How to Make Extra Money in Your Spare Time – Nick Loper
Wondering if you can turn a side hustle into a full-time business? Our guest, Nick Loper, is the living proof you can.
Meet Nick Loper. He is the Founder of the Side Hustle Nation blog and the Host of the top-rated Side Hustle Show podcast. After spending years of nights and weekends building his business on the side, one day, Nick decided it was finally time to quit his corporate gig and become a full-time entrepreneur. Fast forward a few years, the risk was definitely worth it, to say the least! Side Hustle Nation has been recognized by the Plutus Foundation as a 2-time winner of the Best Entrepreneurship Blog. Also, the site is read by 1.5 million visitors a year, and 30,000 listeners tune into The Side Hustle Show each week.
According to Nick, you don’t have to be a serial risk-taker to become an entrepreneur. And a side hustle might be exactly what you need to start a business on the side.
In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we talk about why side hustling is a lower-risk way to entrepreneurship, how to build long-term freedom with your side hustle, how your fear of failure is getting in your way of success, and finally, why you should take an experimenter’s mindset.
If you want to get some practical tips on side hustling, tune into this episode to hear what Nick has to say.
💡 Name: Nick Loper
💡 What he does: He’s the Founder of Side Hustle Nation.
💡 Noteworthy: Side Hustle Nation has been recognized by the Plutus Foundation as a 2-time winner of the Best Entrepreneurship Blog. The site is read by 1.5 million visitors a year, and 30,000 listeners tune into The Side Hustle Show each week.
💡 Key Quote: “I want to showcase the lower-risk brand of entrepreneurship because that’s what I did. It was small; start on the side, scale it up. Maybe takes a little bit longer. You can have a little bit more runway in that sense.”
💡 Where to find Nick: LinkedIn
There’s a lower-risk way to entrepreneurship. From an outsider’s perspective, entrepreneurship is a rocky and risky journey that not everyone can take. And while it’s true that being an entrepreneur requires some risk-taking, you don’t have to take a leap in the dark with every single move you make. According to Nick, there’s a lower-risk way to become an entrepreneur, and that is to have a side hustle. He explains,
“The narrative that I would hear was, and this might be butchering Reed Hoffman from LinkedIn, an entrepreneur is somebody who jumps off the cliff and figures out how to build the plane or build the parachute on the way down. It’s like, that sounds terrifying, number one. And number two, I don’t know how realistic that is for most people. We’ve got obligations; we’ve got bills to pay. We’ve got rent and mortgage to make, food to put on the table, and families. There’s a lower-risk way. And so my hypothesis, my thesis was like, look, I want to showcase the lower-risk brand of entrepreneurship because that’s what I did. It was small; start on the side, scale it up. Maybe takes a little bit longer. You can have a little bit more runway in that sense.”
Your side hustle can help you build long-term freedom. Side hustling has become very popular over the past few years. And it’s a great way to earn some extra money on the side while still staying at your ‘9-to-5’ job. But your side hustle also has the potential to change your life. Nick says,
“The last thing that you need is a second job that you hate. So, the idea is to hopefully build some long-term freedom and flexibility and really time leverage into your days. This is the old Warren buffet quote, ‘If you don’t find a way to make money in your sleep, you’re going to work until you die.’ And I don’t know a lot of people that want that outcome.”
Don’t be afraid of failure. Most people stay away from entrepreneurship because they’re afraid of failure. Whether they’re afraid they won’t have enough money to pay the bills or they’re afraid their friends will make fun of them, they don’t want to risk anything, so they choose to stay where they are. But nothing ever grows in the comfort zone, so it might be time to ask yourself, ‘What if I succeed?’ Nick says,
“The other consideration and I do think this is important, is to say, well, because a lot of times we’re focused on fear of failure. Well, what if it doesn’t work? How much is this going to cost? What are my friends going to think of me? All valid concerns, but on the other side, think about what happens if it works; what does success look like? And the way to do that is to find somebody who’s three to five years ahead of you. And maybe you can virtually get mentorship from them through podcast interviews.”
Adopt an experimenter’s mindset. Innovation is one of the biggest drivers of growth. So if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you have to be innovative. Embracing the experimenter’s mindset is a great way to remain competitive. Nick explains,
“I think one of the biggest things for me is adopting an experimenter’s mindset. I read at one point that Amazon, at any given time, is testing a thousand different variables. I don’t know if this is true or not. Trying to eke out those 0.01% conversion rate improvements or speed optimizations or anything. So I think you can adopt the same mentality on a much smaller scale on your own life and your own business.”
“Not everybody is starting from the same; the playing field isn’t always level as much as the internet has democratized that; we’ve got to recognize that we’re probably starting with certain advantages in some cases.”
“I think it makes sense to start with the pain or problem that you’re going to solve because that’s typically what people or businesses spend money on. I think it’s easier to sell pain pills than it is to sell vitamins. It’s like, ‘Okay, can you make this pain problem go away for me?’ And one thing you can do to just come up with potential ideas is just write down for a week or two.
“You don’t have to do everything yourself. And if you can put yourself in that business owner chair from the beginning, rather than the business doer chair, something I’m not very good at, in a lot of ways.”
“We’ve heard from guests who like, ‘Okay, I knew if I really put my head down for a month, two months, there was this sprint period where I could get my business to a point where I could take off the gas, lose the day job, free up some extra time or scale back the day job,’ but you can’t do it long term. You can’t sacrifice your sleep, your health, your relationships long term, because what are you working for? And it’s just a recipe for disappointment.”
“One thing that separates a side hustle from a second job from delivering pizzas or bartending, it’s like, there’s this connotation of an entrepreneurial upside. There’s the potential to scale there that I don’t think those other options really have.”
“The other thing that I think helped early on was recognizing, especially with, as it relates to podcasts, there is a non-zero hurdle to get over, to get somebody, to tune into your show for the first time. And that hook has got to be so compelling that they are willing to go through those hurdles for you.”