Rob Weidner

Optimist & Storyteller

Rob Weidner is a gimbal/Movi Pro camera operator based in Cape Town, South Africa who enjoys empowering others with his creativity and optimism. Aside from that, he can also make a mean pizza and is ready to travel the world with his kit.

Check out my Now page to see some of my recent projects :)

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, Chris Guillebeau

Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do. 

prepare for work by firing up a laptop in your home office, walking into a storefront you’ve opened, phoning a client who trusts you for helpful advice, 

This book is different, and it has two key themes: freedom and value. 

Freedom is what we’re all looking for, and value is the way to achieve it. 

If I needed money, I learned to think in terms of how I could get what I needed by making something and selling it, not by cutting costs elsewhere or working for someone else. This distinction was critical, because most budgets start by looking at income and then defining the available choices. I did it differently—starting with a list of what I wanted to do, and then figuring out how to make it happen. 

The income from the business didn’t make me rich, but it paid the bills and brought me something much more valuable than money: freedom. 

I developed a career as a writer in the same way I learned to do everything else: starting with an idea, then figuring everything else out along the way. 

value is created when a person makes something useful and shares it with the world. 

The new reality is that working at a job may be the far riskier choice. 

Make no mistake: The blueprint does not tell you how to do less work; it tells you how to do better work. 

The goal isn’t to get rich quickly but to build something that other people will value enough to pay for. 

“The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.” —MAYA ANGELOU 

Notes: 1) great metaphor using bulldozed 

The concept of a no-hard-sell mattress store went over well in Portland, and business grew when the store offered the industry’s first-ever mattress delivery by bicycle. 

Customers who rode their own bikes to the store received free delivery, 

Notes: 1) happiness is the key 

“It’s been an amazing two years since I lost my job,” he says now. “I went from corporate guy to mattress deliveryman, and I’ve never been happier.” 

I knew what I wanted, and it didn’t exist, so I built it.” 

(Question: “Is there anything else we should know about your business?” Answer: “Yes. Stop calling it a business! I’m having the time of my life.”) 

“Empowering others is our greatest marketing effort,” 

All around the world, ordinary people are opting out of traditional employment and making their own way. 

• Follow-your-passion model. 

• Low startup cost. 

• At least $50,000 a year in net income. 

• No special skills. 

• Full financial disclosure. 

• Fewer than five employees. 

The baseline test was, “Could you explain what you do to your grandmother, and would you be willing to?” 

You can learn more about the methodology for the study, including survey data and specific interviews, at 

old-school: An inventor gets an idea and persuades the bank to lend her money for a growing operation, or a company spins off a division to create another company. 

two is the investment-driven startup, which is typically focused on venture capital, buyouts, advertising, and market share. 

Our story is about people who start their own microbusinesses without investment, without employees, and often without much of an idea of what they’re doing. 

Charlie Pabst was a successful architect with a “dream job” as a store designer for Starbucks. 

“One day I drove to work and realized I couldn’t do it anymore, called in sick, drafted my two-week notice, and the rest is history.” 

convergence represents the intersection between something you especially like to do or are good at doing (preferably both) and what other people are also interested in. 

where passion or skill meets usefulness, a microbusiness built on freedom and value can thrive. 

The rare part is that each of those modest skills is collected in one person. That’s how value is created. 

Lesson 3: The Magic Formula 

Passion or skill + usefulness = success 

You just need a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. 

1. Product or service: what you sell 2. People willing to pay for it: your customers 3. A way to get paid: how you’ll exchange a product or service for money 

If you have something to sell but no one willing to buy it, you don’t have a business. 

“There was one moment very early on when I realized, this is what I want to do, and this is what I am going to do. And that was that. Decision made. I’ll figure the rest out.” 

If you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at other things too. 

“Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.” —KARL MARX 

Here’s the problem: Many businesses are modeled on the idea that customers should come back to the kitchen and make their own dinner. 

Instead of giving people what they really want, the business owners have the idea that it’s better to involve customers behind the scenes … because that’s what they think customers want. 

Higher Ground Yoga, a private practice she founded back in Washington, D.C. 

Here are a few common sources of inspiration. 

An inefficiency in the marketplace. 

Make what you want to buy yourself, and other people will probably want it too. 

New technology or opportunity. 

A changing space. 

A spin-off or side project. 

val-ue: something desirable and of worth, created through exchange or effort 

Value means helping people. 

Many business owners talk about their work in terms of the features it offers, but it’s much more powerful to talk about the benefits customers receive. A feature is descriptive; a benefit is emotional. 

Strategy 1: Dig Deeper to Uncover Hidden Needs 

Strategy 2: Make Your Customer a Hero 

Strategy 3: Sell What People Buy 

“We’ll do everything for you—relax and leave the details to us.” This is also the message that a good restaurant sends, not, “Come back into the kitchen and make your own dinner.” 

“If you make your business about helping others, you’ll always have plenty of work.” 

they want to be happy, and businesses that help their customers be happy are well-positioned to succeed. 

Give people what they really want, not just what you think they should have. 

“Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.” —RALPH WALDO EMERSON 

I learned to stop being surprised when I heard that a coupon-clipping website run by a single mom brought in $60,000 part-time or that a handmade toy business was closing in on $250,000 and hiring multiple employees. 

There is no “consulting school” or degree. You can start a new business as a consultant in about one day, if not sooner. 

No one values a $15-an-hour consultant, so do not underprice your service. 

(if you don’t have paying clients yet, do the work for free with someone you know) 

Pricing details (always be up front about fees; never make potential clients write or call to find out how much something costs) 

I am free to reinvest in my happiness with every dollar that comes in.” 

you can’t pursue just any passion—there are plenty of things you may be passionate about that no one will pay you for. 

The missing piece is that you usually don’t get paid for your hobby itself; you get paid for helping other people pursue the hobby or for something indirectly related to it. 

“I finally just had to give up on perfection and get the thing out the door,” 

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” 

the idea that passion plus good business sense creates an actual business. 

(Passion + skill) → (problem + marketplace) = opportunity 

she told Forbes magazine. “Artists are serial entrepreneurs because we have to figure out ways to sell our work. It’s either that or you become a starving artist, and I’m not a starving artist.” 

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” —JOHN LE CARRÉ 

At least one week a month, I live in this dream world of travel, work, and frequent coffee breaks. 

Instead of living in Utah, he now wakes up in sunny Escazú, Costa Rica, where he lives with his wife and three young daughters. 

he spends eight to fifteen hours a week directly related to the business. The rest of his time is spent with his family 

the whole story is that they could live anywhere they want. 

“Between my husband’s layoff and getting run over by the car,” 

“it was kind of a bad weekend.” 

why do clients fly her from country to country? Kyle says that her clients are usually well traveled themselves, and aren’t afraid of hiring someone from afar. 

they like our work because we build relationships over time.” 

It’s usually easier to operate a business while roaming the world than it is to start one. Be sure to spend plenty of time getting set up before you hit the road. 

Change your password frequently, and don’t use the name of your cat as the password 

Notes: 1) lastpass or 1password 

Latin America and Southeast Asia are two of the easiest and most hospitable regions to begin your nomadic adventures. 

1. Find a topic 

2. Capture the information 

3. Combine your materials 

4. Create an offer. 

5. Decide on a fair, value-based price 

6. Find a way to get paid. 

7. Publish the offer 

8. Cash in and head to the beach! 

“if you build it, they might come” 

the best thing about a location-independent business is possibility. 

There are many roads to location independence, but the business of information publishing is especially profitable. (And there’s more than one path to information publishing; it isn’t just about e-books.) 

“Business opportunities are like buses; there’s always another one coming.” —RICHARD BRANSON 

They were “pro-change” and interested in pursuing a big dream while also making the world a better place for others. 

New Demographics: 

KKC found its legs and became profitable by targeting a specific group: cyclists, skiers, backpackers, and “pretty much anyone who enjoys the outdoor lifestyle.” By focusing on enthusiasts, they immediately set KKC apart in a crowded market. 

Strategy 1: Latch on to a Popular Hobby, Passion, or Craze 

Strategy 2: Sell What People Buy (and Ask Them If You’re Not Sure) 

As you focus on getting to know “your people,” keep this important principle in mind: Most of us like to buy, but we don’t like to be sold. 

Old-school marketing is based on persuasion; new marketing is based on invitation. 

Find out what people want and find a way to give it to them. 

a better method is to ask if they’d be willing to pay for what you’re selling. 

What is your biggest problem with ______? • What is the number one question you have about ______? • What can I do to help you with ________? 

Notes: 1) great for website feedback 

Ask only what you need to know. All of us are busy, but if you construct a good survey, the response rate can be 50 percent or higher. 

“I love it!” “You should do it,” “Sounds interesting,” “Would need to hear more,” and “It’s not for me.” 

To get more overall responses, ask fewer questions. 

To get more detailed responses (but from fewer people), ask more questions. It’s up to you, but make sure that whatever you ask is something you actually need to know about. 

If your motivations are based strictly on the preferences of someone else, you’ll run the risks of boredom, unhappiness, and simply being less purposeful than you could be otherwise. 

The Customer Is Always Right Often Wrong 

These customers may not be the right ones for your business, and there’s nothing wrong with saying farewell to them so you can focus on serving other people. 

Creating a “possibilities list” helps you retain ideas for when you have more time to implement them. 

The problem is evaluating which projects are worth pursuing, and then deciding between different ideas. 

First of all, keep in mind the most basic questions of any successful microbusiness: • Does the project produce an obvious product or service? • Do you know people who will want to buy it? (Or do you know where to find them?) • Do you have a way to get paid? Those questions form a simple baseline evaluation. If you don’t have a clear yes on one of them, go back to the drawing board. 

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” —PETER F. DRUCKER 

Get started quickly and see what happens. There’s nothing wrong with planning, but you can spend a lifetime making a plan that never turns into action. 

In the battle between planning and action, action wins. 


Don’t think innovation; think usefulness. 

You need to care about the problem you are going to solve, and there has to be a sizable number of other people who also care. 

Make sure the market is big enough. 

Focus on eliminating “blatant admitted pain.” The product needs to solve a problem that causes pain that the market knows it has. 

Almost everything that is being sold is for either a deep pain or a deep desire. 

Always think in terms of solutions. 

Make sure your solution is different and better. 

It’s significance, not size, that matters. 

Create an outline for what you are doing and show it to a subgroup of your community. 

KEEP COSTS LOW. By investing sweat equity instead of money in your project, you’ll avoid going into debt and minimize the impact of failure if it doesn’t work out. 


Nick stared down at his coffee cup in realization of the obvious: For the project to be successful, he needed to get started. 


Freely Receive, Freely Give 

In addition to the negative association of apartheid, South Africa was known for many good things, one of which was its popular prize-winning wine. The wine region of the Western Cape is older than California’s. 

South African vines were used to start the Australian wine industry in 1781. 

defining the mission statement for your business (or your business idea) in 140 characters or less. 

It may help to think of the first two characteristics of any business: a product or service and the group of people who pay for it. Put the two together and you’ve got a mission statement: 

We provide [product or service] for [customers]. 

We help [customers] do/achieve/other verb [primary benefit]. 

“Plan as you go” to respond to the changing needs of your customers but launch your business as soon as possible, with a bias toward action. 

(comparable products in other places sold for $20 to $25, usually supported by advertising or kickbacks from the vendors), but they had a better idea: price the books at $99.95 and make the value proposition extremely clear. 

An offer you can’t refuse is like the $20,000 Bonderman Fellowship offered every year to graduating seniors at the University of Washington. The fellowship has very strict rules: Take our money in cash and travel the world on your own; don’t come back for eight months. 

How can you construct an offer that your prospects won’t refuse? Remember, first you need to sell what people want to buy—give them the fish. 

Understand that what we want and what we say we want are not always the same thing. 

2. Most of us like to buy, but we don’t usually like to be sold. 

3. Provide a nudge. 

Whenever something is more complicated than it should be or any time you spot an inefficiency in the market, you can also find a good business idea. 

All of us place a subjective value on goods or services that may not relate to what they “should” be. 

As you continue to work on your offer, three tools will assist you in making it more compelling: the FAQ page (or wherever you provide the answers to common questions), an incredible guarantee, and giving your customers more than they expect. 

The additional purpose of a FAQ is to provide reassurance to potential buyers and overcome objections. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify the main objections your buyers will have when considering your offer and carefully respond to them in advance. 

• How do I know this really works? • I don’t know if this is a good investment (and/or I’m not sure I have the money to spare). • I’m not sure I can trust you with my money. • What do other people think about this offer? • I wonder if I can find this information/get this product or service without paying. • I worry about sharing my information online (or another privacy concern). 

The core concern for each of these objections relates to trust and authority. 

You want to send messages like these: • This really works because … • This is a great investment because … • You can trust us with your money because … (alternatively, You don’t have to trust us with your money, because we work with an established, trusted third party …) • Other people think this is great, and here’s what they say … • You have to pay to get this product or service (alternatively, The free versions aren’t as good, it takes a lot of work to get it on your own, etc.) • Your information and privacy are 100 percent secure because … 

Regardless of what you’re selling, the overriding concern of many potential customers is, “What if I don’t like it? Can I get my money back?” 

Provide a nudge to customers by getting them to make a decision. The difference between a good offer and a great offer is urgency (also known as timeliness): Why should people act now? 

The worst thing you could do for a launch is to open your movie without letting anyone know. 

In the first mention of your upcoming launch, you don’t want to give all the details away; it’s usually better to start with a simple heads-up. 

Any good launch has a closing period in which you bring the roller coaster to a stop, even if the offer will still be available in a different form. 

If your offer ended at a set time and you had a big response, you’ll invariably be contacted with requests for exceptions after it’s over. It’s tempting to take more money, but if you said it would end at a set time, you need to stick to your decision. 

If you admit to a flaw, weakness, or limitation in your product, this will probably help instead of harm you. 

“It’s hard to put into words why the physical deadline was such an important part of getting the project done,” 

Thirty-Nine-Step Product Launch Checklist 

1. Ensure that your product or service has a clear value proposition. 

4. If your launch is online, have you recorded a video or audio message to complement the written copy? 

15. Read important communications (launch message, order page, sales page) out loud. 

18. Advise the merchant account or bank of incoming funds. * 19. Create a backup plan for incoming funds if necessary 

All things being equal, it’s usually best to launch early in the morning, East Coast time. 

30. Most important: Ask for help spreading the word. Many readers, prospects, and acquaintances will help by telling their friends and followers, but you have to ask them. 

(It’s not usually a good idea to join a new network just to promote something.) 

37. How can you overdeliver and surprise your customers with this product? 

THE VERY LAST STEP 40. Start thinking about the next launch. 

Remember, many customers will support you for life as long as you keep providing them with great value. It’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one, so work hard to overdeliver and plan ahead for the next project. 

“Good things happen to those who hustle.” —ANAÏS NIN 

Notes: 1) and also Gary Vaynerchuk 

“Good things happen to those who hustle.” —ANAÏS NIN 

One hundred and twenty miles from Boston in rural New Hampshire, hundreds of artists and art lovers gather twice a year for a communal experience. 

“I invited my friends to join me for a weekend gathering centered on the arts,” 

Notes: 1) great idea for young entrepreneurs and hustlers go to go trips like this and escape 

Thus was born Squam Art Workshops, 

“I’m not a businessperson,” she says. “I just do what feels right, and it keeps getting more interesting.” 

she wants to be sure that the growth of her business happens in a way that is comfortable for her. 

A charlatan is all talk, with nothing to back up their claims. 

A martyr is all action with plenty of good work to talk about, but remains unable or unwilling to do the talking. 

A hustler represents the ideal combination: work and talk fused together. 

The connecting (i.e., the talk) isn’t always directly related to the work at hand—sometimes I’m supporting other people with their hustling—but on a good day, there’s plenty of creating and plenty of connecting. 

Style without substance = flash (Also, no one respects these people.) 

Substance without style = unknown (Everyone who knows these people respects them, but not many people know them.) 

Style with substance = impact (This is the goal.) 

how do you go from martyr to hustler? 

Take the time to make something worth talking about—don’t be a charlatan. 

Make a list of at least fifty people and divide them into categories (colleagues from a former job, college friends, acquaintances, etc.). As soon as the project is good to go, at least in beta form, touch base by sending them a quick note. 

It’s called [name of business or project], and the goal is to [main benefit]. We hope to [big goal, improvement, or idea]. 

if you like the idea and would like to help out, here’s what you can do: 

You’re also not “selling” anyone on the project; you’re just letting people know what you’re up to and inviting them to participate 

It might happen by magic, but you’ll probably have to tell them about it. 

When I launched my membership program, I decided to start with some beta testers. 

I didn’t send them an email invite. Instead, I sent a hostage letter in a brown paper bag—folded and taped. 

Freely give, freely receive: It works. 

The more you focus your business on providing a valuable service and helping people, the more your business will grow. 

I like to package my products for shipping like a gift to my best friend. 

Notes: 1) great way to think of shipping ideas slash mission 

Building Relationships Is a Strategy, Not a Tactic 

shows them the benefits of learning new tools that have been proved to be useful. 

First Say Yes, Then Say “Hell Yeah” 

I realized that it wasn’t so much about winning as it was about social participation. 

A contest involves some kind of competition or judging, whereas a giveaway is a straight-up free offer provided to winners through random entries. 

“In the future, marketing will be like sex: Only the losers pay for it.” 

ONCE IN A WHILE Perform your own business audit (see Chapter 12 ) to find missing opportunities that can be turned into active projects. Ensure that you are regularly working toward building something significant, not just reacting to things as they appear. 

the whole point of hustling is to put your relationships to good use, 

When you’re thinking about how to get the word out and build your business, think about hustling first and paid advertising later (if at all). 

If you’re not sure where to spend your business development time, spend 50 percent on creating and 50 percent on connecting. 

IttyBiz. Tag line: “Marketing for businesses without marketing departments.” 

Naomi started with a single consulting service: the service of brainstorming. 

an initial fee of $250, she would evaluate marketing ideas and provide feedback on ways to improve them. Nothing more, nothing less. 

her distinct “call it like I see it” style. Article titles included “What to Do When You’re Scared Shitless” and “Moral of the Story: Topless Edition (with Photos).” 

busy entrepreneurs can easily become overwhelmed with all kinds of projects and tasks that have nothing to do with making money. 

There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby, but if you want to call it a business, you have to make money. 

a simple solution: Spend as little money as possible and make as much money as you can. 

She’s not reluctant to spend money on things that will (1) build her brand and (2) boost her sales. This kind of spending can grow a business. 

Lesson: Spend only on things that have a direct relationship to sales. 

The first principle is that a business should always focus on profit. (Always remember, no money, no business.) 

borrowing money or investing a lot of money to start a business is completely optional. This doesn’t mean that there 

borrowing money or investing a lot of money to start a business is completely optional. 

This doesn’t mean that there 

why seek investment and go into debt for something that may or may not work? 

Since it’s so much easier to start a microbusiness, why do something different unless or until you know what you’re doing? 

Small is beautiful, and all things considered, small is often better. 

Bruce proceeded to do just that, borrowing $17,000 for a car and then investing the funds in the business with Emma instead. They paid back the car loan within ten months, and the bank never found out that there was no actual car. 

1. Price your product or service in relation to the benefit it provides, not the cost of producing it. 2. Offer customers a limited range of prices. 3. Get paid more than once for the same thing. 

the wrong way to decide on pricing is to think about how much time it took to make it or how much your time is “worth.” 

The key to this strategy is to offer a limited range of prices: not so many as to create confusion but enough to provide buyers with a legitimate choice. 

Instead of asking them whether they’d like to buy your widget, you’re asking which widget they would like to buy. 

You can literally sell the same product at different prices with no other change. As long as you don’t imply that there are added features in the higher-price version, it’s not unethical. 

Why is getting paid over and over such a big deal? First, because it can bring in a lot of money, and second, because it’s reliable income that isn’t dependent on external factors. 

a recurring billing model will produce much more income over time than will a single-sale model.) 

(To deal with the second problem, I created a “no pain in the ass” cancellation button for my site.) 

experimenting with price is one of the easiest ways to create higher profits (and sustainability) in a business. 

most of us have access to all kinds of financial and social capital that we don’t usually think about but could call upon easily if necessary. 

being laid off has been the best decision of my life,” he says. “The greatest benefit has been the freedom and ability to do what I like. 

My plan is to travel for six months of every year and run the business for the other six months of each year.” 

“Testing is important, but it pales in comparison to the traffic source,” 

“People love to spend time split-testing headlines, copy, graphics, even tiny boxes. They can usually achieve greater returns by focusing on the source.” 

This provides “social proof” that your product or service works for all kinds of people. 

The key lesson in all these ideas is to always be experimenting. Try new things and see what happens. 

(Lesson: To get an unfair advantage, provide remarkable service.) 

(When your clients complain about the price being too low, you should listen.) 

remember to price on the basis of value, not time. 

Customers pay for what you deliver, not how long you spend at lunch. 

The Best Social Media Strategy: Talk About Yourself 

People follow you (or your business) because that’s what they’re interested in—you. 

Talk about yourself and your business. Really. 

There’s no point pursuing growth for growth’s sake; you should scale a business only if you really want to. 

“I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.” —JAY-Z 

buying a franchise that is based on someone else’s company is usually a bad idea. 

After relocating to Toronto, the idea was to build a small business helping other people make the adjustment to raw foods. 

Option 1: Reach more people with the same message. Option 2: Reach different people with a new message. 

“My rule of thumb is that a successful partnership (or any type of collaboration) should create a combined business which is at least 33 percent larger than the sum of what the two individuals could achieve on their own. 

True partnership must create more than just a divided list of tasks.” 

My business succeeds on the fact that it is intentionally small. I can fit my whole business into a backpack and take it wherever I go—no office, 

Keeping my overhead to zero has lowered the risks and kept profits high. 

Keeping my overhead to zero has lowered the risks and kept profits high. —Adam Westbrook 

Simply put, I don’t like getting paid last. —Jaden Hair 

My motto: Never have a boss and never be a boss. 

Many of the problems people experience with outsourcing (on both sides) can be avoided by having a clear understanding of the responsibilities that a contractor or assistant will have. 

The goal is to (1) fix little problems and (2) identify small actions you can take that will create significant results over time. 

There are two big problems with most affiliate programs. First, the merchants tend to pay very small commissions, leaving little for the affiliate who sent them the referral in the first place, and second, the affiliates tend to do no more than blindly pass over referrals. 

By leveraging skills and contacts, you can be in more than one place at the same time. Strategies to do this include outsourcing, affiliate recruitment, and partnerships. 

Carefully chosen partnerships can create leverage; just make sure that’s what you want to do. Use the One-Page Partnership Agreement for simple arrangements. * 

Entrepreneurs are not necessarily risk takers; it’s just that they define risk and security differently from the way other people do. 

Option 1: Stay Small 

“Without a doubt, the smartest decision I made was to set a specific intention to not grow the business. 

The stress wore him down and diminished his quality of life.” 

“I own my business. The business doesn’t own me.” 

Option 2: Go Medium 

Our future is tied to what we do, decisions we make, and that’s wicked good fun. 

“All the bad days have two things in common: You know the right thing to do, but you let somebody talk you out of doing it.” 

Option 3: Split the Difference 

“As the business improves, you hire people. Right?” Unfortunately, although hiring people can sometimes help a business grow, it always creates much higher costs and fixed obligations. 

When you’re operating the business, you spend time putting out fires and keeping everything running as it should. 

If you have lost your job, COBRA allows you to continue receiving the same health-care coverage for a certain length of time at the same price your former employer paid. 

“My health-care plan involves prayer, vitamins, and avoiding sharp objects,” Amy Oscar 

be wary of delegating all financial knowledge to someone else. 

Sales per day: How much money is coming in? 

Visitors or leads per day: How many people are stopping by to take a look or signing up for more information? 

Average order price: How much are people spending when they order? 

Sales conversion rate: What percentage of visitors or leads become customers? 

Net promoter score: What percentage of customers would refer your business to someone else? 

The $100 Startup model is more about transitioning to a business or independent career that is based on something you love to do—in other words, something intrinsically related to the owner’s skill or passion. Neither model is better; it just depends on your 

The $100 Startup model is more about transitioning to a business or independent career that is based on something you love to do—in other words, something intrinsically related to the owner’s skill or passion. Neither model is better; it just depends on your goals. 

If you’d like to have the option of selling your business one day, John’s point is that you have to plan for it by taking specific steps. 

create a product or service with the potential to scale. 

A scalable business is built on something that is both teachable and valuable. 

Work “on” your business by devoting time every day to activities specifically related to improvement, not just by responding to everything else that is happening. 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” —STEVE JOBS 

The best thing that ever happened to John, as he tells the story, was a late-night disagreement with a crazed cab driver, who pulled him into the back room of a diner and held a gun to his head for a full ten minutes, screaming and threatening to pull the trigger. 

“You don’t really worry about the small things after that,” 

Much of this book contains various forms of advice, but don’t confuse advice for permission. You don’t need anyone to give you permission to pursue a dream. 

the best thing he did was learn to ignore advice, 

The biggest lesson I learned was to trust my own judgment. 

I had researched it and knew it was a viable idea, so I decided to keep my own counsel and quit asking people what they thought. 

Sometimes the best advice is none at all. 

If you know what you need to do, the next step is simply to do it. Stop waiting. Start taking action. 

Our biggest fear, since the beginning, is that our products will be “knocked off” 

However, I am a firm believer that if I focus 100 percent on creating a quality product, we will rise to the top every time. 

“Be careful of letting clients take your business in a direction that makes you hate your job,” 

it’s really hard to quit your job when it’s your own company.” 

It sounds perverse but I almost wanted it to fail so I could look back and say, ‘Yep, that one failed, but I learned from it!’ 

Notes: 1) i remember saying this to my sister when i was thinking about starting pizza dude 

I am so glad we put in more effort. It meant everything to us to give it one more passionate plea. 

First and most important, the quest for personal freedom lies in the pursuit of value for others. 

Always ask, “How can I help people more?” 

Find out what people want, and find a way to give it to them. Give them the fish! 

You can set up shop and charge for specialized help immediately. (Just remember to offer something specific and provide an easy way to get paid.) 

Crafting an offer, hustling, and producing a launch event will generate much greater results than simply releasing your product or service to the world with no fanfare. 

The first $1.26 is the hardest, so find a way to get your first sale as quickly as possible. Then work on improving the things that are working, while ignoring the things that aren’t. 

I asked how often she still felt motivated to go it alone, and she told me: “Every single day. The greatest benefit has been going to bed just as excited as if not more excited than when I woke up. 

failure is overrated—who says you’ll fail? You can just as easily succeed. 

Advice can be helpful, but you can also just step out and take a big leap. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission. 

The most important lesson in the whole The most important lesson in the whole book: Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life. 

I invest at least 10 percent of all revenue with organizations that make better improvements around the world than I could make on