Make Money By Providing Value

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Business, Inspirational, Mindsetting on November 3, 2009

What’s the number one excuse when you ask people why they can’t start a business?

The answer is probably that they don’t have enough money.

What if I told you that it’s possible to start a business with no or little money, would you believe me?

Yes, it is possible.

And that’s the lesson that students in Stanford learned when they attended the entrepreneur boot camp of Tina Seelig during the Stanford Technology Venture Program.

Tina Seelig is the STVP Executive Director. And in one of her courses, she challenged her students with a business problem:

If you had five dollars and two hours, what would you do to make as much money as possible?

You’ll be surprised at what the students did. Watch the very interesting six minute video below:


This video essentially teaches us that providing value creates income opportunities.

And all we have to do if ever we need to make money is to take what we already have – skills, knowledge, assets – and use them to provide value to others.

To quote Tina Seelig:

The lesson here is that so often we frame problems way too tightly. And if we keep unpacking and unpacking them, we realized that we have resources that are much larger and more valuable than we even imagined. But we also realized that our own skills that we have and the opportunities around us are bigger than we ever thought at the beginning.

The clip above is part of the lecture entitled, The Art of Teaching Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I encourage you to spare an hour and watch the entire talk. You’ll learn a lot from it.

Lastly, just in case you’re interested to start a business but you don’t really have enough capital, here’s something I wrote in the past that might help:

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12 Responses to “Make Money By Providing Value”

  1. Ahh, I love these types of videos, thanks for highlighting Fitz!

    I love being in the Bay Area, b/c I’ve attended great courses at Stanford and UC Berkeley, some of America’s top schools.

    I actually REALLY believe that part of becoming wealthy, and/or getting your idea off the ground is to be located in a center of like minded individuals.

    Being in the San Francisco Bay Area we have Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Venture Capitalists, Stanford, Berkeley, YouTube, YOU NAME IT!

    I can call any one of my buddies from these firms, have a coffee, and start a business venture. Same thing goes for being located in NYC.

    So, step one recommendation for many of you folks is to migrate to an info/financial center! I’ll be speaking to Federated Media (advertiser working w/ Wise Bread and Mashable for example) on some ideas for Financial Samurai over golf this weekend, b/c they’re also here!

    Keep up the good work highlight this stuff. It’s my favorite.


  2. Fitz says:

    Hi FS,

    I envy your location. It seems that you’re right in the middle of all the “action”. In the Philippines, most are concerned with making a quick buck than creating a long term value-driven venture.

    However, I’m still optimistic that everything is changing for the better – slowly but surely. And I’m hoping that this blog, in my own little way, is helping others to be achieve financial freedom.

    Best wishes on your upcoming ventures and thank you for always taking the time to comment.


  3. Netanya says:

    Thanks for supplying this video. It was great to see the endless possibilities available in starting a business. Tina Seeling gave great insight, and I will definitely remember this for future endeavors.

    Money Hackers Blog Ambassador

  4. No worries Fitz! It’s my pleasure to comment on things that interest me.

    I have actually a close affinity to The Philippines as I lived in Manila for a year a long time ago. I enjoy interacting with folks overseas who have different perspectives.

    It really is the epicenter here of social media and entrepreneurship. Google being here has ushered in a tremendous amount of innovation and wealth.

    It’s very obvious to me your blog is doing great, so congrats for that!

    We’ve got a huge Filipino population here in the San Fran Bay Area called Daly City. Pretty neat.


  5. Definitely sounds like a cool boot camp to attend. One of my tracks for my MBA was in entrepreneurship and I really loved it. Thanks for showing the video and think that I am just about to write a blog post from another site that I own ( and link to this post. Thanks again!

  6. How Much Money Can You Make With $5 and 2 Hours? says:

    […] Check out this video from the entrepreneur boot camp of Tina Seelig during the Stanford Technology Venture Program. Tina recounts a classroom experiment that she did that involved her dividing the class up into teams who were given the goal of making as much money as they could in 2 hours and only having $5 to start out with. This video is just chock full of awesomeness on so many levels and I could blather on for a few thousand words about different applications to domaining, building an online business, etc. etc. ad nauseum but rather than do that I would challenge you to stop watching puppies play the piano or whatever on YouTube for just a moment and devote the next 6 minutes and 11 seconds to watching THIS VIDEO. […]

  7. Aurelio Dizon says:

    I am teaching in high school with business studies subjects. These videos (along that of Guy Kawasaki) will really put soul into our budding and young potential entrepreneurs. Thanks for this.

  8. […] Then just watch another fun and interesting clip by Tina Seelig from the same lecture at a previous post of mine entitled Make Money By Providing Value. […]

  9. red says:

    Hi Fitz,

    Thanks for this post. it’s my first time to watch Tina Seelig and i enjoyed her videos which you posted. Thanks a lot and may more blessings of prosperity and abundance race through you. God bless.


  10. […] how do you know if your business idea can provide the value that people will be willing to pay […]

  11. […] Instead, spend time with The Wealth Advocate because he is honest and has integrity. He believes that wealth is acquired by delivering value to others. […]

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