Like many people, Nick Loper used to work a full-time job that didn’t excite him.
Unlike most people, Loper decided to escape his uninspiring work life.
First, he launched a shoe-comparison website that began collecting side income. Over time, this side project grew increasingly profitable, until — finally — he thought he could run this website full-time.
Loper quit his job.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
Within days, Loper’s website lost 80 percent of its search traffic and advertising revenue. Loper found himself both unemployed and without a viable business.
He spent several months correcting course, making his business solvent again. More importantly, he learned the importance of creating multiple streams of income.
Loper launched multiple small side businesses in order to diversify his income. Some succeeded; others quietly fizzled out. He made enough ‘small bets’ that he wound up with a handful of winners.
Today, his income comes from a cacophony of different sources. He’s diversified.
Loper joins us on this week’s episode to explain how to develop a “side hustle,” a small micro-business that provides a supplemental source of income.
Here are some of his suggestions:
#1: Tap the Sharing Economy
We’ve heard about Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Instacart and TaskRabbit — popular ‘sharing economy’ platforms that allow people to turn their car, home and/or time into extra cash.
But beyond those obvious examples, there are plenty of sharing-economy websites that niche down into higher-paying specializations, such as:
Turo.com — A website in which you can rent your car; no driving required. You make money from the asset, not from your time.
EatWith.com — A dinner-party-hosting website ideal for people who are skilled cooks, chefs, or party hosts, but don’t necessarily have the capital to start their own restaurant.
“Each of these is a little mini-search-engine,” Loper says.
2. Freelancing / Expertise-Based Businesses
The stronger your expertise, the more money you can potentially earn. After all, you’re not just selling your time; you’re selling your knowledge.
Websites that help people profit from their expertise include:
- TheExpertInstitute.com — A website where attorneys look for expert witnesses.
- Thumbtack.com — A website for service professionals, from CAD designers to nutritionists to CPR training.
- Wyzant.com — A website for expert tutors in every subject from calculus to piano.
- Clarity.fm — A website for on-demand coaching or consulting from experts.
Loper outlines two models for selling physical products online:
- The Retail Arbitrage Model: Under this model, you find and flip items online.
- The Private Label Model: Under this model, you design, manufacture, package and import your own product.
Loper dives into details about all of these side hustle opportunities — and also describes the biggest mistakes that he sees entrepreneurs and wantrapraneurs make — in today’s episode.
- Side Hustle Nation
- 200 Sharing Economy Platforms
- #34 – How I Built a Six-Figure Online Store, with Steve Chou
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