Do you enjoy traveling? Would you like to make more money on the side? I certainly have a treat for you today. I welcome Mike Choi of I Fly With Miles to Studenomics today to talk about his side hustle: Frequent Flyer Miles Booking Service.
My side hustle is a service that assists people redeem their own frequent flyer miles because quite frankly, navigating the rules and terms of any frequent flyer mile program is confusing to most people who don’t have a lot of time to research themselves.
Most of the frequent flyer mile bookings through my service is for international destinations.
How did I start?
I was aware of other people offering a frequent flyer miles redemption service, but didn’t think anything of it. I took action about a year later when US Airways Dividend Miles was offering promotional bonus miles by completing certain activities. One of the activities was to sign-up for a domain name. I didn’t give much thought for a domain name because I was simply registering a domain name for the miles and ended up with iflywithmiles.com
A few months later, a then colleague wanted to learn how to make a website. Rather than have him aimlessly making a website, I suggest making a website using my domain name geared towards helping people redeem their frequent flyer miles. After all, I was really passionate about traveling and have redeemed frequent flyer miles for my trip and for friends that needed help.
About a month later, the site went live and over the course of the next few weeks and until now, I receive e-mails requesting assistance with various airline miles.
What keeps me motivated?
I travel a lot myself and have on the ground experience transiting through airports and transferring to downtown or CBD of major cities. With my own personal experience, I can transfer that knowledge to better understand my client needs
Additionally, it’s self-rewarding. As a direct result of my help, I touch people’s lives and bring a level of enjoyment through travel. I think that’s something that I didn’t get to experience in my previous jobs.
[Must read: Everything you could want to know about travel.]
What’s the positive aspect?
There are numerous of positive aspects with having this side hustle. Here’s a few I can think of:
It’s a source of income while I travel and the best part is that I can work wherever there is a decently fast Internet connection.
It’s always interesting to see where people want to go with their miles. There are a few destinations that people tend to gravitate towards (Europe).
The additional income was also a great way to diversify income when I was working full-time.
What are the start-up costs?
My start up costs were low.
I bought a domain for the sole purpose of earning frequent flyer miles. The site design was free thanks to my colleague at the time. The hosting is a flat yearly fee, which is covered by the operations.
Time is another sunk cost. I’ve put in a lot of time adding a blog section to match what my colleague did for free so I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel in the design aspect.
What are the goals?
I partnered up with my friend Melissa who I known for several years to help handle requests/e-mails when I’m away and contribute to the blog section. With the addition of the blog, I hope to create more authority and more consistent traffic to grow the site.
Any final thoughts?
Martin is all about hustling to make money. I thought I share mine so that readers can get a sense of inspiration to think of new and unique services to supplement their income.
The side hustle doesn’t need to be an online venture, it could be something that could fill a local market demand even if it’s for a short time frame.
I much rather test an idea and fail than not pursue anything at all.
I remember when I was in Cairns, Australia. I met this one girl from England in Australia on a working visa. She told me her story about how hard it was finding job and I suggested starting her own hustle. The sun in Australia is especially strong and suggested she get some sun cream and a billboard offering to apply sunscreen on the backs of paying individuals.
What guy would turn away this offer? She thought it was pretty funny, but didn’t cash in on the opportunity.
A side hustle is all about finding that opportunity and stepping out of your comfort zone a bit.
What’s your side hustle?