Side Hustle: The Real Mobile Hot Spot

hold antenna, sxsw, mba, ham radio

The bulk of us that read and blog have regular full time jobs.  Many of us do this for fun or as a side hustle trying to make some passive income.  I have been an avid reader for a few years and have seen some interesting side hustles over at Budgets Are Sexy side hustle series.  This one that I am about to tell you about takes the cake. 

 A New York marketing firm, Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s Labs (BBH), created a stir at the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) recently.  The festival held in Austin, Texas is geared towards bringing the eclectic music of Austin to the rest of the world.  Now that we are in the technology age where we feel the need to be constantly connected to the internet, so in comes the homeless hotspot.     

 You guessed it, it is a homeless individual walking around with a device that transmits wireless data signals where users can subscribe to and pay for to have access to the internet.  The homeless individuals are compensated for their services of carrying around the devices that transmit the signals.  Take a look at the homeless hotspot website for more information on some of the homeless individuals. 

According to they claim that the “volunteers are guaranteed to make at least $50/day for 6 hour day.”  Not bad considering they were otherwise homeless. BBH labs would like to roll this out on a broader scale if accepted. 

What do you think, is society exploiting the homeless or are we giving them an opportunity they may not have otherwise had?  Anyone go to this festival?  Anyone subscribe to the internet service provided by one of these individuals. 

PHOTO BY: Whiskeygonebad

Who said that being on a Board of Directors scholarship isn’t cool ?

As I slowly reveal more about myself you will see that I have my hand in a lot of things.  I am currently on the board of directors for a local non profit organization that works to promote awareness for endangered structures in the community.  In particularly buildings that have historic significance, we are the voice for them so that they are not destroyed to make way for a new house or store or whatever.

I was elected in November 2011 as a board member.  Since then I have embarked on organizing their membership directory into a usable format in Microsoft Access.  Microsoft Access is a great tool for this purpose as many have it already installed on their home computers and it makes sharing the database easy.  The group never really had a way of tracking membership or when membership was expiring to solicit new membership.  Long story short the membership directory is up to date and now we are going to have a large fundraising campaign.

The organization solicited membership via word of mouth previously, but the younger generation likes to use social media and exploit the internet to its full potential to get the word out there.  I plan on subscribing to Constant Contact or another service to do email blasts to anyone we can email.  Anyone ever use Constant Contact?  Any other vendors out there or suggestions besides using Constant Contact?

So why volunteer my time on an all volunteer board?  There are 3 parts to this of which I will only discuss one today and the other part on a subsequent day.  The first one may not be the most obvious; we have two little kiddies, which means we spend a lot of time in our car driving them around to get them to sleep.  The wife and I do this for our own sanity!  There has been many a night we have eaten in the front seats of our car, like last Friday.

We have a connection to the area and have seen some of the historic structures razed to make way for parking lots and other mixed use structures.  Some of which fall abandoned after a few years.  Now being on the board of directors of this group I have had a chance to make an impact on some of these structures for future generations to cherish.  When my little girls are older I will be able to tell them that I used to drive by here when you were small and sleeping in back.  And mention that the building wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the efforts of this group.    I would love to ask you all for support but I like the anonymity of blogging.  Someday I may reveal myself like J Money did at BudgetsAreSexy and Love Drop or maybe blur my face like PunchDebtInTheFace but until that time comes imagine I look like Brad Pitt just a little taller and nerdier!

What is cooler than having your name out in the community and people recognizing your name for having an impact on saving a structure or heading up a campaign to finance a particular function needed for the group?  Nothing I can think of.

Blogging, working full time as a financial analyst, 2 kids, wife, and now board of directors means that Christopher is short on time but that is my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Lesson learned: Just because you don’t donate funds to a charity there other ways to help the community out.

PHOTO BY: Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Limburg