Startup Journal:

Working at Hoover Dam as an armed guard in June 2003, Mike Plott dreaded another scorching summer in a sweaty bulletproof vest checking cars. He thought there might be a better way to earn a living.

One Sunday morning, Mr. Plott found it. He had just read a news item about a few U.S. states auctioning online the property that the Transportation Safety Administration confiscated from passengers at airports. The article noted that the discarded material at McCarran International Airport, which serves nearby Las Vegas, was going to Arkansas, which sold it and kept the revenue, he says.

Mr. Plott felt that the McCarran items should be sold to benefit Nevada citizens and, as an experienced eBay seller, he was the one to do it. Now, over two years later, the Boulder City native has created a new revenue stream for the town and an independent business for himself.

Some of the best new business ideas come from thinking creatively about an existing activity and adapting it fit your situation. Mr. Plott’s eBay operation is just such a venture. By taking initiative and using his eBay skills, he filled a void and built a lucrative business with very little investment and low overhead.

Photo by nytangos.