There's money out there with your name on it

I just finished a book by Felix Dennis. I don’t agree with him on several things, but one thing he said really strikes a chord with me:

The world is full of money. Some of it has your name on it. All you have to do is collect it.

I believe this is the biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs.

If you’re creative enough, you can find a way to make money out of something that you’re passionate about. You don’t need to dream about doing something meaningful and profitable with your life – you just need to do it.

I’ve been spending this weekend thinking about possible business models that would achieve two things:

  1. Help humans in that are truly in need (homeless, hungry, alone)
  2. Make a decent profit

I know there’s a way to do this, I just need to find it (by the way, if you have any ideas, feel free to comment below :D). I don’t think humanitarian efforts and good profit are mutually exclusive.

Go get it

Next time you come across an business idea that you really get excited about, it probably means there’s a big pile of cash with your name on it – you just need to get our there and claim it.

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Comments

0 comments on “There's money out there with your name on it

  1. I completely agree.
    If you get a good idea, just go with it. Don’t think. The worst thing that can happen is that you spend a couple of days of your life understanding how the web works, how people think they want something different than what they really do.

    The most common error is trying to do too much. Let’s say you’re making a social music network. We already have those. Lot’s of them. What we don’t have is a good “music network” dedicated to a piece of a certain genre. Don’t feed the audience with more than they wish for.

    I’m involved in a couple of interesting projects myself these days. Every single one of the projects have been done before by others. Despite that, they are still fresh ideas. How? l10n. :-)

  2. There’s no reason why one can’t build a business doing pretty much anything, which donates a hefty portion of its profits to charity as a matter of principle.

    Assuming that the business is not unethical, obviously.

  3. I thought about what you have written and think that maybe what you should say or focus on, should be on doing an ethical business (anywhere) but making humanitarian donations eventually.

    If you actually had in mind a business that runs in needy communities, helping them etc (in the ways you mentioned) and aimed at having a safe balance sheet from that, then maybe you are missing it a bit – except if you intend to exploit the governments/peoples of those places. Remember Iraq oil-for-food programme…

    Best is to do business ethically, make mega profits and support charity – anywhere. It could be self-fulfilling! I am hoping I get there too …

  4. Idea: Collect 2. Hand clothes. People should be able to come to a shop and buy it there. Perhaps also a website. So you need good quality. The people who give you the clothes should know that you are going to take half of the profit for one or 2 helping project. So they are helping the people and are building jobs by giving away their clothes.

  5. There’s no reason why one can’t build a business doing pretty much anything, which donates a hefty portion of its profits to charity as a matter of principle.

    Sure, but I’d rather that the actual activities of the business have a direct impact on people’s lives.

    Still thinking … :)

  6. Hey Joswa,

    That’s funny you mention Microfinance. It’s really been on my mind recently. Might follow that one up!

    – Ryan

  7. Sure, but I’d rather that the actual activities of the business have a direct impact on people’s lives.

    Still thinking … :)
    ——————————————————–
    Ryan,

    Have been reading your blog for quite a while and impressed by the stuff you guys are doing in Bath. But on the topic… I think you can do internet business, do what you do the best and then you will make the biggest impact if you partner with someone who knows how to help people. I am not saying just giving money, but actively working with the charity/organization. That’s what we do in our company and that is what is our vision. We will be at your event(FOWA) if you want to have a chat ;).

    Thumbs up!

    Janusz

  8. Interestingly there was an article in the Sunday Times today by George Osborne the Conservative Shadow Chancellor and he was talking about taking web 2.0 principles to public services, saying we need a public services 2.0. Kiva is a good example of something along these lines – Umair Haque at Bubblegeneration.com also talks about how “2.0” needs to move into new realms like development and so on.

  9. Actually the peace prize winner of this year’s nobel prize won because of what is essentially ‘micro’ loans of a few dollars. It started small, to help local poor families get out of the grips of unscrupulous money lenders, and has turned into a national bank. I think there’s also some sort of mobile phone initiative. So it can be done.

    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2006/

  10. I’m a massive fan of you get whatever you put into life and live as much like that as I can. So, if you work hard and well then you will reap the benefits – cash!

  11. Speaking of money with your name on it, how about an update on the Dropsend sale? Are you still persuing the sale?

    Sorry, there’s not much to update! We’re currently waiting on two buyers to see if they come back with formal offers. I’ll post when something happens.

    It’s taking forever …

  12. Hi Ryan,
    Interesting topic. I think the most famous one in the UK that comes to mind is The Big Issue. Its run as an actual business, not a charity. I can remember its founder, John Bird, getting a mention in the Times rich list :)
    I also think Microfinance is something which is really getting international attention now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Yunus

    In the web space im a big fan of Kiva.org (Excellent Concept).

  13. so doable,

    you can get the homeless to donate body parts for money. It will benefit everyone and you are making a difference in peoples lives.

    Follow your dreams!

  14. Ryan

    This is a project that I’m involved in here in Cape Town, South Africa: http://www.sasix.co.za/ – it’s a social investment exchange that allows individuals to invest in projects where the return is of a social kind.

    “Investors purchase “social shares” in these projects, at a standard cost of R50 (3 quid) each. However, while the conventional stock exchange yields a financial return, Sasix yields a social return: the upliftment of poor people’s lives.”

    The next step is, well, I don’t want to give too much away, but we are planning all sorts of interesting future developments. In a nutshell, it involves investing in social developments with a social and financial return through web-based initiatives.

    regards,
    Alan