Throughout my adventurous life, I have been very lucky. Somehow the right teachers have
always magically appeared at the precise moment for me. This happens over and over again.
I’m sure it happens to you to, but some of you are asleep even when your awake. You may
have missed your Mr Miagi.
You see, right in front of your face there is a teacher, or some idea, or niche, or scheme
that has not been exploited just yet. Yes, right now, in front of you, there are numerous
ways to make money. Most people are just not driven enough to take that idea into the real
world and somehow find a way to turn that idea into a tangible dollar.
A few years ago, I lived in sunny Mission Beach San Diego. Living at the beach was such a
joy. I routinely dream of moving back to the calming sound of the ocean waves. There was
one bad thing about living at the beach in SD though. The Cost. However, having a
beachfront house for $1500 a month was a steal. When you have grown up in Oregon your
entire life, and never paid more than $800 a month for rent, $1500 can be quite a burden on
many. Luckily this treasure of a home was shared with a couple whom paid half the rent. So
$750 a month was small beans for this spot….
My biggest problem though was I enjoyed drinking beer, surfing, and hmm, drinking more beer.
This was not very condusive had I wanted to work for the local grocery store, or taxi
I’ve never seen anything as powerful as the beach. What I’m trying to say is, why
would I want to drag myself away from this heaven to bag groceries, or waste my day in a
automobile? I didn’t even drive while I lived in San Diego. Skateboard and Bicycle was all
I needed. I had no desire to have a car. Everything I ever needed was within a mile or two
So, if I was such a lazy surf bum, how did I support myself? Any way I could. Well any way
that didn’t require me to do too much. I believe in working smart, not hard. And that’s
just what I did.
For example, here are 3 money making techniques I employed while chilling on the beach in
1. Magic Tricks.
Who doesn’t like magic? I was in Vegas and I saw this guy floating a drivers license in the
air. I was blown away. There was no string, no magnets, yet this guy was floating this
license in mid air. I had to learn this trick. It was nagging at me so hard. The way I figured it was like
this. The trick would cost me $40 to learn. I had just won $1000 on a free raffle (a whole
story in itself) at Casino Royale, so I could afford the 40 bones.
I bought that trick and learned it as fast as I could. Within hours I was trying to impress people on the streets of Vegas. Quickly, I realized I needed some practice. So practice is what I did.
Within one week, I not only had my $40 back, but multiplied by at least 10 times. Also, I learned
some new tricks that made money as well. Learning magic tricks was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done in my life. I can walk through any town with not a cent in my pocket, and leave that town at the end of the day with a pocket full of money if I want.
More importantly, magic puts smiles on people’s faces. I prefer to make friends first, then
the money comes afterwards. When I do magic for fun, it’s much nicer then doing it out of
necessity for food. However, if hungry, I’ll go into “CashSuck” mode and milk it for every
Magic has made me tons of friends, and has scored me some awesome jobs as well. Imagine
going to a job interview, and the whole time you just play around and wow the boss. That’s
what I do. It’s obvious I can perform the job, so I move the topic of discussion to
something more enjoyable like magic. Obviously this won’t work if your applying to be a
cardiologist or dental assistant.
Never underestimate the power of magic.
2. Alley Trash
Mission Beach San Diego is full of college students moving to and fro, from one apartment to
the next quite frequently. Very often when these kids move, they will leave various items
in the alley for the trashman to pick up. I’m talking about stuff like coffee tables, end
tables, couches, etc. Stuff a college kid could care less about, and this stuff is really
not worth much of anything anyways. Or is it?
Remember when I said there are tons of ways to make money right in front of your eyes? You
do? Great. While on the periphary these items seemed like alley trash to most. Maybe you
could sell the item for $5-$10 if you were lucky. But I’m not lucky. I’m smart. I don’t
sit around and rely on luck to pay my rent.
I picked up those worthless tables and had a great idea. I had just picked up about 60
boxes of sports cards (baseball, football, basketball) from a thrift store for $20. Some
guy pulled up with a truck load of cards, and the thrift store clerk was very annoyed with
the massive amount of new inventory just donated. I was very aware of the problem this
possessed for the clerk. He would have to stock all these cards, and I could tell he was a lazy
dude. How can I tell? 300 lbs gives me a lot of clues, let’s just say that.
So I asked the clerk, how much for all the cards right now? He said $20 and I handed him
that bill faster then he could down a KFC chicken wing. When I got home, my lady was pissed about all the cards. She thought I was collecting junk, and in a way she was right. However, when I mixed 2 pieces of junk, I created treasure.
The tables that were acquired in the alley were not visually enticing. In fact some were a
bit ratty, while others were just standard wood coffee tables. No big deal. However, I thought, why not take that table and slap some San Diego Padres baseball cards on it, and then put a Epoxy Table Top Resin over the top and create a “Custom Made” Authentic San Diego Padres Baseball Card Table?
This idea was huge. I made a Nascar table, a Yankees TV Tray that I advertised as the “Best
Damn Table To Put Your Beer on While Watching the Yankees (I hate the Yankees) spank the Red
People loved the tables. Nobody had ever seen anything like this before. So now I
have some alley trash tables that have been transformed into custom memorabilia tables that
sold for $100 or more. Not a bad idea when you need to pay your rent. Had I more time, I
would still be making these tables.
When you think about it, sports fans are a great targeted audience to market to. They spend
money on their favorite teams without a doubt. Just go to any large mall in the US and I guarantee there is at least 2 or 3 sports oriented stores selling your favorite teams
merchandise. Big time money is spent on jersey’s, shoes, hats, etc. etc. etc. But how many
people are selling authentic memorbilia tables that you can drink beer off of?
The real beauty is you can create this stuff for each sport, and each city. Your not
limited to just each city and sport though. You can go back and make tables for each year.
For instance, you can do a “Classis 1972 Chicago Cubs” table, or 1999 Pittsburgh Steelers.
You can get really targeted with these type of things, and the fans absolutely love it.
So there you go. I just told you how I turned alley trash into treasure. Let’s see how
many of you sports pirates loot that idea. Go for it, I imagine you could make some good
bucks on Ebay with it.
3. Parking Spaces
If you’ve ever driven to Pacific Beach, or Mission Beach on the weekend then you are
probably more then aware of the parking nightmares that exist. Well, I turned this dilema
into a bonus. This is probably one of my favorite “Come Ups” that I have ever pulled. I like it so much
because all it required was a pen and a piece of cardboard. Ok, it took a bit of talking to
neighbors to, but this was a simple sale.
On friday night, I would move my roomates car out of our driveway and park it on the street
where the public parks. I would also have the neighbors move their cars onto the street as well. Now this does 2 things. It frees up my driveway, and it takes up more space on the street leaving less spaces for outsiders to park.
When noon rolls around, I walked out to the main strip and held up a sign that read “Parking
$20 All Day”. I would clear out about 5 driveways spaces and those would be full in a
matter of minutes. Typically some guy would drive by in a Suburban full of kids anticipating riding their
boogey boards. When the driver first sees my $20 sign, he laughs. But after circling the
block 4 or 5 times with screaming kids and finding no spaces, $20 seems like a deal to him. So, on the 6th time around he decides he’ll fork out the $20. But oh no, he just missed out. while he was
looping around the block someone else took the spot.
It usually only took 4-5 minutes max to get a customer for each parking spot. So, with a
bit of creative thinking, a scrap piece of cardboard, and a black Sharpie, I was able to
make $100 in less than a half hour. Of course that $100 was used to purchase a Keg of Beer
to accompany myself and the bro’s on the beach. Now that’s working smart.
So you see, all 3 of these ideas were able to be implemented within just blocks of my house.
There was no need for me to ride a bus all the way across town to go to some job I hated. I
could make money on my porch. I have to admit, lot’s of rich, snobby, home owners did not
like me. They thought I was a punk, and probably resented the fact that I had such a great
life, while they hated theirs.
It’s amazing how a guy can make $500,000 a year and have a miserable life. Well such is life. Maybe if these idiots weren’t working for companies like Lockheed Martin and making products that kill people they might smile once in a while.