How I Make Money, Part II: 5 Steps to Creating a Product

In my first post of this series, I wrote about some common myths that stop would-be entrepreneurs. This post outlines how to make a list of potential product ideas, determine which one is best, and get the ball rolling on finding a supplier.

Since you’re reading a blog post about starting your own business, we’ve already established that you aren’t satisfied with hate your job because:

  • your boss is an idiot
  • you don’t get paid enough
  • you work too many hours
  • you’re underappreciated
  • you’re bored
  • all of the above

Low risk, high profit. A good place to be.

I’m going to give you a crash course in idea generation and product development. It’s not the risky, dark art that “they” want you to think it is – once you know the key steps and some good tools, it’s as easy as…dealing with China. Continue reading

How I Make Money, Part I: Top 3 Myths That Stop Would-Be Entrepreneurs

“So, are you here to work or to study?”

I get this question almost every day and it’s really a tough one to answer. It’s been 60 days since I got any real, tangible work accomplished, but January’s revenue is almost double what it was last January. I can’t say I’m proud of my obsolescence – I love being productive – but the results speak for themselves. As you may already know, I’m in Argentina indefinitely and I’m taking Spanish classes to improve my somewhat limited communication skills. I skipped class the other day to catch up on work – the pangs of guilt finally put the perpetual hangover in the backseat – and I sat down at my desk to plug away at the next big task.

There was just one problem: there wasn’t anything major for me to do. You see, 18 months ago, I read the 4-Hour Work Week and began to systematically outsource or automate all of my day-to-day tasks for the auto parts company that I started when I was 16. I’m the only employee, and even though I have a dozen major projects underway – from developing an all-new website to engineering a line of indestructible ball joints – they’re all in the hands of subcontractors now. Every few weeks, I have some updates to review and approve, but at the moment the only things on my to-do list were lingering, non-critical tasks that I’ve been putting off for the better part of the decade. Continue reading