Are you chasing status or cashflow? Why "fun" ideas aren't profitable businesses

Before we jump in:

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What business should I start?

First things first.

If you are new to entrepreneurship and you aren't already making $20K/month, there are two kinds of businesses that I would throw out the window based on two simple criteria.

Here they are:

Criteria #1: You need to raise venture capital money to start this business.

Criteria #2: You have a new idea to revolutionize an industry and the model does not exist today.

If your idea checks either one of these boxes, you are wasting your time and gambling with your most important resource - TIME. These businesses are not realistic for 99.99% of humans to go after and therefore they are NOT FEASIBLE for you. Moving on!

Now ask yourself, how fun is my business idea?

If your answer to this question is “very fun,” forget it.

This is NOT about you or what you want. If you are early in your business career, you need to think like an opportunist. Or a poker player who has limited resources and can only take a handful of calculated bets.

Your goal is to build something that can be profitable ASAP. We need to get you to $20K/month before you think about anything else.

And the reality is, the less fun your business is, the more money there is to be made. You should not care what is fun or not fun.

Eventually, you’ll be selling customers, hiring and managing employees, building systems, managing ops and payroll, and running the business anyway. You don’t care if it is picking up garbage or painting houses in 100 degree heat.

A restaurant is fun. A lot of people love food, so they open a restaurant. But in reality profit margins are slim, and the odds of success are notoriously low. As many as 90% of restaurants eventually fail.

Same goes for passion projects. Are a lot of people passionate about the field you are working on? You don’t want a whole bunch of dreamers in your competition pool. The more passionate the people, the lower the odds of your success.

A lot of people are passionate about fitness. A lot of people have also tried to start a fitness app. This is why there are hundreds of them in the app store right now. And this is why your competition is strong, and your odds of success are terribly low.

Ask yourself, how much status is associated with my business idea?

You want a business with low status. You want a business that isn’t sexy, exciting, or even a little bit interesting. You don’t care what people think about you, and you don’t care what other people think about your business idea. I’ll give you a few scenarios:

Scenario #1: “Nick runs a crypto AI startup. Wow!” Boo! This is not good.

Scenario #2: “Nick runs a pest control company.” Great.

Scenario #3: “Nick cuts grass and manages a few crews.” Even better.

Scenario #4: “Nick hauls junk.” Perfect.

If you need to status test your business, try this.

Go to your grandma (or any older adult) and tell them what you have in mind. If they say, “wow that is such a good idea!” it means it is actually a terrible idea, highly competitive, and nobody has won that game before.

BUT if they say, “oh, good for you,” that means your business is boring, has been done before, and is likely to succeed. Don’t forget. You WANT a business with low status because this will attract less sophisticated competition.

The truth is that people watch too much Shark Tank and think about entrepreneurship through a new-idea lens.

This makes them delusional about what is actually likely to be successful. If no one has succeeded before or if your business doesn’t exist yet, it is because nobody has been able to win the game and make money doing what you want to be doing. And if nobody has won, why would you want to play that game?


A few tweets from this week:


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Nick Huber
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10:38 AM • Jun 28, 2024




Lastly, if you buy real estate, I highly recommend doing cost segregation studies to defer taxes.

I use RE Cost Seg and they do studies much cheaper than the competition and provide super high-quality engineered reports.

Get a free proposal here.

Onward and upward,

Nick Huber

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113 Cherry St #92768, Seattle, WA 98104-2205

I have financial interest in many companies mentioned in this newsletter.

Nick Huber

I own a real estate firm with over 1.9 million square feet of self storage and 45 employees. I also own 6 other companies with over 400 employees. I send deal breakdowns with P&Ls. Newsletter topic: Real Estate, Management, Entrepreneurship

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