My future is a fidget spinner. Three arms orbiting around an axis, and the centripetal force of each arm propels the other arms around the axis.
Each arm of the fidget spinner is a business or group of businesses. These businesses align with economic and personal interests. At the center of the fidget spinner is a marketing machine capable of servicing the front-end activity of all the arms.
Quantifying the Possibilities
The economic motivates behind each arm
Gross Domestic Product is the total value of goods and services produced in the year. If you think of the economy as an apple pie, the GDP is the size of the pie. A big economy would have a bigger pie than a smaller economy. Economists then slice up the pie to understand where money is moving and how the economy is performing. It’s been a popular way to measure economic activity for a few hundred years, so I think it’s dependable.
For the last 50 years, consumer spending accounted for at least 60% of the GDP. In some years, the consumer spending was over 70% of GDP. How consumers spend their money is more than half the pie. I want to do business in this half of the pie.
If you take the consumer-spending slice out of the GDP pie, you can then slice up the slice. In 2015, the average household earned $55,978. They spent $4,342 on healthcare. They spent $7,023 on food – of which, $4,015 was spent on food for the home. They also spent $18,409 on housing. These three categories of spending account for more than half of all consumer spending (53.2%).
I also happen to be interested in these three industries.
I’ve always loved food – ask anyone in my family. My love for food forced me to learn and understand healthcare. You can’t eat everything in sight without doing some damage to your body. I probably inherited an interest in real estate. My curiosity for architecture, design and spaces people occupy extends to touring properties with my parents. On some walks around the neighborhood, we would spontaneously wonder through homes under construction. I loved it.
Thus, I want to do business in this half of the consumer-spending slice.
Within theses three industries, I’m looking to accumulate appreciating assets and generate cash flow. The three arms will balance cash and assets to diversify and leverage economic cycles. As a downturn occurs, I’ll need more cash to buy assets at low prices. As the economy climbs to the next peak, I’ll liquidate assets at higher prices to pull out cash for the next recession. The goal is to slowly expand the portfolio of assets as the tides change.
Squeezing Passion From Possibility
The personal motivates influencing each arm
To get started, I’m planting seeds in all of these spaces. I’m not completely sure what kind of plants these seeds will become, but by getting started, I can learn more about the space to help the navigate the growth.
I started in natural foods with a snack startup. Natural foods is a thriving segment of food and grocery, but in order for my food arm to carry momentum into the other arms, I need to think beyond consumer packaged goods. Grocery will transform over the next ten years, and the margins on food products is thin.
Food is central to our existence. We have a unique relationship with food. The foods we choose to consume shape our health, culture and identity.
As I explore opportunities, I divided the food industry into source, distribution and consumption. The source is where and how food is grown and prepared. Distribution is how the food gets to retailers or consumers. Consumption is where food is purchased.
My food seed is still young, but I’m interested in researching source and consumption the most. Where and how food is grown can occur in many different locations, so it lends itself to real estate opportunities. Source is also important for health.
I’m also interested in the consumption piece. The grocery business is ripe for disruption, and there is clearly an interest in unique dining experience. The restaurant industry is brutal. I don’t want to operate a restaurant, but there are ways to reimagine the dining experience outside the home.
I’m not a doctor. That said, I would jump at the opportunity to play a doctor on T.V. – which is the closest I would ever come to being a doctor. I won’t be able to directly help consumers with their healthcare, but I can contribute in the following ways:
- Medical Marijuana
I’m fascinated about how little we learn in our education system. In particular, I’m amazed at the lack of education around health through nutrition and fitness. Physical education is less of an education and more of a period to ensure physical activity. We may take one or two general health class, but those don’t go into much detail about nutrition. Even reproductive health is often buried in biology classes.
We have one body, but we are rarely taught how to treat it. This knowledge gap is an opportunity. As people age, they become more aware of how much they need to learn. Offering educational tools in form of books, webinars and online courses is a way to contribute to healthcare without being a doctor. Education can also influence the food arm through teaching proper nutrition.
Once people learn how to eat, move and heal their bodies, they will start making different choices about their food and lifestyle. Nutritional supplements are a way to enhance people’s health journeys. I’ve built a vast network in the supplement space that capable of sourcing and producing nearly any product. I’ll continue to hone this network.
Medical marijuana is a young cash crop with incredible potential.
Housing is the largest proportion of consumer expenditures, so I can’t neglect it. I want to be heavy on rooftops, but I also want to look bigger than just residential. Healthy housing is the future. I imagine communities developed around health, culture and sustainability, and in developing communities, I’d sprinkle in a little retail to influence the character of the neighborhood.
With an emphasis on health and sustainability, I want to find unique ways to incorporate agriculture. I want farms near and far. We can design homes with gardens, neighborhoods with farms and generate cash flow on rural property through farming.
This is my bread and butter baby. I love marketing. Businesses don’t go far without marketing, so if these companies are going to share one collective resource, marketing – and maybe bookkeeping too – would be a good connective tissue.
Marketing will excel in the future based on emotional intelligence, communication and technological aptitude. These will be the core principles of the marketing firm.
This is the plan. It’s a big plan. Big plans take time to build.
I’m estimating 20 years.
I think it will take about two decades to build my fidget spinner with enough strength to handle the propulsion of full spins. This may seem like a long time, but after studying successful folks, it’s clear that winners take the long view. Winners seem to operate with urgency between daily tasks, but they are patient with reaping the big rewards.
Thus, I must be patient. And I must get to fucking work.