Ah, the dream. You know what I’m talking about: drinking champagne and eating caviar on a yacht, driving around town in a gold Lamborghini, and renting Disneyland for the day because, well, because you can.
See Also: One Person Million-Dollar Businesses
Unfortunately for many of us, we’re not born with a silver spoon in our mouths, so the dream of diving into a roomful of gold coins is just that: a dream. But that doesn’t necessarily mean our dreams can’t become a reality; with a little work (correction: a lot of hard work), they can. You just need to be in the right place at the right time – with the right million-dollar idea.
These seven businesses are living proof that dreams can come true and that, sometimes, fat paychecks come from the darnedest ideas.
1. Pet Rock
Pets help reduce stress, prevent heart disease, and increase happiness levels, and they also provide us with companionship and they’re even date magnets (if Hollywood rom-coms are to teach us anything). Unfortunately, however, your long work hours prevent you from getting a dog or cat. But there’s a silver lining, and that silver lining comes in the form of a Pet Rock.
Advertising executive (read: genius) Gary Dahl was with friends in a pub in April 1975, listening to them complain about their pets, when he had the sudden idea of the “perfect” pet: a pet rock. It wouldn’t need feeding, walking, bathing, grooming, or even neutering. While his friends laughed away, he took the idea seriously and Pet Rocks hit store shelves by the end of the year. He sold 1.5 million rocks at $4 each and by February 1976, when they were discontinued, Dahl had become a millionaire. A gag gift, the real product was the “instruction manual” that accompanied every Pet Rock, which contained commands like “sit” and “stay” to train the new pet. “Attack” was fairly simple to teach but did require additional help from the owner, apparently.
2. Anger Room
Ever felt like smashing someone’s face in? Who hasn’t? Unfortunately, however, doing so would have serious repercussions, i.e.: going to prison. Donna Alexander, thankfully, came up with the solution and named it the Anger Room.
The Anger Room, which opened its doors to the frustrated and angry public in 2008, offers a guilt-free environment where people can take out their anger and destroy real-life mocked rooms simulating an actual workplace or living area, complete with dummies, mannequins, TVs, and anything else that can be broken or smashed in.
Alexander explains that, growing up in a dangerous Chicago neighborhood, she’s seen so many people go to jail for violent crimes and wanted to offer people a safe place where they could grab a baseball bat and release their bottled-up emotions.
3. Real Estate Agent for Nudists
While walking around your local mall butt-naked might be frowned upon by society at large, and it might even be a criminal offense, that doesn’t stop people from practicing it. In fact, 200,000 individuals have registered to the American Association for Nude Recreation since its inception in 1983. That’s 200,000 people just like you and me (albeit naked) doing the same things we do (again, albeit naked). They eat, drink, sleep, go to work, wash dishes, and vacuum their homes. But in order to vacuum their homes, they first need a place they can call home.
Enter Jackie Youngblood, a real estate agent in Pasco County which is often referred to as the Nudist Capital of North America. Youngblood caters to nudists looking to buy, rent, or sell property in the area, and she even has her own reality TV show called Buying Naked which airs on TLC.
4. The Something Store
It’s your coworker Barry’s birthday next week, and you and the rest of your team are completely stuck for ideas on what to get him. Well, your troubles are over because, for $10, the Something Store will send you something for Barry’s gift – and that could be anything. And we do mean anything. There’s no way to know what you’re getting until you actually receive your “something”, and past “somethings” include measuring cups, a belly dancer belt, a finger drum set, and a Kindle Fire 7 tablet – anything that is worth at least $10.
5. Reserve a Spot in Heaven
Are you on your deathbed? Have you lived a life of sin and are worried about what comes after life? Fret not, because you can reserve a spot in Heaven and, effectively, be forgiven for all your mortal and venial sins!
For just $12.79, the company will send you an Essential Travel Kit, which includes a reservation certificate, an identification card (just in case Saint Peter prevents you from entering the pearly gates), and an informational guide. Fortunately, it comes with a 100% money-back guarantee in the event your reservation is not accepted, but with no Internet access in the afterlife, you might have to prepare yourself for the possibility of getting stuck in purgatory.
Thankfully, and unfortunately for the sinners out there, this is a novelty gift.
6. The Lunar Registry
Everybody knows Neil Armstrong: the first man to walk on the moon. The moment he stepped out of Apollo 11 and onto the moon’s surface (and as soon as he spoke the famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”), the colonization of the Earth’s satellite seemed to become the next step in our species’ journey.
Lunar colonization may not happen in our lifetime, but companies like the Lunar Registry are offering the people the chance to claim land on the Moon. You can purchase land in the Sea of Vapors for $18.95 per acre, but if you want a fine piece of real estate, look no further than the Sea of Tranquility where one acre of lunar land will set you back $37.50.
7. Hangover Helpers
If you’re still in college, having a hangover may seem very much like a constant state of being. Party after party, beer after beer, and shot after shot, it’s no wonder you keep waking up on your bathroom floor.
The apartment’s a complete mess and you just remembered your parents are coming over to visit you later. So, what do you do? You call the Hangover Helpers. For just $20 per roommate, you’ll get a Gatorade upon their arrival, and they’ll even make you a homemade breakfast burrito in your kitchen while you slowly come to your senses. But that’s not all: by the time they leave, your entire house will be spotless clean – in fact, they guarantee it “will look cleaner than it has all semester”.
Can you think of any other strange businesses out there? Have any one these strange businesses given you a million-dollar idea? Tell us in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this article with family and friends!