When I first started brainstorming different ways to make money, or possible businesses to start, I felt like taking a can of bright red spray paint, drawing an X on a concrete wall and smashing my head straight through it. Hopefully I would just hit a beam and put myself out of my misery.
I kept doing the mental marathon. You know the drill: Coming up with dozens of ideas every day and rejecting all of them.
“No, that won’t work”
“Can’t do that, it’s already been done”
“Nobody’s going to buy from me”
“That idea is boring”
“That idea is too complicated”
It was exhausting. On and on I went like this. Day after day. I probably came up with 729 “not good enough” ideas.
Here’s the problem with this mindset: You go through all this mental anxiety trying to come up with the “perfect” idea…and you make no progress. Meanwhile, you see other people doing completely uncreative, uninventive crap and making tons of money. And that makes you even MORE anxious.
I remember reading an article about some guy who opened up a coffee company – but all he did was “drop ship” it. Basically, he took orders for coffee on a website, then sent the order to a factory, and they just sent the coffee out under his brand name. He didn’t have ANY products. All he had was a website. And he was making something like $92,000/year.
When I saw stuff like that, it made my blood boil.
What do THEY know that I don’t know? How do you even set something like that up? And if he’s already doing the coffee thing, now I can’t do that. Back to the drawing board. Over and over again. I couldn’t get out of this pattern.
Many things I wanted to do seemed too far out of my reach. I didn’t have hardcore “techie” skills, and I didn’t have a business degree. I didn’t feel like a “natural” entrepreneur.
I guess what it boiled down to was that I simply didn’t feel like I had any relevant experience that was worth money.
But then, it hit me.
I remembered that somehow, some way, I’d managed to stay employed. A miracle, I know. This meant that I actually DID have at least a few skills that were valuable to someone else. Otherwise, people would never bother hiring me.
(Takeaway here: If you are employed — or ever have been — you have at least one skill that’s worth money.)
One of those skills was as an SAT/ACT test prep coach working for Kaplan Test Prep in college (and shortly after).
I’d never really taken the time to step back and think about how much a skill like this was worth to the people I was providing the service for — both Kaplan and the families I was helping. I only thought about how much I was getting paid. I was solely focused on my hourly rate. How many of us do this?
How many of us are so concerned with what we’re getting paid, that we never stop to think about what we’re WORTH?
This is the WRONG way to think about your skills.
Your salary is not equivalent to what your skills are actually worth to the company that employs you. Think about it — if you were getting paid exactly what your skills were worth, the company hiring you would make no profit off you. After the onboarding and training process, many business have already spent $5,000-$10,000 just to acquire you. Yes, little you. Then, once you start working, you still have to make them money. They HAVE to pay you way less than what your skills are worth in order to make a profit from your work.
In fact, most companies usually make 2x-5x more than what you bring in for every hour you work.
For example, if you’re getting paid $25/hour to do tech support for a company, they are probably making an average of $75-$100/hour from the customers that you’re helping. That’s not a typo.
When I looked at my work for Kaplan, I realized this was happening right in front of my eyes.
My hourly rate was $18. I thought this was fantastic at the time. (Poverty mentality: “It’s almost 3x minimum wage! Yay!”) Then I found that they were charging the families I was helping over $100/hour for me to come to the house and teach little Timmy quadratic equations.
They weren’t doing ANYTHING except connecting me with the student. I was coordinating with the families, teaching the material, developing most of the curriculum and following up. In short, I was doing $100 worth of work every hour for them, and they were taking $82 out of my pocket every time.
At that point, I realized that I had a viable skill that people had proven they would pay great money for — but I was missing the connection piece. Even if I branched out on my own, how would I find the clients on my own? This piece of the equation caused me a ton of anxiety — and it cause me to stall.
This is the place where many of us quit and turn around, back towards the safety of our jobs.
We think to ourselves, “Well, I may have a skill, but my company is the one giving me all the work. I need them.”
And for a minute, I have to admit, I felt like that too. I mean, let’s get real here — it’s hard to find clients, isn’t it. What was I supposed to do? Post ads on Craigslist? Pin flyers on the bulletin board at my apartment complex?
Umm, nah bro. These just didn’t seem like the best solutions. I wasn’t trying to open a lemonade stand here. My rent is $1,100/month.
I needed something that worked really well — and fast.
I had one of the two or three of bright ideas I’ve had in the past 25 years.
Rather than searching up and down, scouring the classifieds and 7-year old yellow page ads looking for clients, I came up with a better idea…
“If I’m looking for a very specific type of customer, why not just go to where existing customers already are?”
If I go to where the customers I’m looking for a plentiful, and they’re already in a buying mood, I’ll have a virtually endless sea of leads and paying customers instantly.
That’s when I developed The Marsupial Method — and set up my first business in less than 24 hours.
Here’s how The Marsupial Method works:
I know. Dumb simple, right? The great thing about The Marsupial Method is that it can work with both products or services.
It’s all about providing value for another person and enhancing their business, then using that relationship to launch your own business rapidly.
I’ve helped many people in my Tribal Accelerator Program figure out how to launch their first profitable business using The Marsupial Method. Now, it’s your turn.
In the comments below, let me know a few things:
1.) What product or service are you working on and who are your customers?
2.) Where are they already doing business?
I have a few extra hours this week — so leave a comment, and I’ll jump in and help where I can.
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