On first hearing the idea of using Other Peoples Resources (OPR), it may seem a little exploitative or unethical to some people but when you examine it closely it’s really not. It is simply a great example of ‘the principle of fair exchange’ at work. You are trading something you have (e.g. money) for something another person has (e.g. time/skill etc) and both parties agree to it up front, seeing it as mutually beneficial or “win-win” as they say. However, using OPR goes way beyond simply trading time for money. Other People’s Resources can also include any combination of any of the following: skills, contacts, minds, talents, technology, systems, environments etc.

Using OPR to Build a Business

Strategic use of Other Peoples Resources (OPR) is one of the quickest and easiest ways to fast-track the development of a business; create wealth and hit the "big time." Huge multinationals such as McDonalds and Dominos Pizza grew through a shared ownership, franchisor-franchisee business model. Dell Computers etc. have grown their entire “direct sales” global businesses through the use of OPR, this time you the buyer make up the OPR element; you essentially use your own resources (internet, time etc) to buy a Dell computer. However, OPR isn’t exclusive the domain of big business.

Other People’s Resources (OPR) is particularly useful in the start-up phase of a new business venture. Chances are that either you don’t have the capital yourself or haven’t raised the capital this early in the business but yet you still need the business to develop. Since entrepreneurs are often victims of their ‘can-do’ attitude, their biggest failing is learning to let other people do the ‘can-do’ bit. The solution is creative use of Other People’s Resources. Whilst big business normally wants to own and control its own resources; small business only needs to use and control other people’s resources. Ownership is not necessary. The less you own, the more you can control.

Leverage is a Skill, OPR is an Asset

Leverage is essentially achieving more with less of your own resources. Leverage can be using other people's talents, skills, contacts, credibility and resources etc. Other People’s Resources can also include the use of someone’s office space, trading one service you can provide now for a service you need, bartering your future services or revenues for current use of OPR etc.
It actually takes time to develop the skill of using leverage. It requires a departure from conventional thinking about how to get things done. Other People's Resources are often available when conventional routes of Other People’s Money are not. You could say OPR is an indirect form of Other Peoples’ Money. Instead of using your money to grow your business, with OPR, you build your business by using resources paid for by other people.
With OPR, you can build a business by using/leveraging resources directly paid for by other people. You are essentially indirectly using OPM that went to develop or acquire that resource. A great example of OPR at work is when your outsource functions of your business to another company to provide. I like to look at OPR as an asset that you don’t own, but one you can still control. Operated correctly, and under certain circumstances, it can be a better use of money to control an asset than own it.
Thankfully, with the advent of the Internet, the world is literally at your fingertips. In no other time in the history of the world has there been such opportunity to use OPR. You can take advantage of online technology, products and tools that companies have invested huge amounts of money to develop; and you benefit from their use for a tiny price in relation to how much it costs that company to develop and continually service.

Getting Out of Your Own Way

One limiting factor we’re all faced with in life is that of time. Even if you have excellent time management skills yourself and are highly productive in your output, you are only you. You are a bottleneck in your own production line so getting out of your own way will fast-track development and achievement of your goals. The good news is you can buy time from other people and oftentimes you don’t have to use your own cash, or any cash for that matter. This gives you more “bandwidth” to focus on what you are really good at.
The way I see it is - being busy is a form of laziness, if you’re busy doing things that other people are better at doing than that’s a form of laziness. You haven’t taken the time to leverage of other people’s skills, talents and time. One of the greatest skills you can learn is not just that of managing how you spend your time but leveraging your time by accessing and managing how other people spend their time. If you’re “to-do” list is longer than that of the people you manage than you haven’t developed this skill yet.

Some Ways of Accessing Other Peoples Resources

1. Outsourcing - turning specific functions over to a third party provider to implement and support, for a fee.
2. Joint Ventures – a strategic alliance where two or more parties form a partnership to share markets, assets, knowledge, and, of course, profits.
3. Affiliates – a type of re-seller arrangement where the affiliate refers customers and is rewarded financially for doing so. Very popular on the Internet.
4. Technology – using other people’s technology to cut overheads, streamline operations, access new markets, support remote workers etc.
5. Systems – systemising your business functions so that they operate with the least amount of human intervention.
6. Exchanging Services i.e. contra deals – bartering your services with those of another person or company for mutual benefit.
7. Franchising – using another successful firm’s business model that’s taken them years to develop.
8. Mastermind Groups – regularly connecting with and exploiting the talents, contacts, ideas, experience, intelligence etc. of like-minded peers.

In Summary

Building wealth and achieving success shouldn’t be about extracting every last ounce of your own energy and resources to get there, for that carries a huge personal cost and can sometimes prevent you from sustaining this success. The tank literally runs out of gas! Therefore, it is beholden upon you to explore the use of Other People’s Resources in a mutually-beneficial manner.
The options for leveraging OPR are truly limited only by your imagination, your ability to negotiate and utilize the principle of fair exchange. Utilizing OPR cuts to the very heart and essence of being an entrepreneur. If you can master this skill, your entrepreneurial endeavors will reach great heights and you can create wealth not just for yourself but for everyone else connected to you. How’s that for wealth creation!

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