Your Summer Grilling Secret: Using Wood Planks for Delicious Grilled Eats

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As the mercury rises, so do hopes of upping our grilling game. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a little tip, a unique seasoning, or a handy new tool to impress not only your taste buds, but your friends, family, and neighbors too.

This year, I’ve discovered the wonders of using wood planks in my grilling.

Just as it sounds, wooden grilling planks are single-use pieces of wood (typically about ~6” x ~12”  in size) that go on your grill topped with food. They’re used in order to easily impart smoky flavors to the grub that can usually only be secured through other means.

Any kind of food you would normally cook on a grill — meat, veggies, fruits, etc. — can be cooked on a plank. I’ve been experimenting for the past couple months, and below share the general principles of using wood planks, the benefits of doing so, and a few different recipes to whet your appetite.   

The Benefits of Using Wood Planks

1. Gives you a nice smoky flavor from a grill, quickly. Using a wood plank gives your food that nice smoky flavor that can often only be achieved with a real smoker, or a smoker box with chips. Using a plank is a far easier, far quicker solution which doesn’t require the preparation or time needed with other methods.

2. Keeps your food nice and moist. Since your food is in contact with the soaked wood versus the grilling grates themselves, your grilled eats stay much moister than they would otherwise. This also has the added benefit of giving you more leeway in your grilling times. I often notice a fine line between fully-cooked, moist meat and fully-cooked, dried out meat, especially with white meats like chicken and pork. There’s a short window of time that you have to pull the meat off the grill before it gets dry and tough. With a plank, that window is expanded a bit. The wood gives you some more wiggle room, and is likely to make you a better grillmaster in the process!

3. Prevents food from falling apart. When placed right on the grates, a lot of foods that you grill  — especially veggies — can fall apart, stick to the grates, and even fall through and down into the burners (I’m looking at you, asparagus!). With a plank, your fish stays in one piece, your burgers and chicken breasts don’t stick to the grates, and your veggies stay nice and neat in one place. It’s functionally like using a grilling basket, but better because you’re getting that woody, smoky flavor.

4. Super easy clean up. While grilling is already an easy clean up, the plank makes it even more so. Since grilling planks are one-time use items (they get warped and scorched a bit), when you’re done, you either chuck the plank into the garbage, or into your next bonfire. No brushing or super-heating your grill needed.  

5. You can use the oven! Smoked flavor, right from your oven? You betcha! Soak your plank (more on that below), put a drip tray — aka a cookie sheet — on a lower rack, and you’ll be all set! Turn the broiler on for the last 5-10 minutes of an oven-planked recipe to give a grill-like crispiness to your food. While I don’t feature any oven recipes in this article, you can learn more about using wood planks in the oven here.

How to Use Wood Planks

1. Stock up online, or at the grocery store. You might be asking where someone obtains these wooden planks in the first place. You’ve quite possibly never noticed them at the store. In general, you can find them most places where you can find groceries and/or grilling supplies. Wood planks are available at my local grocer, but only in one variety of wood (more on that below).

Going to an online retailer like Amazon or Wildwood Grilling (which specializes in grilling planks and other wooden accessories) will offer far more selection and allow you to buy in bigger packs, saving you money in the process.

Selection, you say? Isn’t a wood plank just a wood plank? Au contraire! You can get wood planks in a variety of species: cedar, maple, oak, alder, etc. Different woods will impart different flavors into your food. Alder is known as a gentler smoky flavor, while cedar brings a hearty, foresty taste, especially in vegetables and salmon (cedar and salmon is a common combo in the Pacific Northwest). Experiment and find the combinations you like!

You can also get planks in differing sizes, if needed. While the dimensions I mentioned in the introduction are the standard, you can also get bigger or smaller to accommodate whatever you’re grilling.  

2. Soak the plank for 30-60 minutes. Before using, you’ll want to fully submerge the wood plank in water for at least 30 minutes, and ideally about 60. This helps keep whatever you’re grilling nice and moist, and simply prevents the plank from catching on fire. I’ve seen just one recipe which specifically says to not soak the plank, which is a grilled meatloaf that I featured last year.

3. Preheat the grill without the plank. You don’t want to pre-heat the plank in your grill. It would just dry out before you’d even put food on it. Pre-heat the grill first, then place the plank on it, along with your victuals.

4. Grill as you normally would, but with a spray bottle nearby. You want to keep a spray bottle handy for any flare ups. I did not follow that advice the first time I used a plank, and ended up with a slightly fiery plank towards the end of the grilling time. Moving forward, I did keep a spray bottle nearby, and used it nearly every time. Check your plank every five minutes or so and mitigate fire as needed, spraying the dried out and burning parts (don’t worry if your food catches a little bit of spray, but do your best not to douse it).

5. Be prepared for bowing. After a few minutes on the grill, the plank will bow downward, like a frown. For a bigger hunk of meat like a steak or a salmon filet, that’s not a problem. For veggies, burgers, brats, etc. it can be more of an issue as things roll or get a little misshapen. To counteract that, place the plank on the grill with no food for a few minutes, let it bow, then flip it over to create a little boat for your goodies.

6. Give things extra time. I’ve noticed that food grilled on a plank needs a little more time to cook than if it was sitting right on the grates. It has the effect of cooking with indirect fire, especially since the plank starts out wet and a little cold. A piece of chicken that would normally need 12-15 minutes on the grill grate will take closer to 20 on a plank. Same for a steak. So be prepared to add about 50% more cook time.

7. Sear meat for a couple minutes to get those grill marks and some char. One of the great things about grilling versus baking or pan-searing, is the lovely grill marks and slight char you get on your food. It has such a primal taste to it — like you’re eating something that’s been prepared the same way it was thousands of years ago.

Using planks, unfortunately, does not give you those particular grilling benefits. So, to counteract that, take your food off the plank for its final couple minutes and put it right onto the grates. You’ll get the benefits of the woody flavor, while also retaining the marks and char that everyone likes.

Recipes

In general, you can use any standard grilling recipe with planks. Just add some grilling time, as mentioned above.

Salmon

Salmon (and fish in general) is the most common food you’ll find when looking up grilling plank recipes. Fish tends to fall apart on grills, so putting it on a platform is especially handy, and lends itself particularly well to soaking up those woody flavors. Cedar is the recommended wood here, but any will taste great!

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 lb salmon filet, skin on
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Soak plank for 30-60 minutes.   
  1. 30 minutes before grilling, place salmon in a large dish and soak it in the juice of one large lemon.  
  1. Preheat grill to medium (~400 degrees F).
  1. Season salmon with salt and pepper right before grilling.
  1. Place salmon on plank, skin side down, and grill 15-20 minutes until the fish starts to easily flank. With salmon, it’s much better to be slightly undercooked than overcooked.

Steak

This was arguably the best steak I’ve ever made. It instantly turned me into a fan of the flat iron cut (one of the best “cheap meats” you can buy!).

Ingredients

  • 2 lb flat iron steak
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (adjust depending on desired spiciness)  
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin

Directions

  1. Mix all the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  1. Rub seasoning mix evenly on the steak; refrigerate 2-4 hours.
  1. Soak plank for 30-60 minutes.
  1. Preheat grill to medium (~400 degrees F).
  1. Place steak on plank, 8-15 minutes, to desired doneness. Then place meat directly on grill grates for 2 more minutes for a nice char, if desired.

Asparagus

This recipe is about as simple as it gets, and makes for a darn fine side dish that goes with just about any main entree. All amounts for the ingredients below are based on how many you’re serving, and your tastes. You can also add halved or quartered little red potatoes to throw in more variety and color.

Ingredients

  • Asparagus
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic salt

Directions

  1. Soak plank for 30-60 minutes.
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix.
  1. Preheat grill to medium (about ~450 degrees F).
  1. Place plank onto grill without food and let it bow for 3-5 minutes.
  1. Flip the plank over, and put your veggies on. Grill for 15-20 minutes, until asparagus is tender, but still has some crunch.  

Big thanks to Evan Rains of Wildwood Grilling for providing a few tips and recipe ideas for me.

The post Your Summer Grilling Secret: Using Wood Planks for Delicious Grilled Eats appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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IC3 Debuts Upgraded Off-Chain Transaction Protocol ‘Teechain’

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The Initiative For CryptoCurrencies & Contracts (IC3) has unveiled a new version of its Teechan off-chain transaction protocol.

First put forward last year, Teechan relies on the utilization of specialized hardware, the Intel SGX, which provides a kind of masking layer for the data it contains. Conceptually, the protocol is similar to the Lightning Network, a proposed transaction layer to bitcoin aimed at creating payment channels – and with them, the potential to enable millions of transactions per second.

It’s the promise of huge throughput that has led to projects like Teechan, and the Cornell University-based team behind it is releasing several new changes to the original design, now dubbed “Teechain”.

Among those upgrades: the ability to direct payments to parties that aren’t directly linked via an existing channel.

Cornell associate professor Emin Gün Sirer explained in an email:

“In the jump from ‘teechan’ (peer-to-peer TEE-backed payment channels) to ‘teechain’, we added the ability to route payments along paths. So, the system can now route money along teechan paths from one user to another, even if they are not directly connected. The system guarantees atomicity, namely, that no money will be lost or stuck if there’s a failure anywhere along a route while funds are being transferred.”

As previously reported by CoinDesk, IC3 – the research effort launched in 2015 with federal funding – has been pursuing a range of blockchain applications, including those that utilize trusted hardware.

The group also recently added asset manager Fidelity to its ranks.

Image via Shutterstock

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This is how a primitive arcade game helped to build a $100 billion industry

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This post is sponsored by Dell Technologies and Intel® – partners in digital transformation. Intel Inside®. Powerful Productivity Outside. Learn more at delltechnologies.com. 

pongThe $100 billion video game industry is witnessing a fierce fight for the minds and wallets of millennials, the generation of digital natives who grew up with video games.

But it all began well before their time, in the summer of 1972, when an arcade in California installed a new game called "Pong." 

What is Trailblazers?

Technology is rapidly rewriting the rule book for every business in every industry, presenting an immense opportunity for those that lead the change.

Join host Walter Isaacson in this original podcast as he journeys through some of the world’s biggest digital disruptions and uncovers valuable business insights along the way.

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The birth of the video game

"Pong" is a game similar to ping pong, where a blip on the screen gets bounced back and forth by two paddle-like lines. It was born from an idea seen at a trade show by Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari. 

By today’s standards, it’s something that looks incredibly primitive. But when that original Pong machine became so clogged with quarters it broke,  Atari had the first sign it was onto something. Before long, the company would discover that where a normal arcade machine might take in $10 a day, the Pong machine made $40.

Simplicity is key

Bushnell quickly grasped the key to its breakthrough success.

“’Pong’ worked because it was amazingly simple. No rules, really, and people could figure out how to do it almost immediately,” he said.

Bushnell understood that to bring video games to the masses, he had to get games out of the arcades and beer parlors and into American homes. Strange as it seems in hindsight, when he sought to take Pong into production, investors were hard to find. But he succeeded in launching the Atari home console in 1975 in a deal with Sears. Its first cartridge system was introduced a couple of years later, and it created an entire market.

In a business governed by the phrase “what’s next?” Atari must have known it wouldn’t last — the console wars were about to begin.

In “Trailblazers,” former CNN chairman Walter Isaacson explores the history of the video game and the evolution of the incredibly competitive industry it helped to create.

 

This post is sponsored by Dell Technologies and Intel®. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Cliffside hotel pods offer the ultimate panoramic views at terrifying heights

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Videographer Ryan Doyle filmed his stay at Natura Vive‘s transparent hotel rooms that hang off the mountain cliffs in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The ‘Skylodge Adventure Suites‘ accommodates up to 8 people and includes breakfast and a gourmet dinner. Read more…

More about Travel Leisure, Travel, Mashable Video, Hotels, and South America

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How to Use Google AdWords: 11 Steps to Success [Infographic]

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Setting up campaigns with Google AdWords can be a daunting task—but it doesn’t have to be.

Before you set up an account, you should know and understand your goals and how AdWords works, but even if you’re already using AdWords and want to get the most out of it, an infographic by WordStream can help.

The infographic guides you through 11 steps to make sure you’re using Google AdWords to its fullest potential.

Start by setting your goals and knowing your audience, the infographic suggests. For instance, if your audience is the home improvement set, you should know that 45% of home improvement searchers on mobile devices are women.

Then move into your keyword research, budgeting, and account setup. Also, be sure to implement tracking correctly and continually optimize. The last step? Profit!



To see all 11 steps to guide you to Google AdWord bliss, click or tap on the infographic:










Laura Forer is the manager of MarketingProfs: Made to Order, Original Content Services, which helps clients generate leads, drive site traffic, and build their brands through useful, well-designed content.

LinkedIn: Laura Forer

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Kilian Jornet Climbs Everest In 26 Hours

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One of the world’s best ultra-runners scaled Mount Everest today in a blistering time of just 26 hours.

fkt everest

Kilian Jornet, a renowned Spanish endurance athlete, climbed from the Tibetan side of Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen or fixed ropes. He climbed the traditional route up the North Face, from Base Camp to the summit, in just 26 hours.

For perspective, it takes most climbers, using supplemental oxygen and fixed ropes, days to reach the peak. But Jornet isn’t a typical climber. He already holds speed records on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Aconcagua, Denali, the Matterhorn, and Mont Blanc.

This was Jornet’s second attempt at Everest. In September 2016 he was turned back by adverse weather conditions.

Jornet Everest Speed Ascent

He set out from base camp on the north side of the mountain on May 20 at 10:00 p.m. local time. His plan was to climb from base camp to the summit and back.

He reached the summit after 26 hours, but became ill during the descent. He changed plans during descent and stopped to rest at a higher camp — advanced base camp — stopping the clock on the round-trip attempt at 38 hours.

“Until I reached 7,700m I felt good and was going according to my planning,” he said in his Summits of My Life blog“But there I started to feel stomach ache, I guess due to [a] stomach virus. From there I have moved slowly and stopping every few steps to recover. However, I made it to the summit at midnight.”

A New FKT?

Jornet claimed a new FKT (fastest known time) on his blog. He wrote:

The climb, which forms part of the Summits of My Life project, sets a new ‘Fastest Known Time’ of 26 hours from the Everest Base Camp (5,100 m) to the summit at 8,484 m.”

Jornet’s effort was incredibly fast. Several other climbers claimed to have climbed it faster though. On May 21, 2004, Pemba Dorje Sherpa, claimed a time of 8 hours, 10 minutes, up the South Col. That record remains unofficial and disputed to this day.

Fewer than 200 people have summited Everest without oxygen, an incredibly difficult accomplishment.

Hats off to Kilian Jornet for once again pushing the limits of what is humanly possible.

The post Kilian Jornet Climbs Everest In 26 Hours appeared first on GearJunkie.

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The Simple 4-Step Method to Find Your Profitable Business Idea

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Editor’s note: this article is excerpted from Daniel DiPiazza’s recently released book Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start An Epic Business, Score The Life You Want.

If you’re reading this right now, there’s a good chance you want to start a business. Or you already have. And if so, you’re probably doing some agonizing about your business idea.

No, I’m not a psychic, but I have spent an incredible amount of time during the past five years planning, strategizing, and growing my own company Rich20Something. So I know a thing or two about what it’s like to be in your shoes.

Coming up with and testing a great business idea is one of the most challenging parts of entrepreneurship. And you can’t get around it — it all starts with an idea.

While I was working on my new book (plug!), I developed a simple four-step solution to determine whether you’re headed for a business breakthrough—or simply a breakdown. Here’s how it works.

How to Find Your Profitable Idea

Before we go any further, I have one favor to ask of you: Don’t start freaking out, OK?Most people get really weird or anxious when it’s time to start developing ideas for their business. Lots of people love the idea of brainstorming ideas, but can never actually find an idea that they like enough to execute. Or often, they don’t think it’s “good enough” to execute. I’m not sure why or how, but as soon as we think of a potential business idea, most of us seem to get this bug that makes us believe whatever we think of isn’t “good enough.”

Potential or aspiring entrepreneurs seem to face two huge problems when it comes to developing an idea:

1) We don’t think we have any good ideas, so there’s nothing we can possibly see succeeding. This is the guy who’s always telling you about a new project he wants to start, and then you find out two weeks later he’s already completely abandoned it.

2) We think we have too many good ideas, and we are completely confused as to which one we should run with long-term. This is the guy who always has twelve projects brewing at the same time, all in various stages of progress, none really doing well.

While these seem to be opposing concepts, they often ensnare us in the same dilemma: half-starting and eventually quitting.

So where SHOULD you be focusing your time and energy? How do you know if your idea is good enough to “make it”?

First, remember two things:

1) As I said before, you don’t need a million-dollar idea. This is VERY important to keep in mind, as it’s very easy to feel like we need to be thinking BIGGER in the beginning. What I’m telling you to do is to think a bit smaller — at least at first. Case in point: If you look at high-level competitive martial artists, you’ll see that even the most spectacular wins are usually the result of world-class fundamentals. Even against elite competition, doing the basics uncommonly well is usually more than enough to come out on top.

If you can master doing simple things really well right now, you’ll still make a ton of money AND prepare yourself for more advanced things later.

2) All businesses — services and products, online or offline — are a direct response to a problem. The purpose of a business — the only reason it exists, in fact — is to solve a problem.

You should be actively thinking of how you can solve other people’s problems. On a day-to-day basis, you should be thinking about things you and others around you struggle with, then finding ways to solve those headaches through an idea, device, service, or piece of software. Better yet, start pretending you’re Olivia Pope and become relentless in your approach to problem-solving and “fixing” things.

Coming up with fresh business ideas shouldn’t be something that you just do once a year when you need some money. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you must fundamentally change the way you look at the world, always seeking out opportunities to serve other people and get paid in return. With this in mind, your well of creative inspiration will never run dry.

Here are four places I look first when I want to come up with a new business idea quickly:

1) Things you’re already good at (hobbies/skills). Everybody has SOMETHING that they’re good at. The problem is, most of us take our skills for granted. We don’t appreciate the fact that the knowledge and abilities we have at our disposal could be very valuable to someone else:

•  Maybe you’re bilingual or you can play an instrument.

•  Perhaps you know how to organize the HELL out of a closet.

•  Maybe you’re really good at cooking, or building websites.

•  You might have even successfully completed a few triathlons.

All of these are things that other people would like to be able to do for themselves on a regular basis but in many cases can’t.

Understand this: TIME is the only real commodity we have. We make money so that we can pay other people to do things for us in order to gain more time. It all comes back to time.

If you’ve spent considerable time learning to do something — either in school, as an apprentice, or even as a hobby or recreational activity — that time has immense value. Rather than learning to do what you’ve done or putting in months (or years) of work grinding away, many people will be more than happy to pay you in order to get what they want much more quickly. You can teach someone else how to do something. Or if you don’t want to teach it, you can simply use that skill to provide a service and do the work for them.

2) Things you’ve done for work. SPOILER ALERT: “Learned at work” skills are a great place to look when fishing for your first profitable business idea. If you’ve ever held a job, that’s proof you have at least one skill or idea that somebody is willing to pay money for!

Like most people, you may be under the assumption that your hourly wage or salary reflects the actual value of your skills, but here’s the thing: There is no “actual” or innate value of a skill, service, or idea:

  • Washing dishes could be a seven-dollar-an-hour skill or a fifteen-dollar-an-hour skill, depending on whose plates you’re cleaning.
  • Building a mobile app for your employer could be one of the hundreds of other things you do every year as part of your sixty-thousand-dollar salary.
  • Or the same mobile app could be a twenty-thousand-dollar side project that you work on in your free time, while still making sixty thousand at work.

Your salary doesn’t reflect true value; it just reflects your employer’s estimation of how much they can afford to pay you after they’ve accounted for all their expenses and made a healthy profit. If you have a boss, you’re not making as much money as you could be for your time. Period.

Here’s a partial list of all the things taking money out of your paycheck before you even see it:

  • Recruiting costs.
  • Training.Health insurance
  • Financial programs.
  • Overhead.
  • Management and executive salaries.

The list goes on and on! By the time your salary is up for discussion, it’s less about what you’re worth and more what they can afford. In some cases, a job that deserves one hundred thousand dollars is getting fifty thousand or less!

Can you negotiate your salary? Absolutely. But even at the highest level of negotiation, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to make as much money within a company as you’ll make taking that exact same expertise and applying it outside of the company for your own gain. The skills you acquire along your journey are yours to use as you wish, at a price that you command. Now you just need to identify which of your on-the-job skills is ripe for the picking, start developing your idea, and then find your customers. (Don’t worry, I’ll fill in the how-tos as we continue.)

3) Things people ask you for. Besides the seemingly interminable amount of time spent in school, I think one of the biggest turnoffs for me about a career in medicine would be the relentless questions from well-intentioned civilians looking to “pick my brain” off the clock about a medical problem they are having, rather than setting up an appointment to have it properly examined by a physician with expertise in that area.

“Do you have a quick second? I wanted to get your opinion on this lump in my neck.”

“I’ve been having this weird pain in my chest. It’s a bit like indigestion, but it’s a little bit sharper. I always get it after I eat spicy foods. Any idea what that could be?”

On and on these questions would go. But that’s how it goes with many professions. For example, if you have a friend who is an attorney, you might find yourself shooting him a text that says something like, “Can you go to jail for unpaid parking tickets . . . hypothetically?”

We do the same thing when it comes to personal matters too. If you have a friend who’s always getting dumped and you just broke up with your boyfriend of five years over some steamy texts between him and that bimbo at work who you knew he had a crush on, you’d know exactly which friend to call and vent to about that douche bag, wouldn’t you?

The point here is that whether you realize it or not, we lean on experts to help us figure things out — and if people keep asking you for help, advice, or insight in a particular area, there’s a good chance that others look at you as the expert or “go-to” in their circle of influence.

You have to start paying more attention to things that people ask you for. If someone asks you to help them with something, your mind should immediately begin assessing whether this is something that could become profitable.

Let that subliminal capitalistic brain fire up! Do you have friends who are always asking you for diet advice? What about people who are constantly asking for your insights into their relationships? Do friends and family call you to watch their dogs when they go out of town? Start paying attention to the things that people require of you; then eventually, you’ll get paid to do things that you used to do for free.

My girlfriend’s brother, Caleb, started a moving company because he was tired of people asking him to move their junk for free. He bought one of those Ford F-350s, and people started coming out of the woodwork: “Can you help me move my ten-thousand-volume book collection?” “I’m moving on Sunday. Think I could ‘borrow’ your truck?”

Caleb is a nice guy, so typically he said yes. They were his friends, after all. Until one day, he had an idea . . .

Friend: “Caleb, I need someone to help me move this three-thousand-pound sectional couch. Can you come over with your truck and help this weekend?”

Caleb: “Sure, my rate is sixty dollars an hour.”

Friend: “OK . . . great! See you then!”

And just like that, a business was born. He paid attention to what the market was already asking him for and just gave the people what they wanted. He started getting more and more business, then used some of that money to buy another truck and begin expanding.

If people ask you for something, it could be worth charging for!

4) Things you want to learn

After teaching college test prep for a while, my second successful freelance business—which I also quickly scaled to over a hundred thousand dollars—was a web design company called Primal Digital. And guess what? I barely knew anything about web design in the beginning!

The idea started on a whim. I’d already had a bit of success with my first business as an SAT tutor, and I was looking for something that I could do from my house. I was not an expert by any means. I knew just enough to get a basic, one-page site up on WordPress, and that was about it. It’s almost embarrassing to think about as I type it now. I set up my web design company’s one-page website with a very fancy theme, to give the appearance that I was much more established than I actually was, and proceeded to start posting on popular freelance job boards like Upwork (Elance/oDesk at the time) and a few others. Within a few hours, I started getting bites for $1,000, $2,000, and even $5,000 jobs! WTF?!

What I want you to focus on right now is my relative lack of knowledge about the subject area. How was I able to get away with this?

My first few clients were happy to pay me because even though I wasn’t a world-class expert, I still knew more than they did about building a website. Remember, for someone who doesn’t use computers much outside of Google and Facebook, even setting up a basic WordPress blog is a damn near mystical process.

I worked my way up doing simple work, and as my skill set improved, I was able to charge more and more for my services. I essentially paid myself to learn how to build websites.

You could do the same thing easily. Find a skill or idea that you’re a beginner in but that you want to become really good at. Then gradually improve that skill set and find customers who are willing to pay you as you learn. It’s like paying yourself to go to school for something that you actually care about. You don’t have to start as an expert. It’s OK if you haven’t done this before. You’ll get better with time—and you can get paid in the process.

*******

Starting a business is one of the hardest things you can do—and as some of these examples should demonstrate, the answers can often be quite counterintuitive. But you don’t have to do this alone.

If you thought the strategies I shared for validating your ideas and standing out were helpful, you’re going to love my new book Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start An Epic Business, Score The Life You Want.

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