Friday, January 2, 2009

Million Dollar Challenge

Today, a 28 year old guy I was talking to bragged that he made $875,000 last year. I hadn't asked, but he was trying to sell me his marketing services. He told me I sounded like an 18 year old. I had never heard a sales guy as condescending. It was sort of the last straw for me. My whole life has led up to this point. Jupiter is lined up with Venus. Stocks and real estate are at garage sale prices. Quite possibly the most massive transfer of wealth in history is occurring. And I have an interesting goal for 2009.

I will build a portfolio of assets in excess of $1,000,000 in 2009 by the most highly ethical means possible. I will have fun doing it. 15% of annual profits go to charity.

Here's the deal. I think of million dollar ideas all the time. A few months or years later, I learn that someone implemented my idea and it took off, and I get nauseous. I mean ill in the pit of my stomach. It's my turn.

I've been reading get rich quick web site schlock for a few months now, or enough to find that people much dumber than me are making fat coin working less than I do. I have made lists of all of these sites and segmented the lists into categories and ranked them according to how big is the barrier to entry. Here is a summary:

The ones with the low (under $100) or no barrier to entry are 1) just crap, 2) have a steep learning curve, 3) they are multi-level marketing (MLM) Ponzi schemes (1-up, 2-up, up-line commission structure), or 4) some kind of ethical bribe to get you on a mailing list.

The ones with the higher barrier to entry are either too good to be true, as verified by, OR they are travel clubs, seminars about health, wealth building, entrepreneurship, internet marketing, stock trading, flash/video production, currency exchange, and other high powered training outside of a university setting. Some were MLMs with those as products.

The highest barrier to entry stuff is direct investing in gas & oil, or real estate.

Most of it is useless to me right now, because I've spent 2008 scraping by, paying off debt, and getting my rental property business on auto-pilot. The gems of knowledge I've learned in my schlock sorting is that all the knowledge on the internet is completely worthless unless you:

1) have a low-cost product or a service you're selling that has real value to repeat customers,
2) have the will power to lead a business in trying times, and
3) take action with proven marketing methods.

It's all about ACTION. Period.

I also learned that a million dollars will not come to a personal bank account. So, the first thing I've done is I've created an LLC to provide technical and marketing services.

Internet marketers seem to be making a lot of money, and they use a lot of technical services. 15 years of tech experience cannot fail me now.

By the way, I recommend the book Forming an LLC by Michael Spadaccini as well as the tax planning and entity structuring advice in Building, Leading, and Protecting Your Business by Loral Langemeir. They sum up best everything I needed to know to get the job done. The rest I learned from the Secretary of State web site and Warren Taryle of Taryle and Associates.

I'm actively seeking board members. Any friends or family or anyone who understands what I am doing is welcome to join me.

My next step? Hang out a shingle. I'm building a commercial web site. Actually, I will be building three web sites. I will create another blog that is search engine optimized to reach my target customers. I will create a set of capture pages (aka squeeze pages) to collect customer information and identify sales copy that is the most effective. I will set up an auto-responder to email to potential customers information about my brand and services. I will build a sales site that generates qualified sales leads.

I have a graphic artist working on my logo, in exchange for technical advice. He's arriving here Sunday from Chicago to meet with me. I have solicited a marketing firm to work on my positioning, but will have to wait until cash comes in before I pull the trigger. I know that market research is essential, and while I have done many hours of it til now, I am not a pro yet.

By the way, I already have one customer and $1200 in sales, which I will be able to invoice this month. I'm waiting on my SS4 filing to the IRS to yield an EIN so I can open my business bank account and get the pertinent local business licenses.

I have interviewed a few bookkeeper types. If you want an inbox full of resumes, advertise for a bookkeeper. Wow!


  1. Dude... I would so keep your books for a share of the business or a nominal fee.

    By the way, Mike at work started a new business and set it up over his Christmas vacation...

  2. Very interesting... I would love to hear more about what you are doing. What is your product/service?

    I spent some time and effort getting an MBA while I was in the Air Force... might be nice to put it to some use.

    Can you email me some more details?