Monday, February 15, 2021

Turning Hobbies into Hustles

Hello fellow Hustlers:

Long before the pandemic shutdown thousands of businesses forcing millions to look for alternate sources of income, it was the dream of many to turn their hobby into a hustle.  Just think of the millions of sellers on Etsy who found a platform to sell their handmade goods.

Mr EH came across this great story in the New York Times that profiles several people who needed the push of the pandemic to profit from a passion:

  • an art director who started a profitable website that posts comfort food recipes
  • a website designer who cuts custom vinyl records
  • a hairdresser who sells vegan bao buns
  • a Fedex driver who makes chemical free soaps
  • a restaurant manager who bedazzles denim jackets
After reading this maybe you will give thought to whether you want to jump or be pushed when it comes to staring you encore hustle.

As always,
Keep hustling!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Grab a slice of a trillion dollar pie

Hello fellow Encore Hustlers

Check out this story from the New York Times about seniors who start up businesses that cater to other seniors.  It seems like an obvious idea, for who better to know that needs of a senior than another senior.  Think of scores of services that can be tailored to our age group: home repairs, travel planning, health care, insurance/financial advising.  According to the article, people 50 and older spent $5.6 trillion on goods and services in 2015.  Sounds like an opportunity too good to pass up.

Happy hustling.

Mr. EH

Monday, December 2, 2019

Boycott Instacart? - Hustler Daily Thumbs Up - December 2

Hello fellow Encore Hustlers

One of the attractions of gig platforms such as Uber, TaskRabbit, DoorDash and GrubHub is their ability to allow hustlers to earn cash on a casual and flexible basis.

However there is a dark side to these hustles since reliance on the platforms also puts us at the mercy of algorithms that can change without notice.  Take for example this story about InstaCart and how workers are experiencing an erosion pay because of how the platforms algorithm value their assignments.  When InstaCart - a platform for buying and delivery groceries for strangers - first started workers could anticipate making $16 to $20 per delivery.  However as the service has become more popular, workers now report that their pay has now declined to the $7 to $9 range.  This situation has deteriorated to the point where InstaCart workers have begun to strike to bring this issue to the attention of the public and to academics.

While Mr EH encourages everyone to pursue the hustle this does not mean that we should accept work when it reaches the point where the gig becomes untenable.  When this happens it is time to start your own hustle with being at the mercy of an algorithm.

Mr. EH

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Mr EH visits an age friendly company - Hustler Daily Thumbs Up - November 14

Hello fellow Encore Hustlers

Mr EH apologies for not posting for the last couple of weeks but he has been traveling on a back-to- back week of holiday in Washington DC and New York City and then a week of visiting a suppliers shop in Alabama.

There will be a couple of posts upcoming relating to some observations during the DC/NYC visit but this post is about Mr EH finding a workplace in Alabama that not only values older workers but actively encourages them to stay working.

The shop is located in a small town in rural Alabama, midway between Birmingham and Atlanta.  Surprisingly enough this company, nestled in the hills near the end of the Appalachian Trail, is fabricator that manufacturers equipment for the military, aerospace, oil & gas, and medical devices.

While having an opening meeting with the company president, the topic of retaining and hiring workers in the current tight labor market came up.  According to the president, when a long term employee retires decades of hard to replace experience also walks out the door.  Rather than trying to recruit and train a new employee the company has taken the tact of offering retention bonuses.  For example if a senior worker agrees to stay another year the reward will be a $10K bonus.

What a switch from the attitude of many companies that are clamoring to find ways to push aging workers out the door.  Of course it helps that company is privately owned, with the president also being the founder.  An aerospace engineer and veteran fighter pilot, he has, at age 75, no plans to retire since he still having too much fun running his company.

Hopefully this attitude of appreciating and rewarding older workers will become a model to other companies.

Mr. EH

Friday, November 1, 2019

Practical dreaming - Hustler Daily Thumbs Up - November 1

Hello fellow Encore Hustlers

If you are dreaming of pursuing an encore career it takes more than wishes and daydreams to make it happen and to be successful.

Read this article from Money which has great advice on how to grow a dream into a business:
  • Network like crazy, not just for potential clients but for advice and as sounding board on your business plan.  Your network will also be necessary to provide emotional support when you need it.
  • Create a budget that will provide the necessary start up costs and to bridge for lean times when the business is launching.
  • Be physically and mentally fit for the stress and long hours that will come with starting the venture.

If you have all three in place your chances of successful will be greatly enhanced, just like Mike Lowe, 70, who went from corporate lawyer to opening Green Hat Gin, a distillery in Washington D.C.  He has a great website with lots of info on mixology and the history of distilling in D.C.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Tips for a successful encore hustle - Hustler Daily Thumbs Up - October 25

Hello fellow Encore Hustlers

Side hustles are officially a cross generational phenomena.  Odd are if you don't have a side hustle then you know someone will have one.

This article, which focuses on millennial side hustlers, finds that the average side hustler makes over $1200 a month by working about 17 hours a week.  Think what you could do with amount of extra cash coming in every month?

The article also has some great points to consider when you are planning your encore hustle:

  • Ensure it is something you enjoy
  • Focus on tasks that generate revenue
  • Build a strong social media presence
  • Set goals
  • Leverage word-of-mouth marketing
  • Network with other side hustlers
Mr. EH

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Retirement is a slope, not a cliff - Hustler Daily Thumbs Up - October 23

Hello fellow Encore Hustlers

Minnesota is recognizing that retaining senior workers is a key factor maintaining the state's economic vitality.  Minnesota’s population is aging. People 65 and over made up about 15 percent of Minnesota’s total population in 2015. That’s expected to rise to 21% by 2030.  If these workers retire and leave the workforce that gap cannot be made up with younger workers or immigrants.

Read this story about the Courageous Conversations project, led by the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, that spent two years traveling around the state meeting with employers, civic leaders and job-seekers to explore how Minnesota’s aging workforce is affecting their local economies. 

Minnesota’s population is aging. People 65 and over made
up about 15 percent of Minnesota’s total population in
2015. That’s expected to rise to 21% by 2030.2

After reading the story you can link to the full report of the commission, that has may recommendations on how to keep senior workers:
  • Consider retirement not as a cliff, but as a time of transition. 
  • Offer flexible work options such as part time or job sharing. 
  • Offer leadership development and skills training to older adults. 
  • Revise and update HR practices .
  • Starting conversations with older workers who may want to stay on the job, even in a different capacity.
Hopefully other state's will also read this report and take its recommendations under advisement.

Mr. EH