Entrepreneurship Reviews

Book Review: Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

Learn how to go from idea to profitable business in just 27 days.

The Fortune Book Club Book Review: Side Hustle


Title: Side Hustle
Author: Chris Guillebeau
Publisher: Pan
Publication date: 10 Jan. 2019
Pages: 272
ISBN-10: 150985908X
Rating: 3/5


Chris Guillebeau breaks down the process required to take your business idea to fully fledged side hustle in just 27 days. With numerous examples and heap of useful resources to help get you started, Side Hustle will help you on your way to generating an additional income stream.


If you’re new to the world of business, bootstrapping or entrepreneurship, then Side Hustle is a great guide to getting you up and running with your first venture. However, if it’s not your first rodeo or you’ve previously read other books on the genre, then the book may turn out to not be of much use.

The book itself is arranged into five weekly sections and each chapter is dedicated to a single day. Each day represents a single step/action you can take to move closer towards business success. While this approach is fairly useful for launching a business in a month, it can be quite unrealistic. For example, one day is dedicated to generating a profitable business idea in and of itself. This can and probably will take people much longer and as such your 27 day plan goes out the window…

Another thing to note about this system is that it is entirely focussed on building a minimum viable product (MVP) and getting it launched as soon as possible. Refinement and tweaks come after. Again on the whole this approach is apt and for some scenarios the best port of call. However, for some businesses going in guns blazing without having everything figured out beforehand isn’t advised. If you’re running a luxury handcrafted store, for example, then one slip up along the way could tarnish your reputation before you’ve even begun.

My main bugbear though, was that a lot of the examples used in the book were recycled from Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup. To that end it felt as if sections of the book were just a rehash of his previous work. I felt a bit conned and it severely impacted my overall impression.

However, generally Side Hustle is a good starting point for newcomers. The book tackles everything needed for a successful hustle including conception, launch, pricing and scaling. There is even a number of appendices covering a list of suggested ideas for those that can’t think of any, as well as how to quickly validate a product with a £10 facebook ad.

To summarise, Side Hustle‘s value is wholly dependant on your previous exposure to the world of business. If you’ve never read a business book in your life or attempted to follow an idea of your own, then Side Hustle could potentially be a great resource. However, if you’re somewhat knowledgeable on the key concepts of entrepreneurship then Side Hustle isn’t for you. 3/5.

Take Action

Side Hustle is a step-by-step guide in and of itself, so there’s not much else you can do aside from the recommended procedure. However, there are a few things you can do to help kickstart your next venture:

  • Become observational. See what people are doing consistently and what they use to achieve their goals. Is it optimal? Can it be improved? Is there a gap in the market?
  • If you strive for perfection your product or service will never be ready. Launch early and learn as you go.
  • You can do some basic market research using a limited facebook advertising budget (£10) to get a basic idea if there is interest in your service/product.
  • Learn to ask for favours. People you know may be able to help you and your idea in a multitude of ways, which can help accelerate success early on.
  • Always be on the look out for how to expand upon your offering to make it more profitable. Think about creating a sister product/service, generating it in a different format or incrementally raising prices until you find your optimum.

Mentioned Reading

  • Everything Is Figureoutable – Marie Forleo
  • The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau
  • Born For This – Chris Guillebeau
  • Profit First – Mike Michalowicz

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By Jake Doran

Masters in Advanced Computer Science student at Keele University, interested in all things tech and business, with aspirations to undertake an MBA in the future.

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