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CEO explains how people can start a successful side hustle by using their day jobs

Noah Kagan, the founder and CEO of AppSumo, shares how one can use their day jobs to invest in their side hustles successfully.

CEO explains how people can start a successful side hustle by using their day jobs
Cover Image Source: X | @noahkagan

When it comes to side hustles, people have varying reasons for pursuing them. Whether it is financial stability, personal fulfillment or exploring new opportunities, a successful side hustle can help an individual in many ways. But when it comes down to choosing between your 9 to 5 job and a risky side business, people are reluctant to quit their jobs and lose their primary source of income. However, Noah Kagan—the CEO of AppSumo—might have a solution to this dilemma of balancing priorities and keeping a steady cash flow intact.

Image Source: TikTok | @noahkagan
Image Source: TikTok | @noahkagan

According to Daily Dot, Kagan spoke at the SXSW in 2024 where he shared a bit of his backstory and his journey to success. He initially found work at Facebook and was the 30th employee to join the company. But after nine months, he was laid off from his position. “If I didn’t get fired by Facebook 15 years ago, my life could’ve been good but it definitely drove me to find my own story,” he said during his speech at SXSW.

In 2010, he founded AppSumo which acts as a marketplace for entrepreneurs. “I made zero dollars the first year, $40,000 the second year. It took me to year seven to finally make $1 million,” Kagan shared. While working on his own company, he maintained his day job. “I don’t think you should quit your job to start your side hustle. Just use your day job as an investor,” he advised. Kagan feels that every individual has a "freedom number" in their minds. That refers to the sum of money a person needs to quit their job and focus on their own ventures. For Kagan, that amount was $3,000.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Olia Danilevich
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Olia Danilevich

He quit his day job as a project management consultant to work on AppSumo. He encouraged people with business ideas to focus on solving one problem at a time. “What’s the problem?” he said. “People care about the problems in their day-to-day life. No one cares about the thing you’re doing. They care about themselves. I was very excited about the problem of helping software creators get customers. AppSumo was the fourth version of trying to solve that problem.”


Kagan, who also authored "Million Dollar Weekend," answered another burning question from budding entrepreneurs on his TikTok profile @noahkagan. To the question, "How much money do people need to start a business?" Kagan responded as such: "You don't need any money. I know that might surprise people but I have started my business that makes $80,000,000 a year in revenue right now and I started it for $48." He elaborated on how people think they need more time and a better idea to start their business or side hustle but it's not true. 


Kagan gave his viewers the example of two types of people. The first type is already venturing into selling on sites like Shopify and turning it into a side hustle. The second type of people ponder upon starting a side hustle but at the same time, they are worried about not being financially stable after quitting their main job. These people hardly end up balancing a 9-to-5 and a side hustle. A few people in the comments section shared their thoughts on this topic. 

Image Source: TikTok | @noahkagan
Image Source: TikTok | @noahkagan

@strongmommadeb wrote, "Noah has the most sensible, honest, easy-to-understand advice of any entrepreneur that exists. I read his book, 'Million Dollar Weekend' and it is brilliant. Not only what to do but how. Get it!" @wealthpotion added, "Money helps, but it’s not a requirement. If anything, money just buys you time." Kagan himself is an ideal example of how to manage a business and continue operating a successful side hustle on social media.

You can follow Noah Kagan@noahkagan on TikTok for videos on business and entrepreneurship. 

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