Jason Nelson

The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. 


Jason Nelson is up.




Who are you and what do you do? I'm a solopreneur and freelance advocate. In August 2018, I launched Apollus Solutions. Apollus is an administrative services firm offering outsourced accounting, bookkeeping, and general operations management. Apollus partners with micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees and generally $1M or less in revenue. Not everyone needs or can afford full-time support. So, Apollus provides fractional and project-based services to organizations looking to off-load and outsource accounting and bookkeeping functions. Our ongoing or limited-time arrangements deliver the benefits of experience without the cost of full-time staff. In August 2020 I launched Heritage Swag as my second venture. Heritage Swag is an e-commerce platform and lifestyle brand delivering personalized apparel and accessories showcasing families (birth and chosen) and communities—the people you love and the places you live.


What did it take / how did you get started? My first business started as a side hustle in late 2017. I was asked by a client if I could provide 5 to 10 hours of support for the organization she was launching. She was looking for a de facto business manager (i.e. back-office manager). It was a great way to create an additional revenue stream with flexible hours--I had a permanent full-time job at the time. Throughout early 2018 she continued to ask if I had additional capacity. Fast forward to summer 2018 when she inquired about buying 20 to 25 hours per week of my time. That was the game changer. I thought if she’s willing to buy that much of my time then I could cultivate other clients with similar needs and challenges. That’s what led to the formation of an LLC setting the stage for what is now Apollus Solutions. I’m motivated by offloading back-office functions so entrepreneurs can focus on what matters most to them.


What does the future look like for you and your hustle? Promising and Bright! I like to think my champagne flute is always half full (never half empty). Mindset is critical. I focus on how things will work out rather than getting bogged down in what might go wrong. My client base was virtual from the beginning so the pandemic didn’t interrupt my Apollus client relationships. My work with Heritage Swag is just taking off. The early reception and feedback have all been positive. A new sales channel has emerged so the next few weeks will be devoted to additional discovery and testing of assumptions.


What drives / motivates you?

The opportunity to create not only a business or new hustle but the chance to experiment and explore. There’s no one to tell me I can’t or shouldn’t. I find a tremendous amount of JOY in the autonomy I have as an entrepreneur and solopreneur.


What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?

Don’t allow fear, anxiety, and/or doubt (FAD) get in the way of creating the life you want to create. Fear is natural and will always exist in our lives. Acknowledging it is an important part of the entrepreneurial journey. Once we acknowledge it we can more easily toss it aside.


What has been the hardest part of the hustle? 

Fine tuning niches. I find it easy to start with a broad idea/concept. Developing the more nuanced niche isn’t always intuitive or clear. It can be challenging to marry my idea with customer demand. Finding the space where a product or service solves a customer’s demand (or fills a gap in the marketplace) isn’t always easy. It can take a good bit of customer discovery, trial, and error before landing on the niche that sticks, resonates, and sells.


What are a few resources that you'd recommend?

Podcasts

  • Solopreneur Success with Steve Coombes

  • StartUp Podcast by Gimlet Media

  • Side Hustle Pro with Nicaila Matthews Okome

  • Solopreneur Money with Gabe Nelson

Find a Mentor, Advisor, Collaborator, Coach, or all of the above


YouTube

  • There’s a lot of content from entrepreneurs and side hustlers who have done what we’re doing. I find it helpful to watch a wide array of content and distill it based on my needs at the time.

The STATS


Side or full-time hustle?

Apollus Solutions - full-time

Heritage Swag - side hustle… for now


List the founders

Jason Nelson. For now, I’m putting the solo in solopreneur


How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?

60+. I work 6 to 7 days a week (and wouldn’t have it any other way). I get to set my schedule so I can work as little or as much as I need to.


# of Employees?

1. I’m full-time everything from CEO to Chief Toilet Scrubber.


When did you start?

November 2017


How much did it cost to launch?

Apollus Solutions. Roughly $500--$200 of which was my LLC registration fee


Heritage Swag. Approximately $800


Lately my goal has been what opportunities exist that are low cost and low overhead. I love creating in the space that requires minimal capital investment up front.


What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?

Self-funded bootstrapping. I’ve used business no. 1 to fund business no. 2. I’ll use businesses 1 and 2 to fund no. 3!


Annual Revenue?

Not disclosed.


Projected Revenue?

Not disclosed.


Any call to action?

Follow Heritage Swag on Instagram: @theheritageswag

Visit Heritage Swag, www.heritageswag.com

Look for me on LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonnelson3/

Email me, hello@heritageswag.com


Social:

Follow Heritage Swag on Instagram: @theheritageswag

Visit Heritage Swag, www.heritageswag.com

Look for me on LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonnelson3/

Email me, hello@heritageswag.com