In January 2017, 32/10 (a division of entrepreneurial non-profit New Leaf Digital in Huntsville, AL) ran a contest to see who could turn $100 into $1,000 in just 30 days. We called the contest our first 10X Challenge.

Nandish Dayal accomplished the feat in just 16 days.

With all the entrepreneurial talk about apps, Facebook ads, scalability, etc. you would expect Nandish’s methods to have involved something tech-related. But, Nandish 10x’ed his money in just over 2 weeks with some of the oldest, most tried and true entrepreneurial methods imaginable.

Nandish is a native of Fiji. In his words, “We didnt have a lot of resources so you learn to be creative.”

Nandish is not, in his words, a “tech guy”. His career is in healthcare. He just finished becoming a nurse practitioner and relocated to Oregon to work in a healthcare facility where he is negotiating a partnership. Making his hustle even more impressive, he achieved 10X returns while packing up for his big move across the United States.

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Nandish and wife Judith

Nandish’s Strategy

Coming into the competition, Nandish knew he wouldn’t win in some kind of tech or app competition. He decided to focus on something he knew really well. His hobbies have long included working on cars, specifically Subaru vehicles. For most of the last 7 years, Nandish has worked on Subaru’s as a hobby. He also drives them and has bought and sold them for profit.

Nandish found an old Subaru in very bad shape. It needed thousands of dollars worth of work to run properly again. The owner wanted $300 for the car. After a a lot of negotiating, Nandish got the cost for the car down to $100. The engine ran long enough for the car to sputter its way back to Nandish’s garage. The transmission was shot.

But, Nandish knew the value of the parts inside the car. He knew how to remove the parts. He knew that the parts inside the car were worth substantially more than the $100 he paid if they could be removed and if he could find buyers.

As luck would have it, while removing parts from the car, Nandish’s neighbor sees him and says he knows “a fella” looking for a front assembly for a car like that. Nandish ends up selling the complete front bumper assembly (both sets of wheels, hood, both fenders, front bumper) to the “fella” for a whopping $750.

A few days later, he sells the rolling shell that remains for $300 to put him $1,050 in just 16 days.

So, there you have it… a 10.5X return on investment 16 days.

Takeaways from Nandish’s Achievement

  • If you are accustomed to depending on someone to give you a job to make money, that’s not the only way. Our education system largely encourages us to seek careers instead of entrepreneurial opportunities. Nandish’s upbringing taught him to look for opportunities and not to expect anyone to give him an easy path to making money when he needed or wanted cash.
  • Nandish was willing to think of what was possible and be creative, not just what other people were doing.
  • When looking for a way to make money on the side or start a new venture, your best chance of success is to stick close to something you know well.
  • In Tony Robbins’ book Money, he covers a strategy that billionaires use in investment called the 5X Rule. Simply put, the 5X rule means that they must see a likelihood of 500% upside to make any investment. Smart businesspeople know they will be wrong and, if you follow this rule, you only need to right 1 time out of 5 to break even. It’s a low-risk/high-return strategy (what you learned in economics about risk and return being related is completely out of sync with the real world) and so was Nandish’s strategy. He was only risking $100 and felt certain there was at least $500-1000 worth of value in the car. These are the type of business bets you want to make. Too many people risk all their investment in hopes of a 30% return on their investment. This isn’t a good strategy because you will be wrong sometimes.
  • You don’t have to be the world’s foremost expert to be on your own and make money. There are people who know more about cars than Nandish. But, he knows more about cars than most people know. That is usually enough to be able to make some profit.

I asked Nandish for a closing comment to those who might read this article. Here is what he said:

“There are often instituted drawbacks or obstacles that may hold us back. But the important thing to remember is that you are truly the master of your own destiny. It’s okay to have bad days but someone out there would kill to have the access to all the privileges that we have.”

Nandish shared with me that he plans to donate his winnings to a scholarship at his alma mater, the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

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