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Tumbleweed Dreams

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had an enormous pile of wood chips on our property. (It's grown significantly since then.) The tree services appreciate being able to dump the chips here and I have red cedar chips to cover my nature trails, mulch trees, landscape new flower beds, etc. Many of you have sent me additional ideas for turning someone else’s trash into a useful product. Well, here’s one that tops anything I’ve heard lately. Linda Katz of Garden City, Kansas, sells tumbleweeds all over the world. Yes, this is a weed that is a major nuisance to most inhabitants of Western Kansas. But, remember all those old westerns – where you would see the tumbleweed blowing across the screen just as the bad guys were getting ready to attack the little town? Although Linda’s venture started as a joke, she is now making about 30 sales a week, which at her listed prices, suggests she’s making $40-50,000 a year – selling a nuisance weed. Prairie Tumbleweed Farm She has so many Japanese customers that she’s now added a Japanese language section to the site. Movie and TV production companies in Britain, Finland, and the U.S. have ordered tumbleweed for props – including a $1,000 order for Barney & Friends. Scientists have ordered tumbleweeds for research purposes. And yes, Linda guarantees that her tumbleweeds will "tumble" when exposed to the wind. I also heard about a guy who buys all the fabric scraps from an apparel company and makes underwear for prison inmates. It appears he’s a multimillionaire from that idea. Okay, what idea is lurking right under your nose – waiting to be developed?48 Days to Creative Income can help you shape that idea into a real business. There are new sections on writing for income and how to use patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Not What You Think

I, like many, talk about “thinking outside the box.” The principle is simply to do something unusual or unexpected – and perhaps you’ll reach a level of success you’ve not hit before. People like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Richard Branson are well known for coming up with unique solutions. The Post-It Note was first considered a mistake until someone recognized they could solve a common problem."The real act of discovery is not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes." — Marcel Proust

From Worker Bee to Entrepreneur

Here’s another great article by my radio co-host, Tim Knox. Here Tim looks at what it takes to run – and enjoy – your own business. He says, “Not everyone is physically, emotionally, or mentally equipped to be an entrepreneur, and even if you think you are at this moment, you could be wrong in the long run.” He walks you through a simple quiz to gauge your entrepreneurial aptitude and to choose the business that best suits you in this first part of a two-part series. Next week Tim will continue this discussion and look at the remaining steps in the process, like finding a location, lining up relationships with vendors and distributors, creating a marketing plan, hiring employees, and a few other things that will help you get started.

"If you want something you have never had, be prepared to do something you have never done." — Author Unknown

Read Tim's article.

Humor: Job Security

After being laid off from five different jobs in four months, Jim was hired by a warehouse. But on his second day he lost control of the forklift and drove it off the loading dock. Surveying the damage, the owner shook his head and said he’d have to withhold 10 percent of Jim's wages to pay for the repairs. “How much will it cost?” asked Jim.“About $4,500,” said the owner.“That's great!” exclaimed Jim. “I’ve finally got job security!”

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