Escaping the Freedom Deficit: Canon Canada’s Side Hustle 101 and Free Business Seminar

Escaping the Freedom Deficit: Canon Canada’s Side Hustle 101 and Free Business Seminar

It should go without saying that everyone reading here at Fstoppers is interested in taking photos. I know that many of you also want to shake things up and make some money doing it. With three new upcoming start dates, it’s worth taking a look at Side Hustle 101, the product of Canon Canada’s new partnership with The Maker’s Collective.

Are You Facing a Freedom Deficit?

The fragility of our current life and work balance and the economic system that underpins it has been made abundantly clear over the last few years. We’ve all heard the buzzwords arising from these changes: side hustle, monetization, and income streams. What if you want to supplement your 9-5? What if you want to bust right out of your 9-5? How do you turn a hobby into a moneymaker? How do you turn that income into a sustainable business? Do you start with part-time or do you jump right in? So many important questions to consider.

These are big issues, and they often require input from experienced entrepreneurs and business owners. That’s where Side Hustle 101 can come in. I had a chance to talk with Jeff Mitchell at The Maker’s Collective, a self-described serial entrepreneur and long-time educator and coach.

Side Hustle 101: The Nuts and Bolts

Side Hustle 101 is a five-week hybrid course, combining the ease of on-demand access (12 video lessons), three live 90-minute training sessions, and weekly planning and one-on-one coaching sessions. Joining up with Side Hustle 101 will also help you build your network through a growing community of 400+ graduates of the program. Side Hustle 101 will also provide a playbook with exemplars and templates that photographers and creatives might need to help get their business off the ground. 

The teachers and hosts of Side Hustle 101 come from the world of photography, coaching, and business in order to provide a broad range of assistance. Canon hasn’t designed this course just to be about photography skills; this course is designed to turn any creative endeavor into a business.

Before going on, I’d like to point out that you don’t have to be a Canon shooter or a Canadian to join Side Hustle 101 or the free seminar. In fact, you don’t even have to be a photographer. If you’re a photography hobbyist but have another creative outlet, perhaps some kind of web or interior design, you’re welcome to join. 

Free Seminar

As a kick-off to the upcoming Side Hustle 101 start dates, Canon Canada is hosting a free seminar, Building Your Creative Business, designed to help attendees create a roadmap for the move from hobbyist to photographer. The seminar, scheduled for September 26, 2022, 5pm – 6:30pm PST / 8pm – 9:30PM EST, is free. Canon’s September 26 seminar will be hosted by Maurice Li, Jasmine Lorimer, Joey Speers, and host Scott Bakken, who will all share tools, strategies, and their approach to building a thriving creative business. Of note, Mitchell will also be participating in the seminar to help explain the Side Hustle 101 program. 

If you needed another reason to join up: Canon and The Maker’s Collective are giving away free seats to the October 5, 2022 Side Hustle 101 cohort. 

The free seminar on September 26 will touch on building and organizing the tools, processes, and critical elements that will help photographers build and scale a creative business. The hosts will take time to discuss how creatives often find the marketing line between the individual and the business blurred, and will talk about marketing and managing both your business and yourself. Critically, the seminar will touch on how to attract and retain clients in a crowded marketplace, the foundation for success in a personal business.  

The hosts will also participate in a live panel Q&A.

What Making Changes Looks Like

Side Hustle 101 is designed for any creative craving something other than the old 9-5 system that is either consuming too much of their time (because it’s no longer 9-5) or isn’t fulfilling. Perhaps you just want to invest your time in places outside of work, create something of your own instead of for someone else. A brief side note: the term “total firm commitment” was a buzz phrase when I worked in big law a few years ago. I can’t imagine that that sentiment is either unique to law or that it’s changed all that much. 

...someone else owns more of your time than you do.

As Mitchell puts it, if you find yourself with a freedom deficit, perhaps it’s time to look for alternatives. For Mitchell, change doesn’t have to always be income-oriented. Many attendees are looking at alternate currencies like free time, day-to-day control, or even skill as capital. From my perspective, I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than taking photos and building my photography brand. 

Think about alternative currencies: free time, of skill as capital...

If you’re ready, Mitchell suggests that it might be time to start placing some bets on yourself: see if you can validate the sustainability of your ideas. 

Place small bets along the way, validate the sustainability. 

Playing My Tune: Building Community

Canon executives explained to me that they see consumers buy their camera products, fall in love with photography, but then run into roadblocks when they aren’t sure how to grow or succeed at business. Partnering with Mitchell and The Maker’s Collective positions Canon Canada to help their customers succeed. As Mitchell put it, it’s a way to lean into growing a community.

Given the price of Side Hustle 101, only $200 (CAD), I can’t imagine that this is a moneymaker for Canon or The Maker’s Collective. As I’ve mentioned before, this is just one more step in Canon Canada’s attempt to build a community of supportive photographers. Mitchell and Canon Canada believe Side Hustle 101 is a way to create long-standing and deeper relationships with the attendees.

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

Mark is a Toronto based commercial photographer and world traveller who gave up the glamorous life of big law to take pictures for a living.

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Cool idea. We've been considering starting a class with a live element as well.

That would be a GREAT idea. What about the photo genre reviews we do, allowing for live interaction with the Fstoppers community?
Or or or, a live shoot allowing for questions?