Wouldn’t it be great to quit your job?
Throw in the towel and go into business for yourself. Do things the way YOU want them done. Answer to no one. Pocket the profit yourself.
Chef and travelpreneur Henry Bronson knows the feeling.
He’s been in the restaurant business for 40 years and owned his own restaurant for over two decades. He knows what it’s like to have a business. But his real passion is his side hustle.
You don’t have to quit your day job to build a side hustle that could one day have you retiring comfortably on full pay.
In this week’s YBTV interview, Henry takes us through what a side hustle is, what you need to start, and how long it REALLY takes to attain financial freedom.
Update: Henry Bronson passed away on November 20th, 2019. You will be missed, Henry!
What You’ll Learn
If you’re only in it for the money, it’s not going to happen for you. This stuff is about changing lives.”
You’ve seen those people.
They quit their job. They started their own business. Three months later, they live on the beach with a laptop and a cocktail, teaching others to do the same.
Could following their advice give you financial freedom?
Unfortunately, that picture is “just not true by any stretch of the imagination,” says chef and travelpreneur Henry Bronson.
“There are a very few isolated people that go out there and hit it big. Some guy out there might have this great coaching program, he’s got everybody to join him, so he’s the guy on the beach, but what’s he selling? What’s he doing? What’s he producing? Just more of the same.”
Avoid the coach who’s selling you a dream he hasn’t attained himself, Henry advises.
“I didn’t become a talented chef overnight. Why would you expect to be an overnight success in a side business or, better yet, a business you have no experience in?”
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Instead, look for opportunities with a low entry point that you can do without quitting your day job.
“Get in there, learn some skills, get with the right people,” Henry says. That side hustle could just fund your retirement or let you quit your day job—IF you’re willing to stick with it for long enough.
“The truth of the matter is, no matter what you’re doing, it’s never going to be enough really, unless you have a big fat inheritance coming your way,” Henry says. You can no longer expect to work all your life and comfortably retire.
I’ll tell you an interesting story that I love, and it’s the one where you get called into your boss’s office and they tell you, ‘Listen, I got good news and bad news for you.’ [You say] ‘Alright, give it to me straight.’ ‘Well, here’s the bad news: you’re being laid off. The good news is you got the rest of the day off.”
That fear drives people into arms of coaches who promise overnight financial freedom. But what else can they do?
“There’s one thing you could do,” Henry says. “Give us an hour a day—5 hours a week—for the next 2 years, and then you’ll be able to retire at full pay. Would you take it? We’re not going to pay you for that extra hour a day, but would you take it?”
“Well,” he continues, “that’s what a side business is. You get out there, and you put in an extra hour a day or an extra two hours a day for a couple of years, and the next thing you know, you wake up and it’s like, ‘Holy moly, I’ve actually built something with a low entry point, and I might have enough income to replace my full-time deal.’ That’s the magic of part-time.”
You might say, “But I don’t have time to build a business on the side!” That’s okay, says Henry. “All you need to do is commit to put the time in.”
Choosing the Perfect Side Hustle
What Henry is talking about is NOT the stereotypical home-based business where moms sell essential oils, beauty products, or Tupperware to other moms.
“For every success story, there’s a hundred people out there with a garage full of products that they either couldn’t sell or got sick of using,” he says. “There are a lot of people out there who are just peddling stuff.”
The perfect side hustle is one you’re passionate about. “People are smart,” Henry says. “They understand you’re either in it or you’re not.”
So what’s Henry’s side hustle? Travel!
“I love it, because the entry cost was low and it’s a hell of a lot of fun,” he says.
Henry lived for a year and a half in France when he was a kid. He learned to speak French, he learned about French culture, and he learned “what it was like to be seriously out of your comfort zone in a new place.”
Today, he helps people travel more and save money traveling. Part of that side hustle is helping others do what he’s done for himself.
“I’ve been in the restaurant business for years and I love it, but let’s face it: it’s grueling,” he says. “Being a business owner sometimes sucks.” Your employees can quit, but you can’t.
A side hustle can give you the freedom to forge your own financial future, while eliminating the financial risk and stress of having your own business. It’s not a backup plan. It’s something you do because you love it.
In his chapter in Break Through: Powerful Stories from Global Authorities that are Guaranteed to Equip Anyone for Real Life Breakthrough, Henry shares his life philosophy:
What I’ve come to understand is that we have to live life on life’s terms … but we’re also fortunate enough that we can renegotiate on a daily basis.”
Jump to Topics of Interest
1:50 How Henry fell in love with his side hustle
3:35 The magic of part-time
6:27 No overnight successes
8:40 The bus driver who ended up riding waves on a cruise ship
10:55 Home-based businesses
12:28 Henry’s side hustle in travel
13:17 How Henry became interested in travel
14:34 The restaurant business
16:10 The power of habits
17:28 Henry’s chapter in Break Through
19:32 A side hustle isn’t a backup plan
20:15 Take a shot at change and always salt the water when you cook pasta!
Henry Bronson was a chef and the owner of Bisto Henry in Manchester, Vermont for 25 years. He was nominated by his peers as one of the top chefs in the country and featured by Best Chefs America. He was a traveler, author and speaker who loved nothing more than accumulating and dispensing wisdom and stories. He could be found on the beaches and ski slopes of the world, where he was sure to have found the best place to eat.