Mitchell is an entrepreneur and has been featured on CNBC, Fox Street Journal, Forbes, and many more. Our host, Minnie got a chance to interview Mitchell and get an insight into SideHustle.Tips for our audience.
Minnie: Hi everyone, this is Minnie with yet another episode of our podcast uSpeak. I hope everyone is doing great and I am also not doing that badly. My guest today is Mitchell Stern who is the founder of Sidehustle.tips. I'm not sure if some of my audiences are aware that I interviewed Mitchell a few months back for his other business, which is singledadclub.com and you can find the entire interview on our TCI blog page, which is www.transcriptioncertificationinstitute.org/blog/interviewwithMitchellSternfromsingledadclub. Mitchell has been featured on CNBC, Fox Business, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, New York Times, Bloomberg Entrepreneur Magazine – oh my God the list is so long I need to catch my breath. Okay, now let me welcome Mitchell to our show today one more time. Hi Mitchell, how are you?
Mitchell: Hi, I'm great, thank you so much for having me.
Minnie: Sure, you're most welcome, so I'm so looking forward to talking to you again. And so today we are talking about sidehustle.tips, so would you like to share with us how side hustle tips was born?
Mitchell: Certainly, it was the – I guess the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and I could kind of tell that there were – there was a ripple effect happening throughout the professional community. I mean, everyone was sort of scrambling to find a way to make a living all of a sudden I think we had 60 million people in the United States alone lost their jobs through no fault of their own and it seemed like a hot topic all of a sudden everyone was just in the market for a new way to make a living from home, you know, obviously observing, social distancing and all that and this was something I had some experience with. I had started a number of e-commerce businesses before, and I was familiar with the process and I kind of just wanted to share what I knew with people to help them sort of improve their own circumstances.
Minnie: Okay, so actually so this is started in COVID time right in 2020, so it's
Minnie: Fairly quite new okay, and in this short amount of time you have had tremendous success. I would say right? So, well, good for you. I'm so happy to learn that, so let's talk about side hustles. So, what are the different kinds of side hustles?
Mitchell: Oh my God, there are so many. Too many [audio cuts out] [00:02:47] Fair, but some. Of my favorite ones, my favorite side hustle has involved selling informational products as it's the nature of an informational product. It doesn't need to be shipped. It doesn't need to be manufactured. It's simply someone expertise transcribed onto paper or into a video and then sold and because there's no shipping, there's no inventory. Many of the typical headaches associated with running a small business. You simply don't have to deal with when you when you sell informational products. So, things like designing new fonts, creating stock photography, creating design templates, whether it be for websites or for graphic design services like Canva, they buy a lot of templates, document templates. You know it could be anything in Excel templat,e a PowerPoint template, any kind of template and these are things that you can create from home in your own spare time. You don't need to clock in and work by anyone else’s schedule and they create residual passive income once they're once they're established. You know, money just shows up in your account once the project is done so and they stay there for…I mean not, not necessarily for forever, but for the foreseeable future. So that's been one avenue I've tried to steer people towards and yeah, e-commerce stores do pretty well. Amazon, FBA stores, and Shopify are each performing very well right now because everyone's buying stuff from home. They kind of got used to it during the pandemic and now it's just sort of expected and, yeah, those – those would be my top choices.
Minnie: Okay, so… And I see different sorts of ideas on your website, so this is – your this informational product that you sell it comes in that or you have some other ideas also that you are referring to?
Mitchell: Oh, we have tons of other ideas too. I mean a lot of people maybe they lack, maybe they lack computer skills they don't have a computer, or they don't have a car and they're looking for a more low-tech way to make – to make a little extra money from things like… like dog walking or simply providing rides to other people that may not have a car. Or you can even make money just by leaving your computer running. There's a – there's a concept right now called distributed computing whereby a bunch of smaller computers essentially work together to become a large computer, and you can essentially, rent out your computer processor overnight while you're sleeping. While you're not even using your computer, perhaps while you're on vacation and your computer just turns into a…a literal money-making machine so. Yeah, we have a – we have a diverse array of ideas on the website. I myself do make money selling informational products. I've written a book about how you can open your own store on Shopify, so I am part of that group. But it – it's not – it's not limited just to informational products we – we try to provide something for everybody.
Minnie: Okay, so when I go on your website, I first see that there are tons of blogs on all sorts of topics and side hustling. So, would you want to tell me how you monetize that?
Mitchell: Sure, well the blogs…said, well, really, I – I wouldn't say that the objective with the blog was to make money. The objective of the blog was to draw in eyeballs – was to give something – give people something for free that would draw them to the site in hopes to be able to convince them to buy my book. There are some affiliate links are throughout the blog. There's certain times we mention a product and provide a link to that product and if you click the link and then end up purchasing the product, I do make a small Commission, but really that's – that's negligible. It's – it's the main monetization method would be sales of the book that I wrote.
Minnie: Yeah, I see that so you. So, this is called complete Shopify Toolkit, right? And which is an international bestseller? So many congratulations on that. So, I want to ask you so to start an ecommerce business, one can get started on Shopify, right? So please explain to me and my audience. Why would one need to buy your book? Do you think that getting started all by yourself? There is a little tricky.
Mitchell: Well, I did it. Without a book, it certainly can be done without a book. Some people though, I think, are just more comfortable sort of reading through a checklist that way they know that they haven't missed anything. You know, maybe they know half of what I'm going to say but the other half is completely new and ends up making all the difference. It's really more just to be used as a reference tool and as a guide so certainly, you can build a Shopify store without my book. People do it every day but… I just wanted to share my own experiences and – and hope that. perhaps maybe help people avoid some of the mistakes that I made early on.
Minnie: Yeah, then you have a point, yeah? Okay, so and you sell that on Amazon? Is it just in a digital form or…?
Minnie: …you have a hard copy also?
Mitchell: Yeah, try it in a hardcover or softcover, Kindle, eBook. You can find it on Amazon and on the Apple Store.
Minnie: That is good and so let's talk about different kind of side hustles because this site is sidehustle.tips right? So, what is your – like people when they come to you… What is the most? You know, read, like most read blog in your… under that side hustle tips so most you know sought after tips, what is that? That side hustle that people want?
Mitchell: There are really two that stick. Out in my mind. Our most popular post hands down. It's called 101 side hustles You can start today, which is just
Mitchell: …a – yeah, just different side hustles and brief explanations of how to get started in each one, and then our other incredibly successful post was… I believe it's called 26 ways to make money without a car or computer, and I think just based on what people are actually searching for that seems to fit a need. So that's…
Minnie: Okay. So do you remember any like 26 ways what could be those if you want to tell us.
Mitchell: …off a few right now. There are apps you can use such as field agent or mine swarm or few others that marketers use to sort of get an idea of whether or not people like their products or have heard of their brand. And just by joining these apps you essentially you can take surveys, or you can complete little assignments, maybe you know… there's maybe a local business is lacking images for its Yelp page and people want to know what you know, what's going on in this store? What's look like? What's the menu of this restaurant, you know, et cetera, et cetera? So, little tasks pop up and all you have to do is just walk into a store– take a few pictures with your phone, upload them and you know just complete the assignment which is…small and then you are rewarded monetarily. So that's one very easy way. Another great. [audio cuts out] [00:10:39] create a walking tour. There's a number of sort of budget-friendly travel websites that have listings of locals that have created their own walking tour and these things they could be anything. It could be a culinary tour of San Francisco, or it could be a true crime tour of New York City. And by the way [audio cuts out] [00:11:00] real one, and it's – it's run by retired…New York City detectives so people have come up with all kind of crazy creative sort of offbeat ways to come to cater to tourists and to just, you know, walk tourists around an area and maybe give him a brief synopsis of the history of that area show them their favorite restaurants. It's a very easy thing to do. All right, so there's two ideas right there. You could also come – there's a tremendous market right now. Busy parents are looking for people just to help drive their children from point A to point B. I know that's that one. It does involve a car. I don't think that was actually mentioned on our on that particular post. See there's – oh you can – you can reclaim old 401K's, that's been a popular one. Recently a lot of people they – yeah, worked a job here there where they. Had a 401K. Money did accumulate in an account, but then they left that job, they went to something else. Maybe they forgot to transfer the money out. We work with a service that will help you recover that old money and it's basically free to use, so that's another great way but yeah, I would encourage people to – to go to the site and read the post.
Minnie: Few years back, maybe 20 years back, we heard about…. You know, how you can find some lost money of yours? Which government, just you know, just hoards it somewhere and there was some website, some address, so we just sent down our info and then voila, after few months we got a couple, you know couple thousand checks, a couple $1000 checks so it was like all forgotten money that it was like a lottery is. So, if you know if you are helping people find those monies, then it's – it's really good. I mean in any. Anyway, so – so okay, so 101 side hustles. So, do you remember that the – what are the top side hustles in that category?
Mitchell: Oh man. It’s – I think that post is 8 or 9 pages long, but…
Minnie: Oh wow. What is like the No. 1 or No. 2 or No.3? Let's stick to that if you remember. If it's on the top of her head. Otherwise, we can just move on.
Mitchell: No, it's fine. Yeah, we can pick three so [audio cuts out] [00:13:27] really like – and this is more of a job I wouldn't call so much a side hustle this is really a full-time job that can be done from home. It's being a virtual assistant that's sort of a history at the moment. You know with everyone sort of moving away from actually having brick and mortar offices. A virtual assistant is someone who essentially sends out emails on your behalf and creates your schedule for you and might make phone calls or do sort of web-based asks, but you never actually see or even meet this person. This person could be on the other side of the world but all day long, they're essentially your personal assistant. So [audio cuts out] [00:14:06] organized if you have good office skills that might be something to look into, but again, that's – that's more of a job. So, side hustles, we certainly do talk a lot about Shopify stores. I'm a big believer in commerce in…specifically e-commerce. I – I just think it's great way to create passive income and… It's how I make my living frankly so – so obviously it's just I – I see the results of it every day, so I do steer people in that direction as often as I can and…Geez, I would say a third one is probably just something like day trading. That's another that's probably actually one of the most – anyone who's extremely successful with their side hustle. Nine out of 10 times that side hustle is going to be day trading. It's one of the most lucrative side hustles, I think anyone can engage in. The only issue is obviously you need some money to get started, and there's no guarantee you're actually going to make money, but of the people we've interviewed that are making a lot of money and maybe working only a four to six-hour week, it's day trading.
Minnie: So, when you talk about day trading, so what kind of training are there like…
Mitchell: Well, you can trade –
Minnie: Can you tell me?
Mitchell: Bonds cryptocurrency NFT [audio cuts out] [00:15:35] new one coming up, you. You know anything, anything of value that can be bought or sold quickly online. A lot of people aren't making a lot of money.
Minnie: Correct. Okay, all right. So, when you say that you help people. you know in e-commerce, and you help them create, build, and earn. So – so is it just they buy your book and that's about it? Or you actually help them like to start their business and really build it and grow it? How does it work?
Mitchell:Well, that's actually – that's something we've sort of been planning for. The future is some sort of in person. Or zoom-based workshop where there – there is actual help in the room. There's someone you can ask questions to that that's sort of a goal that we are currently working toward at the moment it's just the book. But at the same time. You know my contact information is in the book. It's up on the site and I do frequently get calls or emails from people that are trying to put their own stories together, and they're looking for little bits of advice and I do personally answer those calls and emails and I try to be as helpful as I can.
Minnie: Okay, sounds good. So, all the best for that. And when do you think…it will become live?
Mitchell:The…the workshop part?
Minnie: Yeah, the workshop.
Mitchell:Soon, well, obviously we were, you know, the COVID-19 pandemic, you know, preempted us from being able to actually gather people in any one, you know, any one place. But now that that's sort of waning we are looking at event spaces. We do not have a date yet. We were actually trying to make some sort of traveling roadshow out of this where we, you know, go around the country and we're, you know, in a different city for a week. And, you know, we have a whole hotel ballroom at our disposal, and we can create like a giant computer lab and – and – and really provide the resources for people to sort of build up their own businesses so there's a lot of moving pieces, and there's a lot of unanswered questions on that one, but it – it's something. I would say that's probably our number one goal as an organization right now.
Minnie: Okay, so when you say we so it's you and you have more people working for you, your team is how big is your team.
Mitchell: Really only about four or five people…and they're all freelancers. I'm really the only full-time person, but… yeah, we have people helping us with the marketing side of things. I don't know I think we’re [audio cuts out] [00:18:25] habit of saying the word we because I'm hesitant. Just a habit.
Minnie: Okay, so how would you like to sum up your business model?
Mitchell: Information for sale…is what I would say that's about the easiest way I could put it.
Minnie: Information okay for sale and all sorts of information, right? The arrays like big here.
Mitchell: Absolutely, and we, you know, I guess we would also place ourselves under the banner of the freemium model, meaning we give away a lot of information for free but to get the good stuff it does cost a little bit extra.
Minnie: Okay, so you have to be a member?
Mitchell: Well, you know you just have to buy the book.
Minnie: You have to buy the book. okay, all right so, and also you also sell a few products on your website. What are those items?
Mitchell: We have mugs. We have shirts, the mugs are all sort of entrepreneurial in nature we also make a point of really trying to encourage minority business ownership. We –Yeah, there's a lot of, you know, women and people of color and just people who have historically been sort of shut out of entrepreneurial circles and I think the – there's a – not only is it – not only is there a real opportunity in catering to that market but I also think it's the right thing to do. I mean I myself am a member of a minority community. I believe in helping people who have had less opportunity.
Minnie: That's a noble idea and I loved your mug, which is which says rise and grind. It's quite appropriate. Right? I lost you again.
Mitchell: Oh, I'm here. I'm here.
Minnie: Okay, okay so, and when I was interviewing you for single dad club, you had mentioned that you have a few other businesses also. So, we talked about single dad club. We talked about, today, sidehustle.tips. So, is there any other business? I know you're this – this thing is coming up soon, but this create build, you’re the – the other business is – is there any other thing you're working on currently? Any writing? Any other books? What is in the future?
Mitchell: Sure. so yes, the answer to the answer to all those questions is yes.
Mitchell: My [audio cuts out] [00:21:10] build up right now is called the dead sea trading company and this was something I tried to start pre COVID but then the world went into lockdown, and it became impossible but now that you know things are opening up again. I'm working more on this other company, and essentially, it's just a line of skincare products that have been made with minerals from the Dead Sea that straddles Israel and Jordan. It's known for its healing qualities the water, the mud of… at the bottom of this particular sea has just been collecting minerals for thousands and thousands of years and it's almost to a dermalo –It's dermalogical medicine, I don't know why I can't get the word out but, it's beneficial for all kinds of skin conditions. Eczema, psoriasis, has anti-aging properties and so I'm very heavily invested in creating this skincare line and it is available right now you can – you can make a purchase right now on Amazon and I encourage – I encourage. Your audience to do so.
Minnie: Like your – your product is available online? Or are they…
Minnie: Okay, so how did you – How did you hear about this? I have not heard about this Dead Sea, Dead Sea whatever. Is that mineral? So, and it's good for your skin. I didn't know that so…
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