10 Businesses I’d Start If I Got Laid Off

Hey Contrarians,

Most people think having a job is safer than starting a company.

They’re wrong.

Today’s story is courtesy of companies who don’t really care about you – and your burning desire to start creating your own freedom.

Today in 10 minutes or less, you’ll learn:

✔️ Contrarian framework: Comfort vs Safety

✔️ How he went from $0 to $300k in 2 years

✔️ 10 biz’s I’d start tomorrow if I were laid off

✔️ How I’d scale to 6 figures in 90 days

✔️ Why I love home service businesses


Who remembers the top headlines from last year? I’ll jog your memory.

First, the Roe v Wade fallout. Then, Elon came along trolling the entire internet with his $44B joke. That Johnny Depp, Amber Heard fiasco happened somewhere in there, too.

Oh… And let’s not forget the layoffs.

2022 felt like the year of the layoffs, based on the media around it. But no one seems to be talking about it anymore.

Despite this, layoffs increased by 5x this year.

We’ve been looking at some huge layoff numbers in 2023:

  • Amazon: 16,000 roles
  • Alphabet: 12,000 roles
  • Microsoft: 10,158 roles
  • Meta: 10,000 roles
  • Lyft: 1,200 roles

The cold, hard truth is this: As long as you have a job, there’s always a chance of getting fired.

Working a job is the comfortable choice. But it’s certainly not the safe one.

If you were fired from your job today, what would you do?

Tough question when you’re not ready. Today, let’s check in with someone who found themselves in a similar spot 6 years ago…


Meet Bobby Walker.

In 2017, Bobby was your average Joe. A happy family. Steady paycheck from his security job of 10 years. Settling into a new town.

Life was great… Until the rug was pulled out from under him.

One day, he got a heads up from his friends higher on the corporate food chain that he was being fired.

This post was Bobby’s response to the news:

Bobby needed an income. Fast. And not start-a-SaaS-and-exit-in-12-months fast. I’m talking I-need-grocery-money-tomorrow fast.

He turned to one of the most cashflowing industries of the century – home services. Specifically, window cleaning.

The day after the news about his job, Bobby bought $100 worth of cleaning supplies and launched his window cleaning business.

Day 1? He made $101.

Week 2? He landed a $1,700 gig with his son.

By the end of year 2, Bobby posted again on the Reddit thread. The update? He hit $348,275 in annual revenue.

This got me thinking…

If I were a Bobby, fired from my white-collar job and low on savings, what businesses would I start inside of a week to get some cash flowing into my pocket?



​Startup Cost: $134​

Profit Margins: A deep clean costs $200 – $400 on average, at 80% margins.

Pros: High chance of recurring revenue. Most customers will sign up for monthly, biweekly, or even weekly cleans.

Cons: A full-house deep clean takes 8+ hours to complete… And there are only so many hours in a day. You’ll need more than one cleaner to scale past $10k a month.


Startup Cost: $181

Profit Margins: On average, a one-man show can charge $229 per job with 80% as profit.

Pros: Pool owners like the “having a pool” part, not the “learning pool chemistry and cleaning regularly” part. Pools require routine upkeep, so expect a lot of repeat business.

Cons: That said, <8% of American homes have a pool. Not everyone will be your customer, and the few who do may live far from you.


Startup Cost: $220

Profit Margins: A detailing job costs $100 on average with >80% of that being profit.

Pros: It’s the dream job for people who love being on the move.

Cons: You’ll be going up against car wash chains that have all the bells and whistles.


Startup Cost: $187

Profit Margins: On average, most biz owners charge $130 – $220 to wash a driveway, or $60 an hour at 80% margins.

Pros: Easy chance for a pivot into commercial properties – residential homes aren’t the only things that need to be washed down.

Cons: Don’t expect the phone to ring as much come winter. (But when the sleigh bells start ringing, you could try…)


Startup Cost: $262

Profit Margins: You could charge $125 for a parking lot, profits sitting around 80%.

Pros: High recurring revenue.

Cons: Highly seasonal.


Startup Cost: $276

Profit Margins: Most Christmas light installers charge $425 on average per job with 70+% of that as profit.

Pros: Between the clips, extension cords, and fasteners, this biz has little overhead.

Cons: Holiday lighting season is only two months long.


Startup Cost: $280

Profit Margins: $50-$75/hr at 90% margins.

Pros: There’s more demand for window cleaners than supply. Not to mention, most customers tend to become regulars (if you do a decent job).

Cons: Not the right biz if you hate heights.


Startup Cost: $376

Profit Margins: On average, most cleaners charge $178 per carpet at 60% margins.

Pros48% of all floors in the USA are carpets. If that’s not the definition of plenty of fish in the sea, I don’t know what is.

Cons: Expect to deal with a ton of dust and pollen. This may not the biz to get into if you have asthma or other respiratory problems.


Startup Cost: $381

Profit Margins: On average? $150 per gig at 90% margins.

Pros: High demand + recurring revenue.

Cons: A surprisingly dirty job, with lots of climbing involved.


Startup Cost: $628

Profit Margins: Mowing lawns costs $124 on average at 55+% margins.

Pros: Easy chance to offer add-ons and upsells like tree trimming, weed control, fertilizing, etc.

Cons: Highly competitive.


Cool, so you buy a lawn mower, pool net, and a ladder, then the customers come running? Gee, I bet you’ll be a millionaire by Christmas.

Now, remember these are businesses. So let’s throw a little business savvy into the mix. Here’s what I’d do in the first 90 days:

Tactic #1: Lace up your running shoes

Sometimes, the classics work.

First, pick the right neighborhood. You’re on the right track if you’re seeing white picket fences, cul-de-sacs, and 40-year-olds walking labradoodles. If it looks like it could be a Zillow ad, then you’ve hit the jackpot.

Next, break out your Nikes and go for a run. Except you won’t just be doing cardio… You’ll be leaving flyers on doorsteps and lawns.

Let’s say you hit 500 homes. The 80/20 Rule says maybe 100 of the homeowners will read your flyer. And 20 might become customers.

Bobby had a similar strategy where he’d drive through nice neighborhoods, roll down his windows, and throw flyers held together with paper clips onto lawns.

One of those $0.14 “clip flyers” landed him an $8,000 job. You don’t find that kind of ROI anywhere else.

Tactic #2: Strategic partnerships

Do you know the only person more desperate than a recently-fired W2 employee? Real estate agents looking to close a sale.

Open houses need to be picture-perfect… It’s a smart move to look for “For Sale” signs or search online for local realtors in your area.

With the right pitch, you could find yourself a steady stream of homes on the RE market that need maintenance.

Tactic #3: Look out for new faces

“For Sale” aren’t the only signs I’d look out for. I’d also keep my eyes peeled for “Sold.”

New homeowners are also a goldmine when it comes to home service.

Think about it. If you just plopped a few hundred thousand into a house, you’d be willing to spend a few hundred dollars a month to keep it in tip-top shape, right?

My strategy would be to use direct mail marketing tools like PostPilot to send postcards to new homeowners, welcoming them to the neighborhood while throwing in discounts.

Keep this up for a few weeks, then when something needs to be cleaned (and it will), you’ll be top of mind. Everyone loves a familiar face in a strange town.


Reason #1: No license needed

Turns out squeegees and pressure washers don’t require a license. (Or degree, or MBA, or 7-stage interview process.)

You can literally wake up one morning, decide to jump on any of these hustles, and have a fully operational biz before noon.

Reason #2: Customers are all around

How many homes do you see with clogged gutters? Greasy windows? Overgrown lawns?

It’s always more than you can count.

These industries are evergreen. Demand never goes away.

With the rise of WFH, people are spending more time than ever at home. (And have less desire than ever to do housework-from-home).

Reason #3: Startup cost + competition

The average data scientist makes $10,233 a month. But that’s after splurging at least $53k and four years on an undergrad degree.

On the flip side, you can start a house cleaning biz for less than $134 and hit $10k MRR with just 25 monthly clients.

Maybe just me, but one of those options seems a lot cheaper and quicker than the other.

Now, you’re probably asking…

“If it’s so easy to start a home service biz, won’t that mean there’s a lot of competition?”

Well, yes… And no. Of course, you won’t be the only business in town. But the others? Most are outdated and run by boomers who set up shop in the 80s and still put “the” in front of Facebook. This is the quality of competition you’ll be up against.

It’s simple, not easy.

Secure, not comfortable.

But at least there’s no such thing as a layoff in the owner’s circle.

I want your work to mean something.

– Codie

📜 Control the terms of your contracts whenever you can. …Wait, not like that.

💳 Before you click, guess how many $’s of unused giftcards Americans own?

😺 The best biz combines your passions. Yes, even if it’s cars, cats, & La Croix.

⚽ FIFA promised world cup players $30k bonuses. But then said, “Well, kinda.”

🪫 America may have an EV battery boom to rival foreign companies

Ready to become a Contrarian?

There are 2 ways to get in the Crew:

✔️  Small Business Acquisitions Course:  A step-by-step framework on how to build freedom and passive income through SMB acquisitions. It’s like a mini-MBA, but one you’ll actually use (and at 1/100th of the cost!)

✔️  Work closely with us in the Unconventional Acquisitions Mastermind to buy your first, or next, business if you have a minimum of $50k to invest!

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Disclaimer – This is the “Be an adult” section. Everything mentioned above isn’t advice, just a recount of what I did. That said: This article is presented for informational purposes only. The opinions stated here are not intended to recommend any investment or provide tax advice. Neither are they an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any current or future investment vehicle managed or sponsored by Codie Ventures, LLC or its affiliates. All material presented in this newsletter is not to be regarded as investment advice, but for general informational purposes only. Day trading and investing do involve risk, so caution must always be utilized. We cannot guarantee profits or freedom from loss. You assume the entire cost and risk. You are solely responsible for making your own investment decisions. We recommend consulting with a registered investment advisor, broker-dealer, and/or financial advisor. If you choose to invest with or without seeking advice from such an advisor or entity, then any consequences resulting from your investments are your sole responsibility. By reading/sharing this newsletter or consuming our content on our other channels, you are indicating your consent and agreement to our disclaimer.

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