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Craft as a Loss-Leader

Q: How can someone exceed their salary cap? 
A: Leverage what you do to make money by what you don’t-do. 

Recording artists, athletes, and movie stars are leveraging their brand to make more than their craft earns them. 

Michael Jordan is known for Basketball. It’s what he did. And he did it really well. His 16 year basketball career earned him a reported $93M.  That’s a nice salary. But his endorsements earned him 15x more and catapulted him into the three comma club (Billionaire status). 

Kanye timed the release of his album “The Life of Pablo” to coincide with his Yeezy Season 3 drop.  By merging music & fashion together he accelerated a clothing line that made him a billionaire. Which is way more than he’s ever made creating music despite being known as a recording artist.

George Clooney bought a tequila company (Casamigos), attached his personal brand to it, then sold it for $1B. One deal earned him double what his entire film career has. 

These examples are of individuals in high-paying fields who leveraged it to make even more. But a similar thing is happening at the lowest price points.

The fast-food industry does a similar thing with $2 chicken nuggets. They call it (or any other value promotion) a loss-leader. They barely break-even, and sometimes lose money, on those items; but more than make up for it when you buy $0.05 worth of soda syrup for $1.79. 

Celebrities are leveraging their popularity to make more than their craft, McDonalds is leveraging their cheap nuggets to make a greater markup than anyone would reasonably pay for nuggets.

What if the thing you “do” isn’t actually what will make you the most money?

Actionable Question: What do I have that I could leverage to grow my business or exceed my industry’s average salary.