Nick Loper Side Hustle Expert

The concept that underpins Financial Independence (FI) and everything Topia works towards is very simple. Once you have assets that generate more income than your monthly expenditures, you are free to live life on your terms. As we have discussed previously, those looking to achieve FI have traditionally invested in exchange-traded funds or ETFs. However, it can take years for your ETF to build up enough interest to live off. Instead, you should focus your energy on starting a side-hustle, which in contrast, often only takes a few months. 

The beauty of reaching FI earlier, is that the switch that subsequently goes off in your head also flips earlier. As soon as your side hustle starts to bring in more money than the amount going out, work becomes optional and your life changes. If you’re having a stressful month in the office, you can decide not to go in. If you have a fall out with your manager, suddenly the power is in your hands as to whether you stay or not. Fancy moving abroad somewhere? Leave your job and do it. The only thing that separates FI from a dream, is that it is real, and you have the power to achieve it. 

Undoubtedly, with everything we have just said, you are likely asking why everyone doesn’t start a side hustle? The answer is twofold. Firstly, people are deterred as they feel like they don’t have the business skills or are too lazy to learn them. Secondly (and this is key), most people are put off if their first idea fails. Unfortunately, the reality is, your first, second and maybe third idea might fail. The trick is to get your head down, learn from your experience, and plough ahead. 

Nick Loper, an incredibly successful side hustler who we had the pleasure of talking to recently, backed this up. He approaches every business venture as though it were an experiment. When he comes up with an idea, he sees it as a hypothesis that will be proved or disproved. Either way, he learns from the experience and takes those lessons to better his next experiment. Having a willingness to step into the unknown is essential if you want to be successful.

He also went on to say that when trying to reach FI, it is very difficult to cut your expenses. Therefore, those who are going down this path need to focus on their income, as there are infinite possibilities there; it’s a limitless lever. Imagine being able to increase your income by 50% through your side hustle, and the impact that would have on your FI timeline? 

Now, you may be thinking, we’ve spoken a lot about how revolutionary side hustles can be, but very little about how to start one. As with most things in life, the first port of call is usually Googling something along the lines of: ‘how to make money online’. Unsurprisingly, these searches rarely bear any fruit. Instead, Nick suggests that the best ideas come from a journey of self-exploration. Take time to think about what you’re good at, what you care about, and perhaps most importantly, what problems you have faced and managed to overcome. The chances are, someone else has probably experienced the same problem and would pay you for a solution. 

It's worth mentioning that your idea doesn’t have to be a complex solution that changes the world. Just look at how many dry cleaners or food shops there are down your road. They all have the same revenue streams and if they’ve been around for long enough, you would imagine that they’re profitable. Your idea can already exist, you just need to put a spin on it or market it in a different way.

In terms of resources to get you started on your new adventure, if you discover a course that seems too good to be true, it probably is. To caveat that, some courses will genuinely offer a decent service and will have an order of magnitude that far exceeds any degree you can pay for. Nevertheless, according to Nick, the best way to get started is to figure it out by yourself in the cheapest way possible. You’re likely to learn just as much from an informative $10 book as you will from a $2,000 course; you might just have to think a bit harder!

In summary, side hustles are not rocket science. Your idea can be simple, you just need to commit to the journey and brace yourself for failure. But the potential reward is astonishing. With a bit of luck and a whole lot of determination, you could rapidly start approaching a life lived on your terms within the next year. 

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