How to Make a Million Dollars – More examples

by Marshall Brain

So come up with an idea. Find something that you can do in the American economy that would make people’s lives better and that they would be willing to pay money for. Build a simple business around it. Start making a profit.

What you have created is called a “cash cow.” You have a business that generates excess cash. Now, either you milk the cow, or you sell the cow to someone else. That’s it. Suddenly you have become an entrepreneur. Then either you go relax on your Caribbean island, or you try to start another one. And it will be a lot easier the second time because you have been practicing.

Let me emphasize that the idea does not have to be complex. Domino’s is not a complex idea: “We make pizza and deliver it to people’s houses.” How simple is that? Yet it has made millions and millions of dollars. Here are a couple of other examples:

  • Netflix — “You send us $20 a month, and we will mail three DVDs to you. When you mail one of the DVDs back to us, we send you another one.” That’s pretty simple. The genius behind Netflix is that they got rid of all the little niggly problems that make you hate video stores. People liked it.
  • Advo — Now it does not get any simpler that this. What Advo did was they took a piece of paper. And they folded it in half. And they stuck some flyers in it — you know, like grocery store coupons or whatever — and mailed it to people. That’s it. Advo is a HUGE company now — over $1 billion per year in revenue.
  • Southwest airlines — This is a little more complicated because it involves jumbo jets and the FAA and drink carts and such, but at the start Southwest was a still pretty simple idea. They picked three cities in Texas and flew from one to the next in a circle. They picked people up at one city and dropped them off at the next. That’s it. Once that was working, they started adding more cities, and pretty soon Southwest was changing an entire industry.
  • Refrigerator Filters — I have a friend who makes a very comfortable living with a little company that sells the filters that go with your refrigerator. You know — the little carbon filters that take the chlorine out of the water before it gets to the ice maker. He takes orders on the web, ships out the filters and makes a nice profit on each one because it makes things easy for people.
Raising Money?

If you are reading these pages and you are wondering how you can raise money for your new business, this article will help: How to Raise Money from Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists

Look at the companies all around you. What is McDonald’s? “We sell hamburgers.” What is Wal-Mart? “We put stuff on shelves and people buy it.” These are not complicated ideas. All that you need to do is create your own idea, get it going, turn it into a cash cow and then either milk it or sell it.

Here’s how you can get started…

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