Cup of Joe: Let’s Get Dirty And Talk About Value
Here’s an amazing story of a guy that discovered how to basically make money out of thin air, or fresh soil that is. You see I used to know this guy. Lets call him Tom. Tom sold dirt. That’s right, he sold dirt fresh out of the ground. It all started when he began leasing a vacant lot not far from my house. While passing by I saw his beat up truck sitting there with Tom beside it, drawing lines in the ground. I couldn’t figure out what he was up to but he certainly had a plan. A few days later I couldn’t believe it when I saw a huge pile of dirt now sitting in the middle of the lot. Now, when I say huge, I am not talking about a few feet tall. No, this heap was at least the size of a small house, just sitting there.
Then the next day Tom put up his sign. “Top Soil For Sale”. For all the dirt laymen reading this, top soil is the outer most layer of soil. The vast majority of top soil is concentrated at the top 2 inches of the Earth’s crust. Top soil is extremely important, with out it, most plants will not grow, and pretty much all trees won’t sprout new saplings. Top soil sounds pretty valuable right? I mean if it truly is the birthplace of most of the world’s vegetation it must be a pretty hot commodity right? Well yes, except for the fact that:
Seriously people, this guy was selling something that any sap can walk out of their house and collect in a matter of minutes for free! I couldn’t believe it! And, you know I honestly started to feel bad for the guy, thinking that his new venture was going to be a certain flop. Boy was I wrong.
First pickup trucks started pulling up to Tom’s dirt mound and buying a few wheelbarrows full. Then larger trucks then dump trucks and soon huge tractor trailers were lining up! Construction companies, landscapers, golf courses, home owners, and more were all buying their dirt from Tom. Soon Tom started diversifying with sand and gravel as well. Now he not only sells the dirt, he also has a fleet of trucks that will deliver the dirt as well.
For a long time I couldn’t figure out why the “dirt industry” even existed. But today it dawned on me. You see last week I thought of a product that I want to develop. I told a few folks about it this morning and they all said, “there’s already tons of free ones online”. I looked and sure enough the web is swimming with free versions of a product that I want to develop and sell. But then I noticed something interesting. There might be a lot of free options available, but no one is selling it! BAM! It hit me like a ton of bricks.
If you need really good dirt you don’t go out and dig it up, you buy it from Tom. Because Tom is the only one in this town that sells dirt. His dirt has value because he says it does.
As a business owner or marketer you have the power to set your own value. No one can argue with you because no one can do what you do, you and your company are unique and can sell anything if you put a sign up and believe in yourself.