by Todd Sivers
Wealth. It isn’t just about money. It’s also about freedom, security, and power. And all of that requires integrity. But none of it comes from compliance, complacency, or corporate bureaucracy.
There was a time when the security offered by employers was a worthy temptation. Put in your time, and enjoy security in your golden years on the company dime. Tempting indeed, until it was repeatedly proven unreliable. Put in your time, and maybe we’ll fire you when you’re too old to get another good job, or maybe we’ll misallocate your pension fund and hide behind bankruptcy laws… Those versions never made it into the recruitment brochures, but we all heard about them anyway.
You will never experience real wealth through employment. Never. You may get lucky and experience some wealth through stock options from your employer, but if luck is your strategy for wealth you’re going to need a lot of it.
The only real strategy for wealth today is a DIY strategy. Nobody but you is as concerned about your future as you are. Nobody will work as hard for your interests as you will. We all know people who won’t do much for themselves and won’t try very hard, but this isn’t for them, its for you. Because you want it enough to work for it.
So here are the 5 simple steps to do it yourself (DIY) wealth…
Step 1 – Creativity: Zero to One. Create a unique opportunity or solution that helps other people. This can literally be anything from a new, more efficient cat box scoop (I bought one from a Kickstarter campaign – It’s awesome.) to a robotic suit to help paralyzed people run marathons. Don’t feel intimidated by this, the cat box scoop is just as valid.
Then test the idea by offering it to friends and family or other people in your circle of influence, like cat owners or paralytics. See if anyone wants it. And if they do, sell it to them. If they don’t, and you’ve really asked a number of people who are in the ‘target market’ of people who should want what you’ve made or are making, try again.
There are a lot of details in this step. Far more than I can cover in a single blog post. But the goal of this step is simple: Can you take an idea from zero to 1? Can you sell or pre-sell the idea? Can you make $1? This first step is the hardest one, and the vast majority of humanity will never complete this first step even once.
Step 2 – Confidence: One to 1k. Take your unique solution or opportunity and really try to sell it. Do a Kickstarter campaign. Make plans for long-term pricing and delivery options. And prove to yourself that it can be sold. $1 could be a fluke. But $1000 shows a pattern. (For the cat box scoop, this is right on, for the robot suit you might want to go a little over a grand.) This is the second hardest step. And many who do make it through step 1, never finish this one.
Step 3 – Systemization: 1K to 10K. Now that you’ve tested the Muse, it’s time to get serious about production and delivery. Especially if your Kickstarter campaign lived up to its name. Here’s where you’ll turn your idea into a real, valid business. And make a real, valid profit. And like each step, many versions of this step will line up with my money range, but yours might not. Here’s the important part to see: this step is the easiest yet. It is much easier to systemize an idea that works than it is to create or test it. It’s easier to go from $1k in profits to $10k in profits than from $1 to $1k or even from $0 to $1.
Step 4 – Automation: 10K-100K. This is beyond testing. You have systems for marketing, sales, production and delivery. Now you need systems for the systems. You need ways to ensure that each step gets done right every time without you doing it all yourself. In other words, you need to Mc it.Again, this is an easier step than #3.
Once you have systems in place, you can go from $10k in profits to $100k more easily than $0-$10k.
You may doubt this, but just ask anyone who has actually done it. Richard and Maurice McDonald didn’t just start a hamburger stand, they changed the way the world buys hamburgers. You may not see this innovation as a positive contribution to society, but you can’t deny the size of the impact. Richard and Maurice knew how to automate their simple idea and make it both efficient and consistent. And once they did it in one restaurant, they started doing it at another, and then another. But their vision stopped at automation. Once they had several restaurants operating in the southwest USA, they were satisfied with what their automation had done. And that may have been the extent of their story if someone else hadn’t taken them to step 5.
Step 5 – Scale: 100k to 1M+. What’s the difference between automation and scale? Automation is producing consistent results with varying time and effort. Different people can step in and get the same results. You end up with the same successes on Monday as you did on Friday. Scale is the perpetuation of those results, making more of them faster than ever without losing any of the quality that automation ensures.
And to do that, you need to Kroc it. The McDonald brothers systematized their hamburger stand. They knew how to get things done efficiently. But they never considered how powerful automation could be. When Ray Crock saw their small regional restaurant operation, he knew he had found something to scale. Here’s the biggest take away from this post: This step, $100k to $1 million is the easiest one, once the others are done.
If you can sell a cat box scoop to 100 cat owners, you can sell it to a million cat owners. If you can help 1 paraplegic run a marathon… then the wheelchair world will, indeed, beat a path to your door.
If you’d like help and community while you step up to greater wealth, join us for free and we’ll all step up together. This concept, the 5 stages of business Growth, is covered in depth inside our membership area, where you'll also find tons of other actionable training, all waiting to take you from dream to reality.
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