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Guest Post: Financial Lessons From the Homeless

December 15, 2013

finance

Just because homeless people are, well, homeless doesn’t mean that we can’t learn valuable financial lessons from them. Take the story of a homeless man named Travis Lloyd Kevie. In 2013, Kevie was homeless and living in Penryn, California. One day, Kevie got a bright, if not legal, idea. At a local convenience store, he purchased six pack of beer. He then forced his way into a vacant bar, put an open sign on the door and waited for customers to arrive. And within hours, they did. He sold out his original pack of beer and had to go and buy more. After four days, Kevie made a gross revenue of over $1,300 – all from a beginning investment of just a couple of bucks. He had approximately thirty customers per day. However, before his business could really take off the ground, the cops showed up and arrested him for breaking into the building and selling alcohol without a license. This is definitely one heck of a crazy story, and one with a couple of financial lessons that we can learn from the homeless Kevie.

First of all, Kevie’s story proves that you don’t need to invest a lot of money upfront in order to start a successful business. A six pack of beer costs under ten dollars. In order to make a profit, all Kevie had to do was raise the price slightly before reselling the beer. Another way to decrease your initial financial investment in a business is to do things yourself instead of hiring someone else to do them. For example, Kevie could have hired someone to buy the beers and deliver them. Instead, he chose to save the money and do it himself.

Another thing we can learn is that opportunities always exist. Maybe they’re not obvious, but if you think hard enough, eventually you will come up with a money making opportunity. Walk through your neighborhood and try to see if there are any stores or services that are not being offered in your neighborhood. Kevie may have come up with his business idea after seeing the empty bar and realizing that he could take advantage of the fact that no one else was currently running the place.

Even if you have a great idea, nothing will happen until you actually get started. Kevie didn’t sit around and drink himself into oblivion while dreaming of a better future – he did something, albeit illegal, in an attempt to change his financial situation. If someone in such a bad situation could get his act together, so can you.

Finally, think back to the end of Kevie’s business – the part where he got arrested. Kevie committed several illegal acts in order to get his business running. If you’re clever enough to think of sneaky and illegal schemes, why not try devoting time to coming up with ingenious legal ideas? Cheating may look good in the short term, but eventually both the cops and karma will show up.

This post was authored by Tom Medalla from the financial website LifeCover. Click here to visit their website.

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About Paul Knowski

Andrew is Money Lion's Media Innovations Director. While he's working from Money Lion's second London office.

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