Mark Cuban was a money-maker from the get-go.
He was selling sets of garbage bags at age 12, making impressive profits off of postage stamps at age 16, and giving disco lessons to campus sorority members for $US25 an hour during his time at Indiana University.
He never lost his uncanny ability to make money, and is a billionaire today because of it.
In a 2012 post on his personal blog, Blog Maverick, the entrepreneur shared two unusual, yet creative, ways any student — high school or college — can make more than minimum wage: selling shoelaces, and programming all-in-one TV remote controls.
Making money does not have to be fancy or complicated. All it takes is hard work and customer service, Cuban emphasises.
“I guarantee you that if you go to the parking lot of any high school or college football game with a bunch of shoelaces in team colours that you bought for two bucks a pop, and put up a sign and two chairs, you can make money,” he writes.
Don’t stop at football games, the entrepreneur says: “Go to wherever there are people in your community. Flea Market. Basketball Game. Dance recital. Wherever people who go to your school show up, you show up.”
As for programming remote controls, this takes more effort and skill, but can reap generous profits because it solves a fundamental problem that many people face, Cuban explains: “People are buying a single remote control to replace all the remotes they have. No one really wants to take the time to figure out all the options. No one wants to take the time to learn how to program the stupid remote.”
As soon as you become an expert in programming the remotes, you take a stack of business cards with your information on them to the local electronics stores, Cuban says: “Go to all the stores and tell them that their customers will be far happier if they send them to you to program the remote. You will program it exactly like they want it, connecting to any and all devices. All the store has to do is let you put up a stack of cards next to the remote control, and maybe a little sign.”
While Cuban’s ideas are out-of-the-box, he has made a career out of forward-thinking and innovative ideas. If it worked for him, it may work for you.
“To solve your big money problems, sometimes you only need to solve simple problems,” he writes. “Sometimes you just need to be creative.”
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