I will tell you.
Step one. Figure out an area that is “hot”. For instance, Facebook marketing is inning one. Better tests for personalized diagnostics of age-related diseases is in inning one. Understanding the root causes of depression is in inning one. Combining mobile with social is in inning one. Self-publishing your book and marketing it is in inning one. There are probably 30 more areas I’m neglecting to mention. Maybe 100. Or 1000. Start listing them today.
Step two. Start a service business in one of those area. For instance, go to every local business in your town and offer to set up the Facebook fan page for their business. Then, in store, their customers can “Like” their page. Then all the friends of those customers will see that they Liked that page and will be curious. That’s the basics. Then it gets more and more advanced as you get familiar with the Facebook landscape and their tools for targeted marketing. If you can’t get any customers for this basic business then something is probably wrong with your pitch, with you personally, or you live in the woods. You can be ten years old and get this business started. Get ten clients or more.
What about age-related diagnostics tests if you are not a scientist? No problem. Write a newsletter about the latest developments in that area. Make a blog about it. Or sell your subscription newsletter for a high price to every big pharmaceutical company. In other words, pick an area in “Step One” above and then brainstorm the various ways you can build a business around that area in “Step two”. You don’t have to make an airline to set up a travel-related company. There are many ways to come up with ideas that work.
Step three. Productize your service. Let’s say in the Facebook example above. Come up with a way a business can auto-post onto the fanpage timeline their latest offers, polls, etc. Products create more value than services as far as business acquirors are concerned because it follows along the dictum of “make money while you sleep”. In the age-related diagnostics newsletter example – find software to scour the FDA database about new submissions that you then collate into your newsletter. And so on. I know one person who is an expert on how to find lists of “rent to own” homes. He quickly made a database, put it online, charged a subscription fee to get access to the database, marketed on Google, and is now making $300,000 a month within two months after launching. He’s 27 years old and never went to college. He can do it. So you can also. If he wanted to sell for one million dollars today to a company like Zillow for instance, they’d pay him that in a heartbeat. Since I’m an investor in his company I’m hoping he eventually sells for a lot more than that.
Step four. Get customers. Knock on every door. Call up every biz dev person. Make a list of 1000 potential customers and start updating all of them about your offerings, your new offerings, your customer development, your testimonials, your outreach and so on.
Step five. Sell the business. You aren’t asking for a lot. The question was: “how do I make a million”. If you want to sell your business for one hundred million you have a lot of hard work in front of you. If you want to sell your business for a million, there are plenty of companies who want to break into your space, get your products and customer list, and get YOU (because you know the space intimately by this point) and be happy to give you either a million in cash or a million in stock plus pay you an ongoing salary. A million is not a lot if you have a product, customers, a unique offering, and special knowledge, and if you are selling to a much bigger company.
That’s all it takes. Timeline? One year starting from today. Go for it. Make a million and please report back to me when you do so I can write a book about it.