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Media Mogul

Making deals for unsold airtime helped this entrepreneur fund business growth.

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This story appears in the April 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One way to reduce the risk and cost of launching a new consumer product is to get TV stations to run your ads for free. That's exactly what R.D. Smith did when he launched Drive & Grow Rich Inc. This year, Smith, 33, will sell more than $10 million worth of motivational and business CDs and sign up 100,000 new subscribers without paying a cent for advertising.

Smith calls his secret formula "joint venturing" with the media. "Every media outlet has some unsold airtime," he says. "Instead of taking a loss on it, they give it to me in exchange for a split of the sales."

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