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Monday, February 22, 2010

How to make money with your own 2 hands.

My family was relatively poor growing up. Dad spent years going to school trying to make a better life for us while Mom waited tables to help support the family. Her tips were placed in a jar on the kitchen counter and that's where my sister and I got our lunch money for school. If the car needed fixing, Dad fixed it. If clothes needed mending Mom sewed them. Patched up knees on my jeans were the style of the day. We were a family that created something out of nothing, almost every day. We had to in order to makes ends meet. I find now that in times of high unemployment a lot of us out there are looking for ways to fill lunch money jars. It is my hope that this blog entry will help you and your family at least a little bit.

First of all, don't despair. I can only believe that things will get better. I have been an amateur historian since my early childhood and America has always been very resilient. I expect the economy to make a full recovery, though it may take some time. Meanwhile, you need to ride out the storm. Whether you know it or not, you as an individual have a huge advantage over large corporations. If you compare a large corporation to a huge ship, and yourself to a small rowboat you are way ahead in the game for a lot of reasons. Huge ships are harder to turn around than your rowboat. Every time a course adjustment has to made on a large ship, it takes several sailors, a lot of fuel (money), and a whole bunch of ocean. I will say one thing. I have to give large ships credit where credit is due. When a large ship sinks, it usually plummets to the bottom in a very grand way. Legend tells of the band continuing to play as the Titanic was taking on water. You on the other hand have a rowboat. It doesn't go fast, but it turns on a dime. You are the decision maker, because you control the oars. Your cost of maintenance is low, unlike the big ship, who spent more money hiring the band than you did on your entire dinghy. By concentrating on the inherent strengths and advantages of your rowboat you will be better equipped to get through rough waters.

While we are talking about large corporations, lets talk about profit margins. You as an individual have the opportunity to make a much larger gross profit percentage than almost any large company. I urge you take advantage of this fact. In the old days, I used to go to an auction or garage sale and try to pick items that I knew I could double my money on. To a 13 year old kid, turning $5 into $10 seemed like I was really setting the world on fire. And to be fair, there are a lot of businesses (and individuals) who feel that doubling their money is still the standard. Retail stores as an example often mark things up double or triple to insure their success after paying employees, taxes, insurance and other expenses. Large corporations work on even much smaller profit percentages. Some of them run on only a 5% margin. What that means is that after product development, manufacturing, attorney fees, and advertising on the super bowl, a company with a 5% margin only really expects to turn a $5 investment into $5.25.

I want you to start thinking differently than me as a boy, turning $5 into $10. Don't think as a large corporation either, or a retail store. Think instead about how with your own 2 hands that you can turn $5 into $50. Or even better, $0 into $50. Search your mind. Search your house. Think outside the box. Find a raw material or scrap of something that you have sitting around that you can turn into money with a little elbow grease. I am able to do this over and over again without any trouble at all, and you can do it too. It has gotten to be a fun contest with me at times to see what I can do with less and less to work with. Once you are able to turn a scrap of wood from the trash or a pair of blue jeans that don't fit anymore into $50 your life will never be the same. I positively guarantee it.

As I continue posting I will give all of you some more pictures of my work, to give you a better idea of the kinds of things you can do to fill that lunch money jar. Meanwhile, hang in there and think about what you can do to turn 5 into 50. I would love to hear comments on what you have come up with.


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