Are You Ready to Take My 30-Day Reading Challenge?

Are You Ready to Take My 30-Day Reading Challenge?

30-day reading challenge!

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

4/15/2020

How does it work!?

Okay, so before we get to the guidelines, let’s go ahead and just get a few things out of the way.

1. Only join this challenge if you have an open mind to exploring new possibilities. If you’re here, it’s likely because you struggle to stay consistent with your reading. I can help you with that! But ONLY if you come in with a good attitude and an open mind. Is that you?

2.  Be prepared for me to challenge you to put your new knowledge into action! One of the big problems we see is people read but then the book just goes back on the shelf to collect dust…That’s crazy! That’s like reading a recipe book without making the YUMMY, DELICIOUS FOOD…Seems crazy, right?

3. Be prepared to do LESS than you’re used to doing. Yes, you read that right. I’ll get into it more but the reading consistency KILLER starts and ends with the “cram before the exam” approach. It doesn’t feel enjoyable if it seems you have to read for HOURS…but 10 mins? SWEET! No problem. Our plan is simple, easy and “busy” friendly. Just agree to follow our lead!

The Guidelines

Step 1 – Once you join us inside, you’ll receive an email with the book we’re going to cover together.

It’s one of my ALL-TIME favorites and I know you’re going to love it.

You’ll have ONE WEEK to grab your hard copy, buy a digitial download or audio version.

We will start on the 7th day, so don’t fall behind from the word “GO”!

Step 2 – Once we provide you access to our Book Module Page, you’ll have access to the Daily Reading Plan for the 30-Day Challenge Duration. This will help guide you through the month and keep your reading limited to just 7-10 pages per day!

Step 3 – Once we begin reading, you will have one week before our first Weekly Insight Video.

This is basically a coaching session from me, personally, discussing what we’ve read and pulling the KEY aspects for further thought, consideration, and application.

These videos are usually 10-15 minutes long so you’ll want to take notes…

Step 4 – At the end of the month, we will conclude with a 60-Minute Lecture (hosted by me) to not only review what we read but to put all the pieces together, provide real-world examples and give you actionable takeaways to immediately start getting results!

 Okay! That’s it!

Pretty simple, right?

Excited to get started and looking forward to seeing you on the inside!

accept the challenge!

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2020 Business Reading List

2020 Business Reading List

the ULTIMATE 2020 BUSINESS Books list

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

4/15/2020

There’s still plenty of time left in 2020 to finish your reading!

Alright, so I’m an avid reader, but I assure you it wasn’t always that way.

Maybe you already read and this is just for guidance, but maybe you’re stretched super thin already…

And even though you know you SHOULD be reading, it feels like pulling teeth to even bring yourself to do one more thing in your already busy day.

No worries, I’ve got your back.

And so as to not overwhelm you further, let’s start with just my Top 3 reads for 2020!

Sound fair?

1) The One Thing: By Gary Keller

This isn’t just on the top of my list for 2020, it’s #1 on my ALL-TIME list.

Why?

Because it’s literally the playbook for how to succeed at any level in entrepreneurship.

This book is the Holy Grail.

It’s worth so many thousands of dollars I can’t even begin to explain.

The premise of the book is to teach you how to operate and conduct your life and business like the most savvy entrepreneurs on the planet.

But do so in a way that works without killing yourself, stretching too thin or driving yourself straight into burnout.

Seriously, just buy this book and thank me later.

Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus”

Download the FULL 2020 Book List

Photo by Ante Hamersmit from Unsplash

2) Everything is Figureoutable: By Marie Forleo

If you don’t know Marie by now, you absolutely should.

Marie is a friend of my podcast and I’m an active Affiliate for her Flagship Program, B-School…

And for good reason.

Marie has a highly successful YouTube Channel, called MarieTV.

And, as I mentioned, B-School has over 55,000 active students and graduates (at the time I’m writing this).

Marie teaches so many valuable life and business lessons in this book that you’ll be so ready to jump into action.

But the #1 thing, and the reason for her success, is the Everything is Figureoutable Mantra.

It’s being resourceful when that’s all you have to give.

And that, my friend, is exactly what being a business owner requires.

The most powerful words in the universe are the words you say to yourself.”

Download the FULL 2020 Book List

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

3) Hooked: By Nir Eyal

Nir is a genius…

There, I said it.

Again, a friend of my podcast and someone I deeply admire.

Nir spent time as an Ivy League Professor and studied what makes people get HOOKED to products and services.

He analyzes the systems and psychology that the biggest platforms in the world, like Pinterest and Twitter, use to get people coming back for more.

What’s better is he teaches you not only HOW they do it, but how YOU can do it too!

I had a difficult time reading this book NOT because it wasn’t great but BECAUSE I had sooo many ideas while I was reading.

You definitely want to grab it.

all humans are motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain, to seek hope and avoid fear, and finally, to seek social acceptance and avoid rejection

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

DON’T MISS OUT ON ALL 14!

DOWNLOAD THE FULL LIST 

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Do You Feel Stuck? Do This!

Do You Feel Stuck? Do This!

Do You feel stuck? Do This!

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer
4/13/2020

Are you working hard, but you still feel stuck?

I’ve been there. That was me. I substantially drove myself into burnout by doing these things. It takes a special kind of person that’s really committed to being where you’re at—trying to find a solution and realizing that you’re stuck.

Keep this in mind: It is not your fault.

Let me tell you three reasons why and the things that you can do about it.

1) Using the wrong mechanism

Think about your time at school. Think about what you were taught, your homework, projects, etc.

You have an agenda, and there’s a curriculum outlined for you. You know the things that you have to learn and made aware of the prerequisite and corequisite needed to progress.

Entrepreneurship is the exact opposite. There’s no agenda, and you might be doing all the things that don’t move your business forward. You’re distracted by things, and you’re all over the place. 

And what it comes down to is you need to figure out as an entrepreneur to analyze what’s important to work on and what’s not.

You have to divorce your taskmaster. What worked in a school or what will get you a promotion in work is not what’s going to move your business forward. 

You need to focus on impact. 

If you have grown your business like I did—building with a taskmaster, what you’ll find is it will require more and more effort as the company grows.

Your list will also get longer until you run out of bandwidth. And this is because you have the wrong mechanism. 

What is the simple mechanism you could use?

I call it my PADE Process.

P – Prioritize

The first thing to do in your business is to prioritize. Prioritize the one thing that is going to make the most impact and move the business forward more than anything else. 

It doesn’t mean you’re saying no to other things. It just means you’re saying not right now to those things, and that’s totally okay.

Prioritize the one thing that is going to make the most impact and move the business forward more than anything else. 

A – Automate

Automation is the fundamental and essential step that most people miss. A machine is way better and always will be better than any human process because it is designed to do those tasks and do it way better than we could ever do them.

So you want to take your list after you prioritize and figure out what you can automate.

D- Delegate

There are outsourcing solutions, and there are different places like Upwork. We can get things done on a project-by-project basis. 

There are alternatives out there besides you just doing all the work yourself like delegating to an employee, a virtual assistant, or an outsourced partner.

Basically, somebody that you pay. It’s someone not part of your company as an outside partner that helps you do things like payroll, bookkeeping, and things of that nature.

E- Eliminate

It’s the “not right now.” It is the stuff that maybe down the road we’ll circle back around to. But it’s not the one you should be trying to juggle right now.

It’s not making a huge impact, or at least you can’t measure that impact. So that’s going to go in your eliminate section. 

Make sure to take the time to do it. It’s a highly effective principle.

Photo by Ante Hamersmit from Unsplash

2) Goals are paradoxical

And so what does that mean? Let’s assume that your goal is to climb Mt. Everest, and you set out for it, and you’re doing the climb. While climbing, you’re focused on reaching the peak. 

The problem is the longer it takes you, the bigger the objective feels. When you’re in the middle of it, you’ll be thinking you’ll never make it, and in your mind, it starts becoming greater than what it probably actually is.

Now, climbing Mt. Everest is a big thing. I’m not trying to say it’s an easy thing to do, but the more you’re only focused on that one measurable, the further away you feel from accomplishing the bigger goal.

People start feeling very overwhelmed with their business and their goals because they’re not using any kind of measurable way to celebrate their wins. 

It is because of this it becomes a paradox. It was because it felt like this big thing; you turned a mountain literally out of a molehill.

Michael Hyatt talks about smarter goals. What you should be doing are the following:

  1. Take your big goal
  2. Break your goal into smaller chunks

By following these steps, you’ll get the reward for every small win that will motivate you more to get closer to your one big goal.

Remember, determine what is your number one priority or what should be your number one priority. 

If you’re not measuring your time and the impact of what you’re doing and how it measures your goals, you are going to feel overwhelmed. And this will fuel your pervasive thought of feeling stuck in your business.

“determine what is your number one priority or what should be your number one priority.”

3) You might be burned out

If you have continued to live in a state where you have not divorced your taskmaster, you’re trying to juggle a million things at once, and you have not made your goals actionable and measurable, you might have actual burnout. 

As of May of 2019, the World Health Organization has officially recognized burnout as a legitimate medical condition. It’s not a millennial snowflake thing.

If you’ve experienced the depths of burnout, you may be waking up in the morning, you’re dragging yourself out of bed or you’re pounding that snooze button all the time, and it’s just impossible to get going. But then, all of a sudden at night you have all this energy that just came out of nowhere. 

You might start having different cravings. A lot of people begin craving salt because your adrenals and your endocrine system become weakened and your sodium/potassium levels become imbalanced. 

There’s also a lot of various pigmentation issues you might start to experience. I have these random white dots if I bend over and blood rushes to my head.

A lot of people experience extreme fatigue in the afternoon when they’re yawning and they just want to take a nap. 

Another cardinal sign of potential burnout is when you lay down for a while and get up quickly. If you get really lightheaded, that’s a huge sign of potential adrenal issues as it relates to burnout. 

That’s not normal and it is a sign that something is going on physiologically. And more often than not, it could be burnout. 

I created an entire video on burnout. You might want to check it out.

You need to look at these as a spectrum—stuck and burnout. If you stay stuck for a long period of time, and you keep pushing until you land on the opposite end of the severe spectrum in burnout.

Be careful and take this seriously.

If you’re not in burnout yet and none of those registered with you that I just mentioned, I don’t want you to say you’re off the hook. I’m not trying to scare you, but I also want to make sure that you’re addressing the real root of the issue because it can get worse.

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

The Unstuck Quiz

I created what we call the Unstuck Quiz. It’s going to tell you where you are stuck in your business and answer the question of how stuck are you really? It will only take about two minutes to finish this quiz.

Take the quiz here. 

Once you’ve finished the quiz, there’s a comprehensive guide that is going to give you a report and assessment.

I’m going to give you the bandaid for it and I’m also going to provide a solution as to what you can do. 

I know I talked about some concepts at a high level but what you can narrow it down to is this—You’re going to have to find that right mechanism. 

Take that quiz, and we’ll begin the process to uncover it for you.

Make sure that you get that ball rolling on the right path. I don’t want you to see you stuck for an extended time, so take that quiz now. It’s 100% free to do so.

I hope this was helpful.

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Managing Debt as a Business Owner | Avoid Falling Into the Debt Trap

Managing Debt as a Business Owner | Avoid Falling Into the Debt Trap

managing debt as a business owner

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer
8/23/19

The best way to manage your debt is to avoid it like the bloody plague…

Sorry, but I just had to start with that…

Because there’s just too many people taking on debt when they begin their entreprenerial journey.

And it’s downright stupid.

Not just irresponsible.

I get you’re maybe desperate to “do your own thing”.

And I get your boss totally sucks and your job is sucking your energy dry.

But leaving one bad situation for an even worse one…plus no guaranteed form of income…is much worse.

Talking from experience here (can you tell?).

So, in this article, I’m going to break down how you should avoid debt + what you can do about it if you’re already there.

You can also listen to the podcast recording I did with Jason Bond by clicking above.

Jason pulled himself out of $250,000 worth of debt before starting his business…

And he did it on a Teacher’s Salary.

So, no excuses.

Let’s get started.

First and foremost, let’s assume you’re not yet in debt but considering taking a business loan.

For one, you must be an alien if you got approved for a business loan in this day and age…

And two, run for the hills as fast as you can.

Because taking on debt right now is THE WORST thing you can do.

But Chris, I need funding to start?

Bullshit…

It’s 2019 (depending on when you’re reading this).

The internet changed the game.

So…

1. Don’t take a STUPID business loan.

This isn’t your grandma’s mom-and-pop hardware store that required substantial overhead.

In nearly all cases, you can get your biz rolling with less than $50/mo, if that.

Start with an MVP (minimum viable product) iteration of your business.

It may look like you just educating people on your desired area of service.

Building a content platform like YouTube or even this article you’re reading right now.

This will grow your audience, which in turn could potentially lead to you rendering services that make you money.

I’ve seen creators go from nothing to a six-figure business in six months, not at all uncommon.

Now, they are HUSTLING, don’t get it twisted.

But telling yourself you can’t do ANYTHING until you have someone else’s money is a recipe for early and swift disaster.

Entrepreneurs, successful ones, are extremely resourceful.

So this will be a great exercise for you.

Only a fool starts a business with a loan.

And it always ends in failure.

So, I don’t care if mom and dad have the money and want to support you…

Say “no” and carve out your own path by starting small and taking affordable steps.

2. Keep the day job or add some side hustles

The list of side-hustles I leveraged early in my life is absurd.

I could legit write an entirely new article just on that.

Check out my side hustle chat with Nick Loper, the side hustle guru.

Young cubs that are full of energy and have little real-world responsibilities can utilize this.

And with the Gig Economy on platforms like Uber, Airbnb and any of the delivery services, you can get by (not get rich) with severely reduced standards of living plus roomies.

Notice, though, you’re not getting rich…

You’re going to be scraping by, make no mistake about it.

Next are my night and weekend warriors.

Keep the day job and allocate time to work on your biz.

Maybe do an hour/day and six on the weekend.

You’ll amaze yourself with how much you can move the needle in your young business with 10-15 hours/week.

Is it ideal?

Nope.

But it also gives you a guaranteed income to support your family, pay your mortgage and not destroy your marriage and/or sink you into massive debt.

I usually recommend this path for my older folks that DO have real-world responsibilities.

And I LIKE that you’re going to be unhappy in either of these situations.

Not because I’m a sick and twisted masochist…

But because you’re going to learn just how bad you want this thing.

And, if it fades in 3-6 months, you have your answer.

But burning the bridges immediately to then find out you don’t REALLY love this thing you jumped into is like building a prison wall around yourself (sound like it comes from experience – AGAIN?).

 

“outside funding is like a child wanting sweet and delicious candy…it looks amazing but it also results in cavities & poor health…”

3. Cut your damned expenses

Look, I get this is America (for many of you, anyways) and we have ‘standards’.

And I get it’s embarassing to tell your friends and family you just can’t afford to do things.

But here’s the deal…

7/10 people in the US right now are living paycheck to paycheck.

7 out of freaking 10.

But wait!

What about all the nice, fancy cars and spectacular homes?

People are leveraged to their eyeballs.

And they fell for the loan trap, like you’re not going to do now.

You always have to think…someone is trying to get an angle on me.

Mortgages and loans are not given out because you’re just such a swell person.

They’re given out because they can make money on yo assssss, foo!

Do the math on a mortgage.

By the end of it (over 30 years) you’re paying nearly DOUBLE what it was listed at before you bought it.

You better have a steep appreciation, bud.

But we have this ‘standard’ by which we must keep up with the Joneses.

Screw the Jones family…

They’re BROKE and hiding behind their ‘things’.

If you want to create generational wealth with your business concept, be willing to do what they won’t.

So, no elaborate spending.

We want bare-bones, baby.

Gym membership?

Find a 24 Hour Fitness or a Planet Fitness that’s $10/month.

Cut the stupid cable.

Close the blinds and don’t ramp up the AC.

And, most importantly, live your LIFE on something like Mint.

Mint is a personal finance tool that allows you to see where your money is REALLY going.

The average user has a credit score of 150 points higher than a non-user.

You’ll see the glaring areas where your spending is outrageous…

Make the adjustments and only keep the essentials.

4. Throw your credit cards in the trash

Literally, cut them up and throw them away.

Remember the part about people not being your friend and just making money off of you?

Yep, same story.

Because, once you fall into the hole, they’ve got you.

You’re now their debt slave.

It sounds harsh but…it kinda is.

People quickly spiral into massive debt and, when you’re starting a business, you have NO CLUE when payday is coming.

So, you have no predictable means to pay these things off.

Live your life on a cash basis…

Put those cards away…

And give yourself margins to live off of.

Should be simple.

Because it is.

Living your life on a cash basis as an early-stage entrepreneur is the best policy.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

4. Don’t Freak Out!

When we fall into debt, and let’s suppose you already have or it does happen to you along the way…

And it’s likely, even after all of this, that it will.

The main thing to remember is to not totally lose your ish about it.

Because Collection Agencies can be HELLA aggressive with commercial debts…

WAY more than personal debt.

And, if this happens to you, they are going to try and scare the hell out of you.

They are going to make pretty radical threats.

And it’s going to feel like the sky is falling on you.

It’s not…

Calm down.

This is their job and they’ve been trained to do this.

Now, ideal world, we wouldn’t be here…

Right?

But, if we are, let’s just be smart about it.

For one, they aren’t going to come to your shit like they say they will…

At least not for a while.

In other words, you don’t get a call or a letter and they show up the next day.

It’s a very lengthy process and the wheels churn slowly.

That doesn’t give you permission to completely ignore it.

But also know if your business is struggling, it’s in your best interest to keep your cash on hand until things turn back to the black again.

And the minute you start letting this crap distract you from righting the ship, it’s game over for you and guess what…?

For THEM too!

So, if you do want to operate out of integrity and honor your debts, which you should if at all possible, go make it happen.

They’ll be glad to take your money if/when that time comes.

Sure, your credit is going to be pinged…

But it will bounce back fast once you handle your business.

PLEASE remember I’m not telling you to deliberately drive yourself into debt.

Remember Rule #1…avoid it like the plague.

Because this part isn’t fun.

But the problem here is that too many entrepreneurs feel powerless.

And, in reality, you have way more power than you think.

Because it’s not against the law to not pay off your debts.

You’re not going to go to jail.

The only time that applies is if you skip out on paying taxes or student loans…

And even that takes YEARS.

So, calm down, focus on the mission, and start generating.

Work out the terms later, just kindly tell them you are unable to satisfy the note right now and you’re doing your best.

If you can get by just paying SOMETHING, analyze your situation and make that decision.

But remember, cash is king…

So, be careful where money is going.

 

5. Understand Personal Guarantees

Okay, so you need to understand what type of debt you’ve fallen into.

If it’s a personal credit card, you are definitely responsible…

Pretty cut and dry.

But business debts get a little trickier.

MOST institutions are going to require a personal guarantee on a line of credit or business credit cards.

You’ll see that in the paperwork you sign off on.

And this is all assuming you’ve been in busness for a while with at least two years of tax returns.

And, even then, they’ll still likely pin a personal guarantee to it.

Startups are risky…

And they know it.

So, before you get all cavalier about being approved for a line of credit with your bank, just know the buck still stops with you.

And what’s potentially worse is business can often rack up wayyyy more debt wayyyy faster than just individual expenses.

So, unless you do massive binge spending at Neiman’s, it’s likelier you’re going to massively sink yourself into debt with your business far deeper and quicker than you could personally.

And, if the business doesn’t work, you now have to pay it off WITHOUT the luxury of a profitable business and on a fixed salary.

Now, again, you don’t HAVE to pay it off.

But, you will be responsible for the debt.

So just make sure you know what you’re signing before you do and try to keep the spending under control.

It’s not a lifeline, it should be used for growth and Capital Expenditures that are tied again to growth…

Or even short-term cash flow management.

But never just use because you have no other option for months on end.

That road leads to significant misery.

6. Your Last Ditch Effort – Debt Validation

Sometimes things spiral out of control…

Speaking from experience here again.

The business is doing GREAT and you are rocking and rolling.

And then your health goes to SHIT and things implode (experience, again).

The business dies and the Collectors are circling like vultures trying to get the scraps before anyone else can.

For real, that’s the perfect metaphor.

They are going to come at you HARD.

And you need to be prepared.

It’s a scary time and even less fun.

And using what’s called the Debt Validation card may be a play you want to make.

In fact, I would force ALL Collection Efforts to provide Debt Validation before I paid a single dollar to anyone.

Why and what is it?

It’s essentially PROOF that you are responsible for this debt.

Because, if you have an LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp or pretty much anything besides a Sole Proprietorship or just winging everything personally with zero structure, the organization provides an extra layer of protection.

Not full immunity, don’t get it twisted.

People can STILL sue you, personally, even with an LLC in place…

But it’s just less likely they’ll win and they’ll have to go through significant layers of Discovery to prove you acted negligently in some way.

It may sound like magic fairy dust but I’ve personally gotten out of 10’s of thousands of dollars worth of BUSINESS debt because of this one move.

I’m not bragging about that…

I’m really not.

I’m actually ashamed of it.

Because it sucks to be in that situation.

But, business is business.

And laws are in place for a reason.

The company my company owed couldn’t manufsacture proof that anyone was personally responsible.

And so we were going to make them sue us to prove it.

And, over that little amount of money, they opted to not pursue.

I know sounds like a lot of money but when you consider how much litigation costs and how much money these companies make, it’s an insignificant figure.

I’ve had mentors of mine experience this and that’s where I received the advice.

It’s a last-ditch play, not an immediate go-to.

It’s a “Get Out of Jail” card and you should first do everything you can to honor your debts.

But, in some circumstances, that’s just not possible.

I was legit close to my death bed.

My health was a train wreck and there was zero possible way of me doing anything to honor those debts.

My business was insolvent and we were personally barely surviving.

I don’t want to lead you too far down this path but this can also work for some personal debts, not just business.

In many cases, divorce leads to the discovery that there was significant credit card debt.

Again, you may be inclined to play the debt validation card.

To learn more about that option, here’s an article for you to explore.

Hope this has been helpful…

If you’re already in debt, just know I feel for you and I’ve been in your shoes.

Sometimes, that makes all the difference with how alone you feel as you wallow in your ‘failures’.

It happens to the best of us and you are not alone.

Do your best to get yourself out of it and, at the end of this, you’ll be much better off for this experience…

Even though I know it doesn’t feel that way now.

Much love, my friend.

TODAY’S SPONSOR

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TODAY’S GUEST

jason bond

TODAY’S RESOURCE

mint

How to Start (and Grow) an eCommerce Business | Taking Affordable Steps

How to Start (and Grow) an eCommerce Business | Taking Affordable Steps

How to Start (and Grow) an eCommerce Business

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer
8/23/19

Growing an eCommerce Business requires much more attention to controlling your costs…

I’m so glad someone like Adi Arrezini joined me on this episode of Entrepreneur Hour.

Because so many people get themselves in BIG trouble with eCommerce.

Especially newbies to the startup game.

I’ve got a buddy, who shall remain nameless, that sunk $75,000 into a product and has yet to sniff an ROI.

Better yet, I don’t think he’s even made $1,000 of it back.

#TrueStory

Because, here’s the thing…

It costs a LOT to manufacture a product.

And what makes matters worse is most won’t even take you seriously until you’ve got a large enough order quantity.

Meanwhile, you’ve sunk your life’s savings into this thing and have plans for being in every Walmart around the country.

So, in this excerpt, we’re going to talk about how to get your business off the ground + how to grow it by taking affordable steps.

Don’t bury yourself in the hole with exorbitant product costs

Photo by rawpixel from Pexels

Now, let me start by telling you this is NOT  a business I’ve started before.

I’ve played in a lot of sandboxes but the eCommerce one has yet to have been checked off my list.

That said, many of the same rules and principles apply, regardless of industry.

And I’ve been involved with bootstrapping two (working on three) 7-Figure startups by the age of 33…

That’s not a humblebrag, I’m just letting you know there are replicable processes to follow. 

Let’s get started…

1. Start building up your brand clout in the industry

Look, the people I see crushing ecommerce businesses, or any business for that matter, first spend time understanding the industry.

They may work for someone else selling their products or maybe they sell info products that lead to a physical product down the road. 

This happens OFTEN in the SaaS space.

Someone sees a tool REALLY needs to be made and decides to just go make it themselves.

Scratching their own itch is what it’commonly referred to as.

But unless you’re REALLY into this thing you plan on making, you just don’t fully understand the market and the real opportunity.

You don’t know your customers and you don’t know what they want.

Maybe you think it’s cool but it hasn’t been validated.

By investing time learning the industry and products you intend to sell, it really pays off in the long run.

2. Don’t open a store with 10,000 items

Oh, man…

This is a common one.

People think if they just open a store to sell anything and everything on it, people will have more options and more likelihood to buy.

And so they then just have “blanket marketing” tactics that reach and speak to literally no one.

Focus on selling ONE product.

Niche down and master that ONE thing first because, through that process, you’ll learn how to craft a message and sell…

You’ll also keep your costs under control.

Once you’ve figured that out, you can replicate and scale the process over again.

But that leads me to my next tip…

 

“The Dream Dies When the bank dries…”

3. Take pre-sale orders or early birds

Look, many Authors pitch a book that hasn’t even been written yet.

I NEVER develop an info product that I first haven’t validated with my audience.

And so, as you’re building your audience and educating people on this thing you’re going to eventually sell, run surveys and start considering pre-sale events or early bird specials.

Here’s the awesome part, if you can pull it off and deliver in a timely manner, it may give you more leverage with a manufacturer plus proof of concept AND some funding capital to actually pay for inventory.

But, if it were me, depending on the item, I’d do this instead…

4. Figure out a way to make the product YOURSELF

Look, I know it’s not ideal…

But, if you want this thing bad enough, you’ll do what it takes.

And there’s much to be gained from you crafting your own product, even a prototype (depending on what you’re selling).

Daymond John, an awesome dude and friend of the podcast, was printing and making his own FUBU clothes and hustling them out of a trunk at Yankee games…

So, if the King of Retail himself is willing to roll up his sleeves, you have no excuse.

Daymond even convinced his mom to refinance their home so he could invest in what he needed to grow the business.

Now, I’m not entirely suggesting the latter but just know he was willing to do what it took and KNEW his market because he was knee-deep in it. 

5. Scrap the overhead

Look, So many people want the creative studio, the storage warehouse or even the physical store…

But that’s hella risky.

And, as I always say, the dream dies when the bank dries.

You need to keep your fixed cost under control so you can allow yourself room to grow and make mistakes.

Plus, I’d love to see you sink your teeth into some marketing strategies and having a small budget for that is going to be tremendously helpful.

Selling a physical product with Facebook Ads is borderline like printing money compared to what I do in selling info products.

That’s all assuming you have a solid product, strong messaging and a visually appealing landing page.

Use the garage, the storage room or even a spare bedroom or a corner in your family area if you have to but wait as long as you can before you invest in a space.

 

There’s no need for a large facility until you’re a fairly large company with high profitability. 

Photo by Alexander Isreb from Pexels

6. Focus on building an audience

Look, the best lemonade stand in the world won’t do anything if it’s set up in a closet.

If nobody knows you exist, it’s game over.

And I see this often with “technicians”.

In other words, people that take great pride in their trade and creation.

Through the process of crafting your thing, there arises an emotional attachment.

And so everything that doesn’t work, a technician always goes back to tweak the product.

It sounds illogical (and it is) but it happens.

Michael E Gerber talks about this in his E-Myth Series of books.

And many people that CREATE something out of passion find themselves stuck in Technician Mode often. 

Go build an audience on Social, create YouTube Videos educating people on your industry BEFORE you even have a product.

If you can build a loyal following of people and an email list of people that trust your advice, they are going to literally JUMP when they realize you’re selling something.

It’s a lot of work, I know, but it really pays off.

I would be on at least one platform for Search…

Blog, YouTube or Pinterest.

Based on where your target demo is, I trust you’ll figure out where to be…

It’s usually best to really double down on one first rather than try to spread yourself across all channels.

7. Influencer marketing

Okay, so you don’t have an audience (per the last tip)?

Well, one of the fastest “growth hacks” to build one is to leverage someone else’s audience.

Brands pay BIG money to influencers to promote their products.

Now, you don’t need to pay Kim K $10MM to talk about your eye cream.

So, start with someone IN YOUR SPACE that’s big but within reach.

Build a relationship with that person, respond to their posts and EVENTUALLY ask if they’d be willing to try your product.

If it’s great, maybe they do give you a shout and a review to their audience.

I’m of the belief that they’ll do that on their own and I don’t have to ask…

But it will depend on the nature of the relationship.

Put it this way, they get propositioned enough to know what you’re asking for without ACTUALLY asking.

But if you want to give them a friendly nudge after a few weeks JUST TO ASK if and how they liked the product, maybe then you ask if they’d be happy to give you a plug.

Just make sure it makes sense for them.

So, maybe if you can’t pay them, you guys work out some sort of affiliate commission.

That has to be your judgment call and it’s largely based on your product.

8. Build a baller site on Shopify

Look, don’t dilly dally around with no website or a crap looking site.

You also want to make sure the bloody thing works like it’s supposed to.

Shopify is one of my sponsors and for good reason.

It’s THE BEST out-of-the-box eCommerce Site Builder…period.

There are just too many technical specifics with an eCommerce Site for you to try to build it on anything else or to hire a developer to custom code it.

You don’t need to spend that kind of money PLUS what do you do if your developer is the only one that can update your site?

Cha-CHINNNG…

And not the kind that puts money in your pocket.

Make sure you have GREAT photos of your product because that really does make or break both a site and the product itself.

Hope this list has been helpful.

Happy eComming and don’t forget to subscribe for future articles, videos and podcast episodes. 

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E-Myth Revisited

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