PEARL LEMON INTERVIEWS:
Nick Loper helps people earn money outside of their day job. He’s an author, online entrepreneur, and host of the award-winning Side Hustle Show podcast, which features new part-time business ideas each week. As Chief Side Hustler at SideHustleNation.com, he loves deconstructing the tactics and strategies behind building extra income streams.
A Fireside Chat
I had the opportunity to have an amazing conversation with Nick Loper at Side Hustle Nation today. From talking about SEO for Lead Generation sites, Nick agreed to a quick interview.
He took the time to talk to me and answer some questions so I could get to know him better and hear more about the things that have helped shape his business success to date – let’s get stuck into it!
What Purchase Of $100 Or Less Has Most Positively Impacted Your Life In The Last Six Months?
Soundpeats Bluetooth earbuds. These are around $30 and are a major life upgrade! I’ve had these a little longer than 6 months, but they bring me so much joy whenever I pop them in, they pair instantly, and I can start listening to a podcast without dealing with clunky always-tangled earbud wires.
When You Feel Overwhelmed Or Unfocused, Or Have Lost Your Focus Temporarily, What Do You Do?
For me, it’s helpful to make a to-do list and break tasks or projects down into their smallest manageable chunks. I may never have a magical 36-hour interrupted block of time to tackle this nagging project, but I can chip away at it and make progress. As part of my nightly “shut down” routine, I try and itemize out my top 3 priorities for the next day, and even number them 1-3 so I know exactly what to do and in what order when I get to work.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
“Start a business around your passion.” If your passion involves solving a real problem for real customers, then yes, go ahead. But otherwise, this can be a dangerous and futile exercise. Instead, pick something you’re curious about or interested in, and I think you’ll find passion follows doing the work. That’s what happened to me in podcasting.
Keep living like a college student as long as you can.
- Nick Loper
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Working out first thing in the morning. This gives me a big mood boost throughout the day and sets the tone for being proactive in moving toward your goals instead of reactive to what the world throws at you.
What Is One Of The Best Or Most Worthwhile Investments You’ve Ever Made?
I’m definitely not the world’s savviest investor, but a $3500 used pickup truck I bought in college set me down the entrepreneurial path, and for that, I’m forever grateful. (https://www.sidehustlenation.com/my-red-paperclip-story/)
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — what would it say and why?
“Life is an experiment.”
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
Keep living like a college student as long as you can. I was in a rush to feel like a “grown-up” and get my own apartment, but I feel like I would have had more fun and saved more money if I kept on living with roommates. Remember, it’s not how much you make, but how much you keep. Keep an eye on your personal profitability — and guard it — that’s the gap between your income and your expenses.
Tell Us About Your Business. What Does It Do And What Value Do You Add?
Side Hustle Nation is the leading resource and community for people looking to earn extra money and build businesses in their spare time. We do this primarily through free content and hundreds of case study examples designed to inspire people to take action and give them the confidence and direction to stick with it.
What is the most significant thing that someone much younger than yourself has taught you?
There’s magic everywhere. My kids (5 and almost 3) have such an amazing natural curiosity and wonder about the world around them. It’s been fascinating to discover and re-discover so many of the things in our everyday lives we overlooked or ignored.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
If we lived closer to the mountains, I could see being a part-time volunteer ski patroller as a cool retirement gig.
Where do you see your industry in the next 5 years?
I really don’t know.
What is a 'hack' you have for success that most people don't know about?
I don’t know if this is a hack, but having a supportive partner can’t be understated. My wife has encouraged all my random projects, with wise advice like “what’s the worst that could happen?” and “you’ll figure it out.” Priceless. Plus, we’ve been together since high school, so we like to joke about all the countless hours and dollars we saved by not having to play the dating game in our 20s.
What's your favourite digital marketing channel and why?
Podcasting has been my favorite marketing channel. I love how it builds relationships at scale, and how authority rubs off on you. People really connect with human voices, and if listeners spend 30-40 minutes with you in their earbuds week after week, they really get to know you. Plus, it takes the same effort to produce an episode that 10 people listen to as one that 10,000 people listen to. It’s a really powerful platform.
What is a useful skill someone could learn in one minute?
Gmail keyboard shortcuts. For example, r will open a reply message, c will open a new compose message, j and k will toggle to the previous or next message in your inbox.
How has Covid-19 changed your company?
Interest in side hustles and diversifying income streams definitely increased due to Covid and so many people being out of work, which led to more people discovering Side Hustle Nation. But the growth rate wasn’t noticeably higher or lower than in previous years. The biggest shift inside the company was reducing my own working hours due to our preschool closing for several months. That made me re-evaluate how I spent my time and get more focused on what really drives results.
What is the most surprising thing you've seen in your industry?
The most surprising (and inspiring) thing I’ve found is the incredible breadth of creative ways there are to make extra money. Renting out portable hot tubs? Starting a pooper scooper business? Blogging about gray hair? Dropshipping onions? I feel like I have the best job in the world to uncover and share those ideas!
What's something exciting you're currently working on/learning that only a few people know about?
I’m re-evaluating my approach to email marketing, everything from how I’m collecting leads to what I send and offer afterwards. I’m excited to test some new segmentation and automation inside of ActiveCampaign to potentially build new income streams, better serve customers, and maybe even build a steady pipeline of new content.
What's your favourite holiday destination?
The Hilton Los Cabos has a special place in our hearts.
What one thing in life do you consider to be overrated?
Fancy cars. As a former employee of a big car company, I can appreciate a nice ride, but have a hard time justifying that additional expense myself.
What are you NOT Very Good at?
Dealing with controversy and negative feedback. It makes my gut feel awful and I can’t sleep.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I normally skip breakfast to hit a 14-17 hour intermittent fast, but this morning my son tapped out on his waffle, so I “had to” help him finish it. To stave off hunger on the other days, I usually have some coffee with MCT oil powder around mid-morning.
Pearl Lemon are an SEO, PPC, PR, and B2B lead-generation agency. We are based in London but service clients around the world.
We have taken the time to interview entrepreneurs and experts (like Nick) in this new series.