June 1, 2022

Summer Jobs and 4 Alternative Project Ideas - Ep.47

Summer Jobs and 4 Alternative Project Ideas To Earn Money And Work Experience

Degree Free Summer Job Ideas

With summer in full swing, we are going to be talking about how you can get summer jobs the Degree Free way!

In this episode, we talk about:

- Traditional jobs that you can do this summer to earn money and work experience.
- The skills you'll learn in these summer jobs that will help your career and also equip you with knowledge in starting a business.
- 4 alternative project ideas that you can do to expand your knowledge and make it easier for you to get hired later.

Enjoy the episode!

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Want to learn about jobs that restaurant workers are already qualified for? Check out the previous episode!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha folks. And welcome back to degree free. We are your hosts, Ryan, and Hannah Maruyama on this podcast we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made. While self-educating getting work building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed. 

Hannah: Welcome back everybody to the podcast.

We are happy to have you here as always. And because why would you not, if you want to get a newsletter from Ryan and I weekly delivered straight to your inbox with degree free jobs, resources, really cool news and stuff that Ryan and I like you are going to want to run, not walk over to degreefree.co/signup for that.

And did I mention it was free? 

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And let's get into today's episode. Today, we are going to be talking about summer jobs and for alternative project ideas instead of summer jobs, this is an episode that we are doing because we had a listener reach out. And you know what's funny, at first I wasn't, I read all the emails.

If you guys want to get in contact with us contacted degreefree.co.

Hannah: Ryan does read all the emails. And then usually I read them after he reads them. 

Ryan: Right. 

And yeah, you guys are great. So yeah. Just keep, keep emailing us but yeah, Jacob, I won't say your last name, but Jacob, I think I can say his first name is fine.

There's a lot of Jacobs in the world.

Hannah: I'm sure they won't find him.

Ryan: Right. And so he reached out and he said, He would like to know our perspectives on summer jobs. And at first I was just like, I was just going to politely decline. I was going to be like, oh, that's not really what we do. Right. Like, cause we're more thinking about how to build careers and how to learn things that can help build your career or help develop a business.

Right. The degree free way. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: And then I thought about it more, and then I was like, You know what, there is a degree free way to go about this summer jobs thing, or at least the way to look at it. Right. And so I was like, yeah, let's do it then. And I'm pretty excited now. 

Hannah: Yeah. , I think this is a good episode.

I'm excited. I'm excited about it. 

Ryan: Yeah. 

 So in this episode, we're going to kind of be focusing on building skills that you can use forever. 


Things that you can put on top of your resume or in a professional, personal portfolio. And. It can pay dividends for the rest of your life, or at least even in order for you to get another job.

Hannah: Yeah. This is stuff that if you learn these fundamental things that you would, if you're doing any of these projects or summer jobs, it is going to make you more attractive to employers. Yes. 

Ryan: And this episode, it is mostly meant for. College students that have the summer off, or because we know that we have those, even though it's called degreefree, it can be anybody, right.

Even if you have a college guy have a college degree, I'm still degree free. It can also be for high school students or the parents of high school students, which I know that we have a lot of in our listenership. But at the end of the episode, or, kind of half of the episode, or more than half of the episode, it's also a four, we took a little different route of how to think about the summer jobs.

Right. We took a little bit of a detour off of that. 

Hannah: A little bit more dynamic, I think. 

Ryan: Yeah. And so there might be something in this episode for everybody I think.

Hannah: Yeah. 

I think this could even be applicable for teachers too, that have summer off. 

Ryan: Yeah definitely. You don't have to think about that. Yeah, absolutely.

Hannah: That are trying to do something, build something, make something. 

Yeah. Definitely. 

Ryan: And we definitely have a lot of teachers. We do a lot of teachers, but if you guys know, teachers definitely share that, share this episode with them. I guess the first thing that we're gonna be talking about is like really traditional summer jobs.

Hannah: Yeah, 

so you can go the route, you know, waitress, bartender, nanny, lifeguard, golf cart attendant, et cetera. And you can do, for sure do those types of things, but we're going to be focusing on things that could turn into a business. So lawn care, landscaping, pool cleaning, and 


Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.

And these are definitely great ways to make money. Sure. But we're more focused on building the business. And this isn't necessarily focused on people that want to do this forever. Right? I mean, it's your summer job, but you're building a business and we're going to talk about how we're going to frame these businesses to employers later, right? You're going to use these two and a half months, two months, three months, however long your summer vacation is now and you are going to put these skills to work as you probably would have already, but now at least after you've listened to this episode, hopefully you realize that you've done all of these things.

Hannah: Yeah. And it's, and you'll realize when you're looking down a job description that you have experience with a lot of the things that they want because you did them.

Ryan: Right.

So some of the things that you are gonna be doing by starting your own business, whether it's a landscaping business or, handyman business, something like that, it's going to be product creation, sales, market analysis, marketing, client services, customer service.

I mean however, these are all services business that we're talking about because they're easiest to get going.


But it can be something product focused, but that just takes a little bit longer usually to set up.

Hannah: Yeah. A little more, not more labor-intensive but more time consuming to, to figure it all out.

Ryan: Yeah. But the list goes on and on about the things that your war you are going to learn as a business owner. As somebody that's trying to do this for a summer job 

Hannah: And they make you way more attractive to someone who wants to hire. 

Ryan: Yeah.

You're going to understand at a much deeper level than your peers that don't understand this stuff.


They're gonna understand at a deeper level how to make. How a company makes money. What marketing is, what sales is, right. What order fulfillment is, what operations is, 

What customer services? 

Right. Exactly. You're going to, you're going to understand all of these things. And I think that's before we really get into it with a kind of a deeper example, that's really what we want to press upon this episode is that there are so many people that are already doing these things.

But then they come out of it thinking that they don't have any skills. 

Hannah: Yeah. When realistically speaking, it was funny when I talked about getting my PMI, PBA, certification, a lot of people were like, how did you get around the hourly requirements? I'm like, I didn't. I had them. I just think that a lot of people don't know that their experience doing, running their own business or working alongside closely with a business owner to do a business that maybe they don't think of as formally, they don't quantify those things as business experience, as analysis, as marketing as hard business skills, but they are.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely.

There's definitely experience and invaluable for a lot of people. And especially for people that are listening to this, especially at that, at this pivotal time in your career, right? This is invaluable experience. And so what we wanted to do is we wanted to basically go with one of the most obvious ones for summer, the example of a lawn care business.

And we want it to just kind of just do a in-depth breakdown of this one. And. To do all of them is kind of too much, but you can extrapolate the concepts from this and 

Hannah: To anything. 

Ryan: Yeah. To anything we also go into depth how to start a services business in one of our previous episodes.

And it was episode 30. 

Hannah: Yeah. It's a deep dive . 

Ryan: Yeah. So I say just after you listen to this episode, You go back and you listen to that episode, or you can pause this now and then go back and listen to episode 31st. We kind of go into it, but what we didn't, go into how to do it. But today we're talking about how to market those skills or how to identify the skills that you're learning while you're doing all of this stuff while you're doing those summer jobs. So yeah. Degree free.co/podcast. You can find that out. 

Hannah: And something that Ryan talks about frequently too, about when you do get a new job, he always says to make sure you write down your, uh, your responsibilities and what you're doing in the job you just left.

Um, you should do that when you, when you finally figure it out when you first get hired to, but this is a good one to do that as well. Once you start doing the work of starting one of these businesses, keep track of what you're doing, make descriptions of what you are actually doing. So you can transfer that onto a resume.

Ryan: Yep, definitely. And we are going to have to do an episode eventually. It's probably soon

Hannah: on how to do that 

Ryan: On how to do that because we have a lot of questions on that as well on how business owners can put their experience onto their resumes, because it bothers me that. It boggles my mind that a lot of business owners, they might take, , a two-year break or whatever to run their business.

Okay. It fails or whatever, you know, whatever your vision of failure, successes, right. Maybe it's still working, but it's not making enough money. So you have to go back to the job market, but they don't put that experience onto the resume, which boggles my mind. 

Hannah: Yeah. But we used to be like that. 

Ryan: Yeah, no, definitely.


Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: Definitely.

Hannah: It's crazy.

Ryan: Yeah. So I should get off my hours, but 

Hannah: it's a case I have there everyone. 

Ryan: Yeah .

Hannah: I'll just stay here on my low pony. But, I think that's a good point though. It's something that we'll definitely have to go into more depth about because it's, there's a lot of uncertainty around it, for sure.

Ryan: So with the lawn care business, Assuming that you have, let's just start from the very beginning, right? Assuming that you have no equipment, right. So you have to buy the equipment. So how much does a mower cost? How much has a weed Wacker or weed eater, depending on where you live in the U S or where you live in the world, what those 

are called?

Hannah: Are those not two different things? A weed eater and a weed wacker. I guess these are not right. Is that different from an edger? 

Ryan: Well, The edger is, you can use a weed whacker as an edger, but the Adger is tilted in a more ergonomic position in order to do edging for the specific. 

Hannah: Oh, 


Ryan: Yeah, but it's basically, it's very similar to, you could use an Azure to weed back your yard too, or, we weed your yard too. I mean, it's just difficult and the same that you can use a weed Wacker. To 

Hannah: edge the yard, but 

Ryan: difficult. 

Hannah: Huh?

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: There's something new today. 

Ryan: So how much those are going to be fixed costs, right?

Like how much are the, is the equipment going to 


Hannah: Yeah, because assuming it doesn't break, it's gonna, cost. whatever's gonna cost. 

Ryan: Maybe not assuming you don't have to assume that maybe you do, 

Hannah: maybe it is an emergency fund for breaking. 

Ryan: Sure. Exactly. And that's a variable cost, right?

How much is the fuel? 

That's gonna,

Hannah: we all know right now that's a daily question, 

Ryan: Right? So how much, how much is the fuel? How much is the oil? Right? How much is the maintenance costs? All these, those are variable costs right. Now, you've learned something. About financial analysis.

You've learned something a little bit about accounting, right? I mean, you've dabbled your toes into it and now you're thinking about, okay, well, if you're going to buy this $200 more and this hundred dollars weed eater right? $300. And it costs, let's just say $5 in gas, every yard that you do, depending on the size of the yard.

Hannah: Well, now you got to charge at least more than $5, 

Ryan: Right? Exactly. 

Hannah: and it won't break even..

Ryan: Yeah. At least for the yard. Right. And then now you're doing the math. How many yards in order to break even how many yards in order to get your money back? 

Hannah: Right, 

Ryan: Right. And how much did you charge? 

Hannah: So how, and that's going to determine how you're trying to get to profitability right? Cause you're trying to make money. So until you're working to pay off the fixed costs until you get there. 

Ryan: Yeah. 

Hannah: Yeah,

Ryan: Exactly. And so this is your. Introduction. Right. So what we just did, there is financial analysis, right? Intro to accounting with professor Maruyama 

Hannah: degree, the degree free way.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: 30 seconds or less. 

Ryan: Yeah. 

 If it doesn't fit in a 15 second sound clip, I don't want to hear it. 

Hannah: I'm bored already. 

Ryan: And so, but with, okay, so with a lawn mower and a weed-eater and how. How are we getting customers, right? How are we drumming up sales? So one of the things that you could do is you could just go around the neighborhood and knock on doors.

Hannah: Okay. So I actually love, I don't love doing this, but I'm better at it now than I ever was. This is something that if you can learn how to do this, if you can conquer this fear of knocking on doors and asking people questions, you can pretty much do anything. Like, cause it's terrifying to just walk on, walk up to somebody's house and knock on the door and ask them to pay you money to do a thing, even though you're trying to do something for them.

Right. But it's still just, it's scary. Right. And it takes some guts to learn how to do that. 

Ryan: Yeah, definitely, and you have experienced with going around and trying to sell things, right. I mean, you were selling our hats that we made. 

Hannah: We'll tell that story. 

Ryan: Yeah. We'll definitely tell the story then another time, because it's too long.

Cause it's absolutely probably going to be huge, but. It's definitely one of the best ways to get sales experience. Right? So you go to these houses and then you're like,, your yard doesn't look great. Right? I would like to do your yard. 

Hannah: Yeah. You go to the houses that are overgrown first. If it moves me, I go to the houses that are overgrown, 

Ryan: However, and that's another thing, right?

 Logistics and planning. Now you have to think. Okay, maybe it doesn't make sense to go to the houses that are overgrown because maybe you are, it takes too much time. So maybe. 

Hannah: You want to go to houses that are already only a little bit grown and you just undercut the competition to acquire your customers.

Ryan: Yeah, maybe 

Hannah: interesting.

Ryan: Sure. 

But what I was saying is that, okay, so now that you know that you're face-to-face with this person, this person is gonna tell you no. Right. And. Okay, what do we, what do we do now? Right. We have to overcome objections, right? We have to say like, we have to figure out why are you telling me no?

No. Are you telling me no, because my prices are too high. Okay. Well, if my prices are too high, well, that's the price. The price is the price, man, right? Or maybe you have some room in negotiating, so maybe you do negotiate on price. Maybe it's a service thing. Maybe they're like, they look at you and you only have a mower and, a weed Wacker and they're just like, yeah, you know, our yard's a little complicated.

I don't think that you can do it. And so maybe you go around and you overcome those objections, maybe like, oh no, no, no. I see the Lily plants over there. Like, no, I can, I can take it. Yeah. I can get around them easily and whatever. Right. 

Hannah: You know? Right. I like the sound of your voice. I think I want to buy a million dollars with it.

Ryan: So what you just did there. Right. Sales negotiation, competitor analysis, right? Because you were thinking, okay, well, what are my competitors charging? Right. What do my competitors have, that I don't have? Right. Maybe? 

Hannah: Or what do I have that they don't have.

Ryan: Right. Exactly. And so maybe they sell time, right?

Like maybe they're like, well, they have a riding mower and the homeowner likes to be at home when the help is around not to call you the help, but whatever. Right.

So, they see that you have a lawn mower and they're just gonna be like, oh, you're going to take, you're going to take like three hours. I don't want to like watch you for three hours. 

Hannah: Or I don't want to hear the lawnmower for three hours. 

Ryan: I don't want to hear the lawnmower for three hours. Right. And then, so how do you overcome that?

How do you overcome that objection and be like, well, look, I see that you have a ring camera. You know, you can let me know when you're not here. You can watch me on the ring and you know, I won't go near your house or anything like that while you're not here. So a tough sell, but maybe 

Hannah: Yeah, you might be able to get them

Ryan: Maybe.

Hannah: Yeah, 

Ryan: Exactly. 

The next thing that we want to think about is going to be like where, which neighborhoods. Are you going to try and service, right. And this kind of goes back to what we talked about earlier, which is the logistics aspect of it, right. And the marketing aspect of it, market analysis.

And so do you want to stick into an, a small HOA or an HOA that have has small to medium-sized yards that may be. You do for 40 to $50 a pop. 

Hannah: The nice thing about an age away too, is that, you know that at a certain point they have to cut their grass usually, or they're going to get in trouble with their HOA.

So you know, that there's consistent demand in that neighborhood to where to get the grass cut and in an ideal world. 

Ryan: Sure. Maybe. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: But, okay, so then you do 40 or $50, a yard. All right. Maybe you need three to five in the day in order to make the amount of money that you want to make in order to break even, or in order to not break even, but rather start making some money.

Right. But the other strategy would be maybe you go to a rural area, and you just go after the whales. Maybe you just go after the people that have large yards. Right. And now this one part is one client. You charged him $200, but you're there all day. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: Right. You're there for six hours doing the whole yard cause you only have a mower and a weed whacker. 

Hannah: Right. 

Ryan: But $200 is way less than what your competitors would have charged for that. Right. All right. 

Hannah: And you only had to change locations once instead of multiple times. Right?

Ryan: Exactly

Hannah: So you just got to figure out what works for you. 

Ryan: That goes back to what you just said about the, how would you go after your clients first?

Right? You said that you would go after the people that with the shaggy STRs. Cause they have the most need. 

Hannah: Right. 

Ryan: Right. Okay. But maybe that's not the way that you want to do it because maybe you don't have a car. Right. And if you don't have a car, 

Hannah: you're walking the mower ,

Ryan: you're walking the mower so what makes the most sense if you're walking in the mower?

Probably just to stop at everybody's probably just to stop at everybody's house. 


I'm not sure. Right. But I don't know, it's a legit, it's a logistics problem and a market analysis problem that you have to figure out. Right. So being that's something else that you can put onto your resume. 

Hannah: Yeah, that's huge.

Ryan: Okay. So the next thing is like, okay, you've landed your first client, right. Or you've landed up a few clients. Now, the next thing is going to be servicing these clients, right? Like actually doing the thing that they're going to pay you for, and so now we have to make sure that we are setting expectations, right?

We have to make sure that. We are going to do what they want us to do. So what I mean by that is just kind of explaining the scope of the work. So, telling them exactly what it is you're going to be doing. Okay. I'm going to do the front yard and I'm going to do the sides of your house. I'm going to do the backyard, but I see that you have a little tomato patch over there.

Uh, that has a little bit of weed's in there. I'm not in the weeding business. I'm not going to pull weeds, but I will cut your grass. Right. And telling them that before is what we call it, setting expectations, right? You are setting the expectations for the client. So the client expects this amount of work and you are going to perform this amount of work.

You can go above it. That's fine, but you don't want to fall below it and this is a really important concept. For people to understand for you to understand. And it was crucial for us in every aspect of our businesses. And, you know, it's crucial for any other business as well, because you're constantly setting customer expectations.

You're constantly setting client expectations. The difference between. A happy customer and a dissatisfied customer usually is what they expected the outcome to be. 

Hannah: And you can control that by informing them of what it will be, 

Ryan: right. 

Hannah: Accurately. 

Ryan: Yeah. If they think for $200, you're going to mow their yard, you know, Edgar on the whole property, and then you're gonna come in and cook them dinner and wash your clothes afterwards, and then you don't cook them dinner and you don't wash your clothes and you don't sing them a lullaby. They're going to be pretty upset. Right. 

Hannah: Right even if their yard looks great, 

Ryan: Even if their yard looks fantastic but if for some reason,

Hannah: they were promised more and they didn't get it 

Ryan: Right.

Or not. If you promise more, 

Hannah: but they think for whatever reason, 

Ryan: Exactly. 

Hannah: Because you never know what's in people's heads. 

Ryan: Right. It's not so much about the promising. It's not so much about the. You want to be as explicit as possible. You want to be, you want to tell them this is what you're getting. This is what I will be doing.

And then you want to meet those expectations.. 

All right. 

Hannah: So you've got customers. How are you going to get, to keep them being repeat customers? And then how are you going to acquire new customers? So the best way, one of the best ways to acquire new customers is to get them through your existing customers. So one thing that's hugely effective is sort of creating almost an affiliate program where you get people to say, oh, like, if you tell your, , if you have your neighbors, have have me do their lawns as well.

I'll knock 20% off your next off your next cutting, and now they have an incentive to tell the people next door, oh, Hey, this guy will do your lawn. Or, you know, this gal will do your lawn and they're going to take 20%, you know? And then if you, if you give them somebody they'll take 20% off your yard, you know?

So it just becomes this self-feeding thing. And you're relying on word of mouth, which is really powerful for marketing in general. 

Ryan: The other thing that you could be doing is you could do print media, right? Like you can go and create a basic flyer that you go post on local bulletin boards around your community.

Hannah: Yeah. Put them up in schools, churches, charities, town halls, wherever people around your community gather and then there's also just the good old fashioned, like keep knocking on people's doors. 


If you just ask. If you ask every week, you know, , you might eventually get somebody who their lawn care guy falls through, right.

Or the person who normally does it just didn't do a good job and you might catch him at the right time and they might change their minds. And now you've acquired a new customer for nothing but persistence. Right. And that's a great, that's a great way to do it, and that is marketing. 

Ryan: Yeah. You could also go to town hall meetings and, and, um, you know, like kind of network, right.

You can go to town hall and community meetings and just be. Hey, I mean, there's a million ways to do it, right? These are just some of the ways that we're discussing, right? These are just some of the ways that you could possibly do it, but yeah. That as how to set that's marketing like that, those skills right there, you've just learned our marketing.

And now you can take that, put it on your resume. I understand the marketing process is this what I've done. 

Hannah: Yep. This is how I set customer expectations. This is how I got, you know, this is how I did customer acquisition. Cause that's what that is.

Ryan: And so as you can see these summer jobs, or probably more accurately, the summer businesses can teach you a lot about business and they can teach you about a lot about the different business elements, right?

Each individual element, 

Hannah: Even if it's not your goal to run your summer business forever is a great stepping stone too, because you might discover that there's aspects of it that you really like. And that you're really good at, that could either turn into their own businesses or you can just keep growing in seasonal summer business that you've started. 

And then you can just start outsourcing the parts that you don't like. So you can start hiring for people to do the labor and you can just keep doing the marketing, right. If you're really good at meeting people and getting new customers, just keep doing that and then hire people to do the work that you're maybe not so keen on.

And that's huge because it's gonna teach you different pieces of business, and then you get to kind of see which pieces and parts you want to take and run with and which pieces you don't and which ones you're going to offload as soon as you can. 

Ryan: Sure. And I think maybe that is getting a little like advanced because, that is definitely the next step.


But that's a little bit more like. You're taking this business to the next level. 

Hannah: Okay. You're growing it

Ryan: right. I think what I want to stress is that with becoming your own business owner, you're now dabbling, dabbing, dabbling. I dunno somebody correct me. Contact degreefree.co. You're taking these experiences and you're getting a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit of sales, a little bit of marketing, right? A little bit of competitor analysis, 

Hannah: a little bit of accounting,

Ryan: a little bit of all of it. And now you can kind of go down deeper into the rabbit hole of whichever one you like, and you've done it in a very low.

Hannah: Fairly low-risk

Ryan: fairly low risk way. 

I mean, in the example that we've just used, I mean, what are we talking about? Maybe $400 worth of equipment 

Hannah: and then time. 

Ryan: Right, obviously the time too, but I'm just talking about money because most people. Their main objection is going to be money and I don't have any money to start this business.

All right. Well, you know, you can drum up $400 from somebody. 

Hannah: Yeah. If you can, if you can afford to go to college for a semester for marketing, you don't, you can afford to try to start a business to, you know, one of these like low cost services businesses in order to learn marketing. 

Ryan: Yeah. 

So let's go deeper in marketing.

If you find out that you like marketing and it's kind of a puzzle to you. And you're like, okay. I really like to learn and kind of, I don't know. I wouldn't say manipulate, but sure. Manipulate people because that's what marketing is.

Hannah: Yeah. I guess in another way. 

Ryan: Trying to bend their needs and wants in order to. fit your products or whatever.

Anyway, you like that. Okay. Now you can go deeper down the marketing rabbit hole. Right. And then you can kind of focus your learning, learning towards that 

Hannah: and skills acquisition in that area. Yeah. 

Ryan: And so that's the traditional summer job, right. Or at least Summerside business. And for the rest of the episode, I kind of wanted to talk about four alternative projects.

To the traditional summer jobs, and so in order to do that, I kind of, with this question that Jacob asked, I try to think, okay, what else could we do other than that. Right. How else can we expand on this? 

Hannah: And maybe take the, and taking the money, making aspect out of it a little bit. And just focusing on you have this much time to do something.

So what do you do?

Ryan: Yeah. Right. So you have dropping the summer from an under say what? Okay. What if you had like two to three months to work on something? Well, like what's a good thing. Not necessarily making money. I mean, obviously money's great. Obviously money is great, but there's a million. There's an infinite amount of ways to make money.

So we're not going to talk about that, but what's something that we can start in order to build skills or network 

Hannah: or something else of value to yourself in two or three months. 

Ryan: Right? 

So the first one is going to be build a professional community and building a professional community is definitely one of the things that if you want to get, into a specific field. This is a great way to do it. 

Granted, it's a little difficult because there are a lot of professional communities out there already. And so you have to find a little bit of your niche or niche, but they can definitely be done. So the reason why a professional community is a lot of jobs are actually filled informally, right?

And so by creating a community of professionals to come and congregate and learn and skill up together. You're kind of creating a town square of, you know, this sector or this industry or this job. And if you're the leader of that town square quote-unquote leader, then you know, it could open the doors to a lot more opportunity, out there, right, it can lead to possible job offers, partnership deals, sponsorships, you name it. 


And you could use things like slack discord or make your own WordPress website for it. I mean, it doesn't have to be crazy expensive to do it. I mean, there, there are tools out there. We'll link some resources in the show notes for you guys degreefree.co/podcast.

Hannah: Yeah. And this is actually something that we've, we've decided that we're going to do, which has created an online community of people who are interested in what we talk about and trying to do the things that we're doing and we're just kind of. We're just going to be the hosts, basically have a group of a group that's working together to get 


Ryan: If you guys are interested in learning more about that contacted degree for you.co. Just let us know that you're interested in the community group. And, we'll let you know when it's live and where you can go and sign up for it. 

Hannah: Yeah, we're doing work. And then another way, , another project that you could do would be freelancing and building a portfolio.

So this is obviously, probably more useful for people that work in some sort of visual, medium, like web design or graphic design but if you're able to show your work, you can use this tactic in any given industry. We're able to show things that you've done basically. So something that you can do is if you don't have a lot of experience in a field or an industry, you can do work and then show that work.

And now. You know, you have a poor, a personal portfolio of work that you can give to future employers that you can give to future people who may want to contract you. And that is going to be extremely valuable. Now, a lot of people get really stuck on this because if they're not experienced, they go, well, how do I create a portfolio?

Do I just make. You know, to just make up all these things and they kind of get frozen in creativity cause they get overwhelmed by the idea that they have to come up with all of these original ideas and then visually show them but the best way to do this is actually just get work and maybe just don't get when you're first starting out, be willing to accept a little bit lower pay in order to get paid work so that you can gain experience and be able to show that you did work for a specific type of business, because then you're able to show it to people who might want to hire you or pay you to do something else.

Ryan: Yeah. So that could be something like setting up an account on Fiverr or any of those other freelance sites. Post some links to the resources and different freelance sites out there. And you can also just Google it, but it's been in our show notes. So graphic design is definitely one of those traditional portfolio careers, right?

Marketing, that type of stuff. You want to have copywriting. You want them to have a portfolio of work, but let's say go to the less conventional example, and let's say that you want to do bookkeeping or accounting. You want to be a bookkeeper, but you don't know where to start. Right. And so bookkeepers don't usually have portfolio.

But what if they did right. But how would it look? What would be in it? And so, okay. Same thing. We're going to go out and get work because ideally we'd like to get paid a little bit while we learn 

Hannah: at least

Ryan: yeah.

Hannah: At least a little bit. 

If we try to ask, you're asking, 


Ryan: If we have to do it for free, we will.

Right. But if you can get paid, let's get paid even a little bit. So. you're going to basically the skills that you're going to need in order to be a bookkeeper. Let's just say that there are Excel and maybe QuickBooks, right? So after you've learned those skills, after you've learned Excel functions, after you've learned, you know how to use QuickBooks, you can go and make. Basically a little pitch video of you doing those tasks, right? Like you can use something simple. It doesn't have to be expensive. Like you can use something like OBS, which is like a screen recording streaming software.

You can just film yourself doing the work that you are doing. I would suggest not doing it with the company's actual numbers. Right. Use sample data. Definitely don't use the company's actual numbers because then we run into privacy issues and everything like that. Right. 

Hannah: And then whoever's hiring you to do their books is going to wonder if you're going to screenshot their books in order to show it to somebody else.

Ryan: Right, but you know, if you put sample data into an Excel spreadsheet and you're like, hey, here's how to use the sum function, here's how to do some, if here's how to use count, if here's how to concatenate, here's how to do V lookups, whatever, whatever it is, QuickBooks here's the chart of accounts.

Here's the debit accounts, here's the credit accounts, you know, and then you just walk any, walk me on the, let's just say I'm the hierarchy and I'm looking at your personal portfolio on this website that you've built, or, you know, on this link that you sent me to your Google drive and you're showing me that you have all the necessary skills.

All right, perfect. Right. I don't, you've just, de-risked this whole thing by, okay. At least this guy knows a little bit about bookkeeping. We need an entry level bookkeeper. This guy knows more than most. 

Hannah: Yeah. This is a really good one, too, where if you see a listing for an entry level bookkeeper, and maybe you have somebody already who you can clean up their books and you can show it like Ryan saying, you can show it in this portfolio form.

I would think something that would be really effective if it's a small business or a local business, especially would be to go in, find the owner whoever's in charge of hiring and say, look, this, these people's, you know, these people's portfolio, these people's books were a mess. This is what I did

Now, look at this Excel spreadsheet. Look how nice it looks. Look at their reporting on it and how you can see it and look how easy it is. Wow. Isn't that amazing? And they'll be like, yeah, of course. That's amazing. That's great. And then see if they'll give you the work. 

Ryan: Yeah, this is a whole episode by itself.

So we'll go into more of this later, but just kind of know that these are definitely things that you can do, you know, for your summer job or if you had two to three months to build something.

Hannah: To try stuff 

Ryan: Right. Exactly. And so the next thing that we're going to be talking about is going to be building a website in your specific field, right?

Starting a blog or website in your specific yields is a great way to spend the summer, or a few months, right? He can teach you how to build a site. Obviously drive traffic sell the people online. If you decide to go the e-commerce route partner with different companies or individuals with affiliates, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Hannah: A really fun idea here, I think would be too. If you live somewhere, it would be to go in and like review restaurants or review specific dishes at certain restaurants and then write little articles and attach videos of them. And then you can pitch to the restaurants, you know, to be put on your website.

And that's an easy way. I feel like in a couple months, if you live in an area where people, you know, are interested in new local restaurants or a little restaurants, you could get some traction doing that and just say, Hey look like, you know, I'll post a video. You know, you can get to the point of within a couple of months where you could approach a business and say, Hey, for 300 bucks, I'll list you on my website.

You know, your little local. Baby directory of webs of restaurants in your area. 

Ryan: Exactly. 

And so that's a great idea. And, you know, nowadays with all of the, just kind of, to point out the tactical, like technical things, you don't have to be a coder to run a website. 

Hannah: No. 

Ryan: Right. There's wordpress.com. There's also wordpress.org, but that's a little bit more technical, but it's pretty easy once you get into the weeds of it, but you know, okay. wordpress.com. There's Wix there, Squarespace there's web flow. There's a bajillion different website. 

Hannah: No code low code builders 

Ryan: Right? Exactly. Out there for you and you know, we'll link to a bunch of things for you to kind of check out in our resources, in our show notes for everybody. The thing that I want to stress though, is kind of remembering what the goal is.

We want to remember what the goal of this project or any project. Really? This is good for anything. What the goal is when we're doing it. And so what I mean by that is why are we setting up this website? Are we setting up this website to be a web designer? Okay. Well, if we're setting up a web for setting up the website to be a web designer, well, then you're going to have to obsess over the.

design of the website. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Cause that's what you're trying to show. 

Ryan: Exactly. You have your, you're going to want to obsess about, the, maybe the color schemes, right? Maybe you want the different elements on it, how a button interacts, right? How your cursor moves around the screen. Maybe the different formatting of the website, the user interface, the user experience, all of that.

And then you're going to want to drive traffic to the website for. To give you feedback on it. Right? The goal is to be a web designer and therefore we design. If the goal is to start a website in order for you build connections in a community. Don't obsess over building the website. 

Hannah: Yeah. Don't don't spend all three months building the website and two minutes posting content on the website.

If the goal is content, go straight to the content, use the simplest website possible. Try to get it up and running as fast as possible. 

Ryan: Yeah. And there are plenty, depending on what you use, there are plenty of free. Or at least cheap templates or themes or whatever it is that you go with that we'll be able to get you up within half an hour and you can go and do the things that actually are required of this project 

Hannah: for your idea.

Ryan: Right. And so I guess on this. I fall victim to this all the time. Right. I fall victim to this all the time. It's the difference between productivity and being busy, 

Hannah: something that we say a lot is done is done and what, what we mean by that is. If you're trying to get a website up because you're trying to be a web designer, then that is not done until the website looks like a web center's website.

But if you're trying to get a website up to post review, videos of local restaurants done is not done until you've posted the videos of the restaurants, not got the website done. So remember what you're trying to do, remember the goal and then get there as quickly as possible. 

Ryan: Okay. And then the last thing that we want to talk about, and I'll just make this really quick.

Cause this absolutely getting really, really long is going to be starting a podcast, right? Starting a podcast is a great way to naturally reach out to people, right? You can network and you can under the guise of wanting to push their content or whatever it is that they're promoting out onto the airwaves and into the.

You can reach out and you can actually connect to these people and get access to people that you never thought would have been possible before. And it's a great way to kind of build a professional portfolio that kind of just exists and keeps getting keeps going. 

Hannah: Yeah. Cause it's something that people can refer back to.

Also, it's really natural thing for you to point out and say, oh, well, I had a podcast and this is what I did with it. And this is who I had on, and this is how it's out. 

Ryan: Exactly and it's on something, there are different ways to do a podcast and there are different reasons. So one of the most common forms is going to be the interview.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: So, and that's because of what I just said, it gives you the reason to get out there and meet new people. Right? And that's mutually beneficial for them. They have access to your audience and you have access to them and their audience. 

Hannah: Right. 

And so it's, it's a good exchange for people. 

Ryan: Exactly. You could also do a one man show

Hannah: hard though 

Ryan: very difficult, very difficult.

Those are the hardest

Hannah: because it's basically just you speaking. 

Ryan: It's just you speaking, if you guys haven't already. You could go and watch Bill Burr's podcast it's just him ranting. Basically. it's just ranting. It's great. It's great. But that's really difficult. 

Hannah: Yeah. I feel like two comedians. I mean, comedians, right?

They could probably, that makes sense that a comedian could do it. Right. Somebody who works in news maybe where it's just, they are used to talking to. Right. But that's really difficult to just talk for like an hour. straight to yourself. 

Ryan: Yeah. Exactly. 

Or you can find a co-host, which is what we do. I mean, we're going to have guests on very very soon, but we also like this because we feel like we can get information out to you guys. In a quick fashion, 

Hannah: whereas an interview, you're going to be more, uh, you're going to be more trying to figure out what the person who is sitting across from you is trying to think about what you're talking about and such. Whereas this is a little bit different because if you're focused on a topic or a relationship or something, right.

If the reason the podcast exists is because the two of you get along talking about stuff, that's a basis for a thing, or the podcast has a specific topic, right. You can get, you can get two people really focused on that. 

Ryan: And you know, a lot of people think. Think of podcasts. They're like, man, that's going to be super expensive.

It doesn't have to be expensive. It can actually be very cheap. A lot of us have smartphones. Almost all of us have smartphones. There are multiple smartphone microphones that you can buy and get, and you can record a podcast on. 

Hannah: Yeah, we live in the age of accessibility people.

Ryan: Right. And if you're going to do a co-hosting thing, like how you and I are doing it, you could just order two, one for you, one for me.

And then you guys can record on your separate phones and you have one track. I have another track and then we put it to the cloud later. We sync them up in a in know, audacity or audition or whatever it is that you're using. And then you can master it from there. 

Hannah: Right? 

Ryan: I mean, it's very. It can be very cheap.

Hannah: I've seen ones too. I've seen ones too. and from people that when they were first starting out, they even had an audience, but they would just plug one microphone into one phone and they just hand the microphone back and forth. If you want to talk like bare minimum effective dose, it's that, you know, you just one mic.

And if the two people are in the physically the same place, you just hand the microphone back and forth. 

Ryan: Yeah. And then as far as podcast aggregators, you can use something like anchor, which is free, but then you're only on Spotify. 

Okay, it's free.

Hannah: It's okay. 

43% of podcast listeners. Listen on Spotify.

Ryan: Something like that. I don't know about that. I don't know. Well, somebody factor, 

Hannah: fact check us, but we'll link you to the show notes. I saw it. I just read it. 

Somebody fact checked us on that and contacted grain-free dealer.com. I want to know for if we're wrong and, Yeah, you can use what we use. We use pod bean, as well, or something like Libsyn or Buzzsprout or circle or red, or I don't know.

Ryan: Yeah, I know. There's like a lot of, there's like a lot of different companies there that will basically do the same thing. They're just a place to host your files right. And distribute and distribute your content. And so you can also go the expensive route or rather expensive route and you can do something.

What we do, right. I mean, and just depends on where you're watching or listening to us right now. We have. Um, multicam set up with expensive mikes in front of us and then a expensive soundboard

Hannah: fancy thing .

Ryan: Yeah. Right. I mean, you, you can go that route or you can go the super expensive route, like all Joe Rogan.

Right. I have a guy, we have a guy, right. You have a guy in the chair, you got a guy. Yeah. And so that's super expensive. Right. And it makes it right there as they do it, basically. You know, and if you guys are curious, I know some people are, will, I'll try to list what we use in the show notes. It might not get to all of it.

Yeah. But it doesn't have to be like that. Right. It can just start off as simple as possible. Right. And done is done. Don is done.

Exactly. Gotta remember the goal. And your goal is to learn to build something in your summer job, quote, unquote. When you show them this, you're showing them that you have initiative, that you can go from creation all the way to execution or ideation all the way to execution.

Right. You know, you understand distribution, you understand a little bit of marketing, right? These are all the different elements here. So that was a really long one. That was kind of our take on the quote unquote summer jobs. The idea actually really morphed into something else once again. Thank you so much to Jacob for the idea.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that if you think deeply enough throughout your own personal history, You have experience in marketing, you have experienced in sales, you have experienced in operations. The thing that we hear all the time, when people come to us and say, how do I get this job when I don't have experience, 

Hannah: but then they do,

Ryan: but then they tell us what they do.

I like you have a lot of, again, you're selling yourself short. 

Hannah: So that's the thing. Their skills were incorrectly labeled in their mind. Yeah, 



And it's like, oh, I only do this though. And I can't possibly do that. What are you talking about?

You already do that. 

Ryan: Exactly. You already do that.

You're just, you just have to be a little bit more creative and have a little bit of confidence in order to take these rather menial summer jobs and turning it into actual, weaving it into a story that you're going to tell these employers. 

Hannah: I say, this is why I'm valuable. This is what I bring to the table.

Ryan: And so hopefully this. Like what you are looking for Jacob, if not, you know, You know where to logic complaints, it's that same email that you used to, reach out to us contact that degreefree.co and everybody else. Please. We love to hear from you guys really. I'm not joking now. Like really we'd love to hear from you guys at degreefree.co

reach out if you guys have any other questions or podcasts, episodes, any ideas. And if you guys want to support the podcast, the best thing that you guys could do is. You guys can leave an honest review wherever it is that you get your podcasts. 

Hannah: And then if you want to hear from us, which why wouldn't you, then you can run on over to degreefree.co/newsletter, and you'll get our degree free newsletter that comes out once a week.

Job ideas, resources, paid apprenticeships, companies are rolling back degree requirements and stuff that Ryan and I. It's cool. So definitely don't wanna miss that. 

Ryan: Yeah. And all the links to everything that we talked about are going to be in the show notes or at least, I mean, I'm going to try, we're talking about, we talked about a lot of stuff.

I'm really going to try guys, , degreefree.co/podcast. All right. Until next time guys, hold on.

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