Gold was discovered in California in the spring of 1848. By May of 1848 reports were flying that “there was more gold than all the people in California could take out in fifty years.” 28-year-old Samuel Brannan opened a small supply store at John Sutter’s Fort, right in the heart of the gold rush. Then Brannan took a little vial of gold and traveled the hundred miles back to San Francisco. As he stepped off the train, he swung his hat, waved the bottle and shouted, “Gold! Gold! Gold! By the middle of June, three quarters of the male population had left San Francisco for the gold mines near Sutter’s Fort.

Brannan never looked for gold, but selling shovels, picks and supplies to the wide-eyed miners made him California’s first gold-rush millionaire. His store was selling as much as $5000 a day (about $140,000 in 2008 dollars) in goods to the miners.

Did all the miners find their “pot of gold?” Not a chance. Most of them wasted time and meager resources only to return to their original homes, poor and discouraged. Brannan made money from them all -- whether they found gold or not.

So where are you looking for income opportunities? In the last ten years thousands of people jumped on the computer bandwagon, believing that programming, web design and software development were the only real sources of wealth. As you know, not everyone going in this direction has become wealthy. But are there associated opportunities with this area of focus – absolutely! In the last ten years the number of massage therapists has quadrupled. (Our massage therapist comes to our house every Friday afternoon. Her rates are $70 an hour and she stays booked weeks in advance.) People who work on computers all day are prime candidates for massage.

The chair I am sitting in is a HumanScale Freedom Chair. It’s an $850 solution to the posture challenges of sitting in front of a computer. I can’t imagine being without it. In the background I have music playing –specifically setting the stage for productive “knowledge work.”

Is it possible that in your own search for “gold” you are overlooking the opportunity to become a millionaire by selling picks and shovels?

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 Dan Miller is today's leading authority and personality on careers and 'Work You LoveTM'. As bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love, and now No More Mondays, Dan reaches over a million people every month ia his newsletter, podcast, and blog with the best trends and opportunities in the workplace and small business. For more information, visit http://www.48days.com.