Where’s your hustle?

obama_ojmccain_ojFred Wilson shares the story behind Airbnb (a great startup that I’ll write a full post about soon), especially the strategy the founders used to raise $25,000 in emergency funds to keep their business afloat.

Whenever someone tells me that they can’t figure out how to raise the first $25,000 they need to get their company started I stand up, walk over to the cereal box, and tell this story. It is a story of pure unadulterated hustle. And I love it.

The Airbnb folks talked a private label food maker to print up a few hundred boxes each of “Obama O’s” and “Cap’n McCain’s” cereal during the height of the 2008 presidential election.

Sometimes, the best fundraisers for your band have nothing at all to do with tickets or albums.

Instead of worrying about promising folks the world in a Kickstarter campaign, think about the things you and your bandmates can do right now that can score extra cash. Some of the best “side hustles” I’ve seen include:

  • Bands that hosted “beef and beer” dinner events with tickets at $20-30 above the per person cost of catering.
  • Bands that handle “small moves” on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, so they can play out on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • Singer/songwriters that design websites or write copy for small businesses.

Leaning on a “side hustle” lets you get a quick influx of cash when you need it, without leaning too hard on your emerging audience. Think of it as a transitional phase between giving up your day job and making music full time.

What kinds of side hustles have you seen, or are you trying? Tell me in the comments.

3 responses

  1. What do you mean by bands that handle “small moves”? I’m not seeing a refererence to what that implies.

  2. What does “small moves” mean?

  3. Small moves means a moving job that takes less than a day to complete, like moving someone from one apartment to another in a city. I’ve met a few bands that needed large vans or trucks for their gear, so they use the trucks during their off days as cheap movers.