The Saipanpreneur Project
The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!
My friend, Stacey, has figured it out! She sent me an e-mail yesterday proclaiming, "...don’t you get it? That’s how he’s going to rescue the economy!"
She was referring, of course, to president-elect Barack Obama and the much hoped-for, highly-anticipated, almost messianic expectations attached to his presidency, and its effect on the future of the U.S. and its economy.
According to UrbanDictionary.com, "Ka-ching" is the vocal imitation of the sound the old-time manual cash register makes when you ring up a sale.
It might just represent the sound of the trickle up bail out obamapreneur phenomenon inspired by the soon-to-be official president.
What Stacey figured out was that all you have to do is put the image or name of Barack Obama on a product, or tie your existing product or service to the incoming president, and you might just rescue yourself from your own private financial meltdown or the effects of a recessed economy, and hear the sweet ka-ching sound yourself!
The e-mail Stacey sent me had a link to a Web site selling official Obama commemorative dollar gold coin for $9.95. Christmas presents for everyone! Kaching!
I quipped that this was evidence of the early stages of Obamanomics and obamapreneurs in action, and that I would launch sites of the same name. I quickly found out, however, that people have already snatched up those domain names. In fact, the fellow who now owns OBAMANOMICS.COM is selling it for $5,000. Ka-ching!
The morning after Obama’s win, newspapers around the country were forced to reprint tens of thousands of copies to meet the demand of people saving these copies as front-page keepsakes of a moment in history. Ka-ching!
Hotels within a hundred miles of Washington, D.C. are charging as much as $1,000 per night—with a five-night minimum stay—for rooms during the week of his scheduled inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, 2009. Ka-ching!
One entrepreneur is selling 2,456 Obama-adorned items, t-shirts, mugs, caps, etc. through cafepress.com. Ka-ching!
So, how can you capitalize on the Barack wave to sell your creativity? You can, like the folks at minimovie.com, combine break dancing, (b-boyin’ for those in the know) with technical expertise and create an ingenious and hilarious “Barack/McCain Dance Off” video that might just get people thinking, “How’d they do that? and hire you to do something similar. Ka-ching! [Search for Obama dance-off” on Youtube.com]
The Barack Effect
Now then, if you are having a challenging time predicting what the profitable trends will be with Obama as president (it’s all so new and different), here are some tips to help your brainstorming.
First, understand that America has never seen such an international outpouring of support and well-wishes for one of its presidents. What do you think that means? What does it tell you about how the world regards this man? What does it say about America’s reputation abroad? What opportunities might this spell for business owners around the world?
Anything associated with Obama’s history, upbringing, parents, education, etc., will provide clues as to what may gain in popularity. On that note, you can scan the Internet for his life story, or pick up a copy of The American Journey of Barack Obama on Amazon.com. It’s a great book that—oh, oops, yes...Ka-ching!—as I was saying: a great book that shows his family tree, and traces his entire childhood and adult journey. It’s just full of associations to people and places that might spark a business idea.
Just the mere fact of Barack’s presidential win has and will result in new ways of thinking and acting. Here are some predictions, as well as some actual developments.
With hope in the American dream restored, there will be an increase in the numbers of people in the U.S. applying for citizenship.
There will be increased interest among the youth, and within disenfranchised communities in the electoral process, and the inner machinations of government.
Americans’ perception and reception overseas will improve; tourism of U.S. citizens traveling abroad will likely increase.
There are also international opportunities already being exploited.
According to Kenyan Tourism Minister Najib Balala, "We are now contemplating opening the ’Obama Route’ that will start from Nairobi through the Great Rift Valley and Lake Victoria, leading to Kogelo village thus giving clients the chance to visit Obama’s father’s birthplace." Ka-ching!
The Caribbean island of Antigua-Barbuda has officially renamed its highest mountain peak “Mount Obama.” Can you say “press opportunity for local tourism” folks? Ka-ching!
The city of Obama, Japan has received more than its fair share of media attention as a result of sharing a name with the future president. According to inventorspot.com, site which may help with ideas on capitalizing on trends: "The latest manifestation of Obama-boosting comes courtesy of the so-called "Obama Girls", a troupe of hula dancers from Obama, Japan who have journeyed to Hawaii (where Obama was born and raise) to compete in a dance contest.” Ka-ching!
All this humor/parody, t-shirts, dolls, books, videos, travel, tourism, information, music, and profit potential by name association are just the tip of the entrepreneurial iceberg. So don’t miss out. Get your thinking caps on and the creative juices flowing. And, remember, it’s never too early to start thinking about business ideas. Who do you think will be running again in 2012? Ka-ching!
Note: Predictions for Fun and Profit Update:
And, while we’re on the topic of seeing the future, as you may recall, I made a few predictions a few weeks ago. [See "What Happens Next?" published Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008]
Prediction #1 has come true: Barack Obama was elected president.
Prediction #2 (Marine monument) will be tested soon!
Prediction #3: Fate of U.S. carmakers.
If all goes well, I’ll have launched my new career as a fortune-teller. Stay tuned. J
Note: The African American Cultural Preservation Committee is calling for entries for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Essay and Elocution Contest. The topic this year is “What Would Martin Say?” All students in the CNMI are invited. See the www.blacksonsaipan.com website for details. Fliers are being distributed to the schools this week.
Note: For more tips on overcoming your fears, acting on your ideas, changing the game, and creating a passion-centered lifestyle, visit www.passionprofit.com!
Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!
Walt F.J. Goodridge is author of over two dozen books including Turn Your Passion Into Profit. Walt offers coaching and workshops to help people pursue and profit from their passions. Originally from the island of Jamaica, Walt has grown several businesses in the US, and now makes his home here on Saipan. To learn more about the Saipanpreneur Project and Walt’s philosophy and formula visit www.saipanpreneur.com and www.passionprofit.com)