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Book Review: Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau - From Idea to Income in 27 Days. Build a Side Business and Make Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job

Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau
Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau is probably one of the most unassuming, down to Earth entrepreneurs, authors in the side hustle space. Somehow he manages to give practical advice through his books and Side Hustle School podcast without actually looking like he's trying to sell anything. So how is it I'm now reviewing a fourth book of his that I purchased? He's clearly doing something right.

I actually bought Chris' book, Side Hustle, quite some time ago but I've been so busy in my side hustles it's taken me a while to set time aside for reading. 

These days if I don't schedule reading time and commit to it each day I just don't read actual books. So that's what I did. Cut down on my YouTube watching at breakfast by 30 minutes so I could read instead of watching videos.

Well worth it, without a doubt.

If you're like me, aware that you should also set time to work on your business rather than in your business, Chris' book, Side Hustle, can help you focus more ON your business.

The intention of Side Hustle is to help you brainstorm ideas for what may make a good side hustle for you, assess which of those ideas is most viable, and likely to make you some extra money in the shortest possible time. The whole process takes 27 days if you follow the book's schedule exactly.

It's not a guarantee your side hustle will work but it will give you a better idea of what side hustle is more likely to be profitable out of the ideas you've had.

In my case, I already have a number of side hustles on the go that I know all have potential. There's nothing I'm doing that I can't point to someone who is making money from that hustle. The problem is I work a little bit on all of them with no clear pathway to how I can be successful with any of them.

Each one I've made money with at various times, some of them very respectable 'side hustle' numbers but I tend to build myself jobs rather than a business. As an artist and graphic designer, freelancing is the easiest side hustle I can do but it's time for money. I want to get out of the 'selling time' business.

Where Chris' book proved most useful to me was the first 16 days which are basically the research and development stage. Day 17 onward is to launch your most promising idea stage.

As far as research and development goes the steps outlined in Side Hustle are really the bare minimum you need to do to assess a business idea while still getting a clear idea of what is likely to work and what isn't.

I would highly recommend keeping a notebook by your side (as I did) and actually doing the tasks as they come up. Most do not take long and they do really glean crucial information that can give you a clearer idea of what is likely to work.

I particularly got a lot of value from week two where you select your best idea from the side hustle selector chart - a chart where you rank your ideas, based on your notes from week one, on a number of indicators including; feasibility, persuasion, profit potential, efficiency, and motivation.

This exercise really helped me see which of my own side hustles I should be focusing on first in order to reach my own goal of developing income streams that are a little more passive and a little less 'time for money'.

Once I knew which of my hustles was most likely to meet my goals soonest I focused on that idea for the remaining eleven days of the book's schedule. Those eleven days are spent getting out there and actually doing your side hustle to earn your first dollar(s). While they're still critical steps mapping them to specific days is less crucial. Just don't skip them and then wonder why you're not making any money.

If you've heard the old adage 'Build it and they will come' the first half of Side Hustle is the building, the second half is making sure people know you've built it so they do come. It's not enough to just build it.

Presently I'm still working on my best Side Hustle idea from the work I did in this book. It's a bit of a long game where I'm trying to reach, what I know is a very modest goal of $1000 per month in passive income (anything over this is a bonus but I know $1000/month is doable in any one of my side hustles).

The book has also given me a pathway to follow regardless of whether my side hustle pans out or not. Either way I can move on to my next best idea because your second or even third ideas aren't necessarily bad they just weren't the top ranking ideas based on your research.

If you're someone who is constantly thinking about side hustles or you're constantly starting unsuccessful side hustles Chris' book is the least amount of planning you need to do without putting together an actual business plan, and still get useful and actionable information.

If you already have a side hustle, or a number of them, you'll still get a lot of valuable information and ideas that could help you focus your efforts better (it certainly has for me). Side Hustle is pretty much the bible for side hustlers who want some kind of plan that won't bog down their enthusiasm but will keep them from chasing rainbows.

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