How to Turn “Old Junk” Into Hard Cash

Thursday nights at our house, everything stops at ten for the TV series The Mentalist, which stars Simon Baker.

It’s a cool show about a former stage magician-“psychic” who works as a consultant to cops.

Great writing, terrific ensemble acting.

But that’s not my point here.

Ready? Here comes my point…

The Mentalist is a hit and has made Simon Baker a hot commodity. So much so that Paramount recently dug into its vaults and unearthed The Guardian, an older, lesser known TV program starring Baker, and released it to home video.

In other words, they recognized Baker’s growing star status and saw an opportunity to resurrect an old TV show into “new product.”

You see this happen quite a lot in both the entertainment and publishing industries.

The Da Vinci Code became a sudden bestseller, and immediately old Dan Brown novels were reprinted and offered up as something fresh.

The new Sherlock Holmes movie — the first in maybe three decades — was a surprise blockbuster, and bookstores rapidly moved to accommodate spiffy, new-fangled editions of Conan Doyle’s century-old stories.

Sandra Bullock won an Oscar, and all her old movies were quickly repackaged into boxed sets of DVDs.

What’s old becomes new again.

So lemme ask you…

What old product or idea do you have lying around that can be regenerated into “something new” and sold to a booming modern market?

What old eBooks and audio interviews can you pull together into new blog content? Or even new products?

A few months ago, I took an old audiotape that I once sold at business workshops in the ’90s, went digital with it, and offered it as a free bonus to a new audience (

I’ve updated old business essays I wrote a decade ago and “repurposed” them into brand new content for my website.

Good ideas and products don’t really die. Maybe their timing was off. Or maybe they just got tired for awhile and are waiting for their time to come again.

If you pay attention, you can take advantage of that fact.

Hey, that short story you tried to peddle four years ago to a mystery magazine might deserve another shot.

It can’t hurt, right?

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