Sunday, September 16, 2007

What's Your $1 Idea?

I learned a great lesson about money in high school. In retrospect, I shouldn't even have gotten myself in this situation and I probably could have made it with $5 - but what are you going to do with high school logic? Never the less, the lesson is priceless.

One day I needed to get gas for my car, but had no money. I was running really low and probably could not have made it home. I wasn't even sure if I was going to make it to the gas station to be honest. I decided that morning that my only option was to borrow $10 from somebody, get gas and pay them back whenever my parents handed out money again. This seemed to be a fool proof plan. Who wouldn't give me $10? I was even will to pay $2 in interest! Furthermore, I was a trustworthy guy and everyone could depend on me.

That morning I set out and began asking all my friends if they had $10 I could borrow. Much to my surprise, nobody had $10 they were willing to lend. However, everyone made sure to reassure me that IF they had the money, they would surly lend it. Around noon, just before lunch, and my last real chance to ask people for money, I decided I needed a change in technique because at this point I was become desperate. I could see myself driving home and getting a mile away and having to push the car the rest of the way. I began to determine how much gas I could get away with. Would 1 gallon be enough? Would I need 2 or 3? After all, this was when gas was up to a gigantic $1.50, and I couldn't just pull up to the pump with pocket change! After much internal debate, I decided that a couple bucks would get me through one day and an opportunity to ask my parents for more money.

Once again I set out to ask my friends if I could borrow a couple bucks, anything really would work. I told them my problem, and how much it would help me. To my surprise (a day full of surprises), my friends suddenly had money on them. I had $3 dollars all of the sudden! The best part was that not a single one said I had to pay them back! That was when the light went off. I started asking more friends and people in class I rarely talked with. People started chipping in 50 cents, a dollar here and a dollar there. In the last two hours of school I managed to raise $9 - 1$ short of my goal. All of which none had to be paid back! Talk about a deal. I decided to ask one more friend who I hadn’t seen all day. I explained my situation, which was becoming much easier to do, and guess what. He gave me three dollars.

I ended up with more than I needed and didn't have to pay any of it back. I went home, after going to the gas station of course, and told my parents everything that I learned. I explained how the light bulb had gone off. It suddenly made since why my dad said, "You can become a millionaire two ways. You can either sell one thing for a million dollars, or you can sell a million things for one dollar. Either way works, but one way is much easier." Apple Computers tried to sell one thing for a million dollars. Microsoft decided to sell a million things for one dollar each. What are you using today? What are your friends using?

I tried to sell my gas problem to one person and got skunked. It was either all or nothing, and it was going to cost me more in the long run. I thank all of my peers for rejecting my plan and forcing me to learn and improvise. Here are some other examples of companies that decided to sell one thing for a dollar: McDonalds, WalMart and Ford with the Model T. What can you do a million times? What is your one dollar idea?


  1. Hey thanks for the post! What are you up to these days??

  2. P.S. I absolutely agree with you on the phone situation. And the calender really is the selling point for me as well. But I just can't quite seem to pull the trigger...!