Side Hustle Spark 179: ‘Ask Chris Guillebeau’–Go ahead, ask him!

A quick post for the weekend of January 16-17:

Chris Guillebeau invites visitors to seek his advice.

From the page:

  • Is my side hustle idea a good one?
  • When do I make the jump from freelance to full-time?
  • How do I get my service in front of the best possible audience?

You may well get some published/podcasted feedback AND your gig’s exposure to a very wide audience.

Side Hustle Spark 178: Build these skills! (One pep talk, ten expert voices.)


A major thanks to Evan Carmichael for assembling this advice collection from the following:

  • Warren Buffett
  • Mark Cuban
  • Simon Sinek
  • Bishop T.D. Jakes
  • Robin Sharma
  • Iyanla Vanzant
  • Mel Robbins
  • Priyanka Chopra
  • Arianna Huffington
  • Meryl Streep

Considering there have been over 5, 600,000 views since its 2017 posting, I’m thinking this deserves a weekend’s worth of viewing. I know, I know, sounds like a wimped-out excuse for skipping posts for the next two days, but honestly, I’ll probably be running this in the background while I decide what to do with the satellite dish I finally–after three years, maybe four–dismounted from the roof. (I noticed none of the speakers mentioned DISH-removal in their talks. I’m guessing Evan will have a whole separate episode on that.)

Happy listening and let’s see if we can’t all find some room in our lives to apply the advice that best works for us.

Side Hustle Spark 177: Daniel Pink’s Jedi Mind Tricks

I was recently looking for YouTube videos for side hustlers and up came Daniel Pink’s four minutes on How to Persuade Others with the Right Questions video from the Big Think channel.

Key point: “When people have their own reasons for doing something–not yours!–they believe those reasons more deeply and adhere to the behavior more strongly.”

In a side hustling context, say a potential customer is an almost lost cause. Ask him/her ‘What would it take for you to at least hear a 10-second pitch from me?’ or ‘What is the biggest obstacle to your considering my request?’.

And more from Daniel Pink: a quote from his book To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

This post contains one affiliate link. If you use the link to buy the Daniel Pink book, I will earn a commission and I’ll be that much closer to buying that unclaimed island in the Caribbean. Thanks. Please don’t ask for the island’s coordinates. It’s mine and you can’t have it.

Side Hustle Spark 176: Chris Guillebeau (Side Hustle School) advises on a personalized journal

As I’ve said before, I could probably just hitch my wagon to and pinpoint good stuff from certain folks or sites.**
Copyblogger, Side Hustle Nation, and come to mind.
And then there’s Chris Guillebeau of Side Hustle School whom I’ve followed since 2014.

Because I’ve also dabbled with a journal prototype, I found a recent episode of his podcast even more relevant than usual.

As Chris points out in the opening, you may have no interest in producing and selling a personal journal, but many of the steps–his word, ‘pathway’– apply to other projects.

Here is the direct link to the actual seven-minutes of audio.

His key points:

  • Projects like this come down to a. design b. printing and c. marketing.
  • Look to team up with designers/contractors [Upwork and Fiverr].
  • Printing options: local, national, or international. At one point, he did use
  • International printing may be cheaper, but adds variables like lag time [shipping].
  • His advice: For a first project, avoid international printing.
  • Marketing: Think about marketing from the beginning of the project.
  • It’s not just about the product, it’s about the message.
  • Start with message, then explore design.
  • Copyright? Everything that you make on the Internet is automatically copyrighted. It doesn’t mean it won’t be snagged by lazy, low-life toads. [My term, not Chris’s. He’s much more diplomatic than I am.]

Here is a three-page PDF of my own journal prototype–two actual pages that I would have duplicated and a page of links.

** But where’s the fun in that?

Side Hustle Spark 175: Nick Loper (Side Hustle Nation): Site Startup to Site Selloff

The year was 2011.

Side Hustle Nation’s Nick Loper had an idea: Add to his existing expertise in the virtual assistant space and build some affiliate income.

And so was born.

Year 1: $1000 in earnings. That was enough to convince him this was a viable idea.

Here’s his story.

His post/outline of his story offers plenty of value, but running the full 46 minute podcast is well worth your time.

Just a few takeaways…

  • What worked well–early on–was ‘trying to crowdsource a critical mass of honest user reviews’.
  • “One thing that did work on the SEO front was not a lot of people were creating dedicated content about hiring on these different platforms.”
  • Close to 90% of his traffic was organic.

Pete McPherson from Do You Even Blog plays guest-host and steers Nick’s review of the 9 1/2 year process.

Pete’s own takeaways from the interview:

  • Patience. You’re in it for the long haul.
  • Scratch your own ‘niche’.
  • Diversify your income streams.

**As always with Nick’s podcasts, if you’re short on time, I suggest using his convenient table of contents to guide your listening.

My Manifesto

Side Hustle Spark 174–: ‘The Playbook’

One of my favorite parts of curating is finding good new ‘stuff’. (Sorry, that word just works for me, no matter how inelegant or generically lame it sounds. Yes, it’s lazy, but hey, it’s one less syllable than ‘content’ and it covers a lot of ground. Okay, in the time it took me to–fancy word alert!–bloviate on that, I could have found a more effective word than ‘stuff’, right? Now that I’ve completely lost you…

It’s always a plus in my day when I come across a new voice with clear, often unique, ideas to add to the curation.

S. Anthony Iannarino of has one of those voices and offers this ‘side hustler’s playbook’.

Even if you’ve read or heard these suggestions, I think you’ll find the succinct explanations to be affirming.

Other interesting posts by Iannarino…

My Manifesto

Side Hustle Spark 173: A Side Hustle Reading List

Most of us have a favorite book that spurred us to explore this side-gig world.

I went to Quora to track down a discussion of favorite side hustle books and clicked to this page by Sushen Jamwal, where he offers quick summaries and convenient links to previews and to Amazon.

Hovering questions: Aren’t you leaving out [name your favorite side hustle book/author]? Aren’t there more recent titles?

Well, I’m glad you asked that…whoever you are. I’ll further explore.

For now, here are the authors from Sushen’s list: [They’re also listed among my tags.]

Side Hustle Spark 171–: Freebie from Side Hustle Nation: How to Start a Side Hustle Blog

Since January is often about ‘starting’, take a look at Nick Loper’s free six-part video series on blogging.

Even if your blog is well-established, Nick raises salient points and shares worthwhile tips.

The six components:

  1. 4 Reasons to Start a Blog
  2. Don’t Call It a ‘Blog’
  3. 8 Ways Blogs Make Money
  4. What to Blog About
  5. How to Get Your Site Online
  6. How to Install WordPress

Added freebie: The lead magnet 365 Blog Post Ideas.

Note: There are plenty of blogging experts out there, including Ryan Robinson of, whom I’ve pointed you to several times.

My bias as a long time teacher: One expert’s approach may fit your needs and learning style better than another’s.

And what you bring to the course at any given time makes a big difference…so again, I’m trying to set the table. It’s up to you to grab a plate and dig in.

Best of luck. I’m in your corner.

My manifesto

Side Hustle Spark 170: How about ‘new WEEK’ resolutions?

Side hustlers are, understandably, driven by goals. And in January, New Years resolutions–whether vilified or acclaimed–top the list of goal-related topics.

I liked this post on keeping your resolutions, though, to ease the pressure, maybe just view them as ‘new week resolutions’.

See how they fit over the next seven days.

  1. Clarify and honor your values. For the side hustle I’m working on, it’s about sending support to others.
  2. Frame goals and your life in positive terms. The post mentions gratitude as one of those ‘positives’. I’m grateful right now that I’m using older, but still working, backup tech tools as my cranky prime laptop has been given a ‘timeout’.
  3. Change your environment to make it easier. This very much reminds me of one of James Clear’s suggestions in his Atomic Habits book. For me, it’s setting out my work folder on the table that I pass by 20 times a day. If it was tucked away in my ‘quiet workspace’, I could go a day without even seeing it. It paid off yesterday with a productive half-hour editing session on a piece I’d avoided for weeks.
  4. Be prepared with ‘if-then’ strategies.
  5. Use a gradual approach. This tests my patience muscle, doesn’t it? But, as Chris Guillebeau, and many others, espouse: One small step each day pays off.
  6. Imagine rewards and then enjoy them. (Oh, yeah, right now I’m seeing a steaming mug of Italian roast, its steam wafting over a chocolate chip-hazelnut scone…Excuse me, I’ll be back in a minute…or ten.)
  7. Be kind to yourself, even during setbacks. (This might require one of these ‘imagined rewards’ on a small scale. Muffins and scones, be on alert!)

This post contains an affiliate link. If you use this link to buy the Atomic Habits book, I will earn a commission and I’ll be that much closer to buying that unclaimed island in the Caribbean. Thanks. Please don’t ask for the island’s coordinates. It’s mine and you can’t have it.