Yo! Yo yo yo yo yo!!
No, I am not obsessed with the Yo app, but I probably will be once I download it.
In other news, it’s summer time! Living’s easy! Yes!
I remember when I was younger and looking at each summer with both excitement and dread. On the one hand I got to enjoy awesome weather, parties with friends, and endless waves at the beach.
On the other, I had to spend 12 hours a day grinding on work I wasn’t pumped about. A “rite of passage” or something. Ugh.
I wanted to write a blog post for anyone out there looking for a nice little summer gig to pull in some cash. Specifically, this is aimed at the younger generation – I would LOVE to see some of you take these projects and run with them. Although I love making apps, there are certainly many, many other ways to make money this summer.
The earlier you get the entrepreneur bug, the better. It would be so awesome spread that energy and grow it when you’re right in the middle of your high school or college years.
Mostly I just wish someone had given me ideas like this when I was that age.
Over the past few years, one of the coolest parts of being in business is being able to learn how money is made. Seeing how people can turn an idea into dollars has always fascinated me.
Now I realize it’s a LOT less complicated than people think, but still requires work, ingenuity, and timing. And a little coffee. Always coffee. Buuzzzzz.
I digress. Below are a few ideas I’ve seen or thought of that are great ways to make a nice little income if you’re wondering what you’re going to do with yourself this summer between EDM festivals and parties in the woods.
Often this can be passive income, recurring income, or just straight hustler income. Either way, my goal is to light a spark that shows you that there is ALWAYS money to be made in any market. This is a vitally important lesson to learn early in life.
These are ridiculously specific because I think it’s good to show tangible examples, but these are widely universal. If you take on one of these and light it up, let me know!
1. Sell bulletproof coffee out of a homemade stand
Note: I’m not sure how the food and license situation works when selling beverages to the public so you need to research this before you do it.
This one blows my mind. I read a few articles about this new bulletproof coffee craze and tried it for myself.
If you don’t know what bulletproof coffee is, it basically blends lots of fat (usually in the form of butter) with high quality coffee to provide a long lasting, smooth level of energy. Lo and behold, the stuff works.
Really well actually. Most people I talk to enjoy it too.
More importantly, this is HOT right now. It’s exciting, there is a buzz around it. That removes your biggest problem – demand. The fact that people like it solves your second problem – lifetime value and marketing (word of mouth).
Even if you live in a small town, all you need to do is put up a sign that says “Revolutionary Butter Coffee: Use the power of good fats to fuel your day” or whatever. That will get enough people in the door at first to get you off the ground.
Basic steps to make this happen:
- Buy a few pounds of very high quality coffee, coffee maker, and organic butter
- Research the best recipes online and test them yourself
- Get someone to make you a funky logo on Fiverr or 99designs
- Make a couple signs + business cards at your local Kinkos
- Build a little wood shack out of plywood and set it up somewhere
- Tell your friends
- Accept payments via Square (on your phone) and target places where people already drink coffee
The rest comes down to operations. Trust me, this would do very well assuming you don’t break any laws. I mean, why is no one doing this right now?
2. Create an almond butter membership service
When you read Tim Ferriss’ book the Four Hour Body, there are a few products that he swears by. Almond Butter is one of them. Go into any high end natural food store and ask them what sells the best.
Almond butter is at the top of the list. The list goes on – it’s a great product that’s good for you. People love it in multiple markets.
Once you know this demand exists for a commodified product, your biggest obstacle is marketing. That’s where this awesome model comes into play. I’ll let Noel Kagan tell his story from App Sumo (he made $1,000 in 24 hours doing this).
Here’s how you do it:
- Setup a quick website
- Identify your customers (Ferriss readers vs Moms going to Yoga)
- Send some emails and FB posts targeting those people
- Follow up with real communication (skype, phone, gtalk, etc)
- Fulfill orders with wholesale butter source
- Repeat, scale
Noel has a great explanation of how this works. When there is a demand like this and relatively low supply of options, you’ll have a much easier time than he did. Shit, I’d be a customer!
3. Teespring for highly polarizing issues
Teespring is a company that sells t-shirts you design. The best part? It costs you nothing – you just make the designs and send people over who want to purchase it. Clearly people think this is going to do well.
For example: I create a t-shirt that says “GIVE ME A HUG” and upload the design. I put in on my Facebook page. People want one too. They pre-order. When we hit a certain number, the order is fulfilled and everyone gets a t-shirt. I get a cut of the profits.
People are trying to crack this code all over the web through affiliate marketing and FB advertising. While that works sometimes, the margins are going to be pretty slim. Why? Because they’re not thinking like an economist.
Big margins happen when there is a clear discrepancy in supply and demand. When people want something a LOT, they’ll pay a lot. Or when there is VERY little of something, they’ll pay a lot too.
So if you’re trying to sell a t-shirt that people kind of want, but someone else is making as a substitute, you’re going to have a tough time.
BUT – there’s a way to capitalize on that.
Think about the last time you saw social media blow up over something controversial or shocking. A controversial soccer goal. A political election. Anything that people get REALLY fired up about. This is NOT the same as “water cooler talk” like what was on Game on Thrones because people won’t get PISSED off about it. You want stuff that people hold dear.
When anything like that happens, THAT is when you fire off campaigns. Make a t-shirt that says “BRING HOME OUR TROOPS” with some edge image to appeal to supporters. At the exact same time, launch one that says “SCARED FOR OUR FREEDOM” to appeal the other side. The more controversial, the higher the demand. The more you’ll sell.
You can do this as often as you’d like depending on how often events arise.
Here’s how you do it:
- Sign up for Teespring
- Setup a test t-shirt and try it out
- Test it on Facebook with your friends next time something big happens in the news or on TV
- Put up T-shirt and measure demand
- Learn, repeat for next event, but scale it with a $50 FB ad buy
- Keep going until you figure out a formula, then scale accordingly
I’ve seen people do this before with AdWords and stuff like that, but never t-shirts. Could be big.
4. Edit GoPro footage
Honestly, this could be a mutli-million dollar company if you did it right. I personally think this is the next big thing in content/video – automatic, intelligent editing. But until we get to that point, you can capitalize on this demand.
If any of you have a GoPro, you understand this problem. If you don’t own one, here’s what happens: You take a few hours of amazing footage, download it to your computer, watch it once or twice, and then talk about how you’ll edit it down sometime and make a quick movie about it. But that never happens.
What if you offered a service to do that? You go to people and say “Upload your GoPro footage to a Dropbox account, I’ll send you a edited video in 48 hours” and you charge based on length. All they have to do is upload it.
Seriously, this would KILL it, assuming your editing skills were decent. You can probably just hire someone to do all that for you, honestly. People would freak out for this type of service.
Here’s how you do it:
- Setup basic website that explains how the process works
- Have everyone who is interested signup with your Dropbox affiliate link (you get free 1G)
- They choose editing package ($199 for a 60 second video or whatever)
- They upload footage
- You or your team in the Philippines edits it down to all the best parts
- Overlay some music
Granted, you need to set expectations so that you don’t lose all your time/money on customer service, but that can be done pretty easily through examples.
5. Become an Airbnb concierge
No matter where you are in the world, I am willing to bet that Airbnb is around. People renting out their homes, rooms, and everything in between to travelers. The biggest problem, however, is that the people who own the properties rarely want to deal with all the inbound requests, greeting the tenants, coordinating cleaning, etc.
That’s where you come in – you handle everything and send the owner a check. You can even prove that it’s a great deal for them with numbers. Want an example? Check out AirEnvy for some ideas.
How to get started:
- Go on Airbnb.com and find all the properties within 20 miles of you
- Talk to friends and family and see if anyone is using Airbnb now and pitch them first
- Message people you find on Airbnb and pitch them
- Start small, then scale
- Hire people to help you
Lots of ways to get flexible with this too (provide tours, insider travel tips, etc for a premium price).
6. Be an Uber driver
Last but not least, try being an Uber driver. Or Lyft. If they’re not available in your area, this might be tough, but that will probably change soon. These guys can make some good money, even working on the weekends (a few hundred bucks a day minimum).
It’s easier than you think:
- Go to your local Uber office and sign up with background check
- Get approved and get your car setup
- Spend a weekend doing 30-40 short Uber trips and ask every driver the best ways to make money
- Start your shift and focus exclusively on surge pricing areas and copy everything else they told you
Just like that.
Be The Cool Kid. Build A Business.
I really hope this reaches someone out there who’s looking to do something awesome this summer. Your possibilities are ENDLESS. You can create any life you want and make any future happen. It always comes down to time, energy, desire, and execution.
If you like this post and want to inspire someone else, please share this with someone you know who is in high school or college. At the very least, it might spark some new energy in them 🙂
What do you do guys think? Did I forget any other good ideas for making money with summer jobs? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Thanks friends I really appreciate u efforts,
Right now I’m in your 10th
I’m doing Uber.
I am looking at some thing like work from home
Some online stuff say couple of hrs a day make some extra
Please let me know. Thx for favor.
@Jay – right on man. Let us know how it all goes with Uber and others.
@Benny – epic story! I’ve heard similar stories about Teespring – a lot of learning at first, testing, then things start to click. Then it’s a big upside. Keep me in the loop about how it goes, I think that stuff is super exciting (especially when Andreessen/Horowitz invests $20M).
@Justin – You’re right. So much opportunity. Apps are amazing and very lucrative, but it’s good to see other industries just to remind us how the whole “making money” thing works. Sparks good ideas!
@Grant – Awesome, glad you liked it. Depending on where you are, you can find a way to use Zipcar’s model. If there are no Zipcars available, think about asking your friends if you can rent theirs by the hour. If you can make the #’s work, it may be a perfect solution. Good luck!
That’s great you mentioned Teespring because I speak from experience about Teespring. I discovered it in March after listening to an interview where a guy said he did about $100K in a month from it. I couldn’t believe that. I started to learn as much as I could about running FB ads since I had no idea. I taught myself Photoshop last year to help me reskin games myself. That skill came in handy because I began designing all my shirts.
I become obsessed with this. I totally stopped reskinning games because all I wanted to do was create a new shirt, run ads, and see if I could get buyers. I failed a lot at the beginning. Tons. Took me 10-15 campaigns before I had a winning one and that sold 17 shirts. After the first full first month I earned roughly $1000 but I also spend $1000 in ads. So break even. I looked at that as getting paid to learn how to do this.
I kept on pushing through. I went through a phase when I thought this is stupid because I wasn’t making money. I couldn’t believe people were doing well, but I couldn’t. I kept making new designs, testing it out, but no one was buying. But persistence paid off.
In since I started in late March, I’ve been paid out $71K from Teespring. No joke. I’ve also spend $21K in FB ads, which is crazy to me just thinking about it. But I was spending money because I was making even more money.
I will say selling a tshirt isn’t as easy as making a shirt, running ads, and people will buy. It takes a lot of testing. To make this much isn’t for someone who thinks “this is a fun hobby”. No, to me it’s a business and I’ve gone all in these few months learning all about it.
And when Carter says it could be big, there are people doing even better than I am. Five figures a month and I’ve heard of some doing six figures a month. There are also people struggling.
If you have a fan page already and an active audience, you can sell to them. No running ads needed. There are people with fan pages and passionate people that follow and they buy whatever is being offered. That’s a way to build a long term business. Build fan pages and then you can keep selling to them.
Thanks for the post. That’s why I love entrepreneurship… if you fail, there’s always something else worth trying. I’d love to see if anyone takes your challenge and how it goes for them.
Thanks carter! I’m a college student and today was that type of day that my mind wanted to be stimulated with something new and fun that I could accomplish. Very interesting things, the hardest part for me is finding the vehicle to work hard in. Finding the internal passion to innovate and be different through these vehicles that allow you to be such as these mentioned. Thank you !
Thank you man! You rock. This was one of those articles that was fun as well as informative.
Hi Carter, and thank you for such an insightful post. I really take an interest to GoPro thing, but I want to ask you a couple of questions.
first one would be:
How do you find out that it’s going to be huge? I google’d “GoPro Video Editing”, “GoPro Video Editing Services” and stuff like that and what I realised that there are only a few services like that. That’s great, I think, but how should I find out if anyone really interested in this niche of editing GoPro videos? Because what I thought is that there are a lot of services which are doing video editing in general (they editing videos, make them with After Effects / Premiere, promo videos, film trailers, editing footage, etc.), not only working with GoPro footage. So I just curious about it, because I always think that if, for example, a person shooted a footage with GoPro, then why he couldn’t go to the services, which are editing footage in general? Not only a niche ones (like GoPro footage). I’m just really curious about it, because I have some experience with Adobe Premiere / After Effects and stuff like that and I just found out (through this awesome blog post) that maybe I could narrowed it down to only GoPro.
The second question:
I’m sophomore programmer student, so I am looking with oportunities in online business this summer. The problem is I just want to make so much stuff, but it prevents me from actually DOING stuff. I wrote down like 6 online business ideas (if I could say like this) and I just can’t figure out, which ones I should choose: from editing GoPro footage, to making online courses for programmers. So the second question would be: how should I narrow those ideas down? I want to stick to one or two, but really don’t know which one would be more profitable for me (as I said, from editing footage to making actual online courses for developers). Maybe any ideas how should I figure this information down?
Again, thank you Carter, for such an awesome blog posts. All your blog posts are awesome. They are so motivating. Thank you very much and it would be great if you would find a time to read my questions. Thank you.
@Deimantas – Hell yeah man thanks for responding. Let me answer your questions:
1. That’s a tough question to answer specifically, but I will do my best. The easiest is just based on problem/solution identification. I’ve hung out with a lot of people that have this problem (not editing the content) and I know they’d pay someone because the GoPro takes such amazing MEMORIES as opposed to VIDEO. That’s the key. GoPro footage is always highly emotional, thus, the pricing is more powerful.
Second is the raw scale of GoPro and popularity compared to the clientele. Typically, the guys/girls who use GoPros are not the most technically savvy…but they demand is huge. That’s an imperfection in the market. Looking at the size of GoPro (about to go public at $100M IPO), this clearly shows me the market can handle it.
The reason to focus on GoPro is branding and niche marketing. It’s just sexier than regular video editing. You also will have access to better film/content which makes YOUR services look better. It’s amazing. The way to tackle this problem is to start with friends and family, then ask around for people who have GoPros. THEN edit a few yourself and post them and say you did it and can do more. Etc/
2. Just pick one, honestly. You’ll learn 80% of what you need to know irregardless of what model you choose. It will be awesome experience. The best advice is to read The Slight Edge by Jess Olsen (http://www.amazon.com/The-Slight-Edge-Turning-Disciplines/dp/193594486X) and go from there.
Kick ass man!
Just wanted to say what a great blog post this was. All of your summer job ideas are real possibilities and are definitely trending north. It’s interesting because a lot of these could actually be real business ideas for anyone. You’ve enlightened me to rethink some things and sometimes you need to step away from the computer/iphone and see if there are other possibilities out there you can cash in on.
I like the bullet proof coffee idea as I’ve been following Dave for some time and think we may lease the abandoned coffee hut down the road and give it a shot. Might also do Kale Shakes (Joe Rogan Style) and anything else that is nutritious and good for you such as almonds, fresh fruit, and maybe even some Onnit stuff. I think more and more people are trying to live healthier and this could be a big win in the near future. Look for a “Healthy Hut” coming to a town near you – 😉
The TeeSpring is really fascinating too. I”m actually going to make a crowdfunding site for photo products and believe there could be something there. Won’t be as hot as T’s, but could be a cool niche market that I know fundraisers would be interested in.
Sometimes it pays to step back and think about the hot market trends and see if there is anything you can do to add value to any of these. If there is, you may be onto something and going into a hot market the odds are going to be in your favor. Great job and epic content as usual. You give real tactical advice and each one of your examples makes perfect sense and would be a viable business endeavor.
@Trevr – Thanks man, glad you liked it. The more I get into business the more I realize how it’s all about the secondary markets. The downside is that people often tell you that it’s uncreative and not innovative. The upside being that’s where all the money is + it’s very possible to obtain. Good luck with your endeavors – definitely keep me in the loop as it progresses via the comments.
To make money, be creative in the model, not the product.
Carter I’m a 21 year old Aussie college dropout and I had some strange vision and somehow came upon your blog. This has hit me. I hope to say g’day in 9 months to tell you I’ve made something of coffee, almond butter and pasta..I’ll send you a shirt
@Joel – Hellz yeah man. Good luck to you!