Entrepreneur Jason Fried is co-founder of 37signals, a successful Chicago-based software and design firm that has doubled its sales every year for the past decade. Although Fried has a degree in finance, making money isn't a skill he picked up in the classroom or a book. Practice makes perfect, and Fried's experience has taught him that excelling at making money is separate from the product or services provided. Understanding the buyer and experimenting with price models are two of Fried's key lessons—and here's a quick way you can practice his advice:
"So here's a great way to practice making money: Buy and sell the same thing over and over on Craigslist or eBay. Seriously.
Go buy something on Craigslist or eBay. Find something that's a bit of a commodity, so you know there's always plenty of supply and demand. An iPod is a good test. Buy it, and then immediately resell it. Then buy it again. Each time, try selling it for more than you paid for it. See how far you can push it. See how much profit you can make off 10 transactions.
Start tweaking the headline. Then start fiddling with the product description. Vary the photographs. Take some pictures of the thing for sale; use other photos with other items, or people, in them. Shoot really high-quality shots, and also post crappy ones from your cell-phone camera. Try every variation you can think of.
I love doing this, because there's no real risk involved. If you already have a business, you don't need to dream up a new product line or rock the boat with crazy experiments. If you don't have a business, it's a perfect way to work on your chops."
SOURCE Inc.com VIA Kottke