How to make $1,000,000

Have you ever wondered how to make a million dollars? The process for making a million isn’t that hard. Through a lot of hard work many people can do it. The key to making $1,000,000 is that you have to be a good detective. So grab your magnifying glass and let’s find out what we should be investigating.

Your key steps to making $1 million are:

  1. Talk to people, find a problem they have.
  2. Find or develop a product to solve the problem
  3. Determine how much of your product or service you need to sell to make $1m
  4. Find the people who have the problem you identified, offer your product or service to them.

I know, it sounds ridiculously simple. But that is why many people give up too early. It seems like a simple process, but in reality it is incredibly difficult. Let’s break the process down.

Step 1: Talk to people, find a problem they have.

Most people quit at the first phrase: ‘talk to people.’ If you want to have a successful business, you have to get out there and talk to your customers. Steve Blank tells us to Get Out of the Building and find out what customers really need. Interviews and conversations will help you understand what people need and want. This is hard to force yourself to do, and to discipline yourself to keep at it. To find out what problem people are having you really have to listen to them. Too often we are so busy talking we don’t hear what they are really trying to tell us.

Step 2: Find or develop a product to solve the problem.

This should be the easy step. Once we find out what problem people have, we just have to find something to fix the pain. Often times we find something that ‘almost’ fixes the problem. Or fixes the problem that we thought people were describing. Finding or developing a product means that once we have a possible solution we go back to the potential customers and see if this really does solve the problem that they were describing. Sometimes showing a solution makes the customer realize that they weren’t really describing the problem in the right way, or that they really didn’t need that problem solved.

Step 3: Determine how much you need to sell to make $1 million

This is an easy calculation. If you are selling widgets for $1000 a piece you only need to sell 1000 widgets. If your widgets are $5 a piece, you have to sell 200,000. Knowing how many units you need to sell tells you what your business model needs to look like. If you are selling 200,000 widgets you need to find a way that you can sell them very quickly, and without much human intervention. If you are selling for $1000 per unit, you can take more time with your customer for each unit. You may also have to decide what your time-horizon is for making your next million. If you want to sell 1000 units in the next year, you might find that you have less time to invest in each sale than if you were selling your $5/unit offering over the next 3 years.

Step 4: Find people who have the problem you identified and offer the product or service.

At this point you simply need to find more people like the ones who gave you the idea in Step #1. In the first step you should figure out who your perfect customer is. You should also have a general sense of how many perfect customers are out there. Then it is up to you to find those type of people and put your offer in front of them. Some people will decline but others will see that this is something that will solve the pain that they have been feeling. Once they take you up on your product or service, you have a business that is growing.

Making $1,000,000 is about investigation and observation of what people really want and how the problem can be solved. Then you have to have the grit and perserverance to stick with your process until you begin to get results. So start investigating today. Let’s see what happens when we start asking questions and learn from the customer! Enjoy being the detective.