I am having trouble with 2 projects at once. I would strongly recommend you stick with one until it is done, you will be faster and money will come in earlier.
First, let me be upfront and say that I'm about 70% through the book, so if this is answered there, and I haven't gotten to it yet, let me know.
Second, DO NOT READ THIS POST if you have something else to do today... like eat, go to work, sleep, wash the dog, etc. This may be a tad bit long.
OK - I know that I will not get into the FastLane starting a biz from one of my passions. With that said, today I went through my 'book of ideas' where I have hundreds of business ideas that I've written down over the past couple of years that I was excited about.
After some research this evening, I have identified:
1. An invention idea that I had a year ago is still very much viable.
There is a need. There are millions of people who need this product. Any parent with a child under 4 or 5 would want one because it solves a problem, cures a pain (literally!), and it does not exist in the marketplace. I just ordered the materials that I need to build a prototype. It will take me about 1-2 weeks working 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there to build it, paint it, and take some photos of it to create a pitch sheet. I'd then get the pitch sheet in front of a few dozen companies that I have identified who may be interested in licensing my idea. (This is the fast-track... no manufacturing needed on my side, no patents, (just provisional for $100), and little to no risk besides $100 in materials, $100 provisional, and my time to build the prototype, make the pitch sheet, and make some calls.) So this one is easy - just takes a little time, zero outside investment required. The kicker is that it could take one call or 1,000 calls to get this licensed, if at all. Goal is to get it licensed and create a 100% hands-free passive income. (I have 4 other invention ideas, but I believe this is the best and most unique invention idea that would stay on the shelves for many years to come.)
2. A new technology/website start-up that I have been losing a lot of sleep over.
This new technology combines several of the most popular websites out there in a few niches and rolls it into one very unique niche-specific website and unique custom technology. The market is beyond ripe. Millions of people are already doing this daily, but they are not doing it in one central location. It would be EXTREMELY viral. Hold onto your hat viral. I can see this being talked about for 30 seconds a day on some National morning talk shows (not part of the marketing plan, but believe it would happen due to the nature of this technology/product/service/etc.). It solves such a huge need on multiple levels - including a very, very emotional level. It will also make people laugh, make them feel good, etc. Now the kicker is that the site/service would be 100% free.
The way it would be monetized would be through tee-shirts, mugs, books, etc. Due to the nature of this and the speed, I believe it would be possible to spit out a national best-seller every 2 months, possibly monthly. There would also be a lot of value in the member base. Just a very small fraction of the niche = million + users. They are all highly targeted in a niche where businesses would pay top dollar to access/advertise to because this niche spends big money. Problem is that I do not have the capital to start this. However, it could be developed in just a few weeks. So the costs are not sky-high. A BIG marketing push would be needed because this would be the first of it's kind on the Internet and there is NO DOUBT that copy-cats will pop up everywhere (well, try to). This idea can be taken to another 3-4 niches that I have identified as potentials. It would be all about building it and then creating massive buzz fast so that competitors do not stand a chance. I believe the potential for this to get bought out fast is extremely high - especially after the first book is self-published and hits the best-seller list over night and sticks there. What's stopping me on this one: Capital.
And if I bring in capital, an investor will want me to focus 100% of my time and energy on this business and I am not at the point where I can do so. So I am a little stuck here. I'll also note that there is a start-up that has just ONE tiny piece of this model (1%) and they just received MASSIVE funding and have zero $$ coming in and it is unknown how they will have money coming in. I know I have something here - something that has the potential to create a new business model. A FastLane business that has the potential of getting bought out in just a few months. Best of call, ZERO customer service is needed. No sales people. No normal corporate BS. Just a kick-ass programmer and designer. Oh, and the marketing, which I bring a couple of chips to the table with. No office is needed. Overhead would just be designer (just one-time actually) and programmer (would need to keep on to make changes, additions, etc). So what in the hell do I do with this? I know this has the potential of being one of the top start-up success stories in 2012. But would would invest in this when the owner of the idea cannot put in a full-time effort right now? Any thoughts, ideas, etc. anyone? Heck, I'd be willing to give up a nice chunk of this business if the people that I needed (who had the TOP NOTCH SKILLS that I need to make this fly) came to me and said, "Let's Rock!" and worked on equity only. However, there still needs to be a marketing and PR budget to launch. (I figure $300K to hit the ground like a 4,000 lb. ninja)
3. I have identified an industry that is clueless on how to do something that I know how to do.
I'm not as excited about this one - but it is a valid and identified need in a professional marketplace. An industry is really clueless on how to do something that will really help the owners make a lot more money - and I know exactly what they can do. I've done it before in another industry - it works, it is proven, there's no doubt about it. But for some reason, this industry missed a chapter in their business book. This would be a training business where I'd create a members-only training area with videos, audios, written info, mindmaps, ebooks, reports, etc. that they would access each month for $97 to $197. I could easily start off hosting live seminars locally and charge $400-$500 for an all-day thing. If I couldn't get at least 25 people in the room, I should stop everything I'm doing now and go work at some fast-good joint.
This is a much longer-term business model. Basically I'd be selling a monthly membership for training, webinars, additional courses, live local events, regional events in cities where I wanted to travel to, and possibly national events. This business model is proven, has made seven-figures for MANY info marketers over the years in many industries, and this niche is wide open right now. And the timing for 2012 couldn't be any better because the need for what this industry provides is only getting larger every day - especially in this economy.
So this business would be a TON of work. It would mainly be me running the show, doing all the training, creating the courses, etc. until it reached a point where it made sense to hire other trainers. There are a few things that can be done to get this business in front of thousands of people quickly - overnight, really once I had the courses, websites, etc. set up. I can create the sites, training videos, written materials, courses, yada, yada on my own. The big question is what the value of this business would be down the road - even if it was making $100K a month. I guess it comes down to how well I run and manage the business - and if I found great people to do the training and seminars, then those pieces would be hands off for me and a new owner. But I know this business model is not easy and will months to develop everything that is needed initially, months to pre-market, then finally launch the biz, so realistically, this is a long-term gig.
4. A unique clothing and product business that I have been sitting on for awhile now - got the killer domain name
Won't say much about this one. Just that it's another massive market, there is a HUGE need - my wife kicks me every single day for not somehow starting this, and every time I go to the mall I can literally smell the opportunity. This would be a unique brand and I own the domain name that fits the brand perfectly. I know nothing about the clothing world except that it is HIGHLY competitive and I'm the type of guy that shops for clothing about once per year. However, this is a very unique line of clothing for woman believe it or not. I came up with the idea because my wife was having a problem with something - and over time learned that many, if not all of her friends were facing the same thing. There is just way too much to talk about on this one. The learning curves I'd have to go through to bring a clothing and product line to market would be nuts. I'd need millions and millions (I believe) to get it out there and hope a large retailer picks it up (I believe). But on the flip side, I wonder if I could license the name and idea to a manufacture / brand? I don't know enough about this industry to know if companies do that or not. Target would be the perfect fit for this brand. Anyway, this is on the back-burner, but still drives me crazy because I see how large the opportunity is. I just don't know enough about the industry. Stuck here.
5. An extremely unique natural health supplement that solves a problem millions of people suffer from
I was doing some research online to see if I could solve a problem that I had. I know it's common and millions of people suffer from it every day. I wanted to see if I could find something natural that I could take. One thing lead to another which lead me to doing some creative Google searches. (Where you can search just PDF's, or .edu websites, .gov sites, etc.) Long story short, one PDF written by some doctor or researcher in the UK I believe contained a little secret. I then went digging deeper and found that this one THING that only grows in ONE area of the world (I know, sounds like some hokey MLM story that many have used before for their marketing) was the most potent form of what was needed to help people naturally. Not one nutritional company in the world uses this ingredient to help people who suffer from this problem. I have searched everywhere online and off. I even went so far and contacted some people where this ingredient grows to find out how difficult it would be to package up and ship to the US. It's not difficult.
I get excited when I think about this idea because of the millions of people that I could help solve a huge problem in their lives. There are so many people who take other meds that are not natural and have terrible side effects. What I found is 100% natural, truly works (can't reveal how I know this works so well, sorry) and is a multi-billion dollar industry. SO... With this one, I would need major investors. To make this work on a large scale, patents would be needed (although with the supplement industry, patents are nearly pointless in many cases, but at least offers a tad bit of protection), and more importantly, a distribution channel would be needed. This includes in the country where this natural health supplement is located (fairly easy I believe) as well as a plant in the US that can take the ingredients and make it into a pill, drink, gum, gel, juice, whatever. However, there are tons of companies in the US where you can have your own private-label supplements created. Could ship them there, but then you give everyone and their brother the opportunity to use the ingredient.
This would best be sold online and off (totally non MLM) via CPA, and in stores like CVS and WalGreens.
Is it humanly possibly to start and run multiple fast-lane businesses? Do you know of any stories of recent start-ups and/or founders where they have/run/manage/started more than one successful start-up?
Now obviously #2 is the golden nugget. Tech, social, apps, viral products/services, etc. are going to be HOT in 2012. And there is no way I can fund it on my own at this moment. #1 cannot fund it because even if I land a deal in a couple of months and license my idea, it could take months or longer before my first royalty check. #3 could fund #2, but I'd be waiting a good year or so before I have the capital needed to fund it. #4 - I know nothing about the industry. #5 - This could be a multi-multi million or billion dollar giant - who knows. All I know is that I'd need both capital and partners to get that product out there. And did I mention that the product REALLY works - and replaces meds that millions of people take that have dangerous and potentially life-threatning side effects?
With the above said, have you heard of any outside investors investing in tech start-ups that are run part-time - with the goal of the founder going full-time the second the business is profitable so he/she can take a modest salary?
Now friends and family are always a good option, but I'm stuck there. The investor friends I have are already tapped out because they invested in a couple other start-ups that I consulted for, who needed capital, I brought my friends in, they invested. Doh. Should have waited until I was ready to launch my own start-up.
What would you do if you were in my shoes? What if you had an idea (like my #2 above) that you felt would be crazy huge FAST - but face the capital/part-time pot hole?
Obviously I could have just posted "my questions" and none of the above high-level details of a couple of my ideas. However, I'll admit... I'm putting a few of my ideas out there for the chance that someone reads it - a bell goes off, and somehow a win-win business relationship works out for us and we cash out the FastLane business as fast as possible while we enjoy life and move onto the next FastLane.
I am having trouble with 2 projects at once. I would strongly recommend you stick with one until it is done, you will be faster and money will come in earlier.
I do have online and offline interests. The online ones were automated to the point that it gave me time to do something offline.
I think you need to pick one of your ideas and put all your focus and energy into that one idea. It's very rare for someone, when just starting out, to run multiple businesses at once. There are people who do it but they are people who have already become successful and now most of their work is just delegated.
Your going to get tangled up in a web of ideas and never have any of them reach their full potential because they will not be getting the full attention they deserve.
I was in the same boat as you. So many ideas. Too much time spent on deciding which one to do. Fear that if I chose one then I will be missing out on the other. Then I realized that I had better choose one and run with it or I'm going to be sitting there fighting over which one is best and someone else will beat me to it or I'll just use my indecision as an excuse to never get started.
I finally decided to pick the one that I know I can fund myself. A product that was relatively cheap to make and had some pretty good potential. I've been putting all my focus on this one idea and because of that, I KNOW it will succeed!
I started back in February and after almost one year of hard work, my product is almost ready to launch!
I'll tell you from experience, it's hard enough focusing on one idea, especially if it's your first run-around. There's so much to learn. Trying to learn 2 or more business at one is recipe for failure.
And guess what. Since writing down all my ideas years ago and working on my first product for the last year, NOT ONE of my other ideas are out on the market yet! Not one single idea that I've had for the past 5 or so years!!!
One thing I learned of the past year, especially from this forum, is that Ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution of those ideas are few and far between.
Pick one idea and get rolling!
Likwid is right.
Slow your roll and pick one.
Pick the one with the largest existing market. Take it from a guy that has had several great ideas that were actually too far ahead of the market. Great ideas but the market wasn't there yet. Business is hard enough without having to educate your market first about your product. Pick an existing market that is already looking for something.
Pick one that you can scale.
OK. This is going to piss some people off...
What happened to FastLane thinking?
Pick one? Why?
Everyone is saying pick one. How come?
I know... I know. You don't have to tell me. Buy guys and gals - isn't the FastLane also a mindset where you figure things out and pull away from doing the norm? Even sidewalkers say just choose ONE. I know this because I've been told all my life to just choose one. I also spent years telling people to just choose one because that's what everyone else was telling me. I NO DOUBT lost out on making several million more dollars during my high-flying years because I just stuck to ONE.
I had all the time in the world to build another money-making vehicle, but I didn't. Why? Because everyone kept telling me to choose just ONE. So I did. I accepted that was the path. What path was it? It was the freaking sidewalk even though I was earning more a month than most people earn in a year.
Damn sidewalk. I lived there for too many years. No more. Not ever.
In my eyes - JUST ONE is NOT the FastLane. To me, The FastLane is all about doing the things that most are not willing to do. It's about working your ass off until your eyes are bleeding at 4 AM and then getting up at 7 AM to start all over again because you're so damn focused on your end-goal. It's about doing the uncomfortable - staying away from the norm - and giving everything all you've got. Whether that means ONE business and ONE idea - or hell, let's say 20 of them.
With all due respect, I feel that picking "one" is not for me. I'm creating my own FastLane. Everyone has their own path they choose. Instead of one FastLane, I'm looking to create a six-lane highway full of FastLanes.
I have been doing a LOT of thinking about this and soul-searching after reading the posts about choosing ONE.
I cannot accept that thinking.
So with all of this said... Over the past day or so, I've been asking myself a lot of "WHAT IF" questions in order to see if I could find a solution.
WHAT IF... I could find a source to pour my ideas that I have (technology-related) into? What if I could find a team of programmers and designers who desperately need ideas like what I have? What if there was a pool of resources that I could have access to? What if I could find a company where I become their "idea guy" for new products, services, etc. related to a specific technology niche that they specialize in? What if I could have some ownership in both the products they create and the company to be positioned for a buyout? What if all I did was come into their office once a week, draw out my ideas for the week on a whiteboard, they choose a couple to run with, and then I spend another hour or two discussing marketing plans, strategies, etc. to get the previous ideas that have been developed out into the world... What if...
Long story short, I busted my hump over the past couple of days making calls, reaching out to companies in the US, overseas, etc. My goal was to find the above - a development house with killer programming and development staff who are looking to expend their business in a certain area.
I was straight up with the owners that I spoke to. I let them know my past, what I have to offer, what I can provide them, how they don't have to pay me a penny for this as I'd want a % of revenue that the products generate AND a % of the businesses that would be needed to be set up in order to support this model. I created a full-blown business model mind map on Curio, which included short-term, mid-term, and long-term plays. Some products would be developed to build a portfolio of products designed to sell for 6-7 figures. Others would be buy and hold to build on-going revenue for the company. Others would be created to fuel both of the above and build long-term value for this new division.
I spent hours and hours on the phone yesterday and today. LONG story short, one of the companies that I spoke to was so excited about what I presented that the owner called a mandatory meeting with a couple the owners and heads of a couple of departments. They have locations in a few countries around the world, so this was impressive on how quickly they moved.
I spent a good 2 hours on the phone with them to learn about what they do, their level of expertise (which is insane because some of their current clients include multiple Fortune 500 companies, several parts of the Government etc), and they got to know me and totally "got" the biz model. They are all programmers. Expert programmers. They have their own teams around the world. They have been thinking about how to expend in the areas where I have truly an endless supply of (what I think are) killer ideas for products and potential huge brands. They are excited. They get it. They are 100% open to the way that I want to set this all up.
So much so that I have a meeting with the founder this week who is coming to meet me. The following week 2 other owners are flying out here to meet me. The plan is have these 2 meetings, agree to terms, ink the papers, and then begin right away.
They have the capability to handle building 3-4 of my ideas a week and endless expansion capabilities because of their unique connections.
So... let's be CRAZY here and say that this works out.
I spend a couple of hours a week coming up with new ideas (I already have 40+ sitting in my notebook that I have not had the resources to bring to life) and then an hour a week pitching them. We talk about them, pull the trigger on some, and rinse and repeat.
So then I have a SYSTEM to take my technology-related ideas and turn them into a reality where I'm making money on both the sale of the products/services/etc. and own a % of the company/companies created that will sell off portfolios of products built and keep to build long-term value.
We will see how the meetings go - but I am very hopeful based on the conversations.
If this works out the way I envision, my next question I'll be asking myself is, "how can I duplicate what I just did in the other industries where I have ideas?"
So instead of taking the "whatever lane" and just coming up with one single idea and killing myself trying to make it work, I want to build up systems and resources where I have the power to launch multiple FastLanes EACH WEEK where there are already teams of people in place to handle all of the details.
Call me crazy - but I'd rather own a % on dozens or hundreds of potential FastLane businesses and products than focusing all of my time and attention on just one.
Now some could argue that this crazy method is in fact concentrating on ONE FastLane - setting up systems and processes and finding companies with the resources to run with my ideas. A dumbed-down version of this would be called 'idea licensing' or something like that. However, this will not be my only focus.
On top of seeing how I can duplicate this model across industries where I have ideas for (and an on-going stream of them) because this will be far from a full-time effort, I have the time to build out additional businesses unrelated to this model. So for the businesses and ideas that I do not have the time or resources for, I simply license them out to those who can execute on them. I retain a % of profits and the business so I can get my share of a buyout down the road.
This whole process has really been interesting and I want to thank everyone for the comments - because without people telling me to choose just one - I would not have come up with this idea and taken action to find a way where I can work on all of my ideas. So thanks.
how are your ideas coming along now?
Yes I'd like to know too. Any Progress??
I'm curious about OP's progress too.
Besides, there's a site that let people bid on your idea and if you've won they would help you create and market your product...under their brand. You get a %age of the cash as well. Well I guess this may be something you're looking for
what is the website.
The OP has some nice ideas, but remember its not the idea thats going to get you wealthly its the Execution.
I agree pick one and get it to the market, and document the process, then move onto the next one, and the next one. I would put the one with the largest Scale and magnitude which the natural supplement sounds the best.
If you think Millions of people suffer from this , and you can introduce a solution. One roadblock that might come to mind is, if this is a multibillion dollar industry for the pharmaceutical industry, you will have a hard time getting the product to market if its going to cut into there profits. Like lobbyists, and the FDA
I just wanted to post a quick update. Things have been NUTS.
#2 turned into a big project. I partnered with a company to work on this (80% completed) as well as 5 other of my ideas. One of which will be launching in about 2 months. The others shortly after. So I just supply my ideas, they develop them, I help with marketing, and we split the profits 50/50. Zero out of my pocket. They have even paid to set up all of the LLC's needed to get these businesses rolling, legal, flew out to meet me, etc. Potential here is nuts.
A new business started with another partner. First 60 days we brought in over $80,000.00 in cash plus have equity in several businesses now. This is a new business model we have come up with - with another $25K to $50K coming in 2-3 weeks. We're automating as much as we can - right now doing everything ourselves to get the systems in place to outsource 100% all of the work. Each client brings in $$ plus equity. Never seen a business model like this - we are having no problem finding customers for this new model. This is a fast-track on it's own.
Inventions - man, it kills me. I have not had time to do this yet. The above has me and partner working 16+ hour days 7-days a week. Any spare second I have is for family. But once we get the above biz automated, we're all good.
Will pop back in at some point.
This was my mistake before I read the book and now I know better.
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