Mine Today's Gold Rush
By Dan Miller
CBN.com – My heart ached as I read story after story from those of you still struggling to find your passion – those of you still feeling like all you’ve got is a lawn mower engine. While I don’t have an “Easy” button like the TV commercial shows, I do firmly believe each of us can find our unique passion – and live it out.
There is a process of introspection and looking at what has already occurred in your life that should give you all the clues you need. I want to make the information available to everyone – no one should be that stuck. Be watching for details. I’ll either do a podcast devoted to this theme, or a teleseminar.
"The future is not some place we are going, but one we create. The paths are not found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination. —John Schaar
Need resources to help you find your passion?
Looking for Gold or Making Money?
Gold was discovered in California in the spring of 1848. By May of 1848 reports were flying that “there was more gold than all the people in California could take out in fifty years.” Twenty-eight-year-old Samuel Brannan opened a small supply store at John Sutter’s Fort, right in the heart of the gold rush. Then Brannan took a little vial of gold and traveled the hundred miles back to San Francisco. As he stepped off the train, he swung his hat, waved the bottle and shouted, “Gold! Gold! Gold! By the middle of June, three quarters of the male population had left San Francisco for the gold mines near Sutter’s Fort.
Brannan never looked for gold, but selling shovels, picks, and supplies to the wide-eyed miners made him California’s first gold-rush millionaire. His store was selling as much as $5,000 a day (about $140,000 in 2008 dollars) in goods to the miners.
Did all the miners find their “pot of gold?” Not a chance. Most of them wasted time and meager resources only to return to their original homes, poor and discouraged. Brannan made money from them all – whether they found gold or not.
So where are you looking for income opportunities? In the last ten years thousands of people jumped on the computer bandwagon, believing that programming, web design, and software development were the only real sources of wealth. As you know, not everyone going in this direction has become wealthy. But are there associated opportunities with this area of focus? Absolutely! In the last ten years the number of massage therapists has quadrupled. (Our massage therapist comes to our house every Friday afternoon. Her rates are $70 an hour and she stays booked weeks in advance.) People who work on computers all day are prime candidates for massage.
The chair I am sitting in is a HumanScale Freedom Chair. It’s an $850 solution to the posture challenges of sitting in front of a computer. I can’t imagine being without it. In the background I have music playing –specifically setting the stage for productive “knowledge work.”
Is it possible that in your own search for “gold” you are overlooking the opportunity to become a millionaire by selling picks and shovels?
Finding Your Idea
Yes, I firmly believe there are still many opportunities to make millions selling “picks and shovels” in whatever gold rush is happening today. Here are some ways to find your idea.
- Improving an existing product or service is the surest and quickest way to success. Brand-new products or services are usually very risky.
- Don’t look for get-rich-quick schemes. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look at the long-term perspective.
- Decide to be excellent at whatever you do. This provides more leverage than any other factor.
- Go to trade shows. If you’re looking for an idea, just start looking at what is being done in that area.
- Check products being sold in foreign countries. Even in our global economy, it’s estimated that 80 percent of products are never sold outside the country where they’re produced. Years ago a gentleman saw a wheelbarrow advertised in a magazine. It was fiberglass and plastic, superior to what was then available in the United States. He asked to be the U.S. distributor. He took one sample wheelbarrow to a home and garden show and received more than 50,000 orders. He did not invent it, did not patent it; he simply asked to be a distributor for an existing product. With only a $5 profit margin, that’s a $250,000 profit!
- Pay attention to passing fads and trendy ideas. People have made fortunes with the Pet Rock, hula hoop, politically related T-shirts and bumper stickers, sports-theme items, and other fads that present a short window of opportunity.
- As you travel, look, listen, and learn. Orange Julius started on the West Coast. The guy who recognized this creamy orange drink as a growing phenomenon brought it back to the Midwest and made millions.
- Make sure you find something you believe in, something you would buy yourself and use yourself, and would sell to your best friend.
- Share your ideas. Don’t be secretive. Get input from everyone you know. Ideas are a dime a dozen. But the person who puts a plan of action together is the only one who will benefit.
Eighty-five percent of what you need to know about running a successful business you can learn from running a successful mail-order or eBay business. You can experiment with nearly all the necessary components of a traditional business and adjust your work model as you learn.
The inventors of Doggles, sunglasses designed especially for dogs, say they came up with their business brain wave after noticing their dog was squinting in the sunlight. Ken and Roni di Lullo of Midnight Creations tried their own glasses on their dog’s face . . . but nothing stayed on or worked well. After experimenting with sports goggles, the innovative husband and wife team developed a special pair to fit their dog perfectly. Other dog owners approached the couple when they were out walking, and a business was born. After a CNN story featured Doggles, sales quadrupled overnight, and these days the di Lullos have a $1 million business. (See http://www.doggles.com.)
This is the normal process of innovation. A real person recognizes a real need and provides a solution. The most successful ideas often involve not a complicated invention process but just a simple modification of an existing product.
Examples from No More Mondays
48 Days Radio
Each week I create a new online radio podcast that you can hear on Dans Online Radio Show.
Here are some of the questions addressed in the current podcast:
1. Dear Dan, I am a single mom with two young boys. About two years ago, I completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Counselor training and have been counseling on a part-time basis since then. I love the counseling and would like this to become a full-time income. Do you have any suggestions that would give me additional and/or residual income to complement the financial counseling?
2. I am 60 years old and was laid off of my job about a month ago. Are there Web sites that address jobs for people my age? I would love to be in my own business again, but I have no funds available as illness in the past few years has drained all or most of it all away.
3. Hi Dan, I graduated from Medical School more than 10 years ago. I went into medicine solely for the prestige and money and have not had the motivation to complete a residency. I have been floundering for the past 12 years. I do not want to go into medicine and feel I have wasted money and time pursuing it. Please help with any advice.
4. I am 55 years old and live with my mother with no job prospects as I don't have a car; I have also been separated from my husband for three years. I would like to start an online business, but without the knowledge to make a decision, I just don't know where to start. Help!
5. Dan, I am a professional sales person averaging $310k/year for the last 10 years. I love my work and the company I work for, but am interested in striking out on my own. It is hard for me to see past the income and start my own venture. I've got 10+ years of money saved, but like the security of the regular pay. Any advice?
6. I am currently ending an emotional affair with a co-worker. He became a good friend, and we were even starting a business together. My husband, counselor, and I have concluded that I need a new job to help sever all ties with my affair partner. I sent a "stay far away" e-mail to my affair partner yesterday, and it's now very uncomfortable at the office. What are your thoughts on affairs and dating at the workplace?
Your questions continue to inspire and motivate me. There really are at least good solutions for most any situation. Even if it’s not a perfect solution, you can move through where you are to a better future – if you create a plan of action. Few people are really trapped or stuck.
If you have a question, just click on this 48 Days Online Radio link and you can ask about starting your own business, getting a better job, or finding your purpose in life.
Thats the same place you can listen to this weeks broadcast immediately no downloading no wait. 48 Days Online Radio.
Humor: The Gift You Asked For
By now you know I like cars – old ones, new ones, fast ones, exotic ones, etc. This little story really drew me in:
Bill was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was REALLY angry.
She told him, "To make up for your thoughtlessness, tomorrow morning I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in less then 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE!!"
The next morning Bill got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway. It wasn’t as large as she expected, but she put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, confident the box probably contained a set of keys.
She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.
Bill has been missing since Friday.
Please pray for him.
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More Recommended Resources
What idea "fits" you ?
The most popular product in the 48 Days arsenal continues to be the Computerized Personality Report. Before you begin seeking a better job or self-employment, you need to be sure you are pursuing opportunities that match your personality style and will fulfill and reward you for a lifetime!
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Dan Miller is the bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and a renowned Life Coach specializing in career fulfillment. His weekly newsletter reaches 70,000 subscribers. Dan’s articles are featured here at CBN every Tuesday, and you can find out more about Dan at www.48days.com.
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