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This is actually one of my favorite stories. I love this story because it began so innocently and became something pretty amazing.
Now this is not a story about me and how I turned one of my passions into a profitable side hustle – though I am still looking for a way to make money playing video games.
However, despite this not being my story, I still greatly enjoy telling it.
How It Began
In New York City, one of the most popular sports to play is handball. In fact, there are handball courts in almost every public park in New York City.
While there is never a shortage of handball players, there never seems to be enough handball tournaments being organized. And that is precisely how this story begins.
My brother-in-law happens to be an avid and fiercely competitive handball player, who is constantly trying to improve his game.
Years ago, my brother-in-law was looking for an amateur handball tournament in his area but couldn’t find one. There were a few tournaments scattered across other parts of New York City, but those tournaments were either too far away or were completely full by the time he tried to sign up.
Desperately wanting to compete in a tournament, my brother-in-law wondered if he would be able to organize one of his own. So he started asking around to see who would be interested and found that he had more than enough players to organize a tournament.
Putting in Work
However, just because my brother-in-law had enough players for a handball tournament, it didn’t mean they can just march into the neighborhood park and just start playing. He knew a good tournament needed to be well-planned and organized.
The first thing he needed to do was figure out how to reserve the handball courts. Specifically, the handball courts at his local park for a specific date and time.
His research led him to the New York City Parks Department. There, he learned that he would need to apply for a permit. More importantly, he learned he would need to pay for the permit.
After realizing that organizing a handball tournament will actually cost him money, he set out to find ways to recoup the costs.
My brother-in-law started studying the handball tournaments organized by other people. Two things he noticed were that there was always a tournament entry fee and there was always some sort of prize for the winners.
Rather than just try and recoup the cost of the permit, my brother-in-law realized he could also get paid for his time.
He calculated a tournament entry fee for the 40 players he had, allowing him to cover all of the costs. All in all, the tournament entry fees covered the cost of the permit, cash prizes for the top 3 winners, and some money for himself.
Opportunity Strikes Again
Given the number of players, my brother-in-law decided that the teams should wear some type of uniform so it would be easier to keep score and manage the tournament.
To make sure the players wore similar uniforms, he had custom t-shirts printed for each team and those t-shirts became part of the requirement to play in the tournament. He also had extra t-shirts printed in case family and friends wanted to wear one to support their team.
And of course, being the good businessman that he is, my brother-in-law sold the t-shirts at a profit.
Third One’s the Charm
Realizing that the nearest store was a few blocks away, my brother-in-law sensed another opportunity and brought a couple of large coolers filled with bottles of water and sports drinks to the tournament. He also brought several boxes of random snacks.
That proved to be another great idea as he sold most of the food and drinks – again at a profit.
A Seasonal Side Hustle is Born
With the great success my brother-in-law had with his first handball tournament, it was no surprise that he decided to do it again the next summer.
In fact, to this day, my brother-in-law continues to do it and is now doing 2 to 3 tournaments every summer.
He earns on average $1,200 to $2,500 for every tournament. It all just depends on the signups and purchases at the tournaments. Not bad at all for a seasonal side hustle.
The only downside is he isn’t able to compete in the tournaments since he is too busy making sure things are running smoothly. Good thing his wife is there to help him out.
So what do you think? How do you like this seasonal side hustle idea? Do you have a similar story?