Money Making Machine

Most people reading this blog should focus on money. This means you need to generate revenue for a firm, obtain some equity or generate profit from *your* company. No other options. We’re going to outline a step by step process for the latter… Right here. Before we do that, however, we need to explain why no one will ever *teach* you to be rich. This includes us. We would never give away a 7 figure income. Will we help you start a career in investment banking for $150-250K a year? Sure. Hand over a real business opportunity? No.

Below is the outline: 1) Why no one will teach you to be rich; 2) The basics of a business; 3) How to do a basic test to determine if demand exists; 4) How much does this process cost; 5) How much will a small business spend in a year (screen cap included); 6) Revisiting money and time and 7) Why you don’t want to be a public figure

Lets jump in:

1) I Will *Teach* You Be Rich! As soon as someone makes this claim you should run. No one is willing to hold your hand through a real business venture. The person is a scammer and a con-artist. If he claims that he wants to help you “get started” what this really means is that he wants to obtain recurring revenue off of the sale. In short, you’re going to end up paying a recurring fixed cost to line his pockets. It really is that simple.

Secondly, people who claim that they are teaching you to earn more income off of your career are usually doing you a disservice. How?  The person is going to do everything in his power to get you to “switch firms” or “negotiate higher pay” based on market compensation. So you change companies or annoy a person high up the food chain because you’re underpaid… Only to ruin your entire standing with the firm and restart the political process. This usually nets you a meaningless $20K a year that you should not care one bit about. This is every head hunter in the world. They are not your friends.

Finally, if the person is not trying to nab some fixed recurring revenue from you and he is not trying to snatch a fee by switching you over to another firm… He’s likely a poverty mindset manipulator. The last angle, usually found on personal finance blogs, is to teach you how to scrimp and save to become rich. No one gets rich this way. While you run around looking to save an extra $200 a month, you feel like you “learned something”. So you keep going back… Over and over and over again… What do you learn through this process? You learn to be a cheap fool. You’re teaching yourself that spending money is *bad*. Anyone who has made real money knows this is a terrible mindset. To make a lot of money… You must spend a lot of money.

So how do you know if you should buy the product or work with the person? Quite simple really. You do two things. You 1) buy products that provide actual actionable advice only and 2) you only work with people willing to commit a meaningful amount of time to the project (5-10 hours a week for at least 6 months). If you buy products that provide tangible value and actionable advice, you’ll never be disappointed (assuming it works). Just make sure that the product doesn’t teach you poverty nonsense such as: how to get rich off of your 401K, how to negotiate a 5% pay raise or how to save 25% on e-books.

Finally, if the person is willing to commit real time to you and your future… That is a real mentor. Practically everything else is nonsense. If they are not willing to provide tangible advice and they are not willing to invest in you (invest meaning time) move on.

2) The Basics of a Business: Now that we have saved you hundreds of hours of time with the five paragraphs above, lets take a look at what a real business is. A *real* business is something that makes money while you sleep.

It really boils down to this:

Step 1) Find a product that people will *pay for*. If they are not willing to pay for it then it is clearly a terrible idea. You either create a brand new product category that no one has heard of or you make edits to an existing idea. Simple example: if you find a way to make a new smartphone that is better than all of the existing products on the market, you’ll make a lot of money. Alternatively, if you create a product that gets rid of the need for smartphones… You will make a lot *more* money.

Step 2) The assumption from step one is that the market is also large enough to generate income. Lets say you create a product that can teach Swahili to a person in less than 3 months. Great. How many people really need to speak Swahili? Not many. The addressable market is too small. Now if you can teach someone how to speak a major language (English/Spanish/Mandarin/French/German) in less than 3 months. You’ll be swimming in money that can fill an ocean .

Step 3) So you have both a product that people will pay for and a large enough market to generate income. How much does the product cost? You need to be certain that there is a healthy margin here. If you know that the market will pay $100 for the product but the cost of creating the product is $90… You’re simply wasting your time. Unless that $10 spread is going to be recurring when it is set up, you’ll lose money hand over fist since miscellaneous expenses always arise.

The three steps above are all you really need to know before you even begin: 1) will people pay for this, 2) is the market large enough for me to spend my *valuable* time chasing, 3) is the margin structure healthy. If you can answer yes to all of these items, you’re rocking and rolling.

Now… the obvious question is… how do I even know if step 1 works?!

3) How to Determine if Demand Exists: The beauty of the internet. If you followed the extremely basic and boiled down steps from above… you already know who you’re targeting. Are you targeting people in their 50s? Are you targeting gymnasts? Are you targeting druggies and alcoholics? Who are you targeting. If you cannot answer this question you do not have an idea. You have a colossal waste of time on your hands.

Okay. Point taken you say. Lets get specific with an example then. You’re targeting overweight men in their 30s who are looking to fix their weight issue. Good. Here is a step by step process on what you are going to do.

Step 1) Create a solid sales page (you did learn to sell correct?). Create the sales page first and make sure that it is *perfect*. No errors on the sales page. Videos are a plus. Once that sales page is absolutely perfect, you move on to Step 2.

Step 2) Buy traffic. People who think that buying traffic is “dumb”… have never made a lot of money. Period. You buy traffic from your target group on Facebook, Google and many other mediums that we will never mention.

Step 3) See the conversion rate. For the extreme beginners… this means how many people purchased the product? If you buy 1,000 visitors and 25 purchased, your conversion rate is 2.5%. The “standard” is generally 3%.

Step 4) Recalculate your total costs and decide if the venture is worth pursuing. We titled the post money making machine for a reason. That is what you have created if the product works. The *only* equation that matters for a “money making machine” is right here:

Long term value of customer – Cost of acquiring customer = Positive or Negative

That is all. Think about it this way… If you spend $10K a day to acquire customers… Does this mean anything? No. Who cares how much you spend. What matters is how much value you received from the customer over the long-term or the single point of sale. If your total expenses per day are $10K (marketing, producing the product etc.) but you generate $15K per day in revenue.. Your profit is $5K per day. You should spend more.

Reiteration.

This is the only thing that matters to the business.

Your *total* costs simply needs to be lower than the revenue line. So long as this is the case, you spend like mad to get more customers to view your sales page. Beyond the extremely basic equation above, the real takeaway from this section is the following: stop trying to “save”. Spend as much as you like until profit margins turn break even.

4) How Much Does This Process Cost? Instead of giving you the non-sense answer of “it depends” we’ll give you a real answer. If you’re looking at a business that you believe can generate $2 million, the start up cost is usually around $50K. This is exactly why low level, high risk angel investment rounds come in at roughly $25K . They want a large portion of equity in exchange for covering half of the cost for you. There are millions of markets and the number can of course be larger or smaller.

If you spend less to start up… your addressable market is *usually* smaller. So on and so forth. It is impossible to give an exact cost breakdown but we’ll go ahead and try.

1) $10K website design/sales page (20%). As you can see, by our awful blog design, this is not our expertise. If you want it done at an elite level, you need to hire a real designer. Get everything set up cleanly and if the product fails you’ll have a template to use later. Just make sure this page is rock solid.

2) $5K demand check (10%). You start with a quick demand check before you even get started with your idea. If you’re going in blind without even bothering to check for demand, you’re playing with fire. With social media, Google and many other tools on the internet… You can drop $5K to make sure there is a potential market. You can easily spend $500 in a day without anyone batting an eye at Google, Facebook or otherwise.

3) $20-25K product manufacturing and design (50% or so). This is the bulk of the costs. You have to find a place to produce your product. Send samples back and forth. Commit to a minimum number of units etc. You will pull your hair out during this process.

4) $10K miscellaneous specific items for your company. Unlike the first three items, this is vague because it is literally impossible to know what you’re making or where the problems will arise. There is one thing for sure however… problems will arise. Payment processing, quality control on the product, incorrect targeting etc. Something will go wrong and you’ll lose at least $10K.

So there you have it.

The goal is always to clear 7 figures.

If you can ever clear $500K or close to 7 figures in a year (net) this qualifies as an *event*. Something most people will never see and something that personal finance blogs never talk about… Because their personal finance blog is the event. Tricking regular people into getting “rich” by increasing their salary (insert laughter) or saving $10 a month on a phone bill (insert more laughter). Moving on….

5) How Much Will a Small Business Spend in a Year: As stated in point one, no one is ever going to hold your hand through the whole process. If *real money* is at stake, the person “teaching you” is going to seize the opportunity himself. Business is cut throat. Get used to it.

With that said you’ll see that the breakdown of expenses is extremely similar to what we recommend people in their 20s to do with their own lives. Once you are up and running, roughly 70% is spent on finding ways to generate more money (ie: buying traffic, advertising etc.).

Simple capture

Summary of 2014 Spending (click to enlarge):

1) ~70% on Business Services. If your business makes the majority of its income online… you’re going to spend a ton on advertising, marketing and other such items classified as business services. We provided a few screen caps of basic Google/Facebook spending but there is a zero percent chance we’re going to give the full breakdown. No one ever will. If they did, they would be giving away trade secrets.

2) ~22% Networking/Meetings. Even if you make your money online, you need to meet many new people (grow or die). This is true in every single business on the planet. In fact… this is a good way to see if someone matters to a company or not. Does he travel and spend a lot of time in restaurants/meetings. Pretty simple check. If he’s always around, no one cares that he’s around.

3) ~6% Merchandise supplies and other. No need to explain this category. This is typical junk that you need to buy to run your operations. Can’t give exact details here. That gives away 1) identity and 2) the market. Not willing to do this.

4) For fun several smart readers have figured out exactly what is going on in this article

So there you have it, a basic snapshot of what you’re looking at on a full year basis. We’re not going to tell you what the margin structure is or anything like that. But. If you believe that someone would spend $1.03 million on business services/networking for “fun” or spend this much for tiny margins… You’re bonkers.

Note: In the future we will do a live, real time and impossible to fake screen cap.

6) Revisiting Money for Time: We have covered this over and over and over again. But the question continues to reappear.

“Don’t trade time for money what do you mean?!”

It means that you will never get rich off of an annual salary or hourly wage. Ever.

Even if you make $100 an hour and work 12 hours a day for life you’re clearing $438K gross… Post tax this is roughly $284K. You’re not going to be “rich” you’re going to be well off. There is a difference. There is nothing wrong with being well off and settling there. Just remember. You will never, ever, ever be rich.

If you need a reminder of what money for time means… Go to advertising. It is the best example. You spend money to buy a person’s time (potential customers see your product)

If you are investing your time on a specific platform… someone is making money. If you’re on facebook, twitter, linked-in etc. You are the product. The simple point is that if someone spends a lot of time in a specific area… They can be monetized.

You’re taught that marketing, advertising and sales is bad because… That’s the last piece of the puzzle. A great product with no audience does not exist.

“If a tree falls in a forest but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” The answer is a resounding and absolute NO. If no one ever sees your product (the tree falling) it doesn’t exist. Period.

Again you are told that salaries and hourly wages are better than commissions. Why? No one wants more competition. Especially not from someone who is bright. That is a nightmare. They want a slave.

With the main items out of the way… Lets assume you make it. Please read the below…

7) Why You Don’t Want to Be a Public Figure: Since the vast majority of our readership is young or youngish, most are not rich enough to understand this. It is important. Once you reach a certain net worth, the last thing you want to do is become “famous”.

“Fame is harassment from regular people.” – Wall Street Playboys

Regular people have nothing better to do with their lives than live vicariously through someone else. This is why celebrities go nuts. They are harassed every single day as people charge after their cars just to touch their shirt or skin. Lunatics.

If you are truly committed to becoming a public figure (like Mike) you need to really understand what you are signing up for. We have no interest in it and wager that you won’t either. Again. This is once you are financially free. Being harassed by regular people is no where near fun.

To cap off this extremely important section, it is best served with some lyrics and a video.

“… be a Lennon and a fan leave you brainless. All in the paper, gettin’ buried by a neighbor. While all of your relatives spendin’ all the money that you gave ’em, F*** it, don’t save ’em… I don’t wanna be famous, I just wanna be rich. 40 mil with some acres…”

Concluding Remarks: So there you have it. For the long story short version here are the clear and concise bullet points, actionable steps and explanations in this post:

1) No one is going to hold your hand to obtain real money. If there is real money involved, the guy would go after it himself. If someone claims that they will “teach” you how to be rich. They are full of it. This is a great sales slogan but is far far far away from reality. No one can teach you. At most they can give you guidelines. Even then… Get a legitimate mentor who is willing to spend *real time* with you.

2) The basics of a business will always be the same. Find a product that people need (pain or pleasure, pain usually sells better: diet, skincare, “get rich” schemes) and drive massive amounts of traffic to the item.

3) Before you get all hyped up (a term used frequently by idiots) test the product first. Throw a few grand at the targeted audience and see if it is in demand or not. If people aren’t willing to buy, move on. If people do buy… flood that market as fast as possible. Push as much traffic as possible until the long term value of the customer equals the cost of acquiring the customer. Then reassess. Remember, it’s a money making machine as long as you are generating net income.

4) While it always “depends”. A typical answer for people who don’t want to answer the question. It will cost roughly $50K to start a meaningful venture. This also explains why most private equity investments require a minimum of $50K to get started and $25K is generally the number for angel investing.

5) Similar to your 20s… 70%+ of your money is going to spent on making… more money. Grow or die. No other choice.

6) If you are never able to sell and never able to scale… you can become “well off” but you will NEVER be rich. You need to make money in your sleep to generate real wealth.

7) You don’t want to be famous. You just want to be rich. Who cares about approval from regular people? Not you. If you must become public… Good luck and much respect from this side of the web.

One little extra piece of advice… When you get to your numbers… Learn to play dumb. Be extremely dumb. Seem harmless. Only go all out when you need to go all out.

Until then? You sit, you wait, you gather information.

When you *appear* to be following a person’s advice… They like you. Works every time.

After Creating Your Money Making Machine You Have to Track Cash Flow! We recommend investing excess cash and tracking all of your investments, Personal Capital can help you organize all of your investments in one clean software platform. The Company offers *free* software tools with the following four key features: 1) ability to avoid losing money by tracking all fees associated with an investment product allowing you to choose the best possible fund for your future, 2) portfolio analysis where your risk profile is stacked up against your current age and retirement goals, 3) in addition to these free tools, you can also track your net worth and path to becoming a millionaire and 4) when you hit $100K in networth you’ll receive a free one time consultation with an investment professional at Personal Capital. After linking up all of your accounts you’ll be able to sit back and watch as your net worth goes up and your fees remain minimal over the next several years. We strongly believe that Personal Capital is the premier personal finance software tool when compared to its competitors such as Mint.

Comments

  1. FutureRainMaker says

    Didn’t think it could get better.

    It just did.

    Looking forward to the corresponding high quality questions and high quality answers.

    Thanks!

    Steve.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Jason is correct here. The entire point of personal finance on the internet can be summarized in one single post. We may do one that summarizes every single major PF blog in a single spot. We already did one that explains why it’s complete crap.

        The real issue is *what* it teaches. It teaches a poverty mindset. Be cheap, live a boring life, be happy with the crumbs, buy that 3 series BMW or corvette.

        Not how to succeed at all.

  2. research says

    This post is gold, thank you.

    I think a common follow up question to the post now is – where can I find actionable advice to “find an idea”.

    How do you recommend young guys that have never started a business on there own get out of the analysis paralysis stage of having a good product idea – my assumption after this article is to go straight to step 3 (obviously potentially “losing” money in the process).

    • Recent graduate says

      To generate business ideas, you have to learn how to observe. Observing is hard because your head is full of assumptions and your body is made to adapt to everything, so you never really think much in your day to day life. Observations require you to be actively engaging your senses all the time. Observe for pain points as WSPB said. People tend to avoid discomforts in life and so they pay money to have these things temporarily removed.

      Search Tina Seelig and watch one of her videos on creativity.

      To know if your idea can actually work is the part that you can’t think about. You just have to try it at some level. Example: you thought and thought and thought about opening up a 5-star restaurant, but when you try it out, you realizes that you can’t cook or find a head chef willing to work with you.

      And this is the most important point. If you don’t have the right skill set, you can start a business, but you can’t run it because you are relying on solely on your employees and employees are not trustworthy. So before you even start something, you have to learn the basic skills or be confident that you can learn as you go, but the latter is quite risky because you don’t have that many chances to make mistakes in your business.

      So essentially, thinking of ideas is like reading about how to swim and seeing if the idea will actually work is like jumping into the water and actually swimming.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Incredibly early to the party. Work hard build something meaningful.

      In the mean time hedge your bets and get into an elite school (not that difficult if you play the “game” correctly)

      Hopefully… You won’t even *need* to go to school.

      • Mario says

        I read your topic on college and I agree completely with all of the things you said. If you aren’t going to an elite school or you aren’t going to get a return from college what’s the point of even going, definitely some things to consider. The last thing I want to be is average, good to know that I came across this blog, usually at my school everybody is talking about college, women, and drinking/partying. Im more concerned about making money so later on I can have my fun for the rest of my life. Good to know I can come on this blog and learn something other than the remedial teaching from the school system. Keep it up!

  3. Recent graduate says

    The last section is the perfect advice for my current situation. In a few weeks, I’ll get a chance to work with a multi-millionaire real estate developer to find tenants for the small multi unit building we own since we’re selling it to them but they would like to negotiate leases before settlement.

    I was thinking about what to ask, like stupid sales questions or what books to read or is everything WSPB say true (obviously is) etc. I just can’t think of questions to ask to make it worth their time but I feel like I might let this golden opportunity to learn go to waste if I don’t ask anything.

    And then you guys say to act dumb and listen and follow their advice. That is just perfect because, the more a successful person see him/herself in you, the more willing he/she is to teach you. Thanks, as always, for the posts and advice.

  4. says

    Timely post as I just started working at a seed incubator start up. Every entrepreneur should read before starting. Information is top notch and 100% accurate. Keep up the good work.

      • says

        Wait. This question doesn’t covey where I’m coming from.

        I’ve been designing a product brand, discussing contract manufacturing & established some basic relations with potential retailers to stock it for a few months. I’m hoping to see the project materialise and launch June/July time.

        When inviting an investor to strengthen my positon I considered accepting money only from a person/entity that has proven record in my industry of choice (cosmetics & male grooming).
        Someone who’s in retail, manufacturing, fashion writing. A person with whose phonebook is swelling with contacts.
        And again, the question is… could you elaborate on the equity comment?

  5. Joe says

    The truly wealthy generating will be those readers who open their eye and heed this advice.

    Agreed, I can’t believe how many time Money-making schemes came across and I doing my due diligence and find this provider to have history nor knowledge of money-making. Those providers pretty much parrotting of what they learned from other recycled wannabe personal finance guru.

    WSPBs: In your past articles, you have recommended people to follow the blog, Financial Samurai. What is it that this blogger earned your approval compared to other personal financial gurus out there. Although there are thoughts presented that contradict the WSPBs mentality. For instance, Financial Samurai’s position on owning a home meanwhile your perspective on why we should not own a home.

    Why is the Financial Samurai the trusted source?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      We don’t agree on everything. We have a legit real estate post coming in the future.

      Our point is that if you buy a home in your 20s you’re buying an anchor. Not a good idea.

      We only read that one because the person writing is not some random dude who hasn’t accomplished anything selling bullshit to the masses. Ie: like every other personal finance blog that talks about coupon clipping and other such nonsense.

      • George says

        Looking forward to the real estate post, especially now that your articles are more developed.
        I hope you will talk about real estate as a business (multiple properties, leverage, etc.) and not just about buying a home vs renting.

        Congratulations on the changes you made to the blog.

    • says

      Howdy Joe.

      I’m a student of building wealth just like everybody else. It’s exciting to learn and share. I do have a similar post to this one entitled, “Bankers, Techies, Lawyers: You’ll Never Get Rich Working For Somebody Else” if you want to check it out.

      As for my site, I will say this: I write from experience about things I’ve done, good and bad. I’m not pontificating on how to do something, I’m writing about how I did it, what I learned, and so forth.

      By the time I started my site in 2009, I had already made my financial nut. But then I got crushed by 35% during the downturn. I’m not claiming as a 22 year old how I will teach you to be rich, without having gone through a career, and the trials and tribulations of investing.

      What you read on FS is a journey of what has worked, and what may work financially.

      I don’t sell anything, except for my book every person who wants to leave their job, or quit their job should read.

      Best,

      Sam

  6. says

    This is one of the best posts I have read on the topic. However, I have a question regarding your stance on becoming a public figure. In my line of work, there is rather requirement of building a public profile (by writing for industry publications, business magazines and industry blogs) if you want top-shelf clients. (I run an advertising agency, and recently we have started scaling it up).

    When you say public figure, do you mean those faggots showing off their money on Instagram, Facebook and “people” magazine clones? Or do you mean just stay behind the scenes? I am curious.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      This is a completely different industry.

      What we are saying is that if you become rich, the last thing you want is public recognition.

      Harassed by normal regular people every day. People stalking you.

      Not worth it (opinion).

      If you become a public figure, realize what that means and prevent it if you can.

      People who want to become famous are generally idiots. Why? They want *attention* from the masses. Who would ever want that? Again only an idiot.

      You should feel bad for famous people, their lives are insane. Much respect and again, not worth it is our opinion

      • says

        Understood and totally agreed regarding that. I live in a small baltic country and it is so funny looking at some of these people trying to show off their “wealth”.

        A local guy was promoting himself as a “internet millionaire” in a local clone of People magazine. He managed to get a pretty hot wife and a mistress. But considering his local “fame” (which is laughable, since the whole country is 3 million people) the mistress ratted out on him to get in the papers. The guy got raped in divorce court and was a laughing stock of the country, when it turns out that he was a hundred-thousandare rather than a millionaire.

        Most people promoting their “baller” lifestyle are either snakes oil salesmen trying to sell you get rich quick eBooks/courses or really insecure guys trying to get girls through showing off their money (which, actually works to large extent in east europe – but downside is really high, especially when mafia takes notice of your wealth or people start getting jealous) or just guys trying to get approval.

        My closest friend does 5 figures a day in profit from his online campaigns and the guy just makes random trips to foreign countries for vacation or taking some time off. But locally, he keeps a very low profile. That is something I have learnt from him and is a rather useful tip in general.

        Keep a very low profile where you live, and you can take regular trips to some nice island country (in my and my friend’s case, it is usually Greece or Italy), rent a yacht there, party hard to get it out of your system and come back and get back on the grind.

        Never underestimate the jealousy of masses… They try to bring down everyone to their level. And if they can’t, they hate on you and spread rumors. Not worth the mental headache.

      • says

        This is something I’ve been dealing with more and more over the years. I get so many e-mails from people want help, and if I don’t respond in a very helpful way, I’m bagged.

        I’m not looking for fame or recognition. I just write and connect, trying to remove the biases people have of what people look like and their backgrounds. A great challenge is seeing whether the writing ALONE can stand by itself.

    • says

      @WSPB: Why thank you. Coming from you, that means a lot.

      My FB is under fake name, as is my twitter and as is my Instagram. All of which I use to talk with chicks – which, actually is something I am cutting down on more and more everyday. It is only legit business stuff (which helps me generate leads) that goes under my name. Even though I am among top 1% of people in my country, I try to stay out of limelight as much as possible. The only times I have done interviews with media or have spoken at events has been in industry press.

      Which brings me to the point that Sam is making. Even I have had that same problem everytime I spoke at large conferences.

      For a moment it was very addictive – I actually had girls who’d find me out on LinkedIn/FB and a few of them fucked me just because I was in limelight at event. Yes, I also generated quite a bit of business speaking at those conferences. But the people emailing or asking for meetings (either asking for investment in their whacky idea or consulting) was too much.

      I tried to help a few people but it was overall net-negative for me. I am 29 right now and it might change when I am 45 and have more time to mentor some kids. But it is a challenge when there are so many delusional people contacting you, you just feel like shutting them all out.

      I am not sure if this will help Sam (since you are trying to build a blog / be a writer) but in my case, as I scale up the agency, I am looking for business development people who would take my place in public sphere. You just reaffirmed that I need to build systems and hire more people faster.

      For me, the most fun part of running a business is making deals. Either with clients, or ad networks or potential partners. I like picking up the phone and talking to them to close deals. And, for that, being a mysterious guy with power behind the scenes is defenitely an advantage.

      Anyway, rant over. Time for a Glenmoangie and RyJ. Keep up the good work guys.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Good work! You’ll quickly realize the best situation is when you have money but everyone *thinks* they are better than you. You are now harmless and are just a fun guy to hang out with.

        You can do whatever you want in peace.

  7. C says

    Damn you’re about to put a lot of personal finance blogs out of business. As always, great post.

    In your opinion: Is it worth starting a business with no experience and learn yourself, or get a job/career first?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      When you are young you learn a lot about a ton of different topics. Once you know a good amount on say 100 topics you’ll begin to see holes/opportunities.

      When the time comes to start… you’ll start. Until then it is incredibly easy to break into Wall Street considering you’re staring at a blog with all the info you need.

      Just realize that you’ll never be rich without a business. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. (Repetitive we know).

  8. says

    Creating a product besides a book is something I’ve looked into over the holidays. $2,000 – $3,000 to file a patent.. damn, no wonder why more people don’t try.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Before you file just test demand for the idea. Create the sales page, send people to it, see how much converts then decide.

      As you know, takes money to make money.

      It is certainly a risk to buy traffic and set it all up if there is no demand. But better to know if demand exists or not in the first place right?

      As always just an opinion.

  9. Le Bro says

    Do you own the business in your screencap? How can you have a wall street career and have the time to run a side businesses of such size?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      1) yes. Hence the logo is there and clearly logged into the interface
      2) as you get older you work less on the street in terms of total hours. As noted in the post, if you always have to be around no one cares that you are around.

      You are making a *large* assumption with your second question which is incorrect.

      However, you are free to believe as you wish. Not a big deal.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        No. That assumption is 100% correct.

        The assumption we are referring to is that you think this post was written by a 22-26 year old who works 80 hours a week in investment banking. Therefore it “can’t be real”. That assumption is incorrect.

        Feel free to search the internet and find the same screen cap. It won’t appear.


        Edit: re-read your original comment and we may have read too much into it. We already answered in the previous comment that as you get older, no one works 80+ hours a week in their career. Complete myth.

        In the future we will do a *live* screen cap. Ie: do a public AMA and show real time caps. Of course it will take 3 seconds or so to black out the account info.

  10. CP says

    Really enjoyed this post guys and have been through it a good few times.
    Glad I stumbled onto your advice at age 22 and not any older!

  11. Jason says

    Once you get rich people tend to buy more expensive car and a bigger house or condo in a expensive neighborhood. This calls attention. However you don’t want to live in a housing project to hide with the poor people. What’s the smartest thing to do then?

    • ASF says

      This is the fallacy of the excluded middle. Your options are not only live in mansion or live in Section 8. If you become rich, move into a typical house in a good neighborhood (read >70% white demographically), buy a car typical for that neighborhood (i.e. not a Bentley or Lambo), and live your life. Everyone will assume you’re just like them. Which is what WSP is getting at.

  12. ASF says

    Look at how people complain that company X spends so much money on advertising when instead they should be spending it on thing Y. Dumbass, do you think they would spend millions on advertising if it it didn’t net them even more? Every armchair CEO knows just what a complex business should do while they sit on floral-pattern fabric couches watching Scandal.

    On a related note, and I think you (all) have made this point before, but, 50% of people are stupid and can be written off completely. They couldn’t understand this blog if it was tattooed on their eyelids. Another 40% have the intellectual capacity to understand, but have a set of beliefs that they are unable to overcome. The remaining 10% are your target audience (this number may be generous). And even of this small number, only a fraction will ever be able to execute.

    Another thing: guys need to stop saying “great post/podcast X.” I see too much of this shit (and I have been guilty of this myself. Saying this is akin to the motivation scam you read about. It is a form of emotional validation and gives the illusion of action. What people SHOULD say is: “great post X; I used this idea/concept to do/try Y and Z happened.” Even if you tried and failed, that will be more than 99% of people will do.

  13. Scott says

    Invest in CTIX if you want to be rich. Biopharma stock that will uplist in 1-3 months and has two blockbuster drugs in two vastly different areas.

  14. young man says

    im gonna buy each of the authors of this blog a cigar of their choice one day/ walk your dog or some shit like that.

    wallstreet playboys is the bomb
    no bullshit. no wasting time with people who need to be motivated. 100% actionable stuff that will be usefull for whoever its usefull for. cause it creates ‘natural’ drive to accomplish instead of emotionally lined states of “I can do it!!”

    +you aren’t waspy,and come through with those flame ass tracks.

  15. jay says

    This post comes at near perfect timing. I’ve been building a product for two months and am at step 3-3. The design and materials are finalized but I need to start testing, logistics outsourcing, and a few other points. I have yet to file a patent because there are no tests results on my prototype yet.

    My two cents to those at my level would be to tinker, act, and move swiftly. My bottleneck was material selection but upon biting the bullet, made the decision within a day. I over thought my options. Better to have a surplus of action and sift through results than a surplus of thought and sift through the bullshit.

    I’ll report back when its done.

    The blog keeps getting better. Thanks for your advice.

  16. Convert says

    Maybe a silly question, but how do you determine conversion rates without an actual product to sell? Set up a pre-sale order list?

    Thanks,

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      There are several answers but as we stated before… will likely sell a product later. We provided more information than we should have already in this post.

      Long story short, sorry but not going to answer… Yet

  17. KRK says

    This post is the exact conclusion I’ve come to myself by doing my own research for the past 2 years and trying different business models. You guys are the absolute truth.

    For the person starting at ground level with little to no capitol, that $50,000 startup cost to $2mill in profit is quite daunting but I equated it to $500-$1000 scaleable to $100,000+.

    Luckily I’m well versed in building my own websites and have plenty of time on my hands as well.

  18. ExecutiveGuy says

    WSPBs,

    Thanks for the superb work on these posts. The information is powerful, and it has the potential to be truly life-changing for a lot of individuals.

    A question for you would be, what do you think of partnerships? A situation I’m facing right now for example, is one where I was thinking of starting a biz but was offered the opportunity to become a partner (50/50) in a company that is quite profitable and is already generating in the 7 figures.

    Sometimes a partner may bring other skills to the table, handle other areas of the biz so that it can grow faster, blah blah blah… you get the point. There are also severe downside risks as well, so your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  19. dates says

    just in reference to money and dating, all the PUA’s out there insist on splitting bills 50/50 with girls for money’s sake and also so girls dont take advantage of the guys and label them as providers.

    you guys, on the other hand, always reference paying cash (rather than card). i guess that means the guy should always pay for everything? what’s the logic behind that?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      It means they are poor.

      You shouldn’t even let your friends pay for food.

      Embarrassing.

      You can be cheap when you’re young, it is just embarrassing when you get older.

      Attractive women have a *ton* of options. Are they going to go out with a guy who wants to split checks or a guy who doesn’t care (all else equal). The choice is obvious.

      To deny that attractive women have options is to deny reality.

      • happyadvice says

        What kind of woman is going to be okay with dating a broke guy? That’s right an ugly one. That is all you need to know about PUA advice

        Love it.

        It does not get any more straight forward than that. As a successful guy in his 30s, I can tell you beautiful girls, especially in the city, are just completely inundated by men approaching and chasing after them at least every single day. Splitting the bill might work when you’re in college but by the time you’re 30 it’s a deal breaker for many women.

      • Anonymous says

        PUA advice = Over-correction for beta provider scripts.

        If you are a permission seeking wuss bribing girls with drinks and dates for their company then not paying forces you to develop a personality that attracts on it’s own without the sweetener of free stuff.

        However once you’ve gotten over that hump you should go back to buying girls drinks and paying for dates because now you’re the cool guy who can also afford to take them out, best of both alpha and beta to use their terms.

        Not paying for stuff should be a temporary constraint to force personality development as well as strong boundaries i.e. not buying drinks for girls who are rude or not that interested in you.

        Also to tie this into the original blog post, the point of PUA companies and sites is to get men to buy more PUA products so the only solution offered by PUA is to develop such an amazing personality that she forgets the other options of guys who would pay for stuff.

        In other words, getting an extra 1% better personality instead of getting money (or getting built for that matter) is sold as the answer to all in the same way personal finance blogs tell you to save 1% more on your budget. Increasing personality (if such a thing could be quantified) has diminishing returns similar to optimizing your budget, after you’ve gotten the big wins of basic social competency and normalization of flirting with attractive women.

        Also PUA is targeted at near aspergers types, engineers, nerds etc. thus the focus needs to be on personality for a while.

        Making you into a well-rounded man however is typically not the desire of a PUA company, but then again picking and deciding how to allocate your time and energy in how to develop as a man is a individual question and no one can do it for you.

  20. test says

    Is it possible to test demand on a smaller budget if you are not looking to scale extremely high right away (obviously a young guy that would be doing so).

    IE. Short term goal generate an extra 3K a month to cover all living expenses.

    As a follow up, for this type of extra income, do you recommend going straight aff marketing or owning the product like outlined above?

  21. Bob says

    Hi guys, would love your thoughts on my situation right now:

    -Graduated with a finance degree last year
    -Work at a very small investment firm (essentially a startup) as their junior analyst. The firm doesn’t have an office so I work from home. Most of my time is in Excel, Word, or PPT, occasionally I’ll hop on a call
    -Get paid 18k/year. But I am to receive 5-10% of anything we earn from our deals ($5-15m)
    -Option to acquire up to 10% more equity at a cost-basis
    -Have yet to earn anything from my equity positions since starting work; we haven’t closed on any deals, but are in the middle of some things

    I enjoy the work and am learning but worry about my finances and the risk. Would love to hear your thoughts and any advice you could give me. Thank you.

  22. says

    I have been coming to your blog for a fair while, and I have to say it is one of my favourite places to visit on the internet, the value you offer is outstanding. It has definitely helped the way in which I now view financials and even work itself. In simple words, thank you.

    Nonetheless, how you’ve described this money making machine, in what way does it relate to the arts? as in acting, authorship (leaning more to the fictional side) or music. Even though, there is a product side to it, the company aspect of it seems entirely different. I have researched the topic, even found myself on the fastlaneforum. However, the only way I can see a ‘company’ is in yourself, for example: increasing productivity= instead of expanding workforce you sit in pure solitude and concentrate painting naked women to master your art like lucian freud.

    Personally, I am working and want to be an author. I understand you could study genres and see where the most buyers are. I see you can intentionally be outlandish to attract attention, ive read ryan holiday’s trust me im lying book. So i know of sales tactics.

    In addition, im aware you dont comment or help on things youre not experts on, however, you are artists, as you guys paint your ideas and what you do in this blog in a way understandable, relatable and helpful to many, like myself, who would look at it like lists of numbers.

    You must sense my naivety in the longwindedness and probably vagueness of my comment, which is why I was even reconsidering posting this from what ive seen you guys saying makes a worthy question. However, your opinion on a ‘money making machine’ from an artistic point would be tremendous and much appreciated as the way you guys view making money and building a balanced life is so clean and truthful. So you know, this isnt a how to become rich selling paintings question

    On that, ima stop, this must be too long already, even from writing this I think the answer to my question is to just write and write more. So, I’d like to say thank you for your work and the time you put in. And thank you for the time youve invested reading my comment and making a reply. It is truly much appreciated from London.

  23. EM says

    If I went on an all-out effort to make at least $100-200k in my own business… importing and selling (pounding the phone) for a year, *full-time*, would you say I

    • EM says

      If I went on an all-out effort to make at least $100-200k in my own business… importing and selling (pounding the phone) for a year, *full-time*, would you say I have practically no excuse not to achieve that? I mean with your figures *part-time*… I guess I don’t?

      At a 50% gross margin, excl. overheads I’d only need to make 200-400k sales…

  24. Anonymous says

    If you’ve already got the skills but currently lacking time (let’s say you used college for leverage and currently doing an internship which has long hours (12 / day) what would be the best advice to keep improving your business?

    Info: Weekend I’ve got around 10 – 16 hours time to work on the business (project based) and during the week maybe one or two hours a day.

    Option 1) Focus on the internship during the week (1 to 2 hours is not that much) and give it all on the weekend.
    Option 2) try the one or two hours during the week (not that productive or it got to be early morning to keep myself fresh) and focus a bit less on the internship.

    Thanks for reading. I’m a bit stuck here since I can easily finish stuff in the weekend but when a client contacts you on monday you can’t let them wait too long.

  25. Too Late at 28 says

    This is probably the wrong post, but…

    I’m barely 28 making 81K as an engineer with a typical 10k equity bonus every year. I’m not in the valley, I live in a slightly below average cost of living area with a net worth just north of 250K. I found your blog recently and have realized I’m probably behind. I’ve been applying to MBA programs, but I’m not sure I’m going to “make it” by 40, according to your other blog posts. I am getting more responsibility at work, but I don’t think the jumps in pay are going to come as I’m currently averaging +3% over inflation every year. So should I go back to school and try to make the jump into finance, change engineering firms or something else?

  26. test says

    Would you recommend someone in a job that works long hours but has significant downtime at a desk, sell someone else’s product (aff marketing offers), and practice the “sale process”. Ie, create sales page for that product, determine that products target, determine traffic source (google, facebook), purchase traffic to the page and look at conversions?

      • says

        You can make a ton of money pushing affiliate products. Much like their advice on creating your own product, you need to make sure people are searching for it, and avoid heavy competition. I know guys who make obscene amounts of money with SEO. But if you’re a newbie and you don’t know how to evaluate competition, you’ll waste a painful amount of time and $.

  27. says

    Is this Felix Dennis blogging from the grave?

    Excellent post. Timed particular well for me to read, as I have a) started a marketing/SEO business b) just released an ebook where I spent a lot of time and $ on the sales page. Would love feedback on it, from anyone really.

    I particularly hate thinking about the fact that I never had a strong or committed mentor at any point in my career. Now at 30 I am on a mission working long hours and spending outrageous amounts of time with like-minded individuals.

    Also, strangely, I was going to recommend you change your comment avatar and blog favicon. I return to find you already have.

    The wavelengths have intertwined.

  28. Sreyas says

    Killer post. The feeling of have an online business that prints money 24/7, even while you sleep…ah, I can’t think of anything more financially satisfying.

    I’ll be at a big tech firm doing marketing (just finished undergrad) and I’m wondering if all the following would be options.

    1) VC (can I make the jump?)
    2) PE (want to make the jump but don’t know if they just want IB background)
    3) Enterprise sales (possible but don’t know how to break in)

    I’m considering opening a side business mentoring teens and young adults to help them make better choices but don’t know if this is a market off which I can get rich (e.g. they don’t have spare income). Any suggestions for broadening the target market?

  29. b says

    Hypothetical Q

    You’ve been working in the industry for 3-4 years, and you want to move to banking for that industry.

    Is there a way to avoid the MBA? Have a MD that really really likes you?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Yes a powerful MD can hire whoever he wants as a junior.

      We outlined the basics. There are always “exceptions to the rule” for getting into Wall Street but our outlines are the reality for 99% of people trying to make it.

  30. Jack says

    I’m a junior airline pilot, currently earning ~$100k in a high cost area. If I continue focussing on that as a career I can expect to transtion to a $250k tax-free job in the next 5-10 years, assuming China keeps hiring the way they have. Otherwise I’ll top out at about $200k, paying tax.

    Right now I’m 28 with a net worth of about $150k, no debt and no degree. With my current career path I can expect to be quite busy with my airline career for at least the next 10 years.

    Options are

    1) take a break to explore entrepreneurial avenues and/or further education in approx 5 years
    2) keep pushing the airline thing, live frugally and save up “fuck you money”, then start a business
    3) save up “fuck you money” and retire to a part-time job in a low-cost country.

    I’m leaning towards saving a million dollars then going into business in my 40s, but is that really doable?

  31. says

    Spot on regarding rich/famous.

    You don’t want to be BOTH rich and famous.

    Poor and famous, however, is still better than just poor, because then you can use your fame as a lever to get rich (and then hope to be able to hide or be forgotten)

    I don’t WANT to be famous (I’m already rich), but I do want to educate, guide and help – and for that I need to spread my ideas as widely as possible. Therefore I’m volunteering to be famous, despite the hassle and dangers if I succeed.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Good luck sir! Most people who have money have no interest in being famous, and you’re another example of that.

      We would never volunteer for public recognition (ie: harassment) difference of preference!

  32. Reader says

    Great post guys! Been churning some quality pieces since 2015.

    Btw, could you re-upload the post about social development and how to become more social/interacting with everyone daily? Thanks

    Looked for the post through archive and couldn’t find it

  33. Michael says

    “Step 1) Create a solid sales page (you did learn to sell correct?). Create the sales page first and make sure that it is *perfect*. No errors on the sales page. Videos are a plus. Once that sales page is absolutely perfect, you move on to Step 2.”

    I’m in the process of creating a physical product.

    In the next 1-2 months I’ll spend around $20-30k developing the product and having the first 50/100/xyz made which if they sell will prove the market and make back my funds.

    I’d love to create a sales page to test the market before sinking these funds but with a physical product is it possible and more importantly wise?

    I might have to wait until I have the first 2-4 samples (after the ~$10k mark) so I can be sure of the product, create photos, videos etc.

  34. Alex says

    Hi WSP, solid post as always.

    You are spending money (or should I say investing) both on online advertising and offline activities.

    I wanted to ask you, does offline play an important role? Is it much harder to move forward with a business without the offline?

    My guess from my experiences till now is “yes”. Actually some successful service based people/businesses preach online methods, but they started by going to offline events and after a certain point, online compliments/scales offline.

    If that’s the case and someone needs to relocate to utilize offline, would you advise him to

    1) build a location independent side income before moving

    2) amass some money to go through the first couple of months of relocation

    or

    3) go there for a week or two and see if he can get some business?

    Thanks in advance, looking forward to more of your awesome posts!

  35. swooshn says

    Heres a question. What is a good profit? say I produce widgets and it costs me 1 dollar to make them. I can sell them for 4 dollars. Is it worth my time? I can outsource all the work to produce it which leaves me all the time to market my product.
    is a 3 dollar profit per item worth chasing?

    • swooshn says

      Im just going to add to that, I want to start a company and start modestly to test the waters with a resources on hold to scale up rapidly if it takes off. I guess my question is: is it worth the risk of operating in the red for a few weeks or making peanuts in the first few weeks to test the market? Is this even a good idea? I am young and this is the first time starting a company to sell an actual product. I realize I’m in a position where I would be crazy not to start this company. Ie. Its a very simple product that many people need, and there is no product like it. The sector is growing by 40% a year. I am seeing that my friends and networks I made in college serendipitously are all amazingly strong resources to help me launch my product….

      literally I would be making 3 dollars per unit. I just don’t know if I could sell 1000 units a month or 1000000 units. Where do I learn when to start hiring the people I need to help run it… i.e. accountant, lawyer, web designer labor.. ect.

      Let me know if you are interesting in talking with a smart kid having a go at his first business venture.

      This isn’t spam, just business thoughts….

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Some tough love.

        If you haven’t even sold one unit you don’t need to ask any of these questions.

        Go make it and see if it is profitable yourself.

        An accountant should be the last thing on your mind.

  36. Diet says

    Random question. From your experience, is there a performance-related incentive to eat healthy i.e. fruit and vegetables? Do you find your brain “functions better” when eating healthily, increased mental stamina/energy, etc?

  37. Anon1 says

    Absolutely superb article.

    Definitely made me think about the importance of spending big to get big.

    I think a lot of new starters and wantrepreneurs (i think i have one foot in this category) almost look down on the buying leads, advertising side like it’s less noble or something.

    And that’s what puts a limit on how much they can make.

    I’m starting mega small (out of necessity, not choice) but that main takeaway about spending money to make more money is really a key point.

    It seems stupidly obvious but then so many low-ballers miss it.

    Looking forward to the faq stuff come march time.

    (As a brief aside, agree 100% about privacy. Especially in line with the more money you make the bigger target of hate you are for ‘normal’ people)

  38. Performance says

    Hi. I come from a crappy university, so I’ve ruled out IB, but I also have strong ambitions and need perhaps $0.8 to 2m net post-tax to pursue my longer-term goals. I’m considering startups and/or sales, and I’m looking to probably work as close to 24/7 as possible in order to achieve my goals rapidly. Even at the expense of my social life (I’m OK with this).

    HOWEVER, I wanted to ask you… is there something a scrappy upstart can do for a PE firm that would a) allow for high compensation and b) minimise their risk i.e. they pay only for cold, hard results? Finders’ fees for example (cold calling)? Or even for a boutique IB firm (finding clients)? Thanks.

  39. ben says

    don’t know if you still read these, but I thought this was a question worth asking.
    I have a job which has responsibilities and pays reasonably well, but won’t make me rich anytime soon. I wan’t to switch to a customer-facing role in sales, buying, consultancy or similar, where I’m in front of end-users, negotiating and arranging matters, making a real contribution (and earning more).
    What day-to-day things can I do to help transition from a back office role to a more involved one like those listed? I did buy Zig Ziglar’s book and I’ll try to find areas to fit it in at work; no doubt, though, the ‘switch’ won’t be that straightforward.
    Thanks for reading

  40. Kurtis says

    This is has been very relevant to me. I have my idea and can afford to put the website up however being only 22 I have no idea how I’m going to fund the advertising and possibly employees.

    I am confident that once I am inferno of an investor they will want to invest however I don’t know how to find investors, how do I go about that?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Until you’re generating real money (draw the line at $1M a year) you don’t need any investors and no one will look at you.

      (Technology is the *only* exception, in that case 99.9% of the time *you* are approached not asking)

      We have answered this far too many times and may add it to the faq.

      You DONT want investors.

      Avoid funding. Avoid funding. Avoid funding.

  41. says

    This article is half of the reason I’m on a blogging hiatus. It’s really high quality and says all the things I tell people but in a much better way.

    One question. You said you’d never break down your marketing, which is reasonable, but how does one go about learning ppc and the like? It’s a minefield and I don’t know where to start.

    I’m somewhat not an idiot because I have a lot of high quality products with demand in various stages of completion (a lot are ready to go), but this article has shown me as mostly an idiot because I’ve never thought about just buying traffic. Light bulb moment!

  42. Vince says

    On networking/meetings:

    [1] What do you guys think of masterminds or memberships where you travel in person? Is it worth the investment ($$-wise and the people you meet)?

    [2] Catch-22: Sometimes if you’re stuck others can help, but that usually means tell the inner workings of your business, and I don’t trust many people, let alone with this knowledge. If the mastermind is small enough…should I take the risk?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Generally a waste of time. If it works for you sure, but the best contacts are generally already in your phone.

      No need to work with people you don’t know when you’re already connected. Doesn’t make much sense.

      Again to each his own.

  43. Young Buck says

    I saw the twitter post. Copied and Pasted this whole post, before you delete one of the most valuable posts I have read to date, it’s a shame, how the wallstretplayboy’s ideas have been degraded by a group of commenter’s who I haven’t even noticed.

  44. WSPFan says

    Hi guys. Since I can’t think of excellent consumer product ideas, I think I’m going down the Production Improvement route. “Make people rich and take your cut”.

    However, it would be service-oriented, so I wouldn’t really be building an asset to sell down the road. But there would still be 7-figure income potential, and I guess having a big cash pool (that I can invest) isn’t such a bad position to be in, right?

    This is a BS question; looking for approval from the WSP gods.

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