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randomnumber314

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Post some opportunities and I will tell you the kind of things I like and the kind of things I don't like about them. I'm happy to help you screen them.

Thanks for the offer.

I recently saw some numbers on solar that made me think I could make someone with cash a lot more cash, I'd need to dig in before I had a solid up/down vote.

I have a hard time with retail ideas, it's all just trinkets on their way to the trash. That being said, I sense a great deal of opporunity in reclaiming those materials for resale as recyclable. Raw materials (plastics, paper, metals) and there is some lost value in throwin out old electronics I'm sure.

Have a good christmas.
 

Kak

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When you reread the above post, understand that was not a typo when I said that his intention was to monopolize all of the exports of an entire country in a niche.

When you understand that objective, you can gain some insight as to how his mind works.

Having a monopoly or at least running an economic cartel on some kind of commodity has always been a goal of mine.
 

Kak

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Thanks for the offer.

I recently saw some numbers on solar that made me think I could make someone with cash a lot more cash, I'd need to dig in before I had a solid up/down vote.

I have a hard time with retail ideas, it's all just trinkets on their way to the trash. That being said, I sense a great deal of opporunity in reclaiming those materials for resale as recyclable. Raw materials (plastics, paper, metals) and there is some lost value in throwin out old electronics I'm sure.

Have a good christmas.

Let me think on this. I have a few ideas already.
 
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Kak

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Thanks for the offer.

I recently saw some numbers on solar that made me think I could make someone with cash a lot more cash, I'd need to dig in before I had a solid up/down vote.

I have a hard time with retail ideas, it's all just trinkets on their way to the trash. That being said, I sense a great deal of opporunity in reclaiming those materials for resale as recyclable. Raw materials (plastics, paper, metals) and there is some lost value in throwin out old electronics I'm sure.

Have a good christmas.

Ok here is what I would do on solar.

First of all the purpose of solar is to pull the property as far off of dependency on the grid as possible. In my research, unless you have a capacitor system that runs your home when the sun is not out, it makes more sense to have a 60/40 or 70/30 setup. Basically 60% solar and 40% grid. I understand a lot of people sell energy off of their property, but we are talking mass appeal, not just farmers and semi-entrepreneurial people here. For 90% of people this is so much cheaper and to me looks like a better ROI for a few reasons...

Buying enough panels to run the entire home would require buying enough to not only actively run the home, but to also charge the capacitor system. So you would be buying 120-150% of the load necessity of your home. That means twice as many panels and a very expensive capacitor system. Couple that with the fact that the technology is ever evolving and getting better, you would have to keep upgrading a much larger and more expensive system.

So. If I were a customer, I would want to leave my home partially on the grid so that I can benefit from stable electricity delivery and from a cheaper overall project cost.

Now, due to the fact that your energy bill is a monthly expense... This has interesting financing written all over it.

If it were my business I would go out to put together a package for every 1000kWh they want to pull their home off of the grid. Then the math is easy for your average idiot.

If you are paying 12.5 cents per kWh (which is about average around here) you are paying $125 for every 1000kWh.
To me that means you should be selling your 1000 kWh solar system with payment plans of $120 per month for X number of months until it is paid off then it is obviously free.
Save $5/month now, it's not much, but they are paying toward a bigger goal and saving money doing it.

Basically the financing makes it so that you can basically sell them money from day 1 instead of them coming up with a big chunk of change.

Finally, your could widen your margins FAR beyond a pay up front plan where they are comparing apples to apples... In essence they will be paying you more for the same system and more happy to do it.

My first step I would do is crunch the numbers and find out how much these things cost. From there find a bank that will lend on them far enough out to match these terms. It will help if you can keep the panels under warranty for the duration of the financing. Why? Because then when they are done paying, you need to remember that they will have new income burning a hole in their pocket. I would help them spend that by offering an extended warranty maintenance plan or an additional 1000kWh plan.

Another beautiful part is your marketing in different markets... Find a market that pays $.25 per kWh, charge them $240 per month for the same 1000kWh system.

Also don't call it financing, hide the interest rates in your margins. That implies debt. Call it a payment plan, and only offer systems on the payment plan.
 
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jules 98hustle

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Great Thread from you again Kak.
You demonstrate the art of Thinking big.
I remember from your last Thread You talked about the idea of getting into the auto industry due to things being outsourced the different airlines. Are you still interested in that or have your eyes on other matters?
because of you, I make sure I read the wall street journal every day looking for opportunities!
Keep up the good work and I hope to become a valuable member of this great forum just like yourself.
 

Kak

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Great Thread from you again Kak.
You demonstrate the art of Thinking big.
I remember from your last Thread You talked about the idea of getting into the auto industry due to things being outsourced the different airlines. Are you still interested in that or have your eyes on other matters?
because of you, I make sure I read the wall street journal every day looking for opportunities!
Keep up the good work and I hope to become a valuable member of this great forum just like yourself.

Thanks for the kind words!

I ended up coming up with things I liked better than that idea. Ideas come and go. Every once in a while I love one enough to keep it.

The WSJ is always solid! Great job!
 
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Damn this thread delivers. Seriously humbled by the posts in here.

I can't wait to meet some of you guys in real life.
 

randomnumber314

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Ok here is what I would do on solar.

First of all the purpose of solar is to pull the property as far off of dependency on the grid as possible. In my research, unless you have a capacitor system that runs your home when the sun is not out, it makes more sense to have a 60/40 or 70/30 setup. Basically 60% solar and 40% grid. I understand a lot of people sell energy off of their property, but we are talking mass appeal, not just farmers and semi-entrepreneurial people here. For 90% of people this is so much cheaper and to me looks like a better ROI for a few reasons...

Buying enough panels to run the entire home would require buying enough to not only actively run the home, but to also charge the capacitor system. So you would be buying 120-150% of the load necessity of your home. That means twice as many panels and a very expensive capacitor system. Couple that with the fact that the technology is ever evolving and getting better, you would have to keep upgrading a much larger and more expensive system.

So. If I were a customer, I would want to leave my home partially on the grid so that I can benefit from stable electricity delivery and from a cheaper overall project cost.

Now, due to the fact that your energy bill is a monthly expense... This has interesting financing written all over it.

If it were my business I would go out to put together a package for every 1000kWh they want to pull their home off of the grid. Then the math is easy for your average idiot.

If you are paying 12.5 cents per kWh (which is about average around here) you are paying $125 for every 1000kWh.
To me that means you should be selling your 1000 kWh solar system with payment plans of $120 per month for X number of months until it is paid off then it is obviously free.
Save $5/month now, it's not much, but they are paying toward a bigger goal and saving money doing it.

Basically the financing makes it so that you can basically sell them money from day 1 instead of them coming up with a big chunk of change.

Finally, your could widen your margins FAR beyond a pay up front plan where they are comparing apples to apples... In essence they will be paying you more for the same system and more happy to do it.

My first step I would do is crunch the numbers and find out how much these things cost. From there find a bank that will lend on them far enough out to match these terms. It will help if you can keep the panels under warranty for the duration of the financing. Why? Because then when they are done paying, you need to remember that they will have new income burning a hole in their pocket. I would help them spend that by offering an extended warranty maintenance plan or an additional 1000kWh plan.

Another beautiful part is your marketing in different markets... Find a market that pays $.25 per kWh, charge them $240 per month for the same 1000kWh system.

Also don't call it financing, hide the interest rates in your margins. That implies debt. Call it a payment plan, and only offer systems on the payment plan.

Is this where I list all the reasons that won't work, and then go back to complaining I don't have any money ;)

This is a great example of a different mindset viewing something in a completely different manner. I'd probably get lost in the minutia of which solar cells are the most efficient, or how they actually work. I'd imagine that might bore you, whereas you'd start looking into the "50,000 foot view" of finding a supplier, and figuring out how to get people to fund potential customers.

Good stuff man. Thanks.
 

Kak

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Is this where I list all the reasons that won't work, and then go back to complaining I don't have any money ;)

This is a great example of a different mindset viewing something in a completely different manner. I'd probably get lost in the minutia of which solar cells are the most efficient, or how they actually work. I'd imagine that might bore you, whereas you'd start looking into the "50,000 foot view" of finding a supplier, and figuring out how to get people to fund potential customers.

Good stuff man. Thanks.

Not a problem! I hope it was valuable to you. Anyone else who wants me to pick apart a business model let me know.
 
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Scot

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Not a problem! I hope it was valuable to you. Anyone else who wants me to pick apart a business model let me know.

And then Kak got 200 PM's. Don't tempt the forum with an offer like that.
 

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When I see this thread has a new post, I click on it immediately.

@Kak what are your thoughts about construction? Not talking about starting a road paving company per se, but rather a technology company focused on the construction industry. Construction in my opinion, has been the least technologically advanced industry. For example, road paving companies are still using methods from 30-50 years ago; asphalt + cement. Asphalt plants are extremely harmful to the environment and most are located around communities. Asphalt is expensive and the maintenance costs companies big money.

There's currently a company in Korea that have produced, via patented technology, soil hardening agents that allow paving to be done by soil. When mixed with water, this combination of hardening agents + soil is STRONGER than asphalt, CHEAPER than asphalt, and more ECO-FRIENDLY than asphalt + cement. Driveways, parking lots, etc. can all be paved using solely this method. Of course, highways and roads where there's a lot of traffic, a small amount of asphalt is thrown into the mix, however, it's mainly soil + the hardening agents.

So what I was looking to do was start a road paving technology company to import these new products from overseas and try to sell them to these big construction companies. Let's call it a road paving R&D firm.

I would love to hear your insights on this potential model.
 
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I wrote down on my whiteboard a nice learning from this thread. Once again my a$$ has been kicked!

Kak, we talked earlier about something a while back. I want you to know I gathered a bit of info on it. While I might not be able to pursue this just yet. If you want I can just give you my info and help you fill in some blanks if you want them.

axcqc7.jpg
 

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I wrote down on my whiteboard a nice learning from this thread. Once again my a$$ has been kicked!

Kak, we talked earlier about something a while back. I want you to know I gathered a bit of info on it. While I might not be able to pursue this just yet. If you want I can just give you my info and help you fill in some blanks if you want them.

axcqc7.jpg
Can I see under the white please ;)
 

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I asked @Kak this in a PM, and he said to post it in the forum. Here's my question.

I am trying to build a web design business and through my work there is a chance to build a website for a multi-millionaire. The extent I know the guy is that we have spoken shortly a few times, made some jokes and he knows my name.

His website isn't bad but it could be improved in an optimization/conversion sense. If I somehow landed this job, it could potentially lead to a lot of big clients since he knows all of the big players.

I thought of approaching him by simply asking him if he ever thought about updating the website. Getting him thinking about possible competitors in the future. Then saying I could create a few sample designs and talk about what I can improve upon. I want to be careful though not to blow this opportunity which is why I didn't approach him before christmas.

The other way i thought of approaching him was doing some research and just trying to provide him some value upfront with some sort of market/business analysis (not sure what yet). And talking about improving the brand of his business.

The only problem is.. he has a corner on the market and has very little competition. So he doesn't need to do anything and the money will still roll in. Also, the website probably would not help much in conversions.

The other problem is that he knows the position I am coming from. So why would he hire the little guy.. with no portfolio..

What I know about him. He loves spending money, doesn't necessarily need more money and he is pretty anal about neatness. Despite my lack of experience, I believe I can add value. Also, I have a cousin in the same business i can consult if I need professional advice/opinions.

So.. what do you think I should do? I will maybe see him again in a few weeks.
 

Kak

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I asked @Kak this in a PM, and he said to post it in the forum. Here's my question.

I am trying to build a web design business and through my work there is a chance to build a website for a multi-millionaire. The extent I know the guy is that we have spoken shortly a few times, made some jokes and he knows my name.

His website isn't bad but it could be improved in an optimization/conversion sense. If I somehow landed this job, it could potentially lead to a lot of big clients since he knows all of the big players.

I thought of approaching him by simply asking him if he ever thought about updating the website. Getting him thinking about possible competitors in the future. Then saying I could create a few sample designs and talk about what I can improve upon. I want to be careful though not to blow this opportunity which is why I didn't approach him before christmas.

The other way i thought of approaching him was doing some research and just trying to provide him some value upfront with some sort of market/business analysis (not sure what yet). And talking about improving the brand of his business.

The only problem is.. he has a corner on the market and has very little competition. So he doesn't need to do anything and the money will still roll in. Also, the website probably would not help much in conversions.

The other problem is that he knows the position I am coming from. So why would he hire the little guy.. with no portfolio..

What I know about him. He loves spending money, doesn't necessarily need more money and he is pretty anal about neatness. Despite my lack of experience, I believe I can add value. Also, I have a cousin in the same business i can consult if I need professional advice/opinions.

So.. what do you think I should do? I will maybe see him again in a few weeks.

Thanks for your post. I will do my best to answer your question.

First and foremost, when we discuss what you should do within a business, maybe we should discuss the business itself.

There is a difference between owning a company, a small business and being self employed.

Owning a company involves leveraging assets and resources to create a self surviving ecosystem. Something that has the ability to make money independent of your direct input. The owner eventually shouldn't even have to work there. Examples: stores, apartment complexes, webstores, manufacturers.. etc. You get the picture.

A small business usually involves an owner operator. The owner often works at their business. There is some leverage of resources, but the business either can't afford to shed the owner's effort or the owner needs to be heavily involved for other reasons. Think: a bakery, boutique store, photography studio, mechanic shop, contracting, Etsy handmade shops.

Self employment is really just that... Employed by oneself. Literally you have a job that you do for money without being an employee of someone else. You are basically an employee of your customer. You must trade time for income. Think: consultants, freelancers.

When I think web designer... I think freelancer. This is self employment. Are you OK with that? Let me know and we can continue.
 

Kak

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Yes you right.

As of right now what I am trying to do is find work as a freelancer. Not start a business.

Are you OK with that? Generally we look more for a business with some kind of leverage or scalability.

I would also recommend the E-Myth to you it is a good book.
 

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I have some ideas for products to create or things to sell. But I don't have the capital, expertise or confidence to go after it.
As for creating a digital product, I don't have the skills or the idea to pursue that either.

So as of right now I am ok with it. It is something that will generate more income but more importantly give me more free time if it means I can quit my job. I see it as a stepping stone to bigger things.

Maybe I am going about this the wrong way but this is what I believe is in my capacity of what I can do right now.

(I'll get that book)
 

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I have some ideas for products to create or things to sell. But I don't have the capital, expertise or confidence to go after it.
As for creating a digital product, I don't have the skills or the idea to pursue that either.

So as of right now I am ok with it. It is something that will generate more income but more importantly give me more free time if it means I can quit my job. I see it as a stepping stone to bigger things.

Maybe I am going about this the wrong way but this is what I believe is in my capacity of what I can do right now.

(I'll get that book)

Sorry if it wasn't the advice you were looking for, but I believe it is more valuable than me just telling you I would give him a portfolio of your work, complement his network of other business owners, and offer to remodel his website at no cost if he can be a reference.

Have you considered that by engaging in web development you might be ensnared in the same problem you find yourself today? A direct trade of time for money with no time to work on anything else? The only way to make more money is to find more work. Essentially you would be both a salesman and a web developer.

I have a few more questions for you:

If you don't have the skills you are looking for, why aren't you trying to get them now?

If you don't have the expertise, why aren't you looking for that expertise now?

If you don't have the capital, why aren't you putting together a compelling investable business model now?

With skills and expertise wouldn't you be more confident?
 
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dave773

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Sorry if it wasn't the advice you were looking for, but I believe it is more valuable than me just telling you I would give him a portfolio of your work, complement his network of other business owners, and offer to remodel his website at no cost if he can be a reference.

Have you considered that by engaging in web development you might be ensnared in the same problem you find yourself today? A direct trade of time for money with no time to work on anything else? The only way to make more money is to find more work. Essentially you would be both a salesman and a web developer.

I see what you are saying, and kind of expected this response. As much as I wanted the easy answer, i also wanted you to say something like this.
Through this though.. I am developing skills. Coding skills as well as how to deal with clients.

Yes I am still trading my time for money but it would be a higher amount. Either I am earning more or I earn a similar amount but have more free time and I work less . Both outcomes are better than my current situation.

I have a few more questions for you:

If you don't have the skills you are looking for, why aren't you trying to get them now?
Good point. One of them though would be salesmanship which is what I would get through doing web design. And I think the rest of the skills are something you can only gain through action. (probably just answered my own question there. The fear is holding me back??).

If you don't have the expertise, why aren't you looking for that expertise now?
I haven't really thought about this much until today when I read your response. When I first Pm'd you I was expecting a 'You should do this' response.

Assuming I come up with a solid idea that I truly believe fills a need on a large scale. It's difficult for me to comprehend doing something like this right now. Finding an idea I want to pursue that fills a need, approaching potential investors explaining idea with a market analysis, getting product onto the market.. and the most important one. Getting people to take me seriously

But I do feel like I am rethinking everything which seems to continue to happen when I read your posts. What is correct? Starting small and getting small wins or just saying F*ck it and going all out. I guess like the poem @mikey3times posted. There is no one correct answer.

If you don't have the capital, why aren't you putting together a compelling investable business model now?
Because I feel like it would be learning how to drive formula 1 before I have even got my driver's license.

Don't really know what to think now..but feel like another door has opened in my head.

The amount I would learn though from doing some web design even if it was just a few jobs is a lot.
 
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Kak

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@brokebum

Ultimately all of this is your choice completely. I am just doing what I can to explain the kind of lens I look through when I look at business.

You should ask what your goal is? Is it to become financially free and potentially wealthy by creating something of value that carries with it the ability to scale... Or is your goal to trade your time for money, compete in a saturated market where I can hire a guy from India for $4 per hour as a stepping stone to doing the exact same thing? How is the latter not a procrastination?

Yes I am still trading my time for money but it would be a higher amount. Either I am earning more or I earn a similar amount but have more free time and I work less . Both outcomes are better than my current situation.
How do you automatically assume you will make more money? If it doesn't go well your free time will be absorbed by trying to find work. Also, based on what you PM'd me, I bet you would make more money per hour freelancing what you are currently doing.

Good point. One of them though would be salesmanship which is what I would get through doing web design. And I think the rest of the skills are something you can only gain through action. (probably just answered my own question there. The fear is holding me back??).
I agree that the fear is holding you back... Question is why would you willingly choose to learn this skill selling something less valuable or with less potential?

Assuming I come up with a solid idea that I truly believe fills a need on a large scale. It's difficult for me to comprehend doing something like this right now.
Why?

Getting people to take me seriously
Why wouldn't they take you seriously if you put together a compelling pitch? Their job is to invest wisely. Your job when you talk to investors is to show them why it is wise to invest in what you've created.

What is correct? Starting small and getting small wins or just saying F*ck it and going all out.
You eat an elephant one bite at a time either way. Incremental wins get you to the finish line.

Have you read MJ's book yet?
 

dave773

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@brokebum

Ultimately all of this is your choice completely. I am just doing what I can to explain the kind of lens I look through when I look at business.

You should ask what your goal is? Is it to become financially free and potentially wealthy by creating something of value that carries with it the ability to scale... Or is your goal to trade your time for money, compete in a saturated market where I can hire a guy from India for $4 per hour as a stepping stone to doing the exact same thing? How is the latter not a procrastination?
My goal is financial freedom.. and again you are making me look at things differently.

How do you automatically assume you will make more money? If it doesn't go well your free time will be absorbed by trying to find work. Also, based on what you PM'd me, I bet you would make more money per hour freelancing what you are currently doing.
I'm not good enough to freelance at what I'm doing nor would I want to. Which leads me back to web design being potentially the fastest way to get out of this job. I understand I am simply going from one job to the next.

I agree that the fear is holding you back... Question is why would you willingly choose to learn this skill selling something less valuable or with less potential?
It's hard enough to feel satisfied with a win but easy enough that I believe I can actually do it. (you pulled that from my subconscious)

My current environment, and no past successes to look upon.

Why wouldn't they take you seriously if you put together a compelling pitch? Their job is to invest wisely. Your job when you talk to investors is to show them why it is wise to invest in what you've created.
Fair point.

You eat an elephant one bite at a time either way. Incremental wins get you to the finish line.

Have you read MJ's book yet?

I've read MJ's book twice, but never eaten an elephant..literally and figuratively.

Btw, I don't actually have an idea I've seriously thought about. It's always just things that float through my head as in "hmm that's something that could be done better or that could be solved". But not a plan of actually how to make it better or to solve it.
 
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Kak

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My goal is financial freedom.. and again you are making me look at things differently.


I'm not good enough to freelance at what I'm doing nor would I want to. Which leads me back to web design being potentially the fastest way to get out of this job. I understand I am simply going from one job to the next.


It's hard enough to feel satisfied with a win but easy enough that I believe I can actually do it. (you pulled that from my subconscious)


My current environment, and no past successes to look upon.


Fair point.



I've read MJ's book twice, but never eaten an elephant..literally and figuratively.

Btw, I don't actually have an idea I've seriously thought about. It's always just things that float through my head as in "hmm that's something that could be done better or that could be solved". But not a plan of actually how to make it better or to solve it.

Honestly... I'm just seeing a bunch of excuses. You have an external locus of control. You feel controlled by your environment. Your cards are dealt. You feel powerless to change your life in the ways we have discussed. A victim mentality.

Every successful entrepreneur had to start somewhere. You have the ability to do what we are discussing. You absolutely do. And I must complement you that you don't act entitled to any of it, but you need to realize that if you don't have an idea you can create one. If you don't have the skills you can learn them. If you don't have the expertise you can hire it. If you don't have the resources you can find them.

What you don't currently have, and this is your only real problem: Balls. Grow some. Ditch the excuses and go get some wins.
 
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dave773

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'Some dude on the internet' would not give this type of advice. And his advice is more valuable than anything I could have gotten from all the people I know in real life. Most people don't give a shit what you do in life and they definitely don't give useful advice.

I wasn't aware i needed it but i did. You don't have to like my posts.
 
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#nowhere

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Thanks for your post. I will do my best to answer your question.

First and foremost, when we discuss what you should do within a business, maybe we should discuss the business itself.

There is a difference between owning a company, a small business and being self employed.

Owning a company involves leveraging assets and resources to create a self surviving ecosystem. Something that has the ability to make money independent of your direct input. The owner eventually shouldn't even have to work there. Examples: stores, apartment complexes, webstores, manufacturers.. etc. You get the picture.

A small business usually involves an owner operator. The owner often works at their business. There is some leverage of resources, but the business either can't afford to shed the owner's effort or the owner needs to be heavily involved for other reasons. Think: a bakery, boutique store, photography studio, mechanic shop, contracting, Etsy handmade shops.

Self employment is really just that... Employed by oneself. Literally you have a job that you do for money without being an employee of someone else. You are basically an employee of your customer. You must trade time for income. Think: consultants, freelancers.

When I think web designer... I think freelancer. This is self employment. Are you OK with that? Let me know and we can continue.

Hi KAK,

awesome thread. You have already helped me very much.

My question is if you divide small business and company solely by the passivity - grade? And can human resource systems, leaving out E-Commerce business, be seen as a company?

Thanks for all the information. I'll start to think with more 0s also.. Thank you! @Vigilante
 

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