Hey guys! I’m switching up the format of this newsletter. Don’t worry…I’ll still be recapping all the startup ideas from My First Million podcast. But additionally, each week I’ll be curating other quality startup ideas and strategies that will benefit your startup journey wherever you find yourself. I’ll focus mostly on non-venture backed ideas that require no or little money down to start…I call it “Everyday Startups” (shocking, eh?).
If you guys like or do NOT like this new format, help me out and reply to this email and let me know! :)
It’s September 26, 2020 and you’re only one idea away…
Codie Sanchez of Contrarian Thinking newsletter released a great letter on 29 (or is it 28?) passive income ideas that any hustler could handle. She believes we should all diversify our income, just like we do with our stock portfolio.
She knows her shit as she recently grew her letter at lightning speed from 0 to 10,000 subscribers in only 30 days, has nine sources of income, and a partner at a VC firm. Sheesh!
Before I share some of the ideas that stuck out to me, I’d like to give one of my top pieces of startup advice (based on experience):
This rule alone can save you countless amounts of time, dollars, and anxiety (I learned from experience)!
So, here’s some of Codie’s ideas:
MAKE A GUIDE OR COURSE AND SELL IT: Are you an expert at anything? Maybe you use a tool or app at work to get your jobs done and are actually pretty darn good at it. Perhaps you could create a guide on how a certain sector can utilize the tool better. Instead of going broad, go narrow. For example, I wrote a guide/course on using the project management software Asana specifically tailored for running a manufacturing business. Do you know apps that you could teach people to use for certain industries / tasks?
And if that is successful, repurpose your guide/course into a book…
WRITE A BOOK: Turn your guide or course into a book and sell it on Amazon. Then you can magically call yourself a published author and get some more credibility. Codie puts this under the model of “create something once, and sell it over and over again.”
BUY A PROFITABLE BUSINESS: Sometimes you need to skip the line and get some cash flow ASAP. Often overlooked in the startup and especially the side hustle crowd is acquiring a business. Acquiring a business you say?! Doesn’t that need a lot of funding? Nope. Oftentimes you can negotiate the seller to finance the sale which you pay for with profits from the company itself (again, I have experience with this as well). Other times you can get an SBA loan with very little money down (although this option may be tougher in the times of COVID).
And don’t let pride get in your way. Just because you aren’t the founder doesn’t mean you can’t do great things. For example, I eventually took over my family’s flailing sensor technology business and grew it from six figures to eight figures and recently sold it at nearly 6x EBITDA (basically, 6x all profits including adding back expenses that the buyer won’t have when they run the biz).
Where can you find these businesses for sale? The best way is to find one that’s not listed for sale, make contact with the owner. It’s a hustle. Convince them to sell to you. Or you can look at listing companies like Quiet Light Brokerage or Flippa which lists online businesses for sale—including blogs, newsletters, and e-commerce businesses.
START A NEWSLETTER: Sam and Shaan discussed this one on a podcast episode. Basically, their idea is to pick a hobby you love and spend too much time on, turn it into a newsletter and market it to enthusiasts.
The Ferrari Market Letter has 5,000 subscribers and does $2M in revenue with a team of just two people. Fans pay $100 to $200 per month for online or print access. They make a $1M on member-to-member classified revenue. The balance of revenue is made on advertising.
CONSULT FOR OTHERS: Here again you need to figure out something that you know more about than others. You don’t need to know more than everyone, just more than the people you are selling to!
Chances are you are an expert at something you do at your day job. If it’s a skill people need, oftentimes people will pay for it. I would suggest starting out by offering your skills / services on Fiverr or Upwork. Once you get some traction and reviews, start targeting specific companies that may need your skills. As a business owner, I outsource work to consultants or contractors whenever I can since it typically ends up being way cheaper than hiring someone.
My First Million recap of episode #114 with digital nomad Steph Smith with time stamps and links for your viewing pleasure!
4:00 There is an opportunity to satisfy the “fringe benefits” companies normally give employees at office but adapted for Work From Home employees
16:30 Most interesting “one person businesses” (no employees needed) Steph, Shaan, and Sam contribute to this list:
24:00 A website agency focused solely on creating celebrity websites
30:25 HIPAA and/or other compliance stuff as a service.
35:40 Subreddit trends
40:40 A site called FinViz that tracks all insider trading. Use this data to create an alert service about your favorite companies you are looking to invest
45:40 Technology that predicts and tracks wildfires
You’re only one idea away…subscribe so you don’t miss it!
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