Making a Million Dollar Out of Thin Air

It sounds surreal. A million dollar out of thin air? How can you create money out of nothing. You can’t. But you can create money without having any money. Like you do in an employment. Although, you probably can’t make a million dollar with employment. Then how can you make a million dollar without investing any money. Only a few people can imagine something like that. Let me assure you, it’s possible. Not just possible, I personally know dozens of people who have done it.

You start with doing work that has no associated cost. The only cost would be your time and effort. Like starting a YouTube channel with your phone. Just like my friend ZSM did. Or you could work as a freelancer on UpWork / Fiverr and build your way up to becoming an agency or creating a product. Or you could just write a blog. Or create a following on Instagram or Facebook to be an influencer. Or you could sell arts and crafts, or T-shirts and hoodies on Etsy, or TeeSpring or Printful. If you’re a developer, you could be selling services on Fiverr and eventually start making plugins, apps and themes for WordPress and Shopify creating a product and a value-asset.

Let me assure you, I’m only scratching the surface here. If there are 99 ways to make money online without investment, I only know of 1. And I’ve written about what I know here. My brother recommended me this channel. May be you’ll find a lot more options to kick-start your internet journey there.

In summary though, there are hundreds of ways to make a living on the internet. Hundreds of things that need no capital to start. And hundreds of them that can eventually make you a million dollars. Sure, you’d most likely need to pivot at some point, but you can most certainly get there. Let me talk a bit more about the pivots below.

Suppose you start as a T-shirt designer on Fiverr. You sell time and skill to make money. Eventually you pivot and also start selling your designs on Etsy and use a print on demand to fulfil your orders. Once you get the hang of it, you now want to hit a larger audience or a global market. You pivot again and you take your designs to Shopify. You now invest a lot of money that you have made thus far in audience acquisition using ads on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest etc. You find more print on demand services in different countries so you can locally fulfil your orders. Eventually, you’re doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. You have created a million dollar value-asset. All with sheer hardwork and no external funding or investment. You have successfully turned $1 into $1,000,000.

I don’t want to mention names here for the sake of privacy, but I know at least one millionaire in Pakistan from each of those categories: an influencer, a designer, a blogger and a developer.

The question is do you just like reading articles with a million dollar in the title, or are you gonna take actions.

Distributed Companies

I love distributed companies. It hasn’t been a tough challenge for me running one thus far since I’ve never had more than 10 employees at any point in the lifetime of my business. Although we’ve worked with over 200 collaborators and partners concurrently but we were able to manage that just fine.

One of the companies that has proven how far a distributed company can go is Automattic. They are the team behind WordPress, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Simplenote, Longreads, VaultPress, Akismet, Gravatar, Crowdsignal, Cloudup, Tumblr, and more. They have more than a thousand employees. It’s a remarkable company to say the least.

I’d list below the top 3 reasons why I love and believe in distributed companies.

Better Talent Pool

You are not restricted by country while trying to find talent for your company. Most companies are restricted by cities. You’re often missing out on better talent pool, sometimes even paying a higher wage to lesser talented workforce since a better alternate lives in Vietnam or Ukraine. Not only would they cost less, the quality of work will be way superior.

Lower Costs

On top of money saved in wages, there are much bigger costs that you can avoid. You wouldn’t need to rent office space, spend on furnishing, security and many other associated costs of maintaining a workspace. Although, setting up a workplace can be cheaper in Pakistan compared to many other parts of the world, it can still cause a significant damage to the company’s finances. For example, we have saved over $120,000 USD ($1000 x 12 x 10) over the period of 10 years only in rentals by running a distributed company.

No Ties

Both the founders and the employees have the freedom to move around, be anywhere in the world at any point in time with no ties to any geolocation. This has a huge impact on a work-life balance as well as happiness index of the team.

Please let me know in the comments if you think traditional companies are still a better choice than distributed companies.