Thursday, November 12, 2009

How to become a millionaire from someone who isn't one.

Write a book on "How to become a millionaire." Fake it until you make it, right? Well, that doesn't sit very well with me - or most Midwestern types. And it's not really the million dollars that we're after, is it? It's what it could do for us, our families; the financial stress it would relieve; the trips and boats and cars and fancy parties down by the lake. Now that you put it like that, well, who wouldn't want that?

Hey, how about the lottery?
Let's face facts: WE AREN'T GOING TO WIN THE LOTTERY. EVER. "But someone has to win," you say. Someone eventually will, but the odds are so stacked against us all that you could spend a thousand lifetimes and never come close to the jackpot. (I once had 3 numbers right and was off by one or two for the remaining three! I won $7)

The truth is, the only way we're going to earn (and I mean 'earn') our fortune is to work for it. Not a rocket scientist? No problem...

Start cultivating your own million dollar ideas.
Everyday, in every way you can... and here's the kicker - SHARE THEM with anyone and everyone who will listen. That's my plan. And before you say I'm crazy, understand this: I have helped make fortunes for other people and their businesses because I was the guy hired to help market their products, their services and their businesses; to help promote that which was best and jettison that which was not; to re-invent the mousetrap just about every single day. It's a daunting task, and it isn't easy, but I love doing it and couldn't stop if I tried.

But I got an itch...
Why don't I start doing this for myself? Seems like a noble purpose. My wife sure wouldn't mind a trip to Tahiti - and I might even be able to tag along! Don't get me wrong, I make a nice living doing what I do - but it ain't the high life - at least not yet. So I made a vow: share your ideas. 100% of nothing is still zero. 1% of something is better than zero. I suspect that if your brilliant brainstorm were any good, and it was stolen (just like you think it would be), that the thieves might actually throw you a bone after they've made their killing. Even better, you can sue them and amass your fortune that way, or better still, you go on the Today Show telling your story to get picked up as a reality TV show. Either way, you make money.

Want to know the real odds-on-bet?
NO ONE WILL PICK UP YOUR IDEA. They might nod and smile, some might even dabble with it for awhile, but when it comes right down to it - your idea is safe because it will take time, energy, money, blood, sweat and tears to bring it to life. Who would do all of that unless it was "their" idea? The reason you share your million dollar idea is to get feedback. Help. Investment. Criticism. Support.

I just joked on FaceBook with a friend that I invented "warm" fusion when I was 12. I did. You run a laser into a mirrored sphere and the laser beam bounces off the walls like a Spiro-graph and all of the beams intersect at the very center. You drop in a bit of U-235 and WALLAH! Instant fusion AND the outside laser lines stay cool. It's only the center that's at a zillion degrees. (Geez, that's like a trillion dollar idea!) Only, I'm not a rocket scientist, nor could I ever be. Maybe this is completely stupid. Maybe it has been tried 500 times and failed. But what if it hasn't? What if no pointed-headed rocket scientist ever had the thoughts of a 12 year old? Maybe he/she can run with it. How cool would it be to say, "I invented controllable fusion, and you can thank me for saving the planet"? It's kind of like being Al Gore.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

My father told me that. It's as old as dirt. But it's true. So what are we to do to start harvesting our fortunes? By getting feedback from friends, family, business associates and complete strangers, you increase your chances of actually producing that which you conceived. An endorsement to a prototyping guy; a clever addition to your storyline; the key ingredient to your recipe... who knows. Be prepared for some "good" nay-saying, too. If they don't get your idea - that's not a reason to run home, but it is a good reason to re-think how you need to pitch it. Keep refining it. Most folks would love for you to succeed. Helping you invites them to hope that maybe you'll share a bit of the wealth when your ship comes in.

I'll be adding more on this blog. Maybe we can both meet in Tahiti ...I hear there's room.

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