Part-time actor pulls profit with people-walking idea

  • 20/09/2016
Part-time actor pulls profit with people-walking idea

We've all heard of professional dog-walkers, but one clever American has taken the idea a step further.

Chuck McCarthy was hoping to make some quick cash between acting jobs, but didn't want to spend his days tripping over dog leads and poo - so he decided to walk humans instead.

He charges people to join him for a stroll, and much to his surprise the idea has absolutely taken off.

Mr McCarthy is now walking people every day, and had to get five other people-walkers on board just to cope with demand.

He says it's amazing the range of people he's met.

"There's all kinds of people... it's older people, younger people, men, women, people who want motivation to leave the house, people that want the safety of having another person walking with them, and people that just don't want to be alone while they're walking," he told Paul Henry on Tuesday.

He only charges $7 a mile (1.6km), which he recognises doesn't amount to much, but the five people that Mr McCarthy's employed have made the idea more profitable.

"Right now, I'm not taking any kind of dividends because I don't have the legal mechanisms in place to do that, but I am working on an app that would allow hundreds of thousands of people around the world to do it - and of course, then, we would be taking some small percentage from each walk," he said.

The idea has created such a buzz he's been approached to make a documentary about it.

"Obviously I've had a lot of media interest - I did two days last week with a German TV crew for a show called Galileo, so there's some interest and there'll be some footage," he said.

Mr McCarthy says he's learning through his job not to push people too hard, just to give them an incentive to leave their house and get out for a walk.

"Most of my clients aren't specifically lonely people - they just don't want to walk alone, and their schedules don't match up with their friends, or their wife or husband."