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Red Pill Theory[Career] You'd be surprised how simple it is to create value for someone out of something simple, and make a lot of money out of it (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by TRP VanguardtrpSenator

I'd like to throw out another career related post, but this time down the entrepreneurship avenue while I have a few drinks.

One thing I think most people struggle with when it comes to actually going down the entrepreneur route is realizing how easy it actually is. In fact, at times some of the services offered are so simple and easy to do from your perspective you think, "why the fuck would anyone actually pay me a lot of money to do something they can figure out on Google in a few days?!"

Conditioning
We are all conditioned to be extremely risk adverse when it comes to making making money. We have an education system that is essentially the byproduct of the industrial age, which intended to teach people how to be productive members of the factory line. Because of that, we focus a lot on getting a normal job at entry level, learning the skills, doing the time, moving up, and just repeating the process as we become a better and better drone for the business.

We often choose to go down this route because it's easy. All the steps are clearly laid out, we are taught what we need to know, and assured that if we just follow the game plan, we can be assured that we'll be able to make X amount of dollars. And it works; it works wonderfully. Corporations have spent a very long time learning how to navigate and perfect this process of creating a healthy, safe, reliable, workforce.

Any thought of deviating from this pattern understandably elicits a sense of unknown and fear. That if you don't take this very clearly laid out path, and fail, you risk being seriously harmed. That running a business is more reserved for the really smart types that see a rare gap in the market, and are able to pounce on it and brilliantly execute a way to capitalize on this gap... or you have to find a product or service in which you can do better. You'll need to be able to stand on the shoulders of giants and bring to the market something that makes their lives easier which didn't exist before you...

In reality, that's not even close to being true. And you can see this from immigrants. Many immigrants that come to this country weren't conditioned the way we were. In fact, in many developing states, being an employee is something just for the young, while much of people's earnings come from self employment. So when they come to America, entrepreneuership is just natural for them. I always like to use my grandparents as an example of people who made it in their home country, lost everything, came to America with an education of middle schoolers, and managed to become very wealthy in just a few years. It always makes people wonder, "How can an immigrant just come to the USA with absolutely nothing, and end up running a successful business in such a short amount of time?"

Value is determined by the customer, not by you

This is a big one. Often, it's easy to look at something that costs, say, 100 bucks to purchase, then turn around and sell it for 2000 bucks and think, "Oh my, I'm ripping people off!" But that's far from the truth.

Let me use an example of a buddy I had in Germany. He ran a very successful web development company that focused on local businesses. He'd go into local shops who had a decent client base, yet absolutely no online presence. He'd then offer to create them a website from end to end (using Wordpress) and host it, for 150 euros a month. Now, to anyone with even a little bit of internet experience would realize that that's a huge fucking ripoff. The wordpress theme is a one time cost of 50 bucks, then you just have to add some custom copy, create a Yelp listing, a Facebook page, and then host it for 5 bucks a month after that. The whole project would only take a few hours to complete, so why the fuck would someone pay 1800 euros a year for something that can be done in an hour?

Easy. Value. Before my buddy went in there, these people had no website. And to them, having an online presence would net them more money a month compared with their 150 dollar investment, even though there are other companies out there who could do it for 1/10th that. Shit, GoDaddy has full service features for 150 a year which will do it. To themselves, they are idiots when it comes to technology, and my buddy was the first person to walk in and help solve their problem. The point is, that these people needed help, and you helped them, and your help is giving them an ROI

He now has a whole firm with 10 employees doing this around the clock.

A big realization moment I had was from a few years ago when I jumped on a project for a guy who needed consulting for his business. He was not very tech savy but an incredible sales person. And he was making an absolute killing selling things I considered absolute shit. I mean it. Like some of the services he offered were garbage, but he was making just ridiculous amounts of cash, because he was solving really simple problems for people who didn't know there were other options.

Some of his businesses:
Using QR codes to save large conferences a ton of money. Believe it or not, but the industry standard for tracking and checking in conference attendees is actually a really expensive business. The rental for each one of those scanners is about a thousand dollars. The software and infrastructure to use the data also costs an arm and a leg. A medium sized conference could expect to pay 10s of thousands of dollars just for something as basic as checking people in for their conference meetings and seminars. So he just figured he could hire some kid to write some software to do exactly that, and then tell the conference atendees to use their smart phones to check people in. He was able to undercut the competition by 75% and still made a massive killing on an unbelievably simple technology. He still does it to this day.

Another one of his was for government training classes. Many people working in government are required to take recurring classes to get certifications for dumb shit. So he approached different government agencies and offered them a training program, where he'd split the revenue from the optional online study guide 50/50 . And all he did was ask for a copy of the test, then create a multiple question study guide. Then sold it for 100 dollars to all people attending those classes.

Sounds retarded, right? But believe it or not, that's a huge value to the GO. Having a study guide available which increases student's ability to pass the tests, while generating revenue, is a great program.

He was making 10k a month off this program alone and rarely ever paid attention to it.

You don't have to be Facebook to be successful

I hear it all the time when people talk about starting a business. 95% of the time it's about some great big idea which will change everything. Seriously, I think about 70% of everyone I've ever met seem to only have these huge disruptive ideas that go nowhere because they are too big for their skillset and motivation. Yet, for some reason, people always overlook the relatively simple successful ideas. Too many people focus on things like disrupting our entire infrastructure, rather than focusing on how to help grandma figure out how to blog about her knitting hobby. The real money is at those lower levels, because there are so many people out there with so many problems, who are being completely ignored. You'd be surprised how quick people will be to pay someone to solve a problem that you consider common sense.


[–]a_chill_bro 199 points200 points  (7 children)

We should add a new "Career" or "Money" icon to the red pill categories. It's is a huge gap in TRP and it would promote more content in this supremely important area.

We need more posts like this instead of the "Look what this post-wall woman did/said" or "Chad fucks bitches."

[–]nicechallenge 18 points19 points  (0 children)

That's a great idea it could be really useful.

[–]williamtaylorim 14 points15 points  (0 children)

YES THIS.

While it is undeniable that TRP revolves around sexual strategy, it would definitely not hurt to have people with red pill mindsets obtaining power/wealth.

[–]An_All-Beef_Engineer 207 points208 points  (43 children)

You're adding real value to trp. Cheers mate

[–]ThunderSuit 58 points59 points  (12 children)

While this is an inspirational post, one should note the selection bias in the anecdotes posted by the OP. Whole post was a feel-good trip with no caveats, should have triggered your scepticism engine. This would be a better article if for instance, the OP had posted some insights on why his friend succeeded relative to the thousands of competitors in his region.

For inspiration, I'd rather read replies like these by entrepreneurs who've hustled, failed, learned and bounced back: http://www.quora.com/Whats-it-like-to-be-a-failed-serial-entrepreneur-What-companies-did-you-start-and-how-did-they-fail

my buddy was the first person to walk in and help solve their problem

This sounds more wishful than likely, but even if true, is not a strategy that scales for long.

The wordpress theme is a one time cost of 50 bucks, then you just have to add some custom copy, create a Yelp listing, a Facebook page, and then host it for 5 bucks a month after that.

As someone who pays significantly more than 150$ per month for such services, OPs friend likely underplayed the amount of maintenance/support hours in his contract, and actual hours involved to do all those tasks including interacting with the customer.

OP makes it sound as though you can somehow put a 'value' price on anything that the market won't dispute. This is simply not true.

And he was making an absolute killing selling things I considered absolute shit. I mean it. Sounds retarded, right?

Now, this is the one anecdote where the guy OP is talking about seems really intelligent and business savvy. OP does us a disservice by trivialising all the nitty gritty 'just hired some kid... just undercut by 75%' deceptively. The skills required to find product-market fit repeatedly are almost never acquired at first shot, and there's so many touch points where one can fuck up easily. This guy took years of skill building and hustling to get there.

rather than focusing on how to help grandma figure out how to blog about her knitting hobby

This is an interesting niche idea, but no one's getting rich from selling this. Yes, its been tried numerous times before.

I totally agree with the OP that there are small niche opportunities that aren't being catered to. An important follow up question is, do you want to get rich or to be a small business operator? If one's goal is to get wealthy, there are better strategies (and with more barriers to entry, since you usually need some domain expertise or an acquired advantage) to look for ideas and problems to solve.

[–]sir_wankalot_here 9 points10 points  (4 children)

This sounds more wishful than likely, but even if true, is not a strategy that scales for long.

It does not have the scale that much. Using the $150 per month example, if buddy gets 20 clients he has an income of $3000 per a month.

You have to look at risk versus potential gain, of you would do the hosting yourself, you can get a pretty powerful VPS for $25 per a month. So except for his time, he has only invested $25. The potential for gain is much higher.

This is an interesting niche idea, but no one's getting rich from selling this. Yes, its been tried numerous times before.

You miss OP's point he is just using the WordPress as an example. It can be applied to other areas. So lets say OP comes up with aa different hair brainedscheme every month and attempts to put it into action. And he fails 95% of the time ☺ After 2 years he will have figured out something that works. More importantly of he looks back and figures out why he failed he will be learning a lot.

whole post was a feel-good trip with no caveats, should have triggered your scepticism engine. This would be a better article if for instance, the OP had posted some insights on why his friend succeeded relative to the thousands of competitors in his region.

This is a legit point, but you miss one important aspect. The reality is most of the time successful people do not know why they succeeded per say. A lot of it depends on luck. As in maybe OP when he was starting put happened to run into a business that needed a website. Once you have the first website you can then use this to get further contracts.

Oglivy is the best example of this, he founded what would later become the largest advert agency in the world. He lucked out because his first major contract was Rolls Royce. As he himself says, the contract itself did not pay that much, but just having Rolls Royce as a client got him more contracts.

Regardless Oglivy would have succeeded because he kept on trying new stuff till something clicked. This is related to TRP, the guy who supposedly approached 6000 chicks in a year and never got laid was probably doing exactly the same thing every time.

I guarantee you that if you messaged 6000 chicks in a year, with different variants of "wanna fuck" and saw which ones got slightly more positive responses, and then you improved on your initial opener everytime. You will get laid.

Again it is a numbers game, and of your luck is bad being able to bounce back from 5999 cases of rejection ☺

So yes it is a feel good post, but at its core it has a valid message. I wish I had known this shit years ago.

[–]1mojo_juju 4 points5 points  (1 child)

It does not have the scale that much. Using the $150 per month example, if buddy gets 20 clients he has an income of $3000 per a month.

Well.. it has to scale more than you think it does...

bc that would provide 15*20 = $3000 in REVENUE, not income.

Income is after all expenses are subtracted. Even then, there is employee income (what you pay yourself & employees) and business income (i.e. retained earnings-- what you keep after each pay period to keep the business running).

So... Income? After taxes? Probably more like $3000 * .7 = $2100. Minus business expenses, lets say $200 per week... leaves about $1,300. per month.

To go and find 20 accounts per month, roughly one per business day, AND build the sites. Meh... That's $1300 for what is likely a full time job (for one person at least)... Scale it and it could be worth something, but not much.

Outsource the labor, now you're talkin...

[–]sir_wankalot_here 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Your math is bang and you are right but ☺

If you work for someone else, you are increasing their experience and value. While if you work for yourself, you are increasing your own experience and value. The second is hard to calculate. Taleeb shows that a taxi driver is more antifragile then an engineer because the taxi driver is a hustler. He knows how to sell.

Outsource the labor, now you're talkin...

Before you can outsource you first have to learn is the business viable and also you have to know how to do the job yourself. So this would be the next step.

Also you neglected to mention possible upsales. So you charge $150 per a month for basic site. But if he pays $300 per a month you handle his Facebook advertising or something.

Most importantly you can not put a price on the knowledge you have learned. So even of the business goes bust, the amount that you shelled out is small. But the amount you will learn is huge. You can't put a price on that.

I think critism is important. Now days businesses are more tech savvy so the WordPress example probably will not work in my opinion. But the point is can the same ideas be used else where ?

[–]ThunderSuit 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Brilliant comment to respond to. Didn't know about Oglivy and Rolls Royce; that was a fun example.

I guarantee you that if you messaged 6000 chicks in a year, with different variants

That is a valid point, but this is TRP where we don't see sexual strategy as a fatalistic numbers game. We're obsessed with improving the odds. SMV, Lifting, Finance, Skills etc. OP makes no mention of the business equivalents of these.

Trying new stuff till something clicks, is not an optimal strategy. We learn from each other, we learn from FRs, from books, from divorce-rape stories. We have the luxury of skipping the failures that others have made.

if buddy gets 20 clients he has an income of $3000 per a month.

True. Though, as I mentioned at the end, the question that springs up: Do you want to operate a small business or do you want to get rich? That's also a trick question.

A small website business making 3,000$ a month will likely get killed by the competition. While it sounds like such a small number should be easy and possible, the difficulty level to maintain such a business goes up every single day.

I wish I had known this shit years ago.

I'm glad you're inspired. But if we had to invoke a TRP metaphor, the OPs post is like reading the story of a bluepill guy with low SMV who showed up early at a club when it was relatively empty and scored a high SMV girl because, well, numbers game. We read the FR, we ignore the selection bias and the fact that this low SMV guy doesn't have a chance the rest of the year. Sure, its great to read that despite his SMV, he scored something, anything. But that's never been inspirational around here. We're here to be inspired by strategies, transformations, details, truths, growth.

The business equivalent of high SMV Alphas do exist. They're not content selling to 20 clients. They're playing the venture capital game, networking, using growth hacks, partnering up. They're growing and scaling fast. And they're not throwing random saturated ideas at a wall.

[–]sir_wankalot_here 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Trying new stuff till something clicks, is not an optimal strategy.

Clarification ☺ Common sense applies. The are countless times when you don't know what to do, because every situation is slightly different. So it is better to do something then nothing. Doing nothing means guaranteed failure, doing something means you have a chance at success.

A small website business making 3,000$ a month will likely get killed by the competition. While it sounds like such a small number should be easy and possible, the difficulty level to maintain such a business goes up every single day.

True. So the key is you have to be in a niche where you are too small for the big boys to worry about. Using OP's example you have to look at it from his clients perspective. Let's say OP's niche was restaurants. $150 per a month for a restro is a small amount, and lets say OP managed to improve his business.

The restro owner then is approached by OP's competitor who says he will do the same work for $75 the owner is going to stay with something safe as opposed to switching.

Also OP should not be standing still. So maybe try an upsell, offer to setup a Facebook page lets say. Again the business owner would rather shell out an extra $75 per a month as opposed to wasting his time trying to figure it out.

I'm glad you're inspired. But if we had to invoke a TRP metaphor, the OPs post is like reading the story of a bluepill guy with low SMV who showed up early at a club when it was relatively empty and scored a high SMV girl because, well, numbers game.

There are two strategies, a valid strategy is the shotgun approach. So from a marketing perspective this would be email spam ☺

Go Google the world best insurance sales man. The guy was a Jew, he started out in pre WW2 USA where racism against Jews was huge. To make matters worse the guy had a lisp/accent was short and ugly. He wasn't a good looking Jew like Houdini.

If you read the guy's account, he strategy was exactly what I described. He got his ass out there and started to try and sell insurance. He happened to luck out because he ran into some steel workers and tried to sell them insurance. At the time no one was catering to this niche. He then had it sewn up. Oh and when he told his boss he was selling to steel workers his bossed laughted at him.

So basically it was getting his ass out there and looking for opportunity.

I am speaking from practical experience. A lot of the time it is a matter of getting your ass out there and looking for opportunity.

Listening to critism is important. Often your worst enemies can be the most helpful ☺ They will often say shit which is down right nasty and it hurts because it is the truth. So when you get the critism, try and find an economical solution to it.

So the small Jewish insurance salesman was alpha because he got his ass put there, and repeatedly got his ass kicked, each time learned from it and tried something new.

And as OP pointed out value is relative ☺ For the little Jew, success creates success. So his SMV was initially low became high because of success.

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (1 child)

The technical aspects of this post stood out to me as being completely underplayed.

This post could be summarized by saying:

Figure out how to make a passive income instead of working a job getting paid for your time.

[–]1 TRP SupporterFred_Flintstone 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is the core of The Millionaire Fastlane book if anyone wants to hear the idea explored more.

[–]An_All-Beef_Engineer 5 points6 points  (2 children)

People get different things from trp. The I'm so helpless womyn r bad how could she what should I do guise trope gets old... eventually.

I will address each of your concerns as follows:

Whole post was a feel-good trip with no caveats, should have triggered your scepticism engine.

No triggers were triggered today. You do realise that you must exercise your natural selection bias to make any decision? Now that that's out the way, the bullshit meter would have started running if I didn't have a friend similar to OP's who everyone shat on, until he started designing websites, "managing" corporate media and hosting parties. He gets different treatment now, because he actually has value.

I'd rather read the replies to this question by a failed serial entrepreneur

I'd rather not. Know what a failure can teach you to do? Fail. I'd rather go balls deep in Richard Branson like a virgin. Pardon the wordplay.

my buddy was the first person to walk in and help solve their problem

This sounds more wishful than likely, but even if true, is not a strategy that scales for long.

Which is why successful businessmen often have multiple successful companies. Which one of the following can the experience/income stream from this first venture be applied to:

  • a. his first real estate venture
  • b. another IT startup
  • c. a carpet cleaning company
  • d. all of the above.

As someone who pays significantly more than 150$ per month for such services, (services OP's friend offers)

You should have PM'd OP for a recommendation hours ago. You do like saving money right?

OP makes it sound as though you can somehow put a 'value' price on anything that the market won't dispute. This is simply not true.

Contrary to this, every single day trp explained to you in depth that people don't understand true value. The man unlucky beta who marries this will not question her value. She chose him right? That's all that matters nowright?

And he was making an absolute killing selling things I considered absolute shit. I mean it. Sounds retarded, right?

This is the one anecdote where the guy OP is talking about seems really intelligent and business savvy. This guy took years of skill building and hustling to get there.

Finally you see the light and realise there might be something to learn from OP. However, you won't get the blueprint and floorplan to a groundbreaking business from OP or his friend publicly because 1. angry feminist will try to fuck him over for no reason 2. you'd go about it differently and get different results.

do you want to get rich or to be a small business operator?

You really think small business operators can't be rich/scale up their operations/open new ventures? There are better strategies rather than starting small, but not everybody is Bill Fucking Gates out here. Perhaps you should make analytical posts of successful entrepreneurs who actually know what they talk about.

[–]ThunderSuit 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I like your point about value, and what we're learning often is that those without options (betas) overvalue the ones with options (any women). Buyers have a lot more control over the market.

Of course there's premium and luxury pricing in a business marketplace; just that the OP made it sound like there's little-to-no effort required to get there. BluePill, low SMV, scrawny and command tingles from 9s, just because he showed up early? Unlikely. The 9s know their relative position in the market; they can skip with ease.

No triggers were triggered today.

Ah, should have phrased that better. I meant skepticism about the OPs intentions. It was all 'If this retard can do it, anyone can!'.

I'd rather not. Know what a failure can teach you to do? Fail. I'd rather go balls deep in Richard Branson like a virgin.

Sure, why not. What I've found is, most successful founders are terrible at articulating the reasons why they were successful. With failure stories, they tend of ramble on with more details, so you get a good set of data points to be cautious about at the very least.

Which is why successful businessmen often have multiple successful companies.

Critical point, most successful businessmen who moved onto another successful business did so by selling their previous companies and not through money they saved while working on their first business. And when I said 'won't scale for long', I meant that particular strategy of counting on being the first to show up at a businesses door wouldn't last for long, as it's statistically unlikely and a ridiculous strategy.

There are better strategies rather than starting small, but not everybody is Bill Fucking Gates out here.

There are better ways to start small and better ways to scale. A point I tried to make in another comment, this is the era of entrepreneurship, where Shark Tank is one of the most popular shows on TV. There's tons of inspiration out there and tons of resources on how to start and scale better.

I love the posts that are about money on TRP, but this post was devoid of useful strategy for anyone who's read an article or two about businesses. I'm glad its inspiring many here though. Just hope they know there's better advise out there on starting a business, finding ideas and customers.

[–]An_All-Beef_Engineer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Great delivery on the response. You're right, the post was a bit bare on details. A full length post from you would be welcome.

[–]Endorsed Contributorredpillbanana 84 points85 points  (31 children)

The system is pretty much set up to generate good workers for corporations and thus, as OP said, most people don't even consider going into business as an option - unless they have a solid cushion in the form of very supportive parents, a large trust fund, or maybe they just rely on their huge brass balls.

Many people accidentally discover how profitable it can be to go into business for themselves. For example, there's a Mexican food chain in California which started when a guy (a Mexican immigrant) was cooking food at a park and a bunch of soccer players smelled his food and ran over to try to buy some. I think the guy has over 30 restaurants now.

Another example is back when I was selling some spare electronic equipment on eBay. I was selling a particular brand of MP3 player, and one bidder bought all of them. Once he received them, he was extremely happy and said that however many I had, he'd buy them all from me at my (very profitable) price. Apparently he was shipping them halfway around the world and selling at a huge markup in his home country where they were very popular. That turned out to be a nice side business for me until I ran out of suppliers.

One of my favorite stories is about Bigfoot, the first monster truck. The guy who invented Bigfoot was just some dude who liked taking his Ford truck offroad. The first time he brought Bigfoot to a show to do a car crush, the organizers were really worried that it would be seen as "too destructive" but they decided to go ahead with it. When Bigfoot crushed those cars for the first time, the audience went crazy, and now we have the whole monster truck entertainment industry.

Much of doing business is having the balls to charge enough to make huge profits. Back when I was doing some consulting, I heard a rule that went something like this: first you tell the customer your hourly rate, and then you slap him hard across the face. If he's madder about the slap than your rate, then you're not charging enough.

I remember hiring one contractor - I suggested a rate to him that I felt was a total lowball offer, and he said, "Woah, that's a bit much for someone like me." I instantly lost respect for him.

So what it comes down to is brass balls. Have the balls to go the entrepreneurial path, have the balls to lowball your suppliers, and have the balls to demand a profit.

[–][deleted] 21 points22 points  (12 children)

I really enjoyed this comment; this post is bringing out some real wisdom from the community.

I am having to overcome the barrier of the barter: buy low and sell high.

I was raised on a system of being fair and appeasing. But charging as much as you can get away with is NOT ripping someone off, it is simply charging what you are worth. If they pay, then that's value you had all along. Otherwise they were the ones deceiving you. Likewise, buying low is the same deal. If you bought any higher they would be the ones ripping you off.

It's all about qualifying value, and the man who doesn't know what he/things are worth gets eaten. Being a nice guy really means being a ball-less faget who is easily dominated and doesn't have the spine to stand up for his own interests.

Why so many of us were conditioned out of this is baffling; I guess it reflects a docile society tamed by BigGov and BigCorp; their interests not ours. Time to change that.

EDIT: I guess the main exception to this is genuine deception and lies; i.e. promising the world and delivering shit, but that is not really business, it's crime and you will soon build yourself a reputation as such. Honest but challenging barter seems to be the most masculine strategy.

[–]Endorsed Contributorredpillbanana 13 points14 points  (11 children)

Well-said - barter and negotiation are key.

If you can't negotiate for your own best interests, how are you going to rise up and negotiate for the best interests of your family, your organization, your corporate division, or your city/state/country?

[–]Myrpl 6 points7 points  (9 children)

Do you have any suggested reads around developing the required skillset, other than practicing eating dust and losing big?

[–]Endorsed Contributorredpillbanana 15 points16 points  (8 children)

"Getting to Yes" is the classic, and "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" (Habit 4 and 5) is also a good starting point, but I'd say that practice is more important and it is easy to start practicing by haggling when purchasing or selling.

The bigger your purchase (or the larger the item you're selling), the more room there is for negotiation in general. Next time you buy or sell something big, or even medium-priced, do your research and then try to negotiate a better price. I've negotiated discounts on small cameras, appliances, and even video games. Sometimes it is as simple as having the balls to ask for a better price. Of course it goes without saying that you should haggle for big-ticket items like cars and real estate.

Negotiating is especially important in real estate where there are many parties trying to get their slice of the transaction. I've literally saved tens of thousands of dollars by negotiating price and asking for discounts, and it only took me a few hours of time to negotiate. It's a tremendous return for my time spent (how often do you make $10k/hr?), and yet most people don't have the guts to ask for a discount.

Much of negotiation revolves around information, and this is where negotiation resembles chess. The party with the most information will usually come out ahead. An example with Warren Buffett:

Mrs. B told the story this way: “One day, he [Buffett]walks in and says to me, ‘You want to sell me your store?’And I say, ‘Yeah.’ He says, ‘How much do you want?’ I say,‘$60 million.’ He goes to the office and brings back a check. I say, ‘You are crazy. Where are your lawyers? Where are your accountants?’ He says, ‘I trust you more.’ ” Later, when an inventory was taken, the store was actually worth $85 million, but Mrs. B did not raise the price. “I wouldn’t go back on my word, but I was surprised. He never thought a minute. But he studies. I bet you he knew.”

When the two negotiating parties lack information, it starts to resemble a poker game, e.g. your company is on the verge of bankruptcy but you act like you've got tons of clients. An example from warfare (which can be considered a negotiation via violence):

“Long ago, in Medieval Austria, a small but determined army was trying desperately to hold on to its fortress against tremendous odds. For months they’d been surrounded by a hostile army.

With no way to contact outside help, their replenish stocks, supplies had dwindled to a desperate level.

Only one cow and 2 bags of grain remained.

The fortress soldiers, wracked with fatigue and hunger, turned to their commander for guidance.

Expecting their leader to say, “Ration the food for as long as we can hold out”, they were surprised when they received a different reply. “Kill the cow, stuff it with all the grain we have and toss it over the wall when the next wave of attacks ensue.”

This seemed illogical, foolhardy, and dangerous.

However, during the next attack, they followed the unexpected order and heaved the grain-stuffed cow over the wall.

Without a doubt they anticipated a slow and anguished death by starvation.

But the commander had for-seen something that no one else had. Confused by the bovine assault, several of the attackers took the cow back to their officer’s tent.

The attacking officer saw it as a signal of defiance from the fortress commander as well as a message that the soldiers had the will to fight on.

He reasoned that if they could afford to throw an entire cow stuffed with excess supplies over the wall, they must have vast stores of supplies; enough to last the winter.

He ordered an immediate retreat.”

[–]hirash 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Really liked the last story. Can you suggest some good reads similar to that ?

[–]Endorsed Contributorredpillbanana 2 points3 points  (2 children)

From what I remember, 48 Laws of Power has many similar stories. I remember reading the following story there which is similar:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_Fort_Strategy

In the first Northern Expedition, Zhuge Liang's efforts to conquer the Wei city Chang'an were undermined by the Shu defeat at the Battle of Jieting. With the loss of Jieting (present-day Qin'an County, Gansu), Zhuge Liang's current location, Xicheng (西城; believed to be located 120 li southwest of present-day Tianshui, Gansu), became exposed and was in peril of being attacked by the Wei army. In the face of imminent danger, with the main Shu army deployed elsewhere and only a small group of soldiers in Xicheng, Zhuge Liang came up with a ploy to hold off the approaching enemy.

Zhuge Liang ordered all the gates to be opened and instructed soldiers disguised as civilians to sweep the roads while he sat on the viewing platform above the gates with two boys flanking him. He put on a calm and composed image by playing his guqin. When the Wei army led by Sima Yi arrived, Sima was surprised by the scene before him and he ordered a retreat after suspecting that there was an ambush inside the city. Zhuge Liang later explained that his strategy was a risky one. It worked because Zhuge Liang had a reputation for being a careful military tactician who hardly took risks, so Sima Yi came to the conclusion that there was an ambush upon seeing Zhuge's relaxed composure.[8]

[–]hirash 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I am currently reading that book. I have reached law 15 and I did read about the above story in that book.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Sometimes it is as simple as having the balls to ask for a better price.

How do you ask? The most obvious would be "Can I get a discount?", but that's too easy to turn down with a "No.". On the other hand, saying something like "I've seen it available cheaper somewhere else." can be countered with "Then buy it there."

Any examples would be much appreciated!

Edit: or for real estate. The only way to have "leverage" over the seller is to be able to walk away, but if you're picky and it's the only house/apartment you found, you'd have to fake it with a completely poker face.

[–]Endorsed Contributorredpillbanana 1 point2 points  (2 children)

How do you ask? The most obvious would be "Can I get a discount?", but that's too easy to turn down with a "No.". On the other hand, saying something like "I've seen it available cheaper somewhere else." can be countered with "Then buy it there."

This is the fear that keeps people from negotiating. It's the same reason guys are afraid to tell a woman to take off her blouse - the fear of the word, "No."

First of all, asking for a discount, however badly, is better than not asking.

"Can I get a discount?" is as good a place to start as any. Better is, "Would you take $x for it?" Then the seller can calculate in his head whether it is worth his time and give you an answer. He might say, "No" or "No, but how about $y?"

"I only have $x cash on me" sometimes works too.

"I saw it at store X for $y, can you beat their price?"

Showing the salesman a real ad from the other store helps too. And if he says, "Go buy it there," then you should do exactly that.

“If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.” ― Nora Roberts

Any examples would be much appreciated! Edit: or for real estate. The only way to have "leverage" over the seller is to be able to walk away, but if you're picky and it's the only house/apartment you found, you'd have to fake it with a completely poker face.

Yes, walking away is your only leverage - and it is very powerful because you have the cash and the seller wants it. Are there other buyers bidding up the price? If the price is not worth it to you, then walk away.

From Warren Buffett:

"Ted Williams described in his book, "The Science of Hitting," that the most important thing—for a hitter—is to wait for the right pitch," he said. "And that's exactly the philosophy I have about investing... Wait for the right pitch, and... wait for the right deal. And it will come... It's the key to investing."

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

"Would you take $x for it?"

Thanks, these are all very good suggestions. Mainly, I need to grow some bigger, hairier balls.

Another quick question - does it make sense to use something like the quote above on items in shops that have a price?

[–]Endorsed Contributorredpillbanana 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Depends.

Are you in a supermarket or a Walmart? Probably not because they have low margins.

In a furniture store or electronics store? Yes because they have higher margins.

Is there a salesperson helping you? Then yes.

Is it a small shop where you're talking to the owner? Then yes.

Not sure? Try bargaining anyway.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yes, that is how I have come to define masculinity and leadership, I like your thinking.

[–]1Dark-Ulfberht 11 points12 points  (10 children)

This is a side track, but related. There is one business sector that is really overdue for the Uber treatment: motherfucking realtors.

I always, always, attempt a for-sale-by-owner for a few months when I know I'm about to move. It doesn't always work, and the reason is that MLS is a straight up barrier designed to require third party transaction in a sale.

Before cheap database solutions existed, MLS made sense. There was no easy way for people to search for houses otherwise, and realtors served a function.

Now, this isn't the case. People search online for their houses and give suggestions to the realtor, who then does a little paperwork and requires 3% of gross for his "services."

Zillow, Redfin, and others have all the capability in the world to Uber this racket, but for whatever reason have gotten into bed with realtors.

To actually bring this racket to a halt would require some significant financing, as the technological solution would only be a fraction of the total cost. You'd have to advertise like crazy to get enough visibility, as the utility of such an enterprise scales geometrically with the number of people who use it. If it doesn't get big, it will never compete. And that, right there, is the only reason realtors still have jobs.

[–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Right now, realtors are my target. Simply because realtors are fucking stupid. They all work in a high margin business, but seriously are just a bunch of idiots. I know it's fucked up to say, but that's the reality. They don't know the first thing about marketing beyond "word of mouth." Meanwhile, the realtors who are leveraging the digital landscape are making a silent killing. There are TONS of people from out of state looking to relocate and don't have a referral for a realtor, so they just go to google and look for someone they want to do business with.

Every realtor I work with, has a silly high ROI. The real problem for me, is that they are too stupid to sell. They don't like change, and insist on doing things the way their grandparent's did it. However, while it's tough to sell them on trying something new, the ones that I do get do amazing, which just proves my service. I go from being a sales person they avoid calls from, to their bread and butter they eagerly pick up their phone for.

[–]1Dark-Ulfberht 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I know it's fucked up to say, but that's the reality realty.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

[–]Endorsed Contributorredpillbanana 2 points3 points  (3 children)

This is a side track, but related. There is one business sector that is really overdue for the Uber treatment: motherfucking realtors.

I agree 100%. Redfin tried a while back but they couldn't get traction.

And actually, everyone in the FIRE industry is due for an ass-kicking by some Python scripts. Escrow, title search, insurance, mortgage companies - I've met some good people in the FIRE industry but most of them are worthless and completely automate-able.

If someone can disrupt the National Association of Realtors or the mortgage companies, they'll make billions. And I'll be laughing while the Realtors go the way of the buggy whip, kerosene lamp, and now, the taxi drivers.

(Strangely, I've had some luck with FSBO via Craigslist of all places. Go figure.)

[–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Even though I do a lot of business with realtors, I fucking hate them. They are such an unnecessary cost 95% of the time. Pretty much all they do for 6% of your property is have access to MLS and fill out paperwork.

So much bullshit. I can't wait until it gets properly disrupted.

[–]LateralThinkerer 6 points7 points  (1 child)

It's been tried off an on for a lot of years. Many years ago they tried to do some online discount-brokerage things in the LA market and most of the listed houses had mysterious fires or other damage. I tried to self-list in Craigslist several years ago and they've got that completely wired shut, and there's no customer service.

Realtors are like car dealers - a heavily lobbied and useless industry protecting their ass and profits with payments to Congress (they're the second largest lobbying group in the US).

I've posted that rant in some of the financial subs and have landed some of the most delusional, innumerate arguments for keeping Realtors around you can imagine. No sympathy.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I really think the only thing you can do for Realtors is agree+amplify their idiocy. This is why it seems that the best way to make money off of them is to form the "general store" and farm them with services.

Every time you see a new "realty brand" with multiple realtors working under it---that's someone farming realtors and making coin off services. I've seen some offices that lease office space under the "brand" to hundreds or realtors. Its convenient to them and makes a lot of easy money once the systems are built and in-place. What I haven't seen (or noticed) is the expansion of this idea into a financial services "mall"--- life insurance, banking, etc. This is probably because there are existing competitive lobbys for these systems. (There I go, being an insufferable idea guy again.)

Trying to reform the system isn't going to work, too many people have an investment in the broken system to change it. Greed and pride are universal though, so you can almost certainly game that for your advantage.

[–]hugeveinycock 4 points5 points  (2 children)

My MLS offers entry-only services for $500. You pay a guy with MLS access a fee, provide the photos and description, and the guy posts it on the MLS. He does nothing else including not taking any calls or emails on the property.

This might be something worth looking into for you.

But as an aside, let me say that before I actually became a Realtor I was of the exact same opinion. Realtors -- good Realtors -- are worth their weight in gold. I used to think they were a rip-off (and to be fair, some of them are.) The amount of knowledge you need and sales skills to be successful takes a long time.

Real estate and real estate transactions get increasingly more complicated ever day. Selling your house, which is often your biggest asset, is not something you should be trying on your own. After 5 years in real estate sales, I've learned a ton and the amount of work involved is selling a property is straight up ludicrous.

You can sell a house yourself, but the stats say you'll sell it for less money and take way longer. And also open yourself up to litigation or other headaches because.... ready for it..... YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE DOING. Selling a house, land, condo, commercial building, etc is not like selling a pack of gum.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

No offense to your work or industry, but the only reason you have a job is the government making shit more complicated than it needs to be.

I'm in a different business that is similar, but a lot of the reason my boss gets to mark things up is because of all the extra crazy laws and shit that will wreck the person that has never gone through the processes.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm as annoyed by realtors as the next guy.. but you make an astute point. There are many scenarios where a good realtor can be invaluable. But they are few and far between, and an individual would be much better off if they simply found a good attorney.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Where I live realtors take 5-8%.

The marker is flooded with them though.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

For example, there's a Mexican food chain in California which started when a guy (a Mexican immigrant) was cooking food at a park and a bunch of soccer players smelled his food and ran over to try to buy some. I think the guy has over 30 restaurants now.

know that name of the restaurant?

[–]Endorsed Contributorredpillbanana 8 points9 points  (0 children)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Taco

The dude is a genius - he invented the modern taco truck.

...and now I'm hungry for Mexican food.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I remember hiring one contractor - I suggested a rate to him that I felt was a total lowball offer, and he said, "Woah, that's a bit much for someone like me." I instantly lost respect for him.

This is something you get in every industry. You get people that will ALWAYS complain that it's too much.

Strangely also these are the ones with the most troublesome jobs.

Guys that don't complain about price are always happy and their jobs go the smoothest.

Luckily I learned to spot these people early, Pro-tip: Price x pi those guys.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

[deleted]

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    When you get a job you REALLY don't want to do, I found that instead of not quoting, I instead multiply my normal price by pi. This is usually enough to make the job worth it if I do get it.

    It's just arbitrary, but for some reason I found that I started to negotiate with myself if I used anything else. It's a boundary I set for myself.

    You can use anything you want, but making sure you price yourself out of the market without looking ridiculous is pretty tricky.

    The reason I do this: I've found that people generally don't come back in the future if you refuse a job and not quote them. Sometimes even these assholes land pretty sweet jobs and not having quoted them in the past can make you loose out.

    Also this is not for stuff I can't do... Don't ever quote for stuff you can't do.

    On second thought I probably shouldn't have added x pi as protip I was just typing and not considering other industries where it might not work at all...

    [–]RiseAboveRuin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    If he's madder about the slap than your rate, then you're not charging enough.

    What a delightful scenario to imagine.

    [–]Jung_ 49 points50 points  (2 children)

    Saved. This is gold, thanks brother.

    [–]Haus_of_Klaus 12 points13 points  (0 children)

    Easily one of the most useful posts here in a long time.

    Many people just share their experiences, without mentioning real examples and it makes the world of a difference when you have some to help brainstorm.

    [–]CalvinHobb3s 15 points16 points  (0 children)

    Same. I'm going to reread this when I'm sober.

    [–]seducer4real 21 points22 points  (96 children)

    I read a quote somewhere that went along the lines of 'as soon as you think of a new idea, 500 people before you already thought of it". This is very true. You can test it yourself(Google your idea). Even if 100 people thought of it before you,it is still a lot. Dont just rely on getting an idea for your success. It is like waiting for someone to open the door for you to a maze. It is barely the first step. The idea of fb was already out there (friendster, MySpace), but Zuckerberg took this idea, made it 10x,better, targeted a niche (unis and schools) thus expanding adjacently and quietly.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 26 points27 points  (95 children)

    An idea is a dime a dozen. It really is. Ideas mean nothing without the capacity to execute.

    You could have had the idea for Occulus Rift before those other guys did... But the difference is, they went to make it reality, while you just sat around thinking, "Hmmm I got a good idea. Does someone want to pay me for it?!" -- I have a dark place in my heart for those people.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 15 points16 points  (91 children)

    To be honest, as an entrepreneur, the only thing harder than finding profitable areas/ideas is getting capital. Holy fucking shit is getting capital hard. Even if you have wealthy friends/family, you really have to come from a special community of wealthy friends/family that have a mindset of funding entrepreneurship to get anything out of them. And all the fucking angels, VC's, IB's, etc... are only funding HUGE ventures, or startups aiming to be the next FB. No money for mid-range cash cow ideas that promise less than 100 billion valuations in 10 years...

    I could actually be a millionair in 5 years max if I had investors willing to put $100,000-$1,000,000 into ventures.

    I don't. So instead I have to grind and slowly build my own stuff to earn the capital to get into better stuff. I guess I can't complain, but it seems like usually the main difference between people that DO the things is just being one of the 500 with the idea, and then also coming from the right community that funds them. Every time I have ever read a book from a successful entrepreneur this is how it begins for them. I just read another example about a kid from Beverly Hills that started a massive online gambling app that has gained massive, rapid traction...but he was given $500,000 by one of his neighbors, even though he makes zero revenue yet, and actually gives money away.

    Everyone has ideas. Almost no one has a neighbor that gives them $500,000 on a whim when they come over for dinner.

    And even in business school they always tell you "go ask your friends and family". Well...what if that doesn't work?

    Is there some secret for the rest of us to access capital?

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 16 points17 points  (40 children)

    Yeah man, I know exactly where you are at. Trust me, it annoys me whenever I hear about people getting startup capital from their "savings" (trust fund) or "investors" (parents).

    But it is what it is. If you need 100k to really get something solid going, then your goal should be saving 100k through whatever means possible, which may mean starting off a bit smaller.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 2 points3 points  (38 children)

    That is the idea, yeah.

    Sucks. But oh well, nothing else to do about it.

    I'm constantly surprised at how stingy with money even relatively well off people are. I wish more people grew up at least valuing entrepreneurship when they saw others doing it. They'll invest a couple million in the stock market for the thrill or something, but won't invest $100,000 in someone with an actual revenue generating business idea.

    Somewhere out there there are communities or families at least that do invest in the young entrepreneurs though, and they tend to always do decently.

    I guess I've just been retarded in not becoming a web developer. Clearly that's where all the money is at. I'm pretty much starting now. I guess web dev and data science are the main things now.

    Maybe I'll look into the cell phone repair thing to grind out money, too.

    The other issue is, you need to be able to get websites build fast anyway as an entrepreneur. I was hoping I could just work with someone, but I guess I need to learn it myself. I have like three low-capital businesses to get off the ground that just need a web dev and a graphic designer. I seriously cannot draw at all...so idk how I am going to learn graphic design, but I guess I am forced into it. I have the knowledge to just become fairly well off with my low-capital ideas. Been in the hospital a lot lately though...hopefully now that I am at least out I will be able to figure this web dev shit out fast.

    And here I've been thinking I should take some actuarial exams, or the CFA to see if I could just freelance some actuarial work for quick cash haha

    I gotta figure out social media consulting, too... I guess a lot of it is knowing how to take good photos though, and having an expensive camera.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 3 points4 points  (27 children)

    Dude, Wordpress. It will take you a weekend to set up your first WP site, then after you've learned everything you need to learn through google during your first learning pass, it will take 3 hours tops after that to set up a site.

    I don't mind designing myself, but often it's just easier to go to fivver and paying someone 20 bucks to do some work for you while they build their portfolio. Again, you don't need to be perfect, you just need to have a platform. Once you have a basic platform setup, then everything after that is simply marketing.

    [–]fatalbinoninja 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    I thought about doing this a few years back and played around with a bunch of templates. You're right about it being easy to learn but what I always got stumped on was pitching it to the customer.

    Do you talk with them to find a general layout they like and then find a few templates that match it and customize from there. Or do you show them various templates from sites like themeforest or templatemonster and go from there?

    Just curious as I would really like to get into this for more side money.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Do you talk with them to find a general layout they like and then find a few templates that match it and customize from there.

    No. Because even though I'm just winging it, they need to feel like they are dealing with a master professional. Even in times when I'm looking at multiple themes, and can't decide which will be the best, I eventually pick one and stick to it hard. I am the professional, and so are you, so I pitch them on why my choice template is the best for their business.

    Nine times out of ten, they'll take your expert opinion and go with it.

    [–]Xeusi 1 point2 points  (8 children)

    You can cut your time down significantly for what you have to learn if you just learn project management, then you can outsource the coding to a developer overseas depending on where you are for peanuts. I'd learn basics then learn databases more and get a solid understanding of web tech so you know what's possible.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Oh man, I can go on a tangent on what you said, because you're absolutely right.

    Truth is, you can get the same quality of work done outsourced to India as you would expect from the USA, so long as you know how to manage the project. Their issue is that they aren't creative and require step by step explanations of what they need to do. Once you figure out how to do that right, local development costs become moot.

    [–]Xeusi 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Where I work utilizes India developers and local ones in a mix to maximize results. That is where I learned that at.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 0 points1 point  (5 children)

    I imagine that makes sense in the long run, yeah. All I know if I need to be able to get websites off the ground faster, for cheaper right now.

    Can you get decent logo design, or like advertising material design in these outsourced places?

    Also...where do you actually go to get decent outsourced services?

    [–]Xeusi 0 points1 point  (4 children)

    https://www.freelancer.com/job/ is pretty good and yes you can...just have to specify what you want and figure out how to visually represent it to them. Half the job is speaking very simple english sentences and using visuals and flow charts to clarify what is wanted so they know what you want.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    I think it would be easier to just learn web dev rather than learn about to design elaborate flowcharts and visuals... I can't draw sadly =/ (I tried to rectify this. I spent 3 years trying to draw basic shapes. I swear. I literally sat down and practiced drawing every day for years with a practice guide. I still cannot even draw a cube. A. Fucking. Cube. It's unbelievable.)

    [–]Xeusi 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    You don't need to learn how to do that...besides if you can't define the logic you need then you can't know how to code it regardless. Microsoft Visio is a nice easy to learn tool that provides you most of that....adobe has tools as well if needed. All you need to know how to do is say "I need something like this' and know how to give an example. Most good developers I know can work off of a sketch on a napkin and can run with it.

    [–]CluelessCat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    You don't need to be able to draw for graphic design.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (4 children)

    It's frustrating to watch shark tank and see people coming on with a company that already has a year worth of sales and then for a $75,000 loan the sharks want 30-45% of the company. I would never give up that much of my company for that shit. And then I've never seen someone come on that got an offer which did not already have some proven sales secured for their company. It's almost demoralizing.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    Yeah... I don't even understand that shit. I constantly think to myself "why are you even looking for money?? Wtf??"

    They never go enough into their backstories. Like you say, all these companies have incredible sales numbers basically by the time they are on there, and it seems like...insane. Like how did these housewives stake making cookie dough batter that now has 100,000 sales a year from nothing? Come on...there is more to that back story...

    I guess they call it Shark Tank for a reason though. Idk why anyone accepts the offers, seems like the fame from being on the show is enough to make them super successful anyway.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    They want the network. You aren't just getting their money, you're getting them on as a partner. They know the in's-and-outs of shit you can't even imagine. So the idea is that if you take them on as a partner, they'll do their best to grow the company to the point where your 75k a year in profits is peanuts in comparison to what you're making with them on board.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Is there clear data on how well those that accept deals do versus those that don't?

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    That's a good question, and I hope one day someone runs that meta analysis. But from my personal limited experience with people who went on the show (which takes a good 5 months btw... Most quality applicants grow past the need for funding and partnership by then) are doing way better now than they were by themselves.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I work with an "idea guy." Idea guys... are insufferable. It's very easy to become one yourself. Hey, I've got an idea! There, now you're insufferable as well. These same idea guys then troll out for believers to implement them. It can go well, but if nothing keeps the idea guys from going off the rails on yet another bright idea. But this isn't related to your question---which I already know you know the answer to.

    Bootstrap it yourself. Start with a small idea that doesn't take much capital and run it. Take some of the profit and accumulate for the next larger idea. Sell the smaller business if you can't automate it and let it run itself. Multiply smaller experiments to increase capital farming. Quantify your results. Ideas that aren't working are killed. Haters will naturally ridicule you--being a serial entrepreneur is a kind of stereotype. Keep your eyes on the numbers.

    In other words, you're already doing it. In the world of start-ups, the lottery ticket only comes after ten years of slogging at imperfect ideas in irrational markets---starting small for small gains will be the most reliable multiplier of your capital. In day trading it is said that you shouldn't ever risk too much of your capital on any single trade lest you wipe yourself out--they say, never use more than 2% of your capital per trade. If you have ten bad trades (or businesses) you only lose out of 20% of your capital. Keep your eyes on the numbers.

    Others say embrace the suck. I say also to you, embrace the grind. Keep your eyes on the numbers.

    And for anyone else: If you decide to use credit cards to capitalize anything, you deserve to be married---the net result is the same: ruin when it goes horribly wrong. It likely will. Keep your eyes on the numbers.

    [–]seducer4real 2 points3 points  (5 children)

    Raising capital is difficult of course, depending on how you look at it. Imagine yourself in an alternate universe where you had all the capital you needed. Now write down exactly what you would do. You cant let stuff that you cant control get in your way. Lets take Richard Branson for example. When he was young he saved some money from selling newspapers. Then when he wanted to start his airline company he never had any money to hire a plane. He never let this get in his way. Instead, he decided to put out an advert for a flight going from city x to y. He collected all the money from the people, then hired the plane just before the scheduled date with that money. You have to take what is hindering your progress, and think about what you would do if it wasnt there.

    I watched an interview recently with an entrepreneur called Com Mirza. His first 10 startups failed. He borrowed all the money from friends and family and lost it all, 10 times. Then on his 11th he started another company, which went ok for a while, until they were losing money and the government/authorities told him they would close the business in 24hours if couldnt get 1 million pounds. He spent those 24 hours going to every investor in London (50-60) and pitched to all of them for at least 15 minutes, some for 3 hours. He got rejected over 50 times. He only had a few hours left and pitched for 3 hours to this guy who decided to wait 3 hours before telling him he wasnt interested. Then after he left there, he decided to go to the guy next door, who also happened to hate that guy. He pitched to him , and the guy wired him 1 million. Guess how much he is worth now? 500 million+.

    There are lots more stories like these where people get investors in the most impossible situations. It is all in the mind. Read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and I guarantee you will never complain about not being able to do something. The book is just that powerful.

    peace.

    [–]franklyforthright 0 points1 point  (4 children)

    The only alternative is hard work, so get to it!

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    Hard work does not pay very well. It's also not an alternative. No one has ever accomplished anything merely through hard work.

    My father is a great example. He's spent 30 years working 16 hours a day and spent everything he has in order to fund a "communications company" dedicated to selling the ideas in the 12,000 pages of writing he has written. He has made exactly $0. But hardly anyone has worked harder than him at anything over the past 30 years.

    [–]Aelius94 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    A slave works hard. Work smart not hard.

    [–]franklyforthright 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    There is a saying in the army "Work smart, not hard" This was implied in my statement and something your father should have followed. When you both work smart and hard then you will attain value. There are other immoral ways of attaining value but this is not what I'm talking about.

    What are the other options? Survival: this has been a recurring theme proposed by others here. I don't agree with it but I understand the sentiment.

    Defeat for me is death, but in death there is freedom.

    [–]notmyusualreddit 0 points1 point  (22 children)

    If you can be a 'millionaire' if someone gave you 100k-1million because your business and selling skills are just so good.. then you should go into sales for a year or two and make that money yourself. A 1% car salesperson can make $200k a year or more. I was putting over $100k cash into savings after taxes and bills when I sold cars (I was top 0.1%)

    If you think you can run a business, go convince a few chinese people to pay top dollar for a BMW first.. you'll learn some good skills, and make the money you need while at it.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 1 point2 points  (21 children)

    Yeah, but I have no official sales background, no resume, etc... I've only ever ran my own businesses, since the age of 11.

    Seems like no one would trust me to sell their BMW's without a proven track record of official sales positions?

    What the heck did you move on to after car sales that made you more money than that though? Private Equity?

    I've heard you could also potentially make a lot of money by working at a bank, and going into the private division. Basically you just spend all your time selling rich people on stuff. Have you ever heard of that? I was talking to someone that had a similar story of making tons of money doing it, but you have to just be great at talking to rich people basically. I only ask because in car sales I assume to be great at it you'd need to be a car afficianado + you need to be on your feet all day right, and I sadly have a very bad back, and somewhat poor health overall, and am not sure I can handle standing and running around constantly for 8-12 hours a day =/

    [–]notmyusualreddit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Watch the movie 'Suckers' on youtube about car sales. Its pretty damn accurate in how it could feel and be. If you later want to watch a good sales movie as well about the grind and emotions that can go with it, Glenngary Glenn Ross is gold, especially the salesmanager part.

    [–]notmyusualreddit 0 points1 point  (19 children)

    I'm guessing your still under 21? Either way, if you've really ran your own businesses since 11, and interacted with people, then you can walk into a highline car dealership, show them some proof, show them some charisma and remind them of your desire, and you will get a job. Every dealership has someone working there that sucks and pissing them off, so they are looking for someone to replace them, and they just have to be better than that person they hate. You will get hired if you want. Stick to highline if you really have a trackrecord of being something unique.

    Yes it is hard work. I wish it was only 12 hour days sometimes. You can sit a lot if you want as it will give you time to work the phones and email people. You should go for the 'internet' sales position at that point or try to quickly get into it.

    And yes I left it to run my own business also because I figured with those kinds of hours, and that kind of people skills I could do even better. I don't really want to go into it online for fear of doxing as its unique enough.

    Your questions to me are very amateur, which theres nothing wrong for someone thats young and inexperienced.. but thinking all you need to be a millionaire is 100k sounds like a 19 yr olds pipe dream to me. You dont even think you could sell BMWs but you can sell millions of dollars of items or services in order to make yourself and investors millions?

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 0 points1 point  (18 children)

    idk, to me sales is a different skillset than setting up systems and managing a bunch of moving parts. Steve jobs didn't personally design the iPhone, or sit on phone's personally selling them to several hundred million people, right? I don't really get where you think that to run a business you have to be a personal sales expert?

    I know good sales people; I can always employ them if I need personal sales people it seems like.

    I've mostly existed off having skills that are so unique that people find me for my services admittedly.

    I've just been kind of stupid with the money I've made, and also incurred some extremely large medical bills, which as inhibited my progress significantly.

    I'm not going to copy and paste the full business plans I've written out onto Reddit though...so idk how to prove to you that I have more than just idle thought I guess.

    Again, I don't have ideas that will make millions overnight for anyone. They're all slow burning ideas that are very low-risk ways of becoming a millionaire within the next 5-10 years. I'm not trying to sell some wild products, or sell investors on some crazy idea that might be the next Facebook.

    [–]notmyusualreddit 0 points1 point  (17 children)

    Slow burn ideas that make you a millionaire in 10 years in theory are probably terrible. Hell, being a millionaire in 10 years is called a having a high paying job.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 0 points1 point  (16 children)

    That makes...no sense at all.

    [–]notmyusualreddit 0 points1 point  (15 children)

    It does make sense. If it takes you $100k+ of upfront capital to make $100k+ a year as a risky 'i swear thisll work' type of investment, while working in it full time, I'd say thats not all that great. But thats just my opinion, what do I know...

    [–]1dongpal 0 points1 point  (4 children)

    you need to invest other peoples money.... dont invest your own, make rich people invest into you

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    How do you learn how to do that though?

    [–]1dongpal 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    you need to be able to sell your prodcut and yourself really well. if you are able to do that there is no reason why other people wont invest into you and your product.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Where do you find the people to sell to though?

    [–]MonkeyDFreecs 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    I feel you man a example I know is a 17 year old who supposedly "made" an app called Summly that Yahoo! bought for $30 million and he claimed making money was easy. Turned out he didn't even code the app let alone make the technology behind it. A company called SRI International did all the real work, and SRI also created Siri which is used for Iphones.

    He has very rich parents so all he had to do to get investors was just go through his parents contact list. Plus since his mom was a Patent Barrister they were able to claim rights to the technology.

    He is also a pyschotic and pathological liar, it turns out when he was 15 he was constantly harassing Gizmodo trying to make them review his app. They also claimed his app had millions of users before Yahoo! bought it yet no one has ever heard of it.

    This really pissed me off because I was the same age as him and I thought something was wrong with me since I couldn't do anything near what he was doing but it made me mad finding out I was beating myself up over a kid that has rich parents with connections and did none of the work himself, he was nothing more but a poser but anyone that tried to call him out gets called jealous even though he was technically the poser since he act like he did all the work by himself and had no connections or economic advantage.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I know many "idea" people. Their businesses never get off the ground and they speak incessantly about others success.

    Execution is essential

    [–]sir_wankalot_here 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    An idea is a dime a dozen. It really is. Ideas mean nothing without the capacity to execute.

    Execution is what makes money not ideas ☺ And don't partner with useless people, actually don't partner at all ☺

    [–]santander26 16 points17 points  (7 children)

    These kind of posts "often" deleted. I don't know why. Archive : https://archive.is/u9zoK

    [–]CalvinHobb3s 13 points14 points  (5 children)

    I hope it isn't. This post is not so much "redpill' as it is just good fucking advice. I wish the American high school system would teach entrepreneurship instead of regurgitated history and science "facts" taught to our fathers and grandfathers".

    [–]JayViceroy 25 points26 points  (0 children)

    This is as red pill as it gets. Fuck the mainstream societal thinking. Be a man of worth and put one foot in front of the other and do something that takes a risk.

    [–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

    redpill is just pragmatism for men. That's all

    [–]Jew_Fucker_69 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    These posts often contain advertisements for certain websites or products. I too would delete them if I was a mod. Not this one though, as it contains no advertisement.

    [–]ChairBorneMGTOW 37 points38 points  (35 children)

    This is particularly potent in rural communities. Find out what people have to go to the city to get done, then circulate around your region offering that service.

    My cousin does vinyl and aluminium siding. The communities around him used to have to hire a company from the city, and it would cost a premium. Now he has a local monopoly, a dozen employees, and while I don't know how much he makes, looking at his house, boat, cabin, atvs, snowmobiles, cars, motorcycles, vacations, and the rock on his wife's left hand... I'd say it's around a quarter million a year, minimum. And growing. He's franchising his brand to other business owners in other rural communities and expanding to roofing.

    He's 23.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 13 points14 points  (0 children)

    Yeah, that's a great example!

    I have a client on a similar boat. He does embroidery for things like shirts and hats in a small town in bum-fuck-middle-America. His overhead is stupid low. If I remember correctly, the machine cost him a good 2k, but is fully automated and all his work is just in some embroidery program and Word. However, he's also the only guy in town, so he can charge whatever he wants. In most cases, he's even more expensive than the nearby big city, but people prefer to pay a premium to do business with him since he's nearby and accessible.

    [–][deleted]  (2 children)

    [removed]

    [–]ppvknifefight 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

    [–]MonkeyDFreecs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    A major for entreprenuer ship in college!? Seems pretty counter productive to me all college is good for as an aspiring entreprenuer is making connections.

    [–]TRP VanguardYouDislikeMyOpinion 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    Great post. High margin products and services.

    [–]IGoYouStayTwoAutumns 7 points8 points  (2 children)

    A lot of entrepreneurship is simply having the nerve to overcharge people and see if you can get away with it. Fact is, if you know even SLIGHTLY more than the customer about whatever product or service it is that you're selling than sky's the limit, go ahead and shoot for the moon when it comes to pricing, who knows, you just might close the deal. Example--

    Had a friend who had a company several years back, friend wanted a new website for said company, pretty basic affair, like 6 pages or so, the usual "Intro" / "About Us" / "Case Studies" / "Our Team" / "Contact Us" etc. Also wanted all new text on the new site, so I told him I'd write the text (had to get to know the industry, interview everyone at the company etc), and I recommended a web designer friend who could do the actual site design and layout. All in I think the guy's budget was like several grand, I took $2K (if memory serves) to write the copy, and the web designer was getting like $5K (a bit pricey but she did excellent, clean design and we both agreed her aesthetic was a perfect fit for the project).

    So fast forward a few weeks, and we're at the web designer's place (this absolutely killer loft in midtown Manhattan, by the way, which I recognized as having been used in a number of movie shoots... Turns out she was in the process of getting divorced so maybe the loft was a "divorce present", who knows)... So the guy who runs the company, me, and the web designer are all sitting around this table, checking out the new site, making sure everything's working, and at one point I click on a link and say "Hey, we really need this link to open up in a new window. As it is now it takes us away from the main page..." The web designer woman furrows her brow, nods slowly, and then (as if really thinking carefully about all this) says "Hmm... Yes, I see, hmm... Well, I think we can do that for you, but it's gonna involve a MAJOR redesign--let me think... Yeah, we're gonna have to add $785 to the budget for that." (I forget the exact number, but I remember it was in the $700s.) I shit you not, this woman is sitting there, looking us straight in the face, and quoting $700+ to tweak a single line of code...

    Now of course, she didn't know that my friend and I were both fairly technically inclined, so to give her the benefit of the doubt (before totally calling her out on her BS) I said "No, I think you misunderstand, we just want these links to open up in new windows. That’s it. THAT'S ALL." Her: "Yep, got it, we can do that. $785" Me (sighing): "Yeah, OK, hold on, give me ten seconds..." And then, right there in front of both of them, I pulled the source code, typed target=_blank in front of the link (my HTML is a little rusty but it was something like that, literally like 10 keystrokes), reuploaded the code, and we were done, problem solved, whole tweak took less than 10 seconds. My friend just looked at me like "Are you fucking KIDDING ME??" Suffice to say, we rapidly ended that meeting, paid out the designer, and never dealt with her again.

    But here's the thing: if I hadn't happened to have known basic HTML, then her request of "Pay me $785, so I can overhaul the entire site for you and give you what you want" might have seemed TOTALLY REASONABLE. Never mind that what we were actually requesting was a simple code tweak that took a few keystrokes... We might not have known that, and she might have profited (greatly) off our ignorance. And you know what’s really funny (and kind of terrifying), as we left her building and my friend and I were talking about what just happened, we both were like: holy shit, do you know what this means?? Anytime you deal with ANYONE who knows slightly more than you do about whatever you're trying buy, whether it be a web designer doing your site or an auto mechanic fixing your car or a plumber doing your toilet or whatever, if you don't know what's going on, they can charge you ANYTHING they want and there's absolutely nothing you can say or do about it. Scary indeed…

    So yeah, if you’re the customer, do your research and get to know the basics, so you won’t be taken advantage of. And if you’re the entrepreneur, bone up on your acting skills (and your nerve) and try tossing out a hugely outlandish number. Who knows, you might just get away with it…

    [–]Shitlord_Unbound 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    I really relate to your post. I'm a programmer. All my friends, family and coworkers think I'm some kind of genius and bring all their computer problems to me. They have no idea how often I just find the solution on the first page of google results. I spent half of my life thinking everyone else was super competent and that I was practically a fraud before I realized most people are bluffing their way through life. Even someone who is a legitimate expert in some area can be laughably ignorant in some other area that doesn't hold their interest.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Good post. I will provide one counter point. If your business is geared toward customer loyalty and retention then be fair. Simply having customers trust that you aren't going to exploit their ignorance is a huge value you can provide.

    [–]ckp2906 7 points8 points  (7 children)

    This was like unplugging my mind on a different level. Any advice for a university student? Working part time in a consultant firm for 22$ per hour.. And in sales to the same sallary

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 10 points11 points  (6 children)

    Yeah, absolutely, you are probably right down my ally. My background is startups, politics, marketing, and sales... Which all sort of overlap.

    My best advice would be to just learn the sales game. learn how to explain to people something which is going to help their business, but aren't really tech savvy enough to understand it on their own -- speak their language and break it down in a way they can understand. That's why you're in sales. It's your job to break it all down for them in a way they can understand, and get them excited about it while you do it. Another big thing that's ridiculously important, especially as a consultant, is you are expected to be the absolute expert on everything you do. Even if you don't think you're the expert, you have to convey it, because that's why they, the client, is paying you -- believe it or not, but even a general understanding is valuable to someone who has absolutely no understanding. Sometimes you'll get simple stupid tasks like setting up an SEM campaign and think, "I don't know shit about this, but I can probably figure it out in a few days online". So before you even have a full grasp on it, just sell it as you do, learn it, then come back with your proposal.

    [–]ddplz 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    Hey OP you talk alot about your "buddy"'s success and all that, what about you? You never said how much success you were able to pull from your own mentality. You should be the #1 person to be profiting here since you so clearly understand everything... How many millions do you have?

    [–]ckp2906 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    Thanks! Actually one hour ago I accepted a simple job to set set up a website for a construction firm. Had just read your post so I thought, sure what the hell. I think I will just use WordPress.. Do any of you know, what's acceptable for a simple website in terms of payment?

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Depends on your model. If you split it up across the year, you can get more money from them rather than collecting all up front. For example, for hosting and design, you can easily charge 2k upfront for the year, or just 220 per month.

    Usually companies are obsessed with cashflow so they'll opt for the more expensive monthly plan because it takes less out of their marketing budget now.

    [–]ckp2906 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Great idea. WordPress shows the traffic etc, one could try to sell monthly analysis of the succes of the webpage.

    [–]Myrpl 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    That sentence

    Value is determined by the customer, not by you

    Is also true when you have an idea to do something and the first thing you think is "but would anyone I know buy it?". WHO CARES? You're not trying to sell to people you know, you're trying to sell to people they WANT it.

    Example: "Why would I make a cloud storage the moment I can just use a USB stick to move whatever files I want to carry around? This idea is stupid" - People before the Dropbox era.

    Just check the comments of the people in the pre-dropbox era in Hackernews to understand what I'm saying.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    That's absolutely brilliant reading. Often a great idea is something people could live without, but why would they?! In our highly specialized society people don't want the hassle of figuring crap out just to get what they need.

    [–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

    This is a solid post and really got me thinking about the conditioning that has been applied to me. My first problem in this regard was that, most people just aren't as smart as those of us on here. Raised in blank-slate land, I assumed if I saw something, everyone else had. WRONG. It is likely not even on their radar. It took me a long time to re-learn that my insights, talents and good ideas were just that, and something to be proud of and exploit.

    I also remember my father putting me off self-employment, entrepreneurship and creative pursuits generally. I still love him, but he really fucked my career thinking up. I was quite oblivious as a youth; basically every career dream I had he shot down. He is a classic government security>risk kind of guy. I remember really young I got in big trouble for selling stuff and making a profit on friends and siblings.

    WTF Dad!? Now I look back and see a young man who was naturally enterprising, ruthless, confrontational, inventive and so on, slowly melded into the docile beta I once was. This goes for all redpill; my 4 year old self was a total alpha compared to my 14 year old self. School system has got us by the balls. Although I am a changed man, I still feel the ripples from the anti-entrepreneurial conditioning, so I still have some work to do. My grandparents on both sides had at least some entrepreneurship to them, and now I intend to follow.

    Thanks again for the article, which will no doubt be instrumental in undoing my conditioning further.

    [–]Haus_of_Klaus 8 points9 points  (1 child)

    I honestly wouldn't blame your father for steering you away from owning a business. He came from a time when a man could support a family of 4 on his single income. In comparison, we're worse off now that 2 working parents still struggle to pay the bills. Employees have been marginalized and the employers reap the profits instead of passing on to his workers.

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    True enough. Like I said I love the old bastard. Any anger I am directing at pussified society generally.

    [–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (3 children)

    Have to endorse this guy. I practice intellectual property law, which means I get to consult with prospective clients all the time who have a really simple idea they want to protect. It's easy to dismiss an idea as stupid, but that will get trained out of you very quickly. The guy who invented the scrunchy hose from the as-seen-on-TV made a fortune. So did the slinky, the pet rock, and those little plastic half-domes that bounce off the table.

    The proper takeaway is not that your stupid idea is secretly genius, it's that smart business management helps you turn lead into gold. I'm biased toward intellectual property matters because so many people screw that up before coming into my office, but in a way, that's a good example. Hiring an attorney to clean up your mess costs easily ten times or more what it would cost to prevent the mess in the first place - so I'll advise my own clients on how to prevent a mess, but I'm always happy to help a prospective client with the mop and bucket.

    Look, if I could give you a specific set of instructions for making a million bucks, I'd have done it myself along with a thousand other people before me. People are very good at pouncing on a new demand; it's spotting the demand, or creating one where there was no demand previously, that's so difficult. If you want to make a ton of money, or if you want to build up sources of passive income, you have to be open to finding and exploiting demand. Then you have to ruthlessly and consistently work to meet the demand.

    "Ruthlessly" is probably the wrong word. People see that word and think it's advice to recklessly burning your bridges. Don't be dense, you know what I mean - but here, an example from my job. Guy was working on an invention for two years, told his wife all about it. That's fine, right? Talking to your spouse isn't legally disclosing the invention! Unless, of course, she blogs about it in detail. Guy needed to be willing to keep a secret from his blabbermouth wife, or at least read her blog and stop her before she gives away the novel idea for e-affirmation from the other mommybloggers. Be smart about your IP, fellas, and don't just sit there watching a hole in the market go unfilled.

    Point being, be on the lookout for unknown and unexpected demand. There really might be a guy who badly needs a web page and will pay out the nose for it. Maybe you don't make enough as a bouncer, but you can make ten times as much running a training course for bouncers (and a separate class for yuppies who want to feel tough). Or you study your ass off and go professional like I did.

    [–]jm51 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    There really might be a guy who badly needs...

    Guy I knew bought and sold Ford Transit vans. Every one of his classified ads ended with 'Ready to work'.

    He'd get 10% to 15% more for the van because of those 3 words. In fairness, all his vans really were ready to work.

    [–]HEADPOCKET 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    I've been pounding the table for more posts like this here.

    [–]All__fun 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Someone recommended a book called "Linchpin by Seth Godin"

    It discusses your 'conditioning' section.

    And how the world needs 'artist' right now.

    "Become the person that - dreams up new ideas and makes them come true, someone who finds new ways to interact, a new pathway to deliver emotions, new ways to connect"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LioyEHOjyjo

    Here is the link to the audiobook,

    I have read and taken notes on this book. And I'll happily share them.

    [–]AmericanHistoryAFBB 4 points5 points  (3 children)

    Great post and it really speaks to me, as i am an entrepreneur who makes money online. This post speaks my language.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

    What do you do?

    [–]AmericanHistoryAFBB 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    I sell on eBay and amazon. I buy wholesale and sell for a good profit margin. So if you order from amazon, that box may have been sent out by yours truly.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Sounds awesome. I actually am constantly keeping my ear to the ground when it comes to eBay/Amazon. There is potential for huge rewards if you can find the right gap. Old friend of mine many years ago made an absolute killing on eBay by accident. He found some niche where people were paying 50-60 bucks for some random stupid car part, which only cost 2 bucks from China. He just resold those fucking things.

    Never told me what it was, understandably.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    Solid post. In fact, if you speak with a majority of immigrants you'll find that sales is actually fairly natural and is beaten out of you in the education system. Then, when you take it on as a career, it's senselessly beaten back into you.

    Source: Immigrant who went through the education system, but parents are still OGs, who hustled until they opened their own business.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    My personal favorite case example of "immigrants knowing how to hustle and show up American's" is from a coworker I had on my team half a decade ago. Her parent's would go to the free section on Craigslist and grab up whatever they thought was valuable, and then just simply repost it in the "For Sale" section.

    They made a middle class wage just reselling shit others were given away for free. I have so much respect for them.

    [–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    That straight hustlin'. I've done that myself. Odd jobs. Landscaping. Metal scraping. We live.

    [–]floor-pi 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    One thing I've learned is that very few people seem to have a mindset for marketing (the true meaning of 'marketing', I don't mean 'advertising') and this probably creates a perception that entrepreneurship is hard, because everybody's aware of the high failure rate. It seems to me that it's as natural an inclination as being sporty or outgoing is. Some people have a mindset for marketing, some don't.

    So if you ask 100 people for a business idea, I would wager that most of them will spit out an idea without even thinking, something which they'd really enjoy - or even worse, which they personally wouldn't enjoy but they think it'd make money - when really, they have no basis for thinking that it's a marketable product or service.

    And contrary to what you might read, not every idea can be successful if you just work hard enough. I'd imagine that immigrants, to use your example, are intimately aware of what their communities need. Whereas the more cloistered western person, pressed to come up with an idea, thinks more along the lines of "..i'd create a business that 3d prints custom clothes pegs, because it's a real pain point for me when I run out of clothes pegs and I also think it'd be cool to have custom ones. I'd make it a monthly subscription service because it'll make more money, and my exit strategy will be an acquisition by Google" or whatever.

    Anybody reading this who hasn't studied traditional marketing (how to do market research, how to survey, how to assess needs and demands etc) I'd recommend it.

    [–]balancespec2 5 points6 points  (3 children)

    Can confirm. I started a simple software business in HS. While I only stayed in business a few years (made about 15k on the side), Im able to leverage my whiz kid story to this day in job interviews. It both netted me my first position at the company I'm in now as well as a recent promotion from my new job after only having been on the job a year.

    it was a really simple software program and I hired someone to make it for me because I couldn't code.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

    HA! Love it dude! Good for you!

    On a slightly related subject, when I worked for Rocket Internet, one of the head developers for one of the businesses didn't do shit. While he was a programmer on paper, he was really a project manager in practice. He'd just outsource all of his tasks to India, while he played Diablo III

    [–]balancespec2 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    I do that now! I write code but I don't really know much so I ask questions on forums for the individual subroutines and then compile my 80 questions that some dude answered for me with custom code into a software suite.

    All I do is copy and paste, change the variables to ones I need and make the GUI look pretty

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Keep it up! They are paying you to do a job, and you are doing it. It doesn't matter how you manage to do it, so long as you do it.

    [–]B_uckets 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    This is why I always laugh when other programmers get into pissing contests about who can solve a ridiculous programming riddle or optimize some convoluted algorithm best. I know guys with no college degree who couldn't even comprehend those interview problems (let alone solve them) and they're billing $200+ per hour to automate basic clerical shit for small businesses. Take data from here, move it there, maybe do some small transformations in the middle. Repeat x inifinity.

    And yet all these kids are going to $150k colleges just for the chance to jump into the meat grinder at places like Amazon, Google, etc.

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (4 children)

    Okay, so now we have businesses related to:

    a) government tests b) conferences

    Obviously the guy that needed consulting had to have some exposure to the above industries to see the problems he could capitalize on.

    So how do you get some micro-exposure to any industry you're interested in to get business ideas? eg. having a millionaire mentor would open many doors, and you could just work a low-level position to see what you can capitalize on etc.

    but what about people starting with no connections?

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    Nope. You'd think that, but it really wasn't the case. I worked with him on the ground floor with this project, and it was literally built out via cold calling. I live in Las Vegas so we get a ton of conferences coming in. So we'd just call up any number we could find for each conference. Then we'd try to get a hold of the event manager which took nothing more than, "Can you direct me to the event manager?"

    Believe it or not, but these people were more than open to listening to what we had to offer. They are always looking for ways to reduce costs so they can reallocate those funds better.

    We had absolutely no connections other than Google which showed us who was coming into town a few months from now.

    I think you'll be surprised how easy it is to talk to the person in charge, and how open they are to getting pitched. Because they, more than anyone, want their problems solved so they look like a better event/marketing coordinator.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    EDIT: shit somebody already asked this before my post. sorry :(

    No I meant how he learned that these devices for conferences cost a shitton, leading to the realization "shit, I can save these people some money if I make Product X".

    For example, he'd have to volunteer at a conference and maybe accidentally take a glimpse at the budget realizing that the check-in machines cost a lot (or have an event manager friend that mentioned something like "shit the machine costs are giving me headaches" during a night at a pub) to get the idea for his business.

    I was asking about tips on how one could work for a short time (0.5-2 weeks) in as many industries possible to get as many business ideas.

    Unless you cold-called event managers and asked them "What's your biggest problem in your business?" (some people do this with like a 1% response rate) and I misunderstood.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    I have no idea how he figured it out. And I think that very question sort of is overshadowing the point.

    I dunno, maybe he was just hanging out with someone one day, and they mentioned how much he paid to use a simple technology, and my friend thought, "Holy shit, that's silly. I can do that better."

    I dunno. The fact of the matter is that he figured it out somehow and decided to act on it.

    I'll be honest, I don't really know how to answer your last question. I feel like business ideas are unbelievably abundant. Every single day of my life I have problems in which I would pay to be resolved, so those are business ideas. I also see other's every day, who have problems which they would like someone to help them with.

    You may be thinking too big, and missing things right in front of you. For instance, just right now I thought of a product that I know would sell. As I typed this, I wanted to change the song I was listening to. And even though I have a large gaming mousepad, my mouse still ran off the edge. Now that I think about it, I would like an even larger gaming mousepad that took up the entire space of my desk. I'd pay good money for that, and I'm sure many other people would as well.

    [–]malthuswaswrong 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Opportunity Cost also plays a role. If I can make $100 an hour doing task "A" or lose $50 an hour paying you to do task "B" it is more cost effective for me to pay you while I continue doing what I'm skilled at rather than me losing money at my real speciality by attempting a task I'm not proficient at.

    [–]TheG3cko 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    [–]Adeus_Ayrton 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Know-how is the key here. Some years ago when i was a student, i used to sell fair invitations, collected from vendors free of charge. All it it took was a polite request. The fair goers seldom knew they could get them for free but when presented with the opportunity of buying them at half the ticket price at the door, they jumped in. You had to be a bit of a sales person as well though.

    It helped me get by. But then again, this was related to my area of interest and that's how i got the idea. It would've never occurred to me if I had no interest in the subject in question. I couldn't have known.

    edit: a word.

    [–]Kunichi 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I recommend you guys to read 4 hours workweek and 100(dollar) startup and lean startup.

    [–]Mr_Get_Right 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    This post is so good I can't even properly put it into words. I'm exploring deep and hard to figure out how to escape from this system of grinding away just to get by. People spend their whole lives without even trying to challenge it. Sometimes it never even crosses their minds.

    You shared something with a massive amount of value for completely free, and it found it's way to me at the perfect time. While I don't have much to offer you that is of value in return, I can at least promise you that I'll take your gift and use it. Thank you.

    [–]dub121686 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I wanna work for myself as well.

    [–]ThedragonCarnage 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Amazing post. but anyone knows an action plan of implementing it? What can a recent college grad do, to try to get into forming a profitable business?

    [–]lovesousa 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Thank you for that wonderful read!

    [–]RedPillOD 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Awesome, thanks, Great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

    [–]GunsGermsAndSteel 7 points8 points  (3 children)

    I'm gonna open a goddamn banana stand. There's always money in the banana stand.

    [–]Darthstacker 4 points5 points  (11 children)

    Great post! The only thing I would add is that some of the best business ideas are also very unsexy and boring. Some of the richest clients I have do blue collar work but own the business. One guy drills holes under streets for utility companies as a subcontractor and this 35 year old has about 5 million invested with me.

    Another unsexy way to get rich is buy an established business. Usually business brokers have a lot of established businesses for sale at 2-3x annual earnings. Many times you can get a loan that is backed by the SBA or have the seller carry financing for the right price.

    [–]ThunderSuit 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Couldn't agree more. Most people who read posts like the OP's will try to come up with concepts they think are cool. Likely something to do with software. That would be the riskiest way to gamble on a business idea.

    Entrepreneurship is trendy now. If an idea jumps out to you immediately, its likely on the minds of thousands of other entrepreneurs too.

    Most of the business owners in my local EO group run businesses that are not sexy, local, that aren't worth bragging about.

    Above all, your idea, product, business isn't as important as the market (ideally with some competition, with paying customers who've already validated the model) you choose to be in.

    [–]zuchit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Awesome post,OP. I needed to read this.

    [–]rundownweather 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    This is a quality post. +1

    [–]goremote 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    These are the kinds of posts I come to TRP for. Upvoted and saved.

    [–]hiphoprising 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    This reminds me of "The Millionaire Fast Lane".

    Execution over ideas. Someone made a million bucks off of a pet rock because he did it. The idea is absolute shit. Whereas there have been plenty of great ideas that have terrible execution and go absolutely nowhere. One that comes to mind is, my alma mater had a local business where everyone would report where road blocks, cops etc were on Fri/Sat night, so you would know not to go out. Al the info was reported in and out by Twitter. Terribly mismanaged and somehow went under and the owner stole $ from investors.

    [–]LateralThinkerer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I read an article in the Harvard Business Review that basically said "Find the bottleneck in a business and sell a solution" which is exactly what you're describing.

    One of their examples was that people hated dealing with video rental stores so two things happened: Streaming video for people who download, and Redbox for those who don't.

    Mostly about finding value in what people can really use, not what a heap of soft-handed marketing experts think might "have value for the demographic".

    [–]bocor226 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Once I met a stranger who told me the exact the same thing. It does not matter how easy the idea seems as long as people are willing to pay you to do it for them.

    [–]NotRAClST2 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    so the guy got a govt contract. typical, leeching off the govt. I'd like for him to be smart enough to pull that shit in the private sector where there's competition.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Were you replying to me? I never mentioned government contracts any where.

    But even if so, it sounds like sour grapes with you. So what if he got a govt contract? Those things aren't easy to get, and the government does need to by things from the private sector all the time. Point of the matter, at the end of the day, he's making money doing something.

    [–]ProspectiveQuant 2 points3 points  (45 children)

    Do you have any advice on how to go about finding these magical opportunities?

    It sounds like kind of dumb luck after you have the right attitude.

    How many of us attend conferences regularly to know about how the check in systems work? Or are involved with government enough to know about obscure government certification programs to take advantage of? I would guess almost none of us.

    So other than dumb luck...how do you go about finding or coming up with stuff like this to do?

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 9 points10 points  (35 children)

    There are an abundant amount of opportunities out there. Luck has very little to do with it...

    The first thing that you need to do is have a perspective change, and realize that many of the successful businesses you want to help, are actually ran by stupid people who are more than willing to listen to people who can help their business.

    Just to shoot shit, I'll list some ideas that I know can work:

    1. Real estate is HUGEEEEEEEEE. The ROI is silly high. Figure out a way to get agents quality leads.

    I did this a few months ago before losing track of it: Google "real estate agent YOUR TOWN" and see who shows up on the first page of Google. Then check out their site. Does their site have a lead funnel? As in, is their site just showing off property, rather than trying to direct visitors to give up what they are looking for and their contact information? If you find a realtor website in your town that's #1 on google and doesn't have a lead funnel system in place, then they are a quality lead. If their site doesn't have a pop-up asking for them to answer some questions and leave an email, they are losing out on a ton of leads. So solve that for them.

    1. Successful local HVAC companies spend a TON on advertising. I have a client spending 20k a month in his town. So look up your local HVACs who are on the top of google and succesful (don't bother with unsucessful companies, becasuse it's a waste of time. They are unsuccesful for a reason) and offer to update their website to be mobile optimized.

    2. Go to a company which constantly has events where they talk about the industry and then pitch their product. Then convince them that they can save time by doing webinars, as well as increase the amount of people viewing their event (because in 2015 you're more likely to get someone to watch your event online than in person. Seriously, webinars always get more participation than in person seminars).

    3. Repair cell phones. It's such a high demand industry, filled with idiots. The learning curve is super low. All you need to do is watch YouTube videos to figure out how to do the fix, and you get to charge 50-70% over for the service.

    That's just some stuff off the top of my head which I have personally been involved with which became successful.

    [–]rockumsockumrobots 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Awesome post! I've been after starting a business for some time now. I've settled on investing in rentals, but still having a hard time finding a good property.

    I'll start beating the bushes again and take this post to heart.

    I will offer one addition to this that may seem like common sense:

    "Nothing's free in Waterworld!" You need to be able to flip-flop to the mindset where everything relating to your business boils down to billable time, parts, labor, service etc. or expenses for write-offs.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)

    [deleted]

    [–]drallcom3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I created foolproof forms for the schools in my district. Since all people are incredibly stupid with computers there was a need for that. I actually only had to do one form and the rest was copy&paste. Very good weekend job I could do in my underwear.

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Thanks, that was a good course correction, at my startup (www.greenlabsoftware.com) I've been focusing on creating some big crazy solution to all the worlds problems. I need to focus my efforts on something simple that solves peoples problems.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Find a more solid niche. Right now, you're too broad.

    One of my businesses on the side is doing similar to what you're doing. However, I focus my services and product line directly towards real estate agents. Find a niche for yourself.

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I've hardly commented on TRP stuff in a while and this is one of the best posts I've seen here in a while.

    [–]buclk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Great post!

    I would like to note, though, that there is a difference between asking a lot of money and generating even more money for the client and abusing a client's ignorance and making them pay up the wahoo for something they don't need.

    [–]darealarms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Thanks for this. The examples really help put it in perspective how many opportunities are out there!

    [–]RedPillFusion 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Great post. While I agreed with you vehemently beforehand, anecdotes are always inspirational and validate theory.

    [–]foldpak111 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    I'll agree that people from developing countries weren't raised the same way we were. I have many Saudi Arabian friends and they may be employees right now, but they are all about entrepreneurialism. You know that saying "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with"? Get around some middle eastern guys. I have one who just put in a word for me with his father (whose a big time businessman) to work on an oil rig, pretty cool. Get around Saudis you might be surprised with the opportunities you are presented with.

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Middle-Eastern'ers are easily the hardest customers to ever work with, because they are straight up hardcore hustlers. Bitch to work with, but I got a load of respect for them.

    [–]I_have_secrets 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Incredible post. I cannot think of another post that reached this standard in a long time.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)

    [deleted]

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Don't quit your boring fucking job until you no longer need it.

    What are you doing this weekend? Use some of that spare time to create a website, brand, and think about the product. Next weekend, start selling it and validate that service/product. Once you have something you know you can work with, you wont even be having this problem. You'll quit as soon as you have everything in place and realize, "Going to work is just getting in the way of scaling my business". You'll quit because it's more profitable not to work there.

    [–]1IamGale 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    Love this, would you recommend any books on this type of value adding?

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    Jeesh... That's a broad question where I don't even know where to begin.

    But in the vein of this post, "fastlane millionaire" is a good start. The audiobook is about 4 hours.

    [–]1IamGale 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Thanks I will give it a look. Quick question, what WP themes do you use for your sites?

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I just browse Themeforest and find something I think will fit the business I'm helping out.

    [–]hebola4lyfe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    this is gold content right here .

    we need more posts like yours OP .

    [–]1InscrutablePUA 0 points1 point  (4 children)

    Fantastic post with great examples. I'm particularly impressed by your friend who developed conference check-in tech and the government training course.

    How do you identify these 'hidden' opportunities? Did he work in the government and conference business prior? From what I've seen, there are many under-the-radar entrepreneurs who make big money in B2B businesses like you mentioned by identifying problems that specific companies or industries face that the world at large would not know about. In that context, I think it's OK to get a job initially with the express purpose of learning about the company and industry to start your own business down the road. You just have to keep your eyes open and ask questions.

    Of course with the 'web presence' business you mentioned, none of that is necessary. Hell, if you go to the entrepreneurridealong subreddit you can see examples of people who have started local maid businesses and are making 6 figures within the first year and they'll help you start your own (LOCAL is the key!).

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    No, he's just a complete bad ass. I don't think he's ever had a job that didn't involve hustling. Just straight up serial entrepreneur.

    Before this venture he did marketing for car dealerships, where he'd go to a dealership and offer pay for a marketing campaign for them in return for 50% of all net profits. He made a killing across the country doing this city by city. His house is massive.

    He found the current idea simply because he worked a conference once, and talked to organizer who explained how much they are paying, and how limited the whole technology is. So he just figured, "Fuck, I can do that with QR codes and it's practically free on my end. I'll do it for half what you're paying for now, and provide way better data."


    Yeah I love that sub. I think the whole maid business is being saturated though. However, I think the idea of "Local" is really becoming more apparent. Our economy is changing and I honestly think our future as a nation revolves around the local business model. The whole idea of multinational corporations is going to persist, but the money isn't going to be there. If you really want money, it's going to be local.

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    It seems like you can profit on lazy and stupid people, sad but true

    [–]TRP VanguardtrpSenator[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    No. That's absolutely wrong, and you shouldn't think that way. People like to live their lives how they feel comfortable, and to many people learning how to use something like Wordpress is nothing more than distracting them from their personal mission of growing their business.

    They aren't "lazy", they are smart. They realize the value in working with others to help them achieve their goals while themselves focus on what they are really good at.

    [–]whenfoom 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I think there's a well-developed phase of TRP that leads to entrepreneurship. And just this morning I started working on another approach to women that I think is one they will find fulfilling, and one that puts a high amount of pressure on the man to continue to create value: seeing her as a secretary. I've been thinking about this in the back of my mind ever since I read the Power Broker, and heard about the loyalty and admiration Robert Moses's secretaries had for him. Or how Nelson Rockefeller died from a heart attack he had while banging his secretary.

    If you're a great entrepreneur who is always adding value and always putting people to work, your secretary will see you as the alpha and she will become forever loyal and enamoured with you.

    The reason why I am posting this here is because I like the idea of setting up businesses then getting other people to operate them for me. Another reason why I like the idea of multiple businesses is because when you're developing a business, there are inevitably plenty of times when you run into bottlenecks and you can't keep advancing the project until someone else does something or you get some kind of approval or some sub-project is completed, etc. And in those moments, you stop adding value. So it's nice to have more projects that you can turn to so you're not idling for very long. And the more work you have, the more people you can put to work.

    That last sentence is relevant because I used to think of entrepreneurship as a race to retirement. In other words, how to get the most money the fastest so I could retire early and "do what I want." And yes, I want to have the freedom to do what I want. But it turns out what I want to do is create value. And not by myself, but by creatively combining as many resources and people as possible. So I now think of the measure of success for an entrepreneur as how many people he can put to and keep at work.

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