Month: January 2015

Earning Money Principal 1: “Solutions are Profitable”

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Building Business on Problems

When most of us think about a business, we think about what they provide – services, skills, ideas, or connections. However, I want you to think of 5 businesses that you frequent and come up with the antithesis to what they offer:

What problem to they solve?

When you start to reposition your thinking, and start “solutionizing” opportunities and businesses are often less intimidating. As you start to think about what you might offer in order to set up a second income, there’s a skill to being able to identify and understand the problem and what drives a person to want the intended solution.

To keep your mind sharp, and on-the-ready for the next step to Side-Streaming there are four concepts to understand and master.


  1. The problem may be inherent (like food) or it may be something that marketing creates. For example, this Beats by Dre commercial creates a problem for you by describing one person’s experience while getting out of the car and getting his headphone chord caught in the door. It’s not a problem you once had, but now you’ve had that experience once, didn’t like it, and now you want their solution (product).


  1. Problems aren’t often easy to spot, but they should be easier to break down once you do. If you’re considering buying a car, and want to get a car with heated and cooled seats, think about what you might want those for – or what problem they solve. When you start to consider things that are aesthetics, like Daytime Running Lights, what problem to they solve? Often, attention is the bottom line to those decisions, as much as we hate to admit it. Why do you want the nicest Gucci handbag? Why do you want the newest a $4,000 watch? It functions the same as it’s cheaper cousin, but doesn’t come with prestige.


  1. Problems with small frequency seldom don’t earn as much as problems that are common and widespread. That’s not to say niche, niche is different. Would you pay extra for fridge magnets aren’t strong enough to hold heavy cardboard, or would you just use more than one?


  1. People will pay for solutions to problems if the solution saves them time, effort or money. This seems so straightforward, but it’s actually quite complex. A lot of services offer you a solution that saves you one of these – car insurance companies compete for this (15minutes can save you 15%), offering microwaveable meals, even employees are hired for the sake of time. Many times, paying money on item A can save you money compared to Option B. You have to be critical and dissect on this one!

So, how can these concepts make their way into your consciousness?

Solutionizing Exercise:

How do you master anything??

Well, it takes practice that’s directed and disciplined.


First, start with this awesome list that Side Hustle Nation put together. The blog, run by Nick Loper, dives into ways you can earn on the side of a full-time job. He talks about a TON of interesting business concepts, and the best part is you can use this to practice the above 4 identification skills.

1. Print his list out. You’ll need just a few pages 😉

2. Print this worksheet out. Solutionizing Worksheet

Worksheet Snapshot

3. Scroll to any particular idea that Nick shared. Write down the answer to the questions for each box, based on the principles from above. In no time, you’ll have a really good understanding of businesses, and what they offer a solution for.

I’ve written in my thoughts on the first of Nick’s list, Affiliate Marketing. (My answers are also on the worksheet!)


Is the problem an existing problem or one that is created with good marketing? AM: Existing; I would pay if you can send sales to me. What is the simplest way to describe the problem? AM: Sales
Is this a common problem, or is it widespread and frequent?AM: Common, many people want to raise sales Does the solution save time, money or effort, or something else? AM: Effort; take away my marketing work. Time; take away my time spent finding new clients. Money; save me from advertising costs.


nce you’ve got a good number of these done, you’ll start to notice that there’s such simplicity in most solutions.

What SOLUTIONS do you have to offer as a Side-Streamer?

Two Things You Are Banned from Saying…

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I lost my cool 2 days into 2015

People are doing resolutions, setting goals, and trying to set their sights on new goals. I love that.

Know what I don’t like?

A friend of mine and I are discussing his future, how he’s unhappy, and who he wants to be. He was frustrated that his lifestyle was determined by his work, and therefore he was stuck with his job forever.

I poked at his self-created shackles.

I badgered him to tell me why work was the only option for him to earn.

After 15 minutes of circular argument, he broke down and yelled, “DAMN IT AARON, I CAN’T MAKE MONEY OUTSIDE OF WORK!!! I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START. HOW?!?!?”

Finally, a breakthrough!

The point of this isn’t about making money, or even breaking down. It’s about two phrases I can’t let you say this year: I can’t and I don’t know….

There’s no space for excuses like these in my world, or my life, and I want to encourage you to take that approach.

Don’t know how? Fine, ask someone. Help is available.

Can’t? Well, write down why you can’t. You’d be shocked how full of BS your writing will be.

Let’s start this year by getting over those phrases, and replacing them with “I can,” or “I want to know how to….”

Remember my Xmen email, or Proposals Guide, those are examples of how “I can’t” can change into “I can.”

Maybe my site can’t answer your question. Maybe I don’t know the answer to your problem. To be honest, I have specific strengths that I share, not universal omnipotence (shocking, I know). I can recommend tons of other sites that write more, write better, and have much more content, but you have to start with the question.

It’s for this reason alone that I don’t believe in resolutions. I believe in Questions.

It’s also amazing how many resolution posts there were on January 1, and how few there already are. Do you even remember your resolution???

When it comes to goals, where do most people start?

  • I want to be a millionare
  • I want to have my own business
  • I want to quit my job

That’s fine if that’s what you really want, but that goal alone isn’t enough. A resolution to “make it big” is the same as deciding you want to visit Mt. Rushmore without knowing which state it’s in.

It’s South Dakota, noobs!

Why am I saying this?

As you cruise into 2015, I want you to stop dreaming about your end goal of riches and glory for a moment, and map out when and how you will ACTUALLY get there. It sounds stupid, but only top performers do it.

THEY START. While everyone else is making memes and lists of the top ten things not to repeat in 2015, top performers are figuring out a starting point, and getting to work.

If they don’t know where to start, what do you think they do?

Questions, right. You’re catchin’ on.

Remember that Google Maps starts you on the road from your home, It doesn’t tell you that the destination is on the right in 500 ft! As you think about your goals, take a moment to stop dreaming about the end, and work on the beginning.

Most people never, ever ask the questions that get them started. They Say “I Can’t,” or “I Don’t Know,” again and again.

So, this is my request of you. What, in 2014, is ONE thing you said that you couldn’t do or didn’t know how to do?