Side Hustle Engineer
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- Learn How To Take a Side Job to the Next Level
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WHAT YOU NEED AND WHAT YOU DON’T
There are very few prerequisites to side hustling. To be successful in using this
model, mostly you need:
The right frame of mind.
Specifically, you need a willingness to learn and experiment.
The willingness to act.
Even though I’ve tried to write a very practical book, merely reading it
won’t do much for you.
• You don’t need much money.
Put away your credit cards (at least the ones with high limits) and don’t
worry about needing to raise capital or ask someone for a loan.
• You don’t need much time.
To be fair, you’ll need some time. But the time required to start a hustle
should be minimal.
• You don’t need a business degree or any kind of specialized
Most business education teaches people how to be a corporate manager,
which is fine if that’s what you do for your day job.
• You don’t need employees, assistants, or business partners.
You may want to get help at some point, but not right away.
You don’t need experience starting a business.
You don’t need to be an “entrepreneur” to start a side hustle.
A side gig/job has many benefits, but it all starts with the right plan. This first week of hustling will teach you how to create hustle ideas that actually make you money.
Think and forecast about your future.
GOAL #1: Make some extra mollah for a specific purpose?
GOAL #2: Replace the quality of life.
GOAL #3: Replace the money you make from your current job.
1. Get a bank account that’s just for your side hustle.
2. Similarly, get a separate credit or debit card you use only for expenses associated with your hustle.
3. Pay for everything you can upfront.
4. Set aside at least 25 percent of your hustle income for taxes.
5. Be fast with invoicing.
6. Whenever possible, insist on a written agreement for service work.
7. Legal structure: operating as a sole proprietor is perfectly acceptable for many hustles.
8. Right from the beginning, set up a very simple accounting system.
9. If at all possible, set aside a dedicated hustle workspace, even a small one, in your home or apartment.
10. Once you’re making money, pay yourself first.
1. Whenever possible, design your hustle with recurring revenue in mind. Why sell something once when you can sell it over and over? Recurring revenue isn’t possible in every hustle, but it’s a worthwhile point of consideration when comparing different ideas. If all other factors are equal and one idea offers the potential for recurring revenue—like a monthly membership, or regular, paid upgrades, that idea is likely your winner.
2. Consider offering pricing tiers, where customers can pay more to get more. It’s good to give people some amount of choice, but not too much. Have you ever been to a restaurant that has 150 different items on the menu, or one that offers many different types of cuisines? If you haven’t, you’re not missing much—it’s hard to make decisions about what to order, and the food at such places is rarely good. The same goes for creating offers. When it comes to pricing options, two or three choices is usually enough.
3. Be careful of being too clever, and leave the gimmicks to the home shopping networks. A seemingly clever “pay what you will” fad recently swept the world of online courses and e-books. This is not usually a good idea—it confuses your customers, and most will end up paying less than they would if you simply took the time to find the optimal price. Instead of having clever pricing, have a great product and a fair (fixed) price.
4. Don’t stray too far from market prices. Remember how Jake Posko, the guitar teacher, started out at $50 an hour and eventually moved to $80– $120 an hour. You may wonder why he didn’t keep moving it even higher. Well, as he experimented with different prices, Jake discovered that there was a natural ceiling for his new profession. No matter how awesome his “most awesome guitar lessons in the universe” were, $80–$120 was the highest acceptable range for guitar lessons in general. If he priced any higher, he’d lose clients. If he priced much lower, he’d lose money. After all, if you could keep increasing a price forever without customers dropping off, we’d all be running our side hustles from a mansion in Beverly Hills.