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I was meandering along in a salvage/thrift store last month and came across an end-cap stacked high with stencils. There were about 65 stencil images inside an 8.5″ b 11″ envelope. They had hundreds of these envelopes. They were going for .50 cents each (for an envelope of 65 stencils.)

Now, MOST people would just look at that and say to themselves, “Who would want to buy those stencils even at .50 cents each,” and walk on by.

Being the entrepreneur that I am that looks at just about EVERYTHING with an eye to make money, I said, “I wonder how much I can get for those on ebay?”

So I bought a few of them to take home, get a picture of them, and post on ebay to see how it would fly.

Within 2 hours of posting it, someone “Bought it Now” at my set price of $9.

Okay. I have something. Posted it again. Someone “Bought it Now” again.

So, I bought more and continued to place them. They continue to sell. So, now I’m going down to buy all of them at hopefully a price of .40 cents per set since I’ll complain I’m buying them in bulk.

So, I’m going to sell one stencil set per day until I run out. I should make about $1500 off this, give or take a few hundred, before I deplete my supply.

Here’s one of the auctions

The point here is, contrary to popular myth, being an entrepreneur is more than just having your own business. Anyone can establish a small business. All it takes is a license and a passion for a particular thing.

But an entrepreneur looks at EVERYTHING in his/her daily life and quickly assesses whether it can be improved or changed or manipulated in such a way to create value in exchange for money differently than it already is.

When you meet someone for the first time and find out what he/she does… do you just say, “that’s nice” and move to another topic? I don’t. I immediately assess his industry, his role in it and whether I can use (to our mutual benefit) this in any of my ideas that I have bouncing around in my head at that moment.

Do you watch TV and just relax and enjoy it, not thinking about anything else but the program’s plot… etc? I don’t. In every action that is going on within the framework of the show (or commercials during the rare times I watch one now-a-days), I’m looking for inspiration for a creative idea to implement with one of my own ideas. Or a new spin on something I’ve already thought about.

This is why very few people are ACTUALLY entrepreneurs (in my never-so-humble opinion). There are a lot of business people, a lot of employees, a lot of employers and a ton of lazy people. But there are very few entrepreneurs. What are you? Except for the lazy guy, all of these people are needed for the world to work correctly. But just don’t label yourself an entrepreneur unless that’s, indeed, what you are.

Now go get bizzy!

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