Have you ever met someone and just instantly hit it off? Like you’ve known each other forever? Well, this month’s Side Hustler of the Month and I formed a relationship just like that! We met at a conference and had an instant, fun connection. Each year, he’s allowed me to speak at Ignite sessions (super quick 5 minute TED style speeches) at a conference that we both attend.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Eric evolve from doing flash mobs and and DJing as a side hustle while working a full-time job, to turning his third side hustle, blogging and writing into his new full-time career. Here’s Eric talking about his evolution from side hustler to full-time freelancer.
Name of Side Hustle: Which one?!?! I’m now a full-time freelancer (former side hustle). I also run Personal Profitability, Denver Flash Mob, Money Mola, Kosher Fish, selling a box of records I found on Amazon (up next, I might try a new app and Bitcoin mining)
Start Date: My first side hustle was selling coupon books as a Boy Scout around 1995. I was the number one seller in my troop most years, and paid for my summer camp, ski weekends, and other camping trips and activities from selling books. Not that my parents wouldn’t have paid, but it felt good to pay my own way in Scouting.
How did you pick your side hustle? Most of my side hustles came out of other projects and passions. For example, I started my first website and learned HTML building a fan website for pro wrestling in high school. I started blogging in 2006, but the real hustle began when I founded Personal
Profitability in 2008 shortly after leaving a job working in a bank.
Did you encounter any setbacks? I’ve had more than a few stumbles along the way, including losing about $1,000 on a reusable bag store website. I also lost most of my traffic to Google Panda and Penguin, but have persevered.
How did you fund your side hustle? I made the uneducated and bad decision of forcing my side hustles to pay for themselves. I started with a free .blogspot.com domain (MISTAKE!) and waited until it made $10 to buy a domain. If you really care about your business, put in the $50 for a domain and hosting right from the start, even if your day job has to subsidize it.
How did you find a venue? The internet is everywhere! I can hustle anywhere with high speed internet and my laptop.
When you were first starting out, how did you find clients? My first ventures were online, so I didn’t need specific clients and customers, it was all about reaching as many people as possible. But little did I expect my first paying writing clients and web development clients found me through that blog. I had no idea I was writing my new resume at the same time I was hustling until years later.
How are you marketing your business? At this point, my old side hustle is my primary income so I have to work hard to keep the income levels up. I get most of my new clients through networking in some fashion. I go to conferences, get connections through people I know, and sometimes get lucky enough for a new client to cold email me asking about hiring me. For my blog, I’m using a combination of social media, email, public speaking at
live events and conferences, and telling everyone who will listen to me.
How much side income have you made? I started tracking my online income publicly online in 2012. In the years since, I have made $184,663 through 2016 and $45,709 so far this year (revenue). That is $230,372 in online revenue! Check out my income reports here: https://personalprofitability.com/online-income-tracker/
Where is your business now? I’ve made $10,000+ per month in online revenue for 7 of the last 8 months. This has been an amazing success and I am working hard to keep it going. No one became a six-figure hustler being lazy!
What was the most important thing you learned? If you are willing to work hard, get educated, and spend time learning every single day, you can absolutely reach six-figures online. I make more than I did from my old day job as a Senior Financial Analyst at a big company, so that is saying something. No one will do the hard work for you. Nothing will happen while you sleep. It takes hustle, but you can do it if you stick with it.
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