Book Summary

Side Hustle – Chris Guillebeau


Side Hustle. Chris Guillebeau’s book Side Hustle looks at the growing trend of people starting profitable and often small, single person businesses.
How you can get in on it and what it all entails

Sentence-Summary: Side Hustle shows you how to set up new income streams without quitting your day job, taking you all the way from your initial idea to your first earned dollars in just 27 days.

Without pressure, in as little as 30-60 minutes a day, he lays out a clear plan you can follow to make your first few bucks on the side in 27 days. Let’s try to get you up and running in 3 lessons:
1. A side hustle idea must fulfill three criteria.
2. You need to turn that idea into an offer in three steps.
3. There are four resources you have to set up before launching your side hustle.

Sick of your boss? Not making enough? Afraid to lose your pay check and health insurance? There’s a solution to all of this. It’s called a Side Hustle.

Book Notes:

• A Side hustle can give you a sense of purpose or satisfaction outside of work.
• It can also provide you with job freedom, should you build the income large enough.
• A beginning hustle should take no more than an hour a day. Any longer and it’s most likely your wasting time. Keep it your efforts focused in the beginning.
• Most Side Hustle ideas share 3 qualities that make the idea feasible. Does it motivate you? Can it make money? Can it be accomplished in a short amount of time?
• Transform your idea into an offer. Offers require 3 parts: the promise, pitch and price.
• The promise tells your customers how you intend to help them. The pitch is the ‘how’ you intend to keep your promise. Finally, your price which needs to both give your customers a dollar amount and give an incentive to act.
• Remember that research shows that quick responses from businesses to customer inquiries results in a much higher likelihood of a sale.
• When getting started prioritize what you need. You can always get more stuff later, focus on the minimal amount of things to get your idea off the ground.
• Some of the elements for a successful Side Hustle may include a website, social media profile, scheduling tool and a payment system.
• Once you’ve got some time under your belt, identify what is working best in your business and find how to do more of that. It’s simple but it’s also the foundation for success.

Also, side hustles are jobs which are very easy to do and hence very easy to start.

But what exactly can be a good side hustle?

But what exactly can be a good side hustle?
Well, all hustle worthy ideas that you should take into consideration should be feasible, persuasive and profitable.

Once you do find such an idea, calculate your projected profit by employing the following formula: “anticipated income minus anticipated expenses.”

In other words, to be sure that your hustle is profitable, your expenses need to be lower than the money you bring in.

Once you are sure your idea will make you money, it is time you pitch it.
You do this by making a promise to your customers that you will in some way contribute to changing their life.

Be bold when you make such statements, create a sense of urgency, and employ a call to action.

A good technique for creating a sense of urgency is using the red color, which is usually mentally linked to deadlines and countdowns.

Also use words such as “today” or “now.”

We live in a wired world, and in order to be successful, you will first need a website and a social media profile.

Be careful not to spread on too many social media platforms since it can be a daunting task.

Instead, limit the number to two or three.

Also, think about a scheduling tool, which will save you time, a factor that is crucial when it comes to side hustles.

Finally, set up a payment system before you launch.

Once you do all of the above, you need to start increasing your value in order to generate more money.

You can create value by anticipating your customer’s needs and responding to them.

Lastly, as your side hustle gets more successful, do not be afraid to raise the prices. The more reliable your business proves, the more you should charge.

That is why you should regularly raise the prices you charge, as well as the value you offer.

Remember, since you are starting without much risk, the only way you can go is up.


When you are evaluating your side hustle, you need to ask yourself three questions.

First, is your idea feasible? If it is, move on to defining if it is profitable. In other words, you have to make sure that your idea brings in more money than you spend. Finally evaluate if it is persuasive, or if customers would like to have it no matter what.


When you pitch your idea, it is essential that you promise some kind of value to your customers and create a sense of urgency. Include a call to action as well and clearly state the price.


In order to make your side hustle work for you-you have to have four basic items up to your sleeve: a website, a social media profile, a scheduling tool and a payment system.

After you have set this up, you can start making money immediately.

To build a really effective side hustle, you need to find something that:

1. You do really well
2. Everyone wants
3. Nobody has (yet) which might not be possible for everybody.

We might have to settle for being the best Uber driver we can be and making a few extra bucks on the side.

The best parts of Side Hustle aren’t actually about the side hustles. Guillebeau includes several key business tips that can apply to anyone who’s in the workforce, including:

• Grow what works, let go of what doesn’t.
• Spend 10 percent more time on the most important tasks.
• If you’re just “breaking even,” you’re actually losing money.

Lesson 1: Your side hustle needs an idea that’s feasible, profitable and persuasive.

When it comes to generating ideas for your side hustle, you might have an initial block, but once you get over it, you’ll quickly collect more ideas than you can handle.

To avoid losing time, pick the one you like best and run it through this quick validation framework Chris suggests:

1. Is it feasible? Can you execute in in an hour or less a day and expect to see results within a week? Or are you trying to climb Mt Everest on your first attempt?

2. Will it be profitable? Do some rough math. How much can you expect to make from one sale? What expenses do you have to cover? What’s the optimistic version of this? And the pessimistic one?

3. Is your idea persuasive? Can you explain what you’re selling to your grandma in two sentences? What’s your “wow factor?” Who do you know that’d think your product is irresistible? What’s your unique advantage?

If an idea fails to pass the scrutiny of these questions, don’t bother with it.

Imagine how hard it’ll be to convince anyone else if you’re doubting your own concept this early in the process. Keep moving until you find an idea that holds.

Then, turn it into an offer.

Lesson 2: Go from idea to offer with price, pitch and promise.

By condensing your idea into an offer with a big promise, a concrete pitch and a specific price, you avoid that mistake.

Here are what those three parts should look like, according to Chris:

1. Your promise should be a bold, provocative statement that highlights the persuasive aspect of your idea. When people hear it, they should see how they can immediately benefit from your idea. For Booksum Club it’s “learn more in less time.”

2. Your pitch tells people how you deliver on that promise in as few words as possible. Here’s mine: “I read the world’s best non-fiction books and summaries, and write down 3 things you can learn in 4 minutes or less.” Easy to understand, right?

3. Your price lets people know how much they have to pay and comes with a clear call to action. The price of my summaries is free, Calls to action that don’t immediately require a credit card help, like “contact me now” or “schedule a consultation.

With your offer geared up and ready to go the only question that remains is: where should you put it? The answer is on your shopping list.

Lesson 3: The quintessential side hustle shopping list contains four items.

If you end up with an idea for a side hustle that requires you to take out a $10,000 loan, you’ve done it wrong. I shouldn’t be expensive. That said, there are four low- to no-cost items you should add to your metaphorical launch shopping cart:

1. A website. Today, if you’re not online, you don’t exist, and a one-page website is a great way to communicate everything you need to whoever’s interested with a simple link. All you need is a domain and hosting. Thanks to a free content management system like WordPress, you’ll be set with about $10/month.

2. A social media profile. Note “a” profile. Not two dozen. Pick a platform that you like, where you’ll enjoy creating content and that suits your audience and focus on that.

3. A scheduling tool. With a free calendar appointment service like Calendly, people can schedule appointments with you without a single email. Eliminates all the back and forth.

4. A payment system. To let people purchase right on your simple site, you need some kind of shopping cart or PayPal checkout. I recommend Gumroad.

With this simple setup, you’ve got your full sales workflow covered. For example, a potential buyer might go from your Twitter profile to your website, read the copy, then buy a consultation through Gumroad and afterwards will receive your Calendly link to schedule it.

Once you have these in place, it’s time to hustle for your side hustle!


Check out some ways to earn passive income, even if you don’t have money to invest.


Some websites will pay you just for taking surveys. While this option does require you to give up some of your time, answering survey questions takes minimal effort; you could practically do it in your sleep. Some sites that pay for survey responses include:

• SurveyJunkie
• Swagbucks
• InboxDollars
• Harris Poll Online
• PrizeRebel
• Pinecone Research


If you have extra space in your home, getting a roommate can be a great way to earn money. Alternatively, you could also consider listing your extra room on Airbnb for short-term stays.


If you’re a teacher, you deserve a pat on the back and some extra income for your hard work. If you have lesson plans you’re proud of, especially materials that include high-quality graphics, you may be able to sell the content you created through Teachers Pay Teachers. There’s no limit to how much you can earn, and some teachers have even surpassed the $1 million mark.


If you’re not a teacher but you have expertise you’re willing to share with the public, you can create an online course. You’ll help people around the globe acquire new skills, and you’ll get paid every time someone purchases your course. You can use the following tools:

• Udemy
• Teachable
• Skillshare


Publishing a book was at one point a costly venture, but in the world of online self-publishing, all you need to get started is your unique knowledge about a topic. Sure, writing a book isn’t exactly a passive activity, but if you put in the work upfront, you can continue to sell copies without much ongoing effort.

There are a few online tools that can help:

• Kindle Direct Publishing
• Lulu
• Blurb


If writing isn’t your speed but you have a knack for the visual arts, consider creating a design to sell online. Whether you want to create a funny T-shirt or sell prints of your artwork, there are several online tools that can help you accomplish your goals:

• Redbubble
• CafePress
• Zazzle
• Society6
• Etsy


It can be tough to make it big on YouTube, but if you have knowledge you want to share, you’ve got nothing to lose by trying. Your first goal should be to create engaging content and build an audience. This may take time, but once you have enough followers, you can join the YouTube Partner Program and make money through Google AdSense. You’ll need 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 watch hours over the past year in order to be reviewed for the program.


Whether you’re posting recipes, how-to guides, parenting advice, or just cute pictures of furry animals, there are likely some products that will be of interest to your readers. When you include an affiliate link to a product on your blog, you’ll either get a share of the revenue if one of your readers makes a purchase or a flat fee per click. If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing, check out Shopstyle Collective or the Amazon Associates Program, both of which make it easy to monetize links on your website or blog.


Try networking with local businesses to see if you can get paid for referring new customers. There are also a number of sites and apps that will pay you to refer friends, so look for opportunities to recommend products and services that you are passionate about.


If you can find the right niche, a dropshipping business can be lucrative without requiring too much ongoing effort. There’s also a relatively low startup cost, since you don’t need to stock inventory ahead of time. It’s a good idea to sell something unique with a low shipping costs that people frequently search for. You can get started by finding some products to sell on Oberlo and creating a Shopify ecommerce website to sell your items. From there, you’ll need to invest some money in getting people to visit your site, whether that’s through content that helps your search engine ranking or through Facebook ads.


Do you have some design flair, great ideas for T-shirt slogans then this could be the perfect passive income business for you?
Getting into the print-on-demand T-shirt business is a pretty easy passive income idea to start. Sites such as RedBubble, Teespring, Zazzle, and many others allow users to make custom designs for clothing like t-shirts and sell them to their customers


You can create just about anything and sell it online. You can set up a dedicated website for this, or you can sell it on an affiliate basis, or through platforms such as ClickBank.


You can launch a dating website and charge membership fees. It has been discovered that people prefer niche dating websites than general websites, so do yourself a favor and get a niche when you want to start this business. This is a great passive income idea if you can run it adequately. But you would need some money to float the website and optimize it.


If you are a programmer, you can create and app and sell it on the app store in order to create residual income for yourself. Since you can create the app yourself, you do not need to spend any money before you can start earning from it. You would get paid once someone downloads the app.


This is just like affiliate marketing, but you get to leverage to get it done. The trick here is to create links in your website to direct visitors to Amazon website to buy products. You can write reviews for the products while providing a lot of clickable links that direct the readers to Amazon. You tend to get a neat payout from Amazon depending on how many people who click the links.


If you are already a graphics designer, you could create themes and templates for websites and put them up for sale. People are always looking for unique templates for their websites, so you are guaranteed to make a tidy sum from there.


You can put together a magazine catering to a particular niche you are conversant with and then market it online for a profit.


This idea might not be totally passive but consulting for people online would not take much of your time, and you can do it from anywhere. You can try Linkedin or other similar sites to advertise your consultancy business online.