How I Started My Own Business By Leaving a Tip Jar in My Bathroom

You can find restroom tip jars in many clubs and restaurants all around the world. So I thought, why not in my home?

The only reason I didn’t set one up years ago was probably that I lacked a growth mindset. The only thing holding me back from my maximum earning potential…was me. But when I realized the secret to passive income, everything changed. 

As a proven business owner, I can say that the key criteria for launching a successful small business are: drive, ingenuity, and an empty mason jar with a label that says “TIP$.” It also really helps if you have a working toilet inside a bathroom with a door that locks. The privacy really makes people feel comfortable, which will make them more likely to tip. Ka-ching! 

But before I brag about how glamorous my life is now (trust me—it’s pretty great), let me tell you a little about where I started. How did I figure out that this plan was going to catapult me to success?

I was living in an apartment that had a bathroom, and I was letting guests use it all the time at absolutely no cost. That was billions of dollars a year in earning potential going straight down the drain. It was so frustrating to see people taking my resources for granted. I was determined to come up with a way to collect the funds that were rightfully mine. It was immediately clear that I needed a tip jar. 

So I set out to find one that was the perfect size, and then I labeled it so people knew what it was for. Then I strategically set a few coins in it, so people would feel peer pressure to tip like the previous nonexistent guests. Pretty soon, the passive income was rolling in! After doing the initial work, I never had to lift a finger again for my small business to flourish.

(Theoretically, this would have been true, had my friends continued to come over to my apartment and use my bathroom and pay for it. But for whatever reason, they stopped coming.)

I get it, starting a side hustle might sound intimidating, but as long as you establish a carefully crafted plan, and take it step by step, you too can follow in my footsteps. And if you sign up for my coaching sessions, I can work with you one on one to achieve your goals as an entrepreneur. 

If you’re considering starting a small business identical to mine, be wary of all the paperwork you’re going to have to fill out. When you incorporate your LLC, for instance, it can feel a bit overwhelming. Originally, when I asked my accountant how to create an LLC for my small business, he said, emphatically, “Leaving a tip jar in your bathroom is not a valid business. You are neither offering goods nor services.” That’s when I knew I had to level up and find a more capable accountant. Speaking of which, the other key to success is surrounding yourself with those who will lift you up, not bring you down. 

You will learn plenty of other nuggets of wisdom if you join my coaching course. For a limited time, you can sign up for just $500,000 a month (plus tip of course).   

Mary Gulino
Author: Mary Gulino
Mary is an LA-based writer from New Jersey whose work can be seen online and on TV (unless you count streaming platforms as online, in which case, it's all online). She got glasses when she was two, and would love to talk optometry sometime.