100 Side Hustles
This unique guide features the startup stories of regular people launching side businesses that almost anyone can do: an urban tour guide, an artist inspired by maps, a travel-site founder, an ice-pop maker, a confetti photographer, a group of friends who sell hammocks to support local economies, and many more. This playbook covers every important step of launching a side hustle, from identifying underserved markets to crafting unique products and services that spring from your passions.
Quit Like a Millionaire
Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung
Kristy Shen retired with a million dollars at the age of 31, and she did it without hitting a home run on the stock market, starting the next Snapchat in her garage, or investing in hot real estate. Learn how to cut down on spending without decreasing your quality of life and build a million-dollar portfolio so you can quit the rat race forever. Not everyone can become an entrepreneur or a real estate baron; the rest of us need Shen’s mathematically proven approach to retire decades before 65.
Don't Knock the Hustle
S. Craig Watkins
Young adults are coming of age at a time when work is temporary, underpaid, incommensurate with their education, or downright unsatisfying. Despite these challenges, this moment of precariousness is rife with opportunities for innovation. As millennials redefine the terms of employment, society is expanding its understanding of who we think of as innovators, and wealth is spreading beyond traditional corridors of powerful tech companies, venture capitalism, and well-endowed universities.
What It Takes
Raegan Moya-Jones never thought of herself as an entrepreneur. She was a full-time corporate cog in her 30s with a family to help support. Sick of her micromanaging boss, she quietly started a company in the wee hours of the morning while her daughters were asleep—and once that side business, aden + anais, hit the $1 million mark in revenue, she quit. Here, Moya-Jones offers brutally honest advice to entrepreneurs—especially women—about how to succeed despite all odds.
Thinking in Bets
Life is a series of gambles. You make decisions based on the best information you have, but you never know how things will turn out. In this book, World Series of Poker champion-turned-business-consultant Annie Duke explains that the key to long-term success is to think in bets: what decision has the highest odds of success? By shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don’t, you’ll become more confident and successful in the long run.
Brave, Not Perfect
Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn’t care how your life looked on Instagram. Imagine if you could let go of the guilt and stop beating yourself up for tiny mistakes. What if, in every decision you faced, you took the bolder path? In a book inspired by her popular TED talk, Reshma Saujani empowers women to choose bravery over perfection. Perfection may set us on a path that feels safe, but bravery leads us to the one we’re authentically meant to follow.
Rise and Grind
As a young man, Daymond John founded a modest line of clothing on a $40 budget by hand-sewing hats between his shifts at Red Lobster. Today, his brand FUBU has over $6 billion in sales, and he’s a Shark on the hit show Shark Tank. Convenient though it might be to believe you can shortcut your way to the top, the truth is that if you want to get and stay ahead, you need to put in the work. You need to out-think, out-hustle, and out-perform everyone around you. You’ve got to rise and grind every day.
In 2005, Ed Levine was a freelance food writer with an unlikely dream: to control his own fate and create a different kind of food publication. Against all advice, he created a blog for $100 and called it… Serious Eats. He put his marriage, career, and relationships with friends and family at risk through his stubborn refusal to let his dream die. This is the mouthwatering and heart-stopping story of building—and almost losing—one of the most acclaimed and beloved food sites in the world.
The Third Door
When Alex Banayan was an 18-year-old college freshman, he set out from his dorm room to track down the world’s most successful people and uncover how they launched their careers. From hacking Warren Buffett’s shareholders meeting to chasing Larry King through a grocery store to celebrating in a nightclub with Lady Gaga, he travels from icon to icon decoding their success. After one-on-one interviews with Bill Gates, Maya Angelou, Jane Goodall, and many more, Alex discovered the one key they have in common: they all took the Third Door.
Once upon a time, you went to work, came home, and watched Must See TV on Thursdays. So much has changed since the ’90s. Monica married Chandler. Etsy minted macramé millionaires. And iPhones brought your boss to your bedside table. For most people these days, work permeates every aspect of our lives, all hours of the day. And for too many, one job is not enough. School teachers pick up night shifts for Lyft and Uber to pay rent, and college grads ping-pong between DoorDash and Caviar apps to maximize their earnings.
The gig economy promises airy co-working spaces filled with willowy millennials outfitted in Everlane and tattooed tech bros sipping third-wave coffee in converted warehouses. But the reality is much less pretty. Few companies offer health insurance to part-time contractors. Freelancers rarely have 401K plans. And when the economy takes a dive, the gig is up.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a side hustle, or if you’re ready to turn your passion project into a second career, you’ve got to be smart about it. With hard work and a healthy dose of luck, you can make your dream job a reality. But you have to be prepared to give it your all. Here are nine books that break down the basics of launching a business, offer inspiration and advice from visionaries, and set you up for success.
Featured Image: @rockstraight/Twenty20