California, USA, 1849 – there’s gold in them there hills and almost every man, woman and child capable of wielding a shovel or shaking a pan sets off to seek their fortune.
But what most failed to recognise is that there’s a reason gold is so valuable – it is rare. With thousands of square miles to mine and hundreds of miles of streams to pan, the chances of staking a claim to the right patch of ground, and then actually finding the gold buried there were incredibly slim. Yet still they rushed.
Meanwhile, a few savvy individuals recognised the bigger opportunity – if all those people wanted to dig for gold, they were going to need the tools to do it. So why not sell them to them?
And so while thousands lost rather than found their fortune, a handful of entrepreneurs figured out how to really make money out of the gold rush – by selling all the tools and equipment that the gold diggers needed.
So, when you look at your own business with an objective eye, are you digging for gold or are you selling shovels? Are you doing all the hard graft or are you selling the enabling products and services so others can toil for themselves?
If the main income in your business involves you exchanging your time for money, I can pretty much guarantee that you are digging for gold. Equally if you are the one taking all the risks, you’re probably digging for gold.
Here are some examples:
|Gold Digging||Shovel Selling|
|Recording songs and releasing records||Running a website for musicians to sell their music|
|Being a photographer||Running courses on how to take better photographs|
|Staging Homes for Sale||Selling an e-course on how to start your own home staging business|
|Anything where you want people to pay you to do something for them||Anything where you sell them your knowledge so they can do it themselves|
Now there’s nothing wrong with a gold digging style business – as long as you understand that’s what you are doing and appreciate that you have to dig a lot of dirt before you hit gold, and that plenty of other people are also digging around you.
But transforming your business into selling shovels – or introducing an element of shovel selling – can have a significant impact on profitability, the ease with which you do business – and your overall lifestyle.