Mining the Miners: A Different Way To Make Money

by Ron Haynes

California Gold Rush This image is part of the public domain.

Levi Strauss arrived in San Francisco in 1853, just 5 years after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California and opened the western branch of his family’s dry goods store. In the years after gold was discovered, hundreds of thousands of people arrived in the Golden State to pursue the American Dream and Levi Strauss was there to “mine the miners” rather than mine the gold.

I recently heard a very successful farmer speak at my Rotary Club meeting and was struck by one statement: “I farm about 4,500 acres and more than half of that is dedicated to producing seed to sell to other farmers.” He is farming the farmers.

There are websites galore dedicated to making money online by teaching people how to make money online. There are writers who write about writing, business people who’s business is teaching business people how to conduct business, passionate people who’s passion is helping others find their passion, and coaches who coach coaches on how to coach.

What do these ventures have in common?

They all take advantage of a rush of sorts. Many of these see that miners, farmers, online entrepreneurs, and coaches all need something and rather than jump into the fray of competition against them, instead make their fortune in supplying people who are looking to make a fortune.

For example, young kids think setting up a classic lemonade stand is how to make extra money, but what if they started building lemonade stand KITS and selling them to other kids? My daughters make a fortune babysitting, but what if they were motivated to organize a sitter’s club and sold memberships to parents who needed a sitter on short notice? Sometimes just a potential sitter’s phone number is golden!

Making money isn’t about jumping on a bandwagon with the “next big thing.” It isn’t about retailing lemonade or retailing anything for that matter. That’s too obvious. Where real money can be made is in supplying those who are looking to jump on a bandwagon.

Where can you make your money?

What “gold rush” can you take advantage of? Instead of jumping in on the “next big thing,” what can you supply to those looking to jump in on the next big thing? This is what out of the box thinking is all about.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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this really is true and I have been thinking about this lately. So many people are always caught up chasing the big thing, but there is so much to be gained by just helping them. If you look at ProBlogger for example, it is perfect, the whole site is based around something that there are tens of millions of amateurs who all want to be pros – what a great idea!


Very well said! In the past I’ve thought that even “mining the miners” was also jumping on the bandwagon, but your post and Bob’s comment put it differently – like “helping them” rather than being part of the competition. Of course, there’s still a good chunk of people already mining the miners (I’m thinking of the whole problogging type niche), but it would be worth thinking about other areas where we can use the analogy, maybe some sectors haven’t been developed up in that way yet.


Mine the miners. Farm the farmers. I’m not sure but isn’t that what most of the blogger are doing right now. We are farming different groups of people in the society. Pro blogger farms other blogger who wants to build an online business. There are blogger who farms people who need to save money, investing in stocks, home improvement, personal development, etc… May be it only works if there is enough people interesting in a subject. Take it for example, Darren struck gold when he developed problogger before the blogging wave. Now he is developing Twitips for tweeter to prepare for the upcoming wave of twittering people. He knows who to stay ahead of the herds. Wish I had that kind of instinct.

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