A Stroke of Trump’s Brilliance
Today, employees are less secure than ever. That’s why it’s imperative to become an entrepreneur… and control of your own financial future.
As most people know, one of the most important skills of an entrepreneur is the ability to sell, because sales equal income.
But problem-solving is the next most important.
As rich dad said, “The problem with this world is that there aren’t enough problem solvers. So, if you become a problem solver you become rich.”
If you look at any successful business, you’ll find the following pattern:
Problem > Solution > Problem > Solution > Financial Intelligence
Entrepreneurs see problems in the world and find solutions. The most successful ones find the best solutions.
But you have to start with the most simple question…
My Early Problem
“What’s my problem?”
That’s where you start. Then work from there. Chances are that if you solve your own problems, you’ll begin to solve others’ problems too.
I’ll give you an example from my story…
My partners in my nylon-Velcro surfer wallet business John and Stanley were also surfers so we already used nylon wallets. This business made perfect sense for us. We sewed our wallets ourselves out of old sails from yachts.
John thought these wallets would be hot sellers. He was certain nylon wallets were going to be the product that made us rich.
John was wrong. The nylon wallet business was not hot. We were now in more debt than before, and we were going broke faster.
Out of total desperation, I showed John and Stanley an idea for another new nylon product, this time a product I had designed.
John and Stanley were surfers and sailors. I liked running. Runners had a problem: Where do they put their key, an ID card, and some money while they’re running? Running shorts had no pockets and sticking all that stuff in your shoe or sock wasn’t an option either. So I came up with an idea for a small mini-wallet that attached to the shoelaces of a runner’s shoe.
The marriage between our wallet business and the running business was the solution to our financial problems.
Completely broke with maxed-out credit cards, we launched our “Rippers Shoe Pocket” for runners at the New York sporting goods show.
Believe it or not, that product became one of the “Hot New Products of the Year” in the sporting goods industry. The Rippers Shoe Pocket even made news in Runner’s World, Playboy, and Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazines.
When people ask me if I loved my product line I answer, “No. I was not in love with the product line. But I did enjoy the challenge of solving a problem.”
For me, being an entrepreneur is a process, a process I’m still in. I believe I’ll be an entrepreneur in training till the end. I love business and I love solving business problems. There have been times I’ve cut my losses, shut a business down, and changed directions…
But when it comes to being an entrepreneur who solves problems, I have never quit — at least not yet.
Here’s another example from someone you know…
Donald Trump’s Problem
When Donald Trump and I first started writing Midas Touch, he invited Kim and me to visit him at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.
As Mr. Trump was giving us a personal tour of the gorgeous oceanfront golf club, he stopped in front of the main ballroom and said, “I’ve got to tell you a story.”
The story began with a problem: The main ballroom at Trump National had seating for a maximum of 150 people, so they couldn’t compete with other venues for requests for parties larger than that number. The staff at Trump National began looking for a solution.
The most apparent answer was to add an addition to the existing ballroom but when the final numbers were tallied, the total cost of the addition, including additional chairs and tables, came to an estimated $3 million. The project would probably take six to nine months to complete. $3 million and nine months is a lot of money and time.
One evening Donald was walking past a large party in the ballroom. He paused for a moment to observe the celebration, thinking about the problem of how to expand the ballroom to accommodate more people. He noticed an older woman struggling to get out of her chair. The ballroom chairs were very nice, but they were big and heavy. They were awkward to maneuver.
That’s when the idea struck Donald. Instead of building an addition onto the ballroom, why not get smaller chairs?
The next day his team started researching this idea. The final result? They found smaller attractive chairs that increased the seating capacity from 150 to just over 250 people.
On top of that, they were able to sell the existing large chairs for more money than the new chairs cost! Trump National increased the capacity of their ballroom so they could now handle parties of up to 250 guests.
Instead of costing Mr. Trump $3 million, he actually made money on the deal. Now that is putting your creativity to work while adding considerable value to your property.
People Pay You a Lot of Money to Solve Their Problems
The bigger the problem you solve, the more money people will pay you.
For instance, I pay decent money to my housekeeper to keep my house clean. But I pay my doctor more money to keep me healthy and alive. Why? I can live in a dirty house, but I can’t live with disease.
I used to have a couple of employees help me do what my MacBook helps me now do in less time. I now gladly pay a few thousand dollars every couple of years for computer equipment. Apple solved my problem of inefficiency and higher costs. That’s a valuable problem to be solved.
In our real estate investing, Kim and I make a lot of money because we solve a big problem, quality housing at affordable pricing.
And our educational business makes a lot of money because we solve people’s financial education problems.
The more we work at solving these problems and finding solutions to the biggest ones we find the more money we make.
And the same is true for you.
Play it smart,
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily