Business ideas are easy to come up with. Yet, so many say the opposite.
“If only I had an idea I would work so hard…”
Uhhh, no you wouldn’t. If that were true you’d already be working on something since there’s an endless amount of ideas out there for the taking. Since it isn’t gift wrapped up like a pile of money people pass over them every day.
Business ideas are EVERYWHERE. I mean, literally everywhere. If I had to I could come up with a completely new one in the next couple minutes. But, instead I’m going to write this article for you about an easy business to start.
You’d start a business if only you had an idea, right? ‘Cool story bro’. By the end of this article you will.
I may start a series just giving away good business ideas to start. So, depending on the response to this article, and if people go and start the idea, there may be more to come.
I’m not just going to give you a free business idea.
“Awwww, come on Billy!”
I’m going to do better.
I’m going to give you my money if you do it, and do it well.
“Ahh, shit. Now I’ll need to come up with another reason why not to do it.”
Then I’m going to show you how easy it would be to market to get other customers. So, you really won’t have any excuse not to do it.
“Well, you see I don’t have money so….”
Not only is it an easy business to start, it doesn’t take any money.
I’ve actually tried to give this idea away many times.
Why? Because I wish the service existed. I am a customer. I want you to take my money.
Business doesn’t have to be hard.
Step 1: find a problem someone has
Step 2: solve that problem for them
Step 3: collect money
Here’s how most people operate:
guy 1: man, i wish someone would solve this for me
guy 2: love to help man but i’m too busy looking for business ideas
Stop following all the ‘rah rah you can do it’ blogs who’ve sent you in the wrong direction looking for random hacks. Start solving needs instead.
What business should I start?
I know you’re wondering, “okay, so what kind of business should I start?”
Here’s an easy business to start:
“Ohh, that sounds simple, but someone’s probably done it so you probably can’t make much from it.”
Phenomenal limiting belief! Let’s just eliminate your learned helplessness so you can get off the sidelines and make some money.
Some of the best business ideas to start, are the simple ones. Most people have the mindset of, “if it were easy someone would have done it already.”
That is why a lot of really obvious, easy business ideas still exist. Everyone’s sitting on the sideline waiting for some super complex idea that they have to feel like a rocket scientist to solve. You’re making it hard on yourself for no f*$king reason.
There’s numerous services out there that offer to help you write new articles on sites, or get you interviewed, or a lot of similar services to help you get promotion, but I’ve yet to find a good one that is specifically geared towards getting your current articles more exposure. If you’ve read my article on how to set goals you’ll know what my goal is this year- to produce extremely high quality content for you to help you to think more optimally in business, and in life. The services that currently exist would only equate to me doing more work, which would take me away from the work of achieving my goal. Essentially, any work to promote content I’ve produced, takes me away from producing more of it for you. Thus, a service that takes that off my plate is doing me a great service. That’s valuable to me. Value = money. Money goes to the person that solves that problem.
Again, not complex at all. It’s actually a really easy business idea to execute. It’s a 100% hustle business. That’s it. You don’t need intricate skills. You don’t need to program or do any sorts of hard shit that a lot of people think you need to start a business. You just need to hustle. This is literally all you would need to do:
- Study what works
- Copy/paste proven strategies
Someone else has literally done all the hard work already. There’s plenty of guys who are good at marketing. A lot of them have already written how you could do exactly what I’m talking about. Places like SumoMe, SocialTriggers, VideoFruit and Neil Patel. A lot of guys who know how to do this stuff are just doing it for their own businesses instead of turning it into a service for others.
“So, you mean I could literally just copy what others have already proven works, and people will just hand me money?”
This shit ain’t rocket science.
Don’t get me wrong, you have to actually be good at it. Shitty work won’t win you business.
Plus, if you’ve read all my articles(you’re bleeding money and life EV if you haven’t), you’d know the first two steps to starting a profitable business from this article: Cash Cow Business
Step 1: How can you create something of value in a market better than what’s currently out there?
Step 2: How can you reach your potential audience?
The thing is, if you solve step 1 in a big enough way, step 2 becomes significantly easier.
In other words, you don’t have to spend all your time trying to convince people to buy your shit. Why? Because it’s actually good and not some ‘rah rah’ nonsense you’re used to in the internet marketing world.
Most people spend all their time convincing people they need to buy their shit, rather than creating something no one would need convincing to buy.
When you create a product or service that is a need for people that hasn’t been solved, or has been solved but has no marketing at all so no one knows it’s solved, the marketing side of it is really easy.
Marketing is hard if you start a crappy business. Not if your product or service is good.
I posted this on twitter the other day:
Free business idea:
- get REALLY good at marketing articles
- collect my money
- get exposure on FJ
- collect more money from that exposure
If you did a good job for me, it’d be very easy to get more business. I’d be happy my problem was solved. I’d give props to the person who solved my problem. I mean, shit… if someone had solved my problem already maybe this article would be about how awesome this person was and how you should immediately sign up for their service.
Truth is, you probably wouldn’t even have to pitch this.
The value of your service IS your marketing if you overdeliver. People will talk about it and word will spread.
People get confused about this because they’re usually offering shitty products or services so they falsely assume marketing is hard. Again, it is hard if your offering sucks.
Neville writes good, high quality blog posts. I bet he’d want more exposure.
Ben Greenfield knows more on health/fitness than almost anyone on the planet. I’m sure he’d like more people to read what he writes.
Jeff Rose isn’t just known for his good looks, he writes a massive amount of content that has helped grow his business.
Noah the master of marketing himself writes articles. Nothing this guy likes more than tacos and marketing, He’d eat that shit up.
Joel Runyon writes good stuff.
Bryan writes good articles.
Steve Chou made $700k each last year, in large part due to writing articles. If he’s not too busy counting his money he might have a few bucks laying around to try a service like that.
Richard writes epic articles on e-commerce.
Victor’s site runs on the no nonsense articles he writes.
Glen was one of the initial guys who focused on high quality content.
Paula writes some monster posts.
Charles Ngo puts out good stuff.
When Derek isn’t yelling at people on video, he’s yelling at them through his writing.
If your service is good and you make it +EV for them, these are examples of people who produce real content and would be potential customers.
I mean… shit. You don’t even have to pitch that. Here’s your marketing pitch, “pay me”.
I’m sure Neville could help you with the copy but that’s pretty close to all you’d need.
Business does NOT have to be hard.
I’m not saying all these guys will buy your service. I didn’t ask them. Maybe they won’t like you.
But it took me like two minutes to think of examples of people that might be interested in a service like this.
An easy way to start something like this would be to absolutely crush it for one person, and then just show your results.
Some people enjoy talking about what they will do.
That won’t make someone buy.
If you’re trying to sell an action taker, they’re going to buy on results, not talk.
No one cares what you’re going to theoretically do at some point in the future. Except maybe your mom and dad but unless they’re giving you money you should probably just take action and stop waiting for a magic pile of money to fall in your lap.
Once you have the results, you don’t have to talk anymore.
What’s here in this article might get you motivated to work on this for a couple days, or a couple weeks. That’s how it usually goes. The excitement wears off and you go back to looking for the easy million waiting right around the corner somewhere.
To avoid the non action that’s likely to pop up once you lose your initial motivation, I’m going to take this further for you. See, the bag of money around the corner is never wrapped up like a bag of money. It’s often a road filled with limiting beliefs, self doubt and roadblocks which makes you stop before the opportunity turns into the bag of money that it is. So, I want to eliminate these for you.
One major roadblock that may come up is customers.
“But Billy, I thought you said it would likely be easy to get customers if we offered great value.”
This is true. However, the interpretation of great value is going to differ per person. You may have one idea of “great value”, and someone else may have another.
I want to show you what an entrepreneur will be thinking about.
Let’s say you became an absolute beast at article marketing. Great. Now let’s say you go around pitching people $5k/month for your article marketing service. Okay. Well, an entrepreneur is going to want to know what their ROI is. So, if you are awesome at marketing articles and increase someone’s income $3k/month, it’s still not a +EV(expected value) service since you’re trying to charge $5k/month. Now, if you charged that person $1k/month, that might be a good deal. $500/month, a great deal.
I want you to think about this for a minute: Whatever you’re selling, you are not actually selling that. You are selling the results from it. So, if you’re offering someone $3k/month for $5k/month, that’s stupid and you won’t get customers and you’ll complain this doesn’t work. Example of a limiting belief, followed by self doubt, and a barrier that’s likely to put you back on the sideline waiting for that bag of money to appear around the corner. If someone started an article marketing service and claimed people didn’t want article marketing, you’re doing it wrong.
You are NOT selling article marketing. You are selling increased profits for their business. So, if you can’t increase profits, that’s a problem with your offering, not that no one wants the service.
People could give a shit about you marketing their articles. People give a shit about you marketing their articles in a way that it increases the profits of their business after paying you for your service.
I’m not saying short change yourself and charge $50/month or something. You must create win-wins. It should be +EV for you, and +EV for the client. Understand, that you’ll sometimes have to sacrifice short term income for long term EV as an entrepreneur. That is often how successful businesses are built. Everyone looks at something and says, “meh, I don’t want to work hard marketing articles, that’s not the greatest pay.” It won’t be while you’re proving yourself out. When you start crushing results for people your rate will increase. Once you get systems in place your EV will increase since you can take on more customers while spending the same time. Once systems are in place you can then leverage having other people execute the systems you’ve put in place, increasing your EV even more.
So many people are stuck in the ‘I want to get rich overnight’ mindset that they fail to realize that the reason a lot of simple business ideas still exist is because they take work in the beginning, and people don’t like work. So, people either never start them, or they stop during one of the lower paying steps, when the high paying steps were right around the corner if done correctly. Note: done correctly is important, and what most people in this ‘industry’ aren’t teaching you. Rah rah ‘you can do it’ shit that people are putting out is not helping you, and you’ll never achieve your dreams if you are following that nonsense. You must learn how to think. This is the difference between people who achieve success, and people who just talk about achieving success so that you’ll buy their info products and click on their affiliate links.
You CAN do it… if done correctly. Some questions to ask yourself, with this, or any other business you’re starting:
“Is this a great deal for the customer?”
“How can I make this more valuable for them?”
“If I offer this value to them, long term will this business have a chance of helping me achieve the results that I’d like to achieve” – note: I’m not talking about tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. I’m talking about AFTER putting in real work for a while.
Let me give you an example of what to expect:
- “this is hard work, and i’m not making much money”
- “it’s still hard but this is getting a little easier now that i know what i’m doing, and a couple more people are paying me.”
- “now that i’m really good at this and people are talking about the results i’m getting them, i’m charging even more for the same work.”
- “i have too much work i need to bring on more people to help me grow.”
Maybe income sucks for you at level 1. Maybe it still sucks for you at level 2. Maybe it doesn’t even interest you until level 4. It depends what situation you’re in. Most people will quit at the sucky levels because they haven’t learned to think bigger picture. They still think in the 9-5 income box… “how much do I get today?”.
Broke people think about how much they can make today. Rich people think about the long term expected value.
When I was playing poker I played for pennies at first. I’m not exaggerating, literally pennies. Then as I progressed, I made more money, and eventually started printing money where I couldn’t believe how easy it was. If I expected money to come right out of the gate, I would have stopped and never reached the ‘printing money’ levels.
Poker looked something like this for me:
- playing for pennies (1-3 months)
- “hey look, you can actually make some money at this” (3-12 months)
- “wow, you can make real money at this” (12-36 months)
- printing money stage…”what do i do with all this money?” (36 months+)
I’ve had several businesses where I literally made close to $0/hr for the first many months, and then ‘wa-lah!(voila), I make 6 or 7 figures after the hard work starts coming to fruition and getting to the ‘print money’ stage.
Stop trying to get rich by tomorrow. This ain’t the lottery and this blog isn’t for stupid people.
If you put the work in, you’ll reap the rewards that follow the hard parts that everyone wants to skip.
You can look at ForeverJobless as a live example of this. As you know from this post this is the first time I’ve really focused on ForeverJobless. You know that I’m not really monetizing much, so outside of things like a private mastermind I run, I’m basically making close to $0/hr on ForeverJobless.
Over time if it was my goal, I could probably turn ForeverJobless into a cash cow just as a byproduct of putting out higher value work than what exists in the market. Traffic/subscribers will grow even with little to no marketing as a byproduct of people talking about the content, and people who read the ‘rah rah’ blogs will realize the real shit is over here, and make a +EV life choice about the content they’re consuming.
If I theoretically made $0 this year, and then overnight turned on a money faucet next year people who don’t understand would look at it as an “overnight success” as if some stroke of sheer luck caused all sorts of people to come check out my articles and purchase high value products or services.
Why would people change what they’re reading? Higher value. What sacrifice does it take to produce higher value? I don’t know for others, but personally I often spend dozens of hours per article, that I release for free. If we related articles to business, the way that most people think about business is they’d attempt to release their first article, try and sell it, and wonder why no one is buying. Then day two they’d quit claiming that “no ones interested in reading articles”. That sounds ridiculous, and it is. But that is how most people attempt to be an entrepreneur though, and why they think it is difficult. Low value + expecting overnight results or they quit.
I’m not telling you someone is going to buy your service. I’m telling you someone is going to buy your service is it’s +EV for them to do so. Your job is to make sure that it is.
“Oh, but how do I do that?”
Welcome to entrepreneurship. Your job is to solve problems.
Let’s break this shit down.
I’ve already given you the idea.
I’ve already given you examples of how easy it would be to find potential clients, and even given you examples of ideal customers(obviously don’t bother them unless you can offer them value).
You understand that you not only need to be good at it and offer high value, but need to price it in a way that makes it +EV for them too.
“Ya, but how can I make sure it’s +EV?”.
Glad you asked!
Let me give you an example:
For simplicity sake, let’s say someone has one product, that they charge $100 for. They write good articles, and they convert roughly .5% of visitors into buyers. So, every new visitor is worth roughly 50 cents to them, obviously varying per traffic source, but you get the idea. Let’s say you check out their articles and realize you could probably get them an extra 500 visitors per article. That’d equate to around 2.5 sales per article assuming the sources of traffic were as high quality as their current traffic. If they expected around 2.5 sales per article they’d expect around $250 since they charge $100 per sale.
As much as they like your article marketing service, if you wanted to charge them $300 per article, they’d kick you out the door(more likely out their inbox), since they’d be losing money. Now, we’re not factoring some things in such as the EV of traffic that turns into subscribers that buy sometime the future, and the EV of articles potentially ranking higher for specific search terms due to the marketing that was done, but again just for simplicity we’re looking at it from a high level 300 ft view perspective for someone who wants to make sure they’re getting an ROI.
If you charged them $100 per article they might give you a shot. For $50 they’d almost definitely give you a shot. So, let’s pretend you decided to charge them somewhere between $50-$100 per article. If this person publishes 8 articles/month, a good price point to charge might be in the $400-$800/month range. Maybe when you start out you charge less just to make sure you can over deliver, and knock it out of the park for them.
Maybe you quote them at $600/month, and tell them for being one of the first three customers you’ll only charge them $300/month for the first two months to prove how much you’ll crush it for them. Now, obviously you’ve gotta back up what you say or they won’t be interested in renewing, but that would eliminate the worry of having difficulty getting customers, and might give you some more inspiration to push through one of the hard work steps knowing there’s people with money that will pay you for doing things of value for them.
Make it so good they don’t have to think about it. After I posted the idea on twitter, a number of people emailed asking how much I would pay them. It’s not the best question. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a normal and completely reasonable question, but maybe just better to call it suboptimal. It’s making someone else work to have to figure out how to make it +EV for themselves without even knowing the level of work you’re going to provide. Someone will want to pay you a lot if you make them a lot. They might pay a little if you make them a little. They won’t want to pay anything if it’s not going to make them anything.
Don’t make it hard for people to give you money. Make it easy. The fact that some guys are attempting to get paid well on the first job without ever having done article marketing is showing they aren’t thinking about it correctly. I think free work is +EV if you’re doing things right, but you don’t even have to do free work. Just charge someone an amount where it’s +EV for them and you learn shit. Your goal is not to make as much money as you can in step 1. That’s flawed thinking that keeps you on step 1, or back to step 0, thinking there’s no good ideas out there.
Now, obviously one of the things you need to be asking yourself is if it’s +EV for you as well. However, remember the important part of that. EV, not income. Your goal is not to have good income day one. Your goal is to have good EV.
So, for example let’s pretend each article takes you 10 hours to promote. So, if you land one customer that releases 8 posts/month, and you charge them a discount of $300/month so that you can prove yourself, that’s only $37.50/article. Eww, sounds yucky. Let’s figure out the hourly. Well, if each article takes you 10 hours, you’d be making $3.75 per hour. Ballin! Now, when most people figure this out, they would do one of three things.
- They would quit.
- They would raise their prices.
- They would do shittier work.
#1 is where most people would end up.
“$3.75 per hour! I’m worth way more than that! I’m not working for pennies.”
And they wouldn’t. They’d sit on the sideline and make $0/hr instead.
#2 is how a lot of people try to operate. They want to maximize what they think they’re worth on day 1. Maybe they even are worth that much, but if no one knows about them and they have no results yet, that’s going to be a really tough sell. So, they might get no customers because of their higher pricing, and claim people aren’t paying for their work even though it’s good. So scenario #2 often leads to #1, quitting.
#3 is another choice. Instead of working 10 hours per article they work 2-3 hours, so they can get the boost to their hourly rate that they desire. Well, like many short term income decisions, it’s a bad EV decision, because people won’t want to keep working with you if you can’t deliver the awesome results they were expecting, and are cutting corners to boost your temporary profits instead. So, clients will leave, and you’ll claim, “no one stays on, customer retention is low”. Customer retention is obviously going to decrease significantly for you if you’re putting in 1/4th of the effort.
So, let’s take the person who decides to forgo these easy outs, and actually puts in the work. Let’s say they take on 3 clients at $300/month. For simplicity we’ll say that everyone produces 8 articles/month, so in total you’d have 24 articles to promote. So, you’d work roughly 240 hours in the month. That is hard work. Straight hustle to earn $900/month. That’s not much.
Now, if you got the results you said you could get them, they’d likely renew at a higher rate. $900/month might become $1,800/month by month two or three.
Once you realized where the most +EV clients for you were and each article started taking you a bit less time as you improved, $1,800/month might become $5,400/month by month four or five.
Once word started to spread about an article marketing service that increases your profits, and you had your systems in place, you may hire a few people to help execute those systems for the new clients that wanted your help.
Maybe instead of just you, there’s three others helping you provide the service. By the end of the year the $5,400/month turns into $21,600/month. You pay $3,000/month for your employees to just follow your systems promoting the articles, so your profit is $12,600/month.
You start year two off on pace for a $150k+ year, and finally realize that getting through the hard parts to get to the payoff was totally worth it. You realize you were never working for $3.75/hour in the first stage of the game. You were being paid to learn and test a $150k+ profit business. You now realize that you’re actually happy the $3.75/hr stage exists. It’s what keeps most of your competitors out, because they don’t realize the payday is around the corner. You collect checks, while they talk about how lucky you got. You didn’t get lucky, you played the game at a level that will be hard work and likely won’t even pay you well per hour for that hard work, but playing at that level allows you to get to the next levels.
I’m not saying you should charge $3.75/hr, and I’m not saying the business is definitely going to make $150k+/yr.
My goal is to teach you how to think so that you realize what’s possible if you put in the work while doing things the right way.
You may or may not make a lot of money in the process. But I guarantee you won’t make any if you don’t try. For something that is a need that isn’t well offered right now, that doesn’t cost any money to start, if you’re someone looking for an opportunity, now you have one.
If you’re already working on a project, hopefully something in this article made you think about something you’re doing in a different way.
If you like the free business giveaway series idea, let me know. More importantly, if you’ve been looking for an idea, execute on this.
Leave a comment if you like the idea of this series.
Leave a comment if you’ll be starting this idea.
Leave a comment if you have questions about it.
And if you don’t have an idea to work on, and aren’t going to try this, definitely leave me a comment explaining why you aren’t.