What the Successful Will Do that You Won't

What the Successful Will Do that You Won't

Watch this short Stephen Colbert interview of Mark Cuban:

Did you catch the part about how Mark Cuban sold milk powder door to door? According to his Wikipedia entry, he’s sold garbage bags, stamps, and even started a chain letter that netted him over \$1000. Richard Branson sold magazines out of the trunk of his car. Felix Dennis started a small magazine on Bruce Lee eventually building the publishing empire behind Maxim, Blender, and The Weekly. Gary Vaynerchuk sold baseball cards and operated a bunch of lemonade stands. Steve Jobs returned Coke bottles for money!

Sebastian Marshall calls this the “knack for getting money” or “hustling”. He uses 50 Cent as an example:

Look at 50 Cent – he’s sold around 40 million records… I don’t know what his cut is per album sold, but he probably made more money from the Glaceau Vitamin Water deal than he has from records.

He’s got skills, he’s got drive, and he works hard. But lots of musicians have skill, drive, and work hard. What sets him apart is that 50′s got no hangups about getting money.


How many platinum selling artists are willing to go shovel snow for 100 bucks?

Probably the biggest thing that holds people back from getting money are hangups about it. How do you get over that?

Practice? Philosophy? Desperation?

Probably all of them. But I’d bet on the guy with no hangups about getting money and a little drive getting more money faster than someone with tons of skills but hangups about it. There’s silly amounts of opportunity all over the place.

Most of these odd money-making methods were done out of desperation and necessity, with the exception of 50 Cent of course. But that’s just it. The successful don’t have hangups about making money. They’ll just do it without thinking about it.

You can become good at making money too. It just takes practice. Jason Fried founder of 37Signals wrote an article in Inc magazine on how to get good at making money:

Like I said at the outset, it’s all about practice. Whether you’re playing drums or building a business, you’re going to be pretty bad at something the first time you try it. The second time isn’t much better. Over time, and after a lot of practice, you begin to get there.

So here’s a great way to practice making money: Buy and sell the same thing over and over on Craigslist or eBay. Seriously.

Go buy something on Craigslist or eBay. Find something that’s a bit of a commodity, so you know there’s always plenty of supply and demand. An iPod is a good test. Buy it, and then immediately resell it. Then buy it again. Each time, try selling it for more than you paid for it. See how far you can push it. See how much profit you can make off 10 transactions.

Start tweaking the headline. Then start fiddling with the product description. Vary the photographs. Take some pictures of the thing for sale; use other photos with other items, or people, in them. Shoot really high-quality shots, and also post crappy ones from your cell-phone camera. Try every variation you can think of.

I love doing this, because there’s no real risk involved. If you already have a business, you don’t need to dream up a new product line or rock the boat with crazy experiments. If you don’t have a business, it’s a perfect way to work on your chops.

You might also enjoy:

  1. Diversify Income Streams
  2. You Need an Emergency Fund
  3. Change the World?

You should follow me on Twitter: @jprichardson


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