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Monday, April 19, 2021

Ramit Sethi: How to negotiate rent during COVID

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There are also big side hustle opportunities during the pandemic

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Brainstorm what services or products you can offer to people virtually.

Courtesy of Ramit Sethi


Ecommerce has been steadily growing in recent years (there are approximately 1.3 million ecommerce businesses in the US) and retail stores were already hurting pre-coronavirus. As physical businesses shutter, from gyms to shopping centers, consumers are left with little choice but to satisfy their needs virtually. This creates a wealth of opportunity for current and aspiring entrepreneurs, and there’s plenty of ways to start a side hustle or small business from home. 

“There are lots of people who started a business in the last recession which has now flourished, and that’s the same approach that some people are taking now,” Sethi said. “People are starting to focus on earning more, whether by starting a side business or a full time business, which can all be done remotely and virtually.” 

One of Sethi’s students is a gifted artist. After the outbreak, she launched a virtual painting business, similar to brick-and-mortar locations that offer wine tasting and painting classes. The student promoted and sold the classes through her Instagram account, and quickly found people who were eager to swap out their Netflix quarantine binge for a more creative evening activity. 

“Whether it is lesson plans for children, personal styling, or help with organization, there are so many opportunities that people are starting right now, even amidst the pandemic,” Sethi said.

Another student is a pilates instructor who owns her own studio — it was forced to close.

“Within 96 hours of the coronavirus shutdown, she had launched her online classes, and she told me was making 50% of what she used to,” Sethi shared. “Fifty percent is still a huge drop, but it’s also 50% more than zero.”

It’s also important, Sethi said, to imagine how to create a service that you can eventually turn into a product that will generate you income in the future, even while you sleep. 

“Focus on finding 10 customers who will happily pay for your service,” Sethi said. “The number they pay you doesn’t really matter, it could be $20 or $50, it’s irrelevant. Just prove that somebody values your service enough that they will pay for it. Once you find those people, you can then decide if you want to turn it into a product.”

Over the last few months, many Americans have learned the hard way that having a stable job doesn’t necessarily mean stability. By turning your side hustle into a product, you can create something that will generate you income for years to come.

“For example, you could record the painting session or fitness class that you teach, and sell that online. And suddenly, you’ve turned your side skill into an actual product that can sell 24/7,” Sethi said.

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