Monthly Archives: November 2005

Jon Brelig, Kunal Das

Through college I’ve met very few people who have made much money through entrepreneurial ventures. Even in many entrepreneurial clubs there still few people who have actually done much.

I like to observe people who I think “have it in them” in order to learn a way to improve my own chances of success. So far I’ve seen two people I KNOW will be successful in the future:

Jon Brelig:
Strengths: Intricate computer programming knowledge.
It’s very rare to meet someone so good at programming who also has a keen business sense and extroverted personality. Jon’s current claim to fame is SkiReport.com, one of the largest ski-condition websites in America.

Jon is still a student, yet makes serious cash because of the automated system he built for SkiReport. Of course he won’t just let his cash flow top off, so he is currently re-doing the entire site to accept reservations.

Prior to SkiReport, Jon had a web solutions company which did tons of business in the Colorado area. He was a step above all the other high school kids who designed a few websites and claimed they had a ‘web solutions’ company (like me).

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Kunal Das:
Strengths: Networking skills, leadership and persistence.
This guy knows pretty much every person in the world. His network is extremely large, and he knows how to meet new people. He is a natural born leader and manager and has started several businesses with many employees to show. His current project is Grade-A-Books.

Kunal buys back books for more cash than the Co-Op, then sells them for cheaper, right on campus. Since the Co-Op gets such a high profit margin from their used books, Kunal can afford to accept a smaller one.

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One thing I’ve picked up from Jon’s SkiReport is to automate everything. He has spent considerable time and frustration creating a phenomenal backend system, and it allows him to get things done extremely quick with little effort. Kunal demonstrates the need for being a great leader. His current and past businesses have helped him develop great leadership skills which are crucial for running a business.

“Surround yourself with those smarter than you”

Marketing – UT Aquatics Center

I love seeing new ways of effective marketing, especially on a large scale. An example I’ve seen lately is the brand new outdoor/indoor aquatics complex here at the University of Texas.

Two buildings were demolished to make room for this structure in the epicenter of the UT campus. It serves absolutely no educational purpose and will probably distract students from school….yet it will make the UT campus education level go up.

UT Austin has become one of the most desirable colleges in Texas, causing record numbers of applications. They have cut the number of admitted students each semester, yet are getting more and more applications. Demand is way up and supply is down.

Because of this, UT is getting phenomenally difficult to get in. The increased competition is allowing only very well qualified students into the college. To further increase this demand and therefore caliber of students, UT Austin has created this additional ‘fun’ feature to the campus.

The complex was just finished and officially opened. It has a 12 lane lap pool, a giant hot tub, a “beach” pool and a volleyball pool. There is also a cafe and tons of lounge chairs. When potential freshman come for tours, this should definitely impress them.

Removing books from libraries, putting coffee shops everywhere, adding new resturaunts, free transportation to 6th Street and now a giant aquatic center in the middle of campus….it’s a brilliant way to increase competition for UT admission.

I could learn a thing or two from this method of indirect advertising as I am rolling out some new businesses in 2006. I’ve already come up with some indirect ways to advertise. This is sort of like the free videos and pictures on House Of Rave.com. Most people will view them and leave, but some will actually stay and buy something.

Just something to keep in mind!

Graduating – Outsourcing – Goals

I’m graduating in December and I couldn’t be more excited.

Instead of finding a good job, I’m taking a road I find more interesting and exciting: making my own way.

Of course a lot of people would like to do this, but many cannot. I feel I’ve worked enough towards this goal to allow me to do this successfully:

  • Supposing EVERYTHING goes wrong, I’ve built up a modest amount of money to live on.
  • I’ve expanded my network of people to a very healthy level which means more opportunity, and if I DO need a fixed income job, I could get one.
  • I’m young, unattached and able to rough out tough times if needed.
  • I’ve built up my arsenal of experience to make small amounts of money here and there in case everything goes completely wrong.
  • My income currently exceeds my expenses + monthly savings + then some.
  • I’ve already split up my accounts to help see exactly how much money is allocated to each type of expense.

Not only have I setup the foundation for being a full time entrepreneur, but it also suits my personality: I love uncertainty, I get bored very quickly and I like dabbling in many things at once.

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Lately I’ve been exposed to a lot of oversees computer work. These are basically freelance computer programmers and web designers who work from India, Russia or other countries. I must say I’ve been very impressed with the quality and speed of their work.

People complain about outsourcing, but I’ve found it very difficult to find skilled people in the United States with the same amount of computer knowledge and quick service.

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I’ve missed a few goal deadlines including a new business I am pretty excited about. I’ve been redesigning a whole new backend and ordering system for it. There are some unique features I need, so custom programming must be done.

I’ve also missed my $7,500 p/month by 11-17-2005 goal, however I am not too far off. On this site, I only list personal income sources. If I make money from someone else or with someone else, I do not document it on this website. I have a strong feeling that 2006 will be a great year for me!

-Nev

New scooter, Paid Writing, Increasing HoR Sales

I bought yet another scooter, same year, same brand. I saw it on Craigslist going for a great price, so I withdrew cash from the bank and bought it.

It hardly had any miles on it, and it runs like brand new. The guy selling it was a successful lawyer who stopped riding after he and his wife had a son. He just wanted it out of his garage, hence the great price I got.

I now own two 2003 Aprilia Scarabeo 50′s. My original one is awaiting a part from Italy that will arrive sometime this month. Once the work is complete, I will sell one of the scooters. I might also wait a few months for it to get warmer and then sell it (You get better prices).
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Recently I have been getting a lot of offers to write for stock market websites. One offer I got was from ADVFN.com that pays $500 a quarter or $2,000 a year. According to their agreement I must write a one paragraph post on their website about the stock market every day.

SO I would get $8 a day for writing one paragraph a day, 5 days a week….this sounds too much like a job.

…and honestly, I don’t want stock advice from someone doing it for the pay. I’d rather get advice from Kirk. He’s one of the few stock market writers that makes his money by actually trading stock. I’ve done ADVFN a favor and disqualified myself by discussing the terms:

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Ever since I made up my mind to increase profits for House Of Rave, it has worked.
Here was my hopeful profit chart:

I set my October profit goal at $975, and I slightly surpassed that goal with a total profit of $1,120 for October. Over the next three weeks I will be making more changes that should hopefully boost my profits even more. I enjoy the ease of running HoR, and I know I can increase profits enough to completely cover all my monthly expenses after graduation.

Meeting Michael Dell and Lance Armstrong

7:00pm my phone rings and “Bob” calls me from his regular hotspot, a swanky hotel, saying he happened to notice a large number of high powered individuals heading to the ballroom downstairs. Party crashing time. I took a quick shower, threw on a suit, got my roommate to tie my tie (because I still don’t know how) and drove to the hotel.

I met “Bob” in the lobby as dinner was being served. The place was packed and every seat was taken except at one table. We went up to the table, “Bob” did a little talking, and in an instant we were having a conversation with people we didn’t know, at an event we knew nothing about, and having a delicious meal.

After scoping out the room, it became very apparent that this was a big event with big people. In fact, while opening the bathroom door, I literally bumped into Lance Armstrong!

The event was in honor of Michael and Susan Dell for their philanthropic contributions. There were three billionaires in the room, the biggest being Michael. There was a movie about the Dell charity, several speakers and then they both gave a speech after being honored.

Michael Dell’s wife, Susan, is a tri-athlete and frequently goes bike riding with Lance Armstrong. Here is a picture of Lance, Susan and Michael together….well, their backs at least:

Later in the evening I got to meet Michael Dell, the famed founder of Dell Computers who started his company from a dorm room at the University of Texas. I talked with him briefly and found him to be a very approachable and extremely nice guy.

After the event was over, “Bob” and I headed back upstairs to the hotel lounge to finish up the night with an evening cocktail. That suit cost me $200 and the drinks cost me $25, but now I had the opportunity to meet Lance Armstrong and Michael Dell.

Thanks “Bob” for another great event!