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NOTABLE! Most liked posts in thread: Lex DeVille's - How I Bought a $4k Laser and Started an Engraving Side Hustle for Free (super easy)

  1. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Sure, here's some different things in wood and acrylic. I prefer working with acrylic since it's more clean and I can make lights out of it. Wood is fun too, but more challenging.

    Screenshot 2019-04-14 at 7.15.54 PM.png Screenshot 2019-04-14 at 7.15.31 PM.png Screenshot 2019-04-14 at 7.15.23 PM.png Laser Votive.jpg Laser Coin.jpg Laser Box.jpg Screenshot 2019-04-14 at 7.17.22 PM.png
     
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    The-J Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Reminds me of Reyes the Entrepreneur, who does this exact model for every non-Fastlane side hustle known to man.

    What does he do? He does a side hustle, tells you exactly everything you need to do to do it all for free, then makes a Youtube video telling everyone exactly what he earns.

    Then he puts all the stuff you need to start in the description, with an affiliate link. So he makes money 3 ways:
    • Side hustle
    • Affiliate money
    • Youtube ad revenue
    Youtube ad revenue became his biggest stream of income but it took him like 5 years and 2 viral videos for that to happen.

    No, none of this is Fastlane, but if you're broke and don't know what to do, this is an option.
     
  3. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Not exactly. I bought the laser to use for my ecommerce idea to create custom products to sell at high prices. I had a market in mind. I assumed that if that didn't work out that I would find another way to use it. It's a laser engraver. How many people do you know with one?

    Besides, markets are already established. That's why local engraving shops exist. They target anyone who needs laser engraving. They sell B2C and B2B. The info on who they sell to and what brings them the most money is freely available on Google.

    If I want to stand out all I have to do is target a niche. Any niche online. Specific local unfulfilled niches offline.

    Coaches - Laser engraved plaques, trophies, gifts
    Goths - Grunge leather wallets, pentagram leather bracelets, whatever
    Corporate - Desktop name signs, acrylic engraved family photos, meme coffee mug coaster
    Religious - Light up cross, wood star of david, religious symbol trinket boxes

    Those are just some examples. You just pick a niche. Research them. See what products they might be interested in that don't currently exist. Figure out how to make it. You will be the only person on the planet who sells it and you will be the only laser engraving entrepreneur putting it right in front of them in their forums, Facebook Groups, or even just by showing up for a church sermon and shaking hands with people, letting them know what you do.

    Mainly a product, though I've taken some custom requests too. For instance, one person asked for a custom sigil that represented their name. They provided the design and I explained how I would make it. I cut a custom piece of wood into the symbol then had to figure out which type of paint to buy to give him the exact right color. Then I had to figure out how to seal the paint so it wouldn't peel or fade.

    From there I had to learn how to paint on the fly. I charged more for this product because it was custom. The customer was 100% satisfied although I was a bit uncertain about my paint job. I did the best I could.

    Another custom I did was for a business owner who wanted stencils so they could paint their logo on their own custom products. I have the laser and when it comes to customs the market comes to me.

    Beyond that I'd rather just have a product designed for a specific audience. No custom work. Here's why:

    A Specific Product
    • Is easy to form a process around
    • Is easy to create 1 design and use it over and over
    • Is easy to improve your process with each sale
    • Is easy to figure out what customers like/don't like
    • Is easy to gain materials ahead of time as you gauge sales volume
    • Avoids wasted time on designing
    • Avoids wasted energy on problem solving (after you solve the initial problem)
    Bottom line is easy. I don't want to spend hours designing custom products and I don't want to have to think about how to make these creations. I just want to find something I can sell that nobody else sells but somebody really wants (or would really love to have once they discover it exists). Then I want to turn on the laser, push the blue button, and let it make a product that's pretty much ready to ship and put a smile on someone's face.
     
  4. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    An ad like this:


    After I saw the ad I thought...that's F*cking awesome. Then I thought...I need this. Followed by...how do I get it...and justified with...it will pay for itself!

    :D

    One other thing I really liked about the laser was it could work as an online or offline business. I could have lots of fun selling online or I could sell really localized stuff and dominate the local market through digital marketing because all the local places are terrible at it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019 at 9:24 PM
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  5. Fox
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    Fox Moderator Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Nice Lex - that’s paying itself back fast.

    Can you show some stuff you made?
     
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  6. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    This. Is. So. Cool !!

    No website. No degree. No experience. No money.

    It’s a side hustle you could blow up if you wanted.

    That’s for leaving breadcrumbs, yet again.
     
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  7. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Instead of saying “I wish I had the funds”, try asking yourself “How can I get the funds?”

    The part that didn’t occur to me was getting a loan, and then getting the revenue to more than cover the loan. (My dad was Scottish and a loan is a four letter word up there.)
     
  8. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Yeah that's pretty similar. I don't have ads on my channel. Not sure if that channel is eligible since it's so small. But I just did some basic "how-to" vids about turning it from hobby into business. After that I stopped posting because I'm really not that into laser engraving. But I checked the channel and I've got around 120+ subs. Been getting 1-4 affiliate commissions per month ranging from $100 to $250 and they can go up as high as $500 per sale I think.
     
  9. million$$$smile
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    million$$$smile Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Very, very impressive!

    I really like your style of tackling a project/business.

    What's the worst that could happen?

    FAILURE!

    So What?????
     
  10. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Guys/Girls...

    If you have a question about this side hustle/business model, please ask it in this thread. I will not be answering questions about lasers by PM. That isn't valuable for me. It isn't valuable for the forum. Ask your questions here if you want them answered.

    And no, you do not need a business license to get this started. Buy laser. Sell engravings. Purchase business license with laser profits. The business license police aren't going to kick down your doors for your side hustle. If you're selling online, they won't even know you exist for a while.
     
  11. Sanj Modha
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    Sanj Modha Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    You can delegate this to minions too.
     
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  12. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I got a PM about whether this can fit CENTS model. Here was my response (with minor modifications).

    Control - Partially. Glowforge isn't the best laser for control since they require you to use their cloud-based service to create your designs. That hasn't bothered me though.

    Entry - The lowest priced Glowforge laser is like $2,500. Most people aren't willing to fork out that kind of cash for a good laser even on financing. Most of those who do are hobbyists who aren't trying to make money. They're just following their passion.

    Need - The need is any product you can create that is customized for a specific niche. They can't get the product anywhere else because it doesn't exist anywhere else because you created it specifically for that niche.

    Time - I made sales within about a month. I'm confident if I were treating this like a serious business I could make it worth my time within 1-6 months of networking/marketing efforts.

    Scale - If you want to scale this you'll probably need a more powerful laser, or at least the $6k version of the Glowforge. You can scale by selling laser engraved products to corporate businesses, government, military etc. in bulk. They will pre-pay a lot of money to have someone take care of their awards and stuff for the year.

    Glowforge can't engrave metal and also can't engrave things that are curved. Those are two limitations. But it's the best priced laser in the category. There are lower priced lasers, but they also aren't ready to use out of the box. There are higher priced lasers that are more powerful.
     
  13. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    There's going to be so much opportunity for stuff like this going forward. Not just with lasers but with ANY tool that makes the leap from industrial services into mass market.

    I can't even imagine how many opportunities will happen like this just in the next 3-5 years. How many manufacturing processes will be brought to the hobbyist level at hobbyist prices?

    Drilling, cutting, water cutting, stamping, packaging, hell even creating custom-designed clothing. And if anyone wants a simple formula for grabbing up these opportunities...here you go:

    1) www.kickstarter.com
    2) Look at projects that will revolutionize an industry that are going to get funded
    3) Buy-in

    Then just follow the process I outlined above with the laser and be the first one to do it. Then you can position yourself as the first in the market.

    Everyone who types "How to start a whatever business" will find your videos or blog posts or however you end up marketing yourself because you'll be the only one there.

    So even if you don't do this with the laser. There are a million other opportunities that are about to hit the market in the exact same way as what I described here.

    The cool thing is, if you can make people feel confident that the item will pay for itself by proving that it can...then they'll feel more comfortable putting in the investment for it, and grateful that you had an affiliate discount code that saved them a couple hundred bucks.
     
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  14. rjrobbins2
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    rjrobbins2 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    This is genuis. Maker culture is huge and only getting bigger. One of the library systems here in KC just added a Maker Center. They have a laser engraver, 3D printers, a sound booth/studio, green screen room, laser cutter and one of those wall printers were you can print a large poster or image on material that hangs on the wall. You have to book at least a couple of weeks in advance or take a chance that someone does show up and wait.

    I remember reading an article about the future of 3D printing several years ago and thinking I could do something with it. Now, they are working on 3D printing houses and even organs.

    Engraving is such a simple concept but lots of people would want it even people who doesnt realize that they would.

    How long does it take to engrave something? You could almost set up a booth at a retail center and engrave things like dog tags, trophy plates and other things for a day or pay to get a table at a festival or conference to engrave stuff for people. I bet people would love plates for their luggage or laptop bags.

    I wish I had the funds to invest in something like this.
     
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  15. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    While I highly doubt that is true, and while there are other ways to finance something like this...it isn't my place to push you to take action. I just lay out step-by-step paths. It's up to everyone else to do something with it or not.
     
  16. luniac
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    luniac Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    i love stories like this, its like finding value out of thin air, but of course it was there the whole time.
     
  17. Sanj Modha
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    Sanj Modha Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    What do you engrave? Is it jewelry, ornaments etc.

    This is a very interesting concept.
     
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  18. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    And what’s the best that can happen?

    Lex becomes known as “The Glowforge Guy” or “The Lazer Engraving Guy”... not because he’s the best in the world, but because he’s leaving breadcrumbs and people are following.

    Who knows where that could go.

    How many folks would buy a course to learn how to engrave better? Or buy the materials? Or the blueprints?

    How many would buy a course on how to get clients for their budding laser engraving business? How to setup their Etsy store? How to write their product listings?

    Who would they buy their kit and blueprints from?

    Lex could provide a business in a box for the creatives out there who want to “escape the 9-5”, but don’t want to do it copywriting (for example)...
     
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  19. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Glowforge gave me a referral link to share with friends who might want to buy a laser. If someone clicks my link and buys a Glowforge then they get a discount between $100 and $500 and I get a $120 - $500+ credit that I can use on Glowforge materials or exchange for a cash deposit. I choose the cash option.
     
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  20. Readerly
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    Readerly Yes and Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Awesome initiative. How did it occur to you to go with laser engraving, of all things?
     
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    njord Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    This shit is awesome, i thought of something similar but never got down to doing it...
     
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  22. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Mainly wood or acrylic items although there are tons of examples of jewelry and other stuff. If you look up Glowforge on instagram you'll see examples of all kinds of stuff people make. Plus most designs that work for other lasers will work on GF and there are tons of laser design blueprints posted for free all over the internet. So you can take any old design and then customize it for a specific audience and bam...you're in business.
     
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  23. ryanbleau
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    ryanbleau Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Buddy of mine did the same thing with high quality stickers for bands. Makes more than his day job, all word of mouth business.
     
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  24. rjrobbins2
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    rjrobbins2 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    That is a fair point but I am unable to obtain a loan and funds I earn in the short-term will be going towards other, forthcoming expenses.

    So, to be more specific, I wish to grow my income so that buying something like this wouldn't even be an issue or something I have to think long about. I could just do it. Not there yet.
     
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  25. Sanj Modha
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    Sanj Modha Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I don't think you can fail at this. There's so much possibility and my mind's racing!
     
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