Mining the Miners: A Different Way To Make Money

California Gold Rush

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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.

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