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Michael E. Angier

By Michael Angier

Turning Ideas into Income

In the early days of SuccessNet, I found myself in need of a new computer. The one I was using was just too slow, and I needed to upgrade.

During one of my meetings with my friend, Joe Donnelly, I told him what I wanted. I also said I didn't want to pay for it out of cash flow or go into debt. I was looking for a way to trade services.

To his credit, Joe took this concept one step further. He suggested that instead of trading services, which would use up my most precious resource (time), I should look to trade something I already had—something that wouldn't use up my inventory of time.

We started brainstorming about what this could be. We approached it by asking the question, "What do my clients need that I might provide?" We focused on increasing sales. We talked about my clients and zeroed in on one that sold computers.

We kicked around a good number of general ideas, and I left the meeting with my head spinning about several concepts I might present to the company.

I mapped out a plan of action and requested a meeting with the computer client. In that meeting, I told them that I had an idea and wanted to sell it to them. I asked that they compensate me with a new computer if they used the idea. If they didn't think it was worthwhile, they would owe me nothing. They agreed.

I then outlined my idea for increasing their sales, what the sales increase was likely to be and how to go about implementing the program.

They bought it. It took a little time to put the whole deal together, but the overall time investment was minimal. I sold an idea, and I got a new computer and a 17" monitor.

The fact is, I've been selling ideas all my life. But I usually had to make the ideas work in order to gain any value from them. This was the first time I could remember actually getting paid for a raw idea. Instead of selling—or trading—my time, I was selling my idea. And it was fun.

Action Point
Look for creative and lateral ways to accomplish your goals. Oftentimes, we lock ourselves into a certain way to achieve what we want, and in the process, we overlook some innovative ways to get where we want to go.

What can you trade for something you want? Start brainstorming today to solve your problems and achieve your goals. You can do it.

Be sure to take a look at our new "Idea to Income" Audio Seminar. In it, Sarah Pond outlines how to conceive, nurture, cultivate and harvest ideas—and turn them into cash.





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Last Updated 03/16/2005