Side Hustle Nation - Invest in Yourself

Side Hustle Nation – Invest in Yourself


Today on the Financial Independence Podcast, Nick Loper from Side Hustle Nation joins me to talk about the importance of investing in yourself, why you should diversify your income streams, and how creating your own side hustles can help make your journey to financial independence shorter and more enjoyable!

As Nick’s clever podcast slogan states, “Your 9-5 May Make You a Living, But Your 5-9 Makes You Alive!”

Based on my experiences with side hustles over the years, I couldn’t agree more.

Now that I’m getting ready to leave my full-time job, I’m glad I have other enjoyable projects to fill the void and the fact that these fun hobbies also provide some additional income and will reduce the amount I have to withdraw from my portfolio is the icing on the cake!

Hopefully my interview with Nick inspires you to create your own side hustle!

Listen Now!

  • Listen on iTunes
  • Stream audio file here
  • Download MP3 by right-clicking here

Bonus

After we finished the interview, Nick mentioned that he lost quite a lot of money after buying an online business.

Since I’ve talked about buying websites and investing in online businesses a few times on the show already, I asked him if I could ask him a few questions about his experiences to learn what happens when things don’t go according to plan.

He graciously agreed so if you’re interested in hearing how he lost $10,000 by buying a website that now earns nothing (and the lessons he learned from the experience), enter your details below and I’ll send you the mp3!

Highlights

  • Why you need to diversify your income
  • How Nick got his start selling shoes online
  • The importance of investing in yourself and your business
  • Why a low barrier to entry means you should just give it a shot
  • Focus on the three Cs – Creation, Connection, and Contribution
  • Why fientists can take more risks and be more speculative
  • How to start a side hustle
  • Why you should tap into existing marketplaces

Show Links

Full Transcript

Mad Fientist: Hey! What’s up, everybody? Welcome to the Financial Independence Podcast, the podcast where I get inside the brains of some of the best and brightest in the personal finance space to find out how they’re achieving financial independence.

Today on the show, I have Nick Loper from SideHustleNation.com. I actually met Nick at a conference back in Charlotte last year. We had a good chat over some beers. I was excited when he agreed to come on the show because I realized that side hustles are actually something I’ve not really talked about much, but they could play a huge part in someone’s path to financial independence.

For example, if you could generate $500 a month doing something that you enjoy that you could continue into your early retirement, that’s $150,000 less that you have to save before you could potentially quit your job.

Plus, if you create a side hustle that you actually enjoy doing, that’s something to do after you leave work. It’s probably a difficult thing to go from working full-time down to not having to work at all. So, having something there that you enjoy doing that gives you purpose, that’s a great thing. That would likely ease your transition into early retirement.

So, yeah, without further delay, Nick, thanks a lot for being here. I really appreciate it.

Nick Loper: Well, thanks so much for having me.

Mad Fientist: So, my audience may not know too much about your site. It’s not really in the finance space. It’s more in the entrepreneurial space. So, could you just tell a little bit about yourself? How did Side Hustle Nation come about?

Nick Loper: Side Hustle Nation is all about earning job-free income, trying to build yourself an extra income stream outside of your traditiona 9 to 5 employment. It came about because that was my experience in entrepreneurship. I was trying to figure out an escape path from the corporate world. And it was a comparison shopping site about footwear. That ended up being the vehicle that let me early retire. There were lots of ups and down in that business, but it had a great run.

And so after a bit of soul-searching, I figured out what do I want to be known for if people googled me. I’m really excited about that prospect of helping people start something on the side.

The traditional entrepreneurship narrative is go raise venture capital, quit your job, jump off this cliff into the unknown. I was like, “No, you don’t have to do that. There’s a safer way to get started.”

Mad Fientist: That’s excellent, yeah. No, that never appealed to me, the standard entrepreneural path. But yes, Side Hustle is just an amazing, amazing thing for people in general, especially for people pursuing early financial independence.

So, before we dive into the shoe business, what did you do before that?

Nick Loper: This was right after graduation. I got a corporate job with Ford actually. I was helping their parts and service division try and sell more parts I guess. I’m working as a liaison between the manufacturer and the dealer.

Mad Fientist: Alright, okay. So, how long into your career did you start trying to get a side hustle going?

Nick Loper: Immediately. And thankfully, I had actually started a little bit even before graduation. And so, I had this little thing on the side. I was maybe $200 and $300 which just about covered my rent in college which I was really, really excited for. And it kind of grew from this.

So, what this was at the time was like tiny, tiny text inks, ads for specific models of shoes. I don’t know if this is still allowed in Google, but it would say, “Okay, if you’re looking for this model of shoe, here’s somebody who’s selling it” and I’d put my affiliate link in there. And so if anyone bought, I would get a commission on that.

And I started out with a budget of $1 because I was poor. I was in college. I was trying to figure out this stuff. But that was how I kind of validated the idea. And then, realizing the only way to scale that up would be to have an actual site.

It was a pain to figure out which site has the best deal, who should I link to? My theory was, “Hey, if I had a site that aggregated all the different stores, those rankings would automatically update. People could chose from there.” Ups and down to that model because it added an extra intermediate step. But it ended up having a pretty good run.

I actually ran that site from its very early, early days, those text-linking days, in 2014. And I actually shut the site down last summer in 2014. So, I had an almost 10-year run selling shoes online.

Mad Fientist: That’s amazing. Now, how did you pick that idea? You had a problem finding cheap shoes or did somebody tell you this is an issue? How did you come up with it?

Nick Loper: I wish I could tell you that, that I was like, “Man! One night late at night, I was searching for shoes and I just couldn’t find them.” And I actually interned with a company in Seattle that was one of the pioneering online footwear retailers. At the time, I was like, “People buy shoes online? Wouldn’t you want to try it on? This is a weird business.”

That was my first introduction to e-commerce, to affiliate marketing, to Google SEO, to pay-per-click advertising and all that stuff.

And so, footwear is a very high margin product, so they have relatively high commissions and was able to – my theory was the comparison shopping site that existed in that day were trying to be everything to everyone. And so, their algorithms weren’t very tight. And so, my theory was, “Hey, I could provide better search results, better user experience in the existing sites and work directly with the advertisers, with the retailers to hopefully negotiate some better deals or some exclusive offers.”

And then, my final theory was that, “Hey, if people are searching specifically for shoes and they see a site that says ‘shoes’ in their domain name, they’re going to say, ‘Hey, this might be more relevant to my search than PriceGrabber.com’ or something.” They’re more general.

Mad Fientist: So, how long before you were able to quit your full-time job? How long did it take to build it up to something that would sustain you?

Nick Loper: I stayed at it for three years. I probably stuck around longer than I needed. But I wanted that extra little bit of validation before it was “safe”, before making that leap. I wanted to have a track record of earnings. I don’t forget my metric. I want to have 6 or 12 months where it meets or exceed either my day job income or it meets or exceeds our fixed expenses or something like that, just to have a little bit of a buffer, have a little bit of a track record.

And the sad thing is none of it ended up mattering because on the first day of self-employment, my first day of, I call it, my retirement, Google decided to shut down my entire advertising account…

Mad Fientist: Whoa!

Nick Loper: They said, “Hey, this is a low quality site. We can’t have this on our network.” I was like, “What are you guys talking about? You had no problem in the past. Two years, what is going on?”

Mad Fientist: No way! That must have been a big shock and terrifying if you had just quit your job and you’re relying on this 100% for your income.

Nick Loper: Yeah! So, with Side Hustle Nation, one of the common themes is if you’re relying on one source of income, that’s a risky position to be in. And the sad thing was I found myself in the exact, same position as an entrepreneur on that first day. Not only was I relying on one source of income, but I’m overwhelmingly relying on one source of traffic.

And so it took one summer, it took three months to get back in their good graces, make some tweaks to the site. And you know what they finally came back with? “Oh, it looks like we made an error. You’re fine. You’re good to go.” I was like, “That was a really expensive and a really stressful error. Come on, guys.”

Mad Fientist: Oh, man! That’s brutal. That’s a great point though. Don’t rely on one single source of income. And the same goes true for people that have a career, a normal salary because as we’ve seen over the last 10 years, that could disappear just as quickly as Google made your site disappear I’m sure.

Nick Loper: Yup.

Mad Fientist: So, what did you do in those three months to get it back up and running? Did you look for other sources of traffic or…?

Nick Loper: So, I think part of this is algorithmically-based. They said, “Hey, the purpose of your site, you only exist to drive traffic to other sites,” which was true. I wouldn’t get paid unless somebody went to another site and bought shoes. I was like, “Google, who are you to judge? The sole purpose of your search engine is to drive traffic to other sites.” And at that time, they just bought this comparison shopping network and I’m like, “Clearly, you see the value in this kind of thing, but you kind of want the piece of pie for yourself.” I was like, “Fine! Whatever.”

But part of the algorithm, my guess was the percentage of internal links versus external links on that site. So, if somebody hit a landing page and there are 50 different shoe stores, every link is pointing out to go to different shoe stores versus internal navigation, “Here are some similar shoes in this category. Here are some similar shoes in this price range. Here are some boots that you might be interested in.”

So, we added a bunch of internal links to kind of balance out those external links. I’ve added some template-driven content to the bottom of the page to try and – I don’t think they were really fooled by it, but try and add a little bit more meat to the page to say, “Hey, look. This is more than just straight-up comparison site.”

We added some cool tools like – so the eventual version of the site was called Shoe Sniper. We invented this sniper tool where it was like, “Hey, these shoes are $80 today, but I would really love it if you would send me the email when it hits $60.” So, I invented this sniper feature or price alert feature. I would say, “Hey, pick whatever price you want, and we’ll send you an alert when it hit that price.”

Mad Fientist: Nice! So, you had the scare where you thought maybe this would not work out if you can’t get back on Google’s good books. So, did you start diversifying a bit? Did you think about creating new sites? When did actually Side Hustle Nation come about?

Nick Loper: That didn’t come about until probably about four or five years later. The reason was I was kind of heads down working on the shoe business and a handful of other projects. But that lesson of trying to diversify definitely hit home.

And so now, I probably have eight or ten different income streams at any one time. It’s not to say that all of them are full-time job-replacing deals (because most of them aren’t), but it’s kind of fun to have all of these different things going on. And that’s been fun from the standpoint of being able to share these different stories and experiments with Side Hustle Nation and interview all these other people who had crazy part-time business stories and see what they’ve managed to do on the side.

Mad Fientist: Yeah. I happen to have a bunch of little things that actually do add up quite quickly. And it’s suprising how you have these little tiny projects that are just producing a little bit a month, enough of those will add up to something significant.

And your wife, she also has side hustles as well, is that correct?

Nick Loper: Yeah. So, she’s an engineer by day and a photographer by night. So, she started with her friend a wedding photography business. She started out as a hobbyist (as pretty much any business does. “I’ve got to learn this skill somewhere, so I could start as a hobby.”) And one night, I don’t know if wine was involved, they got up the nerve to post an ad on Craigslist. I was like, “That’s the dumbest idea ever. Who’s looking for photographers on Craigslist.”

And it turns out I was dead wrong because within the first few days, they had like half a dozen different inquiries. They immediately raised their price. And they were doing that because it’s like, “You’re kind of taking a risk on us. We don’t have much of a portfolio.” But they used that for a summer to build up that portfolio and they’ve raised their price probably like 15x since that very first ad (or actually, more).

And this year, they probably did 15 weddings. I think they have one more left this season. But it’s probably 14 or 15 different weddings. This summer, it’s just been a really cool side hustle. And the way math works out, it probably will never replace her day job income, but it’s something that she really loves to do and something that’s been valuable in terms of, “Look, I’m more than just my job title. I have worth in the world outside of what my company pays me.” I think that’s been helpful too.

Mad Fientist: Absolutely! And that’s a good point about hobbies. I’m actually on the lookout for a domain that’s expiring. One of the hobbies that I plan on pursuing more when I step away from my full-time job, I figured I’m going to be trying to learn about this anyway, I’m going to be doing a lot of studying, a lot of researching, so why not share that, what I learned as I do it, and then maybe that would turn into a side business down the road. That’s what the Mad Fientist is really. That was a situation where I was like, “I know I could get the financial independence quicker if I did a bunch of research, but I know I won’t do that research unless I have some sort of external motivation in having to do a post.” A new post every once in a while is a nice external motivation.

Nick Loper: There you go! People are counting on you.

Mad Fientist: Right, exactly. And that made me do all the boring research and reading all the text arguments that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. And so I got to financial independence quicker. I have this really cool thing that I built, I’m really proud of and it’s a lot of fun.

Nick Loper: And now, you’re in business, it opens up a whole new set of tax benefits for you.

Mad Fientist: Right, exactly, yeah. So, it’s just loads of unexpected bonuses that wouldn’t have come about if I didn’t just give it a shot.

And it sounds like that’s what your wife did. She just threw it out on Craigslist. And if it didn’t work, then who cares? It’s just a free ad on Craigslist. And that’s pretty similar to starting a site. Maybe add $10 for the domain and a little bit more for hosting. But really, the barrier to entry for side hustles are so low that it makes sense to just try it.

Is that what you found with talking to a lot of other entrepreneurs?

Nick Loper: I definitely think so. And even going back to the Craigslist, for example, somebody shared a guest post on the site a couple of months ago. And it was like, “Hey, I earned an extra $1000 a month cleaning houses.” And it just started like she had been through half a dozen entrepreneurship training programs, but they never took action. And so she’s sitting down with her sister one night and was like, “Fine! I’m just going to do this.” She puts up an ad and started getting inquiries right away. She was just like, “You know what? If you’re responsive and polite and professional, you’re immediately a level above everybody else who is out there from Craigslist.”

That spreads from word-of-mouth. It was a good story about putting yourself out there and taking action and doing that investment in yourself. The Craigslist ad is free, but the investment in the equipment or the investment in training is something that – I mean, you guys talk a lot about investing. But there’s another realm to it that’s outside of the markets. And so I try and preach about you can invest in education, you can invest in equipment, marketing software.

Another example in my wife’s business was a couple of venue-specific wedding fairs or wedding column – not like wedding shows…

Mad Fientist: Oh, yeah. I know what you mean.

Nick Loper: It’s like a mini-convention. You have 10 vendors and they invite people in. They serve food and wine and stuff. So, if it costs $200 or $500 to display at this thing, and you book three or four weddings off of that, that’s a fantastic return-on-investment.

I used to run a painting business back in college. We kind of finaggled our way into those Seattle home show. It was a $2000 investment which was really big and scary at the time. But we ended up turning that into like seven grand worth of sales.

You can multiply the money much quicker than at least I could in the markets.

Mad Fientist: Sure. That’s great advice. That’s actually something I struggle with still. I either want to try to do everything myself or it’s very hard to get money out of my hands even though I could potentially grow it even more.

So that’s definitely something I’ve been trying to work on. It’s great advice because I completely agree that the money that I have spent on things like that have been far greater return on investment than anything I’ve put on the market.

Nick Loper: Yeah, I’ve had my share of like total write-off losses as well. But I guess it’s higher risk, higher reward.

Mad Fientist: You’ve actually done a TedX Talk. I’ll link to that in the shownotes. I’ve really enjoyed your 3C’s, creation, connection and contribution. I don’t know how much you can get into it, but I was wondering if you could just talk a little bit about that because those three things on their own are extremely rewarding to do, but that’s sort of what you talk about as far as in the context of entrepreneurship as well.

So, could you just talk a little bit about that talk and what those 3C’s mean?

Nick Loper: Yeah, I was such a wreck before this talk (which I had volunteered for, so I was like, “Dude, why are you such a mess?”) They had it all mic’d up, they had the official TedX letters and the red carpet and the cameras and stuff. So, it was pretty scary. But I was able to get through it. It ended up being a pretty cool experience.

But the 3C’s of millenial entrepreneurship. I think they’re really applicable across any companies that the owners really enjoy the work they’re doing. The first is creation. People will ask, “Okay, what’s the most important skills for entrepreneurs?” Some people will say sales, and lately, I’ve kind of said, “The skill of learning new skill is really good.” But before any of that, it’s the skill of creation, to create some sort of product or service that people want to buy because without that, you don’t have anything to sell.

And so in the photography business, it was that initial hobby, that initial art of shooting good photographs. And in the shoe business, it’s like that initial website, building some sort of thing that’s a useful tool and asset for somebody or some product or service.

In terms of connection, this is like how are you communicating that with your customers? Is that some ad on Craigslist? Is that some Facebook group forum? Is that Google Ads in my case? Who are you serving?

And then, finally, the contribution, you can interpret this as like giving back not in a non-profit sense, but in a business sense. It’s like, “Who are you helping? How are you making the world a better place?” I’m helping thousands of people save money on shoes. Maybe it’s not the most noble cause in the world. And that was like another topic because the other TedX speakers were all working on crazy, life-saving, world-saving projects, and I was like, “I’m selling shoes.”

But in the wedding photography example, we’re helping people capture their – hopefully, their only wedding for the rest of their lives. So, it’s a cool contribution to make to these people’s lives.

Mad Fientist: Oh, it’s great. Yeah, it’s very important to keep an eye on all three. I made the mistake of thinking too hard about the first and the third and not understanding the connection that I created. I’m a software developer and I created this really cool tool that I thought was amazing. And then, I was very surprised when nobody found it naturally as – I thought, “I’ll build it, and they’ll come.” That’s how it works. But yeah, you need to figure out the connection piece as well.

Nick Loper: That’s the challenge, especially on the blog front. The blog and podcast front, everyone says, “Just write epic stuff and people will find it.” I was like, “Well, you have to get the ball rolling. Even in self-publishing or creating online courses, yeah, there are big marketplaces like Amazon and Udemy that you can tap into, but it’s on you to provide that initial momentum to get those marketplaces to start to notice you.

Mad Fientist: Yeah, absolutely. So, let’s think of a scenario. Imagine maybe one of my readers or listeners is nearing financial independence. Maybe they’re just looking for an extra $500 that would cover some supplemental spending. They’re just working their normal jobs and maybe will be quitting in the next year to – I think it’ll be a great idea to start something before you quit and have that momentum going into your early retirement. I’m sure you’ve seen a bunch of different side hustlers and you’ve done a lot of side hustling yourself. So, what advice would you give? Where could somebody start with that because it’s pretty daunting trying to think of something from scratch? Is there any way to help get that ball rolling?

Nick Loper: Yeah, it really is intimidating. But you got to understand everybody started from zero – followers, zero readers. It helps put things back in perspective.

So, the fastest way to get started is to just figure out some sort of skill that you have and some company that is in need of that skill. And you can start by doing that. By just looking through your resume, any job you’ve ever had, by definition, has a skill somebody thought was worth paying for. So, if you can take that to a freelance client, if you can take that on the road, that’s fantastic.

Now, if you’re already the person who’s nearing financial independence or you just need that extra little push to maybe accelerate things, you can definitely go that path. But you also have a little bit more freedom and flexibility to start some more speculative projects like writing that book, like trying to create these assets that you build once and they pay you over and over again.

Those, I typically don’t recommend for people just getting started because it can be a slower path, a more speculative path. But if you’re pretty much set financially, hey, why not work on something that you really, really care about that has the potential to help a ton of people rather than trying to do this one-on-one consulting type of work.

Mad Fientist: That’s a great point, the ability to take more risk and potentially have a much bigger reward, which yeah, a lot of people nearing financial independence are exactly in that situation.

Were there any themes that you’ve seen with some of the more successful side hustlers or is it really just a varied mix of just trying to provide value in many different ways in many different niches or is there some common themes?

Nick Loper: Definitely, some common themes. One of the common themes I see is tapping into existing marketplace. There are always going to be the appeal of having some massive audience of adoring fans that love you. You can work towards that.

But in the meantime, one of the most common themes I see is that leveraging these marketplaces that some other company has probably already raised venture for, has already created.

Amazon is a fantastic example of that, both on the self-publishing side, and lately, the hottest side hustle of the year. It’s what’s called Amazon FBA, fulfilled by Amazon business. There are kind of two tiers to this.

The first is sourcing products locally like on clearance. So, you can actually download the Amazon seller app (and I’ve been playing around with this this summer). You go into Walmart. Lately, I’ve had some luck at Best Buy and TJ Maxx and some of these stores. You go in and you try and find some item that’s on super sale locally that’s worth more online. You scan it with a little barcode reader and it will tell you what it’s selling for in Amazon, what it’s likely to fetch you after all their fees and stuff.

Now, that’s pretty labor-intensive. And there’s not a lot of skill involved in that.

The second tier up is actually importing your own products from China – or manufacturing your own products. You can manufacture them locally too if the market is there, if the margin is there.

I had talked to a podcast last year. This is actually the most popular episode of all time on the Side Hustle Show. he walked through and we found these onion goggles on Amazon. He was like, “Let’s go through categories.” We clicked on kitchen and home. We found these onion goggles which apparently prevent you from crying when you’re cutting onions. They’re selling for $19.95, $20.

And then, we went on Alibaba.com. It’s like a Chinese manufacturing/sourcing site. And we found the exact same picture, the exact same product, and they were like $1.50 for each or something. You can buy these just for $1.50 and maybe they’re going to be $3 or $4 by the time you get them shipped to the United States or something. And you can sell them for $20. That’s an interesting business.

And so he walked through a couple of examples. I have not yet pulled the trigger on any bulk import order, but I’m pretty excited by that opportunity. So, the ecommerce had just blown up.

The other marketplaces that I see are like Fiverr. I met a guy on Fiverr who earned enough to buy a house within the first year. This is the marketplace for services where everything starts with $5. I was like, “Dude, what could you possibly sell for $5?” He’s like, “No, no, no. It’s all about the upsells.”

So, he had everything set up. The $5 thing was some pre-created PDF or audio file or something. And then, he was like, “If you want the extra that involved my actual time, you can add that to the order.” I was like, “This is fascinating stuff.”

So, there’s that. There’s all the Craigslist stuff. Well, Craigslist is a top 10 site in the country, so there’s a huge amount of traffic there. If you have any sort of service offering, that’s a very inexpensive way to reach a ton of potential buyers.

What are the other marketplaces? Clarity.fm is one of my new favorite marketplaces. It’s like by the minute consulting service. So, I made $1300 or $1400 just talking to people on the phone. So, you set up a profile there, add in your areas of expertise, have a few friends or colleagues to call you to seed some initial reviews. And you’re off to the races there.

That’s one of the common themes I see. And the other common theme or pattern that I see is the transition from employee to part-time freelancer to full-time freelancer to agency. If I have enough margin built into my service, I can hire people underneath me to do the work. And now, I’ve kind of removed myself. I’ve built a system. I’ve built a process.

And then the next step beyond that for people who really take it to the next level is building some sort of product or software around that. “We’ve been in the business of serving real estate agents for the past three or four years. A common problem that we see is x. And so we built this software solution to specifically solve that.”

That’s the side hustle path, one of the paths that I see.

Mad Fientist: That’s really cool. And as you were speaking there, just thinking about all the different platforms and all the different opportunities, it seems like this is the best time ever to start a side hustle. There’s just so many different environments where you could potentially start and gain traction quickly.

Nick Loper: And even the Uber’s of the world, the AirBnB’s of the world, there’s this whole trend towards peer-to-peer commerce and this intermediation if you wanted it to sound fancy where this didn’t exist 10 years ago, 15 years ago. So, that’s a very cool opportunity.

Mad Fientist: It is really cool. What is the podcast you mentioned? I can put a link in the show notes for the fulfillment by Amazon.

Nick Loper: This is episode 84, so I’ll send you a link to that.

Mad Fientist: Cool! It’s good. I actually just listened to another one of your episodes with Brian Harris. And I thought that one was really good as well. He was just talking about ways you could start offering these services very quickly.

Find a blog that has a certain step-by-step guide for doing something that’s sort of complicated, and then just start approaching people that like that blog post and say, “Hey, I’ll do it for you for a fee,” which is a really unique approach, but a cool way to get started quickly.

And then, as you said in the episode, maybe then productized that service if you’ve gained enough traction along the way.

That pathway that you talked about as well, it’s just a great way to think about it. You don’t have to plan for your big multi-employee business from the start. Just each step, just start working your way down that path.

Nick Loper: Yeah, the episode with Brian is one of the most popular ones. Super smart dude. He just breaks it down step one, step two, step three. I was like, “Oh, my gosh! This is gold.”

Mad Fientist: Yeah, that was really good. I’ll link to that as well in the show notes.

But I usually ask all of my guest what’s one piece of advice you could give to someone maybe starting on the path to financial independence or maybe even getting close? Is there anything in particular you would offer?

Nick Loper: There are two ways to get rich – make more or desire less. I try and tackle that from both angles. So, I would say that as much as you’re investing in the markets, take a percentage to invest in yourself.

And the way I like to look at this is as a percentage of net worth. And so, if you have a net worth of $100,000 and you look at some start-up cost or something like that that’s going to cost $1000 or $5000, it’s a 5% bet at the max. So, if it goes belly-up, it’s a complete wash, you’re at 95% as well off as you were before.

You can probably live on 95% as much food, you can probably live on 95% as much oxygen as you are today. It’s not going to be a lifestyle-changer. And so, I try to think of risky decisions or investment decisions based on those little bets.

Mad Fientist: That’s great advice, yeah. Even if it fails, I’m sure you’ll learn a lot in the process and that will help you on the next one as well.

So yeah, people can find SideHustleNation.com. You have a podcast there. And I’m assuming they can get in touch with you by email potentially or…?

Nick Loper: By email, it’s just [email protected] We mentioned a couple of the most popular episodes. If you hit SideHustleNation.com/ideas, I have a whole laundry list of part-time business ideas you can check out.

Mad Fientist: Yeah, that’s really good actually. It’s up to 79 the last time I checked. I went through them all and there’s a ton of good ideas to get started. So, I’ll link to that as well in the show notes.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. And hopefully, a bunch of people start a side hustle and will have even more income once they hit financial independence than they’d even imagined. So, I really appreciate it, Nick. Thanks again. Talk to you soon!

Nick Loper: You bet! Talk to you soon.

Mad Fientist: Bye.

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7 comments for “Side Hustle Nation – Invest in Yourself

  1. Cody
    April 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Great interview, Brandon. Keep up the great work.

  2. April 4, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks so much for having me! Please feel free to reach out w/ any side hustle-related questions!

  3. April 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Great interview, and thanks for the transcript as always.
    My side hustle is definitely bringing a life-impacting change to me at this point: started from nothing, and now it’s providing almost half of my family expenses. I feel there are two ways to go about it: do something you’re passionate about, or do something that’s high margin. In my case, passion has always worked the best, even if my side hustle is in a very low margin field.

    • April 6, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Covering half your expenses is awesome! Nice work!

  4. April 5, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Awesome interview, both :)

    Alternative income streams are something that I find easy to miss out. It’s very easy to follow the traditional route of working one job and having just the one income stream.

    What I do wonder is if people tend to branch out into alternative income streams either as a shock to their lives (loss of a job maybe) or once they build up enough capital that they feel comfortable doing it. Is that generally your experience too?

    I also think people spend time building up their ‘career’ to the point where they make an ok hourly rate. Then they would feel cheapened almost doing a side hustle for what seems like small money.

    I’ve started building up an investment portfolio for the income that provides. I’ve had a couple of false starts at building other income streams…I’ll keep going until one kicks off.

    • April 6, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      That’s a good question. I think it varies. I certainly meet a lot of people who come into side hustling out of a position of necessity, but I actually think the other instance is more common — people looking to use their free-time more productively, work on something they care about, or start a business because they’ve always wanted to.

  5. April 7, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Two of my favorite minds to learn from coming together. Definitely going to have to bookmark this episode! I am fully convinced that you are absolutely correct that a single source of income is risky! People look at a job as so much safer than entrepreneurship, but I feel people don’t truly consider the risk of layoffs or your job becoming obsolete. Building up multiple income streams give you safety and keeps your skills sharp in a variety of areas. Great work guys!

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