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It was a shocking thing when I realized wealth was unlimited.

We’ve literally taken sand (silica) and turned it into something more valuable than gold – microchips. The people of Hong Kong had nothing but relationships and a favorable set of laws that let them buy and sell freely. They became one of the wealthiest populations on earth with no natural resources. Many nations of Africa have tons of natural wealth, whether it’s diamonds, or gold, or other valuables, yet much of Africa is very poor. Tar sands and oil were considered a nuisance until about 150 years ago, now it’s one of the most valuable commodities on earth. Why?

Oil had no use until someone refined it into things like kerosene. Suddenly a cheaper and better form of lighting homes and offices was available. The largest company the world has ever seen (Standard Oil) was built on selling oil, but not for cars or electricity, but as kerosene for lamps. Gasoline came much later. So, how can we produce wealth? Creativity.

“But what if I’m not creative?” You might say. Are you in pain? Are you uncomfortable? If not, start paying attention to the times that you are. Pay attention to the times that you’re frustrated, and then, when you have a quiet moment, ask yourself… “What do I wish existed that would solve that problem right now?” It can be a product. Maybe you have a favorite recipe, everybody loves it, but it’s a pain to make (say curry). Could you make a huge batch of curry paste or powder or sauce and sell it? People do. It can be a service. Man, I love having my own chickens, I get such great fresh eggs and save money, but I hate having to find someone to watch my chickens each time I leave town. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a service to take care of my pets and farm animals while I’m gone on vacation? A business could be born.

It can be an aggregator. This is similar to the product idea, but what’s different is that you create something by pulling together other products and/or services. We like board games, but we didn’t know what to get to enjoy with our kids, so we bought an Awesome Pack, which is a box of board games and activities based on your likes and dislikes. We ended up with a half dozen different products that we could have bought on our own, but someone did the research for us to find great products, and they put it together in a box, and negotiated better pricing because they bought hundreds of units for hundreds of people… In short, we didn’t buy the products, we bought the research.

It can be an investment. Maybe you don’t have all the pieces to put together a business or sell a product, but you’re familiar or passionate about some people who do. This usually doesn’t take a lot of your creativity, but it does allow you to leverage someone else. Of course there are many more steps that go from conceiving an idea and birthing a source of income, but I find most people don’t even know where to start. Hopefully this helps. Personally, I’ve tried and failed at almost all of these. I’ve done various forms of network marketing, tried to start a tree farm/carbon credit service, built websites, sold insurance, started a bookkeeping service, bought property, became a business coach, sell “stuff” online, and now I’m starting a service to help other people sell online. The first five or six times I attempted to start a business I lost money or broke even. Venture number seven turned a small profit. Venture eight was profitable a couple months, but largely lost money. Venture number 9 and 10 turn a consistent profit. What would have saved me a lot of heartache and pain would have been to really dial into other peoples pain and desires, to have empathy and understanding. That’s step two. It’s not enough to know your own pain and what would solve it, you need to know that that pain is shared by a significant number of other people, and that they feel that pain or desire in a significant enough way to part with their hard earned cash. Step three will have to wait for another time. :).

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