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My Steps to Being a Millionaire: Making Money From Laundry

Armed with confidence and knowledge instilled in him from a young age, Mpho Dagada was still a student when he turned a frustration into an revenue opportunity.

Dagada's book titled Mr Bitcoin: How I Became A Millionaire chronicles how his upbringing laid a solid foundation for him to explore business opportunities that have seen him becoming wealthy at a young age.

Here's a snippet about of what readers can get in his book about how he started his first business and key lessons learned.

Mpho Dagada 2
Credit: Instagram

"I knew I had to grow up and find my own way of making money. In Joburg I had to get used to being a student and doing everything for myself. I moved into a residential complex, Milpark Mews in Auckland Park. Everything was going smoothly until two weeks in, when I had to do my own laundry. I took my washing downstairs to the communal laundromat. I was told the going rate was R120 to do my laundry, which was a lot of money at the time. Yet another reminder of how expensive Johannesburg is. There was no other way - I had to take my laundry upstairs and hand wash it. There was no way I could afford this price as a student. And laundry was a challenge because not only did it take longer to wash my clothes by hand - the clothes also took twice as long to dry.

I remembered the time when my dad had started the micro lending business - he had identified a need in the community and cashed in on it. This was my light bulb moment and this would be the birth of my new business. I decided that I would go around the complex and ask other students how they were doing their laundry. I knew that, just like me, most of them could not afford the basement laundromat. I gathered the information that almost everyone else opted for hand washing. This was an opportunity for me to help these students and in turn, make some money for myself.

I took the money that I had saved and I bought a washing machine. This made me one of the few students who owned a washing machine in the building. I let people use my washing machine in the building for a small fee, thinking I would get some extra money. But soon one washing machine wasn't enough to cope with the demand. So I decided to hire a helper - her name was Beauty. Beauty and I did more than just the students' laundry - we would also take on the task of cleaning their rooms. Soon enough, my neighbours asked Beauty to do their washing by hand because they didn't have a washing machine. This gave rise to the business that I was able to start from that demand. Laundry and cleaning became a valuable source of income."

Key lessons:

  • Find out what people need, and if they're willing to pay for that need to be met.
  • Be inquisitive and passionate about the business you're in.
  • Start with what you have, then expand.
  • A challenge is also an opportunity.
  • Develop this attitude: it can be done!