My friend Bo [not real name] played football at a top college, graduated, and gravitated to Las Vegas to have fun and make money for a while as a casino table dealer. After 2 years of messing around, near penniless, he came home with no certain future. Wasn’t ready to start a full-time career with no specific training or talent, so he began exploring part-time possibilities. All he knew for sure was he liked: people, outside activities, physical exercise, and adventure.
On a lark he took a small spiral tablet and pen to a street corner downtown where busy people were going to and from their office buildings. He positioned himself at the street light and in 15 seconds gave this spiel: “I am looking to start a small, part-time business you would like to see happen. What small business could I start that would benefit you immediately?”
Sometimes passersby ignored him, sometimes they laughed, and periodically they would offer an idea and even a business name. He took notes when the light turned green. At the end of several hours standing there over a 2-day period, he circled the most promising ideas that also met his goals for part-time work. Within a week he purchased a used 20-speed bicycle, a used broad-band walkie-talkie, and contracted with an answering service to forward messages to him for his new courier service “XYZ Courier”.
He went to 10 businesses wearing his biking attire, bike in tow, asking them if he could deliver documents to other offices for free for a week, in exchange for a referral to at least 2 other offices. Wham, his Sideline business was born. In less than 1 year he had added 5 contracted couriers to work with him, for a percentage of sales and he grossed over $1M in sales.