Side Hustle Spark 189: Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle Task Tracker

A while back, as a subscriber to his newsletter, I received Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle Task Tracker.

It’s a 27-page step-by-step guide taking you from idea generation to earning your first dollar to ramping up to earn that first 100, 1000, and, well, you know where I’m going with this.

Quick overview

WEEK​ ​I:​ ​Build​ ​an​ ​Arsenal​ ​of​ ​Ideas

WEEK​ ​II:​ ​Select​ ​Your​ ​Best​ ​Idea

WEEK​ ​III:​ ​Prepare​ ​for​ ​Liftoff

WEEK​ ​IV:​ ​Launch​ ​Your​ ​Idea​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Right​ ​People

WEEK​ ​V:​ ​Regroup​ ​&​ ​Refine

Highlights of the tracker:

  • Weekly recaps
  • Forms, checklists, and templates weaved in for convenient jump-starts. The guy is all about actions.
  • His conversational writing style

The tracker was a natural fit for this blog, but, technically, it was intended for his subscribers, so I asked Chris’ permission to share it. Here is his response:

Generally speaking I’m happy for people to have access to anything, anywhere, anytime. 🙂 
All best always,

Geeez, talk about hard-nose. ;->

Actually, his sincere and friendly response is not at all surprising. The guy’s a team player.

So, here is the Task Tracker.

And now, time for book recommendations…or shameless commercialism…or both. Okay, there are definitely book recommendations…

These seven books are go-to sources of inspiration and valued experience. These are affiliate links which, if you use to preview and buy the product, won’t raise the product’s price and will earn me a commission. At that point, I’ll be that much closer to buying that unclaimed island in the Caribbean. Please don’t ask for the island’s coordinates. It is mine and you can’t have it. ;->

These books cut across so many lines of productivity and accomplishment. Whether you use these links or go elsewhere, get your hands on these.

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 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 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 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.

Side Hustle Spark 159 — A Lessons Gold Mine from Side Hustle School

The graphic above offers just a sampler of the 36 lessons and 2 review sessions you will find at Side Hustle School’s Classroom Page. More to come, I’m pretty sure.

Each lesson consists of a detailed lesson summary and a link to the corresponding podcast episode.

At the risk of sounding not so eloquent, great stuff. As I’ve also noted about Copyblogger’s content, this is a book-on-a-page.

Keep grinding. You never know what sparks might develop!

Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

Side Hustle Spark 136: Experts’ excerpts

I know, I know, that’s a mouthful of a title. Sorry, I just had to. Don’t say it out loud and you should be fine…

Yesterday, I ran across‘s book excerpts section.
Lots of wisdom and experience from smart people in compact portions.

If my eyesight and concentration were ‘at one with each other’, I counted 156 different book excerpts.

Other authors include:
Srinivas Rao
Chris Guillebeau
Jen Sincero
Paul Jarvis

Other titles include:
Applied Empathy
Forging An Ironclad Brand
How We Make Stuff Now

The Right It: Why So Many Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed

Reminder: Don’t forget my suggestion in this post. Record yourself reading aloud ‘good stuff’ like these excerpts and listen to them while rearranging the silverware [yeah, like that’s ever going to happen in my house] or walking the dog [and that happens all too regularly].

A thought…An experiment: You give me the content and I’ll create an mp3 or slide show or video for you. [sidehustlecurator at gmail dot com].

NOTE: I’m not trying to throw shiny objects at you. Just alternative options and ideas from people who’ve ‘been there’.

Thanks for checking in.

Side Hustle Spark 134: Money Tree TV: 100’s of Side Hustle Ideas [Chris Guillebeau]

This was fun.

Chris Guillebeau streamed this slide show, entitled Money Tree TV: 100s of Side Hustle Ideas–complete with mellow music–on his Money Tree TV channel. He weaves side hustle ideas gleaned from his 1400 podcasts with occasional nuggets of advice and, appropriately so, a few promos of his book, The Money Tree. **

Just a thought: While you may have an entirely different approach to side hustle success, you have to give Chris credit for his versatile and ever-evolving strategies to reach listeners/viewers/readers. He IS a prime model for this niche.

Thanks for visiting. As always, check in with questions and requests at:
sidehustlecurator at gmail dot com

** Why do I link to Goodreads rather than Amazon?

  1. There is an easy link to Amazon from the Amazon-owned Goodreads page.
  2. I like providing you with some of the reader reviews.
  3. I like accessing quotes from the book. I just entered the following search string in my browser: goodreads the money tree Chris Guillebeau quotes

Side Hustle Spark 133: How to avoid ‘stuckness’: Chris Guillebeau

Greetings, Side Hustlers. [Heeeyyyyy! Upper case! Aren’t you feeling special right about now? ;->]

Chris Guillebeau, author of The Money Tree, Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, The $100 Startup, etc., and creator of over 1400 consecutive podcasts, also shared his expertise on Periscope.

Five months ago, he posted a session, How to Avoid Getting Stuck.

Skip to the 14:30 mark to listen to him embellish these five suggestions:

  • Identify potential problems in advance.
  • Always know your next step.
  • Impose an artificial deadline.
  • Look for an alternative way forward.
  • Try something totally different.

[Note: Each of his 30+ minute Periscope sessions also feature a live participant Q. and A. that nails down many of the universal concerns of side hustlers.]

Thanks for visiting. As always, check in with questions and requests at:
sidehustlecurator at gmail dot com