When looking for a business to start or a service to offer, take a lesson from history: Mine for a little gold, if you want, but make your main business the tools behind the trend.
During the many gold rushes throughout the United States in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s, only a handful of the thousands of gold prospectors hit the mother lode. But nearly all of the providers of mining tools made their fortunes. That’s a difficult concept to grasp at first. For one thing, it is much less glamorous. It can also be a slower and much more predictable road to wealth, but it is often more lucrative.
Many of the gold hunters invested all their time in mining, then invested any money they made into the equipment to get more mining done. There was a finite supply of gold available to these miners, yet the promise of instant riches fueled their drive. The outfitters all “struck it rich,” as many miners went home empty-handed.
The late eccentric Howard Hughes inherited great wealth, then increased that wealth dramatically by manufacturing and supplying drill bits to oil-rigging companies. In fact, Hughes was often mistaken for being an “oil man” because of his association with the oil companies. He made a far greater fortune than the actual oil drillers. He expanded into many other ventures, but the foundation of his success was built on being a supplier of a tool the oil industry needed.
As an entrepreneur today, you can mine for gold with your Internet business, but you’ll generate much more if you also offer much-needed tools and training to needy consumers who’ve found enough nuggets to buy your product.
The online world of marketing, for example, is easily comparable to a postmodern, 21st-century “gold rush.” The “mining methods” take place through technology, but the dynamics in play are very much the same. Even the personality traits of the players are similar. Online entrepreneurs tend to be adventurous and optimistic risk takers.
There is an endless supply of online marketing educational programs that promise instant wealth and riches, but there are only a few that are the real “tools” miners need: products that offer functionality, adaptability, and performance. Create or find these valuable tools, and miners will line up to buy from you. When you add or incorporate better tools into your inventory, you’ll see better results. Offer the right supplies, and you will transform your business into a powerful resource center on the technology-based frontier.
James Broadfoot is a North Carolina-based Internet marketer and entrepreneur.