Everyone thinks you need money to make money. This guy started with no money at all.

38 replies
That's right ... He traded a red paper clip for a house.

One red paperclip - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
#guy #make #money #started #thinks
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    Where's the money?

    Show me the money!
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  • Profile picture of the author littletoot
    From paper-clip to house, in 14 trades
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  • Profile picture of the author Write W@rrior
    Shows you what can be accomplished with dedication and persistence. There used to be a good tv show called Barter Kings. They would trade up from low-value items to items worth thousands.
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  • Profile picture of the author CENilsen
    Lol if only this worked for all trades everyone would be a millionaire...
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    You can find a ton of examples for these one-offs.
    Is it the norm NO....
    Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

    ― George Carlin
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  • Yes it is definitely possible to make money without spending any money upfront.

    That's nothing new when it comes to making money.

    Some of the richest people in the world are the ones who know how to make money with just their ideas. Authors, speakers, seminar leaders, recording artists, film producers and internet marketers etc.

    When you know how to print money out of thin air, then you truly have the formula to get rich quickly.
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  • Profile picture of the author teamversion
    It's all about marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author wasa1
    Yes it can be done, but one must have something first, an Idea, a dream, a vision.
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  • Profile picture of the author teamversion
    This guy Josh Bezoni started his website in the negative - $150K in debt. Then his website made millions. Starting from Scratch
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    What are you talking about - Not spending money ??? I just read the story and in the course of the year he spent thousands in airfare - traveling to many places.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slade556
    I think a good dose of luck is also needed to be able to achieve something like this, but of course, perseverance and good ideas put into practice are a must!
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  • Profile picture of the author RecessionPROOF

    No doubt there are success stories, but rarely will you see one which involved no investment. I know many who started businesses with loans from family and personal friends, but I have yet to meet anyone who has made it big without spending a fair amount of money starting up business. In several businesses I started, I had little to invest, but identified a valid money saving niche which is what anyone looking to launch a business has to look for. If you hope to make it with the same old same old business model and same old same old product or service, and you have not money, forget about it, your chances of getting hit by lightening are better odds than being successful in your own business.

    It takes money to make money in almost 99% of the cases, simple fact, so to see a few of these rare cases of success with no investment are either BS or just plain lucky. And sadly, most are BS as I took the time to back check many of these stories and none turned out to be true, so BEWARE, there are more BS stories of these so called guru's on the internet than factual cases of success which can be verified, so don't fall for 99% of these deals of no money success stories.

    Could it happen to the average Joe or Jill, yes, but not likely. I research the best free to low cost businesses, and have for decades, yet I have found few which truly are free and where anyone can succeed. My latest business niche is one few have heard of yet, but billions will want it when they discover this breakthrough, and that is the kind of businesses I target. Businesses which you don't have to sell, just show and tell, easy as 1-2-3, everyone understands with simple demonstration, now here is a business which just may enable the 99% ers to finally realize success.

    Bottom line, most have heard the phrase, you have to fake it to make it, and this strategy has polluted the online and home business arena with so many fakes that it makes you sick. I had one such guru I have followed for years, and sure, he made good money in the past, but is bankrupt today, so what worked yesterday does not mean it will work today, never mind tomorrow. So many who did hit it big are dead broke today, and they just can't seem to duplicate prior successes. I know how it feels, I hit it big a couple times, but again, everything changes, but one lesson I learned long ago, never give up looking for the next wave which could be bigger than the last wave. Live and learn.

    Success to all,
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  • Wow, amazing story...

    The trades are amazing, and this is inspirational

    Thanks for the share

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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisSWN
    "Free" means you don't have any cash upfront. Back in the day, it was easy, just write some crappy articles with a link to your site, and a few days or weeks later find $25+ commissions in your account. Not quite as easy these days, but making commisions is not hard.

    The key is reinvesting your paltry profits and scaling up.
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  • Profile picture of the author jakeymallins
    Just 'cause it worked for him don't mean it will work for me. I know there are loads of lottery millionaires, but should I buy lottery tickets?

    Just a newbie trying to learn!

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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    No money you say???

    Traveled to Vancouver
    Traveled to Massachusetts
    Traveled to California, then to New York
    Read the post you link to, How much do you think it cost for all that traveling. I personally think it was a bit more than free or the cost of a single paperclip


    A bar of iron cost $5. Made into horseshoes, it's worth $12. Made into needles, it's worth $3500. Made into balance springs for watches, it's worth $300,000. Your value is determined by what you are able to make of yourself

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    • Profile picture of the author teamversion
      Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

      No money you say???

      Traveled to Vancouver
      Traveled to Massachusetts
      Traveled to California, then to New York
      Read the post you link to, How much do you think it cost for all that traveling. I personally think it was a bit more than free or the cost of a single paperclip

      Good point Al. I suppose IF he borrowed money to pay for his travels (approx cost $1000) and later sold the house for $50k to pay for his debts that one can truly say that he made money without any money at all.
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      • Profile picture of the author Devilfish168
        I doubt this work in every countries.

        I read before this news before many people have try it for fun at first.

        even appear on News I remember.

        The trade I forgot the name of it ..like like ancient time where by we trade like this.
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        • Profile picture of the author onSubie
          Originally Posted by Devilfish168 View Post

          The trade I forgot the name of it ..like like ancient time where by we trade like this.

          These innovative ways to make cash work best for the first creative person to make it.

          Copycats might make some on imitation schemes but much less so.

          Like the guy who crowd funded $50,000 to make a potato salad. How many people are going to fund some other schmo who is going to "make a killer coleslaw"?

          It's the "going viral" that makes these things work, not the methods.
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    I think a lot of people here did not read the article or if they did they didn't not think much about what took place. He did not "start with no money" - that is obvious.

    As agmccall points out above he spent a ton of money on travel. That is assuming this is actually a true story..... but than I read it on the internet so it must be true !
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      People are losing the point.

      He didn't trade the paper clip for the house. There were a dozen intermediate trades, all trading something people did not want for something they did want, or at least wanted more than the item they traded away.

      Those two facts are the key to making money when you have no money. You don't go from $0 to $10,000 a month in one fell swoop. It might happen occasionally, but when it does, it makes news because it IS rare.

      You got nothing? You start by raising what the old prospectors called a grubstake. Maybe you cut lawns, or dog sit, or wash cars. Maybe you sell a service online. Whatever.

      You take that money and use it for something bigger, but you only pull the trigger when you can see that the trade is favorable - you don't chase shiny objects or go all in on some cockamamie get rich quick scam.

      Take it in steps, offering people things they want more than the money they need to trade for them.

      It may not be as sexy as hitting the lottery, but it's a lot more accessible to the common person.
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      • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author teamversion
          Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post


          One of the advantages of networking with others in a forum like this one is that you can help each other achieve your goals, without spending a dime.
          One of the best takeaway advice from this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author renukoot
    What i learnt is that Money attracts money
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    That also worked because his whole endeavour went viral. People were trading stuff with him because he was becoming a celebrity as as much as a shrewd trader.

    It's all about finding a unique way to get attention. Similar to The Million Dollar web page.

    A guy created a 1000x1000 (1,000,000) pixel image as a single page. He then sold each pixel for a dollar. It also went vial and corps were buying blocks of pixels to take advantage of the viral exposure and traffic.

    He easily sold all the pixels and made $1 million.

    The page is still up:

    The Million Dollar Homepage - Own a piece of internet history!

    The pixels sold out long ago but you can buy a poster of the page.
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    • Profile picture of the author StingGB
      There was something similar on UK TV many years ago where someone traded up from a £400 wreck to a brand new car over a dozen trades/weeks or so. I seem to remember a lot of pulling in favors from dealer friends, and a suspicious amount of good luck.

      Back to the starting with no money point though. I started my business with nothing, and have never spent a dime on advertising. My only monthly overheads are webhosting, my email server, and the cut Paypal take from every sale.

      It makes me sad every time I read 'how much do I need to invest in IM' type posts from newbies. Nothing is the answer. Just a damn good idea and a heck of a lot of hard work.
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  • Profile picture of the author dana67
    There are many ways to make money without money.
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  • Profile picture of the author slammer81
    Was all over barter kings...

    lately the quality of "reality" tv has dwindled on the reality portion.

    When I suspected things were being planted in the storage units on "storage wars" I started to doubt.

    All of it takes some effort, but I know from early experience that marketing applies from eBay up!
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  • Profile picture of the author Knightsofusa
    He must have some money to travel around the country to barter.
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  • Profile picture of the author teamversion
    Some people are just good with selling. If you are good with words, goto your public library with free WiFi, get an oDesk account and get some copy writing jobs. Not much money involve in getting a project.
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  • Profile picture of the author teamversion
    I just watched a TV show last week where a guy goes to a very old rubbish dump and digs out old bottles. The council does not use the dump anymore long before. Anyway he got the bottle appraised and it fetched between $4k - $6k.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Druman
    Obviously this guy paid money to drive from city to city trading this stuff, so he did NOT do this without money!

    Kidding, kidding....
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  • Profile picture of the author teamversion
    There's a guy who inherited his guitar and is playing down the corner of the city... He seems to be making money. =)
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  • Profile picture of the author Path Theory
    My wife's brother and his friends trade all the time on craigslist. They mainly trade cars and trucks though. I've seen him go from a $500 beat up honda, to a 3 year old Jaguar in matter of months, with no extra cash added on any of his trades.

    Dental Floss Tycoon

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  • Profile picture of the author kidino
    That is some wit! I guess some people have a knack for something like this -- not the salesmanship or the trading part. But the brain to come up with such idea, and the courage to hustle it through. Like you've been reading, the fact that he became famous half way through does help.

    Every now and then you'd hear stories like this... the 1 million pixels, this trading up, etc. I think the takeaway is not the actual thing that he did. It's hard to replicate that. But it's about having an idea, hustling your way through and really working hard.

    By the way, all these trading reminded me about a business strategy I once heard. Something that can be very valuable is not the product, is not money -- but the rights to something -- that others may think worthless... like the rights to hang ads on the window of your shop.

    I have heard a story about a guy who went around town securing rights from shop owners to hang ads on their windows. Big billboard companies ignored this then. When he has the rights to a big number of shops, he flipped it to a big billboard company for huge money.

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