How to Sell Stock of Yourself

Say you want to lose 20 pounds by December 31.

You need to declare your goal or you’re not going to stick to it. You need positive support from friends. And perhaps you need some naysayers, some people who don’t think you can do it. You’re going to show them.

This cat could lose 20 pounds and there would still be a large cat there.

You go to GoalBet.com (this site doesn’t actually exist. Oh wait, it does. And it’s emu porn. Great. Just great). You state your goal. And you issue 20 shares of stock, each valued at $10. 10 shares are for those who think you’ll accomplish your goal. The other 10 are for those who don’t think you’ll do.

You e-mail your friends and family, or even make your goal public for anyone to buy shares in it. No one can buy more than 4 shares, and you can’t buy any. Once they’re all sold, you start trying to accomplish your goal. Every few days you update the site with a short note and maybe a camera phone photo of the scale in your bathroom.

On December 31, you weigh in. Sadly, you only lost 15 pounds. So those who bet against you win. A $10 share becomes a $20 gain, which they can cash out or reinvest on the site. For those who bet for you, they lose their money, but $10 isn’t all that much. You keep the money low to discourage collusion or cheating.

Would this site, this balance of positive and negative support, challenge you to accomplish your goals? What other goals could you put on a site like this? Do you think friends and family–or even strangers–would sign up to support you and try to make a few dollars?

Daily Quickie: A brilliant friend, founder of pushr.net, pointed out a somewhat similar site called loseitorloseit.com. The difference is that you bet your own money on yourself–you say that you’ll lose 20 pounds, and you put $50 or more at stake. The cleverest part of the site is that it breaks your goal down into small increments–you weigh in every week so that you can take baby steps to accomplish your goal, which is proven to be a way more successful method than setting a big, daunting goal.

2 thoughts on “How to Sell Stock of Yourself”

  1. Interesting concept. I wonder, however, if people would be more inclined to buy stock in your success (especially people who know you), and if you’d have a difficult time selling shares of failure.

    Also, for true gamblers, I think they’d eventually figure out the odds (whichever way they may fall…for example, “People succeed 70% of the time”) and then quickly buy up shares of success across the board. You may eventually have to handicap the site with an over/under, which might vary by person/challenge and even change as the people progressed towards their goal (e.g., I bought in during week 1 for a 3 to 1 payout, whereas someone else bought in during week 13, while the participant was only 5 pounds away from the goal, for a 1.2 to 1 payout).

    Just some thoughts!

    Reply
    • Some interesting points here. I wondered about the viability of offering shares for purchase after you originally set the goal…and maybe that makes sense so you can start losing weight right away and let people sign up during the process. I think it could lead people to gaming the system, but a lot of this is based on trust.

      Odds could be calculated based on whether or not that person has lost that much weight in that span of time in the past (on the site or off) and the number of times people with similar goals on the site accomplished them or failed.

      Reply

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