Side Hustle: The Playbook for Passion Projects and Weekend Income

Book Review Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

And on the 27th day, the Side Hustler rested.

I didn’t start my entrepreneurial journey with a side hustle.

Nope, when I read my first book by Chris Guillebeau in September 2013, I was the typical “entrepreneur” you find on dating apps – a whole lot of ideas, and not much income.

I had left my 9-to-5 unexpectedly in August 2012 and a full year later finally found The $100 Startup, devouring it over three weeks with highlighters, color-coded post-its, and a yellow pad in hand – filled with an action plan that actually started a successful business.

Looking back, I would have felt a lot differently about leaving my job had I started a side hustle before I got to that point.

For one, I wouldn’t have felt stuck.

Perhaps I would have therefore stuck it out longer, positioning my first business better before leaving. I could have at least left on better terms.

And, I would have had more than faith to see it through.

Over the past 5 years of working with startups and solopreneurs, the biggest differentiator I’ve witnessed has been persistence.

It’s hard to persist on faith alone. There’s so much to learn, so many (VERY) humbling moments in the dirt, and so many setbacks.

A side hustle would have allowed me to experiment, learn critical skills without the pressure, and create a second source of income to take some of that pressure off when I did leave.

Which is why I’ve intentionally started my new projects on the side.

This is a whole new rodeo.

Gone are the days when you have to quit your job to change careers, pursue a passion, or increase your income.

Gone also are the Dave Ramsey days of my early twenties when I applied to work at a tanning salon for $10/hour (guess I wasn’t tan enough) and maintained a weekly library sale circuit looking for used books to sell on half.com for a few bucks a piece to pay off debt.

The good news: Side hustles have evolved well beyond goodwill-sourced reselling on ebay!

It’s so easy now to start a small side business, earn extra income, and create security for the unexpected.

In fact, it’s too easy.

You can throw up an e-commerce website for any old idea in under an hour (those of you in the 50+ lame domain names club know who you are).

There are too many options and no deadlines.

How do you find your best idea? 

How do you get it in front of the right people?

How do you test it out without wasting a ton of time and money? 

How do you stay motivated and on-track?

Chris’s new book Side Hustle, released today, steps you from idea to income in 27 days, regardless of whether you’re a hot mess with a bloated GoDaddy account or hesitant hobbyist who doesn’t exist online.

And, once again, I wish I had found this tangible playbook a year ago.

Illustrated by just a couple of my favorite ideas, Tinder for hustling and Selling like a girl scout, Side Hustle was indeed “designed for the busy and impatient.”

Isn’t that all of us? 

In fact, Chris has been publishing a podcast a day since January 1st highlighting creative side hustle ideas in less than 10 minutes (episode 184: Wedding Bells Ring Brighter if the Bride’s Not Broke is a favorite).

Here’s to being busy (with all the right things) and impatient (about what you desire most from your life). You may never have considered a side hustle as a piece of that puzzle, but it may just be the piece that allows all the other pieces to come together. 

Disclosure: I received a free advanced review copy of Side Hustle, and of course read it cover-to-cover long before today’s release date – lucky me! It’s one of the few books I was really excited about getting my hands on this year. I only and always share my honest opinion. Choose books that can change your life. Authors don’t pour years of effort into 250 pages so that you can daydream. Take action. Then, pass it along to a friend. Great books shouldn’t get dusty.

2 Comments
  1. I loved the $100 Startup, even if it didn’t inspire me to actually create a side hustle.

    While we (my wife and I) are defensive of our free time, we both have and admiration for those who go out and hustle for extra money and diversify their income streams. I have a feeling that when the next recession comes, if we’re caught up in layoffs, then I’ll wish I had created a side hustle…

    Maybe I’ll get Chris’ new book out of the library after all.

    1. Time poverty is REAL. Have you done a post on applying actual value to your free time? Would love to see it if so. If not – totally want your way of thinking on the concept!

      I definitely understand the value of defending that free time, which is why I love the Tinder concept for selecting ideas worthy of pursuing – helps constant idea generators like me ‘swipe left’ more frequently and truly weight out what’s a priority.

      I think a lot of the memorable concepts from the book apply to so many different aspects of life – ie. Tinder for lunch selection! Criteria: healthy, low-carb, high protein, will help me meet my goals. Cheese: swipe left / Skip lunch because I’m too busy: swipe left / Spinach salad with chopped bell peppers, half an avocado and parm on the porch for 15 minutes in silence because I should NEVER be that busy: swipe right. 😉

      Life comes down to making good swipes.

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