• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

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

Discussion in 'Hustles, Freelancing, Bootstrapping' started by Lex DeVille, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Lex DeVille
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Rep Bank:
    $54,132
    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.
     
    MustImprove, Dignium, AE86 and 3 others like this.
  2. rjrobbins2
    Offline

    rjrobbins2 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    117
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Rep Bank:
    $647
    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.
     
    Dignium and Andy Black like this.
  3. Lex DeVille
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Rep Bank:
    $54,132
    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.
     
  4. luniac
    Offline

    luniac Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    1,518
    Likes Received:
    2,216
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    brooklyn
    Rep Bank:
    $12,586
    i love stories like this, its like finding value out of thin air, but of course it was there the whole time.
     
  5. Sanj Modha
    Offline

    Sanj Modha Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    2,185
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $15,425
    I don't think you can fail at this. There's so much possibility and my mind's racing!
     
    Dignium and Lex DeVille like this.
  6. Sanj Modha
    Offline

    Sanj Modha Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    2,185
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $15,425
    Worst case scenario - you fulfil other people's orders.
     
    Dignium and Lex DeVille like this.
  7. Lex DeVille
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Rep Bank:
    $54,132
    Yes, one of the ways to make money that I didn't mention has to do with this. If you know people where you live (I don't) then it's not a stretch to possibly rent the laser out when it's not in use.

    You could let people design their own stuff and then just cut or engrave it at your place. You could let them sell their own stuff and you take a cut or just charge for time on the laser. It's just one more way it can pay for itself, but I didn't mention it because it's not something I do.
     
    Goliad and Andy Black like this.
  8. LifeTransformer
    Offline

    LifeTransformer Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    622
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $870
    I've not been around for what feels like forever. I come on here, see Lex's name and think to myself: "this could be interesting" and lo-and-behold, GOLD!

    Hi Lex!

    I'm actually in the process of setting something up similar to this. But now you've got me thinking...
     
    Dignium and Lex DeVille like this.
  9. CopyDane
    Offline

    CopyDane Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $99
    Nice one! Got a question though..

    ^ Affiliate? Like, do you link to webshops selling laser machines or do you have affiliates linking to your own shop? Got a little confused.

    Good luck!
     
    Lex DeVille likes this.
  10. Lex DeVille
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Rep Bank:
    $54,132
    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.
     
    Andy Black, CopyDane and AE86 like this.
  11. rjrobbins2
    Offline

    rjrobbins2 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    117
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Rep Bank:
    $647
    Because I searched for a laser cutter, I now get nothing but Glowforge ads on my Youtube videos.

    I am assuming you did a bunch of research. What did you find the most quality low budget engraver to be? Basically suggestions for something on the lower end?

    Also, did you search for things in the same realm before deciding on the engraver? Just curious about maybe options I am not thinking of.
     
  12. Lex DeVille
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Rep Bank:
    $54,132
    The Glowforge is what I found to be the most quality low budget laser. They start around $2500. There are a few really low budget options on Amazon around the $300 mark but can those lasers really cut or engrave something worth your time? I doubt it.

    So the only other options I considered were the lasers on ebay which are much larger and more powerful than Glowforge and may even be a little cheaper. But they're also not supported by U.S. personnel which means you get an imported product with half English instructions and no community specifically built around the laser itself.

    I didn't really come across any other laser options in the $2500 range that seemed as good as Glowforge in terms of support, ease of use, and community, although it's possible they exist. Community is important because when I didn't know how to do something I just searched the community to see how others did it.

    If you search around you'll find all kinds of problems others had with the ebay lasers. Some people ended up satisfied, but what I found was the lasers weren't ready to go out of the box. There was additional tinkering and adjustments that needed to be done to even get the laser engraving properly.

    If you're going to spend $1500 on a cheap laser you might as well spend $2500 on something you can set up and use in under an hour. And for me, the slight power boost for the $4k model to save a little extra time during engraves and cutting was worth it.

    One last point worth mentioning is that the Glowforge referral program is quite nice. I don't know if you'd get the same kind of referral opportunities with the other lasers. Sure Amazon and Ebay have referral programs, but most people want a GF because it's practically push-button engraving. So GF is an easy sell.
     
  13. rjrobbins2
    Offline

    rjrobbins2 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    117
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Rep Bank:
    $647
    Thank you.

    The community point is definitely important. I think it is something a lot of people overlook when researching products. In today's culture, that is the quickest way to learn and solve problems. I am glad you brought that up.
     
    Lex DeVille likes this.
  14. senorpablo
    Offline

    senorpablo New Contributor

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $16
    Very interesting thread. Haven't heard anything at all about laser engraving.
     
    Lex DeVille likes this.
  15. njord
    Offline

    njord Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    125
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $650
    Hey Lex For financing why dont you use the payment program instead of a loan? Im going to buy a house soon so i cant miss the money and the bank might start b****ing about loans when i apply for a morgage i have (allways been loan free though)

    How do you test a niche if there is a market for it? what tools do you use? and how much will it cost?

    I could post on FB to see how much interest there is but i want to know 100% sure im not investing in a flop.
     
    Lex DeVille likes this.
  16. Lex DeVille
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Rep Bank:
    $54,132
    I looked at Glowforge's financing options and compared to my bank. Ultimately the interest rate was lower through the bank, plus I wouldn't have to jump through hoops because I'm already set up with the bank and can easily get a loan without answering a million questions. The bank already has a relationship with me.

    What money will you miss? I already explained how this pays for itself. You seem to be worried about missing the payment amount in the event you don't make sales. So you've started with the assumption that "I can't do this" rather than "I can do this. Not a good way to start a business. Plus if you can't afford a $136 payment I'd question if you can really afford (or even obtain) a mortgage.

    Banks don't bitch. Banks are entities, not people. To me it seems like you haven't really thought this through. This kind of vague worrying will hold you back from building any business. Not just a laser business. It's a type of excuse people make to avoid taking action. How many banks or mortgage lenders have you talked to about this idea? Zero.

    I'm not sure what this question means. You don't have to test a niche. If a niche exists then it does so because more than one person has similar interests. You only need to look at their interests and create products that fit those interests or solve their problems. Then offer it to those people. There is no testing. You just do it. Laser engraving is already a proven business. We're not reinventing the wheel. You just buy a laser and tell people you have a laser.

    That's too bad because business virtually requires risk and you will never be 100% sure. If you need to be 100% sure, then you will never do this. I already shared a story of it working. Everything beyond that is fear holding you back.

    There are no guarantees. There are only people who decide to do a thing and then figure out how to make it work, and people who don't.
     
  17. jesseissorude
    Offline

    jesseissorude Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    656
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nashville
    Rep Bank:
    $1,719
    I came to post the following sentiment, but I think someone else already said it better:
    This really has my gears turning. I already want some equipment for my main business and I know a couple local businesses that would like to upgrade their equipment as well.

    For me, I'd like a small CNC machine and a UV printer, and another local business would like a UV printer and a powdercoating rig, and 3D printer... but neither of us are making enough volume of orders on those machines ourselves to justify buying them outright.

    Another great way to make money off of these could be to put them all in the same warehouse and start teaching classes on how to use them (and renting out time to local makers!). I mean, if a service like that existed I'd definitely sign up and pay a monthly membership fee.

    Holy shit, a whole makerspace with dues that pay for the equipment, and at night you fill other random orders just so there are multiple sources of income. It could even be a partnership with the local Science Museum, where if you are a member there, we give you a discount on your membership at the makerspace (total marketing... they'd promote that as a benefit when trying to get new members, and boom, all their members now know about the makerspace in town).

    Mind grapes churning, +rep!
     
  18. guaava23
    Offline

    guaava23 Ready for the FastLane Living! Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Rep Bank:
    $114
    That’s good thinking. If I had a warehouse that had space, I’d make some kind of maker space with a printer like this and a 3D printer and charge a membership with free classes and have non members pay. If there aren’t any maker spaces around you it might be an easy sell and you can go to the different tech meetups in the area to promote.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Real Deal Denver and Lex DeVille like this.
  19. Andy Black
    Offline

    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    7,920
    Likes Received:
    33,514
    Joined:
    May 20, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ireland
    Rep Bank:
    $186,973
    One of my lads goes to a coding class at the weekend. They also have a laser engraver and a 3D printer there. They give classes on using those machines, as well as occasionally creating pieces for clients.
     
  20. Lex DeVille
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Rep Bank:
    $54,132
    On a similar note you could probably team up with the local Chamber of Commerce if you're targeting the local area. They usually take interest in small businesses and they have a pre-established network of businesses and entrepreneurs. They may even have space available for a profit split if you wanted to set up a mini-manufacturing facility.

    My hometown chamber has co-working and other office spaces for rent. They also offer some kind of lab with equipment for those who are trying to build a small business with small-scale manufacturing processes.
     
  21. rjrobbins2
    Offline

    rjrobbins2 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    117
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Rep Bank:
    $647
    It is not a good idea to open up new lines of credit when applying for a mortgage. Changes in your credit, even opening new lines can initially cause your score to go down. Also, it increases your debt-to-income ratio so hypothetically, adding that payment could cause a person to go from 40% to 42% and for many loans 41% is the DTI limit.

    It would be best, depending on how long until he applies, to wait until the loan is funded to open a new credit line. Any good mortgage person will specifically tell them not to mess with their credit once they apply.

    I lost a handful of loans because people would go get a credit line at a furniture store or Home Depot card anticipating their new home only for their approval to be taken away.
     
    Real Deal Denver and Lex DeVille like this.
  22. Lex DeVille
    Offline

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

    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Rep Bank:
    $54,132
    This may be true but it's ignoring the deeper issues in the poster's words. He said he's going to buy a house soon so he can't miss the money. This is an excuse for inaction. If he manages to buy a house then the excuse will be, "I just bought a house, so I can't miss the money."

    All roads then lead to "I wish I just took that chance 10 years ago. I'd finally have the money."

    So the three real issues are fear, worry and problem solving. Because if the loan issue were really that big of a deal, and the poster really wanted to make this happen, he'd just look at alternate ways to solve the problem.

    • Ask mom and dad for $2500 and offer to repay with interest
    • Ask a local business to sponsor you
    • Ask an investor and offer to repay with interest
    • Crowdfund the money
    • Mow lawns for a couple of weeks
    • Sell some old crap on ebay or in a garage sale
    • Borrow from a friend and repay with interest
    • Partner with someone and split the difference in cost
    • Stand on the street corner and beg with a sign
    • Freelance on the side to build up to $2500

    There's always a reason to put things off for some other time. There's always a way to make them happen when you want it bad enough.
     
  23. Sidney_781
    Offline

    Sidney_781 Single Mom, Grinder, Future Fastlaner Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    251
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2019
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Rep Bank:
    $1,904
    Super super cool!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Lex DeVille likes this.
  24. Andy Black
    Offline

    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    7,920
    Likes Received:
    33,514
    Joined:
    May 20, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ireland
    Rep Bank:
    $186,973
    This reminds me of something I think Grant Cardone said... that we don’t “make” money. Money already exists and large invisible rivers of it flow all around us. We just need to get some of that cash to flow through us.

    (As an aside, I like to think of earning money rather than making money.)

    Someone on the Tropical MBA podcast defined a market as a “demonstrated cashflow”.

    With laser engraving there is already a large demonstrated cashflow - people buy the equipment (and it’s not that cheap), purchase materials, and of course buy and sell engraved products.

    So there’s already a demonstrated cashflow and our job is simply to add value so some of that cash flows through us.
     
  25. rjrobbins2
    Offline

    rjrobbins2 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    117
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Rep Bank:
    $647

    I completely agree there and you are right on the mark with those comments. I just wanted to clarify and I guess that was more pointed at that poster rather than you. I didnt want him to mess up his qualification by thinking it was okay to pursue if he is in that process. Lots of people miss out on mortgages because of this. I have probably lost a good $15k in commissions when I was a mortgage broker because of this. Other than that, you hit the mark and said something he needed to hear.
     
    Real Deal Denver and Lex DeVille like this.

Join 1000s of entrepreneurs who are rewriting life's script and winning financial freedom.

---- ----

You must be a member to join the conversation.

Create Account

Join the community fast and easy!

REGISTER

Log In

Already have an account? Login here.

LOG IN

Share This Page