About 1.5 years ago, author and side hustler, Chris Guillebeau came to our hometown on his book tour of the book Side Hustle. At the time, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the term side hustle or even the concept. I left the event though with a new perspective on why side hustling is important and because of what he said we were inspired to take action. Since then, we have conservatively made at least $7,000 profit side hustling and it really goes back to that moment of inspiration. He recently came back to our local bookstore to present his book 100 Side Hustles and I was reminded of what an impact he had on us. It is too good though to not share with you so here is why you should listen to Chris Guillebeau and get a side hustle.
Chris Guillebeau is a name you tend to see around a lot whether you realize it or not. He is an author, podcaster, creator of the World Domination Summit and serial side hustler so it is possible you already know of him.
Google would probably associate him with the term ‘side hustle’ the most but I would argue that his impact goes much more beyond side hustles. Yes, that is the area he is labeled an expert in, but in his recent visit that we attended I saw someone who is very good at dealing with and empowering people. That is life changing for anyone that listens.
He started out his presentation by stating that he is essentially unemployable. The traditional path just didn’t work for him. Don’t let that fool you though. He is really someone who excels in self led projects and has figured out a way to not only cover his monthly expenses, but also become an industry leader. The traditional path was not meant for him and it doesn’t have to be for you either.
His presentations come off very simple and straightforward yet are effective. The topic of side hustling is clearly something he has been honing over the years and easily is able to provide pointed and specific answers to questions asked of him.
He Cares About His Audience
What impressed me most of all about him was in an exchange he had with a random attendee of the event. That person bravely shared their difficulties with depression, health issues and challenges regarding their life. In a very difficult spot, he was able to empathetically relate to the person, prop them up and directly answer their questions.
He gets it. This is real life and not just some feel good way for him to become famous.
On another note, both times he spoke he signed books and took the time to speak and take pictures with everyone in line. Both times we stood in line and just told him where we were in our journey. The second time he actually remembered us!
That previous book tour for Side Hustle was 100+ cities. I know he met much more remarkable people than us, so it is a true testament to him about how he cares for his audience and takes the time to get to know them even when meeting lots of people in relatively short amounts of time.
We shared with him our success this past year, but I also shared with him how I had an idea this last year that really meant something to me and I had become discouraged with it. Something he said during his talk made me realize that I need to complete that goal because it was important to me. Upon meeting him, he was sincerely able to relate to my frustration and it was encouraging to talk to him about it.
Once again, he gets it, and he makes personal connections with his audience.
Everyone Should Have A Side Hustle
One of the things that caught my attention in the first presentation I saw was when he said, “everyone should have a side hustle.”
As I have gone the traditional path of college (lots of debt!) which led to a traditional career I once balked at side hustling.
I was wrong.
There is nothing bad about the traditional path, but I was missing the many benefits of side hustling. It goes way beyond money, it is about the empowerment that it gives you.
Here are some of the reasons why he promotes side hustling so much.
- Provides you more than one source of income
- It creates assets that earn you money
- It is empowering to start a project and get paid for it
- Helps you find what you love
- It can be a creative outlet that excites you
- The risk is low
- It is a learning experience at worst
- It is something different from your day job
- You will expand your skills
The one that stands out to me is how empowering it can be to start a project and get paid for it. I realize that I have said the word empower multiple times so far, but it is an important one. When I mentioned earlier that we had made at least $7,000 in profit over the last 18 months it feels so much greater to me than just $7,000. It is not the same as making $7,000 at a day job. It is sooooo much better!
We made that money by coming up with an idea, making it and/or implementing it, and putting it out there. That is what is so empowering. It is different than going to work and completing a series of tasks.
A side hustle is yours and you can’t be replaced.
Where Do You Want To Be In 6 Months?
The most impactful question to me was when he asked if we looked ahead 6 months and saw that we hadn’t made progress on your idea how would you feel?
That very clearly told me exactly what my priority these next 6 months should be.
You should ask yourself the same question. Whether it be about your debt, a side hustle idea, your job or your health, your reaction to that question will tell you a lot.
From there, I encourage you to take action. Remember that feeling of you thinking that you hadn’t made progress on that topic and use that as motivation to move forward.
What Should Your Side Hustle Be?
Chris does a great job at breaking down how to find a side hustle. His book Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days is a how to guide from beginning to end.
He frequently gives the example of someone saying “I want to start an app.” He might ask them, “are you a programmer or software developer?” If the response is no, then maybe that isn’t for you. Find something that relates to your current skills, interests and strengths.
The idea is to provide value to other people and solve a problem for them. Maybe you can teach them something you specialize in or deliver a product that solves their problem. Find what people are searching for.
At the end of the day, a side hustle means that you create some sort of product or service. It doesn’t have to be a physical product though. There are so many options for digital products which is where I have had the most success.
By using some of the software I have learned to use at work, I was able to create finance related printables that I sell on Etsy which made us over $5,000 in profit in a little over a year. They can be sold an infinite amount of times while I focus on other things. It is great passive income for us.
Without getting too sidetracked, my friend Julie, who taught me everything I know about Etsy, is launching a course about selling Etsy Digital Downloads. If there is any course I would ever recommend, it is this one. I can honestly say that the instructions in this course have had a direct impact on my success in Etsy.
Etsy is a great marketplace to start a side hustle but if that doesn’t resonate with you, then don’t be discouraged, check out Chris’ book and see what develops.
The best thing you can do is to just start.
Forget about all the negative things we tell ourselves about how “side hustles aren’t for me” or “I’m just not lucky.”
We often can be our biggest detractor and hold ourselves back. Doesn’t that get old? I mean, we are the ones who end up suffering the most from that line of thinking but we have the chance to benefit the most from encouraging ourselves.
And let’s follow Chris’ lead and build up each other too while we are at it.
Life is too short to hold ourselves and others back.
P.S. In addition to the Etsy digital downloads course my friend Julie is launching, she also has 2 other courses that I highly recommend as well.
The Blogging For Profit course is a great introduction on how to build a blog focused on making money. While it tends to have the slowest growth, it can have the biggest upside for profit down the road. I can also say that I have learned a ton from Julie about blogging and have made more money because of what I have learned.
The Freelancing course is great for anyone that has skills that they want to take to the market and make money fast. Through sites such as Fiverr and Upwork, you can get paid for services such as freelance writing, audio editing, basic graphic design and more. Once you develop the skills, you can earn money at will. The course covers three of these skills in depth and guides you to land your first paying client.