Thursday, February 13, 2014

Homeless Millions – One Man’s Journey From Nothing To Everything

Park Slope is a lonely place for a homeless man. Greg Murjani was living on the streets, struggling day by day to get by. Winning the lotto for him was finding an old radio in the trash he could sell for $5 down the block. He was friendly and nice, he was just down on his luck homeless. Little by little the neighborhood folks would throw him a bone with an odd job. Clean out an old ladies garage, or lug an old fridge to the nearest junkyard. He slowly scraped by. He became known in the neighborhood as a guy you can lean on to schlepp heavy things or clean out your junk. They called him Mr. Rubbish. Eventually, he earned enough money for a beat up old truck. Than two, than three…

I met Greg in 2006 while working at the ad agency that was building his brand 1-800-Mr. Rubbish. He came into the agency carrying a box of old comic books he cleaned out of a house his team just cleaned up. Even though it has been several years since he was homeless, and he had a team of over 20 employees, he still liked to get his hands dirty and work alongside his team when he wasn’t busy working with his ad agency and his franchise director. In less than a decade, Greg went from being homeless to owning one of the biggest houses in Park Slope, employing several dozen people and franchising his brand around North America. Unfortunately, Greg is no longer with us, but his story still inspires me every day.

The biggest lesson I took from Greg is that you can achieve the American dream even if you have nothing. You could be in the worst circumstances, broke as can be, and somehow find a way to not just survive, but thrive.

“I Was Never Poor; Just Broke.”

I don’t know who said that, but it couldn’t be more true. Being poor is resigning yourself to defeat. Being broke is agreeing that it’s just a temporary circumstance. You can climb out of this hole. I’ve been broke. It sucks. However, after hearing the short stories and ideas I am about to share I realized that being broke is a temporary situation, one that you can easily emerge from if you want to.

Susan Peterson was Broke. She had a dream though. The only thing in the way of her dream was the $200 she needed to get started. $200 she had no way of getting her hands on. Her brother in law owned a glass installation business, and she begged him for the old windows he replaced. After spending an entire summer busting out glass and removing thousands of screws from the aluminum frames, Susan managed to raise $200.00 to start the Freshly Picked Moccasin Business, by selling the aluminum to a junkyard.

Two weeks ago the episode of Shark Tank aired where Susan revealed that she now has over $500,000 in sales. Could you imagine not being able to scrape together $200, and building a business worth millions? What inspires me though is not the $500,000 in sales. What inspires me is the first $200 she earned. What a creative idea. One that you and I could easily implement if we are ever strapped for cash.

Do you believe it takes money to make money?

That’s your first mistake.

Do you believe it takes hard work to make money?

That’s your second mistake.

Do you believe your financial circumstances are due to circumstances beyond your control?

That’s your worst mistake.

What would you do if you found a $100 bill lying on the ground? Bill Gates said he would try to find the distraught owner to return it, or would give it to his foundation.

What could you do with an extra $100 or $200? What about $600 or $1000. Would that be enough to get you started making more money? Would that fix your first mistake?

What if you could get your hands on that extra $100 or $200 or even $1000 with just a few weeks of hard work? would that motivate you to get started?

What if you could get that extra few hundred bucks in a matter of days, or hours. Would that be enough to fix your second mistake?

The truth is, it is absolutely possible to make several hundred dollars in a matter of hours without much work. In fact, in a few minutes I will teach you exactly how to do it. But first…

We need to get rid of your limiting beliefs. You don’t need startup capital to get started. You don’t even need much time to get started.

What’s the Secret? Open Your Eyes! That’s the secret.

There are hundreds of opportunities floating around you every day, you just need to wake up and open your eyes.

We have blinders on. Blinding Beliefs that prevent us from seeing the opportunities circling around us.

Here’s a fun exercise. Find a few friends and challenge them to the $5 and 2 Hours game.

The rules are simple. Each team puts $5 into an envelope, and has a few days to plan what they will do with it. Once they open the envelope the clock starts ticking and they have 2 hours to make as much money as possible.

How much do you think you could make with $5 and 2 hours? What about your friends, How much do you think they can make?

This was actually a class assignment for students in Stanford’s entrepreneur program. Let me tell you what each team did to make as much money as possible with just $5 and two hours.

The third place team bought a bicycle tire gauge and bicycle air pump and went to the center of campus where lots of students had bicycles and hung up a sign that said, “We’ll check your tire pressure for free and fill it up for $1.00” This worked pretty well and after an hour they made about $30, so they tried a new tactic. “We’ll check your tire pressure and fill up your bike with air for free. Donations Accepted.” This time around students were giving them $2, $3, and some even $5. Within the second hour they had made over $150.

Is there a place near you with lots of bikes that you could do this same thing? I bet within 2 hours you could earn a quick $100-$200. The big lesson from this group though is not so much the strategy but the willingness to experiment and adapt. Their offering was exactly the same, checking tire pressure and filling bike tires with air, but a small tweak made their second hour 5x more profitable. Sometimes we’ll find ourselves on the verge of profitability, especially if you run advertising arbitrage, often times though, a simple tweak is all you need to go from losing money, to cashing in.

Not your speed. That’s cool too. Check out what the second place team did.

They realized that restaurants have huge lines in Palo Alto on Saturday nights, so they made a handful of reservations at the hot spots in town. They then went to the restaurant and sold their reservations to people waiting in the back of the line. Within two hours they had made close to $300. They even got the later reservation of the person they sold the new one to, so they had another reservation to sell later in the evening.

Hmm. Do you have access to a phone? Do you live near a busy club or restaurant? This strategy didn’t even take $5, all it took was afew phone calls making reservations and a willingness to earn some money. A similar strategy to this is to find events in town that are giving out free tickets if you wait in line and reserve them online, for example, tickets to America’s Got Talent, and sell them for $50 a pop on craigslist later in the day.

How do I know this works, because I was a sucker who bought those tickets back in August…and found out they were free if we would have reserved them online. I bet there are dozens of popular shows you can get free tickets to and resell them if you need to make an extra few hundred dollars.

Back to our Stanford story though, What did the group that won do?

Well, they realized that the $5 and the 2 hours were not their biggest assets.

They realized that their biggest asset was their presentation time in class after the assignment. So they sold that presentation to a company that was looking to recruit students in the class. They sold it for $650. These brilliant students realized that thinking about this game within the limitations of $5 and 2 hours was limiting their beliefs. It was blinding them from seeing opportunities floating around them. Do you have hidden assets you don’t realize you have? All you need to do is think about who wants access to the people you have access to, and you can make a pretty penny. In fact, there is a website called which is a network just for making referral introductions and getting paid commissions.

This is the secret to making money without working hard or investing money.

You need to open your eyes, and remove your limiting beliefs. Every excuse and reason you can think of to not try something or do something is worth doubting and questioning. Peel the onion, remove the layers and you will see opportunities floating all around you.

Mark Cuban wrote a blog post a while ago with several other great ideas along these lines. Go to a college (or any sport) basketball game and buy shoelaces that are the colors of the teams playing. Offer to sell them and lace up peoples shoes in the parking lot with their team colors for $10. You would be surprised how easy it is to make a few hundred bucks. Maybe even experiment with charging $20 and than you only need to find half as many die hard fans.

People love expressing themselves, especially when they are passionate about it. Why else would someone spend several hundred dollars on an authentic team jersey and paint their faces. Team colors are an easy win for anything that lets fans express themselves.

Another Mark Cuban ideas was to learn how to program universal remote controls. Than, create cheap business cards that offer universal remote control programming for $25 and place them in all the local stores that sell universal remotes. (The owners would be happy to let you do this because they’ll sell more remotes.)

You are here, reading the most popular affiliate marketing blogs online. This alone gives you an edge over 98% of the market.

Stuck for ideas, and none of the ones above work for you.

Why not try putting an affiliate link within a QR code on a flyer and hang them around town. I bet you can make a few commissions easily. Find a good offer like an Angieslist affiliate link.

There are so many ways to make money quickly. The secret is to just pick something and do it. Don’t worry about greener pastures or other opportunities. Just pick something, earn your scratch, and turn that money into more and more.

Wanna know my secret. My go to solution to make a few hundred bucks in a matter of minutes?

Just offer free wordpress installation and setup like I do, and like so many other affiliate marketers do.

How does it work? A good affiliate program for web hosting, like Hostgator pays out up to $125 for each signup (or even more if you know the right people.) In Fact, you don’t even need an affiliate link, you just create a coupon. My coupon is “davidmelamed” and that gets you 25% off hosting. Offering wordpress setup and installation is the Easiest $125 bucks I’ve ever made many times over, and there’s no reason why you can’t too! After all, there is a reason almost every super affiliate runs the same promotion. It works.

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