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How To Find The Next Big Thing: 3 Tips For Spotting Opportunities

Raise your hand if you missed the “invest in Amazon” train. Is your hand up like mine? Now, keep your hand up if you also missed the Bitcoin train. Mine’s still up too. Okay, last one. Keep your hand raised if you’re tired of missing the next big thing.

If you’re tired of missing out on opportunities, you’ve got to start acting on them early on. Do your research, identify potential pros and cons of a potential opportunity, and take action before you miss the train. In all sorts of investments, people tend to jump aboard when things are taking off. As soon as things start looking bad even in the slightest bit, people jump off the wagon, and that’s where they incur losses.

Like I always stress, action is key here. Sitting back and being indecisive will leave you in the dust while those that take action see success. If you never take risks, you’ll never potentially reap rewards. Now you should take action for new opportunities in general, don’t just look for the “next big thing.” Thinking of what will be big in 10 years is tough. Technology is always changing, a lot happens in 10 years. All we can do is make the best judgments possible with the available information. To be honest, I’m not even sure what’s happening next month, so I personally won’t try to guess what the next 10 years will look like. The only constant is change.

I want to review some things that seem like common sense. You may have heard some of them before, but they are extremely important. Be sure to truly understand them follow them closely.

3 Tips For Spotting Opportunities

1. Pay attention to things that a few people are starting to talk about, but the masses don’t yet know about.

Bitcoin is an example. I remember hearing a small amount of people talk about Bitcoin years ago. I had no idea what it was, most people didn’t. Heck, most people still don’t quite understand what it is or how it works. Those folks that got into it years ago and held onto that investment are the ones who benefited immensely recently.

2. Do your research. Is this really a viable opportunity that has legs?

Don’t just take your friend’s advice on investing in a new opportunity. Start reading up on the topic, listening to any relevant podcasts, and watching YouTube videos to learn more. Learn all the ins and outs and what risks you may be taking in the event that you decide to invest time or money in something new.

3. Diversify your portfolio. 

Seems like common sense, but common sense isn’t always common. Don’t put your life savings into the next cryptocurrency in hopes that it will become the next Bitcoin. That’s how people lose everything when things don’t work out. Split time and money into various areas across multiple industries. Try to invest in things you have researched and understand. Invest in what you know.

When Investing Money, Always Remember:

Buy low and sell high. When markets are doing poorly and stocks drop, that is the time to buy (everything is on sale!). Don’t buy after everyone and their mom has invested in a stock. At that point, you’ll be the sucker buying it at it’s peak. This also goes for reselling items, which I’ve been pretty successful at. Find items at clearance racks or garage sales and sell them online at regular price for a profit. 

Never invest more than you’re willing to lose. When investing, assume you will lose all the money you are putting in. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. People get into trouble when they invest more than they are willing, or can afford, to lose.


Note: this should not be construed as financial or legal advice. This post simply expresses some of my personal opinions and how I choose to invest my own time and money. 


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Chris Bello

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Blog Posts

Learning how and when to splurge

Shifting your mindset: getting from “I can’t afford it” to “how can I afford it?”

Those who have known me from childhood know I can sometimes be a bit frugal. I grew up in a good, middle class family and my parents always taught my brothers and I not to waste food, to buy only what we really need, and to keep expenses low. Combine that upbringing with the fact that I studied Supply Chain in college and you get someone who really can cut down on waste and unnecessary expenses.

Even into my late 20’s, I still take the extra 2 minutes to find free street parking and try to avoid paying for the $20 parking lots when I go out in Downtown Houston. However, I’ve learned how to splurge on things I want to splurge on, things that are important to me. I’m the type of guy that buys in bulk to save money but won’t hesitate to drop $2400 on skydive certification classes (I actually saved $400 overall by paying the total amount upfront, so you could argue I even saved money on that deal). I also stay with friends or family when I travel sometimes so that I can spend $400 on getting scuba certified in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.

Driving a Mercedes SLS and Audi R8 on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway:  $500

Splurging on things you want feels good. But you must do so in moderation. Never let your lifestyle exceed your means. If you’re making $100K and living like you’re making $1M a year, you’re going to run into problems. If you’re making $100K and live as if you make $50K, you’ll find yourselves stashing up savings quickly and being able to use money for vacations or a few nice things that you want and can easily afford.

People ask me all the time “how can you afford to go on these amazing trips?” or “don’t you have student debt or car payments?” I’m pretty happy to say that I’m totally debt-free (other than my mortgage of course). My student loans are paid off, my Honda Accord is paid off, and the full statement balance of my credit cards is paid in full each month. What people don’t see is how I usually wear basic clothes that aren’t really name brand (unless Zara counts). I cook most of my meals and get something reasonable when I do go out to eat, which saves a ton of money. For $50 that you spend eating a mediocre dinner, you could get enough groceries to feed you for a few days. You can get chicken breast, ground turkey, and vegetables for probably around $20.

Mt. Fuji! What you don’t see is that I stayed with a high school friend and pitched in a few bucks for the ride from Tokyo

I truly appreciate everything I’m able to experience since I better understand the value of money. I feel like a few kids I’ve known that always got anything they every wanted from their parents take so many things for granted. For the average kids who don’t get their every wish granted,  working hard and being able to afford those things later on in life is that much more rewarding.

Ziplining in Mexico was pretty neat: I think it was around $200? I stayed with my cousin for free on this trip.

I feel that the frugal mentality that has been ingrained into my head from my childhood will never truly leave. Even as my savings grow and when (not if – Law of Attraction at play) I become a millionaire or billionaire one day, I feel like I’ll still live within my means and spend my money on experiences over things. Because at the end of the road, we can’t take stuff with us. But hey, if you’ve got the money and that Ferrari makes you feel happy, go for it!

Before You Splurge, Ask Yourself Some Questions:
  • Do you need it? 

If not, why are you getting it? Do you want it? If so, how badly do you want it? Think about if you’ll have buyer’s remorse after spending your money. If you really want it and think it’ll be worth it, go for it.

  • Can you afford it? 

If you have to check your bank account to see if there’s enough money in there to pay for something, you can’t afford it. When you’ve saved enough to where you can comfortably buy something with cash on the spot, you can likely afford it and can consider moving forward.

  • Will you remember it 5 years from now? 

If you want it and can afford it, see if you’ll remember it 5 years from now. A new cell phone or TV probably won’t bring a smile to your face years from now. A one-month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia definitely will.

  • Will the opportunity vanish soon? 

Are you planning on getting married, having a kid, or starting a career that will hinder your ability to do something you want to do? If so, consider jumping on the opportunities available to you now. Take that trip before starting your full-time career or pop 3 kids out. Go skydiving, drive a moped in Vietnam, and sleep at a train station in Germany before you end up taking yourself too seriously.

Trip to New York: I crashed on my friend’s couch so I could spend whatever on food and the trip.
What I like to splurge on: 
  • Good food at highly rated restaurants – I don’t eat out often, so when I go to a nice restaurant from time to time, I try to get whatever is recommended even if it means paying a little more.
  • Experiences – skydiving, scuba diving, parasailing, traveling, tours, and more. I love doing things that make memories (and also great photos).
Views in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Pitched in a little to stay with my buddy who was going with his parents.

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Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast: Episode 8 – Paid and Free Software to Consider

Starting a business or side-hustle comes with a lot of not-so-fun tasks. You don’t just get to invent a product, but you’ve got to build the foundation. A website, social media content, editing audio footage, and more requires software and online tools. I’ll walk you through my go-to list and make it super simple for you. Paid is usually better, but there’s a lot of great stuff out there that’s completely free as well.

Tools I recommend checking out:

Websites/Sales Funnels

  • WordPress – build websites (free and paid plans)
  • ClickFunnels – build sales funnels (14 day trial, then $97/month)

Email Automation

  • MailChimp – create automated email campaigns (free until you have more than 2,000 subscribers or send more than 12,000 emails a month)

Graphic Design

  • Unsplash – free stock photos to use (give credit to photographers if you like to help them out)
  • Canva – graphic design for dummies. Mostly free, but you can pay for a few premium templates or graphics.

Screen Recording Software

Video Editing Software

  • Windows Movie Maker – free editing for Windows (no longer supported)
  • iMovie – free video editing for Macs
  • GoPro Studio – free GoPro footage editing software

Royalty-Free Music

Feel free to reach out with questions or comments at and remember, less dreaming, more doing.


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Chris Bello

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Flexthetics Pro Invention
Blog Posts

How To Invent A Product

Have an idea? Don’t leave it at that. Honestly give it a try. Think it through, think of all the pros and cons, and minimize the cons. Draw your idea on paper, come up with a name for it, and treat it like a product you believe you would see on store shelves or the show Shark Tank one day. This post will give some insight on how to invent a product, including my suggested steps.

For those that might not know, my friend and I invented a supplement organizer product called the Flexthetics Pro. We sketched the idea on paper in December 2016 and had a 3D prototype designed and printed within a day.

Flexthetics Pro – V1

My friend just so happened to own a 3D printer and know how to use the engineering software. Without him, the idea could very well still be on paper as it is often expensive to get an engineer to draw up your idea and to have a prototype printed out. Things add up even more if you honestly believe in it and want a patent filed before you even share the idea with too many people.

Working with my friend to iterate, print out prototypes, and do some initial patent research really helped us keep costs down. The only real costs other than plastic we bought for prototypes went to having an attorney draft and file a utility patent.

Initially, I actually had a list of all kinds of app or apparel ideas. I was a little frustrated once I heard quotes on how much it would cost to get any of those things started. Even if I paid $60k to get an app made, there was no guarantee people would find it valuable or use it for that matter. With the Flexthetics Pro, a physical product that someone can pay money for, selling seemed so much easier.

Where are we with Flexthetics, in case you’re curious? We have a utility patent pending on this product and are taking preorders. We are currently manufacturing the molds and then will manufacture final units once the tooling arrives from overseas. Could we have done things better or in a different order? Probably. But that’s the beauty of a startup. You kind of figure things out as you go.

Renders depicting final products

The steps I recommend to invent a product are as follows (at least this is what we followed):

1. Write down your idea. 

Write as much as you can about it. What it does, how it works, the pros, the cons, any competitor products that are similar and why yours is better, etc.

2. Bring your idea to life. 

Try and have a prototype 3D printed or created. If you have a friend with a 3D printer and know-how on using engineering software, perhaps you can approach them and offer equity in your idea or company for their help. This can save you money upfront, but if you truly have a million-dollar idea, make sure this person taking equity will pull their weight and not just freeload. You don’t want to find yourself doing all the work down the line and see that they are making as much as you just for helping sketch it up initially.

Once you have a functional prototype you are happy with, consider filing a patent. More on this in Step 3. Keep in mind that finalizing the design can take a lot of time. We had over 35 revisions to the cap alone on our Flexthetics Pro. We experimented until we got something we were truly satisfied with.

3. Protect your idea (you can never be too careful).

I suggest getting manufacturers you talk to about potential costs to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to protect yourself, especially before sending drawings to them. I’ve heard that people roll their eyes at this and say that nobody will steal your idea, but I don’t like taking chances, especially with the amount of time and money that is invested into bringing a product to life.

While it’s unlikely someone will steal your idea, pay thousands of dollars to have it patented, and then thousands more to get tooling done for manufacturing, why risk it?

I would also consider hiring an attorney to have a patent filed. I really believe in this idea and wanted to protect it as much as possible. For this reason, my Co-Founder and I paid an attorney to draft it for us and file it. My worst fear was that a competitor might somehow find out about our product before we protected ourselves and get something out before we could even blink an eye. If you’re a startup or sole inventor, your competitors likely have much more money, resources, and expertise than you do. No offense, that’s just how it is.

You can try to save some money filing a patent a couple of ways:

  • You can try to research how to file a patent and do it yourself completely. I heard a Podcast about Sarah Blakely from Spanx doing this.
  • You can research other patents of products that are similar and write how yours is different. Reference each US patent number and add your notes below. Give this to the attorney you are working with, and this should save some time and therefore money (attorneys bill you by the hour).
4. Market your product. 

Your idea is now a product. Congratulations! I kept hush hush about our product until our patent was filed. Once it was, I quit my corporate job to focus on building the website, marketing the product, growing social media, etc. This all takes a lot of time!

5. Bring your product to market. 

We grew our following after we filed the patent. We did try and do a Kickstarter campaign, which was quite a bit of work. It took months to perfect our website and a campaign for Kickstarter prior to launch. Unfortunately, we did not get funded on Kickstarter, but we’re not giving up. We are taking the risk and putting quite a bit of our own savings into initial tooling. High risk, high potential reward.

I feel much better launching a product since we already have followers that are not just family and friends on social media. We have more of an audience to reach out to. Coming up with a product and then marketing with 0 followers on any platform seems like it would be much more difficult.

So that is how to invent a product, at least how we did it. After inventing and protecting your product, the gears shift to marketing and sales, which is where Flexthetics is focusing efforts on currently. If you need help bringing a prototype to life, shoot me a message or comment and I’ll be happy to chat.


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Chris Bello

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