Briefing Notes: On Making Money

Published: July 26, 2020

The 32nd | a Money Talk Edition


At some point in our careers, it’s likely that we’re going to come up with an idea for a business. It could be something small that we imagine doing on the side. Maybe with the help of a friend or two. Or it could be something big, requiring lots of time, funding and capital investments.

The current climate, of course, can be especially motivating for those of us already nurturing an idea for a while. Perhaps this is the time to go for it and just do it. (You’ll find me in your corner cheering all the way. I’m a big fan of just trying things out and seeing where they lead. Ideas in the head need to be road-tested in the real world.)

But of course, we don’t want to just be blindly jumping into and after every idea. There are ideas that simply won’t work. Or need more fleshing out.

Entrepreneur Bryan Janeczko expands on 4 critical questions that can help us figure out whether our business ideas are good or bad. Janeczko wrote it for big business ideas but it’s easily applicable for any, really. The concepts are true no matter if you’re thinking of a product or service business, solo or startup, boot-strapped or an investment-intensive venture.

Am I solving a new problem?
Am I solving an existing problem in a new way?
Do I have a head start?
Am I bringing something new to the table?

It may be a fun exercise dreaming about the next Facebook. Or the one app that will revolutionize the email inbox. But the reality is, the chances of us coming up with entirely unique business idea is slim. This shouldn’t be a deterrent. Even with a small product or service, we can still offer a unique experience that gives us an edge.

You — your network, personal journey and background — have unique value that your other competitors lack. If you need to draw out what gives you an edge, first ask yourself: Why am I the best person to bring this idea to life? What has prepared me for this moment?


Switching from climbing a corporate ladder to starting a small business meant I was in for a steep learning curve. Back in the day, this would have meant investing loads of money on a business program and going to school nights and weekends. Thankfully, the world has evolved and we now have access to JIT training and bite-sized programs that fit our busy schedules. I couldn’t have done it without the online classes at CreativeLive.

If you’re starting out in your self-employment or business ownership journey, you’ll want to review the list of best-selling business basics classes.* Good luck with your new venture!

*P.S. This is an affiliate link.


Vanessa Soto is a book coach who works with aspiring authors with a big idea for a nonfiction book, but can’t seem to get their book proposal off the back burner. If this sounds like you, give your book idea some love with Get Clear, the Book Proposal Foundations Mastermind, forming this fall.


When something goes wrong, we often strive to be better prepared if the same thing happens again. But the same disasters tend not to happen twice in a row. A more effective approach is simply to prepare to be surprised by life, instead of expecting the past to repeat itself.

— Shane Parish, Farnam Street


KFC to 3D print chicken using lab-grown “meat of the future”. Wait. What?

“3D bioprinting technologies, initially widely recognized in medicine, are nowadays gaining popularity in producing foods such as meat,” said Yusef Khesuani, co-founder of 3D Bioprinting Solutions. “In the future, the rapid development of such technologies will allow us to make 3D-printed meat products more accessible and we are hoping that the technology created as a result of our cooperation with KFC will help accelerate the launch of cell-based meat products on the market.” KFC is set to test this fall in Moscow, with a product that tastes just like chicken.


… when Will Smith was the Fresh Prince? Here’a 90s tune flashback to Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Released in May 1991 as the lead single from their fourth studio album, Homebase, the song won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Rolling Stone placed it a number 9 in its “Best Summer Songs of All Time”. 🎶 Summer, summer, summertime, time to sit back and unwind…🎶


100 Side Hustles by Chris Guillebeau

Features startup stories of regular people launching side businesses that almost anyone can do. This playbook covers every important step of launching a side hustle, from identifying underserved markets to crafting unique products and services that spring from your passions.

This plus other recommended reads here.


🎙 The Second Breaks podcast returns on August 6th with a new season focused on exploring new careers, i.e., new jobs, new opportunities that have only arisen in the last decade or so. These are roles that have become necessary or are made possible by technology and the changing workplace. We’ll be showcasing eight new career paths with interviews of people who are currently working in these capacities. I hope you’ll plan on listening and telling your friends about Season 4. Don’t miss the start by subscribing to the podcast via your mobile app today.


I’m having the summertime blues, missing all the things I could be doing but unable to. Except my list appears to be made up of things I never actually did when I could.

Like days spent at theme parks (I live in Florida, it’s too hot to do this in the summer), all-day-beach days (again, FL resident, too hot!), and backyard BBQs (I haven’t done this since I moved to FL 6 years ago).

Hit ‘reply’ with your comments or let me know how your summer’s coming along.

Cool beans,
Lou Blaser

P.S. If you’re liking this newsletter and want to support it, you can buy me a coffee here. Thank you! 🙂


A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Briefing Notes and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on helping experienced professionals navigate an evolving work landscape so they can continue their impact and relevance in a changing world.

The world of work is changing.

Stay smart about it.

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