🧠 3 Ideas on Sunday - Jan. 2nd
$250 million and... he's gone!
1. He made $250 million and went Incognito
There’s a good chance you’ve heard about the massive collapse of Enron in the early 2000’s that lost shareholders over $74 billion and sent Enron execs to prison, but you probably haven’t heard of the mysterious exec that made off with $250 million and zero criminal charges. The story of Lou Pai is both crazy and mysterious, and shows he is either the smartest or luckiest character from the Enron collapse. There is very little information about Loui Pai and his current whereabouts, but here’s a few fact we know:
Lou Pai joined Enron in 1987 and served as CEO of an Enron subsidiary from 1997 to 2001.
In 1999 Lou bought a ranch in Colorado for $23 million, and became the 2nd largest land owner in Colorado.
Lou spent time at Strip Clubs which led to his affair and pregnancy with an exotic dancer. When Lou’s wife of 20 years got word of the pregnancy she filled for divorce.
The divorce led to Lou selling $250 million worth of Enron shares between May and June of 2001 (months before Enron files bankruptcy).
Lou leaves Enron in May 2001, right before Enron files for Bankruptcy (Dec. 2001), and the department of Justice opens a criminal investigation (Jan. 2002).
Lou and his new exotic dancer wife sell their Colorado ranch for $60 million and buy up ranches in Texas and Virginia where they train horses.
Lou was not criminally charged during the Enron trials despite selling off $250 million worth of shares right before the giant implosion. Eventually Lou paid a settlement of $31.5 million for insider trading charges made against him in 2008, but this could have been covered with just the profit he made selling his Colorado ranch.
So the question still remains, was he lucky that his divorce led to selling shares at the perfect time, or did he know what was coming?
References: http://everything.explained.today/Lou_Pai/ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2006/jan/30/corporatefraud.enron
2. Start saying “I get to” instead of “I have to”
Happy 2022 everyone! With the start of a new year comes new goals and opportunities. One goal I’ll be focus on this year is being happier in the moment, and practicing gratitude. One idea that is quick to implement and can create a drastic difference, is changing “I have to” into “I get to”. Saying I have to do something automatically makes it feel like a chore and is associated with a negative feeling.
“I get to go to the gym everyday”
“I get to go to work everyday”
“I get to wash the dishes, even though i didn’t use any of the”…just kidding 🙃
Try it out and you could see a quick change in your attitude!
3. Business Idea of the Week: Handwritten Letter Robot
Start up cost: $500-$700
Here’s a business idea you can start with a $500 machine and a little hustle. Digital marketing has a lot of attention, but direct mail marketing is still very much alive and well. You probably get a lot of junk mail yourself, but how much of the mail you receive from businesses is handwritten? This is your opportunity to sell a service that will help these businesses stand out.
What service to offer: The overall service will be providing businesses with hand written letters, but the details are up to you. Here I have identified 3 areas to think about. 1) Will the business provide the letters that you will write on, or will you offer to create them custom cards? 2) Will you be “handwriting” the address on each of the envelopes or will you print out stickers for the addresses? 3) Will you be putting the stamps on each letter and mailing them out, or will you just deliver the “handwritten” cards back to the client?
What do I need to start this business: In order to automate handwritten letters, i would recommend the AxiDraw V3. The AxiDraw is a handwriting robot that holds a pen and draws out whatever you type out on your computer. Here is a video I made of my AxiDraw in action. Along with the robot, I would recommend creating a website to direct potential customers to, and showcase your offerings. Carrd.com is a great 1 page website builder and only costs $19/year.
What businesses would use this service: There can be many used cases for handwritten cards, but the main factor to focus on is: what businesses can afford $2-$4 per letter, if the letters only result in a few sales? In other words, what businesses sell a high-cost product and would still make a profit if only a few of the letters turned into sales for them? Examples: Financial Services, Mortgage Brokers, Real Estate professionals, etc.
How much can I charge: This will vary greatly on what you provide. For example, a postage stamp costs around 50 cents, so that will have to be added into your price if you are providing it. On average you can expect to charge between $2-$4 per letter, depending on what you provide, and the amount of letters they sign up for.
Credit for this Idea: I got this idea from Jesse Eckel. He runs a Youtube channel and documents his side hustles he is using to make $1 million. Jesse talks about this side hustle in this video and mentions one of his clients ended up closing a $400k sale from one of the letters he sent.
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