Alternate Income Part II – Fracturing

by | Dec 29, 2011 | Archives

Yesterday’s message started a series about ways to create alternative incomes.  The most fulfilling extra sources of revenue are those that come from turning your passion into profit as you help the world become a better place.

Yesterday’s message saw how two International Club members are expanding their interest in mules as they go deeper by fracturing into their horse lover’s niche.

Our Super Thinking plus Spanish teacher, Ernest Neumann, shows another example of fracturing.  Ernest, a retire teacher, combines three of his pleasures… Ecuador, music and teaching to create a new life and new income.

Here is Ernest playing piano during the Christmas season at La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa.


Ernest Neumann.

Ernest wanted to travel so he joined our teacher training program. He is learning to teach “How to Learn Spanish in Four Days”.   This gives him one way to earn in Ecuador. He can travel and earn in just about any Spanish speaking part of the world (or wherever people want to learn Spanish).  Yet because Ecuador is his love for now, he has created other alternatives…playing the piano at the Relais and Chateaux La Mirage Spa for one.  Plus he has developed a unique Ecuador export that has been accepted for sale at

See more on Ecuador exports here.

This is a perfect example of how to create alternative incomes… doing what you love… in places where you want to be.   One way to create extra alternative income is by fracturing a niche.

At our Writer’s Camp we teach delegates how to write about a fractured niche for extra income.  At the Camp we use a series of case studies we call story reviews because they show how to use stories to create a new niche in an old theme.

The success of Starbucks is one of the studies we use.  Coffee houses are certainly not a new idea…. a pleasant place to meet where you can partake in a  legal addiction.  (How can this lose?)

Yet Starbucks used just a couple of words like… “Grande”, to wipe out the 10 cent cup of coffee so well that price was already gone) and create an item worth four bucks (and no refills of course).

An example of fracturing that niche is to take it a step further and one company fractured a niche away from Starbucks with coffee that’s so rare (from beans extracted from Civet-Cat poop no less) that there are only 600 pounds of the stuff manufactured a year.

Let’s say that one passion you have is wildlife… this niche would be perfect.  Habit forming coffee… and preserving wildlife (by helping out cats in the jungle).

Profitable? This coffee sells for $41.67 a cup!  Many will laugh and the object here is not to promote poop.  This dramatizes the value of the thought…  look for ways to take one tiny part of business away from the corporate giants.  Let the giant spot and prove the big idea (coffee houses in this example).   You then fracture a tiny part of the idea into your small unique niche and beat these big guys’ pants off in the arena of competition and profits.

600 pounds of Civit –Cat Poop coffee a year? That’s small. One pound makes 32 cups though. Multiply this times 600 and viola you have $800,064. That’s a niche and that’s profit…and it all works because of a superb story.

Look more deeply into this idea of “fracturing ideas” to create your own niche.  Starbucks, the gremlin of the coffee world, did this.  They fractured the idea proven by Folger and Maxwell House who remain the biggest US coffee sellers.

In a post-Starbucks world, when 40% of the coffee consumed in the United States is classified as gourmet by the National Coffee Association, it’s easy to forget about supermarket stalwarts Folgers and Maxwell House.

However, the two still dominate the home brewing market. Folgers sold $732 million worth of coffee at supermarkets, drugstores and mass retailers, excluding Walmart stores, for the year that ended July 11. Maxwell House sold $424 million.  Starbucks, by comparison, sold only $245 million.  They took a pretty good chunk out of the market but specialty coffee is still only a 40% niche.

Coffee offers many opportunities for fracturing.  This is an important commodity and a popular beverage. Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day. Over 90% of coffee production takes place in developing countries, while consumption happens mainly in the industrialized economies.

Worldwide, 25 million small producers rely on coffee for a living. For instance, in Brazil alone, where almost a third of all the world’s coffee is produced, over 5 million people are employed in the cultivation and harvesting of over 3 billion coffee plants.  So a niche could have to do with humanitarianism.

Coffee is also bought and sold as a commodity on the New York Board of Trade. This is where coffee futures contracts are traded so coffee as an investment becomes a niche.

Most people walking into a super market, cafe or coffee house see coffee as a drink.   Those seeking alternate incomes might see more… an investment… a humanitarian product… something that can help save wildlife… even a health drink.    Each idea could create an alternative income with a fractured niche.

Fracturing is accomplished by seeing a success…finding a small part of it that can be made better…more unusual…more unique…different…more profitable…available….or having a better story.

Shave off the fractured part of something that interests you and create your own niches for an added source of revenue. The nice thing is that the bloated giants like Starbucks, Folgers and Maxwell house are so busy making mega millions that they will not even notice that you have beaten them out of a few hundred thousand or so a year.

A key to prosperity in this faster changing world is alternatives… multiple sources of income.  Fracturing is one way to create these options.  Look for fracturing opportunities in areas of interest to you.

Ernest Neumann was interested in Ecuador and travel.  He enhanced his teaching skills by learning how to teach Spanish in four days… a small opportunity in the huge market of language teaching.  He fractured a unique Ecuador export product from the powerful Apple Computer marker.  (You’ll see his designs soon offered at  And he added his musical talents to make his Ecuador travels expand, more enjoyable and easier.

Three great benefits coming from turning a passion into profit.


Learn how to create alternative sources of income with fracturing and writing at our Writer’s Camp.