You can call him king of the side hustle, but he will answer to Grant.
Grant Sabatier, 34 and a self-made millionaire, attributes his five-year rise to success to side hustling. Yes, he really side-hustled his way out of $30,000 debt and racked up one million plus in savings while working a 9-to-5 job.
But Sabatier, who runs Millennial Money, wasn’t always so money savvy. Not too long ago, his life looked like that of many millennials. In 2010, he lost his office job and moved back in with his parents with only $2.26 in his bank account. During this time, he applied to more than 200 jobs with no bites – not that he wanted to return to cubicle life.
The Google Searches That Changed Everything
Sabatier turned to Google for answers. And, his search for the best money books led him to Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.
“I read the book and it completely changed my life,” he says.
“One of the co-authors, Joe Dominguez, actually retired at the age of 30, and it was so mind-blowing. I’d never heard of anything like that.”
Google also led him to the discovery of Google ads. He discovered that running Google campaigns for others was profitable. With the power of YouTube, he learned everything he could.
“The fastest path, I think, to six figures is just to get Google AdWord certified. Google offers a free certification exam, and it’s amazing. I mean, that’s how basically I made all of my money,” says Sabatier.
Not only did his new skillset earn him a digital marketing job in Chicago, but it was the foundation of his side hustle success.
The Many Side Hustles of Sabatier
Running one side hustle is a huge time commitment. Balancing 11 to 14 of them might be downright crazy, but that was Sabatier’s life at one point.
“I was working literally all the time,” he says.
He basically worked late at his digital marketing job to learn more from co-workers. He would then start his side business work after that and work as late as he could. He committed his weekends to the hustle, too.
“About three months in, I got my first side hustle gig, which was building a $500 website for a lawyer,” Sabatier says.
During this time, he started his own digital marketing agency. He also launched a second agency with two others. His businesses grew fast. Three months after his first $500 website, he sold his first $50,000 website.
“By the end of that first year, even though my full-time salary was $50,000, I’d made over $300,000.”
A Closer Look at Successful Side Hustles
You don’t need a dozen side hustles to see financial results. The majority of Sabatier’s side business income came from one area – SEO and digital marketing consulting. Here is a deeper look at his most successful gigs.
SEO and Digital Marketing
Since the beginning, Sabatier booked jobs in this niche. Yet, while his early start in the field proved lucrative, there are now scores of SEO experts for hire and competition is stiff. Does Sabatier still think this is a side hustle to pursue?
“Oh absolutely, I mean the Internet’s not slowing down. Certainly, areas are more
competitive than they were before, but demand just continues to grow for these skillsets.”
“That’s an important thing to note. Because just working to get a job is different than building a skillset that’s going to help you for the rest of your life. Having a diversity of skillsets in the digital space is setting you up for jobs that don’t even exist yet,” he says.
One of Sabatier’s favorite side hustles is buying and flipping domain names. He purchases domains from GoDaddy’s website and through auctions, and then sells them for a higher price. No website building required here.
“The simple rule of thumb is buying the highest value keyword domains,” he says.
“It’s very hard to buy a one-word domain now, but you can still buy two-word domains.”
He suggests combining two popular words and to stick with dot com names. How does he know which domains to buy? “It helps to really specialize in a niche that you know,” he says.
While Sabatier specializes in money and higher-ed domains, he is savvy when it comes domains in any industry. While watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians with his wife, for example, he noticed the way Kanye West was looking at Kim in her Miami store.
“You could just tell how smitten he was with her,” he says. “I was like, oh they’re totally going to date. So, I got on my phone and bought kimandkanye.com and kanyeandkim.com.”
While he can’t disclose how much he made on those sales, you can bet there were a few zeros attached to the price.
Other Side Hustles
You would need a book to detail all of Sabatier’s side hustle adventures. Speaking of books, Sabatier’s book Financial Freedom has a step-by-step framework to pitch, launch and grow a profitable side hustle.
For brevity’s sake, here is a list of some of his other hustles, besides Google campaigns, domain buying and selling, and building websites:
- Concert and event ticket flipping
- Dog walking
- Launching a blog
- Campers and moped flipping
- Freelance white paper writing
- Selling prospect leads to law firms
Words of Wisdom
“A side hustle’s a great thing to do if you have debt. People focus way too much on the debt that they have, and it stops them from going out and making more money,” says Sabatier.
“There’s a limit of how much you can cut back, but there’s not a limit to how much
money you can make. And so, you should spend your time trying to make more money.
The net ROI of that is going to be significantly higher than just cutting back over the long
On that note, go forth and side hustle.