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Business Consulting

Two Million Dollar XLSX

Excel just got a new creative lease on life with this side hustle idea from Kat Norton.

By Ambreen Dar

3 min read

Admit it, you've wasted countless hours of your life viewing or organizing data into spreadsheets. Microsoft Excel was released in 1987. Now, it's a ubiquitous tool relied upon by most businesses. The true beauty of Excel lies in its complex formula system.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of triumph when you crack the code on a tricky VLOOKUP. And let's not forget the joys of troubleshooting your SUMIFS. 🤓

But this isn't a sponsored post about spreadsheets. It's a fascinating introduction to how a "painfully shy girl" from Long Island became a self-employed role model.

Entrepreneurial goals

Kat Norton was a senior consultant at a global firm in 2020 when the pandemic hit. She was living at home with her parents and was "buried in student debt". Her work travel stopped suddenly and she found herself meditating on: What do I love to do?

"I like helping people. I like Excel. I like to dance."

And that's exactly how it all began. She made the bold decision to make learning Excel fun! In June 2020, she posted her first TikTok on Left/Right Functions x Toosie Slide by Drake. 🎶

The rest is history!

Miss Excel—or should we say—Queen Excel, has raked in over $2,000,000 in sales teaching people and companies how to use Microsoft. Freaking. Excel. 🙌🏽

Lean in (and scale) what you love

It can be hard to take a step back and see the big picture when we're busy with client work. The key is to slow down and think about things from first principles. And trust us, slowing down will help you find your flow.

Your goal should be to figure out a way to productize your value proposition, and match it to a deep understanding of your market and customers. For example, Kat found a way to make Excel training more tolerable for people and companies who needed it to get their jobs done.

There's no shortage of creative side hustle ideas based on your unique skills and interests. Maybe you create Lightroom filters, or love working in Notion. It could be WordPress themes or Webflow templates. You could be designing NFTs or client logos. Whatever it is, use Kat's case study as inspiration.

Think about how you can bundle up your work in a repeatable and scalable way. Be bold, be innovative, and always be selling. Become a part of the booming creator economy!

Ambreen Dar

About Ambreen Dar

Ambreen designs for thrillseekers. She left the classroom behind to chase adventures in publishing, then dove into digital marketing's deep end. New tricks abound, but Ambreen's four furry fans still think she's top dog. Alongside Rebekah and Sam, Ambreen makes BRIL.LA's magic - and wouldn't have it any other way.