Start a Digital Hustle Right Now!
Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. Creating your own schedule, working on something you’re passionate about, and living the life you dreamed of!
Sign me up ASAP.
Entrepreneurship can come in many shapes and sizes and if you look close enough it might be hiding right in front of you.
As an artist and entrepreneur I wear many hats. On the artist side I’m a documentary filmmaker with a strong focus in contemporary music and entertainment. I’ve made short and feature length documentaries following the lives of artists like Macklemore, Hoodie Allen, and Tinie Tempah. I was very early on interviewing megastars like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj and most recently I’ve been able to work on a campaign with LeBron James for Sprite.
To put it plainly, I’ve always had a digital hustle.
If you’re a hip-hop fan then you remember February 2003.
That’s the time when 50 Cent dropped his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’, the critically acclaimed masterpiece which would later go on to sell over 10 million units worldwide.
While 50 was getting rich, bootleggers in the streets of every major city were also making bank selling illegal copies of his work on corners, in bodegas, and in mom and pop shops. I didn’t have access to that kind of foot traffic as I was in high school in suburban Columbus, Ohio but what I did have was a friend with a 6 drive CD burner and one copy of the album. Needless to say when the album dropped in major retailers, we had it for sale, and for cheap. My friend and I flooded our school with the album and when word got out that we had it for sale, our pockets filled up just as fast.
When I got to college I took this riding a wave mentality to new heights or should I say, new sites.
Oh 2005, the year of the look at me I’m wearing designer jeans and you can see what brand they are by this obnoxious pocket on my ass denim craze. True Religion, Seven for all Mankind, and Joe’s, were just some of the brands cashing in on the ass vanity wave. So in true broke college kid fashion (no pun intended) I had to be apart of the movement too.
My friend and I found a flea market in Baltimore where we could get what seemed to be authentic “grey market” jeans for $40 a pop. We would then sell those same jeans on eBay for around $100 to $150 which were pretty good margins for college kids. The money didn’t change our tax bracket by any means but we did take a 10 day spring break trip to Miami that was funded by our denim PayPal deposits.
As a more mature businessman, when I remember these harebrained/somewhat illegal schemes I used to be involved in I laugh out loud thinking about how crazy they were but how they were the foundation for my digital entrepreneurship.
Nowadays the game has changed but the players are still the same. The cornerstone of entrepreneurship is finding a problem and providing a solution for it.
Sometimes you don’t have to have the grand idea to make money, you just have to be observant and notice where the opportunity lies.
Today, you can find success stories that you wouldn’t even imagine possible five to ten years ago. Do you think people have built a company that sells people empty bottles for hot sauce enthusiasts to dump Sriracha in? They have.
Would you believe me if I told you a man made $100,000 from selling people gummy bear penises? You should.
Or what about paying $85,000 to purchase a service that ships exploding packages of glitter to your foe’s doorstep? You might think that’s crazy, but it’s not.
What the above stories have in common are observant entrepreneurs who no matter how crazy the idea seemed, saw a void and filled it. The internet is a wild place and as it grows in the hands of everyone’s mobile devices, to the places it’s never been before (see Facebook video below), so will the demand for different services, products, and companies.
Nowadays trying to make another social network, or video player, or photo sharing app is an uphill battle. The cost associated with app development are extremely high and the market is crowded.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur reading this though, understand that there are many niches that have yet to be filled and there is lump sum of money waiting for those ready to claim them.
People try to make a distinction between the internet and real life. I’d like to think in business there is none. Most wealthy people will tell you that property ownership is a large part of their portfolio. In real life, real estate is property consisting of land or buildings, on the internet property lies wherever people choose to focus their eyeballs on. It’s now up to you to plant your flag on this digital property looking for a new owner.