Having a skill does not mean you can make money in your skillset. My skill set was always sales, even though my education was in accounting and finance. My income-related not so much to my sales ability but my ability to seek out and find undervalued assets. My sales ability came into play convincing people to sell me their products well below the market value. If I had said, I am a great salesman let me find a product to sell, my business would not have been created.
Instead of focusing on what your skillset is, look outside yourself and determine what is needed and wanted then produce that. My above example resulted in looking at the computer industry in 1985 and determining that there was a need for someone to clean up all those retailers and manufacturers/distributors that were going to go out of business. Not to mention the leasing companies which switched from cars and were now leasing computers to big companies, like Arrow, one of my suppliers for over 25 years.
History and my experience in the auto industry told me that there would only be a few players left after the dust settled just like there were over 300 car companies 100 years ago. I determined that like the auto industry leasing computers and related products would produce used technology. Like the car industry, the used technology would be 10X bigger than the new industry. Which it is today.
The big difference between tech and cars is tech changes 10X faster than cars. Therefore new products would become obsolete faster, thus creating a gigantic used industry for technology. The prices for new computer parts like printheads were 3X higher than good used refurbished parts.
Computer manufacturers and distributors numbered in the hundreds because IBM created their PC as open-source, where Apple did not. Therefore companies Like Dell Computers, which happened to be one of my customers back in 1985/86 were born in Mike Dell’s dorm room back at the University of Texas Austin.
Other companies like Eagle, Kaypro, and Televideo, once worth hundreds of millions in the public stock market would disappear, and I was the guy that bought them out and resold the parts to Dell. My accounting and finance skill set helped me to read the Wall Street Journal and seek out those companies that were in trouble, contact them, and through my sales ability convince them to sell to me before they ran out of cash to pay employees. I also used this skill in other industries like footwear from Van’s and other companies that were in trouble in that industry.
The same applied to computer retailers lie Computerland that numbered in the hundreds in California, would soon disappear overnight as manufacturers would sell directly to the public through mailorder and eventually through the internet in 1995. Dell was the first one to sell direct, cutting out retailers and distributors.
What’s the point? Did I match my skill to the market to decide on the type of business I would be successful at, or did I look at the market and determine what the market was asking for and needed? The answer is clear I looked at the market and came up with the answer then applied my skill set to help me make money.
Here’s my list to decide on how my skill set was used after I determined what was needed first.
- Decide on what the market needs.
- Create your business around what’s needed then produce or provide the products or service that’s needed.
- Use your skillset to help you build your business.
- Stay focused and look at ways to expand and enter new markets for growth.
- If your business is right then you should make money on day one. Income tells me if I am right about my business.
The best piece of advice I ever got before entering my chosen field was from Mr. Sam Nassi, the king of liquidators and written up in NY Times and Forbes.
I called Sam and asked him what his advice would be? He said you have to be small before you can be big. In other words, don’t try to be a millionaire in the first week. Build the business and the millions will follow and they did.
Mike Addis Mega Shop – Maddiscash