Profit from Unique Business Ideas

by | May 18, 2012 | Archives

Here is why it is important to profit from unique business ideas.

See how this incredible art…

stunned me and can be…

an inspiration for you.

These photos are from the May edition of Elle Decor and the story entitled “Cayce Zavaglia” by Julie Belcove.  It says: Cayce Zavaglia lives in St. Louis, bravely owns up to having used puff paint-that favorite of crafters-in her early work, and is an unabashed fan of Martha Stewart.

Amazing that they are needlecraft and not paint!

The article tells of Zaviglia’s background how she grew up mainly in Australia and how her artistic abilities grew. She said she always loved to make crafty things… and recalls a particular youthful attachment to glue guns.

Her talents must have been obvious because here professors at tiny Wheaton College in Illinois suggested she become a true artist not just a Sunday painter.

She switched from what she described as canvas thick with “gobby” paint to learning to apply thin layers at Washington University, her grad school in St. Louis.

Here is what blew me away. Because she loved crafting and always kept a constant subject matter… people she knows… friends and family, she switched to embroidery.

This incredible art above is stitched… embroidered portraits.   She describes the technique as pointillist and layers stitch upon stitch to achieve the desired color and subtle tone. A large work consists of roughly 80 to 100 colors of crewel wool.

Cayce’s work is shown at the Lyons Wier Gallery and they will be presenting a solo showing of Zavaglia’s newest embroidered portraits during Art Week Miami in December.

The inspiration is that you can do whatever you love… no matter how unusual… how unique… even how odd and still turn that passion into profit.

An Ecuador Living subscriber recently sent this note.

Hi Gary, I’d like to avail of your business consultation services.

Prior to making payment, I’d like to run my business idea by you and see whether it has merit.   I’m interested in setting up an internet café with say 15 phones and computers with internet access, fax etc plus a coffee shoppe in a town/city that with your experience in Ecuador would be an ideal place to set up shop.

What I am looking for is your assessment of whether this is a worthwhile proposition and its viability and the best place in Ecuador for such a project.

Please advise.

Many thanks.

I could not take on this client because I felt this idea would not be a good business idea. I certainly did not want to waste the reader’s money.

I wrote to the reader:  Internet cafes have been in Ecuador for many years now and with falling computer prices this may be difficult so I do not want to encourage you to start up a business that lacks a unique niche…and it is always hard to beat “locals”…some of their internet offerings are very very sophisticated.

I checked with the head of Ateam Ecuador in Bahia who covers the coast and he wrote that “the market is saturated and the ones in business that I know are not making a lot of money because of competition”.

The head of Ateam Ecuador in Cuenca also replied and wrote: “Gary you are correct in that internet cafes have been here for quite a while  and are prolific. In my opinion, a coffee shop/cafe would be a decent idea enhanced by having wifi for customers. It would appeal mainly to tourists.  An internet café per se isn’t going to make a lot of money because there are so many and the rates are dirt cheap.”

Their comments confirmed  my original assessment is correct… a big investment with minimal return and maximum risk.

I appreciate and thank you for your honest advice, Gary.   Are there any opportunities that you can recommend? I understand this is a broad question but any suggestions would be helpful and needless to say, I’d be happy to compensate you in some small way for your invaluable time.

I did not charge him for my reply which was:  Our mantra for over 30 years has been to turn your passion into profit so we suggest thinking about what you really want to do.  Examine… what is your passion, your purpose, not what type of type of business will make money. Then figure out how to earn in the process and make your life and business more fulfilling and usually more profitable as well.  Good luck in your quest and remember our comments… look for your passion first… the money will follow.

Here is one more step in the evolution of this idea… if you do not have a unique skill but you love the “paintings” of Zaviglia.    Sell someone else’s skill that you love or write about it.

The great thing about a micro business is that you can earn being involved in something you love. Whatever your passion, you can learn how to make a good living or even a fortune by creating an international micro business around it…and this can be achieved without a big start up cost!

For example if you love some special form of art you could find artists in Ecuador who can duplicate this and export the product.

Merri used a slightly different approach in one of her very first publishing projects decades ago when she lived in south Georgia.   Merri loved to help others publish and sell but she was not a great artist.   One of her friends asked her to help someone who was a great needle stitch artist.  Merri created and published a book of all of her designs.  Even though it was a town of only 18,000, they sold 10,000 b0oks!  It was quite remarkable.

This site has shown fishing as an example.  Millions of people love fishing. Here are just a few of many ways that others have profitably matched this passion with profit. Two of my friends, John and Lou, grew up near me in the Oregon mountains. They were outdoor adventure types and moved to Canada, where they homesteaded 1,200 acres on a trout-filled lake in mid British Columbia. They built a fishing camp that attracts fisherman from around the world.

Duncan Kinderman on the other hand loved fishing and castles. He bought a castle on the River Tay, a great Scottish salmon river, and offered time shares for fisherman from Britain, Europe and the US.

Another entrepreneur I know was from Montana. His skills were in marketing so he sold fishing trips for fishing camps. He attended rod and gun exhibitions, met owners of these camps and arranged to sell their fishing trips to the US, Argentina and even in Russia to fisherman around the world.

Ralph Kylloe on the other hand loved fishing and photography so he created the book, “Fishing Camps”, which was published by Gibbs Smith Publishers. This allowed Ralph to travel across the country enjoying fishing camps as he photographed and wrote.

Steve Ambrose, another friend of ours, had family commitments at home so he set up a bass fishing business in Florida that served Americans, Germans, Canadian, Dutch and Belgians. Later as his children grew up, he used his client base to arrange fishing trips in Argentina.

You can create a seminar business based around your passion and the Tadding process.  You can short cut this customer building process with Tadding …we call it…(tagging on and adding). Tadding is a process where you find an existing organization that already has customers and add on a service for them.

Take the magazine “Cook’s Illustrated”, as an example.  It focuses on cooking.

La Mirage has a fantastic cooking school.


La Mirage chefs in the teaching kitchen.

If you arranged to conduct cooking courses for Cook’s readers at La Mirage, it could be extremely wonderful or TADD yourself into any publication with a cooking focus.

A reader sent me this note about La Mirage. Gary, it is not as descript as your article, however I attached my experience of La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa last month, while visiting with a girlfriend from Hawaii who is on an around the world trip.  It will be published in BG magazine next month, my 5th article for them!  Just a note of caution, my friend Regina (32) has been traveling for 8 months (a year rtw ticket from Hawaii – HKG-South Africa for the worldcup and up to egypt/middle east/europe and down to meet me in South America) and the only pickpocketing incident happened in Quito on the trolley bus!  Her wallet with 5 credit cards and $140 was stolen, so she came down to Cuenca.  Her sister sent her ATM bank card, a VISA card thru DHL here, while we took a pilates class at the gym, made a festive Hawaiian dinner for the family, and let her catch up on her blog of all her wonderful experiences around the world so far.  She spent 2 weeks in Chile and is now in Patagonia, on her way to Rio for carnivale then to Buenos Aires before heading back to the states and Hawaii.  She will end her trip in Beijing, as she will be working and living there in June this year.  I am so overjoyed about living 2 years in a foreign country, Ecuador, thanks to the open mindedness that you and Merri share in your seminars and in your newsletter.  Thank you so much for your guidance and friendship!  Only wish I could spend more time with you guys while here in Ecuador and do that $25 massage at  Inn Land of the Sun (love the new name!).  Keep on sharing and enlightening.  Many blessings to you and Merri.

See more on La Mirage’s Cooking school here.

This is just an idea that exemplifies the components of Tadding.   Your micro business matches an existing service to help an existing business that already has a client base.

Do you like to bike?  There is great biking many places… like in the Andes.  Perhaps you create Andean (or Amazonian or whatever) biking tours for cycling clubs.  There are bike clubs everywhere in North America…tag on to one of these, join up with them and then add them to your range of possible clients.

I love riding horses.


Here I am rising in the Andes above Cotacachi with our friend, Joe Cox.

There are a huge number of endurance riding clubs around the world.   Someone who loves riding could create endurance rides marketed through such clubs.  Just become a member and add this onto your client base for horseback riding…for instance Horse Back Riding on the Incan Trail!  Hard to top that one!

endurance riding links

See Endurance riding club links below.

The point of this message is not to suggest that you start a micro business in cooking, riding or cycling… but to show how passions can turn to profit… quickly with the simple idea of Tadding.

Tadding employs leverage.  The reason Tadding helps create income quickly is because it employs this leverage. Instead of building business one customer at a time, you focus on building business through organizations that already have hundreds or thousands of like minded souls…who can become your customers.

Now you don’t have to have an award winning website or watch for the rankings on Google…just go after your own market (which you already love) by Tadding (tagging on and adding) onto an already formed group of like minded souls!  Then just add your own love, your own twist of marketing to that special special thing that you offer!

We face gloomy economic conditions, due to enormous and rapid social, economic and technological change.  This puts pressure on businesses and organizations to create more income.  This reinforces the benefits of Tadding. Organizations need the help and the technology that is creating change and this makes it easier for micro businesses like yours and mine to “Pad with Tad” Pad our income with Tadding, quickly.


Learn how to be a writer and self publisher.

See more Cayce Zavaglia art here