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$3,000 to $1,000,000 in 15 months: HOW TO DO IT

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Idea threads

Russ H

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OK, Here's a fun exercise inspired by one of our fastlane members:

1. You have $3,000

2. You want to have $1,000,000 in 15 months

****

Limits:

-You cannot borrow money from any banks or other lending institutions
-You are 17, so you're not eligible for most other loans, RE, etc.
-You have to go to school from 8 am to 3 pm M-F
-You have no particular skills that would be considered mega-valuable

****

That's it.

Outline a PLAN for the next 15 months.

Your goal: Fifteen months from now, you have $1,000,000 in your bank account (and it's all yours, not OPM)

****

Ready? Go!

:hurray::hurray::hurray:
:hurray::hurray::hurray:
:hurray::hurray::hurray:
:hurray::hurray::hurray:
:hurray::hurray::hurray:

-Russ H.
 
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AroundTheWorld

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Okay, interesting thread...a couple follow-up questions Russ:

1) What does success look like? For example, should I be optimizing for making the most money in that time? Or should I be optimizing for making over $1M, even if my risk of ruin is higher? In other words, would you consider someone taking this challenge more "successful" by shooting big and ending up with $0, or shooting small and ending up with a smaller amount than $1M (for example $20K)?

I would think that is a highly personal situation... one could go either way!

Also... you may end up with 0$, but 1M worth of knowledge from the school of hard knocks!
 

Merkin Man

Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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Russ,

I'm glad you posted this thread. It has had me thinking since I read it this morning.

Truth is, reading this thread has made me completely re-evaluate the "plan" I was putting together for myself that I was hoping to get posted in the next few days. Because that plan didn't aim nearly as high as this one. Not even close. Which opens the door to another subject altogether - namely, why aren't I aiming higher? I'll leave that for another thread. I don't want to hijack this one! :lame:

I'm interested in seeing what types of responses this thread garners, especially given the criteria you laid out.

At the very least, Russ, you have my creative juices flowing right now. And that can only mean good things!
 
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Russ H

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A couple of follow-up questions, Russ:

1) What does success look like? For example, should I be optimizing for making the most money in that time? Or should I be optimizing for making over $1M, even if my risk of ruin is higher? In other words, would you consider someone taking this challenge more "successful" by shooting big and ending up with $0, or shooting small and ending up with a smaller amount than $1M (for example $20K)?

You decide. :)

2) Is the $1M a realized gain? Or could it be equity in an asset that is not liquid but currently worth $1M?

Good question! Can be in an asset, but must be able to be "liquified" ;) for FULL VALUE within 9 months after the initial 15 month period.

3) Can the $1M gain be spread across partners (not necessarily financial partners, but perhaps sweat equity partners)? Or must it be one person who has earned the money?

Partners are great-- but if you had 3 partners total, at the end of 15 months, the total value of the assets would need to be $3,000,000.

-Russ H.
 

nomadjanet

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Aug 28, 2007
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What is in demand in the world of a 17 year old?
Do you as a 17 year old have your pulse on the wants & needs of people your age?
What do your peers want and what do they spend their money on?
Putting aside illegal things like drugs or getting booze for minors or bootlegging mass music to resell what are the other things that someone in your age & education group would have access to expand on and capitilize on.
Young people spend money on
entertainment
tech gear
clothes
social connections
enchancing their public image or rep
Do I have tech skills? Would I need to hire them out?
 

MJ DeMarco

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Great post ... I'm formulating a strategy and will post it when complete.

In the meantime, a young man created the following page with the same aspirations

MillionDollarWiki
http://www.milliondollarwiki.com/

As of this post, he's recorded 450+ entries. At $100 apiece, thats $45,000 or 4.5% to his goal. Not sure how old the site is, but its been growing steadily. Novel concept and I commend the young man for being enterprising.
 
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Allthingznew

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Aug 26, 2007
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I'd say Peter2 just posted a great example in the thread, how to make millions from rocks.
 

michael515

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Aug 27, 2007
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How I'd do it...

1. Tape success principles to my wall and never deviate when the times get rough.

2. Research. I would look at businesses for sale on bizquest.com, bizbuysell.com, sites for sale on sitepoint.com etc. for the sole purpose of sparking ideas and seeing actual revenue. Most websites don't make money. Don't buy into the garbage for sale.

I would also look at the entrepreneur top 500 co's, Inc. most growth co's to spark ideas and see what co's and trends are making money. All the while I'd open up my antenna's for opp's and problems people would pay to have solved.

3. I would compare all these ideas to my strength's and see what's out of my reach - i.e. too much tech, to hone in on a few serious opps.

4. More research into the market. After finding a good idea that fits my mold as best possible I'd go to the library and research the market for this business idea. Study the problems, what they complain about, trade journals, etc.

(I'm fortunate to live in a big Metro and our county library was ranked #1 in the country and linked up to all colleges in the state. Their research databases are top-notch.)

5. After finding that there is a market who is reachable, willing to pay for this service, and having an angle that will give you leverage (niche, better service, faster delivery, etc.) then give it a go.

6. Product or service? I'd do service. Products can take too long to develop and cannot be adjusted as easily or at all as you go. Forget creativity in the product or service sense. Be creative with the delivery. I would be willing to license product rights but that might cost $$ and all the money should be funneled into marketing.

Also, be sure you can get repeat customers. Unless very high ticket, it's easier to get to the $1 mil mark when people are consuming every month. Creating new customers can cost alot ot time and money - better to resell current clients.

7. Study your competitors marketing methods. Use google adwords and design a website but don't spend months or thousands of dollars in this design. Hire a friend who can do this. Don't do this yourself unless you can complete FAST and cheap! Most websites are not the business themselves, but a marketing arm of the biz. Adwords and PPC speeds up the process of startup incredibly - that's why I'd do this first.

Keep your testing small and build on that. Could you run an ad in WSJ? Yes, but that costs serious money and may not be targeted. Forget mass marketing - that's for those with deeper pockets. Stick with small targetable, mediums and create calls for action via direct response. Use your profits to reinvest in more marketing.

8. After getting starting via small potato ad's on the web I'd start calling potential customers from a highly pre-qualified list, and to setup JV's. What I mean by JV's is setting up offers other businesses will send to their customers with their endorsement. Getting this may be tough but is much faster and profitable than any ad. Give the businesses a reason to do it like money in the form of % of sales revenue . Remember you only have 1 year and you must leverage the relationships of others.

Use press releases for PR and offer something of value to listeners - like a free trial for a week / one time use, etc.

I don't expect a newbie in marketing to jump in and tear it up unless they, at a minimum, learn a little bit. I'd be studying marketing, sales, and PR from a few very specific sources while in the research phase assuming I have no experience. I'd ask pros what they read. Most is just rehashed so go right to the top producers.

KEY POINTS:

-Don't be a pioneer trying to create a market. Create a better system of delivery or find an overlooked area to serve. Creating market's is possible but can be time consuming and expensive - we don't have this in 15 months.
-Don't be creative with the product or service but the delivery. Again too much time and untested.
-Direct response ad's on a very small basis. No branding.
-Leverage is key. You need to leverage your experience with the resources of others. -Much faster and more potential for than doing it alone.
-Focus on marketing and promotion and have other people or systems do the work for you.
-Research shouldn't take more than 1 month.

I think I just created my how-to for the next 15 months :banana:

Michael
 
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nomadjanet

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Aug 28, 2007
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This is my plan, I am not putting in the details about the organizations or the product because I really think I am going to do this. I have already completed steps 1-4 and contacted a tech person to interview. Excited about a new business.

1. Find a need
2. Research the possible competition & how to differentiate your product
3. Research the market source (who is around that is your target)
4. Research the sales force source (how many qualified are available)
5. Interview for technical person for the construction of the “product”
6. Research the presentation materials required
7. Prepare the budget
8. Hire the technical person to start development of the product.
9. Prepare the presentation materials.
10. Court local news for press releases; start buzz with target audience on web-sites; chat rooms, & bloggs.
11. Make preliminary contact to get the right personal contact at each organization ( this is going to be a repeated step)
12. Make appointment to sale the idea ( this is going to be a repeated step)
13. Organizations that are sold will need to have presentation to the “sales” people within the organization, be prepared to do this yourself at least at the beginning in order to save money.
14. This sales effort has a time limit on it, each organization will only sell for 6-8 weeks.
15. The effort will be concluded within 7 months at which time if we have not met our goals we will restart the process.
16. If we have met our goals we will sell the business as a ready made project.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Here is how I would do it.


  • Since $3K is not a lot of dough and it must churn to $1m, our scope of options is limited.
  • Our business must be internet based since inherently, we must reach and impact A LOT of people with our product/service.
  • Our business must use FREE, open source software in our site development with the our capital allocated toward custom applications.
  • Our marketing must have a solid affiliate program with decent compensation to encourage affiliate marketers to participate.
  • Our product/service must have "sizzle" or a marketing "hook" that is newsworthy. Can be something entirely new, or a new spin on something old.
  • Our product must go viral through the use of home grown videos that can be uploaded to video sharing sites.
  • Use of social networking sites like MySpace / Facebook to promote and go viral.
  • Use of press releases to promote the sizzle.
  • Our product/service must have a easy to remember domain name that can be rehashed and vocalized quickly and easily.
  • Our website must incorporate upsells and/or other affiliate programs to monetize the site traffic - most popular being Google Adsense.
  • The final piece -- finding that product or service that fills a need, or fills an old need, better. Clever marketing (like the pet rock) can take you places and even get you to your goal of $1mm, but its longevity is finite.

There's a guy that started selling vodka -- his hook was "new colorful packaging" -- it was a new spin on something stale and old. All of the techniques above are capable of generating great traffic, without spending a dime on CPC or Banner advertising.
 
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Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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Thanks for the post MJ.

I've been kicking this one around as well...and the only thing I could think of was something Internet based as well.

To piggyback on your idea:

- Increase the $3K available by doing some eBay selling. Come on, there must be SOMETHING in the garage that you can make a few bucks on.

- Take out an ad in the radio/television promo mag (can't remember the name off the top of my head) - just a couple of hundred bucks and you can book interviews on radio off of that.

- Do an eBook for free to promote your website.
 

SteveO

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Here goes that "One Trick Pony" again.

Your post did not limit you from using your knowledge so, I am going to assume...

I have knowledge in a field that would allow me to do this using OPM and contacts that are currently available. The problem is that not anyone could do this in this timeframe. There would be some significant challenges as well.

Locate a property with rehab and mismanagement issues.

This would involve the understanding that you can purchase a 7M property for 5.5M.

Get investors on board with a 20% down payment on the total project cost including rent loss and repairs.

Insure that the rehab can be completed in 4 months or less.

Whip the financials in order and push the rents to market.

Sell for 7M.

After closing costs, split the profits with the investors
 

Russ H

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OK, here's a suggestion along the lines of buying lottery tickets:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/09/15/bonds.balls.ap/index.html?cnn=yes

Buy bleacher seats tickets to all of Barry Bonds last games!

(the article above documents the record selling prices of Bond's tie and tie-breaking homerun baseballs, and goes on to say that the last home run ball at the end of his career will probably go for over $1,000,000)

I was thinking we'd get more submissions on this thread . . . maybe it needs to marinate a bit more . . .

-Russ H.
 
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kurtyordy

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ok, my brain has been turning for some time on this.
Instead of just doing a theoretical exercies, I am actually going to do this and be a test subject. I am ready to embark, I have secured a website, and have some needs, I will start a new thread for advice so as not to hijack this thread.

Product- service with lifetime subscription.
Target- est. 10-20% of population would be possible client
Webbased- knowledge threshold will need to be overcome
Marketing- affiliate and otherwise, also threshhold of knowledge will need to be overcome
Budget- $3,000. spent so far $6
Pricing- est around $285. Estimating about 40% profit margin, meaning I will need about 9000 customers to hit 1mill. Which means 600 sales per month. Very aggressive. For the sake of easy tracking, we will stack from 10/1. This means I will be a millionaire by the end of 2008. Merry Christmas 2008 to me.:banana::banana::banana::banana:

Here's the link to the new thread.
 

AroundTheWorld

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Good for you for TAKIN SOME ACTION!!!

I have lots of comments .... but will wait for your thread!
 

Russ H

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Kurtyordy-

This is exactly what I was hoping for when I started this thread. :)

I put a link to your new thread in your post.

Rep points + + +

:thumbsup:

-Russ H.
 
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Shawn

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Aug 14, 2007
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To turn $3k into 1M, I would do:

- Day trading
- Arbitrage
- Affiliate Marketing

I guess websites like the million dollar homepage, wiki etc would work too if you're good at marketing. I think many of them spend a ton more than $3k building and marketing those sites though..
 

Nate

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That's a tough thing to do. I can't see any way to do it other than trying your hand at the markets.

Near impossible to do over and over again; but you CAN make ridiculous amounts of money quickly in the markets. I'll be the first to admit though, that it would get to the point of being much more luck than skill.

I once made 70% overnight longing the British Pound against the dollar. Had the market gone the other way I would have blown out this little fun/test "see what I can do" trading account. But 70% a bunch of times really starts to compound.
 
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Rawr

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This is a great thread Russ but I feel that if we substituted 100k instead it would be a lot more realistic in people's minds - as in they wouldn't go to the clouds for solutions.

Here is a real way that a friend of mine got almost to that number from less than 3k:

Spend 2-3 months locked in your room doing nothing but studying html and how Search engine optimization works.

Pedal around town approaching small biz owners with an offer to create a web site for them, charging something small like $200-$500 for a web site and $100-$200 for SEO.

Work like mad for one month doing as many websites as you can and find another one or two people (in any part of the world..thats the magic) that will do websites for you for half price.

Referrals Referrals Referrals.

Start increasing prices, start becoming better at selling yourself - 7-10 months later get as high as $7000 per website.

Have 2 people working under you who do 90% of the work and get 40% of pay. Hire sales people who work on commission and find new leads.

For threads sake - this took 2 years I believe from having 0 knowledge to where he is now, but a lot of that time can be saved with a plan.. there were some mistakes along the way that can be easily avoided.



As long as we are brainstorming:

Find a huge event coming up in your area. Go to a shirt store and order 300 shirts at $10 each. Go around selling shirts for $15-20

Next big event get the shirt store to give you a credit next time and a 30 day period and buy twice as many shirts.

Rinse and repeat. If all fails spend $3000 on a wonderful dinner and entertainment for one of your geriatric wealthy relatives.
 

kurtyordy

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why does it have to be a relative, go to the nursing home, find out which ones families have not visited in a long time. Blow 2k over 12 months wooing them and suggesting towards the end that they 'update' their will. Then after that is done, take them out for a very rich dinner, alfredo, served during a hotair balloon ride during a hurricane or something like that. Blow the remaining 1k, and wait for your payday.
 

royemunson

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It's amazing to read people's contexts in this thread. I am not a millionaire yet, but believe I will be.

I am reading people say this is impossible or very hard to do. For you it is.

In my head I have been figuring out a plan to do this. I have been determining the best approach.

It is possbile. Others have done it, it is just a matter of putting a plan together, executing, having some luck, and doing doing doing.

Good luck kurtyordy. Perhaps I'll figure out a different approach and go another route.

Joe
 
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1320Trader

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Aug 14, 2007
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swing trade (since in school)


open a discount broker margin account...you can setup an account with a parent.
+
live and breathe the stock market.
=
profit



OR

Underpants%20Gnomes.jpg
 

Russ H

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The whole reason I posted this thread was to challenge ALL of us to expand our thinking.

Yes, it's easier to come up with ideas to make 10K or 100K in a year.

But if you see that, why not try to scale it up larger? Is that possible?

My favorite responses on this thread are the ones who say, "Gee, this isn't easy."

No duh!

If it were easy, it wouldn't be a challenge, eh? :banana:

Seems like we get at least 3 groups of people responding here:

Group 1: Those who read the initial post and got all fired up to come up with a solution. They worked out a whole plan-- not just a few half-hearted suggestions, but an actual implementation plan.

Groupl 2: Those who try, but are stymied by their own self-imposed sense of what is -- and IS NOT-- possible. The ones who start, and can only come up with "invest in stocks" or "try this one big general topic". No high-level planning or entrepeneureal thinking is involved.

Group 3: There are others who can't see a thing. They're dead off the line. Car never even starts. Some don't even post--- they just read and click the back button. Others post how hard this is.

All in all, this is a great cross section of typcial responses to any problem.

But you have to ask yourself: If you're in Groups 2 or 3, and you plan on being a millionaire someday, how will this ever happen if your beliefs and lack of motivation hold you back?

-Russ H.
 
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