXTENDED CUT #7: Pricing Your Product or Service
When you’re starting a new product or service, how do you know what to price it at? Good news: there’s a simple method you can use that will take you less than 10 minutes to apply.
If you’re struggling with pricing your product or service, here are a couple of quick highlights from this Extended Cut:
- 1. Ask yourself: what is your time worth? Nobody can answer this question but you, and you have to be honest with yourself regarding what you’re willing to accept for the time you put into your side hustle.
- 2. Set your initial prices on the higher end of the range that your customers are willing to pay. After all, if you can make more money for your time or product, why not see if it’s an option?
EPISODES MENTIONED IN THIS EXTENDED CUT:
- Ep. 23 – Guitar Teacher Sells Lessons on Craigslist and Makes $80/Hour: How a very busy, new father created a part-time hustle teaching guitar lessons for $80 an hour and has been able to turn it into a full-time income.
- Ep. 207 – Brooklyn Photographer Gets Paid to Throw Confetti at People: A former graphic designer turns a personal thirty-day challenge into a growing photography brand.
- Ep. 209 – Polish Bartender Makes Money While Drinking Beer: After being frustrated when setting up a bar for Virgin Atlantic, a Polish bartender living in the U.K. sets up an online shop to sell cocktail equipment.
EXTENDED CUT #6: The Million-Dollar Etsy Shop
Most Etsy shops don’t make money—or if they do, they make a small amount of money. But some make a lot of money. What separates them? This special episode takes a detailed look at the online storefront for a million-dollar Etsy shop whose full story is coming up next week on the show.
LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Hangout Lighting | Etsy: Browse the ‘Million-Dollar Etsy Shop’ while you’re listening to this month’s Extended Cut!
ETSY RELATED EPISODES & RESOURCES:
- 7 Steps to a Successful Start on Etsy: Starting a new business on Etsy can feel overwhelming. Find out how to make the process more manageable (and fun!) by following a few simple tips
- 4 Ways to Improve Your SEO and Increase Your Traffic: Here’s a quick look at how you can improve your Etsy shop’s visibity online
- Social Worker Turns De-stressing Hobby Into $2k/Month Hustle: A lifelong crafter who makes jewelry to cope with the stress of working in the mental health field launches an etsy store and gets her items featured on several major TV shows
- British Man Builds Terrariums for £600 Monthly Profit: An avid plant collector in the UK makes the most out of a temporary unemployment situation by building and selling glass terrariums
- IT Manager Unlocks the Secrets to a Successful Etsy Shop: Always up for a challenge, this IT manager discovers what it takes to stand out on Etsy, and creates a vintage antique style shop bringing in an extra $1,000-2,000 a month
EXTENDED CUT #5: How to Choose Between Multiple Ideas
Once you’ve learned the power of observation, being able to identify potential ideas is rarely a problem. The problem lies in knowing which ideas to choose at any particular time!
What do you do when you have multiple ideas? Here are a couple tips to help you get started:
- 1. Get clear on your goals. The idea that you choose should connect directly to those goals. There are a lot of different potential side hustle goals out there, so you need to know the outcome that you want.
- 2. Whenever possible, remove the pressure from the decision. It’s natural to feel a lot of pressure when making any kind of big career decision, but you should not experience that kind of pressure for a side hustle. It should be something that makes you feel secure.
SIDE HUSTLE SELECTOR:
If you already know the hustle you’re going to commit to during your month-long plan, great! But since a key part of hustling is learning to brainstorm and generate multiple ideas (just like you saw in the first week’s notes), it’s also important to learn how to compare ideas against one another in search of the best possible one at any given time.
Listen to the Extended Cut for a more in-depth look at these two tips + more information regarding the simple methodology for making decisions called The Side Hustle Selector.
EXTENDED CUT #4: Simple Marketing Plan
Imagine being able to connect with the people who want what you have to offer – you don’t have to persuade them or convince them – they are already pre-sold or at least pre-interested. They know that you can give them what they need. That’s what it’s like when your message connects with the right person or the right group of people.
So… how can you create a situation like that? It doesn’t usually just appear in the middle of nowhere. Listen to this episode for a four-step primer!
EPISODES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- “Cheap Plane Tickets” Site Becomes Million-Dollar Hustle: How a Washington, DC political analyst used research skills to help travelers save money while attracting 275,000 email subscribers and making more than $1M.
- Florida Man Earns $100,000 Selling T-Shirts with No Inventory: There’s more than one way to make a lot of money designing and selling t-shirts without actually keeping them on hand. In today’s story, an app designer earns six-figures with a print-on-demand service.
- Instagram Calligraphy Project Earns $9,000 in Year One: A corporate employee in Texas enters the online world of calligraphy and hand-lettering, then changes along the way to suit her strengths.
LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Later: Upload, schedule and manage your Instagram posts with this marketing platform for Instagram
- Hootsuite: This social media marketing and management dashboard helps you manage all your social media in one place.
- Buffer – Another social media dashboard that helps you schedule, publish and analyze all your posts in one place
- ConvertKit – At some point, you’ll probably want to collect email addresses from people. Not only will you want to collect them, you’ll also want to have them in some kind of program that allows you write them about your product or service. This is often the very next step in terms of launching your hustle to the world. I use ConvertKit, and I highly recommend them.
EXTENDED CUT #3: Build a Website in 90 Minutes
In this month’s special broadcast, you’ll learn everything you need to get your first website online—without stressing out, wasting your time, or spending a lot of money.
Follow this comprehensive tutorial, and you’ll have your new website up and running in 90 minutes or less!
LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- InMotion Hosting – If you’re starting up your website, you’ll definitely need a hosting plan. I use InMotion Hosting for all of my websites and highly recommend them because they offer 24/7 support and plans as low as $5/month.
- WordPress – I’ve been using WordPress since I first started The Art of Non-Conformity in 2008, and it’s even what I used for Side Hustle School.
- Shopify – Shopify is a great alternative to WordPress for those who are looking to sell an actual product or service.
- ConvertKit – At some point, you’ll probably want to collect email addresses from people. Not only will you want to collect them, you’ll also want to have them in some kind of program that allows you write them about your product or service.This is often the very next step in terms of launching your hustle to the world. I use ConvertKit, and I highly recommend them.
EXTENDED CUT #2: 9 Starter Ideas for Your First Hustle
If you’re just getting started in the world of side hustling, explore these different platforms and ideas, including Skillshare (teaching a class), Wyzant (tutoring), Etsy (selling handcrafted items), and 6 more.
Consider taking on the challenge to try out one of these platforms and see it through. There’s little to no risk, and you may learn some valuable lessons along the way.
LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Fiverr.com – Looking for an easy way to experiment with offering services? Testing out your ideas on Fiverr can help you develop your product or service (see Ep. 5)
- Upwork.com – Upwork is a fantastic resource whether you’re looking to test out your own services or find someone to help you get your side hustle off the ground.
- Fulfilled by Amazon – You can store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they will pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for all of your products. Best of all, FBA can help you scale your business and reach more customers (see Ep. 19).
- Etsy – The world’s largest homemade marketplace and ideal to help you get started selling your products today (see Ep. 6)
- Wyzant.com – Do you possess knowledge that others would pay for? Wyzant is a massive community of tutors that are matched to people looking to learn what you know (see Ep. 29). Helping people one-on-one
- Clarity.fm – Clarity is another website that is great whether you’re an expert or in need of one. Test your service in platform like Clarity before breaking off on your own.
- Skillshare – With thousands of videos spanning topics like mastering illustrations to mastering SEO, there’s plenty of ways you can share what you know with others or pick up a new skill.
- Highbrow – Pick up a new skill or create an online course yourself with this quick and easy service.
- CreativeMarket.com – Creative Market is a platform for designers and ideal for “mouse-made” design content and assets from independent creatives all around the world.(see Ep. 26)
- Society6 – If you’re artistically inclined, Society6 may fit the bill. You can sell your designs on a variety of items including laptop sleeves and travel mugs.
EXTENDED CUT #1: The Power of Observation
Where do hustle ideas come from? Short version: they’re everywhere! This episode was recorded live from Johannesburg, South Africa and shows you how to do two things to start coming up with ideas: first, pay attention. Second, ask questions.
Before your day is over, make a list of possibilities based on everything you’ve learned so far. Let me know what you come up with!
LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Cruise Vacation Turns Into Highly-Profitable Hustle: After searching for answers to questions about his first cruise, a copywriter decides to take matters into his own hands by creating an informative blog.
- 40,000 People Use This Web Developer’s Side Hustle Every Day:How a San Francisco commuter became part of the original iPhone launch with a hustle that now helps more than 40,000 people every day.