I’m looking for the next $20 idea!

million-dollar-ideaThis is a general call to the wider blogging (and reader of blogs) community:

[Hey, that’s you!]

I’m looking for the next $20 idea!

“Wait!”, you say, “Surely you mean that you’re looking for the next $1,000,000 idea?!”.

But, no (I say, barely managing to stifle a yawn), million dollar ideas are dime a dozen

… why, I have one almost every single day!

[And, I bet you do, too]

No, what I’m really looking for is the next $20 idea …

submitted by a team with $1,000,000 worth of execution.

Derek Sivers said it best:

It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. (People who want me to sign an NDA to tell me the simplest idea.)

To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.

That’s why I don’t want to hear people’s ideas.

I’m not interested until I see their execution.


Derek Sivers’ chart shows that even the best idea is only worth $20 (whilst the worst ones – which means most ideas – will actually lose you money).

On the other hand, great teams can make even a mediocre idea fly, and take a great idea from zero to IPO in just a few, short years.

So, this chart’s just an example, to illustrate an idea, right?


According to David S Rose (a third generation serial entrepreneur/investor who has personally invested in over 80 businesses), it’s actually a remarkably accurate tool for assessing the current value of the new Internet and traditional businesses springing up all over the place …

Let’s take a couple of examples:

The Big Internet Idea

Let’s start by looking at almost any of the ‘amazing ideas’ bought by large corporates from their founders in the last few years, e.g: Yahoo has a pretty miserable track record when it comes to startup acquisitions, including Flickr, Delicious, and MyBlogLog and Google has also made a series of startup acquisitions that went nowhere.

Could it be that Google and Yahoo selected badly? Or, is it simply that a corporate cannot execute on these $20 ideas as well as their $1,000,000 founding teams?

The clue is in Google’s failed acquisition of Dodgeball … the founder left and started his next business: the hugely successful Foursquare.

So, in this case, Dennis Crowley (founder of both Dodgeball and Foursquare) came up with the $20 ideas but, in Google’s hands, execution of his first idea was worthless ($1), whilst his own execution of his second idea was clearly worth millions.

The Lifestyle Business

But, what happens if you take a pretty weak idea and give it to a good aspiring-entrepreneur?

Then you have Josh, who started a web-site drop-shipping high end camera gear from China to photographers all over the world, straight out of college.

That was a year ago, and now Josh has a great little business.

The idea may not be very good (after all, anybody can set up an online eCommerce store in about 5 minutes these days, and drop-ship stuff from the USA and China), but he has executed on his ideas when so many others simply don’t put the time and effort in, so they fail before they even begin …

…. so his $1 idea x his $100,000 execution really has given him a great ‘lifestyle’ business … earning him over $100k p.a. in just over a year.

Not bad for somebody so young; not bad for anybody who doesn’t have their eyes set on reaching the stars.

Not so, Ruslan Kogan …

Ruslan, a young Australian, was exactly like Josh, just a few years ago:

Kogan started drop-shipping TV’s and other electronic gear from China to Australia. But, what elevated his idea from an easily replicable $1 idea to a $15 ‘great idea’ was branding everything with his own name: Kogan.

But, what turned his $15 ‘great idea’ into the multi-million dollar business that it is today is amazing execution ($10,000,000): http://www.dreambuildinspirelead.com/3-lessons-from-entrepreneur-ruslan-kogan/

Yes, Ruslan’s business, today, is easily worth $150,000,000 ($15 idea x $10,000,000 execution).

See, this unique valuation tool really does work!

So, don’t be the last person in the world to realize that even the world’s most amazing ideas only $20: it’s million dollar execution that counts … if you want a $20 million business?

But, don’t come to me to fund you until you can prove it 😉


Exciting Money Making Opportunity? Horses …

horsesassThanks to all of those who responded asking for further information on this Exciting Money Making Opportunity! But, applications – for suckers – are now closed 😉

It seems that the ‘scam radar’ of my regular readers was well and truly up [AJC: And, I didn’t even have to publish on April 1st, like I was first planning … too obvious, huh?]; take Rick, for example:

I look forward to the follow up post where you outline the lessons to be learned from this post. You did a great job including all of the hallmarks of a sca.. ah, questionable investment: limited time offer, “GUARANTEED”, astronomically huge returns, no knowledge or effort, a new secrete system, and an inherently shaky premise :-) .

Seems like I won’t be able to sell any snake oil on this site …

For those of you who are wondering, here is some ‘scam sniffer bait’ that I threw out for you:

1. Making an offer like this is a HUGE departure from my previous statements: no advertising on this blog; no product sales ever; etc.; etc.

2. If you did a Google search on Derren Brown – or, even just click on the link that I conveniently provided … not all scammers are smart 🙂 – then you would find that Derren is actually billed as “the maestro of mind control” and is a “performer … [who] is in a class of his own, exhilarating audiences with his unique brand of intelligent and theatrical entertainment”. Hardly a “horse racing phenom” ….

3. As in most scams, there is a crumb of truth to my claim that the “foolproof horse-racing system that has been making him … and subscribers … millions of pounds.”

– It IS foolproof, but not profitable (you have to bet on every horse to ‘guarantee’ a win … d’oh!)

– It has made him, and the subscribers to the stock of the various TV stations airing this special, millions of pounds in broadcasting rights …. nice.

4. I am excited to be able to lie “that I have acquired SOLE RIGHTS to the package WORLDWIDE” …. c’mon, I can’t flag every obvious BS statement for you!

5. It’s always good to have testimonials … scammers are masters of those; trouble is, if you Google this one, you’ll find that it’s for something that has nothing to do with The System … in fact the whole section was just ‘lifted’ from another racing product promotional site and I merely cut/pasted the product names:

“Punters look for winners, not fancy color adverts endorsed by famous racing personalities. The System© may come with modest presentation, but has proved to be an explosive winner-finding system that leaves its flashy competitors far behind. The System is definitely an investment and not an expense.”
Odds On Magazine

6. I think that the best one is the banner ad that I put on the next day’s post (you can see it here); it’s actually for some other product entirely – I have no idea what, nor do I care, but I did leave the product name in to make it even easier for you to play ‘spot the scam’!

In fact, you’ll be pleased to know that I don’t even know Derren Brown, and I know even less about horse racing; I haven’t put money on a horse, even socially, in about 20 years 🙂

The point of all of this?

Well, next time you think you’re getting something from the horse’s mouth just make sure that you’re not being the horse’s ass 🙂

Applying even a little common sense will stop you from losing an AWFUL LOT OF MONEY in life …

… and, money saved is EXACTLY the same a money earned (just with less upside).

PS I strongly encourage you to watch the videos that I linked you to … now that you have some idea what it’s all about, it may lose a little of it’s ooomph … but, just seeing how Derren can flip heads on a totally fair coin toss 10 times in a row is a hoot!

What is the lowest cost, lowest risk way to start a business?

[AJC: Please do me a favor … I have added a Stumble Upon button to my right-hand tool bar …. if you click it, write a very short comment about my article – How much interest does one million dollars earn – and put it in the “Wealth” category, I would be VERY appreciative! Stumble Upon is one of the VERY BEST ways for me to increase my readership, which is good for all of us! Thanks.]

To make $7 million in 7 years (then keep it!) you need to master all the basic financial tools of multi-millionaires: businesses, stocks, real-estate … and many, many more.

So, let’s start by talking a little about ways to start your own business … having started and sold many ‘small’ businesses, I feel somewhat qualified to pontificate on this subject.

If you are looking to start the ideal small business, my suggestion is to start by looking for the business with the greatest UPSIDE rather than the one that protects your DOWNSIDE.

But, to delve a little into the question of risk:

In the old days, if we wanted to start our own business, you would find some stock, sign a lease on a storefront, hang out your shingle, advertise, and …. wait for customers.

IF the customers came, you made a small profit (competition was always sure to keep prices and profit margins low).

IF the customers failed to come, you went bankrupt (sorry!), because you: paid up front for the stock (you didn’t have a track record with the supplier yet, so COD was the best ‘deal’ they would give you); you put up personal guarantees on the storefront lease; you paid for advertising and salaries and wages; and so on.

But, that was then, and this is NOW:

Now, you can open an e-Bay store, find some leftover goods at local manufacturers and/or wholesalers and sell them … no staff, no leases, very few costs … and, grow from there.

Or, you can go right to the other extreme of Internet-based businesses and come up with the next Facebook.

And, there are a zillion opportunities to make money on the Internet, in between the e-Bay and Facebook ideas, and you can do most of them without even leaving your current job … here are the 10 dumbest ways that people made $1,000,000 on the Internet. If they can do it, so can you!

No matter how you look at it …

… the INTERNET, my friend, is the new Small Business Frontier.

Hook up the saddlebags and go West … Yeehah!

I'm about to find out if you can make money online …. Part III

Note: In the original version of this post, I included links to the actual sites; WordPress has posted what looks like an ‘automatic warning’ … on the assumption that this content was the cause, I am removing the actual names/links … a pretty good ‘early warning sign’ that the site that I subscribed to is a bit dubious, huh? 

I have a confession, I am already working on two separate on-line ventures that are currently in stealth mode but, these are fairly high-risk / high-reward ventures … they take a lot of preparation, programming, and money.

Which is why I am busy trolling the Internet for a more ‘off the shelf’ business that I can try, so that I can prove to YOU that it is possible to make money on-line. Why?

Because I want you to start a part time business to increase your income. Why?

So that you can invest at least 50% of that extra income to accelerate your savings plan. Why?

So that you may eventually become rich!

So, I’ve found a ‘promising’ candidate … if this doesn’t work, then I’ll just have to come up with my own idea, I guess …

It’s a glossy-looking, well put together web-in-a-box diet program. I guess that it’s designed to pull people into an affiliate program for a so-called “World-Famous TV Lady Doctor“.

Is this as scam? Probably

Do I expect to make any money out of this? No.

Then why? Because I’m hoping (in the unlikely event that it’s not a scam) to at least make a ‘little money’ to show that it is POSSIBLE to make money on-line … to prove that it’s at least possible.

If this doesn’t work (which, I’m fully expecting!) then we’ll go to Plan B …

OK, so here goes; the site says to take the following steps BEFORE signing up (well, putting up some roadblocks before asking me to hand over money is a good sign!):

A) You will need a domain!

We recommend http://GoDaddy.com Once you’ve secured a domain (or if you already have one) you will point it to your webspace!  

B) You will need webspace (i.e., hosting).

 We recommend http://HostGator.com They have 24hr Support — so if you need assistance at anytime, they’re there to help you PRONTO!  

C) You will need a ClickBank account — don’t worry, it’s Free!

 Just go here to grab it N0W! … http://tinyurl.com/   

D) You will need an Autoresponder — Here’s the BEST one on the Net with 98% successful “deliverability!” …


And once you have all those things (which altogether probably will cost you less than $50 bucks!) you just need to click here to order now for JUST $397 (1-time payment ONLY!): 

…. that’s it …. wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted …

Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz

Making Money 201 – Going for Broke!

If Making Money 101 could be drastically over-simplified as ‘saving’; then Making Money 201 is equally over-simplified as being about building your income.

If you were serious about getting your financial house in order quickly, then you probably already did some income building to help you pay debt off quickly while you were working your way through Making Money 101.

Unless you’re a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a top professional doctor / dentist / attorney / accountant, then you will need to think about starting a business.

And, to accelerate your business or professional income you may also decide to get into the business of active investing (renovating/flipping real estate, trading stocks and options, etc.).

This is the stage that you get to take RISKS (that’s why you need a solid foundation and plenty of runway … you WILL fail at least once, twice, three times …) because that is the only way to get the big financial REWARDS.

This stage is hard work!

But, it is where you actually sow the seeds that will eventually make you rich …

There are plenty of books and a few blogs around, but most of them are specific to just ONE WAY of making money … the author’s way; some are good and some are lousy.

By the end of this stage you will be earning more than 90% of the US population and will be accelerating rapidly down the runway to financial health … but, spending will also increase dramatically and you will struggle to hang on UNLESS you ALWAYS remember your Making Money 101 lessons about saving!

Paradoxically, you will be the ‘richest’ that you will ever be in your life during this stage IF to you, being ‘rich’ means being able to spend lots of money

… the problem is that your ‘wealth’ is only based upon your income, therefore only lasts as long as your business or job does.

Also, many of the Making Money 101 rules now need to change, as do almost all of the tools ….

For example, dollar cost averaging and index funds are replaced with sensible investment and savings rules and strategies.

You are still far from ‘rich’ …

In fact, you are still Just Over Broke … but, starting to break free!

Let's not confuse 'saving' with 'investing' …

My point is simply this:
IF your retirement plan is on track, then keep doing what you’re doing.
But, the vast majority of people can’t simply SAVE themselves into their ideal retirement; they have to INVEST in their future.
I call it ‘investing’ – investing in our future – but, if starting a part-time, work-at-home business, experimenting with actively trading stocks or options [not my personal choice], renovating then holding an income-producing property, etc. is ‘speculation’ to you …
… I simply say:

Bring it on baby!

Save your way to a fortune? I don't think so …

You’ve read the blogs … you’ve bought the books … you’ve talked to your financial advisor (your wife).

They’ve all told you that you need to pay yourself first! So you are … 10% of your gross salary !

You’re putting some aside in your 401k (with some employer match) and you have a little change going into the cookie jar next to your bed.


You’re already doing two-and-a-half times better than what CBS News calls ‘most people who only save 4% of their salary”.

But …

… it won’t make you rich!

It will stop you from being poor and may even fund a retirement if you start early enough and are willing to take a 30% pay cut.

The problem is, you can’t just save yourself to the retirement of your dreams on the average salary … you have to at least earn more and save most of the extra.

Look at it this way … the amount you can save is limited …

… limited to less than 100% of your salary, and for most people, limited to something between 0% and 20% of their salary.

But, the amount you can earn is only limited by your imagination and your capacity for hard work.

Here are some examples of ways that you can increase your income:

– Change jobs (maybe)

– Work longer shifts (yuk)

– Ask for a payrise (why not?)

– Take on a second (third?) job (horrible)

– Join an MLM ‘opportunity’ (do your homework carefully!)

– Renovate some houses (now may be the time to get back in)

Start trading some stocks (better know what you’re doing?!)

Start a business ‘on the side’ (my favorite!!!)

Whatever you choose: Start Small … Finish Big!

The point is not how YOU should do it, the point is you CAN do it … if you are prepared for some hard work and sacrifice now for a better future. Are you?

If you keep paying yourself first at only 10% of your current salary in your day job, and 50% of the additional money that you earn (after paying off debts), THEN …

… you just may retire RICH!

Let me know if you think this can/can’t work for you …

I’m about to find out if you can make money online … Part 2

The story so far: in my last post I mentioned that I was trying to see if it’s possible to make money with these internet based ‘business opportunities’ (just try googling ‘online business opportunity’ to see how many are out there).

I randomly came across Ty (yeah, the half-naked guy in my last post); he only wants $3k from me to join an MLM travel marketing thing.

Now, here’s the problem: he wants me to sign up NOW and ONLY on the basis of making money … he never mentions how good/bad the product is!

So, this is how I look at any business opportunity that comes my way (and, I have seen plenty of good ones and bad ones):

FIRST: do I like the product?

My view, and one shared by anybody with an ounce of integrity, is that you simply can’t sell something that (a) you don’t use yourself and (b) wouldn’t recommend to a friend.

Fortunately, this particular product is something I COULD use … I travel a lot, and easily spend $2k – $4k a week on just the accommodation portion, so this product has the CHANCE to say me a lot.

Secondly, I looked around on the net for good or bad feedback on the company … I couldn’t find anything either way, which is probably a good thing. I even checked Ripoff Report and the Better Business Bureau … nothing! Is this a good or bad thing? I don’t know … 

So, I also checked the travel sites like Trip Advisor and Epinion and that’s where I started to see the ‘aha’ issues with this ‘opportunity’ …

… this company, and many others like it seem to source their rentals from the big resort and timeshare exchanges.

Whilst many of these are free, this company charges $3k for a ‘platinum membership’ which gives you access to their database AND the rights to sell memberships to other people.

So that brings me to the SECOND part of the decision making process: how can I sell something to somebody else for $3k that they can at least similar for free (or close to) elsewhere?

I can’t … and I won’t; oh well, sorry Ty … can’t help you.

… and, I’m no closer to finding out if it’s possible to make money online!

I'm about to find out if you can make money online … can you?

I’ve made my money in real world businesses, real world property, and real world ‘paper assets’ (actually, I think I’ve lost more than I made in speculating the stock market!).

But, I have a theory that the internet is the new ‘wild west gold rush’, where people can lay a stack to some turf and mine for internet gold without outlaying much cash.

It’s only a theory right now, so I am launching two internet businesses (one is being developed right now, and the other is still in the business plan stage) … on paper, they both look good! I’ll let you know in a few months how they turn out …

But, those businesses require development skills, business planning skills, etc.

 What about the ‘average Joe’ who just wants to make some money part time? What about all of those ‘get rich online’ ads that you can find just by googling keywords like ‘money making opportunity’?

Are they GENUINE or are they SCAMS?

Well, I’m about to find out …

Yesterday I randomly searched the net and came up with this ‘opportunity’ (yes, it really is a half-naked guy named ‘Ty’):


The first thing I was asked to do was pay $50 ‘application fee’ to prove that I am ‘genuinely interested’ and a ‘go getter’ … smells a bit fishy, huh? … so, what did I do?

I paid it!

After a barrage of e-mails and a conference call invitation that I missed, I got a link to the page in the image above. I’m listening to the audio right now … I think they want me to pay $3k to join a multi-level marketing system to sell memberships to some exclusive travel club.

I’m told to “… Embrace the fact that you are surrounded by a team of leaders that care about you and are going to show you exactly how to bring it all together. Your life will turn around and you will succeed!!

What will I do? I don’t know yet … but, I’ll let you know … right now some guy on the audio is telling me “it’s the best thing that I’ve ever done in my life” … do you think the half-naked guy really has something?