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The ATM Machine on Your Phone

Like many of you, I enjoyed a recent article about an iPhone photographer who made $15,000 in one day by selling his Instagram prints for $150 each on his birthday.

“I’m not an entrepreneur,” he says in the article. But essentially, that’s exactly what he was—he acted on an idea and people responded!

It was an experiment to sell prints at a low price point. The birthday tie-in was a fun twist. When people continued to respond, he decided to keep going.

A while back I wrote about how business opportunities are everywhere. I received a lot of feedback from that post, but most of it related to the specific opportunities I mentioned. That wasn’t the point!

I was referring to the general principle that there are opportunities all around you.

If you don’t take good photos, the Instagram opportunity probably isn’t for you. That’s fine… don’t worry about that particular example.

Instead, focus on the broader picture behind the story. Tactics are constantly changing, but strategy is fundamental. Look for problems that need solving. Look for things that bother you and provide an answer for others. Try a lot of stuff and focus on what works.

How can you create your own winning story like the self-described clueless photographer? Here are a few quick ideas.

Learn the language and tools of the new economy.

You can share your expertise with people on the phone via (Check out the profiles from my friends Chris Brogan and Clay Hebert for two good examples.)

Even if you’re as technologically inept as I am, you can sell a product with e-junkie. I used them for the first three products I created for Unconventional Guides before moving on to more advanced solutions.

You can become an instant consultant by offering something specific.

Be your own bank.

You can now become your own hedge fund, thanks to and other peer-to-peer lending services. With interest rates so low, it’s hard to earn a decent return on your savings—but you can take a safe amount of money and lend it out to other people whose stories seem worthy of investment.

Follow *some* of your passions.

One of the core lessons of The $100 Startup is that some of your passions and hobbies can lead to money and others can’t. The difference lies in whether it’s something that only you’re interested in, or something that others are also interested in—and whether they’re willing to pay for it or not.

Business opportunities are still all around us. Like the iPhone photographer who sold his prints, or the instant consultants who put their skills to work, there are still plenty of chances to build something creative.


*Also see: How to Make Money on the Internet

Image: Epsos