Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:

  • We have tons of content. In fact, since November 2011, I've published more than 26,000 posts on thousands of different business ideas and opportunities.
  • We don't sell much advertising. In late 2013, I realized that by selling advertising, what I was really selling was my readers. In 2014, I've already radically cut down on the number of ads and will hopefully keep cutting.

Yesterday, at the end of very positive review of Adam Bertram’s ebook, Used Books: Big Business, the reviewer, Rich Whittle, expressed confusion at why Bertram would be selling an ebook that describes exactly how to compete with a business that he’s running:

Reviewer’s Note: Books like this always make me wonder. If Adam Bertam is making a six figure income selling used books, why would he want to tell others his secrets and open the field up to thousands of competitors? My guess is that he’ll make far more selling the ‘secrets’ than selling used books.

Go read the review and Whittle’s note at the end, and then come back. I’ll wait for you.

Well Adam Bertram is a very upright guy. He quite righteously took offense at what Rich said in the review. I told him that Rich’s comment was the kind of question that I’m asked all the time here on Dane Carlson’s Business Opportunities Weblog. Because realistically, why would someone write a book explaining exactly how to compete with them? I have my own answer for that, but first, I’m going to show you what Bertram said in his defense:

The reason that I wrote an ebook about selling books when I sell books myself is I’ve seen that the income I’ve manage to produce myself has really helped me out in my life. Since I don’t make a killing selling books, I also need another source of income. Since my full time career has been in technology a blog and eventually an ebook was a great choice for me.

I don’t care about competition because of the millions of books out there the chance of me competing with someone that read my ebook at the exact same time is pretty small.

I love hearing others’ stories about how they started selling books and how it’s helping them and their families.

Adam Bertram is right. Unless you’re some huge corporation, it is very realistic to think that you can sell an ebook describing exactly what you do and not worrying about competing with any of your readers. The internet is a big place. The world is even bigger. The chance that Adam is going to run into one of his readers, and compete with him directly for a book sale is practically zero.

Here’s another way of looking at it: Imagine, if you will that I sell cupcakes liners. I’m a successful cupcake liner salesman, but there’s only so many people who buy cupcake liners. Then I figure out that there are people in the world that will pay me to know how to sell cupcake liners. I’d be crazy not to write an book and sell it to them. I’d charge them a fortune, and offer them consulting and other services on the side, and I wouldn’t worry about the competition. Why not? Because ideas are practically worthless by themselves.

Someone, somewhere, is going to steal your business idea. It might be Google, it might a company across the street, or it might be your business partner. But, what they can’t steal is you, and you’re what makes your business special. Not some worthless-by-itself idea.

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Originally posted by Dane Carlson on July 20, 2010 in Books / Featured.

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