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HOT TOPIC The Undercover Billionaire: Building a $1m business in 90 days

maverick

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When a TFL member posts their process on setting up a new business:
"Where is the proof? I want to see your bank account!"

When a billionaire sets up a new successful business:
"Money makes money. He is only successful because he already has enough money!"

When a billionaire sets up a new business with only $100 in his pocket and no way to use his/her past experiences and network:
"It's staged!"

Is this you? Stop limiting yourself. Have a learning mindset: read, watch and interpret.
 

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Jay_Robles

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I had thought about a similar concept for YouTube before - drop a web designer (me) in a city with less than $1,000 and you got to survive by selling online projects. Document the whole process and repeat a few times in different regions of the world.

They took things a little further ha.
That’s not a bad idea, I would definitely watch it.
 

ChrisJHarrington

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So much negativity in this thread..

For those who are shouting "It can't be done!!" - Watch the damn show and find out. You'll at least learn a thing or two.

For those on the other end shouting "Yes it can be done, you just don't think it can because of your loser mindset" (paraphrasing here) - Have some empathy for people who are on this forum trying to figure it out.

99.99% of people will not be able to make $100 into a million dollars in 90 days, and it isn't because of their mentality. If it was that simple, that "anyone who worked hard enough could do it", then poverty would be eradicated (or significantly reduced since some people still wouldn't believe it's possible or give a care if they have to work hard).

The real challenges (which have already been discussed) are how this guy is going to get his living situation taken care of (cost of living, food, etc) while he figures out what he's going to do with his time (since the $100 is pretty irrelevant). I'd laugh if it was just a huge flop and he realized "well, this is why people who only have $100 can barely make ends meet" and then he goes and donates a few million or something.

I remember reading something similar on the internet, probably on this forum. If you dropped a multi-millionaire in the US and asked them to restart, most of them could get back to a million, largely due to their mindset, their tools, skillsets, network, etc. Most people lose to themselves thinking it's not possible, and others are just dealt a really shitty hand. Mark Cuban talked about it on a podcast where he said becoming a billionaire again would take a lot of luck, but a millionaire would be easy - and he'd start by getting a sales job during the day and bartending at night.

What is more likely to happen in this show is the guy leverages existing tools/networks (and honestly, nothing wrong with that) to raise some additional funding and/or finds something he can become a part of to quickly grow over the next 3 months to generate a million bucks. Maybe some internet business too.

I'm honestly a huge fan of this forum, but some of these posts above are embarrassing. Stop attacking each other and start helping.

Edit: Apparently Stearns business went bankrupt last month (look it up) - maybe needs the cash so decided on a tv series.
 
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Merlox

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It's extremely hard to make a million in 90 days unless... you know people with money willing to invest in your idea. I'd probably spend those days ideating and preparing a seriously good project that needs financing and they reach out to all the investors I could find to ask them for money. At some point someone will invest if the project is valid and has a great potential.

However your reputation and what you're building have to be top notch to convince those smart individuals to give you their valuable money. I think it's doable, very hard but worth it.

We should all try to do it in our own places and share the lessons after those 90 days.
 

Dufresne

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I think the goal is to get a $1MM valuation, not necessarily make $1MM in 90 days. So depending on the industry multiple, cash flow, IP and other factors, the business could be losing money and still be worth $1MM. I'll note this is taking place in my hometown which is undeniably cool. I'm not sure how much of it is staged but love Stearn's hustle and willingness to do whatever job is needed.

Surprised at the business that was landed on but I'm hopeful it is a success (No spoilers of course). Episode 2 is on tonight, 10:00 EST in the U.S.
 
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Kak

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20 minutes!

More ultra realistic business action!
 

Devampre

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Got around to watching the first episode. Feel him on the initial pains of making those small profits and sleeping in the truck.

Honestly, him making that initial $3300 to be able to live more comfortably for the next three months is what I am excited for. If he can make a profitable business of any sorts after that, I will be impressed. Even if his business has under a million dollar valuation I don't consider this challenge a failure (despite the terms.) I'm excited merely by seeing his process.
 
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Kak

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I would totally be going a private label route instead of building this infrastructure and permitting. I'd ride the coattails of the businesses that have already taken care of that stuff.

Then I would simply be willing to hustle the hell out of the sales to the biggest distributors.

Also, you could probably, at this point, with him in micro brews, conservatively call it a 6-7x multiple. It is one of those industries I like to call "investor crack."

All of that said he needs annualized net income of between $143-167k... Which means $36-42k worth of net income over his 90 days to call it a "million dollar business."
 
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Sander

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It's funny how much he talks about how he must start a business about something he loves to succeed and reach the $1 mil valuation within the 90 days.
 

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1step

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I would totally be going a private label route instead of building this infrastructure and permitting. I'd ride the coattails of the businesses that have already taken care of that stuff.
Based on the permitting timeline at the end of the episode I would say that may push him towards Private Label, don't see how else he could get it done. Seems like the right call based on his timeline.

All of that said he needs annualized net income of between $143-167k... Which means $36-42k worth of net income over his 90 days to call it a "million dollar business."
I listened carefully to the intro this time and he says if the business doesn't make $1,000,000 in 90 days ("if it's a penny short of $1M") he will personally put $1,000,000 into the business after the 90 days. I obviously don't remember the exact words but it definitely seemed like his goal is to generate $1M in 90 days.
 

Mr992

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Is he not allowed to use his existing skills? Not his network, but his skills (sales, tech etc.).

If he's actually a billionaire it would be simple and easy for him to make 1M cash in a few months. Just his skills would be easily worth that.


If he can't tap into existing skills, what is he supposed to do? Make survival money and then start a new business, but still can't tap into his existing skills/knowledge?

IMO, even his beliefs about what's possible and what not is just as important as skills/knowledge/network.

And the basic business principles are the same everywhere and with everything. Which this guy would be a master of.

It probably makes a better drama when he's starting with little things that would be below most people. Would be more interesting if he was allowed to tap into his skills already.
 
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Vigilante

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Once someone has the right mindset they will see opportunities everywhere they go. To me that is the biggest takeaway from the show so far.

I recently took my family to an event that was geared towards kids in the local area. That event had thousands of people there... and had 3 venders besides food sellers... 3! and their variety consisted of 3 separate items!

I spent all day (while waiting in lines) writing down products that would sell, looking up prices on dhgate, aliexpress, etc. and compiling a list of workable items. 2 days later I contacted the person running the event and asked them about being a vender for next years event. I then went on Facebook... and found 20+ similar events that were niche specific and would lend themselves easily to carrying specific products.

This could literally be done by anyone who has a credit card and lives anywhere close to a city. Find niche events, get a location at that event, order items from China (or the dollar store like the guy on the show did) and profit.

Many people who watch this show will keep making excuses why they can’t do it just like they made excuses before they spent an hour watching the show.
I am exhibiting at a women's expo this fall because I have a product they all would want. Cost of entry was next to nothing, and out the backside we will have done the equivalent of what the undercover billionaire did on St. Patty's Day.

Because I can.
 
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I'm currently watching a show on Discovery Channel called "The Undercover Billionaire."

The premise is they drop a billionaire in a random city with a truck and 100 bucks and he bets he can build a million dollar business in 90 days.

I thought that was cool and I should share.
Uh huh, thanks for the ad too...TV sucks, literally
 
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Kak

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Uh huh, thanks for the ad too...TV sucks, literally
Ok, thanks for your valuable opinion.

So simple, yet so profound. I can already tell you are going to be a stand out member here.

It is not as if I am advocating for some mind rot netflix binge for crying out loud. The premise of this show is educational and it has entertainment value.

Let me ask you a question Patrick... Would you watch a Ted talk or do those suck literally too?

Also do you know what literally means?
 
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Vigilante

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Uh huh, thanks for the ad too...TV sucks, literally
What a GREAT second post. The value you have added here since you joined in 2016 has been nothing short of spectacular. Since you average a post every two years, I look forward to your next tidbit of wisdom in 2021.

I have never seen a TV suck, but if you say it literally does I have no reason to doubt you, but I would like to see a video if you care to back up this assertion.
 

Dan_Cardone

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Is he not allowed to use his existing skills? Not his network, but his skills (sales, tech etc.).

If he's actually a billionaire it would be simple and easy for him to make 1M cash in a few months. Just his skills would be easily worth that.


If he can't tap into existing skills, what is he supposed to do? Make survival money and then start a new business, but still can't tap into his existing skills/knowledge?

IMO, even his beliefs about what's possible and what not is just as important as skills/knowledge/network.

And the basic business principles are the same everywhere and with everything. Which this guy would be a master of.

It probably makes a better drama when he's starting with little things that would be below most people. Would be more interesting if he was allowed to tap into his skills already.
I think hes trying to use a strategy that most of the middle class, non entrepreneur, viewers can identify with.

Offering business consulting or taking a sales position is something most the viewers wouldn't understand or be intersted in. Trying to flip cars, houses, and sell beer? Right up their alley.

Im still convienced the whole reason he tried to sell dog toys individually was part entertainment and part humanizing himself to the viewers. A perfect businessman who cant fail at anything isn't interesting or relatable.

We have to see him struggle, fail, and eventually overcome obstacles to be entertaining. Remember, its TV so its goal is first and foremost to entertain.
 

MakeItHappen

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One of the principles of his whole life: "Find your buyer first, and the rest will fall in place."

This right here will cut out so much bullshit and avoid paralysis by analysis that most people (I don't exlude myself) fall for.
 

Mr992

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I think hes trying to use a strategy that most of the middle class, non entrepreneur, viewers can identify with.

Offering business consulting or taking a sales position is something most the viewers wouldn't understand or be intersted in. Trying to flip cars, houses, and sell beer? Right up their alley.

Im still convienced the whole reason he tried to sell dog toys individually was part entertainment and part humanizing himself to the viewers. A perfect businessman who cant fail at anything isn't interesting or relatable.

We have to see him struggle, fail, and eventually overcome obstacles to be entertaining. Remember, its TV so its goal is first and foremost to entertain.
That's what I was thinking.

Thing is, I don't see why offering consulting and other 'high level' gigs have to be considered something so extraordinary that most people can't understand.

Beliefs like this are one of the reasons most people are stuck in the slowlane or can't grow their business to the next level. People are conditioned to never leave their comfort zone.

It would have been more interesting - for me at least - if this guy walked into businesses and sold them business solutions. Virtually every business needs a better copy, more clients/customers, better optimization, a better website, better seo, better social media or whatever.

But I get it.. drama sells, and what better drama than being (not really) homeless and doing things below most people and then somehow he ends up making a million-dollar business all in 90 days.
 

Andy Black

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One of the principles of his whole life: "Find your buyer first, and the rest will fall in place."
I love this.


Some of my favourite quotes:

"Help the people in motion." (Amy Hoy)
Help the people already spending money to solve whatever problem you also solve.

"Your market is an established cashflow." (The Tropical MBA)
Your market isn't a demographic, it's the people already spending money.

"Find the starving crowd." (Gary Halbert)
If you're selling hot-dogs then having a starving crowd is the most important ingredient to your success.
 

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Dan_Cardone

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My thoughts on episode two:

My father is retired but flips quite a few cars a month for "fun money." I'm by no means an expert on flipping cars but I know this much....

It rarely happens that easy or with that much of a profit margin.

Its not rare to have 20 people call and say they want to look at a car before one of them actually shows up. Maybe thats what happened on the show too and they didn't show it but but I'm skeptical.

That said, even if the producers are faking some stuff, flipping cars is a good strategy but dont think its normal to go that easy or smooth every time.

Second thought, how much money is he spending on gas driving around everywhere?

Third thought, $1000 to speak to a lawayer for 30 seconds to tell you something a Google search would reveal in the same time? His lawyer is raping him worse than mine does me! Lol. Hoepfully it was just edited down for brevity; I'm sure it was.

Not as good as the first episode but it was enjoyable. I very rarely watch TV (I may have been a Game of Thrones addict though) but ill likely finish out the season.
 

Process

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How did he get a hold of an Escalade for only $1500 from some dealership?

Also, how did he get away with driving and selling (apparently) unregistered cars?
 

Roz

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It's amusing to read some of the replies in this thread.

We can box them into two groups.

Group 1:

"Well, nothing is real in reality shows"

"He got people to help him when the camera goes off"

"It's staged"

"FAKE''

Group 2:

"So, is this how his mind works?"

"Oh... how he's going to tackle that?"

"Wow, that's a great principle"

One sees the show like any other reality TV shows, thinking it's just another entertainment where everything is staged, while the other looks for the process behind the billionaire's actions.

This thread is a great opportunity to evaluate our mindset and see where we stand.

P.S. Everyone knows he is going to create a $1M valuation company or else they wouldn't have produced the show in the first place. So I am watching to see the 'how' and 'why' behind his actions.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Ehhh... I’m up late again. You’ve been warned.

@KnightByDay @fishgodeep

This could be the next challenge. For those of you who have completed the last one... *COUGH

Whatcha think guys? The thing is, just like for muscle growth, I don’t think you should set the bar quite that high. It’s too high. You don’t give a guy who doesn’t lift a 300lb dumbbell. But let’s look at the ratios.

I’m relatively sure that the ppl who succeed at 75hard already have some track record of succeeding at consistent workouts, consistent reading, consistent dieting and consistent .. consistency for a fraction of the time.

{I hope I’m making sense here. Every time somebody attempts the challenge they’re building up those muscles of willpower and endurance. So quitting when you’re exhausted actually MAKES A LOT OF SENSE so you can regroup and try again and be even stronger. }

Help me out with this weird theory guys.

A billion is a thousand times bigger than a million. This tv reality show challenge guy is tasking himself with making a fraction of his highest total earnings.

Okay.. the most I’ve ever made was 85k a year at my brick and mortar. To get MY SPECIFIC CHALLENGE AMOUNT I need to do some math. A thousand into my current Highest Income Earned is 8,500.

So enter in your HIE (ever) _____ multiplied by 0.1 = your specific challenge amount

HIE x 0.1 = Your 90 Day Business Goal

Everybody with me? I hope so. Sometimes I can do math and sometimes I can’t.. it’s a crapshoot.

My theory is that by challenging ourselves at a level that just barely exceeds what we’re already capable of we will push our money-making willpower muscles to exhaustion without injuring our psyches.

Because in this thread I’m seeing very successful ppl, slightly successful ppl and UNsuccessful ppl. Since I’m in that middle group I’m really most interested in getting us stronger. How do we exercise the small amount of faith and willpower and focus we have? We challenge ourselves!

So now we gotta goal and a timeline. 90 days. Any other parameters? We should be clear.
 
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Andy Black

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It's amusing to read some of the replies in this thread.

We can box them into two groups.

Group 1:

"Well, nothing is real in reality shows"

"He got people to help him when the camera goes off"

"It's staged"

"FAKE''

Group 2:

"So, is this how his mind works?"

"Oh... how he's going to tackle that?"

"Wow, that's a great principle"

One sees the show like any other reality TV shows, thinking it's just another entertainment where everything is staged, while the other looks for the process behind the billionaire's actions.

This thread is a great opportunity to evaluate our mindset and see where we stand.

P.S. Everyone knows he is going to create a $1M valuation company or else they wouldn't have produced the show in the first place. So I am watching to see the 'how' and 'why' behind his actions.
Yes, I spotted that split too.

What is he thinking? WHY is he thinking it?

What and why are more important than how.
 

ZF Lee

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How did I miss this thread...

On the other hand, I never knew that reality-themed business shows could get that detailed, since the days of The Apprentice.

Will have to just force in more time to watch.

I think there could be other mini-series on YouTube for reality business challenges as well.
Just got to dig.

The real challenges (which have already been discussed) are how this guy is going to get his living situation taken care of (cost of living, food, etc) while he figures out what he's going to do with his time (since the $100 is pretty irrelevant). I'd laugh if it was just a huge flop and he realized "well, this is why people who only have $100 can barely make ends meet" and then he goes and donates a few million or something.
For food, I guess if I were tossed into a new town, I'd have to spend quite some time to search out cheap places to go to, to buy groceries.

Here's a video I have posted on TFLF before on ultra-budgeted cooking.
He'd at least need a small place to cook and wash, a pot and pan and a few utensils.

View: https://youtu.be/UKfmRhfuI8g


And for place to stay, if not in the vehicle, might have to look at a couch surfing site, holler on the Facebook rental groups...takes some time that could have been spent on getting the sales up.

Then it could end up straying a bit from the 90-days limit, but IMO, it's alright.
Quite acceptable for me.

P.S. Everyone knows he is going to create a $1M valuation company or else they wouldn't have produced the show in the first place. So I am watching to see the 'how' and 'why' behind his actions.
I'm curious to know if he will take on investors when later he has some profit records as proof of execution. Would definitely help to boost the valuation.

And where he will find the investors...typically should be outside of his own network, just even the plateau.

All of that said he needs annualized net income of between $143-167k... Which means $36-42k worth of net income over his 90 days to call it a "million dollar business."
Wonder if at the end of the show, if he will sell the business, or just keep it with his other businesses, and continue growing it.

If he sells the business, then it'll take some time for both parties to negotiate, and he has to keep the sales levels decently up...?
 

ZF Lee

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My theory is that by challenging ourselves at a level that just barely exceeds what we’re already capable of we will push our money-making willpower muscles to exhaustion without injuring our psyches.
The question is this:

Where are our limitations? At which point do our resources time out?

To discover that, we've got to just do stuff.

So now we gotta goal and a timeline. 90 days. Any other parameters? We should be clear.
Haha...we're talking constraints?

Probably it would be great to discover what's the expected average time of how long clients will take to pay us, how long to get supplies ready, and then to deliver.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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The question is this:

Where are our limitations? At which point do our resources time out?

To discover that, we've got to just do stuff.


Haha...we're talking constraints?

Probably it would be great to discover what's the expected average time of how long clients will take to pay us, how long to get supplies ready, and then to deliver.
Nooo why does that matter? This challenge implies you can’t use ANY of your previous contacts or network at all. You gotta start with $100 and whatever your brain has in it, a laptop and your car.

That’s what I meant... or is the laptop making it too easy? Hmm
 

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