The Marsupial Method: How to launch a profitable business with a guaranteed customer base in 24 hours or less

Note: at the end of this article, I’ve provided a special bonus for you that includes word-for-word scripts one of my Tribe members used to secure his first partnership with the Marsupial Method. Don’t forget to check it out.

 

When I first started brainstorming different ways to make money, or possible businesses to start, I felt like taking a can of bright red spray paint, drawing an X on a concrete wall and smashing my head straight through it. Hopefully I would just hit a beam and put myself out of my misery.

I kept doing the mental marathon. You know the drill: Coming up with dozens of ideas every day and rejecting all of them.

“No, that won’t work”
“Can’t do that, it’s already been done”
“Nobody’s going to buy from me”
“That idea is boring”
“That idea is too complicated”

It was exhausting. On and on I went like this. Day after day. I probably came up with 729 “not good enough” ideas.
Here’s the problem with this mindset: You go through all this mental anxiety trying to come up with the “perfect” idea…and you make no progress. Meanwhile, you see other people doing completely uncreative, uninventive crap and making tons of money. And that makes you even MORE anxious.

I remember reading an article about some guy who opened up a coffee company – but all he did was “drop ship” it. Basically, he took orders for coffee on a website, then sent the order to a factory, and they just sent the coffee out under his brand name. He didn’t have ANY products. All he had was a website. And he was making something like $92,000/year.

When I saw stuff like that, it made my blood boil.

What do THEY know that I don’t know? How do you even set something like that up? And if he’s already doing the coffee thing, now I can’t do that. Back to the drawing board. Over and over again. I couldn’t get out of this pattern.

Many things I wanted to do seemed too far out of my reach. I didn’t have hardcore “techie” skills, and I didn’t have a business degree. I didn’t feel like a “natural” entrepreneur.

I guess what it boiled down to was that I simply didn’t feel like I had any relevant experience that was worth money.

But then, it hit me.

I remembered that somehow, some way, I’d managed to stay employed. A miracle, I know. This meant that I actually DID have at least a few skills that were valuable to someone else. Otherwise, people would never bother hiring me.

(Takeaway here: If you are employed — or ever have been — you have at least one skill that’s worth money.)

One of those skills was as an SAT/ACT test prep coach working for Kaplan Test Prep in college (and shortly after).

I’d never really taken the time to step back and think about how much a skill like this was worth to the people I was providing the service for — both Kaplan and the families I was helping. I only thought about how much I was getting paid. I was solely focused on my hourly rate. How many of us do this?

How many of us are so concerned with what we’re getting paid, that we never stop to think about what we’re WORTH?

This is the WRONG way to think about your skills.

Your salary is not equivalent to what your skills are actually worth to the company that employs you. Think about it — if you were getting paid exactly what your skills were worth, the company hiring you would make no profit off you. After the onboarding and training process, many business have already spent $5,000-$10,000 just to acquire you. Yes, little you. Then, once you start working, you still have to make them money. They HAVE to pay you way less than what your skills are worth in order to make a profit from your work.

In fact, most companies usually make 2x-5x more than what you bring in for every hour you work.

For example, if you’re getting paid $25/hour to do tech support for a company, they are probably making an average of $75-$100/hour from the customers that you’re helping. That’s not a typo.

When I looked at my work for Kaplan, I realized this was happening right in front of my eyes.

My hourly rate was $18. I thought this was fantastic at the time. (Poverty mentality: “It’s almost 3x minimum wage! Yay!”) Then I found that they were charging the families I was helping over $100/hour for me to come to the house and teach little Timmy quadratic equations.

They weren’t doing ANYTHING except connecting me with the student. I was coordinating with the families, teaching the material, developing most of the curriculum and following up. In short, I was doing $100 worth of work every hour for them, and they were taking $82 out of my pocket every time.

FUCK. THAT.

At that point, I realized that I had a viable skill that people had proven they would pay great money for — but I was missing the connection piece. Even if I branched out on my own, how would I find the clients on my own? This piece of the equation caused me a ton of anxiety — and it cause me to stall.

This is the place where many of us quit and turn around, back towards the safety of our jobs.

We think to ourselves, “Well, I may have a skill, but my company is the one giving me all the work. I need them.”

And for a minute, I have to admit, I felt like that too. I mean, let’s get real here — it’s hard to find clients, isn’t it. What was I supposed to do? Post ads on Craigslist? Pin flyers on the bulletin board at my apartment complex?

Umm, nah bro. These just didn’t seem like the best solutions. I wasn’t trying to open a lemonade stand here. My rent is $1,100/month.

I needed something that worked really well — and fast.

Then, EUREKA.

I had one of the two or three of bright ideas I’ve had in the past 25 years.

Rather than searching up and down, scouring the classifieds and 7-year old yellow page ads looking for clients, I came up with a better idea…

“If I’m looking for a very specific type of customer, why not just go to where existing customers already are?”

If I go to where the customers I’m looking for a plentiful, and they’re already in a buying mood, I’ll have a virtually endless sea of leads and paying customers instantly.

That’s when I developed The Marsupial Method — and set up my first business in less than 24 hours.

Here’s how The Marsupial Method works:

I know. Dumb simple, right? The great thing about The Marsupial Method is that it can work with both products or services.   It’s all about providing value for another person and enhancing their business, then using that relationship to launch your own business rapidly.   I’ve helped many people in my Tribal Accelerator Program figure out how to launch their first profitable business using The Marsupial Method. Now, it’s your turn.

Get the scripts!

Need help implementing the Marsupial Method? Grab the bonus pack and get word-for-word scripts that Robert used to secure his first partnership.   Grab the Marsupial Method Bonus Pack 🙂

Daniel DiPiazza
@Rich20Something

Daniel is the founder and CEO of Rich20Something. A millennial business mastermind, he has successfully started three consecutive freelance businesses and scaled them to over $100K in revenue with zero startup capital. His work is regularly featured in Time Magazine, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Fox News, and Yahoo! Business. His debut book, Rich20Something, publishes on May 2, 2017.

  • Nick Loper

    “If you are employed — or ever have been — you have at least one skill that’s worth money.” Love this!
    And I think the lightbulb moment is when you can find a customer willing to pay for that skill outside of work. Great post — keep it up!

  • practicalcivilization

    Daniel, great advice as usual. I’m trying to start a side business of guitar lessons. I feel that it will be fun and pay as well, I love to play the guitar. However, I’m having trouble getting clients. Maybe I should try to market to high school kids with their parents paying? Any thoughts?

  • skyemediagroup03

    Love this idea!  You’re always on point.

  • Aman Chand

    So the freaky thing here is that I did EXACTLY this when I started my business consultancy, and i actually call it “The Joey Method” (having grown up in Australia) and have talked about this in a LOT of my public speaking engagements. I use a few small accounting firms who handle medium sized business accounts and get them to market my services as an auxiliary service to their own, and share 5% per client that signs up through them, and I make the same off them when I push clients their way too. Sort of like an affiliate arrangement between us, so its win win all around. As being someone who’s done this (and still does) I can vouch for “The Marsupial Method” being a major time saver that yields amazing results. Great post as usual Daniel.

  • Rich20Something

    Aman Chand we must be GENIUSES or long lost twins. If you don’t mind, would you go into a little closer detail about exactly what you did?

  • Rich20Something

    skyemediagroup03 Thanks! Can you think of a good way to use this with any projects you’re working on?

  • Rich20Something

    practicalcivilization Let’s dig a little deeper here: What’s your positioning. What type of music do you teach, what type of area would you be teaching in, etc?

  • Rich20Something

    @Jansen This is great! My first suggestion would be to go the private route. It’s harder to use this strategy with schools as the middle men. Are there private counselors or consultants in your area that deal with these types of clients, then send them to Sylvan, etc. (Hint – the answer is probably yes. You just have to look.)

  • Rich20Something

    Nick Loper I’d say the light bulb is customer #3. The first is usually your mom or your dog. The second could be a fluke. But #3, you’re like…holy shit…this is a business.

  • Rich20Something

    latashakennedy So what’s the best way to get directly in front of the parents from a trusted source? Who are they already doing business with?

  • practicalcivilization

    Rich20Something Good points! I am brand new to the market and enjoy playing blues/rock/jazz. Perhaps I need to be striking up conversations with people in record shops, bars, etc.

  • Aman Chand

    practicalcivilization Don’t forget to go where the tools of your trade are sold (of course in your locality). Not everyone who walks in to buy a guitar knows how to play one. Well, I didn’t when I bought mine. Hell I still don’t! lol. Make a deal with the store to hand out 20% discount coupons on your guitar lessons when people purchase certain types of guitars or something. And the store can get a percentage of your fee. Of course you can develop the idea more and see what you can offer and there’s still more you have to dig deeper into as Daniel said, but that’s just one of many approaches you could take to reaching your target market.

  • practicalcivilization

    Aman Chand Thanks for the ideas! I hadn’t considered going to the source like guitar center or somewhere. Funny enough!

  • Rich20Something

    practicalcivilization Aman Chand Really great ideas here. Any luck with Guitar Center?

  • Rich20Something

    Aman Chand No man, this is as valuable as the post itself! This is the type of feedback we need.
    My biggest takeway here: “It’s almost a positioning statement for some of these firms now and because of it they have grown, my company grew, and the clients have prospered. Everyone shared in the benefit. ”
    How can we create the most win-win scenarios and be the “good guys”?

  • Aman Chand

    Rich20Something Exactly. I think that’s what it’s all about really. Creating the most win-win scenarios. 
    On a purely unrelated note, I was wondering if I could get some private feedback on something I’m working on right now. It’s another blog I’m looking to launch within the month. Let me know if you’re okay with me picking your brain for a bit and I’ll send you a quick email explaining the project. Thanks in advance!

  • Rich20Something

    Aman Chand Rich20Something Sure, I’d be happy to. Email me.

  • practicalcivilization

    Rich20Something practicalcivilization Aman Chand Ya, I actually went in yesterday and they have a bulletin board specifically for music networking. No referral fees or anything. Funny how sometimes things are right in front of your face! Thanks for the ideas yo!

  • I don’t know if this is necessarily ‘Starting a business overnight with the marsupial method’ and more ‘You need a solid idea first, one that your actually into and then use The Marsupial Method to get some guaranteed clients in 24hours’ guess its not as catchy though :/

  • SeinfeldOKC

    Dan this article helped snap my mind into working. My main skill is Im a musician. My band is recording our first EP soon and having issues about spending the appropriate money to do it right. We are broke musicians after all.
    This made me immediately realize that we should kickstart it and make a video to develop the persobal connection you hit on in you Elance hacking article… Thanks man

  • Rich20Something Aman Chand  Great convo here guys. I totally agree that we have to help the kangaroo look good. I am so excited to apply this method today!

  • Rich20Something

    SeinfeldOKC Hey man – I’m really glad this helped you. Will you please update me on your progress?

  • Rich20Something

    @CuriousSteve LOL.

  • ciaraf

    Hi, 

    I’ve been following your blog for sometime and I think your content is great. Sometime ago I came up with a seminar for my manager in how to spot your potential target audience. Obviously, my presentation (being the first one I have ever done) is slightly ropey and needs a little work doing to it, but I wondered (after it’s spick and span) if you could suggest how I would get started with maybe trialling it. I’ve had a few ideas but nothing solid.

    Ciara

  • adam5

    Hi Daniel,
    I have a digital marketing business and have had some larger clients (for example Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!), but I am not getting a consistent stream. It is a relatively new business and am wondering where you would go to find your “kangaroo”. I tried a traditional PR firm and they seemed uninterested. Mainly I offer blog and pay per click. You or Aman have any ideas? Also are you calling or emailing or literally just going in?
    Thanks,
    Ada,

  • Shajee

    One thing I like about your post Daniel, they are all upright so simple and honest.
    I am a highly skilled software engineer, a trainer, I think I can have a portal with online training helping freshers and experienced people. I am liking this idea of provide online video trainings for free and some with specific value as paid.
    The thing is there are already a herd of online training materials available.

  • owens346

    I FINALLY GOT IT! I’m a web developer and I was wondering where this would apply. ADVERTISING BUSINESSES

  • kartiksiyer

    Hi Daniel,

    I run a digital outsourcing agency, we offer web development, mobile development and digital media marketing services to digital agencies across the globe. We work as extended partners to these agencies, do all the heavy lifting and above all help them to increase their bottom line. How do i apply the marsupial method for my business ?

  • Aman Chand

    adam5  It’s not about “where” you go to find your kangaroo, it’s about knowing who that kangaroo is. Or who they are. There are a number of issues here that may be the cause of the inconsistent stream of clientele, however, if you haven’t already, the first thing you need to do is determine who your ideal customer is. I understand digital marketing has a potentially huge customer base but when you zero-in on your ideal client you’re able to approach them in a more targeted and guided manner. You can have multiple ideal clients but each different segment of the market will have its own specific approach to it. 

    Now, for the Kangaroo.  You have to find a business that already offers a particular product or service to YOUR ideal customer. They don’t offer what YOU offer, but they offer something. For example maybe a local freelance web designer who doesn’t offer what you offer. My ideal clients back then were small to medium sized businesses, so I went to Accounting firms that had small to medium sized businesses as their clients. So your kangaroo are those businesses that are already serving YOUR customer, but just giving them something else. Critical success factor here is to provide mutual benefit. As for calling, emailing, etc., I just rocked up in person. Yeah I got rejected a number of times but you have to hustle. My advice is a tad general ‘cos I’ll be honest I’m not entirely sure what it is you offer and who your ideal customers are, but I hope this helps. I’m sure Daniel will be of more help than I.

  • Rich20Something

    Aman Chand adam5  SUCH good feedback. adam5 you reading this?

  • SamirNavare

    How would the method work for new products that not any direct competitors?

  • Aman Chand

    SamirNavare  In the same way as Daniel mentioned. You’re not looking for competitors, you’re looking for someone who’s already serving your customers with something different. Your product will merely add value to theirs and to their customers.

  • BenBlue

    I am an independent vegan chef in Washington DC. I am very skilled at making healthy food. I have had a couple clients before, but now work a full time job. I would LOVE to regain my independence and work on my own terms… where do I find clients?
    I get the idea that If i find where people are looking for vegan chefs and I go there (irl or internets) then I can present myself and get clients… but I don’t know where that is…

    Thanks,
    Ben 
    http://www.awesomeveganblog.com

  • ZachPatrick

    SOLID article. This is similar to the strategy Jay Abraham advocates in Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got. 

    1) I write autoresponder sequences for Kickstarter-funded startups.

    2) Looks like they’re already doing business with ecommerce tools like BackerKit and Shopstarter…Tools that specialize in getting post-KS startups (my prospects) ready for business. Time to reach out.

  • JohnVito

    I run a small record company and was wondering how i would find a “marsupial” if most music is downloaded through websites?

  • JulietAnnerino

    Aman Chand SamirNavareWell-stated, Aman!

  • Tuliobbs

    The method is not showing for me!
    Mavericks & Chrome

  • JulietAnnerino

    BenBlue How about posting at all the Whole Foods you can find, Ben? Upscale gyms? You could even offer a few free samples one day at a gym or whole foods to introduce people to your great work! Another idea: Find an upscale event in its beginning stages of planning, maybe a charity event, and offer to bring samples for people if you can set up a small table with your name and contact info prominently displayed and hand out biz cards!

  • Rich20Something

    Tuliobbs  Try again. Looks good to me!

  • Rich20Something

    JohnVito  Good question. Start with your ideal customer. Where are they already doing business?

  • Rich20Something

    ZachPatrick  Perfect!

  • OLIDURR

    Good stuff, Daniel. Always gets me thinking!

  • CS Jones

    Rich20Something Tuliobbs – I can’t see the video either.  (And I tried two browsers.)  Other videos work fine.

  • On-point stuff! I’m dabbling in trying to launch a few different web projects of my own (I’m a web developer, but currently have a corporate job). What weighs on my mind most right now is finding enough time to build on them! But a few of them are nearing ready to start asking for attention from the world, so I’ve actually been starting to dance around this idea as I’ve been thinking about how to position the sites to get traffic. You clarified how to do this very succinctly and directly! Thank you —

  • Hi Daniel ..Brilliant stuff  ..I have for years thought of agencies as the best business model but you just summed a model so simply 
    ..My skill is i am a trained /experienced public speaker 100 —18,000   but do it free  ..My knowledge is  creative thinking  ..

    . Can you suggest where to find  a hot  market in practical terms ..

    Thank you for the value you bring to the table           Ian

  • BlackGirlsGolf

    This was good stuff. My problem is that my customer isn’t currently doing business with anyone else. I teach women how to play golf, specifically African American women, Black Girls Golf (BGG). How do I find my target and keep them engaged, as I am their first point of contact with an industry that is new to them and not particularly welcoming.

  • esteroberto

    Rich20Something Tuliobbs Didn’t work for me either, try clicking the link at the bottom (http://infogr.am/Starting-a-business-overnight-with-the-Marsupial-Method)

  • stanchekwa

    Aman Chand Rich20Something i’m a web designer in Nigeria, i’m wondering how i can effectively utilize this strategy offline and offline to boost my sales

  • Idia

    BlackGirlsGolf One of the keys to (quick, successful) entrepreneurship, is finding a customer segment who is already taking the actions necessary to make your business profitable. Basically, do black women currently play golf or want to play golf? If so, you’ll have to search the internet, go to meetups, find organizations that they are in, etc. and go directly to them. If you find that black women aren’t currently golfing or not enough of them are to create a viable business, then you’ll likely need to pivot your customer segment. It’s quite difficult to change people’s behavior.

  • Idia

    BenBlue Juliet hit the nail on the head!

    You can also try meetups and farmer’s markets. And look into community “cooking schools”. I know in some communities, there are healthy lifestyle kitchens/cooperatives that offer cooking classes. Being a guest instructor is a good way to get exposure to people who are already interested in healthy food. 

    Yoga studies and meditation or holistic centers may also be a good place to look.

  • Idia

    electronicBits A little advice from a fellow entrepreneur who’s been there and done that: don’t wait 6months to create an MVP. Unless you’re making a physical product that needs to be manufactured. Even then, you should have a (clearly defined) customer before you spend any considerable amount of time on creating any product.

    Just curious, what’s your idea? The fact that you didn’t share your idea is a bit of a red flag. Don’t be afraid to share it. It’s in sharing it and getting feedback that you truly learn whether or not it’s viable.

    Good luck!

  • Idia

    New to your stuff, but liked this breakdown of lean methodology.

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