Hustlin’ The Rich

by J. Money on Tuesday, April 9, 2013

think and grow rich book

Got this email below from a reader and must admit it caught me a little off guard. It’s not every day someone asks me how to cater to the rich, haha…

Read it below – along with my own advice – and then tell us what you’d do if you were in her shoes. Or if her whole way of thinking is off? (I can tell you it’s definitely *different*, that’s for sure, but bonus points for going straight to the money piles! ;))


I’ve been trying to think of ideas to make some extra money on the side of my full-time job and thought maybe you could help. I’m trying to think of a service I could advertise to extremely wealthy people since they’re the ones with extra money to burn right now. Having never been rich, I have no idea what they’ll pay for or the types of things they do/want, but I live in a city that’s been one of the first to recover from the economic downtown and has plenty of rich people.

I’ve looked at the side hustles section of course. I just figured maybe you’d have some more ideas or could put the question out there and others might.

Thank you.

Haha, I like the way you think ;) Though I’m afraid it may be tough trying to figure out a breed of people when you’re not an insider yourself.

I would concentrate more on *what it is* you can offer/sell/DO really well, and then build your money making schemes off that. For example, if you’re great at writing or baking or watching kids/etc, you’d then turn that into a service to charge for. And then perhaps offer it to the more wealthier people at a higher rate if you’re still interested (and good enough) to even go down that route.

Does that make sense? I could think up some things rich people may want, but not only could it be a total flop, I have no idea if you’d even be good at it. Better to figure that part out first and then go from there. Keep in mind that “rich” people also got there for a reason – one of them probably not being loose with their money ;) So the product/service better be good!

What do you guys think? Any wealthy ones out there willing to give up your secrets? ;)

PS: That book up there? I hear it’s a great read: Think & Grow Rich

{Photo by The Booklight}

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 My Financial Independence Journey April 9, 2013 at 7:03 am

Just take a normal product or service and label it “sustainable.” Say you donate 5% of your proceeds to rain forest protection or starving kids in Africa. These magic words will draw in yuppies with tons of disposable income and a willingness to pay 3X the going market rate.


2 Jacob@CashCowCouple April 9, 2013 at 11:28 am

I pretty much second this idea, although I think donating money to starving children is both an attractive marketing ploy and an excellent cause.


3 J. Money April 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Hahhaaha… oh man, y’all are too much.


4 Brad April 10, 2013 at 10:12 am

Capitalize on the three triggers of charity, 1. Old – people give away their stuff in the hope that others will think well of them when gone. 2. Wealthy – Let the media bombard them with how bad they are because to be rich they must have taken money away from the hard working folk. 3. Guilty – If you have; you must give, religion keeps this one going strong.


5 Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies April 9, 2013 at 7:33 am

Around here it’s services. Cleaning services, pool services, home watch services (since the rich are only in their vacation homes a few weeks per year, they pay someone else to watch it when they are not around). One of my favorites is a new service that picks up your shopping and brings it home for you – because when you’re out looking at Pottery Barn and decide you need a chair immediately but it won’t fit in the back of your Maserati and don’t want to wait for delivery the next day. You call these guys and they come out in one of those Mercedez Benz vans with the tall ceilings and they pick up your purchase and bring it right to your house.


6 Greg@ClubThrifty April 9, 2013 at 7:35 am

Mrs. PoP has it right – rich people hate manual labor. Do some yardwork, clean their pool, clean their house, etc…


7 J. Money April 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Ooooh LOVE THAT!! Man I can’t wait ’till I’m rich… I’ll become even MORE impatient ;)


8 Brad Stafford April 9, 2013 at 8:02 am

Rich want to get richer…most trade, or have some influence on how their money is traded, so consider a trading product :) Any questions, just ask…7 years experience :)


9 J. Money April 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm

trade like with stock investing? or trade services? like “I’ll do your dental work for free, if you design my website for me?”


10 Erica Mueller April 9, 2013 at 8:33 am

A local friend has started a concierge service. She’ll walk people’s dogs, go to the grocery store for them, check their mail while they are out of town, pick their kids up from school, etc. We are in a small town, but its full of Dr’s who commute to Dallas so I think she’ll do really well!


11 Rich April 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Do you know of any of these services in the DC area? I seriously want one. Especially if it will be cheaper than getting separate people to do these things.


12 J. Money April 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I’m liking that! $hit, I’d even DO that just for a week for the experience :) And then build a company around it! haha…


13 Carla April 10, 2013 at 10:02 am

I just found this today, and it made me think of this thread…


14 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm

That’s a good idea!


15 John S @ Frugal Rules April 9, 2013 at 8:35 am

I would agree to focus on what you can offer and go from there. They’re going to want to know how they can benefit from “you” serving them and will want quality. I would also say be prepared to be negotiated with. Generally, rich people get that way because they don’t like spending money. Set your prices accordingly so you have room to negotiate lower.


16 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 9:55 am

That’s a good point about negotiating.


17 KB April 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

People pay for someone to:
-Organize kids parties, dress in a character, make up loot bags, entertain the kids, have a theme – some or all of these i.e. you could just offer the loot bags but more $ to made actually organizing the party with games, spa theme – ex. go to girl’s bday parties and do their hair, make up, nails, etc.
-Open or close their inground pools and often times above ground pools (must know how to do this though!)
-Pet sit, babysit, dog walking
-Bake – peanut free, nut free, gluten free and or dairy free cupcakes or birthday cakes
-House cleaning, garage cleaning
-Tutoring – even in elementary school – particularly math, second would be language arts
-Picking up dog poop (my friend has a guy that does it for something like $10 twice per week which is cheap but he’s got about 5 clients on her street so he might make about $50 an hour if he can get people living close together like that)
-Teaching kids to swim (must be qualified) in their backyard pool
-Agree with first poster -come up with something environmentally friendly and donate a portion of your proceeds
-Help people make/start a basic web site – restaurants, daycares, etc.


18 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 9:56 am

Man you’re smart!! This list is great!


19 cyndy April 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

I am not licensed but have made money on the side from the following skills and would like to improve along with the economy, My skills and interests are mostly as a Personal Internet Assistant.
I’ve assisted in Job Hunting and Resume Writing.
I have been an Internet Companion on role playing games.
I have also been a Life Coach.
I have also had small online projects pertaining to my knowledge of Feng Shui.
I am always trying to hone my writing skills.
I also have a novice interest in online privacy, survival skills and getting off the grid if needed.
I am always interested in bartering any of the above skills to learn more or to help another with any information I may know.


20 Melanie April 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Okay, I am intrigued… what exactly is an internet companion on role playing games? Or do I not want to ask? My husband was a huge WOW player but I hadn’t heard of a companion before. I love that you’ve diversified your skills though… looks like you’re ready for anything! :)


21 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 9:56 am

Haha, I know right? What IS an internet companion??


22 Carla April 9, 2013 at 9:38 am

I work in a business that serves primarily rich people. Two things:
1. They will pay more for better/more convenient. I know someone who pays more at the dr’s office just so they don’t have to wait in the waiting room. Think of little inconveniences and how you can make them better. (But make sure you can do it well, because…)
2. Referrals will be your primary source of new business. Try your hardest to get in with one or two people, and do your very best job. If you please a wealthy person, they will tell their friends. Just be aware of this in your pricing- they will also tell each other what you charged and if your service was worth the money.
I like Erica’s idea a lot. You don’t have to be shockingly good at anything to do it, and wealthy families will pay a lot for that service. Good luck!


23 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 9:57 am

I’d pay extra not to wait in the waiting room too!! That’s brilliant!!


24 KB April 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

Thought of a big one:
Prepare vegan/vegetarian dinners x amount of times per week or dinner for a family – ex. large dish of fettucine (gluten free or whole wheat options) x amount of times per week.
If you do something well, word of mouth/referrals will be very high!


25 Brandi April 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

I would take a look at the book Richistan. Interesting peek into the lives of the rich


26 Edward Antrobus April 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

I can’t help with insider tips of the rich. But if your post from a couple weeks ago is any indication, if you want to target the wealthy, you would do well to provide services or products that help them increase their wealth. Also, instead of targeting wealthy people, I believe the real money is in targeting businesses. There is a lot more money being spent in the B2B side of the market.

Actually, Think & Grow Rich is one of the first books I reviewed on my blog. (if anyone’s interested, it’s on the 3rd page of my “Book Reviews” archive) ;) Short review: it’s a good read if you ignore the New Age stuff. Skip chapters 10 & 12.


27 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

For sure – not only do businesses need a lot but their budgets for stuff can be huge! And I always find they’re way more willy nilly with their spending than a single person is – rich or not.


28 Kevin @ RewardBoost April 9, 2013 at 11:26 am

Think and Grow Rich wasn’t a great book for me. It’s literally about sitting down and thinking about being rich, and that’s supposed to help make it happen. Not my cup of tea.

I’m with you on your advice: do something you love and that other people want or need. If you’re good at it, people will pay you for it. Don’t do something you hate just because the people who would buy from you are wealthy.


29 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

Well that’s lame. I didn’t know the book was like The Secret!! Why the heck do so many people like it then? Weird.


30 Retire By 40 April 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I think the concierge service is a great idea as well. Rich people are probably too busy to do all the little things we take for granted. Walking the dogs and babysitting the kids are probably good ways to make money.


31 Nick @ April 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I like your advice J. It is impossible to tell someone else what they can be successful at doing. That being said, rich people like paying for crap for their pets. ;)


32 Scooze April 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Nannies and good babysitters are always in short supply. There are companies that already do yardwork, landscaping, holiday decorating. But I know a guy who is an “assistant” to a wealthy family. He is a like a modern-day butler – he manages all the people they hire. He does the shopping, works with a sommelier to choose wine, travels with them to make sure all fun is had and the family doesn’t have to do anything for themselves. On the minus side, he works 24/7. On the plus side, he eats with them often and lives with them – all rent-free. So his whole salary goes to savings.


33 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 10:01 am

Is he able to have a family okay if he wanted? Or would it hinder his ability to work 24/7? That would be a hard one :( If of course you *wanted* a family. Interesting job though! Just like Downton Abbey:)


34 Mary Anne @ BillGuard April 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I’d give two-part advice: First, like you said, figure out what skills you have. Figure out what you’re good at doing, what talent you can offer the world. And then try to form a business from that. But the second part of my advice, on the surface, might sound contradictory: figure out what the world needs. What service do other people need that isn’t being filled? And fill that niche.

So on one hand, you’re looking at yourself and seeing what you can offer. And on the other hand, you’re looking out at the world and seeing what voids you can fill. When you discover the “crossover” point between these two, you’ll be onto some great business idea.


35 Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter April 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I second the people above that suggested services. Well off people that stay well off don’t usually buy a million items, but they do tend to splurge on services like housekeeping, lawn care, pet sitting, car detailing, etc.


36 Jacob @ iHeartBudgets April 9, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Dude, this was all solved in the animated movie, “Robots”. The motto of the inventor was “See a need, fill a need.” Done and done. Now, obviously you need to look at your skill set to find out what you can do, but once you know what you are capable of, start looking for needs.

Also, maybe just hit up some celebrities on twitter and ask them what service/product they’d pay for that they don’t currently have.


37 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 10:03 am

HAH! Love that idea!! And only takes a few seconds to give it a shot too :)


38 Rich April 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Good books. That’s the one exception to thriftiness for a lot of wealthy people.
I’m pretty well-off, but I don’t have time to spend my money. I make an exception for books (that I can order quickly online and read on the train to work). Time-saving expenses are also an exception: nannies, maids, gardeners, pet-sitters, as others mentioned.


39 Rich April 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm

And I should also mention real estate. Most people spend the largest percentage of their income on their primary residence. If you sell houses, you can get a portion of that.


40 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 10:03 am

That’s really true actually – you could KILL IT being a realtor. Just takes a lot of time and being available 24/7 which sucks. I’ve tried it!


41 Jennionthefarm April 10, 2013 at 10:34 am

If I may go all Millionaire Next Door here, I think that if we change this from customers being rich people, to customers who spend a lot, maybe it opens it up more? Like if you can come up with something that makes sheeple feel like they are increasing their status relative to the Joneses? And also if you think about markers and what you can sell/create that allows people to show their ‘belonging’ in some way to some kind of group.


42 J. Money April 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

“change this from customers being rich people, to customers who spend a lot” – agreed! Assuming rich people spend a lot is definitely not the best, good catch.


43 Shafi April 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Whatever you end up selling, make it extremely expensive. The more expensive, the more the rich will buy. They hate cheap.


44 Josiah April 12, 2013 at 8:49 am

It’s been my experience when dealing with high net worth families and individuals that they’re very discerning with their finances and prefer to deal with service providers who can offer the best service AND a great service experience.

Qualities important but generally speaking, the biggest asset to wealthy families is the same as you and me – their time. Find any service that adds real value to their lives by saving time, wrap it up in some great ‘experiential’ packaging, and you’re on to a winner.


45 J. Money May 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Yup! I shall agree with you on that.. All about saving time.


46 Anton Ivanov | Dreams Cash True May 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm

I think that providing a valuable product or service to your customers is the foundation of a successful business enterprise. It doesn’t matter if your customers are rich or not. The basics of starting a business are still the same. The rich may just be willing to pay more than others and your marketing strategies should specifically target the richer customers.


47 J. Money May 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm



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