You’ve seen them on every corner – the sign spinners that seem to combine dance, rap, skateboarding and surfing. And yes they do get your attention. Max Durovic and Michael Kenny, now 25 and 26-year-olds, devised stunts with signs simply to stave off boredom in their simple sign-holding jobs.
We tend to think that any great idea needs to be complicated, using sophisticated technology, and requiring venture capital or at least a big bank loan. Max and Michael now train others in the moves that are leading their company (Aarow Advertising) to a projected $5 million income this year. Their 500 spinning employees earn at least $25 an hour, but a real virtuoso will command $70. Justin Brown, Aarow’s director of training, says, “Sign spinning is a lot like ballroom dancing, except your partner has no life of its own. Giving the sign its life and personality is a spinner’s true task.”
Now think about the subtle difference between poverty and prosperity. I’ve seen guys all over town here in Franklin, TN – guys with not much going on who are paid $7 an hour to stand on a corner with a sign. Often you see them with the sign propped up while they listen to their iPod or read a book. The thinking is likely – Hey I’m not paid much, I’ll just take it easy. How much difference is there in education, age, work history or intelligence between a $7 an hour worker and a $70 an hour one? That’s right – none of those things makes any difference. But somewhere someone with a $7 an hour job saw an opportunity to be different – to stand out from the crowd. And to potentially earn 10 times what they had been making.
How many people now mowing yards, flipping hamburgers, filing papers, cashiering at Mapco, cleaning hotel rooms, changing oil, dispensing movie tickets, sweeping up popcorn, washing windows, directing construction traffic, or driving a mail route are one idea away from a big opportunity? Where the chance to do it differently would give them 10 times their current income?
And now the last question: Are you sitting on top of your opportunity?