Spin a new idea

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?

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11 Responses to “Spin a new idea”

  1. therealmotherlode Says:

    Ah, Dan….love how you get me to see things from new and thrilling perspectives…..

  2. Dan Miller Says:

    Thanks Theresa – I can’t help seeing things from a different perspective. And you know me – if there’s horse manure in my mailbox, rather than being upset, I’m looking for a pony.

  3. Charlene Smith Says:

    I just love receiving you posts! They definitely help me to think outside the box. I am always encouraged and stirred up after reading your posts. God bless you.

  4. Andy Traub Says:

    Dan, I read that article in Entrepreneur magazine about those guys and I thought to myself, “Now that’s a way to take something simple and monetize it!” Best of all though, it’s people helping other people succeed. The sign spinners get paid well because they help the business increase their profits WAY MORE than $70 an hour. That’s the key to success, making others even MORE successful. You do that Dan, and I thank you for it.

  5. Deana Goldasich Says:

    I didn’t even know they were called sign-spinners! You’re so right, Dan — some of these guys take the opportunity and run (or dance) with it, while others do what’s “expected.” What a great parallel to how we can turn predictable into profitable!

  6. Ralph Says:

    A few Christmas’ ago I saw an unusal couple ringing bells at the Salvation Army kettle outside of a “big box store”. What attracted my eye was the large crowd around these to ladies. What’s up with the crowd? Hmmm I was drawn closer. They were singing carols, and they were having fun doing it! The crowd had joined in the singing! I’m not sure, but I think these ladies filled the kettle that night

  7. Eddie Hudson Says:

    When I graduated from college in 1984 I was convinced it was impossible for me to earn a living as an artist. In 2009, I am convinced there’s no BETTER WAY to earn a living! Currently I test software to pay the bills and it’s a good use of skills, but there is nothing like sitting in front of an empty canvas or paper and producing meaningful work. My goal for next year is to make this my sole source of income. I am looking at three ways to do it: selling on websites, at local art fairs and through galleries. Now I’m learning as I go, and there’s quite a few late nights, a great deal of double work (mentally planning while I’m testing software – not as much of a challenge as one would think) and determination that there is no turning back on this God-given talent!

  8. celestedavis Says:

    I’ve seen this in my own life. When I called out to God, “I need help with my health or I will die young”, within 6 months I lost the best paying job I ever had….$17 an hour!

    I had to find work and the only job I could get was with a chiropractor. I had worked for them before and did not want to work for another one because they are usually poorly run family businesses who help their patients but not their employees.

    It was seriously the only job I could get, I did not want that job so much, even quit the second day and 4 more times after that! Well, that chiropractor “required” me to do his detox program for 21 days. In those 21 days I lost 16 lbs and elminated type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema I had for 20 years, plantar fasciitis, mood swings and depression. Hmmmm……God answered my prayers, my health was restored and along with that my vision for a better life! I went on to lose an additional 60 lbs, total of 76 in the next 4 months. My husband joined me and eliminated prostate problems, back pain, mood swings and even dandruff! That was 4 years ago. We have maintained our good health and have not even had a cold or the flu since.

    As for that great $17.00 an hour job I lost (and was devastated to lose), now my husband and I coach people through the same process we went through. We make considerably more than $17.00 an hour, create our own work, our own schedule and as a bonus get to really minister to people in a bigger way than we did when we were in the paid pastoral ministry.

    I thank God that He gave me HIS vision. I would have never chosen the life I live now. He showed me the way He wants me to minister and is continuing to detox other areas of my life and family for His glory.

  9. June Stewart Says:

    A chum recommended me to look at this page, brill post, interesting read… keep up the nice work!

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