COA News 2024


With five income streams and $142,000 a month from Amazon, this woman warns about three sideways mistakes

Mind Brain Emotion founder Dr. Jenny Woo shared some crucial insights for hustlers.

Side hustles have exploded in popularity since the pandemic, with around 39% of Gen Z working on a side hustle, according to EY. Due to rising costs and high inflation, more and more Americans want to earn extra money. However, side hustles can be difficult to navigate, especially for those just starting out. To help hustlers, Harvard-trained educator and founder of Mind Brain Emotion, Dr. Jenny Woo shared some crucial insights with CNBC Make It.

Woo was inspired by a class project and her personal struggles, to launch a side business selling card games on Amazon. Her games were intended to help people build “human skills” such as emotional intelligence and critical thinking.

After completing her PhD, Woo pursued other professions and today she has five streams of income. She speaks at schools and businesses, teaches an online course on EQ, lectures at the University of California at Irvine, does freelance business consulting, and still sells the Mind Brain Emotion card games through her site and on Amazon, which alone makes $142,000 a month costs, the report said.

Here are the three mistakes she wants Hustlers to avoid

1. Settling for substandard service to save money

Dr. Woo says that side hustlers should ideally team up with other side hustlers to collaborate and save money while growing their business. However, working with another employee who is striving to grow can result in unpredictable service.

Representative image |  Pexels |  Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Representative image | Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Dr. Woo shared an example, saying that last year she parted ways with her social media manager and SEO vendor, both of whom were solo entrepreneurs who aimed to convert their side gigs into agencies. She says the employees handed her company over to new recruits who knew very little about her industry, so she had to let them go.

She said staying with underperforming employees was costing her because she was doing sub-par business even during the peak season. “As much as collaboration can be helpful, it is critical to be careful about who you hire,” Dr. Woo said in the report.

2. Over-reliance on networking to grow the idea

As a solo entrepreneur, Dr. Woo applied and was accepted to incubators at Harvard, UC Irvine, and USC, where she gained access to top executives and advisors. While she benefited from the pool of knowledge, she was often left confused and overwhelmed. Dr. Woo says that while the opinions and advice were well-intentioned, she felt the advisors were projecting their own ambitions and mistakes onto her.

Representative image |  Unsplash |  Photo by Siora Photography
Representative image | Unsplash | Photo by Siora Photography

That’s why she advises hustlers to bring skepticism and feedback to avoid being influenced by others’ ideas. “I found that relying too much on external validation diluted my vision and slowed my progress,” she told CNBC Make It.

3. Overcomplicating the product

Dr. Woo says she had major problems because she spent a lot of time researching and developing standout product features. She thought about adding augmented reality components and more to add the wow factor. However, this caused confusion among its users and put more pressure on it to develop better products.

Representative image |  Unsplash |  Photo by Elimende Inagella
Representative image | Unsplash | Photo by Elimende Inagella

“Not only will this slow you down, it will also drive up your costs,” she says in the report. So now that Dr. Woo has already launched a dozen products and heard many pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs, she advises people not to complicate things.