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p31

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Jun 2, 2016
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Hi,

After reading and re-reading The Millionaire Fastlane ,
and after lurking around the forum for a long time,
I'm finally coyly posting a question I'm hoping experienced/aspiring members of the forum would give guidance.

My questions are :

  1. What type of business model are zero-to-none expense (in terms of funds)?
  2. I have to make time to teach myself about Data Science to make myself more valuable in my current company. But I also have to strategize myself to solve my student loan payment problem, and the need to make extra side income. I don't know how to chase two things at once.

And now for the explanation of my first question:

So, a new year. I just took inventory of my financial situation, what with massive amounts of student loans. Wow, not looking too good. At age 50 I'd still have mid-six figures of student loan (grad school but led to nowhere).

It seems my line of monthly student loan payment is at $1047 minimum, in order for it to actually stop it from growing. I'm paying $400 per month now. I can manage that with my low salary. I'm on PAYE plan, meaning after 20~25 years I get what's left of my loan forgiven, and I'd be subject to income tax on the forgiven amount.

I have two choices to make myself at least not a financial burden to everyone around me:

  • 1) Pay it down, get a higher paying job, be an employee until 50, 60 years old, raise monthly contribution to $3000 plus. Live frugal. Maybe give up marriage.

  • 2) LEARN by creating side income by starting a business of sorts to pay the extra $600 or so.
I'm choosing 2).

The type of business I can get into should not have any initiation cost - meaning, I should be able to use customer's money to work to produce something of value, and leave something for me as well. For me, that is the most limiting factor. In terms of

Here's what I've got so far, and CENTS analysis (initial means I have some advantage)
  • - affiliate blogs.. I really don't want to enter an ultra-competitive biz model [-]
  • - service packages. My skillset: data analysis, front-end dev - niche would be healthIT: [NEC]
  • - housing rental: I'll rent a house and do an AirBnB with it. Family business is something like that as well: [NET]
  • - local services: cleaning, delivery - Uber/Lyft : [N]
  • - Dropshipping products : [CST]
  • - Monthly subscription model but buy things on payment, so there's no inventory: [NEC]
  • - App development: an idea that branches from my background knowledge: our family business deals with international students studying in USA and parents back home would love to get a bird's eye-view of how their kids are doing: [ECST]

I would appreciate any $.02 or any other additional business ideas that fits my financial/time limitations.

A little bit on my background:

BS in computer science. General loved proramming, but decided to go to med school. Graduated with MD, while studying in non-US medical school, but kept failing important exams to get into residency. Then I found about more about myself - I just freaking love programming. After near-suicidal depression, I am at peace with myself. I'm an application developer (low paying junior level) at a pretty solid genetics startup, doing front/backend developer work.

I'm also Korean so I know that K-Pop is making anything Korean a trending product among teens/20~30's around the world. My plan to sell Korean snacks as a subscription model didn't actually pan out due to time commitment and my lack of courage to go against already establishment heavy hitters in the sector.

My end-goal is to start up a company in the Health IT sector, in the field of data science/analysis and Electronic Health Records applications.


Thanks.
 

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RazorCut

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I wouldn't say there are a lot of zero expense startups that you can set up that will make a meaningful impact on your current student debt.

The only one that currently springs to my mind is freelancing on sites such as Upwork etc. as you say you love coding. There is some very good money to be earned freelancing once you have made a name for yourself.

Check out @SinisterLex posts (if I remember correctly he put up some fantastic info a while ago on how to profile yourself as a newbie). In fact, it's worth reading most/all of his posts on Copywriting. Solid gold that will certainly help you sell yourself to prospective clients/customers.

Once you have more money rolling in you can start building a fund to cashflow your main fastlane business (whatever it is you decide to focus on).
 

JCS

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Jan 1, 2017
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I wouldn't say there are a lot of zero expense startups that you can set up that will make a meaningful impact on your current student debt.

The only one that currently springs to my mind is freelancing on sites such as Upwork etc. as you say you love coding. There is some very good money to be earned freelancing once you have made a name for yourself.

Check out @SinisterLex posts (if I remember correctly he put up some fantastic info a while ago on how to profile yourself as a newbie). In fact, it's worth reading most/all of his posts on Copywriting. Solid gold that will certainly help you sell yourself to prospective clients/customers.

Once you have more money rolling in you can start building a fund to cashflow your main fastlane business (whatever it is you decide to focus on).

I agree with this. Play to your strengths and build your reputation up. If you already have some work you've done for yourself, even better, use it as a bse for your portfolio.

Upwork and sites like it might give you a low ROI in regards to time, at least at first, but work hard and do quality work and you should be able to build a solid reputation fairly quickly and start charging more for your time. Also don't be afraid to seek out and initiate things with potential clients. The worse they can do is say no.
 

Kingmaker

Gold Contributor
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Jan 26, 2013
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company in the Health IT sector
Do this. Your background is PERFECT:

"Yes Mr. Investor, bachelor's in computer programming and an MD, after graduating I worked in the medical industry for X years and my company was borne out of X frustration."

I work out of a startup incubator and half the companies here are Heath IT, all funded, all trying to become the next big exit.

Forget zero cost, you can get investor money if your idea is good, add value to the world and create jobs. Think big!

Or, make affiliate blogs o_O
 

Arun Siva

aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie
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if you are able to offer other services around your community (as well as making $$$ via upwork) go for that as well and then start channeling that money into other projects that you may have already thought of or will get from either this forum or your own creativity.

reinvest the profits into something greater; do not spend it and learn to use credit if you have any to your advantage;

also have you tried negotiating with your loan officers? if 1047 is too much for you and you are only able to pay 400, is there a way you can figure out if they can reduce your interest rates or work with you with your current financial and work situation?
 

p31

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 2, 2016
27
31
19
38
I wouldn't say there are a lot of zero expense startups that you can set up that will make a meaningful impact on your current student debt.

The only one that currently springs to my mind is freelancing on sites such as Upwork etc. as you say you love coding. There is some very good money to be earned freelancing once you have made a name for yourself.

Check out @SinisterLex posts (if I remember correctly he put up some fantastic info a while ago on how to profile yourself as a newbie). In fact, it's worth reading most/all of his posts on Copywriting. Solid gold that will certainly help you sell yourself to prospective clients/customers.

Once you have more money rolling in you can start building a fund to cashflow your main fastlane business (whatever it is you decide to focus on).
Thanks. I did read @SinisterLex a while back. But now I'll re-read it with a more serious focus.
 

p31

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 2, 2016
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38
The worse they can do is say no.

Thank you. That's another thing I have, TONS of fear of rejection.
Also, another side to that is I've actually never built websites or apps for anyone before - I've never initiated, only have done work assigned to me at work.
That's gotta change.
 

p31

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 2, 2016
27
31
19
38
Do this. Your background is PERFECT:

"Yes Mr. Investor, bachelor's in computer programming and an MD, after graduating I worked in the medical industry for X years and my company was borne out of X frustration."

I work out of a startup incubator and half the companies here are Heath IT, all funded, all trying to become the next big exit.

Forget zero cost, you can get investor money if your idea is good, add value to the world and create jobs. Think big!

Or, make affiliate blogs o_O

You're saying I should just go do what I really want to do, instead of strategizing to solve my immediate loan issues?
That's a bold move. I want to, but am hesitant.

I really, really want to. But frankly, I really don't know how to break into the field, or what needs there are.
A) I haven't worked in the medical industry
B) Even if there are frustrations, I don't know how to test them, or where I should go and find out/confirm the annoyances I'm indirectly noticing (which aren't a lot.. stuff like patient portal websites/apps sucking a lot, medical records software sucking mostly, surveys done for research don't have a good platform to easily work with)
C) Most of all, these need money. You mentioned investment, which I mostly thought I'm not even going to go that route.

Is the solution to just dive head first and learn to survive? What if I'm chasing after elusive misinterpretation of needs and fairy-dust dreams?

All in all, thank you so much for reminding me to look at the bigger picture.
 

p31

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 2, 2016
27
31
19
38
if you are able to offer other services around your community (as well as making $$$ via upwork) go for that as well and then start channeling that money into other projects that you may have already thought of or will get from either this forum or your own creativity.

reinvest the profits into something greater; do not spend it and learn to use credit if you have any to your advantage;

also have you tried negotiating with your loan officers? if 1047 is too much for you and you are only able to pay 400, is there a way you can figure out if they can reduce your interest rates or work with you with your current financial and work situation?

Thanks Arun Siva. Together with what everyone is saying I think I should start with Upwork to build my resume and also business mindset/integrity. I mean I can always to more of health IT related Upwork work. Then fund other projects, like you said.

Should the profits of that be put into something greater, or to pay back my loans in a faster schedule?

Oh, I'm already doing the Pay-As-You-Earn program, which is 10% of income and $0 if gross income is below minimum line. I'm at $0. The $1047 is minimum to keep loans from increasing; with my salary I can do $400. Additional $647 was the monthly profit I was aiming to get from possible side-projects.
 

miked_d

Silver Contributor
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Dec 25, 2008
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Welcome!

A few thoughts:

Loans - look into forbearance and deferment. If they apply to your loan, you can lower payment amount or postpone payments. Interest will still accrue but this may give you more breathing room.

Extra Income - Sell your stuff. Game console, games, etc.

Extra Income 2 - Look for threads on "hustles". Hustles are not fastlane but allow you to save up some money. Uber/lyft is a hustle. You are trading your time for money.

Keep reading/posting here - I find this forum helps to keep entrepreneurship fresh in my head.

  • - service packages. My skillset: data analysis, front-end dev - niche would be healthIT: [NEC]
  • - housing rental: I'll rent a house and do an AirBnB with it. Family business is something like that as well: [NET]
  • - App development: an idea that branches from my background knowledge: our family business deals with international students studying in USA and parents back home would love to get a bird's eye-view of how their kids are doing: [ECST]

I think these are good attempts at finding something. You know medical, IT, Korea, apps, study abroad. Keep thinking and you should be able to come a great idea.
 

p31

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 2, 2016
27
31
19
38
Welcome!

A few thoughts:

Loans - look into forbearance and deferment. If they apply to your loan, you can lower payment amount or postpone payments. Interest will still accrue but this may give you more breathing room.

Extra Income - Sell your stuff. Game console, games, etc.

Extra Income 2 - Look for threads on "hustles". Hustles are not fastlane but allow you to save up some money. Uber/lyft is a hustle. You are trading your time for money.

Keep reading/posting here - I find this forum helps to keep entrepreneurship fresh in my head.



I think these are good attempts at finding something. You know medical, IT, Korea, apps, study abroad. Keep thinking and you should be able to come a great idea.

Thanks miked_d. I will look into hustles and appreciate your input. I loved the book and this forum - it's somewhat daunting to read them though, just because of the sheer depth haha.
 

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