BREAKING FREE. Copyright © 2007 by Brian Armstrong. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. NC 27560. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address Lulu Enterprises, Inc. 860 Aviation Parkway Suite 300 Morrisville,

This book is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subject of starting a business. While all of the stories and anecdotes described in the book are based on true experiences, some of the names are pseudonyms, some stories are compilations, and some situations have been changed slightly for educational purposes and to protect each individual’s privacy. It is sold with the understanding that neither the Author nor the Publisher is engaged in rendering legal, tax, accounting, or other professional services by publishing this book. As each individual situation is unique, questions relevant to starting a business and specific to the individual should be addressed to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately. The Author and Publisher specifically disclaim any liability, loss, or risk that is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, or the use and application of any of the contents of this work.

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For my Parents, without whom I never would have had such a head start on life.

Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 The First Step on the Journey Is it Right for Me? Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step Taking the Pay Cut Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life What Kind of Business Should I Start? The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 7 23 57 79 99 135 175 205 Afterword Recommended Resources 224 229 .


frustrated. and a feeling of excitement hung in the air as people headed out on the town to release the stress of the long work week they had just finished. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin. I’ll never forget the look on this man’s face as I drove by.they don't go. I happened to notice a huddled figure emerging from the revolving glass doors. The lights of the city were starting to come on to form the beautiful evening skyline. but the kind he had to get done because he I A WAKE UP CALL was on my way to a party one Friday evening when I just happened to pass my old office building in downtown .W.” . downtrodden person who had just finished a long day of work. Not the kind of work he was excited and passionate about. Clement Stone Houston. he worked for my old employer.Chapter 1 The First Step on the Journey “So many fail because they don't get started . As I drove past that building. This was the face of an exhausted. The logo on his oversized laptop bag was unmistakable.

ultimately decided to work at the company that gave me the best offer! It’s almost funny to think about in retrospect. He pulled the tie off the rest of the way and undid the top button of his shirt. new people to meet. I had applied to a number of companies and. like many people. Shame that he was leaving the office at 9pm on a Friday. and . After being hired. In the years after college I tried a number of different jobs. being completely exhausted and unable to go meet his friends who were already out having fun. but that was a full twelve hours ago. Shame that he was too weak to say no when his boss gave him extra work that he knew he wouldn’t have time to complete. It had been almost exactly one year since I’d quit the job that he was now going home from. Shame at the half hearted job he had done on it just to get out of the office before it was completely dark outside. They essentially leave it up to chance and wait to see who gives them the best offer. There was a hint of shame in his step. But I had a degree.8 Breaking Free didn’t want to get fired. Sweat glistened on his forehead and his face looked dark and unshaven. I was flooded with new information to learn. In this man’s face I instantly saw myself and suddenly realized how far I had come in the past year. I knew the exact emotions and feelings going through his head as he left those doors because I had been in his exact spot. finally releasing the choke hold of the work day. and the “right” thing to do was to go find work. He had showered that morning. I reported to work and did what I was told. His button down shirt had come untucked on one side and his tie hung loosely around his neck. but this is truly how many people decide what they will spend one-third of their life doing. Like many people. Shame at the fact he would probably get home and crash on the couch. I was at a point in my life where I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.

but would eventually turn out to be a suffocating experience. SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. feeling guilty since I had been the last to get in (on time) and was now the first to leave (on time). it meant I didn’t have time to do the other 1 In late 2004. 46 hours per week is really the minimum they expected of entry level employees”. copy paste. They claimed the company culture required them to work evenings and weekends. and refusing to do so could put their job in jeopardy. Some days I would just get fed up and leave the office after eight hours. Was that even legal1? I briefly indulged fantasies of tape recording the conversation and breaking the news to the authorities! But a moment later. my boss was calling on the phone and I was back to being a good worker bee. What if I was wrong? That’s what they told me to do. Copy paste. a class action lawsuit was filed by the employees of Electronic Arts.The First Step on the Journey 9 new processes to master. When I was working those long hours. for unpaid overtime. The fun soon started to end. . copy paste.. the world’s biggest third party publisher. Don’t think too much. so it had to be done). but the bureaucracy ordered it must be done. I was told by the hiring manager that “Even though 40 hours per week is acceptable. But things got worse when the long hours started. I guess I should do it. day to day work suddenly became mundane and repetitive (and often pointless from what I could tell. This was all interesting and exciting at first. The job started to affect other areas of my life.. After learning the new material. Were these reports I was preparing meaningful? Important? Would they even be read? I didn’t fully understand what I was writing (pasting).

The stress. but the company didn’t share my same views on the value of power-napping. Then there was the issue of sleep. or stuffed and drowsy. In speaking to my peers at the company I realized I wasn’t alone. It never seemed to actually wake me up. There were long breaks between meals with all the work to get done. I would justify to myself. Unless you wanted to date inside the company. at least I made it to the gym. I was so tired. Even when it wasn’t junk food. Then there were the relationship problems. I actually fell asleep in the gym one day! I had just done a set of reps on the incline bench press. Most of the people I worked with struggled to stay on good terms with friends. The first thing that started to change was my health. Many of them had gained 2030 pounds in their first year at the company. There was no in between. “I’ve had a hard day. but would instead make me jittery enough not to fall asleep. and spouses. I put down the weights. so I was always either starving. It was my only friend. . and my worst enemy at the same time. I developed a love hate relationship with my snooze button. a siesta sounded absolutely divine.10 Breaking Free important things in my life. it was nice restaurant meals paid for by the company and overindulgence. I’m sure it wasn’t ideal for her to date someone who was constantly exhausted. I was often too exhausted to make it to the gym. having time for a real relationship was difficult at best. Each morning an epic battle of biblical proportions was waged in my mind between responsibility and apathy. I deserve it”. combined with the lack of time to exercise and eat right. and she was absolutely right. Each morning would require several cups of coffee. and woke up a half hour later! That was a good day though. One woman I dated told me I was never around. And simply being emotionally drained was causing me to use junk food as self medication. After lunch. After working long hours. Moreover. was a sure fire formula for weight gain. lovers.

like myself. About five to ten percent of the employees appeared to be really passionate about their work. It was their favorite topic. however. it was a way to earn money and make it through another day in life. Mostly these were pipe dreams and water cooler gossip. Many of my co-workers. right? I wasn’t the only one at the company who realized the situation we were in. I dropped out of touch with many friends from school as my life began to revolve more and more around work. and didn’t like his job! I had no time for hobbies. spending even an hour or two extra per week on their own company was difficult. Society and conventional wisdom was telling us how lucky we were to have such a secure high paying job. Stuck in a job we didn’t love was not a fun place to be. To be fair. .The First Step on the Journey 11 slowly gaining weight. and no time to pursue the things I loved. by the people who viewed it simply as a job. but it sure beat the unknown risks of a start-up business. entry level colleagues like myself would constantly complain about work. After all. they were all talk. To most of us. right? “Nobody loves their job 100% of the time” or “I’ll just do this for a few years to get experience” would help us rationalize. a small percentage of people there truly loved what they were doing. They were the type of person who was born to do the job. But when their “real job” required all their time and then some. and woke up excited every Monday. When it came down to it. But the fact was that we were paralyzed by fear in our current occupations. had ideas of working for themselves or starting a business some day. In fact. there were people out there who had to dig ditches for a living. That minority group was greatly outweighed. I could tell they loved it because in their free time they would read up on the industry and ponder ways to improve the results for their clients.

but I was still unsure of what to do. I had known it for a long time. and I began to search desperately for a better way of living. READY TO CHANGE Deep down. This wasn’t a change or improvement. money really was the rationale behind spending one-third of my life doing something I didn’t truly love doing. and would transform my life more than I could have possibly imagined. It was a quantum leap in all around life fulfillment that would change me forever. When it came down to it. but had not really wanted to admit it to myself. The next year would take me on a wild ride. My tanks were out of balance. People would say “You .12 Breaking Free Figure 1 – Making plenty of money at a job you don’t love. Working for myself had been a dream since I was in high school. I knew that I needed to take the plunge and quit. That and the fact I was too scared to go out on my own to follow my dream of starting a business. I decided to seek advice from others and the advice I got was sometimes conflicting. I started reading every book I could get my hands on and sought out advice from those whom I admired.

But soon it became apparent I wouldn’t make it that long. then I’d pull the trigger. At first I told myself I would wait until Thanksgiving to decide. They told me that true happiness comes only from following your path and purpose in life. but didn’t tell anyone. My heroes were people who worked for themselves. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t making a rash decision on a whim. I had read a number of books on the subject and these experts had a much different message. I looked at my role models. working their way up the corporate ladder. My parents and peers were not exactly supportive of quitting a perfectly good job after spending all that money on a degree! But at the same time. Every day I thought more and more about it.The First Step on the Journey 13 need to stay at a good firm like your current job to learn more about business before striking out on your own”. Finally I decided I would give my notice to quit in one week. They told me that doing the right thing for yourself may not always make other people happy. I didn’t want to see people’s eyes glaze over as their brain processed what I said into “I’m boring and settled for mediocrity in life”. or “I work in HR”. I didn’t want to be another person at the cocktail party who defined themselves with “I work in accounting”. I wanted to say “I invented [INSERT AMAZING PRODUCT EVERYONE USES AND LOVES]” and actually mean it. “I work in sales”. but rewarding. Whatever! As long as I felt like I was doing what I loved and my life had significance. Or “I’m an astronaut. If I still felt the same way by Thanksgiving. Part of me thought that I was completely crazy and that it was a stupid idea. They weren’t cogs in a giant machine. but that doesn’t matter. They told me that the journey to accomplish this is difficult. People would say “There is no security in being an entrepreneur" and "You don’t want to burn any bridges”. international spy. and amateur detective”. professional surfer. Maybe it was . who were doing new and innovative things.

I had some catching up to do! After a few days I was rested and I began to think about what the future had in store for me. Finally the day had arrived. and no breakfast again). Maybe I’d wake up tomorrow and realize that I was just being silly.. It started with a few days of rest. letting him know I had decided to quit and work for myself. low and behold.. they wished me luck in my new adventure. But. or a mental breakdown. I remember sitting there with the completed email ready to send and looking at it. I drafted an email to the HR manager. and I headed for home. Before the inner critic of self doubt could pester me any more I sent the email off and instantly felt like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. completely exhausted as usual and started sipping on bad coffee. but the caffeine hit me hard with no food in my stomach (late for work.. a tough period at work.14 Breaking Free just a phase I was going through.but what now? A NEW LIFE Over the next few years. Projects seemed less and less important as they showed up in my inbox. Most new businesses fail don’t they? I think I read that somewhere. My mind was racing with newfound ideas and freedom. A lot. The first thing I did was sleep. some truly extraordinary things occurred. I made it to work. It didn’t really make me more awake. I gave them a few suggestions for improvement. and what my next step would be. I was free. Was I really about to do this? Was I really about to give up all this money and a job some people would kill for? Who was I kidding? What made me think I could really be successful on my own? What did I know? I didn’t have that much experience. a week had gone by and I felt more excited than ever about quitting. CLICK. . I went to the exit interview (wearing shorts and sandals) and poured my heart out about how working at their company had left me feeling suffocated.

Before long I found myself getting an extraordinary amount of work done in an average day. That way I’d be sure to remember all my brilliant thoughts! I started reading again. I was acquiring new skills and ideas at a rapid pace. Sometimes even while showering I would have great ideas and try to remember them. so right there I had an extra hour in every day! The benefits of this one item alone. I’d get great ideas just before falling asleep at night. but never had time for suddenly became one of my top priorities. Educational things. I would go to “work” in my underwear or work by the apartment swimming pool with my laptop. not commuting. Even when I was doing something boring. not something I had to get done because my boss told me. like taxes. things I wanted to read. I even took a speed reading course and was soon devouring a book a week. read something thought provoking or inspirational. . I didn’t have an hour round-trip commute through rush hour traffic.The First Step on the Journey 15 I’d wake up in the morning with great ideas. or compose a masterpiece. Not only was I not working unpaid overtime. All those books I had been meaning to read. Not things I had to read. were (and continue to be) simply staggering. Having an extra hour every day means you gain eleven full days every year to do whatever you want. You could spend more time with friends and family. it’s almost ridiculous for me to imagine myself wasting an hour of every day going through traffic listening to Britney Spears and weight loss advertisements on the radio. but often by the time I finished showering my mind was on to other great things! I even tried writing notes in the fogged glass of the shower and contemplated getting one of those clip boards that scuba divers use to write underwater. but I was working at home. it didn’t even really feel like work because I was working for myself! It was just something I had to get done for me. Looking back.

things were going too well. I was finally living life. Perhaps most importantly. I even became a better cook. If someone cut me off in traffic I didn’t get upset. I had time to do errands which before would get pushed back farther and farther. To be fair. Eventually. . I was now generating my own events and direction. I had more energy each day because I was excited about what I was doing. What have I wanted to accomplish in the past year that I just didn’t have time to do? The result of this simple question was astounding. I worked on building a regular sleeping schedule and finally developed a good relationship with my alarm clock by not needing it. and had joined a public speaking club called Toastmasters. I had a sense of empowerment that I really was in control of life. my fridge was always stocked with great healthy food. My happiness and my newfound freedom were contagious. even if I slept the same amount. I was just working smarter. Instead of reacting to external events. the women I was meeting were exponentially more attracted to a man who didn’t hate his job and life. learning Brazilian jujitsu and Thai kickboxing. I was in the best shape of my life and had more energy than I knew what to do with. My dating life exploded as I had time to meet new people and build relationships with them. People couldn’t help but want to be around me. you weren’t working!” But in reality I was. I stopped using junk food as self medication and stopped spending as much money eating out. My apartment was actually clean for once and since I didn’t avoid (and actually enjoyed) going to the grocery store.16 Breaking Free One day I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and asked myself a question. Within six months of quitting my job I was taking salsa lessons. I had taken a big pay cut and while my happiness tank was full. Of course some of you may be wondering about the tiny little problem of money! “Of course you were having all kinds of fun.

The First Step on the Journey 17 my money tank was not quite so full. the best way to get both tanks full is to do what they’ve known deep down they always wanted for themselves. For some people (and I suspect you may be one of them. It didn't equal my old salary right off the bat. The most wonderful thing about loving your job . I had taken a few key steps before quitting to ease the transition into working for myself. (How to make this transition smoothly will be a major topic of the book in Chapter 4. I had started a business that was ready to go from the day I quit. But it’s certainly possible for anyone who is committed and willing to learn.) Figure 2 –Doing what you love but unable to pay the bills! The overall message and topic of this book can be summed up in a simple phrase: get both of your tanks full! I will lay out for you. Fortunately. as clearly as I know how. It won’t necessarily be easy. They need to quit their job and go to work for themselves! This is the best way I know to be happy for those who have always dreamed big and desired more freedom. since you picked up this book). Those things worth getting rarely are. but it soon grew to cover my expenses. the exact steps that anyone can take to accomplish this.

WHY THIS BOOK NEEDED WRITING! The specific company I worked at is not important. studies show that a fraction of them will actually open it and read it! You are at this very moment in an elite group of people who have gotten this far. discard the ones that don’t. all of them were basically similar to the one I described above. You took time to invest in yourself and your future! Almost everyone has had the feeling at some point that they didn’t like their job or they wanted financial freedom working for themselves.18 Breaking Free is that the money will come naturally. Start a business in an area you are passionate about. CONGRATULATIONS I’d like to stop for a moment here and congratulate you. and ultimately was the impetus for this book. and take the final most important steps at the end of this book to start making changes in your life. But very few have ever actually done anything about it. Despite a deep yearning in the bottom of their heart to do . was the fact that so many people are never able to leave that situation. By the very fact you have read this far. I think many people resonate with that particular situation I described above because it is the current life they are living right now! What drives me absolutely nuts. of the half dozen companies where I worked before working for myself. you have done an amazing thing that the vast majority of people don't have the courage to do. In fact. Even out of all those who did do something about it and purchased this book. I have the confidence in you that you’ll take the points from this book that make sense to you. and you’re well on your way to having both tanks full. They settled for mediocrity and the safe way out.

You aren’t using your full potential. and happier people. they are never able to do it. when you don’t love your job. you’ll just do the minimum to not get fired. By doing this you are selling yourself short. the Taoist philosopher said. When you actually do it. and take the first step together! . in a way I don’t blame them. pursue their ideas. better music. It is downright scary to quit your job. then their lives and the lives of everyone around them would benefit. and did some of the hard work for you. and you aren’t giving your greatest gifts to the world. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. its somewhere between the feeling you get asking your high school crush to the dance and speaking in front of a million people! What makes it worse is that instead of having someone there to hold your hand and reassure you. cooler trends. you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. innovative software. or add meaning to their lives by contributing greatly to the world. Everyone deserves a chance to reach a life of fulfillment and use their greatest gifts to contribute to the world. I’m firmly convinced that the world would be full of so many new inventions. Besides. most people are telling you that you’re crazy and trying to talk you out of it. if only people became free from their next paycheck. less violence. If they could only take that difficult step into entrepreneurship and working for themselves.The First Step on the Journey 19 something great. Let me be that helping hand to walk you through it. Will it be scary? Yes! Will it be hard work? Yes! But the rewards are so amazing that it’s worth it and when you become financially free by working for yourself. I’ve come up with a bunch of ways to make the scary part less scary. have the freedom to choose their work. And let me tell you. Unfortunately. As Lao Tzu. So let’s get started.

In my experience. At least. the best presentations/books where I learned the most followed the philosophy of “tell em what you’re gonna tell em. then tell em what you told em”. They make the material personal to you. I encourage you to keep a pen or pencil handy with this book. We work because someone tells us we have to. o o o o o o • We let “who offered the most money” determine what we do with one-third of our lives. even if they seem a little hokey at first. • . and there is something magical about the physical action of writing that sets you well on the way to accomplishing your goal. For many the answer is working for yourself. Most of us sacrifice too much for a day job that we don’t truly love. Our health suffers. tell em. Our relationships suffer.20 Breaking Free CHAPTER 1 SUMMARY Brian’s Note Yes. There will also be exercises at the end of most chapters (although not this one). there will be a little summary. so you can jot down some notes on the actual exercise pages. The exercises are the most important part of the book. it always helped me to hear it a few times. We put in long hours. at the end of each chapter. Our money tank is more full while our happiness tank is less full.

The First Step on the Journey 21 o o o o o o • Instead of feeling like you are reacting to external events. Congratulations o I give you so much credit for doing what so many others were afraid to do: taking the first step in a journey towards quitting your job and working for yourself. I hope this book will help you start on the path and give you the confidence to reach your full potential! . you can control your own life. o This book needed to be written because so many people have this desire buried deep inside them. New possibilities open up as you have time to explore and learn. You can choose to make time for health and relationships. You suddenly find time to do all the things you never had time for. but for some reason never let it flourish. You can choose to work on what you love. You get more done in each day because you are excited about what you are working on.


Chapter 2 Is it Right for Me? "Whether You Think You Can or Can't. however. The wonderful grey matter resting between our ears is good for many things. There are a number of . not legitimate reasons. Unfortunately. To the untrained eye.Henry Ford legitimate reasons why this might not be a good idea for you which we’ll discuss in this chapter. You're Right" . to justify why they haven’t taken the first step. and “I don’t know I EXCUSE OR LEGITIMATE REASON? ’ll be the first to admit that not everyone should quit their job and go to work for themselves. it is also very good at creating excuses not to act when we have an incredible opportunity in front of us. With that being said. The majority of people are using excuses. It’s the people who are coming up with excuses not to quit that are totally based on fear. “I haven’t been able to raise the money”. reasons like “I need to get more experience”. the primary problem is not the people who shouldn’t quit their job.

“They are incredible!”. This step alone will put you on the path to determining if the reasons you are coming up with are excuses (your pesky inner critic. accounting. they went out and made their own luck. CEO’s. In effect. The first thing I want you to do is quit the hero worship. Part of the problem stems from something I call hero worship. what a horrible mistake. We see examples all the time of successful business people like Donald Trump. The truth of the matter is that nearly all of them are where they are because of lots of hard work. or even someone closer to home like a successful relative or neighbor. Unfortunately they are not. sales. When we hear about how much these people have accomplished and what they have done. or just being so stubborn and determined that they wouldn’t give up after failing over and over and over again. finding a mentor. and politicians and think about how lucky they are. Richard Branson (the CEO of Virgin Group who runs about 200 companies). Everyone you see with success is just like you and they are no more or less deserving of success than you are. we immediately think to ourselves: “They are brilliant!”. some technology.24 Breaking Free how to do [fill in the blank. etc]” seem very good. Sergey Brin and Larry Page (who started Google). they probably started off reading a book like this one. and I guarantee that there was a point in their lives when they were not so confident or sure of themselves or successful! In fact. and “I could never do that!” Oh. but never see them as something magical that is unattainable or placed upon a pedestal. . to believe and know that you too can be successful and that you deserve it. The people we admire are human beings just like you and I. You really have to give yourself permission. People love to look at celebrities. You can learn from them and model them.

The vast majority of the excuses we give ourselves are just that: excuses. it may be prudent not to quit your job. or if they are legitimate reasons. find any customers. and you may never reach your full potential or happiness at work. This is what you might call the “I’ll run my happiness tank low so the people I love can have a full tank” strategy. sibling. Our greatest limitations are the ones we create in our own mind.Is it Right for Me? 25 which we’ll discuss later). you’ll remind yourself that you are going to learn as you go and that’s the best way to get the experience! The next time you say “I haven’t been able to raise the money” you’ll know that many successful people heard no 100 times before they heard one yes. With that being said. By doing this you are putting other’s needs ahead of your own. spouse. then so be it. but if your life at home is more important. or parents can eat. The next time you hear yourself say “I don’t have enough experience”. get through school. and do whatever else it is that they depend on you for. And the next time you think to yourself “I don’t know how to manage the finances. let’s examine a few of the actual legitimate reasons why quitting your job might not be the right thing. outsource it. . In this case you will be making a sacrifice so that your kids. or get by without it. LEGITIMATE REASONS NOT TO QUIT YOUR JOB You are Struggling to Support a Family If you are in a position right now that makes you the primary breadwinner and money is tight. or make the website!” you’ll know that you can either learn it. and that you probably need far less money than you think (Chapter 7). Your job may not be spectacular.

For this to be a legitimate reason you must be supporting a family and have money be tight. you may still be able to pursue the journey through this book. Does it mean it will be easy for them not to have a steady paycheck? No. . failure for you to bring home a paycheck would have immediate consequences not just for yourself but for others around you. “My husband/wife/significant other thinks I’m crazy for wanting to quit” doesn’t count. this doesn’t mean you are doomed forever to be in this position! After the kids are through school. just to pay her tuition. Make your own decision and stick to your guns.26 Breaking Free It’s not as good as everyone having a full tank. but may be a necessary sacrifice in the short term. Does it mean what they won’t have any sacrifices? No. But once she had graduated. The difference is that they aren’t living paycheck to paycheck. There are plenty of people supporting families who quit their jobs to work for themselves. A friend of mine had her father support her through school for four years of college in a line of work he wasn’t passionate about. Chapter 4 will deal in depth with this topic of how to take a pay cut smoothly. Finally. In other words. her father promptly quit and went back to medical school to become a doctor at the young age of 59! I should also point out that just because you are supporting a family doesn’t mean this is your “legitimate reason”. Keep in mind. Does it mean they are looking forward to it? No. What it means is that they will find a way to live with it for a chance at something much greater. or if the situation improves in other ways.

myself included. But even Bill Gates himself has publicly stated that this was a really bad idea and he wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. there can be some pretty huge consequences. statistically speaking. But unfortunately. I know. even if you hate it. Change majors. we’ve all heard of people like Bill Gates who dropped out of college and went on to become one of the richest people in the world. I know. It is probably harder than you think to get yourself to go back. Even if it turns out to be a bad idea or that you were wrong. and see how many beers you can drink. not to mention lost time and reapplication process. there are much better options. such as starting the business while still in college (this is what I did). went through college with some new idea or hobby they wanted to try every week! What seemed like the best idea of all time was completely forgotten six months later. Many people. there aren’t any significant consequences! You learn your lesson and no harm done. it’s highly unlikely you will ever go back.Is it Right for Me? 27 You Are a Current Student If you are a current student then your “job” is being a student. Take a lighter class load so you have time to work on other projects. as you find your identity and interests. and there is probably a good reason for this. But it should indicate to you that others have found it very hard. and simply putting up with school long enough to get a degree and get out. This is the perfect thing to do in college. if you drop out of school to start a business and it doesn't turn out as planned. go to ten different club meetings. In fact. They don’t hire college drop outs at Microsoft. I wouldn’t recommend actually dropping out of school. Besides. Does that mean you are one of the statistics? Of course not. The reason I wouldn’t recommend dropping out of school to work for yourself is that college is a time to explore new ideas and try lots of different things. Or take a class .

the consequences of quitting are fairly minimal.28 Breaking Free that will help you on your way. or finance. Quitting school and having to find another one is much harder than quitting a job and having to find another one. but as hard as it is for me to believe. You can always find another job if you really had to. In fact. preparing financially. accounting. some people truly do love their job working for someone else! As a purely unscientific study based on my personal . such as entrepreneurship. The process involves many things such as discovering what type of business you’d like to start. and approach this journey one step at a time. Put in the time. You Truly Love Your Job Only you can answer this question for yourself. and building your business on nights and weekends. instead of one solitary action. it’s a careless act. Quitting your job to work for yourself should be thought of as an ongoing process. then quitting your job isn’t a heroic step toward your personal freedom. You will be on schedule and have known for months in advance before the actual day comes that you walk in and say goodbye! If you have not put in this time and effort. people do this all the time. When you reach the job world. Pain then gain! Stay in school long enough to finish with your degree. Dropping out of school is not the right choice when the consequences are dire and so many other good options are available. and you will be glad you did. You Have no Idea What Type of Business You’d Like to Start Just because you dislike your job and have started reading this book doesn’t mean you should be rash and quit tomorrow. You should only quit your job once you have a plan in place.

You can test this theory for yourself next time you are at any type of social event. speed. two inevitable questions will come up: Where are you from? And what do you do? Whenever I find myself in this situation. I would estimate that about five to ten percent of people at any given company truly love their job. Keep in mind. As you are standing there meeting new people and desperately trying to make small talk. have their eyes dart to the ground for just an instant. Also keep in mind that I didn’t say ninety percent of people hate their job. be completely unaware that something better exists. I did say that ninety percent (or more) of people aren’t passionate about their job. when asked this question. pitch. They could be in denial about it. and I tend to look closely at how someone answers it. what the heck do I know about medical sales and what the heck will my next small talk question be). most people will never admit to you (or even themselves) that they aren’t passionate about their work. they watch your face to see what your reaction will be. and most importantly body language) says so much more than the actual words coming out of their mouth. We’ll discuss more of what that means in a second. the second question in particular always intrigues me. the non verbal (voice tone. As you listen (wondering to yourself. As with all communication. But the majority of people.Is it Right for Me? 29 experience interacting with hundreds of people at dozens of companies. or have convinced themselves that where they are is perfect because admitting otherwise would mean they’d have to change! Get to know someone well enough and this embarrassing truth very often will come out. variety. Some people can’t wait to bubble away about their exciting projects and are truly inspiring in their commitment and passion. “I do sales at a large medical distribution company”. Will you be impressed? . They recite the line they have used so many times before with just a hint of shame.

Or will you see through their social mask and discount them as another boring person you met at the party. this is actually a good clue as to what your ideal job might be. some parts of it you love. Maybe all you need is a similar job.”. but some days it really gets to you. When your spouse or friends ask you about your day at work. Try brainstorming about variations on your job (such as working in the same industry but for yourself) that would reduce or eliminate the parts you don’t like. you are excited to start your day and can’t wait to see what new things you can get done this week. or customer experience? When you wake up Monday morning. Ask them how they like it and you may hear some words like “It’s not too bad”. they did say “large” distribution company.”. I can usually spot the people in the room who love their work. “But it has great benefits”.. “It’d be better if. SIGNS YOU LOVE YOUR JOB When you have free time (meaning. and “Next year I might. What are some good indicators that you love your job? Here are a few. Without even asking. service.30 Breaking Free After all. They are having the most fun. you will start to be able to spot them from across the room. If you are still on the fence. . If you ask enough people this question. no one made you do it) do you find yourself reading up on the industry and brainstorming ideas on how to improve your company’s product. you eagerly recount tales of challenges overcome and fun experiences instead of all the things that really bothered you. But what if you are on the fence? I mean. You obviously like some parts of it.... You may already know that you don’t like your job.

They get a parking ticket. and they spend their lives reacting to external events that happen to them. work shows up on their desk and inbox.Is it Right for Me? 31 WHO SHOULD QUIT THEIR JOB? Now that we’ve looked at some legitimate reasons not to quit your job. Those with an internal locus of control. I didn’t give it much thought. or merely present the message another time if you’ve already heard it. There are two types of people in this world. every time there is an inordinate amount of red tape around a seemingly simple task. every time they find themselves saying “If I was in charge I wouldn’t do it that way”. The majority of people have an external locus of control. Before long. So let me pass it on to you. and those with an external locus of control. external locus of control (locus just means place or position. Every time their boss gives them something pointless to do. These are some common emotions and feelings that people with the entrepreneurial spirit experience at some point in their lives. Those With a Desire for Control! A common theme I hear among those with the entrepreneurial spirit (and even those who don’t yet know they have it!) is a desire for more control. I had heard it so many times it started to sink in and I realized how important it was in my own life. And every time they say . but then I started to hear other authors talk about the same concept in different terms. etc. they are expressing a desire for more control in their lives. Years ago I first heard of the concept of an internal vs. and isn't too important here). their girlfriend/boyfriend breaks up with them. The first time I heard it. let’s take a closer look at some good indicators you should.

The world must hate them. They make their own luck. what luck!” They can’t take credit for good things. The best way to sum up this idea is to realize there will always be things you can blame failure on. and move on without getting upset. As you can imagine. without any control of what events take place in their lives. It was out of their control. When work shows up on their desk. they are creating their own events. Unsuccessful people talk about how the economy is just not strong enough. the universe did this to them. But then they change their locus of control.32 Breaking Free “How could this happen to me?” You see. and change their lives . their family is holding them back. If it’s unimportant then they delegate it or don’t even do it! They are too focused on accomplishing their goal to deal with unimportant things. taxes are too high. On the other hand. the wrong person is in office. leaves blowing in the wind. After all. Does it help them accomplish their goal? If it does then it gets high priority and they want to do it because it helps them reach their goal. people with an internal locus of control are the people that don’t believe in luck. They evaluate it. etc. They take responsibility. learn their lesson. how silly would that be to let a stupid parking ticket control you? They are in control of themselves and reaching their goals. It was just their lucky day. Instead of reacting to external events. They have an ultimate goal in mind and they are constantly making small steps toward it because that’s what they are focused on. Such is the fate of those people with an external locus of control. because the world gave it to them. etc. They are a victim. they think “Wow. no one did it to them. If they get a parking ticket. they don’t react to it. etc. And even when good things happen. this is a cause of great distress in their life because bad things keep happening to them. and something like a little parking ticket sure isn’t going to matter in the big scheme of things. build success habits.

Five years later they wake up and they are extremely successful. and that made all the difference. so when we say risk here. as an entrepreneur. Remember the internal locus of control and try to make it an integral part of your life. business. Most people with this character trait have a strong desire to control the destiny of their own life. we aren’t talking about the lottery. For some. not knowing if your “bet” will pay off can be a cause of anxiety. and is equivalent to pain which they will avoid at all costs. Your heart rate will quicken as adrenaline courses through your veins. But at the end of the day. But guess what? The economy is about the same. the person in office is about the same. Those with a Tolerance for Risk Unfortunately. you will need to have some tolerance for risk. whether to invest 50% of your net worth in an idea or not. But for entrepreneurs this feeling is equivalent to excitement. And you may not know if that was the right decision for a year or more while you wait for things to pan out! Waiting for a year. It lets them know they are alive! They can’t accomplish this by working for someone else. taxes are about the same. so they start their own . and their family is about the same. Your palms might get clammy and you will feel a whole family of butterflies flying around your stomach. this feeling is unbearable. there will be a number of points in your life as an entrepreneur where the final decision is up to you.Is it Right for Me? 33 slowly. Everything is about the same except for one very important thing: them! They made a decision to take control of their lives and not allow external events to control them. You will be making well thought out choices. or at least educated guesses.

as giddy as a kid on Christmas eve. your heart rate quickens and you get some adrenaline running through your veins. are the symptoms of being excited? Well. change the world. you don’t have to like those feelings. You may sweat a bit and get clammy hands. Those who Dream Big! Have you had a sneaking suspicion throughout your life that you were destined to achieve something great? Something that would change the lives of many people for the better and build you great wealth in the process? Have you ever had a day dream about being recognized on the street and the center of attention at cocktail parties with people stopping to say “Hey you’re that guy/gal who made [INSERT COOL PRODUCT/SERVICE]. It lets you know that you are alive and having memorable experiences in life! Do you have to love the feeling? No. you sound like a big dreamer to me. the chances of you accomplishing this while working for someone else are fairly small. But you do have to at least be able to tolerate it. and you may even grow to like it. The day before launching a new product you may not sleep a wink. leave your mark.34 Breaking Free So what. on the other hand. right? I love it!” Have you always been a little bit disappointed that you hadn’t accomplished this thing yet? That you weren’t getting any closer to this ultimate vision you have of yourself? If so. Wow. You may even get some butterflies going around in your stomach. You could do this as part of a . being excited feels a lot like the feelings of anxiety! As an entrepreneur. but many of us do because they can be just like excitement. If you are someone who has always had big goals and aspirations to help others. It lets you know that you are doing something significant and important that will have real significance in the world.

If you aren’t excited to go to work most mornings. We’ll hear more about him later. this is a big red flag waving right in your face. It seems so obvious in retrospect. They hate the idea that they are just another cog in the machine of a huge corporation where the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing. Those Who are Lacking Excitement in Their Day When you wake up Monday morning are you excited to go to work? I wasn’t at any of my old jobs. Congratulations. and they didn’t get rich working for someone else! They were the big dreamers out there who never gave up on their ideas. fully 74% of people in the US who are millionaires are self-made. you are a perfect candidate to quit your job and work for yourself. This means. Many people state that they want to feel like their work is important. or in a top position in a big company. . but now I look forward to the tasks I’m doing each morning in my own business. you won’t truly be happy in life until you are on the path to achieving part of that dream. 1 Brian Tracy is one of the top success coaches in the US. they weren’t born rich. few do anything about it. It’s exciting.Is it Right for Me? 35 small company. but in my experience it’s much easier to accomplish this by working for yourself. but I didn’t notice it for years. While many feel this way. they didn’t inherit wealth. If you are a big dreamer. According to Brian Tracy1.

I’m too old or too young There really is no time like now.36 Breaking Free THE MOST COMMON EXCUSES IN THE BOOK! We’ve gone over some good reasons to quit your job and work for yourself. These are the most insidious type. we’re going to lay out some of the most common ones here to help separate them from legitimate reasons. you should take decisive . There are also many successful businesses started every year by people in high school and college. because our magnificent brains seem to come up with them so easily when we are about to do something scary. think about how late it will be if you wait another five years! One of the secrets to success is that when you’ve made up your mind to do something. It’s a survival mechanism that is occasionally very outdated in our modern world. It’s hard wired into your brain to tell you this and cause some self doubt at times. I mentioned earlier in this book a friend of mine who went back to medical school at the age of 59. The type of thinking that tells you “It’s too late to get started” or “I’ll do it in a year after I have more experience” is just flat wrong. If you think you are too old now. You have to realize that your brain will never stop bringing things like this up. That’s why it’s your job to ignore your brain when it says things like this! T. But there is one more category that isn’t any type of reason at all: the excuse. Luckily. All you have to say is “Thank you for sharing”. and we’ve gone over some good reasons not to quit your job. Harv Eker2 taught me a wonderful thing to say when your brain brings up these excuses.

Don’t wait until tomorrow. higher quality. often times the person with the brilliant idea dies penniless and broke while others capitalize on it. You can eat an entire elephant. If you think you are too young (with the exception of being a student. so don’t feel bad. Let’s look at a few reasons why you don’t need to be full of incredible inventions and ideas to start a successful company. which we’ll talk more about). all died without a cent to their name. Nikola Tesla. just focus on the single next step right in front of you. Charles Goodyear. most successful businesses take an existing idea and find some way to improve on it. which I described above). historically speaking. Don’t focus on how much you have ahead. and do it.Is it Right for Me? 37 action right then to get started. I don’t have any good ideas I fell for this excuse for many years. in a 2 Harv Eker is an author and teaches people financial freedom . Pretty soon. telling yourself you will get started later is the same as saying you will never do it. Take massive action the moment you decide. In fact. do it today. who made the first rubber that could be used year round. and Johannes Gutenberg. and it’s far from the truth. Right now if possible. you’ll look back and a month will have gone by and so much has been accomplished you will hardly believe it. They sell at a lower price. very few businesses are started on some brand new idea. the inventor of AC electricity and the radio. who created the printing press. And just keep doing a little bit every day (make it a habit. It took me a while to realize that conventional wisdom – successful businesses are formed with a brilliant original idea – was flat wrong. if you only have to take one bite a day. First. Only a small percentage of businesses have ever been created in this way. Instead.

you’ll be amazed what you come up with. Study effective brainstorming techniques.38 Breaking Free better location. I also learned and read day and night to get new ideas (there are many ideas for free out there for the taking). you don’t need them in the first place! Take a page from Thomas Edison who said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. Just because you think you don’t have any good ideas doesn’t mean you won’t. and the list goes on and on. I should also mention that when I first started out. by combining with another product. What we truly have is a shortage of committed entrepreneurs with the audacity to make them happen. You can also invest in commercial real estate. But what I did do was talk to lots of people. I didn’t have any ideas that I thought were good. I listened to their ideas and some of them were good! Those people became my new business partners as we started companies together. or with a new twist. there are still a ton of businesses you can start. you can teach others what you know as a tutor or consultant. and moreover. Just to give you an example. There are many good franchises (at the time of this writing Subway and Quiznos are two of the highest ranked) where they literally give you the entire business plan from A to Z in a book. but they rarely start something from scratch. you can buy an existing business. I also learned how to come up with good ideas. They provide you with every single step you can follow to own your own business and be successful. even if you have absolutely no original ideas whatsoever in your entire life (which I find highly unlikely). . The bottom line is that plenty of good ideas exist out there in the world.

grew up on the streets in gangs. If you aren’t careful. is now an HR manager at a top firm with a beautiful home and family. and it’s holding you back. Sylvester Stallone was so poor at one time he sold his dog (his best friend in the world) for $25 to avoid starvation. etc. etc). friendship from people in a similar condition. an explanation for when things go wrong.Is it Right for Me? 39 I’m not wealthy. . I have a great deal of sympathy and respect for people who don’t come from a privileged background. Life is absolutely full of stories of people who have overcome incredible odds. I’ve heard stories of sexual abuse. It could be your story that you tell. well educated. You may get defensive to this idea. discrimination (and the list goes on) where people overcame incredible odds to become extremely successful happy people. A personal friend of mine who was abandoned as a child. and stole food to survive. drug addiction. if you have been carrying around this chip on their shoulder your whole life. This can be a bitter pill to swallow. these feelings can come to define your life. because nothing has been given to them. because it gives you the toughness to keep going no matter what. and say “He doesn’t understand” or “Of course he But stop for a moment to reflect on your strong emotions. then I have news for you: This is actually your greatest strength. from a good family. Ultimately this thinking is destructive and is holding you back. He cried himself to sleep for weeks before finally selling the script for Rocky. If you fall into this boat. would say that”. You could become attached to it because it has secondary pay offs (sympathy from others. Brian Tracy was a high school drop out who held some of the worst jobs imaginable before becoming a self made millionaire later in life. The harsh reality is that you may be using your past as an excuse.

In chapter six I outline all the steps to starting a business and it’s really not as tough as people imagine. If this is an excuse you’ve been using. First. If you decide you want to do something. To take responsibility for your own progress and improve your life no matter what. I have only a few things to say on this subject. It sounds like a lot of work Well. suicidal. I’ve also known people who were born with everything they could need (Ivy League education. there are going to be lots of things in life that require long term goals and lots of work. loving parents. Find something you are passionate about and enjoy doing (Chapter 5). saying it sounds like a lot of work is indicative of a larger problem. . You can make a decision right now to stop using the excuse of your current situation. The thing is. The point I’m trying to make here is simple: your past does not equal your future. my only goal is to make you aware of it.40 Breaking Free At the same time. it’s not as much as you think. trust fund) who ended up spending their life in and out of rehab. Second. or on anti-depressants. External situations simply don’t matter in the long run. and you will have to do them. That is the first step to cutting it out of your life and moving on to success. The only thing that matters is what is on the inside. and perhaps more importantly. you will usually find a way no matter how hard it seems. yes it is. So this is more an issue of having the right mindset. and think about it everyday. and it won’t seem like work anymore.

but what other types exist? I know nothing about physics or mechanical engineering. but it’s true. I will let you in on a little secret: most successful entrepreneurs knew as much or less than you know right now when they started their companies. but somehow I’ll find a way to get it done”. I know nothing about chemistry or poisons. but it will be okay. or how much force is required to kill a giant rat. do the accounting. let’s say you wanted to produce a better mousetrap. How can you tell if the rat felt any pain when it died? Do you have to be regulated by the government to sell a product with poisons in it?” . should I sell there? How big do rats get in China? What if I want to kill the rat humanely? Maybe there are some poisons. etc. China is a big market. I know you don’t believe me. create the marketing. hire good people. Maybe you don’t even know what you don’t know! For example. To realize that you don’t know something. How big do rats get anyway? Maybe I’ll have to talk to some biologists. do the “technical” part. find customers.Is it Right for Me? 41 I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO [BLANK] Fill in the blank: raise the money. This is perhaps the biggest excuse we all use in one form or another. This is a very powerful mentality. The difference is that they told themselves “It might be difficult. Your thought process might go something like this: “I know basically how a common mousetrap works.

or pay someone to do it. With the internet today. Whenever you encounter a situation where you say “I don’t know how to do [BLANK]”. If you really wanted to build a better mousetrap. you have two basic options: learn it. I bet you’d come up with lots. there are a lot of unanswered questions. and this is just a simple example! But I’m here to tell you. nothing is impossible. .org. Learn it yourself • Google The first step is to type whatever you are wondering about in Google and start reading. If you sat down and brainstormed for ten minutes on ways to “find out what government regulations exist for companies that sell poisonous products”. Neither one is as hard as you might think.42 Breaking Free Clearly. It’s the largest encyclopedia in the world (far bigger than Britannica) and is written in many different languages. You will almost surely find a detailed article on it with links to the best sites. You can outsource all types of things now for next to nothing (see below). I bet you could still do it. This is most likely the single greatest resource ever created. • Wikipedia Visit en. you can find out almost anything you could ever want. Every successful person I know uses it dozens of times per day.wikipedia. So here are some of my favorite ways to get around these problems. And when I say “pay someone to do it” I’m not talking about spending lots of money hiring someone or taking on a business partner.

how to compose a song. to these old timers it was second nature) and within a day I had a dozen responses from people with 10. This website is amazing. just find the one best one. Even if you search the board and it doesn’t have what you want. • Speed Read Books Whenever I am trying to learn a new skill (how to market a product. post your question! I joined a board like this when researching a mechanical engineering issue for a product I was designing. The more participants the forum has. 15. They were eager to help and share their knowledge. You don’t need to find all of them. but one of them usually accounts for probably 80% of all the content. the higher the value. Join it. Every single industry and profession (and often times even individual products) will have a huge discussion board dedicated to and you will likely find an article on how to do exactly what you are pondering. and it was entirely free! As a side note. etc) one of the most valuable things I do is get the top one or two books on a subject and read them. • eHow Go to www. I posted a highly technical question (at least it was to me.ehow. search it. for almost any topic. there will be several discussion boards.Is it Right for Me? 43 • Forums Find a discussion board on the internet related to your topic. even 20 years experience in the industry. read the top five or ten books on a subject to get . If you need an in depth knowledge of a subject. You can get step-by-step instructions on everything from designing an effective business card to selling a business. how to cook. Just this one act alone will give you more knowledge than 99% of other people out there. and post to it.

Often times. But successful people are simply those who are willing to never stop learning. Ten years later a book is finally produced and little old you can come along to purchase the entire body of knowledge for twenty bucks. Its not who you know. know! For example. • Networking Learn how to network! They say that you are only five or six degrees away from anyone on this planet. For a few dollars and a few hours you can insert all that knowledge into your brain like inserting a CD into a computer! It really is astounding if you stop to think about it. I happen to know very little about bio-diesel. and summarize all the conflicting view points. You can literally learn any subject in this manner. They will read hundreds of articles. speed reading and speed comprehension are real. it’s who the people you know. Does this take awhile? Of course. This is a unique ability human beings have that isn’t taken advantage of enough.44 Breaking Free different perspectives and approaches. talk to all the top people in a field. synthesize complex ideas from all over the world into easy principles. and I really believe it’s true. You really owe it to yourself to learn how to speed read. authors will dedicate a significant portion of their lives to learning about a particular topic. Yes. but I . Make an investment in this skill and it will continue to reward you for the rest of your life. let’s say I had a complex and tough question about how bio-diesel fuel affects the metal parts in an engine compared to regular gasoline.

I also know that my former roommate’s father works for Shell Oil. etc).com .Is it Right for Me? 45 did hear about a lecture a year ago on alternative fuels that was given by one of the world’s leading experts. it’s time to call in an expert. Two of the best websites I’ve found to outsource work are www. If you’ve decided the topic is just too confusing or a high degree of skill is required that would take you years to master. most people are more than willing to help. expensive. hundreds of seminars are probably being given in your city on various topics. • Take a Class Most community colleges offer very inexpensive classes (could be as low as $15) on a whole range of topics such as business accounting. Pay someone else to do it. website and www. My acquaintance John hosted that event and could put me in touch with the speaker. Here are a few ideas: • Outsourcing One of the best ways to hire an expert is benefits. Also check your local city’s small business association to see what classes they offer. On any given day. reach out to your network! Even if they are acquaintances or you haven’t seen them in a while. I’m sure he would be able to put me in touch with half a dozen people who research the topic for the living. Hiring an actual employee can be a long. so outsourcing makes great sense for small businesses. interviews. There are still plenty of budget conscious ways to get some help. If you have a question. salary. difficult process (taxes. and marketing. and even if he can’t answer my question.

I eventually received over a dozen bids for this project and selected an excellent professional who was able to do the work 1000 miles away for a fraction of the price. and experts from around the world come to bid on it. • Partner Take on a partner. I once posted a project that required a professional with a rare combination of skills (mechanical engineering. you may have to pay them with equity in the company. The professionals are already there. artistic ability. • Answers Websites Go to answers. You can look at prior work and feedback from past clients (they have a feedback system just like eBay so you know if they are legitimate) and make an educated decision on whom to select for the and type in your question.46 Breaking Free The way these sites work is that you post a project on the website. has over half a million registered professionals at the time of this writing. or answers. you can have experts all over the world help answer your question and do the research for you. If you don’t have cash to hire someone full time. and a background in the aesthetics of product design). If you are going to need an expert in a particular subject on a regular basis at .yahoo. it’s often amazing how inexpensively you can get quality work done. proficiency in a particular piece of software. bidding the lowest price to get your business! Because these people are bidding from all over the world. For a very reasonable fee. It’s great because you don’t have to go out and find people or negotiate for

your relationships. your health (like losing weight or quitting smoking). you still have your knowledge in other areas to sell. MAKE THE DECISION As an exercise. and outsourcing would become a day to day activity. Maybe it has to do with money. For example. Cultivate these relationships (remember networking?) and don’t hesitate to do someone a favor if they ask you. Be very clear on what skills you are each bringing to the table to form a great partnership. You might need to cash in the return favor when you least expect it! I truly hope you never have another reason to seriously think “I can’t do [blank]”. catch yourself and go back to review this list. and come up with one that is important to you. If you can’t pay in cash. stop reading. Take a moment right now. Approach them and ask them about starting the business together. Really. try thinking about a long term goal you have had that you haven’t yet accomplished.Is it Right for Me? 47 the company. so the next time it happens. It’s easy to fall into that trap. but you need some graphic design work done for your logo and brochures. you may want to find a partner. • Trade You can pay others in trade. stop right now and don’t continue reading till you think of one! . you may be able to get your graphic design buddy to do the work for free if you help him out with a programming project he is stuck on. if you are a good programmer.

. Imagine yourself five years from now with all your dreams fulfilled. Take a moment and try it. imagine how it would feel. and never make the very first step. Compare it to how you are now. the difference should be surprising! Notice how you really have changed so much in that short period of time. think back to five years ago. The goal seems almost impossible. You hadn’t noticed it because it was so gradual. what you were like. and how you would feel about yourself. because they spend all their time thinking about how far away it is. You have tried and worked hard for all this time and it still seems so far away! Now. this can be down right depressing to think about.48 Breaking Free Now imagine your perfect ideal self as you would be in the future if you had fully accomplished this goal. but thinking back to that time. doesn’t it? Comparing your ideal self with how you are today is going to be a pretty large difference. how others would perceive you. and how people perceived you as it relates to this particular goal. If you are like most people. and at the same time so inspiring to see how far we have come. or to a time when you first started thinking about a goal. Take a moment and actually visualize yourself. you were almost an entirely different person! The point of this exercise is to see how depressing it can be to think about how far we have to go. Again. Think about how you acted then. Go ahead! I bet that goal seems a long way off. how little you knew. The problem is that most people don’t usually get to experience the second one. Now compare this to where you are today.

bad reasons. A friend of mine finished his thesis for his graduate degree by making a rule for himself: every day no matter what. but as a day to day activity it’s much more effective to stick your head in the sand and look at the one small task that needs to be completed for the day. after writing one sentence. to get one step closer toward your goal. I have to write my one sentence for the day. then you will wake up a year later and be utterly astounded at how far you have come. lets try to personalize it for your own life. one of my favorite sayings starts with a question: “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer: “One bite at a time. they just ask themselves “What is the next step?” Then they finish that little part today. and excuses (that aren’t reasons at all) to quit your job. Of course. If you can just do one thing every day. every day he wrote at least one sentence and he finished long before his classmates who stayed up all night at the end of the semester. successful people don’t dwell on how far away it is. Well guess what? It’s going to be even farther away if you wait another year to get started. it was often easy to write a few more sentences or even a few pages. “Oh yeah.” Now that we’ve discussed in depth the good reasons. As stated before. this will just take a second”. he would write one sentence.Is it Right for Me? 49 That is so key. The biggest mistake you can make is to say “A year? Ten years? What is the point? That is so far away”. . Clearly you have to do long term planning sometimes. We are going to do this with some simple exercises on the next few pages where you can write in the book. and make sure you are on track. but this was a great way to trick his brain into getting started. Without fail.

But it wasn’t until years later that I started actually doing the exercises myself. especially if you are in a hurry. Even if you have a thought in your head that you think is crystal clear. agree with it. I still send the letter or email anyway. and move on to the next. Typically. I think that on some level I thought I was smart enough to understand it without writing anything down. trying to explain the problem clearly so your friend will understand the exact situation you’re in. when suddenly you arrive at the solution yourself! The very act of putting your thoughts into words clarified the problem to the point where you now knew the next step.50 Breaking Free WARNING: The next few pages of this book are going to contain some written exercises that will take a few minutes. you might be tempted at this point to skip over the exercises and start reading the next chapter. If you are anything like me. please don’t! I will tell you why. I can’t fully explain it. and that is when my success went up drastically. For your own sake. like me. Perhaps. you have discovered the power of writing things down while sending a letter or email to a friend to ask for advice. I never stopped to actually experience it for myself. except to say that there is something magical about the act of physically writing something down on paper. and thank the person for being such a good listener! . I was too quick to hear an idea. When I first started learning about this topic. You are writing away. try writing it down and you will discover new aspects you hadn’t even considered.

and get your thoughts on paper! If you are worried about someone coming along and reading your most personal thoughts. of the small percentage who make it as far as you did. Please don't make the same mistake I did for so many years by assuming you can get everything just by reading. But please write. an even smaller percentage take action and actually do the exercises to get the full benefit. it will be a book about your life. you will have in your hands a whole collection of clues into your own life. When you are finished with the book. Unfortunately.Is it Right for Me? 51 At the beginning of this book. The book will cease to become abstract thoughts that could apply to anyone. or if you may want to share this book with someone else later. and what you will do. by picking up this book and investing in yourself. . then feel free to write on a separate sheet. I congratulated you on taking the step that so many others didn't. not doing. where you are going. Write directly in the book.

2. 4. 3. How do you feel when you wake up Monday morning to go to work? What do you do in your free time. What do you dislike about your job? Please list at least five negative aspects of your job. 2. when there is nothing you have to do? 1. 4. 1. 5. . 1. 3. 4. 2. 5. 3. What would be some advantages to quitting your job? Please list five. 5. 1.52 Breaking Free CHAPTER 2 EXERCISES What do you like about your current job (assuming you work for someone else)? Please list at least five benefits or positive aspects that you enjoy.

2. Be honest! . 4. significant other. 3. 1. Think back to conversations you have had with others (family. 3. etc). 3. What would be some disadvantages to quitting your job? Please list five. 5. Using the chapter as a reference if necessary. What reasons come up in conversation about why you shouldn’t quit your job? 1. 4. please decide whether each of the last 10 disadvantages you wrote down is an excuse or legitimate reason not to actually quit. 4. Mark each one with an “E” or an “LR”. 2. 5. 5.Is it Right for Me? 53 2. friends.

avoid people with an external locus of control. Those who don’t spend time on what they are passionate about. Those with a desire for control of their life. I don’t have any good ideas. . It sounds like a lot of work. Big dreamers.  Strive to become a person with an internal locus of control. Who shouldn’t quit their job? o o o o • o Those struggling to support a family. I’m not wealthy/well educated/from a good family. o o o o • Risk lovers. Learn how to do it yourself. Those who truly love their job. o o o o • o I’m too old/young.54 Breaking Free CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY • • • It’s often hard to tell whether the reasons we use are excuses or legitimate reasons. People with no idea what business to start. Many people’s excuses are nothing more than limiting beliefs. People who are bored with their life. Current students. Common excuses.  Google Who should quit their job? I don’t know how to do [blank].

Is it Right for Me? 55       o     Wikipedia Forums eHow Speed read books Networking Take a class Outsourcing Answers Websites Partnerships Trade Pay someone else to do it. .

Chapter 3 Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -Robert Francis Kennedy

yourself short. I don’t completely understand why, but often it seems as human beings we resist the things that would help us the most. I know because I did it in my own life, and I still catch myself doing it Do yourself a favor and jot down a few notes on the previous pages! Stop reading! Ok, now that we’re all back together, let me make something very clear before continuing: quitting your job is going to be scary! I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it will be easy, because it won’t be. There is no magic secret that will make it pain free. You are going to feel anxiety, you are going to have self doubt, and your brain is going to come up with all kinds of negative thoughts. You will find yourself wondering if maybe you have everyone fooled. You read


et me state one more time, that if you skipped the exercises at the end of chapter two, you are really selling


Breaking Free

the book, you did the exercises, but who are you kidding? Those other people who did it are so much smarter than you, they aren’t in your situation, they have all those advantages, and that’s why it won’t work for you. Does this sound at all like the little voice in your head? I will tell you one secret: Everyone, from the most successful CEOs to the highest paid actors and musicians to the president of the United States, at one time were very unsure of themselves and had the same thoughts going around their head. Actually, more than that, they still have those thoughts go around their head once in a while. In fact you can never get rid of them 100%. The only difference between those that are successful and those that aren’t is that successful people don’t listen to those negative thoughts. This is such an important point, we are going to explore it in depth in this chapter. When it comes down to it, it’s fear, not actual knowledge, that trips people up on the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Like many things in life, being self-employed is a mental game. Those who are mentally tough are the ones who succeed. We must admit and embrace the fact that life is filled with scary experiences. They are all around us. Can you think of a time when you saw a good looking “hunk” or “babe” sitting across from you at restaurant or coffee shop? I bet you were nervous and trying not to look silly in front of them, and maybe you even thought about going over to say “Hi”. But your brain made a whole slew of excuses: “They look busy", "I shouldn’t bother them”, “I bet he/she has a girlfriend/boyfriend”, “I look like a mess just running out of the house like this”, “I would go say ‘Hi’ if I was dressed better”, and “What if they aren’t interested and everyone sees me get rejected?”

Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step


Business is really no different. Sometimes opportunities crop up that are risky but could be highly rewarding. Just like a potential mate sitting across from you at the coffee shop, we might see an attractive investment deal sitting across from us at the conference table. Do we sign or not? There the brain goes again: “I’m busy with so many other things right now, do I even have time for this?” “There’s another investor already working on a similar project, he might beat me to it.” “I’m relatively new to this whole field; are these people secretly laughing behind my back?” “What if I lose my shirt on this deal and everyone thinks I’m a failure?” Brian’s Note I am actually in a coffee shop right now writing this, and as I was writing that last paragraph a cute girl walked by that I wanted to meet. Just as I suspected, my brain instantly came up with an excuse! “I’ve got to get some work done on the book, and I don’t have time to take a break”. But then I thought, “Brian, how hypocritical would that be to be writing a book about this very topic when you can’t do it yourself!” Anyway, I had some anxiety but finally went and did it. Maybe I should send her a copy of the book since she is now in it. I tell you this to illustrate an important point. Recognizing these excuses we create is only the first step. You can understand it and believe it intellectually, but it doesn’t change the fact that your brain will do it! It is a constant battle we wage with ourselves to remove our limitations and ignore the inner critic. So I hope that we are in agreement on the fact that quitting your job will be scary. Despite being scary however, it will be a positive step


Breaking Free

that you will be so glad you took, so let’s look at some of the things that might hold you back.

A Desire for Certainty One of the fundamental needs of human beings that has been written about in psychology for decades is the need for certainty1. In fact, many people consider this the most fundamental human need of all. If we jump out of a plane, can’t trust the wobbly bridge, the car spins out of control, or the air is suddenly sucked out of the room, then nothing else matters. During an event like this, the desire for certainly is more powerful than the need for food, water, happiness, procreation, and love. Unfortunately, this basic human need doesn’t always go very well with another human need, which is the desire for purpose, growth, and contribution. This is why we seek to build companies that can bring us wealth, help other people by providing value to their lives, and give our lives significance and importance. In the moment, our desire for certainty often wins out because it is necessary in the short term. Our brains are designed to work in a world that existed one hundred thousand years ago, where a tiger or neighboring tribe might jump out at any moment to kill us! To survive in that world, our brains evolved to prioritize certainty above all else. It was a necessary survival trait then, but doesn’t always serve us well in the modern day. Purpose, growth, and contribution are more long term goals and if we aren’t careful our

For example, Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. This is also discussed by

many contemporary people such as Tony Robbins.

Once this worked you’d get even more confident. your confidence would increase.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 61 overwhelming desire for certainty can totally prevent us from achieving them. Each and every time you feel nervous about something. you will build confidence. like putting up a simple website or writing an e-Book. if you can’t admit to yourself that you sometimes suffer from a lack of confidence. In fact. A simple . The primary way is to go right through it by starting small. Then you could invest in a small business. let’s say you lack confidence in starting a company. Simultaneously. we are often the greatest obstacles to our own success. this might be the first indication of it! Luckily there are ways to build self confidence. You’d be nervous about interviewing people. after you closed a big contract with your first client you would know you were going to make it! Slowly but surely. the number of things you were unsure of would get smaller and smaller. Everyone suffers from a lack of self confidence at various points in their life. but after you hired the first one it would get easier. and still go through with it. Finally maybe you’d start a larger business. then you would automatically feel more confident. Once you discovered how easy it was and actually did the exercises. Maybe first you could read a book about it and write out some exercises. A Lack of Self Confidence Although it’s tough to admit. After you wrote a successful advertisement. Finally. For example. you wouldn’t feel nervous about that.

Don’t ever 2 Feeling nervous or unconfident about something means you are about to have an incredibly I didn’t create this phrase. Feeling nervous will turn into an automatic response where your brain says “Hey. Be like a Nike ad and just do it. Imagine for a moment that you are riding a motorcycle. In fact. So don’t worry about getting confidence. a competent motorcycle driver who lacks confidence will still be alive to slowly build the confidence over time. 3 . I’m feeling nervous. sometimes when I start to feel nervous about a particular event. What you need instead is to build competence3. Would you rather be confident or competent? A confident person who lacks competence might take the bike right into a very dangerous situation and not be able to get out! On the other hand. I first heard it from a man named Don Akers.62 Breaking Free way to remember this is action eliminates fear2. that means its time to just do it!” Actually. business coach and former Golden Gloves Boxing champion. Just learn the basics to become competent. An External Locus of Control We discussed this concept in the previous chapter. then you will always be doomed to failure. who is a This concept is attributed to a man named Erik Von Markovik. but if you still feel your life is controlled by the external events in life that are happening all around you. valuable experience. What a great opportunity! The second thing to realize about confidence is that it really isn’t that important to have. after a while you can actually train yourself to respond positively to a nervous unconfident feeling. You can get by without it. I stop and tell myself “This is great! It means I’m about to learn something”. Then take immediate action! The confidence will come as a byproduct over time.

Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 63 make excuses that something “happened” to you or someone “did” something to you. someone walks by accidentally stepping on them and loudly declares “where is that tree you keep talking about? I told you it wouldn’t work!” "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. simply cut off all communication with them. sunlight. can become great. and nourishment to grow one day into a strong tree. many people let the expectations of others control their life. What if those people are your family. just don’t even tell them what you are . Quitting your job is scary enough on its own without a group of people around trying to discourage you! Imagine your desire to start a business is like a seed you planted in the ground. It’s going to take lots of water. spouse. They are holding you back (more on this later). too. No one owes you anything. Better yet.Mark Twain When you are in the transition phase of starting your own company. it’s important to eliminate negative influences like this from your life. Small people always do that. or closest friends? The best policy in this case is to avoid discussing it with them as much as you can. just as the first tender green leaves are emerging from the soil. What do you think is going to happen if every few days. If these people are friends or acquaintances of yours. The time to take responsibility for your progress is now. Parents & Loved Ones' Expectations Unfortunately." . but the really great make you feel that you. You are the only one responsible for your own happiness.

for example will help keep you in the right mindset. The old phrase “You are who you spend time with” is true. there is probably something wrong. to tell those people who might not understand what you are doing. Theirs or your own? It’s time to stop caring what other people think. but it must be said. You’ve only got one shot on this planet and my advice is to spend it doing what you want.64 Breaking Free doing! Some people will probably write me angry letters for saying this. strong enough to survive on its own. the . Other entrepreneurs. they will eventually come to love you more for being your true self and reaching your full potential. Often. Every good mother knows to encourage her child to play with the good kids. that only those who dare to fail greatly ever After all. What’s important to keep in mind here is that your discouraging family and friends don’t mean to sabotage you. A Negative Peer Group Most people vastly underestimate the influence that their peer group has on them. not what others expect of you. but it will almost certainly guarantee a life of mediocrity. This might make you safe. If you are doing what everyone else is doing. Wait at least until your little tree has become a sapling. They actually care for you deeply. whose reality do you live in? achieve greatly. If her child ever falls into the wrong group of friends. Remember. Even if they don’t understand at first. Then they can sleep at night with plenty of certainty. actively seek out and surround yourself with people who do understand what you’re trying to do. But your parent’s or spouse’s goals for your life are not always in harmony with your goals for yourself. from their viewpoint it would be great (at least they think it would be great) if you took the “safe” route of getting a good job from a large company with decent benefits. At the same time.

When you make the . you’ll also have to worry about the unsuccessful ones holding you back. Did you ever notice that when you played a team or opponent that was far better than you. Think of your five closest friends and take the average of their incomes (guess if needed). we really aren’t very different. What they found was astounding: one single factor. was enough to ensure a person would be unsuccessful no matter what. Let’s try an experiment for a moment. Being around unsuccessful people virtually guaranteed you would be like them! Your goal should be to surround yourself with the people who are closest to your ideal self. If you do this long enough with enough people. In The Psychology of Achievement. and even if you tried to fight it.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 65 damage can be swift and drastic! As grown ups. it would still happen. Brian Tracy talks about a study done at Harvard where they tested just how powerful the peer group actually is. when you played a team or opponent with inferior skills. you played sloppily and without focus. you’ve probably experienced this first hand. a negative peer group. you knew it wasn’t your best. Even if you won. Likewise. you played up to their level? Even if you lost. you will automatically become more like them. you may have played the best game of your life. It isn’t even a conscious process most of the time. I can guarantee you that the number you came up with is remarkably close to your own actual income! Financially unsuccessful people look at this and say “I’d have wealthier friends if I could only earn more money!” Financially successful people look at this and say “I’d earn more money if I could only find some wealthier friends!” Aside from finding successful people. If you’ve ever played a sport.

Many of them told me the opposite. significant other. some people are going to think you are crazy. In the end I chose to listen to those people who I most wanted to be like. I chose to listen to people who were successful and had the life I wanted. Subconsciously. Taking this scary step in your life isn’t going to happen all at once. it isn’t the “safe” route. In my own personal experience. Be prepared for it and expect it. You are . GETTING STARTED Now that we’ve listed the reasons most people fail. what are the implications from their point of view? You would probably stop being friends with them. people who are not living to their full potential may want you to fail in this endeavor. What’s most important is to realize that what other people think doesn’t matter.66 Breaking Free decision to quit your job and work for yourself. they would look lazy or ineffective by comparison. It’s your responsibility to decide for yourself. It’s not like jumping off a diving board where you can build up the courage and just do it once. or children may tell you that you are crazy! The reasons behind this are many. Your own parents. it may be people someone who you love and respect. which is filled with excuses as to why they can’t succeed will be broken. Very few people take this path. and we all fear change. because they aren't going to be random people off the street. Ultimately however. let’s focus on a more positive aspect: how to get started. the reasons why aren’t important. and their model of the world. and quit my job to work for myself. It’s up to you to decide who to listen to and who to ignore. They all told me to follow my path in life and achieve my true purpose. If you become wildly successful. This can have a big effect on you. I also got plenty of advice from other people who didn’t have the life I wanted.

After a while. Believe me. going around them effortlessly. If they had caught it when it was just a little trickle. barely an inch wide. But eventually it would start to affect the river. .Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 67 going to be tested over and over again. and you will need to build up a positive mindset that will stay with you day after day. Beliefs are built up over time. about an inch deep until almost 100% of the water is flowing together. we can’t change everything in one day. Overtime it builds up. How is someone going to come along one day and change the river flowing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon? They can’t. A few years later we’d wake up and the river would be flowing in a totally new direction. little by little. it starts to form a pattern and become more consistent in what direction it takes. we can still change the path of the river. What if we came by each day and dumped a bucket of concrete near the edge? At first it would have no effect whatsoever. We are creatures of habit. Finally one day we come upon it and it has carved a deep canyon. The path continues to carve deeper and deeper into the mountain side. Imagine a small stream that bubbles up one day and forms a small trickle down a hillside. However. If we have been thinking a particular way for some time. It starts to carve a little path in the hillside. getting water from other sources such as nearby streams or seasonal rain. I wish I could write some magic sentence on this page that would instantly change your beliefs and mindset! But people don’t operate like that. because it has been so deeply ingrained over time. one person could have easily changed its course. The same is true of human belief. Even the Grand Canyon was formed this way over millions of years. but now it’s not so easy. It wanders downhill in no particular direction hitting rocks and trees. Years go by and it’s a raging river.

promising yourself you would do it later. Something would come up. I would love to have people tell me that this book changed their life. Three words that I would like you to remember are: constant positive reinforcement. think about how much you don’t like your job. but something more important would always . What I’m telling you is that this book you are reading right now isn’t enough. Reinforcement. a month later. agreed with the premise. and come home exhausted. financial issues. because it slowly gets stronger and stronger building on top of itself.68 Breaking Free This is the solution! This is the way to change human beliefs. and even became excited and ready to take action! Then the next day you would go to work. Or it will be one more constant positive reinforcement in a long list that a successful person is already using. because each time it needs to go in the right direction. It would still be in the back of your mind. Especially your beliefs about your own ability to work for yourself and be successful. Positive. Each day you would continue to go to work and be distracted by things that just don’t matter. This is the way mountains are moved. CONSTANT POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT Each word is important. Constant. Maybe you enjoyed the book. the “high” of the book would have worn off. but what’s more likely is that this book will be a starting point where people find out what they need to do each day to change their life. and this is the way you can create an unstoppable mindset toward achieving your goals. and you would delay your action. new clients. Imagine you read a book that gave you a new idea or way of thinking. a family problem. because it needs to happen every day. Finally.

but it can still work. It gets left on the back burner. This takes discipline to actually do the exercises. who I consider to be successful. If you already read voraciously or discuss entrepreneurship on a regular basis. Six months later. I did a half hour of speed reading exercises every day for a month. This is an essential investment in yourself that every person should make. Become a permanent student throughout your life and never stop learning. . and inspirational messages. then you are far ahead of most people. we are creatures of habit.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 69 seem to come up. Remember. and accept the fact it just wasn’t for you. and doubled my reading rate. Every single person that I know. you would stop one day. Two months later. Just one exciting book can’t possibly wage war against the tide of negative messages that are telling you something different. educational. you can buy a speed reading book. getting educational work done is something we often don’t have time for. follows this philosophy. Most people who take a speed reading course double or even triple their reading rate. For a more inexpensive option. So I’m going to share with you three of the best ways I know of to get more constant positive reinforcement built into your life. You will have to transform yourself into a permanent student for the duration of your life. But if you are like most of us. or if it was just some fad you went through. realize that nothing has changed. constantly feeding your brain with positive. parts of the book would be forgotten and you’d wonder if it really made sense. • Take a Speed Reading Course Speed reading and speed comprehension are real.

Then find new friends and mentors who are the right type of person. If you aren’t listening to audio programs in your car. I can’t emphasize this point enough. • Start Listening to Audio Programs in Your Car If I could pick one thing for you to start doing immediately this would be it.70 Breaking Free • Create Your Positive Peer Group Just being around the right people will serve as a great education and inspire you to follow your dreams. you quite simply aren’t serious about being successful in life. then it’s impossible to forget. . Immediately stop spending time with the people in your life now who aren’t helping you grow. This is equivalent to one or two semesters at a university. Go to networking events and seminars. You’ll be amazed at who you will find to help you if you only ask.) If you get busy. Buy them lunch. and ask for their advice. (Or if you live in a city with a subway. and pay for coaching. If you meet someone who you think you could learn from. Most people are sitting there listening to advertisements on the radio or Britney Spears. According to Brian Tracy. don’t be shy about getting their card and following up with them. you have an audio program going. But if every time you start your engine. then you always have time to listen there with an MP3 player. most people spend 500 to 1000 hours in their car every year. Remember how I said we are creatures of habit? The beauty of listening to audio programs in your car is that you always have to drive. or forget. pick their brain. wasting minutes and hours of their life. It’s automatically built into your daily routine. it’s easy to not be able to read as much as you’d like.

and your subconscious listens. rocket science.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 71 One important point to make here deals with what you are actually going to listen to. Unless you are studying to be a fiction writer or a news anchor. writing. It no longer is something you should do. Often. which are listed through the book and in the resource index at the end. or want to do. You need to be learning material in specific fields that will help you accomplish your goals quickly. There are a wide variety of audio programs available on marketing. the more you learn. But then I find they are listening to fiction books or that they have stopped listening to music and started listening to news or talk shows. there are more effective ways you could be using your time. Some people who I’ve given this advice to have readily agreed and even started using it. This is a slight improvement. psychology. it is something you know you will do. finance. I assume one of your goals is starting your own business. Suddenly you will start to notice things around you that that you never saw before. If you are reading this book. relationships. and almost any other topic you can think of. You will wake up in the morning with random ideas to help you on your path that you had . It may sound subtle. but not nearly as effective as what they could be doing. Events will come up that you can change and take advantage of. NO MATTER WHAT This particular phrase is especially important. the more you realize you need to learn. There are many fine programs on this subject. period. You are making a declaration to your subconscious that this is your new path. Something magical happens when you make a decision to do something no matter what. but the effect of this is actually quite profound.

You may even depart with their business card and an invitation to join them at a speaking event the next week. lets say you decide you are going to quit your job and start your own business no matter what. It had been there for months. The very word itself. All these things were happening around you already. then eventually it will just happen as more and more opportunities come into your life. As an example. At lunch you might overhear some people discussing a business idea. should. If you tell yourself constantly that you should go exercise. Maybe you’d be on your way to work one day. The critical first step is making that firm commitment to do it no matter what. it’s merely an example. then you probably won’t do it regularly. join the conversation. your subconscious would go to work right away. It is optional. but you never noticed them. if you tell yourself you must make it to the .) If you made this decision and were firmly committed. On the way home you could pass the local bookstore and notice a book in the window written by the same author you’ve been listening to in your car. you weren’t fully committed and focused on starting a business yet. a speaker and author. and happen to notice a sign posted for a business plan writing seminar.72 Breaking Free never even considered before (your subconscious was working while you slept). and make a new friend with similar interests. and you’d never noticed. going through your usual routine. The universe has a strange way of bringing the very things we think about the most into our life. implies a chance it won’t even happen! On the other hand. If you think every day about being a successful business owner. describes this as the difference between a should and a must. Tony Robbins. How could this be? Well. (Note: I’m not asking you to actually commit right here.

you didn’t fully commit to one outcome. As you tell yourself this over and over.. Your time would be severely limited. the only time you would have to work on your new business would be when you come home exhausted from your primary 4 See Chad Helmstetter’s famous book “What to say when you talk to yourself” . but I know that it worked for me and countless others. In fact.” “I’m trying to exercise more. “I’m trying to quit smoking. You start to view yourself as a person who always exercises regularly. That is fine. We call this “hedging your bets”. Not to do so would break your identity and sense of who you are as a person! Similarly. then failure isn’t an option. You aren’t trying. you’d be forced to make some sacrifices. Let’s say you decided you wanted to quit your job and work for yourself. so you may want to try it as well. Some people will tell you that playing it safe and having a backup plan is just good planning. But sometimes this can actually be self You destructive. there is no try”. How well would it work? Well. Remember the character Yoda from the Star Wars movies? He said. while starting this business. You don’t have to understand it or even fully believe in it right now. In other words. This subtle shift in thinking and how you talk to yourself4 may sound silly if you’ve never heard of it before.” How weak does that sound! If you just try.” “I’m trying to start a business. then it ceases to become optional. but you weren’t entirely sure it would work out. then by definition there’s a chance you will fail. avoid words like trying. "Do or do not. decided to play it safe by holding on to your old job just in case. You will keep on persisting until you accomplish your goal. it becomes ingrained as a priority in your life. you are doing it no matter what. If you do it no matter what.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 73 gym no matter what.

then have a backup plan for how you will still accomplish your primary goal: being self employed. numerous sales channels to market your product.74 Breaking Free job. The entire business would just be a distant second to your regular life. but you can build up to it with plenty of smaller steps before taking the plunge. you’ll one day have to take the big step of actually quitting. During the day. just in case word got back to the boss. If you want to have a backup plan. ONE STEP AT A TIME Sure. quitting your job will be a big undertaking that will be scary at times. have multiple products. you would just be too tired in the evening and end up watching TV instead of working. Sure. You’ll have self doubt running all over you! But if you can take one thing away from this chapter it is this: just start taking small steps in the right direction. When you do get work done. Don’t have a backup plan in case you never accomplish your primary goal at all! This is a surefire way to sabotage everything you are working toward. Most likely. playing it safe and hedging your bets may very well cost you your primary goal. you wouldn’t be at your peak and it would take time away from your family. In a situation like this. being self employed? What percent of your day do think you would truthfully spend thinking about There would simply be too many other responsibilities to be able to commit fully. and another entire business idea in your back pocket in case things don’t work out. Most people do the opposite of this and fall into one of two categories. The first category are those people who assume they have it all figured out and jump in right away with both feet! They overestimate . and worry about the rest later. if you want to hedge your bets. In other words. you wouldn’t be able to discuss your new business at work with anyone. cash reserves.

You’ll hardly even recognize yourself! It really is ironic. You will be focused. if you decide it’s what you really want. and have all the tools at your disposal. but as with many things in life. But very few ever do because the greatest obstacles are the ones we create in our own mind. As always. This is an essential step of reading this book. you’ll have more confidence. and for these people their fear is paralyzing. you’ll have learned more than you can possibly imagine. and you will have changed your entire mindset. a sense of calm will come over you as you walk out the door because you will know you made the right decision. The day you finally quit your job and strike out on your own. Please don’t skip it! . please take the time to jot down in a few notes in the exercises on the next page. resilient. The logistics and physical steps are not difficult. Eventually. The second category of people are so risk averse they never act at all! This is probably a much bigger category. The secret is to fall somewhere in between these two groups by taking small steps. while still making progress. Anyone can do it. A year later. you will look back and see how far you’ve come. By taking small steps you are minimizing risk and learning as you go. They have the best of intentions but never change anything. determined.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 75 their ability and quickly sink to the bottom. I have confidence in you that you will overcome all obstacles in your path to accomplish this goal. quitting your job to work for yourself is a mental game.

3. 5. . 5. 2. or write it on a separate sheet. severely limit your time with them. 4. or simply not tell them about your dreams if you have to be near them! Who do you admire and respect? Who would you like to be more like if you could have any life? Who do you think you could learn from? 1. 2. You may want to cut these people out of your life. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to meet with them or find more people like them. You may want to make an effort to spend more time with these people. 3.76 Breaking Free CHAPTER 3 EXERCISES List five people in your life right now who may be a negative influence or don’t share your vision of quitting your job and being self employed? (Note: if you fear them finding this. 4. you can use code words or nick names.) 1.

Go right now to education.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 77 What are five ways you could bring constant positive reinforcement to your life? How could you hear a message daily that would inspire. I’m going to fill this one in for you. Are you only partially . but the single greatest gift you can give yourself in this area is to get started listening to audio programs in your car as you commute and go about driving every I make no money from this. (or your favorite book store) and purchase an audio program called The Psychology of Achievement by Brian Tracy. 3. and motivate you toward your goal of working for yourself? 1. 4. 3. make it this one! 2. How are you “hedging your bets” and playing it safe when it comes to quitting your job and working for yourself? committed? Please list a few ways. 2. If you are going to do one thing on this list. 4. www. and it is merely one of many good audio programs. 1. 5.

We can’t change it instantly.   o o o • • • • Action eliminates fear. Take small steps in the right direction. o o o Speed reading Positive peer group Audio programs in your car • • Deciding to do it no matter what. not confident. Use Constant Positive Reinforcement. There will be anxiety (a. sharing” and continue. We are creatures of habit. excitement). it must be done slowly over time. Parents & loved one’s expectations. Be competent.78 Breaking Free CHAPTER 3 SUMMARY • • • • • Quitting your job will be scary. . don’t hedge your bets. Lack of self confidence. Become comfortable with anxiety.a. Why most people fail. start small. A negative peer group. o o Addicted to comfort and routine. it means you are about to learn something.k. Say “Thank you for An external locus of control. Beliefs are built up over time like a stream carving the Grand Canyon. Your brain will invent excuses constantly.

This isn’t a book on money management. At the beginning. Later you will separate them I t’s time to talk about how you are going to handle your finances during the process of quitting your job. This is a subject that I truly believe should be taught in school. but I’m going to address it here because it is a major factor in how hard it will be to get your business going. so they pass on what hasn’t worked for them to their children who grow up poor. This is an . but so far it hasn’t happened.Chapter 4 Taking the Pay Cut “All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind” -Aristotle important topic because it is the lingering excuse many people use to explain why they can’t quit their job and get their business going! The unfortunate reality is that most people go through life without knowing the first thing about how to manage their finances. Rich people teach their children how to be rich. so their children grow up rich. Poor people don’t know how to manage money. your business finances and personal finances will be one and the same.

Poor people believe what they earn is there to spend. They take on debt to finance their house. Rich people believe what they earn is there to invest. and . etc) until one day they have enough income coming in that they can stop working. borrow. almost by definition. they celebrate by instantly going out and getting a nicer car. Because they have assets. Ultimately they end up in a rat race where they can never get ahead and they are forced to keep working their same job because they have so many bills to pay to just to survive! Rich people. Rich people have money work for them. this is a major reason for why people never become wealthy. The main problem is that most people spend what money they earn. but in reality. mutual funds. This sounds innocent enough. on the other hand. etc. save at least 15% of their income and never touch it. For more information on this topic. credit card expenses. and The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. When poor people get a raise. If you haven’t been building wealth for the long term. Most people who start their own business don’t have much excess cash lying around. Harv Eker’s programs on building wealth. but the principles will remain much the same. don’t worry. and still have an income. means you are getting things going any way you can! Beg. they can afford to start a business. businesses. vacations. cars. This money is then reinvested into income generating assets (real estate. get them as audio programs and listen to them when you are done with Brian Tracy’s The Psychology of Achievement. some excellent books to read are Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. The word entrepreneur. They aren’t living paycheck to paycheck like the majority of people! Poor people work for money. Better yet. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko.80 Breaking Free (Chapter 7).

(2) get a different job with more flexible hours. and I’m going to tell you the three best ones right now. Many famous stories exist of big name entrepreneurs who started with almost nothing and pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. . There are a lucky few who quit and earn more in their first year working for themselves than they did at their old job. One or a combination of these can be used and we will cover each one in detail. you will most likely be taking a pay cut in the short term to earn more down the road.Taking the Pay Cut 81 steal just to get the first product out. That would be foolish and you could quickly find yourself in a difficult situation. THREE WAYS TO MAKE AN EASY TRANSITION 1. At the same time you can change your personal finance habits and start making big changes for your future. The basic strategies involved in smoothly taking a pay cut are (1) don’t quit your job yet. When you quit your job to start your own business. my intent here is to provide you with practical advice that will help you right now to get things started. Don’t be rash and quit without a plan in mind. but we shouldn’t assume it will. and (3) save up enough to survive for six months with no income while at the same time spending less. This is great when it happens. Luckily. So don’t worry. so don’t quit your job quite yet! One of the best ways to get things going is to start your business up in your free time by operating on nights and weekends. there are a number of ways to make this transition fairly easy. This will allow you to make the initial steps and get your confidence going. Keep your current job a little bit longer It’s never a good idea to be rash.

but it wasn’t my best work since I was already tired. If you use this strategy. Wouldn’t that make it easy to quit! I know people that have actually had that work for them. in an ideal world. So the goal is to get as close to actually earning profit as you can. or you might get a chance to see how you look in stripes! If working till the day you have money coming in sounds good to you then by all means go for it! Even if it doesn’t work. affording a few hours here and there. you will be generating enough money in your new business on the side that your current job’s income becomes small by comparison. then at the last minute made a beautiful transition by quitting their job and closing their first sale in the same day! A note of caution: be very careful about taking either customers or employees away from your current employer when you leave to work on your business. the time it takes between first starting a business and making profit can be quite substantial. gotten potential customers lined up and ready to go. at a certain point you may find yourself becoming frustrated by your lack of progress on your new business. it was often difficult. Start your new business ethically. In fact. Often. But for me it was very . The weekends were better. I know that when I was starting my company. I would get some work done occasionally. I would come home from a long day of work at the office and be absolutely exhausted. I was able to make serious progress over time using this method (and made it through a large number of steps discussed in Chapter 7). you will at least have made huge progress before actually quitting.82 Breaking Free In fact. They have slowly built their business in their free time. Many companies today have you sign a non-compete agreement which could land you in big trouble.

• Tutor Most people have some sort of skill that would allow them to work part time as a tutor. or if you speak a foreign language. or isn’t respected as much as your current job. This solution offers the best of both worlds because you will still have a steady income. it may be just what you need: part time work that gives you time to accomplish your primary objective. If you did well in any particular subject in school. It will be tough to start your business on nights and weekends if your boss already has you coming in on nights and weekends! I’ve listed some alternative jobs below that could help bring you income while you start your business. but you will have more time to work on your business! This is especially true for people whose jobs currently have them working long hours. Get a different job If your current job has you working overtime or involves extensive traveling. Keep in mind that it may be worthwhile to briefly take on a position that is “beneath you” to get ahead in the long run. During the week all I thought about was the time I could be spending on my new company! Eventually I had to quit my job to be able to work full time. . then you could tutor others. Use this method to get as far as you can down the road to starting your business. your job required special knowledge. you may want to get another one. Even if the job pays you less hourly.Taking the Pay Cut 83 frustrating to make such slow progress. 2. and never looked back.

or send an email to all your friends asking them to forward it to anyone they know with children. speaking English. writing. with your credentials. economics. experience. this is a good alternative job because it has odd hours. busy schedule. learning a foreign language. You will still be able to work a full 40 hour week on your new business and bring in some extra money in the evenings and weekends. How does one begin working as a tutor? Post flyers at local high schools. organization. general study skills. and more. put an advertisement in a PTA newsletter. But probably the single most effective way you could find work as a tutor is to make a simple one page website. physics. grammar. Many parents are willing to pay excellent hourly rates to ensure their child’s success (rates from $45/hour and up are not uncommon). • Bartender If you like to stay up late. In less than a month and for less than $100 you will have clients and a side income. accounting. hours. psychology. statistics. . photo.84 Breaking Free Tutoring is one of the best part time jobs because your hours are flexible and you can charge very substantial rates. Every city in the world is full of students who need help in algebra. preparing for the SAT. and an easy way to get in touch with you. Then start getting potential customers to your site by advertising with Google (adwords. rates.

You may also need to get certified by the state. They will bring you up to speed and provide you with job leads once you’ve graduated the course (usually two weekends or one week). Don’t assume your boss will say yes or no until you’ve asked them. Any job such as this can provide you with a lot of time to study and plan your business while still getting paid. Don’t apply to a job that will keep you busy all day long. You never know. • Help Desk Providing technical support or answering phones is a great alternative job to have. This might not help your relationships at the office. you may want to seek out a bartender training school in your area. Then it will just be tedious! Try to get a feel for how busy you might be by visiting the facility at different times or discreetly asking others who work there. Instead.Taking the Pay Cut 85 Bartenders earn $100-$300 per night. receiving tax free income). To find work as a bartender. College campuses are full of jobs like this and many IT help desk positions carry these same advantages. You don’t have to tell them “I’d like to work less so I can spend more time on my own business”. just tell them . It’s great because you are often left with nothing to do for long periods of time (and often have access to a computer). and many bartenders don’t report their cash earnings to the IRS (in essence. or about $1 per drink. • Work Part Time Another great option is to stay at your current company. but work part time.

You are under no obligation to give a full explanation. but if money is really tight. don’t despair. then 3% and you will soon get to 10%. taking it out before you have a chance to spend it will ensure it is safely tucked away. Chances are. There will . It won’t be there at the end of the month. then just start with taking out 1%. and you won’t be sure where it went. never be anything left! Instead. then you are one of the lucky few! Quit your job and live off your savings while you get started. By following the strategy below you can build enough income to survive for six months or more. you probably won’t even notice that 10% missing! When it’s in your bank account it’s easy to spend. If you fall in to this category. Most people can survive on 90% of their income. The most important part is to build the habit (remember what type of creatures we are?). take 10% out of every paycheck that you receive and put it into a special separate account specifically designated for when you will quit your job. money is tight! Living for six months without any income would spell eviction. At the same time. bump it up to 2%.86 Breaking Free it is for personal reasons. Save up enough money to live for six months before quitting If you already have sufficient savings. But if you are like most people who start companies. and you won’t even miss it. The key to saving income is to take a percentage out before you ever have a chance to spend it. Everyone can save 1% no matter what state you are in financially. Eventually. Don’t make the mistake of telling yourself you’ll save whatever is left at the end of the month.

ingdirect. I use ING Direct www. only to be left with $1200 at the end of the year. which allows $100 per month to turn into far more than the sum of its . “How much could you possibly be giving me?” A few dollars? Ten? A couple hundred? They are forgetting the power of compounding interest. Many self-made millionaires save 50% or more of their income each year! This is how they continue to build wealth. Personally. Some people find it discouraging to think about saving $100 per which currently has a 4. This is far above the national average. One important point to remember is that saving money brings you compounding interest. rewarding you for being smart enough to save.5% interest rate. “How will that help me live for six months?” parts. What if I told you that every day for a month I’d give you some pennies. many CD’s that require a one year commitment can’t match 4. and it would continue to double each day for a month.5% right now! ING Direct is able to pay this rate because they are an online bank without any branches. and real estate. Using a high yield savings account will continue to earn your interest. “So what?” you might say. “What good is $1200?” they ask. Where should you put the money? I recommend putting it into a high yield savings account. Once you have more money to invest you can look into stocks. the third day four. mutual funds.Taking the Pay Cut 87 After you’ve reached the point of saving 10% of your income. In fact. however. The first day I’d give you one penny. That means the U. because they are FDIC insured. federal government is guaranteeing your money. the second day two. and remember. You still know your money is safe. bump it up to 15% and higher as your income increases. it’s a savings account so you can move money in and out of it any time you’d like.

Of course your money won’t be doubling every day like our example above. . Even Albert Einstein once said that “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”. It is actually quite simple to determine. speak with a financial planner you trust. but by investing in index funds and real estate. Reinvest what you earn. Take a moment to list your monthly expense for each of the following: Housing 1 ING Direct will pay you 4. but you should at least be able to earn a 10% return on your investment1! Start saving today. and it will give you the cash reserves to start any business you’d like. HOW MUCH MONEY DO I REALLY NEED? There is no need to make a guess here and estimate how much money you will need. one crucial question we must answer is: How much should I save? We will now answer that question. Of course. Please go through the following exercise to find out how much money you really need to live off. This is the secret of wealth that the rich have known for centuries.88 Breaking Free It turns out that that by the end of the month I would have paid you more than $10 million in total! How can this be? After the first week you would have only received a dollar and some change. and do so for the rest of your life.5% for now risk free. If you don’t feel comfortable investing. you should be able to earn at least 10% over the long run. but by then end of the month it turned into $10 million? Behold the power of compounding interest.

Taking the Pay Cut 89 Rent/Mortgage Home Insurance/Property Tax Home Owner’s Association Dues Electricity/Gas Water Telephone Internet Cable TV Cleaning/Gardening/Pool/Security/Garbag e Removal Other Housing Costs Transportation Car Payments Gas Parking Car Insurance Car Maintenance Subway or Train Other Transportation Living Groceries Clothing Cell Phone Laundry/Dry Cleaning Hair Care/Hygiene Child Care/Support $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ .

90 Breaking Free Pet Care Health Health/Life Insurance Doctor/Dentist Visits Prescriptions Gym Membership/Exercise Classes/Sports Entertainment Restaurants Bars & Nightclubs Smoking Movies Gambling Music (concerts. mp3’s) Shows Video Games Magazines Vacations Plane Flights Hotels Taxi Meals Debt/Investments Credit Card Debt Student Loans $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ . CD’s.

If the business you want to start requires some initial investment. You will now need to create a separate bank account to keep your savings.Taking the Pay Cut 91 Automatic Savings Taxes (annual divided by 12) Federal State Education (yourself or children) Books Tuition Classes and Seminars Giving Donations to Charity/Church Gifts Monthly Total Six Month Savings Goal $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ Figure 3 – Discover your monthly expenses. Startup costs will be discussed in chapter 6 (starting a business probably costs much less than you expect). don’t worry we will discuss cutting expenses later on. If it seems a bit large. Please total your monthly expenses. you will add it to this number. Don’t mix it in with your usual checking account because it will be more difficult to keep track of and you might be tempted to spend it! Many bank accounts today allow you to name the account or . Multiplying this number by six will give you your savings goal.

Harv Eker’s Millionaire Mind . If your current employer automatically deposits your money right into your bank account.$6000”. Or if you use online banking. Name it something like “Entrepreneurship Fund” and put the actual amount that you are going to save. Then each month I would take 10% of my paycheck and deposit it into this account before I ever had a chance to spend it. If you would like to get your financial life organized in general. you can setup the funds transfer right from your home computer. Whether you do it manually by transferring the funds yourself every two weeks. This is a great idea. Remember. The key is to reinforce the habit so that 10% comes out before you have a chance to spend it. or set up an automatic funds transfer with your bank. Meanwhile. then make sure each time to calculate 10% of your total deposit and write the check right then to transfer the funds into your Entrepreneurship Fund. You can write it down right on the bank statement if the bank won’t let you label the account. is entirely up to you. then call your bank to set up an automatic funds transfer.$6000” – and file it away. If you deposit your paychecks or cash at the bank.92 Breaking Free label it somehow in online banking. one program I will recommend is T. I would name my account “Entrepreneurship Fund . you will need to take the 10% out (or whatever you are starting with) before you have a chance to spend it. So please take advantage of this by naming the actual account with your goal. Studies have shown over and over again that if your goal is measurable and written down then you are far more likely to achieve it. So if my monthly expenses totaled $1000. your compounding interest will be working while you sleep to bring you closer and closer to your goal. Just write it each month on the statement – “Entrepreneurship Fund . This will make the transfer happen automatically without any action on your part.

A NOTE ON HOW TO LIVE FRUGALLY Finally. if you have any negative beliefs about money (such as “Money is the root of all evil”) or deep down feel as if you don’t deserve money. If you are a spender (buying things on a whim even when you can’t afford it) then you can listen to programs such as the one I just mentioned to get that part of your life handled. you aren’t alone. You can get it as an audio program to listen to in your car. But it may help you out quite a bit. the decision is yours of course. . then we don’t miss it. instead of working for money. You don’t have to give up anything. you should also address this with programs like the Millionaire Mind. We always hate to give up what we’re used to. but if we’ve never experienced it. many people find that their own inner beliefs are what is limiting them the most. I resisted it. Some fine books exist on the topic of spending money wisely. If you are a saver (cheap. we must address the topic of how you can cut your expenses. Most importantly. Especially if the number you came up with in the monthly expense calculator was a little scary! When I first started learning about this topic. you will start to have your money work for you. and one I recommend you read is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. You will no longer be a spender or penny pincher (both are equally bad). Likewise. “I shouldn’t have to give anything up to get ahead.Taking the Pay Cut 93 program. I’m already poor!” So if you’re in the same boat. Again. and it will change your entire relationship with money. and feeling guilty whenever you spend money) this can also be a destructive habit and deserves attention.

Many children of millionaires aren’t even aware they are wealthy until it comes time to inherit. Instead. They are always living right on the edge of what they earn. Entrepreneurs are able to plan for the future by saving what they earn instead of spending it. Don’t take on any new debt! If you can’t afford to pay cash for it. and don’t get stuck making car payments if you can help it. Being an image conscious city. you should probably purchase a cheaper car. leaving nothing to save or invest. Remember. When they get a raise at work. they were slowly being buried alive in debt. Instead. They are not the people driving around in flashy new cars or visibly displaying their wealth. This may seem unrelated to starting a new business. While they sped around the city in their new Range Rover with spinning rims.94 Breaking Free The book eloquently makes the point that millionaires are not the people you think. Get a car that you can actually afford by paying cash for it up front. they immediately go out and buy a nicer car. but it actually isn’t. Most people live a form of this lifestyle. financially unsuccessful people aren’t able to plan for the future because they spend what money they make. most millionaires buy used cars and live modestly. purchase a used car with low miles. this was the term coined for those people who earned a modest living and were trying to live above their means. It loses about 25% of its value the minute you drive it off the lot. TX when I first became aware of the term “thirty-thousand dollar millionaire”. One of the worst decisions you can make financially is to purchase a new car. Can you imagine how much more difficult it would be to quit your job when you are living one paycheck away from bankrupcy? . even if it isn’t quite as extreme. I was spending some time in Dallas.

you become a slave to your job. Set up an “Entrepreneurship Fund” account with six months of cash reserves. You are stuck. unable to leave. so you can’t afford to quit your job. credit card payments. You can’t enjoy life that way! If you don’t reward yourself for every small success along the way. and rent.Taking the Pay Cut 95 The car payments and rent are taking up such a large percentage of your income each month that you really can’t afford to make less money. If you’ve made some financial mistakes in the past. or get a job with more flexible hours. and you can be sure to make plenty more mistakes along this journey. The secret to minimizing risk when starting a business is financial responsibility. You can’t afford to miss this month’s car payments. Nobody gets it perfect. What is important is that you now know the way out and have started building a new habit. and promise to quit when it’s full. you can eventually become discouraged and disillusioned with the whole process. Try staying at your old job while you start your company to keep money coming in. just think what you’ll feel like in five years knowing you could have started today. and start spending less than you earn today. don’t dwell on it or get discouraged. but didn’t! As a final note about reducing your expenses. Live below your means and save as much as you can! If you think its too late to start saving now. it is very possible to take it too far in the opposite direction. . This will allow you to invest for your future by saving up enough money to quit your job and work for yourself. Becoming a fanatical saver will simply make you feel guilty every time you spend money. In essence.

If you get stuck. 1.96 Breaking Free CHAPTER 4 EXERCISES Try to list five specific times during the week you could set aside to work on starting your company. 3. 5. 2. 5. 4. 4. 4. 1. 2. If your current job involves many long hours. try to write five alternative jobs you could take on that would give you more time. . even if you were still at your current job. 1. 5. list jobs that sound interesting and fun compared to your current job. 2. List five expenses or liabilities you could reduce or eliminate from your life that would allow you to save more money in your Entrepreneurship fund. and achieve your six month savings goal. 3. 3.

getting work on your business done during nights.     o income. and rich people have money work for them. your Entrepreneurship Fund. or any free moment. Poor people think what they earn is what they have to spend. weekends. o o Poor people work for money. o Get a different job that requires fewer hours each week. • • By using the provided form. • There are three strategies to use when quitting your job. o Stay at your current job as long as you can.Taking the Pay Cut 97 CHAPTER 4 SUMMARY • • Don’t let the problem of taking a temporary pay cut be your excuse! Rich people save at least 15% of their income before they ever have a chance to spend it. Rich people think what they earn is what they have to invest.  Start saving 10% of your income into a separate high yield savings account. Tutor/Consultant Bartender Help Desk Part Time at your Current Job Save up enough money to live for six months without . Strive to spend less money and don’t get caught in the “rate race” by incurring debt. you can calculate how much money you actually need each month to live on.

98 Breaking Free • Remember The Millionaire Next Door and “The $30. necessities. Use different bank accounts to allocate your income on luxuries. • Spending less than you earn is the secret to having enough money to start your own business and become wealthy. This takes the guess work out and removes guilt for spending. don’t spend more.000 Millionaire”. • • When you get a raise. and saving for the future. save and invest more. but one bought it used and paid in full while the other bought it new and is up to his ears in debt. . travel. education. o They both drive the same car.

entering a period of unknowingness and waiting for a vision or a new form of purpose to emerge. To clarify. when we discuss “your path in life” in this chapter. but what type of business should you start? .. We are trying to find You will be continually getting closer. because there is not a clear ending where you can say “I’ve got it!” Instead. game over”. These cycles of strong specific action followed by periods of not knowing what the hell is going on are natural for a man who is shedding layers of karma on his relaxation into truth. it will be a journey to follow over time. but there won’t be a specific moment when S o you’ve learned how to start saving and make the transition..Chapter 5 Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life “A man must be prepared to give 100% to his purpose. we are trying to discover some important things. The Way of the Superior Man The next step in the process is one of the most difficult.” -David Deida.He must be capable of not knowing what to do with his life. you have can say “I made it. full of twists and turns.

Are you fulfilled? Instinctively you can probably say “no” or “not all the time”. relationships. These might sound like some rather tough questions to answer. but they can all be summarized with the following statement: if you aren’t on your path in life. FULFILLMENT Fulfillment is one of those words with a rather murky definition. It’s a feeling that can’t really be quantified. . We must break the habit of purely reacting to external events all the time (an external locus of control). but believe me it’s worth it. what you are well suited for. whether you are using your best skills. what makes you happiest. Imagine yourself at your current job now. but why do you feel this way? The answer lies in whether you feel like you are contributing. and whether the work is easy or hard. making their way through life one day at a time without a clear goal or purpose in mind. you can never be completely happy. or what type of work is right for you. excitement. Make no mistake about it. and significance. whether you are growing as a person. this chapter is designed to do nothing less than help you find the purpose of your life. The alternative is to be like everyone else.100 Breaking Free what your highest values are. Let’s take a closer look at four reasons to give your purpose some serious thought: fulfillment. and what you have the potential to be the best in the world at! All of these will help you determine what type of business you should start. Why is it so important to find the purpose of your life or “be on the path” as I like to say? Well there are a number of reasons. instead choosing to create our own reality.

If you look at the diagram above you will see four categories of work you could be doing. not your overall ability. On the top is listed your skill level. you will most likely still be able to make your way through it. or how proficient you are in the skills needed for the job. you will most likely begin to experience a feeling of unimportance or insignificance. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You’re really only average at what they’ve asked you to do.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 101 Low Skill Low Difficulty High Difficulty Unimportant Frustrating High Skill Boring Fulfillment Figure 4 – The balance of skill and difficulty. and you would be able to complete it. On the side is listed the difficulty of the problem. but you sure wouldn’t feel very important. If you are in this category. You have high skills in other areas that you aren’t even getting a chance to use! You have so much you could contribute. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Stephen Covey spoke of this work classification in his book. whether it is hard to do or not. Imagine you are a world class chef hired to cater a party. but you won’t be fulfilled. but here low or high skill refers to one particular skill needed for the task at hand. so the fact you’ve been asked to do it means the results aren’t very important. . if only someone would give you a chance. The task isn’t very difficult. but when you got there the host had already ordered out and asked you just to help valet the cars. You will finish the work. If you aren’t very skilled in a particular area and the problem is easy. Your time and energy is being wasted on menial tasks.

This would leave you feeling guilty for your poor work and frustrated at how difficult it was to complete. Your magic show would probably be mediocre at best compared to the exceptional meal you had planned and trained for. there is an ideal to strive for here: challenging work that is well matched to your skill level. and are wasting their time by doing. you might say. aren’t qualified to be doing. but your skills won’t be utilized and you won’t feel challenged. but still able to produce excellent results. but they take place everyday in offices around the world. Workers are frequently matched with tasks they don’t care do be doing. This would be like the host hiring you. but it’s a more difficult task than parking cars. What if our absent minded host from above had asked you to perform a magic show for the guests instead of preparing your exquisite cuisine? Magic isn’t your area of expertise either. These above examples are a bit contrived to make a point. Fortunately. and only asking you to make microwave popcorn! Cooking is certainly your area of expertise.102 Breaking Free If you still aren’t very skilled and someone comes along to give you a difficult problem. Your feeling of unimportance goes away because you are dealing with more meaningful work. you will quickly become bored. . but it isn’t very difficult. Your skills are being utilized on important tasks and your contribution is truly valuable. This type of work can quickly lead to boredom. “Why do they keep giving me this when they know it’s not my area of expertise?”. the world class chef. things don’t get much better. If you are finally given work that you are very skilled at. but you will quickly become frustrated. This is the area of fulfillment! Here you will be in the perfect balance where you are challenged.

simply consider the alternative. That is “their story” and the excuse they have been using for why they haven’t achieved more. you can’t help but get excited about it too. because they are addicted to their struggle. why don’t you quit!” you might say. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of the same. I’ve had friends that were involved in hobbies I found downright boring. their terrible boss. then they might have to actually take a risk and try succeeding! In fact. did you! The truth of the matter is that a person on their path in life is infinitely more attractive to the opposite sex than someone who isn’t. and the next task they are absolutely dreading? What a depressing life! “If you hate it so much. Please don’t be that person! EXCITEMENT Another reason it’s so important to find your purpose in life is that it is just downright exciting! So many people who have gone . Enthusiasm is contagious. But of course they never will.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 103 FINDING LOVE I bet you didn’t expect to see this in a book about quitting your job. If you aren’t convinced yet. and if you can hear the passion in someone’s voice about what they are working on. But listening to them talk about it. How attractive is it to be around a person who constantly complains about their work. If they were to give up that excuse. It’s impossible to stay attracted to someone who is living a mediocre life and is afraid to change it. and after seeing how excited it made them. The reality is that anything can be fun if you’re in the right atmosphere. like painting and board games. I’m convinced today that one reason for the high divorce rate we’ve seen in this country is that people’s mates aren’t “on their path” in life.

but I just feel happy all the time”. and you aren’t contributing to the world in some way. “Work” and “fun” just haven’t been together in the same sentence before. It’s like telling a fish how fun it will be to walk on land. not because they have to. The minute you decide to work toward a greater purpose than yourself is the minute you decide to start down the path toward happiness. but because it was just so exciting they couldn’t put it down. constantly striving to find out what your purpose is. If your life truly is unimportant. This shadow will be the unconscious feeling that your life is simply unimportant. so imagining walking on land is outside their model of the world. The truth is that many people.104 Breaking Free through this exercise end up telling me things like “This is going to sound strange. What a sad thought. No great project would come to a halt. SIGNIFICANCE If you aren’t on your path in life. once they find their purpose. that if you were to disappear tomorrow. this shadow will follow you around until it consumes you on the day you die. no one would wonder who they would turn to now that you are gone. and in time you would be forgotten. Find a job doing what you love. For someone who has worked their whole life for someone else at a job they don't love. The idea that work can be really fun doesn’t compute inside their head. they’ve never even been outside the fish bowl. maybe no one would really notice or care. and you’ll never “work” another day of your life. . They will end up working the entire weekend. then there will probably be a shadow hanging over your life. this can actually be quite difficult to grasp or believe. It’s time to break free! The solution is simple: bring significance to your life by finding what you were born to do.

Instead. A friend of mine had been through an amazing life at the age of 45 by anyone’s standards. health. and he poured all his energy into it. traveled the world. Every Sunday when he woke up in some developing foreign country. and developed a product that would help improve illiteracy. to help them achieve financial independence. He had done seven years in the FBI. to help them get in better shape. to help them find love. but his most exciting time was spent with homeless orphaned children. he would miss his family back home. Soon. In his words. people were now able to have electricity. been a diplomat on several continents. You may find that your purpose in life is to heal others. all he was doing was “making a rich man richer”. to teach others. One day he decided to cook a huge breakfast and take it to the orphaned homeless children who lived at the dump outside of town. day in and day out. was not in the banking industry. Within a year. to help them overcome the pain of their childhood. It was solar powered light that could be charged during the day and used at night.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 105 discover it mostly involves helping others. and a number of other issues in the developing world. foraging through the trash. Instead of burning expensive kerosene or dangerous brush fires for light at night. They lived there because that was the only way they could find food. or to help them become better parents. It provided free light to towns across the developing world that had no electricity. This is one of those clichés that is true. his purpose was to help these children. there were thousands of these . and earned a small fortune in the banking industry. my friend had quit his job. He was working all week with important men in expensive business suits. One day he realized that his path in life at that time. the place he could be the most significant. Every Sunday he would bring them breakfast until one day he realized it had become the most exciting day of his week.

then you can help people by making the best surfboards in the world. It’s that simple. He had never been happier. and doesn’t have to involve charity. I know I had this concern as well. they usually do! . The other very counterintuitive thing to realize is that even though people on their path don’t spend their time thinking about making lots of money. My friend had found his purpose. There are numerous stories like this that I have heard as part of studying this subject. but totally unnecessary. The person has achieved some level of success in their current work. to contribute to the world. no longer dependent on kerosene lanterns. you can start down the path to living a life of purpose. and you should have seen him. Wherever you are in your life right now. Whenever a topic such as this is discussed. they have an epiphany and make a drastic change in their life. but what if you need to make money to survive! I can’t just quit and become a monk if I want to eat. Children were able to do their homework at night. My inner voice would say “That’s all well and good to live a life of charity.106 Breaking Free lights around the globe. The good news is that it’s not too late. being on your path in life doesn’t necessarily mean you should devote your life to charity. That something is a feeling of importance or significance in their life because they don’t feel as though they are contributing to the world. excited as a little kid in a candy store. an inevitable concern comes up for some people. this concern is reasonable. If you are passionate about making surfboards and happen to be extremely good at it. It simply means you should do what you do best. but they all have something in common. You see. security was improved in refugee camps. but feels that something is missing. Then one day.” As you're about to see. and entire families pulled themselves out of poverty.

Your purpose lies at the intersection of all three positive characteristics: finding something you are good at. and that you can earn money from. At the intersection of these three qualities lies the company’s singular purpose. that is how you help others. money. or is just more convenient. by creating value in their lives. Finally. If you can make anything that saves people time. Each word is chosen very carefully here and deserves a bit more attention. but they won’t be nearly as successful in the long term as those who ask “How can we give more value to our customers?” THREE QUALITIES Jim Collins. people are willing to pay money for it. but rarely does a company He had some excellent thoughts on how exactly you should come up with that purpose. came up with three qualities that every great business should have. The companies in the world that ask “How can we improve our bottom line?” may achieve temporary success.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 107 Instead of focusing on making money. you have contributed value to their lives. Everyone has things they are good at and things they are bad at. After all. truly find its direction by having all three. And one of the great things about value is that by definition. brings them enjoyment. I actually found it helpful in discovering my life’s purpose. love doing. there are some activities where it is possible to make money and there are some activities where it is very difficult to make money. and although he was speaking about business. Some companies have one or two of those qualities. they spend their time thinking about how they can create value. They also have things they love doing and things they hate doing. in his book From Good to Great. .

He loved it when he first started. it is in no way related to your passions.108 Breaking Free Something You Are Good At You must find something you are good at. Think for a moment about two people who each start a web design company. Jim actually takes it a step further. if you truly love playing football. But if you don’t feel you have the potential to be one of the best football players in the world. But I bet if you look at the job you have right now. because this is the only way you will be successful (remember the fulfillment chart above?). For example. and you know that it’s possible to earn a living as a professional football player. He . person B truly is passionate about the business. you still must feel you have the potential to be at the top of your field someday with hard work. These can all provide clues as to what you are passionate about. Person A got into the business because he was good at it and heard there was money to be made. Meanwhile. you shouldn’t pursue it unless you can be one of the best in the world. you have two out of three. but he isn’t really excited about working in web design any more. then this should not be your life’s purpose. Even if you love doing something and it’s possible to make money at it. his clients actually annoy him at times. This is a huge problem. Something You Love Doing What do you spend your time doing when you find a free moment? What magazines do your subscribe to and read for fun? Think back on some times during the past year when you were really happy and in a great mood. and says it must be something that you have the potential to be the best in the world at. If truth be told. Even though you probably aren’t the best in the world at it right now.

While there he would discover new technologies to give him a competitive advantage and would network to establish a partnership with another firm to add value to his customers. and would justify skipping the conference by saying he needed to spend more time with his family. Meanwhile. Something You Can Earn Money Doing Again. Before long. Let’s say its time for the annual Webmaster World conference. It doesn’t say “something you will earn money doing”. Person A and person B might start out with equal revenue and client lists. Person B would have eclipsed Person A’s web design company in every area. Person A. a huge industry event and great opportunity to learn and network. but this wouldn’t last for long.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 109 thinks about web design in his free time and can’t wait to jump out of bed each morning to make progress. you have not found your path in life. no matter how hard Person A worked. This is the key difference: if you hate doing something and someone else loves it. being burned out with all his clients. the wording here is very deliberate. It says “something you can earn . You see. person A would watch TV and try to relax after a hard day. It doesn’t matter if you are great at it and it makes you tons of money. person B would have been planning the trip for months and would bring his whole family with him. In the evenings. This would give him new ideas on how to generate business. To him. If you don’t love it. he still wouldn’t have a chance. the person who loves it will always be more successful. or how much he forced himself to keep up. while to Person B it would all be fun. wouldn’t want to also spend his weekend doing web design. it would all be work. but Person B would read web design magazines just because he liked the subject.

You can also write them on a separate sheet if you don’t want anyone to find your notes. You see. that is enough. This was frustrating to her because she immediately assumed there was no way to earn money with these passions. even if it isn’t much. or if your friends say it’s a bad idea. as long as it’s possible to earn something. If you love it. She turned out to be wrong. One woman who went through this exercise was very frustrated to discover she was most passionate about watching TV and following the love lives of celebrities. you might be able to find something related to it. and then to contact them and book them for events. end of story. and you are passionate about it. Don’t be too quick to discount your passions as unsuitable to make money. find which celebrities were popular or making appearances for charity. if you have the potential to be the best in the world at it. if the Wall Street Journal says it has no growth prospects. please get a pen or pencil and actually write these in the book! Reading the book and not doing the exercises will have very little value. but ended up landing her dream job! Take a moment now and let’s work through an exercise to see how you can apply this principle to your own life. It doesn’t matter if the industry is in a recession. However. In other words. Within six months she had a job booking celebrities for charity events. Her job was literally to watch TV. She assumed no one would pay her for her passions. Note: Yes. Don’t worry about what others say.110 Breaking Free money doing”. this in itself is not a path in life. Now it still has to be possible to earn money at it. and it’s at least possible to earn money doing it. you’re great at it. If you are passionate about (and really good at) lying on the beach in the sun. but please do it! . that in itself is enough to make you extremely successful financially in any industry.

7. 9. Finally. 10. even if they seem silly. and you feel happiest when helping children. 2. you probably end up doing these things for fun. you could write “paint + help kids = art teacher” here. Try to force yourself to write 10. 8. 3. They can be from any time in your life. 5. You probably talk about them constantly (ask your friends what you mostly talk about). 4. 10. 5. 6. 2. 1. 8.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 111 List 10 things you happen to be really good at. whether you like doing them or not. 6. It doesn’t matter whether you use them now. 7. 1. When you have free time and there is nothing you have to do. 3. Now list 10 things that you really enjoy doing. These could be skills that came naturally or skills you trained for years to master. randomly pick combinations of the above two lists. When have you been happiest in the past year? 1. . and see what ways you could put them together to earn money. An example would be if you are really good at painting. 2. 9. 4.

and please write in this book! . 8. As I said in the beginning of the chapter. 6. It’s not a quick fix. Don’t look ahead and try to see what it all means. Don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t jump right out at you. to see how much things have changed. You might be surprised! Finally. 9. The idea is just to get your brain thinking in a new way. Spend some time thinking about each one. 5. Just do each one. so you can be constantly getting closer.112 Breaking Free 3. 10. Grab a glass of wine. and do this chapter over several days if necessary. and wrap yourself if a big blanket if it will help you get the emotions flowing! Take a break. 4. put on some comfortable clothes. with a simple answer. the more value you will get from these exercises. The more time you put in. This chapter is going to be a series of exercises that can hopefully help you get closer to discovering your path in life. There is no need to rush because there is no right or wrong answer. forget what your kindergarten teacher told you. For an interesting twist. one at a time and put some thought into it. come back in six months and try it again. 7. discovering your purpose in life is a journey and a process to go through and enjoy.

2. . 3. What would you do right now? What would you do tomorrow and in a month from now? What would you do over the next year? Even if you say “I would quit and go to Tahiti”. it is your money free and clear. what would you do after that? You would have a lot of time on your hands and would need to fill it with something. All taxes and fees have been paid. 5.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 113 EXERCISES Imagine for a moment that you just won the lottery and $6 million has been deposited into your bank account. 4. so what would you do? 1.

2. He doesn’t have to. you will live in perfect health. 5. 3.114 Breaking Free As you may have guessed. and there won’t be any pain. In fact. 4. and that gave him the edge to become very successful. In exactly 30 days. what you wrote down in the previous section is a good indication of what you are passionate about. What do you want people to say? 1. close your eyes for a moment and imagine the eulogy at your funeral. . Even when he did need the money. he does it because he likes it. you will be dead! Until that time. The activities you would do with all the money in the world should be the same activities you do for your regular job (or at least as close as you can get it)! Bill Gates is a billionaire. he still enjoyed it. How are you going to spend your time? In addition. yet he still goes to work every day. but you have exactly 30 days to live. Now imagine for a moment that your doctor has given you some bad news. I suggest the reason he became a billionaire is that he is doing what he loves.

reading this book. schedule a time right now and make a commitment that you will do it no matter what on that day. take one item from your list and schedule a time in the next week that you will do it (or at least take the first step toward it). or require you to put yourself in a vulnerable position. Subconsciously. we will find ways to avoid them and it sometimes takes a new force (a coach.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 115 Things that you would do in the next 30 days before your certain death are things that you should really be doing now. when there is nothing you have to do? When you are procrastinating. saying “no matter what”. 3. How ironic. before you go on to the next exercise. 2. what do you end up filling time with? What are the hobbies that you enjoy most? 1. . No excuses. etc) for us to finally take action. 5. because they are what you value most. 4. that the things we value most are often the things we avoid the most. What do you find yourself doing naturally. Why have you been putting them off? They probably sound scary. Right now.

Then again. such as a tax accountant. can provide a valuable insight into what is your greatest passion. you should start your business around something that is a passion of yours”. You will need to look one level deeper. 4. “Since 80 percent of your life is spent working. the entrepreneur extraordinaire behind the Virgin brand (Virgin Airways. auditor. Try to narrow it down. without even thinking. Virgin Records. 2.116 Breaking Free Richard Branson. it’s a safe bet you are pretty passionate about cars. If you spend all your free time reading car magazines and waste time at work surfing car websites and forums. or police detective. sometimes it is quite straightforward. Virgin Mobile. This doesn’t mean it should be taken literally to mean “My passion in life is to play minesweeper”. What you find yourself doing naturally. 5. you find yourself naturally filling your time playing Minesweeper (a small computer game that comes on Windows PC’s where you methodically hunt for mines). etc) once said. • 1. 3. For example. You may have to look one level deeper than the mere activity you end up doing. and what did you get in trouble for as a child? . This could lead to any number of careers. Perhaps what you really enjoy is to hunt down problems that can harm people. What do you get in trouble for now.

maybe you have a future as a fitness coach or personal trainer. If you get in trouble for giving your opinion even when it isn’t asked for. maybe you have a future as a consultant. If you get in trouble for skipping work to get to the gym. 3. 5. 1. maybe you should look into comedy or a career making people laugh1. when Jay Leno was a little boy in grade school. 1 Reportedly. 2. Is it possible that what people have been telling us not to do is actually our greatest gift? If you always got in trouble as a child for being a class clown. and a few qualities you really like about them. his parents once received an angry note from his teacher stating “Jay needs to stop goofing off in class and take his grades more seriously!” . List five people that you really admire.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 117 This is an interesting question because it’s quite counterintuitive. 4.

. Do a quick survey right now by asking (or sending email) to five of your closest friends or family. and I wanted to get your opinion”. it should be a clear indication to yourself that you have underdeveloped potential in that area. It’s quite likely that the qualities you most admire in them are actually your greatest gifts that you aren’t giving yourself credit for! Any time you develop respect for someone with a particular quality. 3. Ask them a few questions: (1) What do I spend most of my time talking about? (2) What do you feel are my greatest strengths? and (3) Off the top of your head.118 Breaking Free What do all these people have in common? Jot down a few more notes if necessary. 5. just simply say “I’m reading a book about different paths in life. and try to group together similar traits. Write their results here (come back later if necessary). or results they each have. 4. 1. 2. values. what do you think my dream job would be? If you want to give them some background.

will become clear. 4. something you never would have considered. 5. . Look into your own infant eyes and try to remember what you were thinking about? What are you doing or holding in your photos? What was most important in your life at that time? What did you dream about being when you grew up? 1. when you were under the impression everyone talked that much about their pets! Suddenly. look at some baby photos of yourself right now (this will help immensely). 2. They may tell you that you are constantly talking about your pet dog. 3.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 119 If they are honest. If possible. Sometimes our best friends know us better than we know ourselves! Think back to when you were a small child. they may tell you something you never realized about yourself. that you are passionate about pets.

What have you always wanted to do but didn’t? Have you ever wanted to drive a Formula 1 race car? Star in a Hollywood film? Throw a Super Bowl winning touch down? Visit all seven wonders of the world? Have a torrid romance in Paris? Walk on the moon? Have dinner with the president? Put down five things that are outrageous. 2. his core value. for him it was helping children. They may change professions. and hair styles. friends. It started from a very young age . and protect them by becoming an activist for issues that affected children. What theme could possibly run throughout these? Well. You too have a core value and a theme that is running throughout your life. What have all the different careers and projects in your life had in common? Take a moment and put your wildest dreams down on paper. 1. and activist all at different stages of his life. 3. based on their core value. educate them with his children’s books. you still have the same goals and desires in some form today.120 Breaking Free Most people have a theme that runs throughout their life. seem impossible. 5. and would be awfully exciting. For example. a friend of mine was a doctor. writer. He was able to bring children into the world as a doctor. clothes. . What do you value most? More likely than not. 4. but there is still a theme.

. and not going down the path because of fear. you are going to draw a picture of yourself. even if it feels a bit silly. Most people have a list buried away in there head of tasks like this.close your eyes for a moment and visualize your ideal self in your head.. then why can’t you do it? If you sit and think about it there really isn’t any excuse (although I’m sure your brain will try to come up with some)... Yes. “That always sounded exciting. The way to get the most out of life is to actually do some of these things! At the very least. Don’t make the mistake of actually finding your passion. Bullshit! If it would be exciting. start making steps toward them. but putting those plans into action is a bit harder.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 121 All of us dream big. As the final exercise. they don’t feel they deserve to have such “peak experiences” in life. Maybe on some level. How are you standing? What are you wearing? What are the people around you doing and how are they relating to your? How would you walk? What kind of tone and gestures would you make when you talk? Don’t think about it too much.” they might say. but they always view them as out of reach.just start drawings what comes into your head! . but it’s just not me..

122 Breaking Free Self Portrait: .

Don’t worry. people reach the end of these exercises and don’t have a magical answer sitting in front of them about what they should do with the rest of their life. or a new book they just read. I was immediately interested. This will very likely involve quitting your job and starting a business or two (or ten). When is the journey over? The day that you die. IT IS A JOURNEY TO ENJOY Sometimes. do something about it. and you find yourself becoming strangely interested. In short. How can this be? The answer lies in the fact that it is the journey. Make a commitment to explore it further. which brings us the most joy out of life. those who are looking for the journey to end are missing the point.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 123 THERE IS NO MAGIC ANSWER. Taking some martial arts classes had been in the back of my mind for the . There will be high points and low points that will be tough to get through. When something sounds interesting or exciting. that’s exactly where you should be! Not everyone is going to have an epiphany moment where their entire life suddenly comes into focus. It is an exciting journey that has ups and downs. You see. a trip they are taking. The first time I heard that my friend Dan was taking Brazilian Jujitsu classes. And even if it does. One of the ironies of success is that many people experience a let down or feeling of depression after finally reaching their goal. But overall the trend will be upward and you will continually be getting closer to your core value and a life of purpose. try to start thinking about the process of finding your passion or purpose in life as a journey. take note of it! If you hear some friends discussing an event they are going to. Just focus on the next step in front of you. not the end result. those grand ideas will probably change as you go farther down the path.

But your job is not who you are. my ears again perked up. you will be expanding your identity and concept of yourself. signing huge contracts. He had to sign a lot of little contracts. Not every single thing you try will end up being a good fit. and you can try any new thing that catches your fancy. mentioned she had written a book and that it had led to many other opportunities. and I am still going today. Suddenly I realized how much I would enjoy the process of writing a book and sharing my ideas. Dan talked about it with such passion. that I joined him at his next class. Your job is simply something you do. Later that very day I decided on what I wanted to write about and started an outline! If you are stuck in a job. but I’d never found time to research which style or philosophy to learn. Whether you secretly admire the Donald or despise him. to build the confidence to sign the big ones. Develop a mindset that you can do anything. but you will certainly be getting closer to your path and purpose each time. and your identity is wrapped around it.124 Breaking Free past year. When people talk about their job they like to say “I am an accountant” or “I am a counselor”. and dating super models? No way! He approached it slowly over time. When another of my friends. you is a flexible concept. Furthermore. jetting across the country. you must also take small steps toward your path in life. by trying smaller things that weren’t quite as scary or as far outside his reality. You will wake up one day five years later and be a completely different person: the person you dreamt of becoming! . then you will probably never even take these exciting ideas that are dropped in your lap and explore them. Sheena. Do you think Donald Trump was born with the identity of business mogul. each time you actually do explore one of those opportunities that sounds exciting (and a bit scary).

It may be easier to stomach the idea that your purpose in life is out of your control. then you can literally create it from nothing. It allows you to place blame. because it has already been chosen by God. There is nothing wrong with praying for guidance. I admit that this is a very appealing notion because it takes the weight off your shoulders. No one is going to do it for you. This is a terrible idea. or believing in God. No one has chosen your path for you. Instead. accept second best. Not so fast! It was your own self doubt and lack of drive. Taking responsibility for finding your own purpose in life can be downright scary. enjoy the process each day. If it doesn’t work out. embrace the challenge and . and ultimately give up responsibility for your own success. In the first chapter. Your only goal should be to surrender to this ultimate purpose.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 125 LOOKING TO GOD FOR ANSWERS One of the most famous books on this subject of finding your path or purpose is called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. These can all have positive benefits in your life. and no one else. and a dangerous trap. or following the wisdom of scripture. They may give you token But that doesn’t mean you should avoid it. to make your path in life. If your purpose doesn’t exist yet. no one is even going to care if you are wildly successful. Saying that your purpose in life is already decided by someone else is a cop out. You can do whatever you want. or an opportunity doesn’t present itself. he talks about how you cannot choose your own purpose and path in life. But don’t hand off responsibility for your success. It is up to you. then “It was God’s will”. Most likely.


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congratulations, or secretly envy you, but ultimately they won’t care. It is up to you, and you alone, to create what you desire.

When going through the process of discovering what you are passionate about, it’s important to focus on your feelings instead of making logical decisions. Some people are very left brained and have trouble thinking in this way. Their decisions in life are based on cold hard facts, and empirical evidence. I know, because I’m one of these people! But using strictly this approach to discovering a great path in life is a mistake. At the end of the day, the only thing that will matter is how you feel. Let’s say you logically made the right decision about which business to start. It fit all the criteria we discussed and made perfect sense on paper, but for some reason you just aren’t excited about it. Well, then you haven’t accomplished your goal! Don’t sit here reading this book, racking your brain, trying to logic your way into an ideal project to pursue. Instead, focus on how you feel. Recall a time when you were very excited and actually feel that same excitement now as you relive it. Picture yourself in your head as your ideal self and feel the warmth of others around you. Imagine yourself at your own funeral with your friends speaking, and feel the sadness in the air2. When you suddenly are in a good mood, stop and think about why. What put you in that great mood? Then its time to construct a life that automatically puts you in that great mood every day! Discovering what is truly important to you will be a process of feeling, not logical decisions. No matter how much your parents tried to

This exercise is attributed to Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life


logically convince you to go after a certain profession, if it didn’t feel right, then it wasn’t for you. Similarly, when you tried to convince yourself logically that your current job wasn’t so bad (“But the money is really good!”), part of you didn’t buy it because it still didn’t feel right. Listen to your heart, and more genuine happiness will follow.

If you are still stuck, and would like some more insight, I have a final exercise for you. In fact, this is a good exercise to perform on a regular basis in your life. Set aside one hour of your day, and find a place that is as close to being completely silent as you can find. Lock yourself in an unused room, go to an empty park, or find a tiny corner of the library. Place in front of you a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Then sit, for one hour, in complete silence, and see what happens. Don’t make an effort to think of anything in particular, don’t have an agenda, and resist the urge to look at your watch or doodle. The first fifteen minutes or so might be quite excruciating as your mind searches for something to focus on. Very few of us have ever sat for one hour in complete silence and your brain won’t be quite sure how to respond! Eventually, thoughts will start to flow out of your mind. Jot down words or pictures on the paper as they come to you. Don’t evaluate them or cross anything out, just keep writing without thinking too much about it. The purpose of this exercise is to clear your conscious mind and quiet the little voice in your head that is constantly evaluating. When you clear your conscious mind, the subconscious starts to release thoughts up into the conscious mind where you can analyze them. These thoughts normally stay somewhat hidden as we keep our conscious mind


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occupied, and manifest themselves indirectly. But with this exercise they are right there for the taking. After doing this for one hour, you may have some interesting things you didn’t know about yourself on paper, or you may feel like you have accomplished nothing. But don’t despair. You are beginning the process of learning about yourself; your highest values, and your deepest concerns. In short, what is driving your life! You may have to do this many times, or every day for a month! But if you continue to do it, I guarantee you will be getting closer and closer to discovering the path or purpose in life that will bring you the most happiness and success. You will very likely come up with some exciting business ideas to pursue as well. Two variations on this approach are as follows: Variation one involves going for a long walk through the wilderness or a park. Don’t bring headphones or anyone else to distract you. Try to go somewhere isolated where very few other people are hiking. Use this time just like you would sitting in silence, except you won’t be able to write. Don’t have a specific agenda, just let your thoughts flow and talk to yourself. Variation two I learned from a coach named Linda Starr. Get a bunch of magazines (such as National Geographic) that have plenty of interesting photos. Cut out any that catch your eye and paste them to a sheet of 8 ½ x 11 paper. Once you have a collage of images, write on the back any words that come to mind by looking at the pictures. The pictures will act as triggers to bring up memories or emotions so you can get them down on paper. Both of these variations accomplish the same goal of bring up unconscious thoughts into your conscious mind. They are a great way to learn about you.

Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life


Let’s bring this chapter back into focus. We’ve covered a wide range of exercises and techniques, all of which will help you discover your passion or purpose in life. But why is this important? In many ways, this is the most important part of the book. Yes, it is a book about quitting your job to work for yourself. But the way to be successful in this process is to find your purpose; once you have found it (or at least the next step toward it) you will be excited, motivated, and happier. You see, I could give you all the business advice in the world (and I will), but if you are passionate about the project you’re about to undertake, then that will be more valuable than any advice I can give you. Once you are on your path, your entire life changes. Work is no longer work. Learning is no longer a chore. Waking up Monday morning is no longer something to be dreaded. Your life will suddenly have clarity, meaning, and significance. Spend some time going through this chapter’s exercises in depth if you haven’t already. If you have, you may want to try them again a bit later. Keep at it, and eventually one day an idea will strike you! You may be talking to a friend when he or she mentions something that gives you an idea. Or you may be running through the park when you have a great thought. Or it may come just as you are about to drift off to sleep one night. But when it hits you, a feeling of excitement will come over you and you will have trouble thinking about anything else. You’ll be like a kernel of corn in the microwave slowly getting warmer and warmer as you do these exercises. At times it may appear you are getting nowhere and that nothing has changed, but if you keep at it your kernel will eventually pop! This is the sweet spot that you will be aiming for, and it will just be the first idea of many. As you get closer to your path in life,


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new ideas and opportunities will show up to give you that feeling over and over again. Pretty soon, you will have so many exciting opportunities appearing around you that you’ll have to eliminate all but your top few as a matter of time management! These are the projects that will bring you success. These are the projects that will bring you incredible wealth. These are the projects that will fulfill your deepest values. And these are the projects that will bring passion into your life.

. instead of at the end.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 131 CHAPTER 5 EXERCISES The exercises for this chapter are found throughout the chapter.

o o o o • • Fulfillment     will follow. find something you. High/low difficulty Being on your path is attractive Work becomes fun Your work becomes important. o o o • o o o o o o o o o Are good at Love doing Can earn money doing What would you do if you won $6 million? What would you do if you were going to die in 30 days? What do you find yourself doing naturally? What do you get in trouble for? Who do you admire most? What do you spend your time talking about? What did you want when you were a child? What would you do in your wildest dreams? Draw yourself! High/low skill. helps others Finding Love Excitement Significance Don’t focus on money. focus on finding your passion and money Exercises ...132 Breaking Free CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY • Finding your purpose in life is essential. Three qualities.

Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 133 • • Finding your purpose is a journey to enjoy. Use images to trigger thoughts and write them down as a stream of consciousness. yourself. not your logical mind. but don’t depend on God to hand you your purpose. Take guidance from religion. • Passion is essential! . and there isn’t one magic answer. o o Try a long isolated walk through nature. Sit for an hour in total silence with a blank sheet of paper to access your subconscious. Take responsibility to discover and create it for • • Listen to your feelings.


Luckily. many opportunities exist today to work for yourself with a fraction of the expense and risk. you should start your business around something that is a passion of yours” . or a relative with a small retail store. These are what I call old fashioned ideas of how to become a business owner. owner of Virgin Group might think of people you know who are self-employed. A whole other world of business opportunities exist that you may have never considered! It is my goal in W RETHINKING THE CONCEPT OF YOUR OWN BUSINESS hat pops into your head when you imagine owning your own business? If you’re like most people. you .Chapter 6 What Kind of Business Should I Start? “Since 80 percent of your life is spent working.Richard Branson. and they are very difficult. A neighbor with a family owned restaurant. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these businesses. they are a terrible first business for you to start.

some of them may steal from you. You’ll have to buy ingredients for whatever you want to sell.136 Breaking Free this chapter to completely restructure your idea of what owning a business is all about. etc. and you’ll quickly find yourself spending twelve hour days just to keep an eye on everything. a new set of problems arise. preferably in a good location (you do want customers don’t you?). some of them won’t care. just like owning another home. or sandwich shop. Just think about all the costs you will have to incur before you can ever make a dime. Turnover will be high. What is so wrong with the “old fashioned” way of starting a business? Well let’s take the most common example of opening up a restaurant. On that property you’ll have to pay utilities. corner bakery. You’ll have to focus on advertising if you want your restaurant to actually be profitable. It’s up to you to fill in at the last minute. insurance. you are always on call. You'll have to furnish it purchase equipment to operate your business. The list goes on and on. Even though you were originally passionate about the food. You’ll have to interview them. repairs. The primary problem is that it is risky and takes plenty of hard work. You’ll have to spend money on décor and interior design. Then there is the inventory. but for minimum wage it’s tough to find good help. You’ll have to buy or rent another property for the business. you are now spending all your time on managing employees. Your most frequent annoyance may be when one of them quits unexpectedly or just doesn’t show up. dealing with health inspectors. and worrying about how to get new business. Is it any wonder the vast majority of new restaurants don’t make it past two years? . and some of them may even sue you. Then come the employees – oh the dreaded employees. and this is all before you have earned a single dollar! Once you are finally open for business.

trying new things that catch your fancy. For example. it could be years before you recover your initial investment in the business (if you recover it at all). and the small amount of money invested won’t be important if you make a mistake (otherwise known as learning). you are a slave to your own business working twelve hour days! Moreover.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 137 Sure. and have secured financing. put them in a swanky Silicon Valley office building. Finally. writing a journal. and become millionaires! Unfortunately it rarely works out and this is once again a poor strategy to build your first company. Luckily. You may be pursuing several projects at once. You are taking on huge amounts of debt and betting the farm on an unproven strategy. instead of spending eight hours a day as a worker bee for someone else. Then we’ll secure $20 million in venture capital funding. owning your own business might give you a sense of pride. The typical business plan goes something like this: First. even if they hate it. Now. it’s no wonder most people choose the security of their worker bee jobs. or planning a road trip with friends is a project. The first business you start should be more like a project. You don’t need a large investment or . we’ll build a team of twenty top engineers from the best universities. putting together a photo album of your family. we’ll take a hot new technology that has been getting lots of buzz. If this is the average person’s idea of owning a business. starting a business today is much easier than the painful stories depicted above. Even if you aren’t betting your money. giving up control of your company is not a pleasant experience. Think about your first business as something on this scale. give them stock options. The other typical example of starting a business than many people think of today involves a high tech startup. But your situation hasn’t improved much. It’s merely something interesting you are going to try.

I hear a new business owner going on about how much “progress” they have made getting the office put together. you don’t need a large team of people. I hear you saying. Thou shalt not spend a single cent that isn’t absolutely required until there is profit coming in the door! Anytime. faxes. ELIMINATING COSTS One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced entrepreneurs make is that they are far too good at spending money! I have some helpful advice for you regarding expenses in starting a new company: 1. . 5.138 Breaking Free venture capital. Thou shalt not rent an office. Thou shalt not hire assistants and employees. 4. You don’t need business cards and fancy letterhead because you don’t have a product finished yet. printers. and excellent meetings they attended in other cities. Thou shalt not purchase unnecessary electronic equipment (computers. You don’t need an office because you can work at home or in a garage. “But Brian”. I have to ask them what their net income looks like. great people on their team. 6. 2. Thou shalt not hire fancy lawyers to draft contracts. and you certainly don’t need a swanky office building or retail store. etc). Don’t ever spend money you don’t have to in the early stages because you never know what might happen. but it is probably nowhere near as much as you might think. If they tell me “The product is still under development” or “We’re going to start third quarter this year” I can only shake my head. Thou shalt not travel to meetings. 3. “surely you’ll have to spend something to get a new business off the ground!” True.

In fact. He has an intern do exactly what you were doing. don’t actually steal it.) WORK AT HOME As I stated above. you should work out of your home by creating a “home office”. and steal any item you possibly can before spending money! (Ok.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 139 You don’t need lawyers to charge exorbitant fees to write contracts. but you get the idea. I’m sure what you come up with will be 90% as good as what the $500 per hour lawyers will come up with1. which he then gives a quick once over. You don’t need to purchase a new computer. printer. There are many reasons to create a home find templates on the internet (or make friends with lawyers who will email them to you) and copy/paste them together on your own. borrow. the $500 per hour lawyer isn’t writing the contract himself. copying and pasting templates. Instead. you shouldn’t even be using a telephone for expensive long distance calls! Use your cell phone with a national plan or a Skype headset2. but here are a few of them: 1 Incidentally. and fax machine because you are working at home. then you can worry about covering all your bases with high priced is a voice over IP service that is excellent and inexpensive for national and international calls . Once you have some profit coming in the door. And you certainly don’t need to travel to other cities for meetings and stay in nice hotels when a telephone is right there on the desk. Use the hardware you already have! As an entrepreneur your credo should be to beg. 2 www. You don’t need to hire assistants or employees because you don’t have any customers yet (more on this below).

You’ll never sit in rush hour traffic. and fax. . Many small businesses who rent an office don’t ever have clients show up. A nice meal or cup of coffee here and there will be far cheaper than rent. Some people are concerned that they won’t be able to work in isolation at home. 2. 4. You save money on office rent. 3. It’s very reasonable for a new company to get started at a home office. Your commute time is zero (get an extra hour in every day). If you need to have a meeting with clients or potential clients to “make a good impression”. You save money on office energy costs and other utilities. 5. a restaurant. You eat healthier food. 8. meet with them at their office. printer. Even big companies with the most expensive office buildings often prefer to meet at restaurants. 3 Still others fear they might go crazy www. You can use excellent free call and video conferencing applications such as Skype to collaborate with other people anywhere in the world. It is a waste of money each month that is slowly but surely destroying their cash reserves. You can keep your projects organized with tools like Basecamp3. or a coffee shop. You can write documents and spreadsheets with others through Google Documents and Spreadsheets. or through collaboration over the internet. Others are concerned they won’t be able to work with the lack of isolation at home.basecamphq. 6. You save money on gas.140 Breaking Free 1. You save money on food (since you are eating groceries instead of food from restaurants). You save money on office equipment by using your home computer.

What’s far more likely to happen is that you’ll create new problems! Several studies on collaboration have shown the ideal team size to be about three. They provide perfect working environments. Some people have a negative reaction to this statement. sometimes. the more problems you will have. The more time you will spend on the phone dealing with little problems and the more time will be taken away from your most important tasks. returning voicemails. But this doesn’t mean you should automatically move to hiring people as a way to solve problems. the more employees involved in the business. Their employees instead spend a large percentage of their time on bureaucracy. When you work at home. working at home becomes one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. and filling out the proverbial . Bring a laptop if you have one and look for locations with free wireless internet access. like building and selling a great product. I agree that small teams can have incredible synergy to become far more than the sum of their parts. and indignantly reply that “Employees are the most valuable resource a business can have!” Well. yet few companies actually practice this. You should also join local clubs related to your business and hobbies to stay in touch with knowledgeable people and keep learning. I agree that you aren’t superman or superwoman and you can’t do everything yourself. Attending meetings. this is true. it’s advisable to take your work to a coffee shop or bookstore at least a couple times per week. I have met several other successful entrepreneurs in these locations that I am still friends with today. With a few small changes like this.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 141 spending all their time in the house! The solution to all of these is to get out of the house once in a while. NO EMPLOYEES As a general rule.

If you are going to work with others. a way to track hours and bonuses. If they are actual employees. you have to worry about paying benefits. Morale can be destroyed and your good employees will have to work extra hard to fix the mistakes made by the bad one. 2. and has come to mean “mindless paperwork” . Sounds simple right? Wrong. or programming a website for example) it’s far more efficient either to quickly learn it (especially if it doesn’t need to be perfect) or to outsource it to a contractor for one job. When you encounter a problem that you don’t have the experience to solve (graphic design. 4.142 Breaking Free “TPS Reports”4 takes up all their time which should be spent on developing a great product and marketing it. this can be the most damaging of all. Some checks will bounce. (You could hire independent contractors instead. working by yourself in a team of one is arguably the best team you can have.) 3. of course. or will be incorrect. Now you need a payroll department (more employees). but you have to make sure you are doing so legally. accounting. You will need to develop a hiring/interview process. leading to more phone calls. Here is a partial list of problems than can come about from hiring employees: 1. then the smaller the team the better. If you make a mistake at some point and hire the wrong person. Of course. be lost. 5. You will need to develop a recruiting process. someone full time would be a mistake in this case. 4 Hiring This term was made popular by the film Office Space . You have to pay them. and you’ll need to print checks and deliver them or setup direct deposit.

You may have employees steal from you. but you wouldn’t earn anything either.000 a year. 5 It should be noted that even if an additional $30. . They simply look at the benefit saying “If we hire someone to do all of the customer support we’ll have lots more time to do sales”. will at least an additional $30. and putting some checks in place to make sure they are supervised and doing a good job? Would a training program be necessary for this employee and if so at what cost? Would overall customer support quality go up or down as a result of this decision? Are there perhaps other benefits to doing the customer support yourself that you haven’t considered. You may have employees quit and become your competitors. You may be sued by past employees. 7. The list goes on.000 in profit (not revenue) come into the business as a result of my additional time spent on sales5? Moreover. You will have to fire people.000 per year? In other words. There would be no disadvantage. 9. Yes. but perhaps one of the biggest oversights entrepreneurs make when it comes to hiring is that they don’t look at the cost benefit analysis. 8.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 143 6. that may be true. and learn how to do so in way that avoids lawsuits. what additional time and money would need to be spent on finding a good candidate for the job. setting up payroll.000 in profit did come in. you would only break even in this example. but what is the cost and is it worth it? Let’s say you need to pay this customer support employee $30. Is the benefit of no longer having to answer phone calls from customers worth $30. such as getting timely feedback on how your product is performing and your customer’s problems with it? Suddenly.

There are two exceptions to this rule: partners and an assistant. But then again. If you feel absolutely confident you need to work with someone else. then you could take on a partner instead of hiring an employee. Several very wealthy people I’ve spoken to used to be in charge of huge teams at big companies where they attended endless meetings and multiple layers of management approval were required for any small change. I don't recommend becoming business partners with someone you live with. people with ownership are less likely to steal and more likely to care. I’m going to make a recommendation: For at least the first few businesses you start. but instead they work for themselves and have zero employees (or perhaps one assistant). Furthermore. They also get far more work done and have less stress. This has several benefits because payroll is simplified (you just decide when to pay yourselves by writing a check). For this reason. it may make sense to undertake larger projects that require levels of management. Working all day together and spending all evening together is a sure fire way to be at each other’s throats in no time. complete destruction of the relationship) no matter how close you are right now. if you ever become business partners with a friend or family member. and the interview/hiring process is a one time thing. Then again.144 Breaking Free “We wouldn’t have to spend time answering phone calls from customers” doesn’t seem quite so simple. They now earn more than they did at their big company. As a general rule. choose a business that doesn’t require a single employee other than you! Once you are an experienced entrepreneur. it probably won’t. having a partner will hinder your productivity because every decision has to go . taking on partners doesn’t come without risk. you can be sure to have disagreements and tension (and in a fairly high percent of cases.

Referring back to the previous section on cutting expenses. With each additional person added to a team. but just be aware of the risks of partnerships. This means a flurry of emails and phone calls will be constantly going between the group. Finally. so be it. Secondly. you have a clearly defined list of tasks that sum up to a full time job (the last thing you want is an expensive envelope licker). As a general rule. They are formed because the parties aren’t confident or experienced enough to go at it on their own. and gave me the confidence to start a business on my own which was far more successful. If you need to follow the same path.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 145 through two (or more) people instead of just one. I didn’t have the confidence or belief in myself that I could do it on my own. don’t hire a personal assistant who shares your same skills. it could last indefinitely (there is no boss with the final say). I wouldn’t consider hiring a personal assistant until you have a net worth in excess of $1 million. Don’t ever hire a personal assistant until you are making enough profit to easily hire one. hiring employees is a common mistake and often carries far more costs in time and money than entrepreneurs realize. Ultimately they were great learning experiences. In my experience. this was the reason the first two businesses I started were partnerships. partnerships are rarely formed as a necessary and sound business decision. Hire someone who complements you and is skilled in the areas that you are weak. and if there is ever a disagreement. In summary. Don’t ever hire a personal assistant to do a job that can be done better or cheaper by some piece of technology (it will be menial work and they will come to resent the job). I have to admit. you are so busy you can't handle your workload. a personal assistant may be appropriate as your one employee. this doesn’t mean you should go out and hire one right away and waste money. the amount of time spent communicating goes up exponentially and the amount of time spent .

Those who have to wait until all their ducks are in a row will be stuck waiting forever. it is far better to outsource it or quickly learn to do it well enough yourself. At some point you will have to exit the learning stage and enter the doing stage. another one will pop out. It’s imperative you go ahead and do your best with what you have now. I didn’t know if anyone would buy my product. Many successful entrepreneurs have stated that the secret to their success was that they acted and went for it even though they didn’t feel 100% prepared. Make at least your first few businesses. if not all of them. After pulling the trigger is when the real learning will start. But after reading a little bit. ready or not. than it is to hire an employee. I was full of uncertainty and doubt. What did I know? I was barely an adult. because then you can see where your shot actually went.146 Breaking Free working goes down exponentially. Only then. I just decided to go for it. FIRE. I had read a little bit about incorporating. and figure out the details later. At some point you’ll have to just pull the trigger. It is no longer theory or discussion. it is actually happening. after actually taking the . The effect was dramatic. AIM. first shot. I didn’t know how to find customers. can you begin to correct your aim. take the first step toward completing it now. READY. Remember that any time you come across a task you wish to delegate or don’t know how to do. a one employee company: yourself. Once you have an idea. I didn’t know how to pay business taxes. I will tell you a secret: the ducks will never all be in a row! The minute you get that last one in line. When starting my first business. but I couldn’t afford any actual legal advice. whether you have every possible contingency covered or not. Don’t get caught in the “analysis paralysis” of continuing to learn more and more.

ECONOMIES OF SCALE This is just a fancy economics term that describes how your business can grow. which is why they are successful today. then there is an upper limit on how much your . then growing your business will lead to growing profits. but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t recover from. Sure. business can grow. to get the book written and the automated process setup takes you 100 hours of time up front and $100. It is your first business and you’ve decided to make the shoes from your home and sew them by hand. Imagine for a moment that you decide to start a shoe company.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 147 Experience is the best teacher. It’s time to realize and accept the fact that you will not be entirely prepared when you start your first business. but it doesn’t take you any time to sell or make each individual one. However. If you have good economies of scale. You have all the materials at home and can start right away. I made a few mistakes. Each shoe takes you one hour to make. No one is entirely prepared the first time. Each e-Book you sell earns you the same $10 profit. Now imagine a second business you might start which is selling an e-Book on the internet. In fact. the entire selling process is automated so that people can order it and download it without you having to do a single thing. But they have the courage to act in spite of their fear. and you will earn $10 of profit when you sell it. But if you have poor economies of scale. So what? Do it anyway.

Your business grows. you finally break even and recover your initial cost. and as more orders come in you have to start making a wait list. your time becomes scarce making shoes eight hours per day since they take an hour each. You have your first shoe done in one hour and have started earning money right away.148 Breaking Free Shoe’s R Us Profit per sale Fixed Cost (time) Fixed Cost ($) Unit Cost (time) $10 0 hours $0 1 hour eBook. Soon you are making and selling eight shoes per day. with some marketing efforts. A month later. and more orders come in. From now on you could simply leave it and earn the pure profit off each additional sale. Meanwhile. The shoe company doesn’t require any work up front. Since each sale . To grow this business you will have to start taking on employees or outsourcing large parts of your work. Your business is not scaling $10 100 hours $100 0 hours Figure 5 – Economies of scale example What is the difference between these two businesses and which has better economies of scale? At first glance the Shoe company appears to be a lot cheaper to run. After finally writing the darn thing and getting an automated order system put together you haven’t earned a cent (you actually had to pay someone $100 to setup the website)! But eventually a few orders start to roll in. However. for a nice $80 profit. but does this tell the whole story? To answer this question. your e-Book requires much more up front work. let’s imagine how each one will grow.

Suddenly your sales go through the roof. For example. creating new versions of the product. It is merely the concept of scaling that I wish to convey here. you are spending your time on your next business idea and picking up a check each month. That is a unit cost. this business scales well and has a lot of upside potential. Per unit costs (or variable costs) are those costs that vary with how many items you sell. regardless of how many shoes you sold. That is a fixed cost. A few more months go by and your eBook gets a favorable write-up in a magazine. you have to buy the raw materials for it. very little additional time is required on your part. This example should not be taken to mean shoe companies are bad and e-Book’s are great. which is a unit cost of time. Overall. Your business continues to expand and grow with no upper limit since each sale is automated. You also need to spend one additional hour to make it. followed by some word of mouth marketing. The businesses that scale well are those with low per unit costs of time. The only time you may spend on the business could be additional marketing. . For example. For each additional item you sell. fixed costs are anything that you pay regardless of how much you sell. for each additional shoe you sell. or dealing with the occasional technical problem.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 149 doesn’t require any effort on your part. It makes money for you while you sleep. The cost can be in terms of time or money. Your website is processing dozens of orders per day. To further explain. This is why I say that businesses with low unit costs of time have good economies of scale. you would still have to buy a sewing machine to make your shoes.

What is the full potential of the business? What is it that you are actually working toward? One night about a year ago. I met a nice young man at a speaking event. What would the graph look like after one year of sales? Ten years? Play to win in the long run! WHAT IF YOU SUCCEED? Before you jump head first into a new He wanted to create custom children’s books. But after you have sold eighteen e-Book’s and beyond. He found out that I was an entrepreneur and told me all about his great business idea that he had started working on. take a moment to consider what life would be like if you actually succeeded. His idea sounded unique and .150 Breaking Free Figure 6 – Economies of scale comparison The Shoe business is more profitable at first. the economies of scale will win for eBook. and a few weeks later an illustrated children’s book (with their actual child in it) would arrive. where the parents could upload photos to his website.

then fine. it didn’t look quite as bright. I advised him to look into the idea of automating the book creation in some way. When he finally took a moment to look at his best case scenario (all the books being ordered that he could handle). but still viable. How much do you think you’ll be able to sell each of these books for? How much will the printing cost be? How much time will it take you to modify the photos from the customer and create the book? After a few minutes my initial excitement wore off and I started to realize that his great idea might not be so great after all. not stuck behind a computer doing the repetitive graphic design for eight hours a day. after the printing cost he was left with about $10 in profit to pay himself (or whomever was going to make them) and cover all expenses.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 151 intriguing so I started to ask him some questions. either through technology or outsourcing it. if he was exceptionally passionate about making children’s books. which I admired. It could have been a great starting off point for him to get something out there and meet others in the industry. Retailing for $25 or $30 made it a relatively expensive children’s book. Now. But at the same time I had to let him know that he would essentially be working for $10 per hour. What type of work will take up most of your day? In the best case. You too should take a moment to analyze the best case scenario of what will happen if your business succeeds. Unfortunately. However. for him. I didn’t want to discourage him since he had such enthusiasm. but it’s also about what you can earn working at Starbucks. making the books wasn’t a passion. He certainly wasn’t going to get rich off his idea. Not a bad wage. Making an average salary to do what you love is fine. About an hour of work would need to go into each book. how many items could you . He liked the idea of the business and was an entrepreneur who wanted to be out selling.

and anyone who tells you different is holding on to the past. Once you get a business or two off the ground (and in my experience it will take a business or two that don’t get off the ground just to get to that point). I would generally define “owning your own business” as any project that allows you to pay yourself. it doesn’t have a 401k plan. You also will have learned so much from your . then you can start thinking about bigger projects that are riskier or require bigger investments. week. you might just get it! Wishing for a successful business means much more than wishing for lots of sales. You’ll have past experiences (success in your previous businesses) to draw your confidence from. To summarize. or year? If you actually shipped this many. If you get all those sales. Your name (or your company’s name) is on the checks. Many people will tell you that this definition of being an entrepreneur is wrong. will you still be happy? SEVEN BUSINESSES YOU CAN START FOR $100 OR LESS Hopefully I have given you a fresh perspective on what it means to own your own business. would you be happy with the income you were generating? As the old saying goes.152 Breaking Free realistically produce and ship every day. You’ll be ready for bigger projects at that point because you’ll have more confidence. These old fashioned ideas of business ownership are on their way out. and it didn’t require your entire life savings invested just to get started. All types of activities fall into this category (besides owning the illfated restaurant or shoe company described earlier). That’s it. It’s no longer difficult or risky to get started. They will tell you that your company isn’t real because it doesn’t have a high rise office with lots of workers. be careful what you wish for.

you must not be very good. If you aren’t charging very much. start making a list of possible customers. Start going to industry trade shows and events. to be hired by companies for short term projects. When your services come into demand. there will again only be a limited number of hours you can . here are seven businesses that you can start for $100 or less. which is where the real economies of scale come into play. Collect their endorsements. and deliver far more than they expect. You have the ability now to train people coming into the industry. Regardless of what industry you are in. Often. Read Thomas Stanely’s book Networking with Millionaires. your price is your perceived value to your customers. So without further ado. These materials can be sold as information products at a later time. can be started on nights and weekends while still at your current job. there are others interested in what’s sitting between your ears.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 153 previous businesses that the “crisis” situations you experienced then will be a breeze the second time around (but don’t worry. and then set your price in the top third for the industry. If you decide to go this route. Work with the first few clients for free to get your foot in the door. new “crisis” situations will come up for you to learn from). Save all your documents and record your speeches. • Consultant Whatever job you currently have (or have had) has given you a skill set that is valuable to others. The key here is to become an expert networker. and follow all the guidelines discussed at the beginning of the chapter. and to be hired as an expert speaker or trainer. The secret to getting more through networking is giving more. They can be profitable quickly. Most consultants who are just getting into the business price themselves far too low.

Think about the last time you purchased an expensive item like a computer. Focus on one niche.1 out of 10 based on a hundred reviews is far more convincing than seeing that Bob from Bob’s Great Website rated it a 10. First. . you won’t have to create as much of it yourself. Key to Success: Be confident enough in the value of your advice to charge a premium. and some websites that only address your topic indirectly. television. puts you in touch with many great contacts. Cons: Takes time to build client list and information products. I bet you went to the internet to do some research. but your information products can be sold over and over again with no additional work on your part. Secondly. However. or car. the power of creating a community of like minded people is far better. Pros: Truly helps people by teaching. a product with an average ranking of 9. No matter how much Bob claims to be an expert on the subject. you most likely ran into some poorly designed websites. What if you created a buyers guide for your favorite product or one that you know a lot about? Allow user generated content so that visitors to your website can leave their own reviews and rank various products in different categories. and more and more people today are turning to the internet for this information. • Buyers Guide Website A buyers guide website provides recommendations and reviews of products to help consumers decide what to buy (think Consumer Reports).154 Breaking Free work each week. plenty of advertisements. Allowing this user generated content will have multiple benefits.

You can usually buy your first home with 100% financing. Make no mistake about it. Pick whatever topic you love and In the create a website to help people buy the right product. not you. Of course. Once you have an active community. • Real Estate Investor Did you know that majority of millionaires invest actively in real estate? The real estate market as a whole in the United States has never had a down year. Cons: Takes time to build traffic. You can also buy an investment property with 100% financing if you choose to live there for the first six months or so. beginning. so as long as the population of earth continues to grow. so will real estate prices. No one is making any more of it. do badminton. Commercial property (any property with more than 4 units) can be financed regardless of your credit or personal finances because the bank looks at the property. Pros: Users generate most of the content for you. do light-weight notebooks. Instead of doing sports. Just get the site built (or pay someone to make it) and focus on making some great content to drive traffic. don’t worry about earning money. ever. Keys to success: Getting a critical mass of users and establishing credibility.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 155 Instead of doing computers. and your community will stay loyal. Don’t compromise the integrity of your reviews for advertising sake. create some advertisements or earn money through affiliate commissions (more on this below). You also don’t need to be rich to invest in real estate. The ads must have useful content as well. you are an entrepreneur if you start a real estate investment business. this doesn’t .

who then goes on to incorrectly assume they are not a good writer! Just because you hated writing a . so it would be valuable to learn much more before getting involved. Read at least three books on the subject and start attending local real estate investor meetings in your area. were never a good writer in school. This isn’t a book on real estate investing. While at lunch. Find someone who is a successful real estate investor or real estate agent and buy them lunch (in general. it’s one of the best ways to learn). buy successful people lunch as often as you can. Follow up with them as you make progress and soon you will have a mentor. Don’t be too quick to discount writing if you. You earn money while you sleep. like many. Pros: Real estate earns passive income. or create sales copy for other businesses. • Writer Everyone has at least one good book inside them. This is by far the best way I’ve found to learn about real estate (and many other subjects): surround yourself with experts. You can start a blog. The type of writing we are forced to do in school often isn't a good fit for the student. Cons: Can be risky. Keys to Success: Educate yourself and build a network of people to help you. ask them questions about their life and how they got started. watch out for scam artists and expensive workshops on real estate that offer questionable advice. and today it is easier than ever to become a published author. But writing doesn’t have to just be about books. write articles for publication. Most people will be flattered and enjoy teaching you.156 Breaking Free mean you should rush into debt if you can’t cover the payments.

so the writing was forced and laborious. Just start writing. If you wish. print. The SelfPublishing Manual: How to write. All writers reference other sources. Read Dan Poynter’s the words just came naturally. Don’t be afraid to include references to other's work. don’t worry about finding an agent or getting a publisher. Tell a story. Over time you will accumulate readers on your website and will begin to develop an audience. in the form of advertisements on your site (can be set up with a few . write about a topic you love just because you love writing and thinking about it. There are a few common misconceptions about writing that shouldn’t deter you. Instead. The first is that you don’t have anything original to say. it will still be valuable to the reader who hasn’t had the time to read all the books that you have. In my own life. It is extremely easy and you can have your first article published within an hour. Stories are the most basic building blocks of communication that the human mind has evolved to understand. Don’t write with the purpose in mind to make money. But once I graduated and had the opportunity to write about what I knew and loved.lulu. such as www. Secondly. for inspiration and guidance. which can help any aspiring writer become selfpublished for $100 or less. start smaller with articles or by making a blog at It will never come to fruition. I was always a mediocre writer by academic standards.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 157 ten page essay on a Shakespearean character doesn’t mean you will hate writing about what you love. and sell your own book. I didn’t particularly care about the required subject matter. The secret to great (non-fiction) writing is just to tell a true story from your life.blogger. and people will listen. and no one else has read the same books you have. Money. Great self-publishing resources exist today.

web savvy readers will be able to tell if you are getting paid for the referral). The business idea is simple. mailing • Reseller or Affiliate If you have an interest in marketing.158 Breaking Free clicks on www. Tell a story.blogger. paid articles. They will be a byproduct of loving what you are writing about. The buyers guide website mentioned earlier is one idea (careful not to let affiliate commissions bias your reviews. whether you get paid or not. then you should consider reselling goods as an affiliate. Pros: Earns passive income. Keys to success: Write non-fiction about what you know and love. and has been around for years since Amazon. and many other ways. Cons: Many great books sell very few copies. and will pay you to let potential customers know about it. You are a creative person and can most likely find a way to match people with potential products they want to buy. Can lead to other sources of income such as speaking engagements. advertisements you create. Thousands of companies on the internet offer all types of affiliate programs to help bring them business. If you think you can design better advertisements than an existing company . but not in making an actual product right now. you get a commission. How does this work? Companies have products available for sale started doing it back in 1996. You’ll have to become a master of doing your own marketing. successful. You can also make affiliate commissions off a blog. When someone you refer ends up buying the product. or affiliate commissions will come over time as a result of not focusing on money.

Once the customer buys.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 159 with a great product. you don’t need to be an employee at the company to convince them they’re doing it wrong. you pick up a check and the job is done. In fact. or even ever speak to a customer. The beauty of this business idea is that it can be started on a miniscule budget. From this they create a DVD or audio information product. Sign up as an affiliate and start making their ads for them! When the sales start coming in. and you take zero risk. Cons: Highly competitive and you must love marketing/sales. Offer each speaker the option of being paid for their time or a chance to mention their website at the end of the program (most will take the chance to mention their site). fulfill orders. • Seminar or Information Product This is an exciting business idea that has made some people very rich. If you don’t have all the answers. You don’t need to keep an inventory of products. Pros: You carry no inventory and don’t deal directly with customers. some seminar organizers seek to only break even at the actual seminar. Instead. the numbers will be tough to argue with. invite guest speakers to bring additional value to the program. deal with charge backs and returns. Rent a hotel conference room. Keys to Success: Study marketing and have a genuine interest in helping customers find what they want. but not entirely necessary. . and seek attendees via local newspaper ads. and word of mouth. they hire a small camera crew to record the entire event. set a date. Take your area of expertise (or develop one) on a subject you love. relevant mailing lists (which may be your own website). Making a profit from attendance is nice. and create a seminar to teach people about it.

If you can’t imagine yourself leading a seminar. is one of the most valuable products you can sell. It never goes away completely. highly recommend Toastmasters (www. making it through a divorce. don’t do it to make a quick To They improve your public speaking skills (and other areas of your life) I have clubs in every major city in the world and for a small fee (about . every top speaker I’ve ever met has told me they still get nervous before a talk. Keys to Success: Provide real value.toastmasters. Four thousand dollars for a weekend seminar and $500 for a DVD recording of the event is not unheard of. and they have simply learned to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. If that is the primary problem in their life at the moment. $50-$100 per year) you will learn an invaluable skill. Pros: Highly lucrative. In fact. or finding love. Keep in mind that every single successful speaker you see today was once exactly like becoming financially independent. think about how much importance some people would put on getting out of debt. Information. you aren’t alone. it has good economies of scale). For example. then they would be willing to give almost anything for your help. especially information that can earn you money or improve your life in some way.160 Breaking Free which will bring them passive income for years to come (meaning each additional unit sold takes none of their time. Information products and seminars can command a very high price and a profit margin that would be considered absurd in any other business. and the idea of speaking in public brings on panic attacks. Cons: Must become comfortable with public speaking and asking people for their money.

It has a steep learning curve. or how the user interacts with the program (and this is the part most major software companies today can’t get right). Most likely users will be spending 80% of the time using 20% of the features of the . you can outsource the development of it for very little money (although I must admit it could run over $100 for anything more than a small application). Most people hate computers. car dealerships) and look at the software they are using. Develop a series of products. you will most likely see many opportunities for improvement. It is the user interface. and routinely crashes. A low priced entry product should draw people in and win their loyalty. If you go into any industry (real estate. Sit down with the people who have to use the software and watch them work. You don’t need to add new features. destroying customer’s hard work. Most consumer software that is marketed to millions of home PC users is bad enough. • Make a Better Piece of Software Most software that exists today is downright horrible. insurance. and it’s not hard to see why. it will most likely be to your advantage not to have a computer science degree because you are unbiased and you think like an actual user of the product would (instead of like an engineer). throws esoteric error messages to baffled users.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 161 buck. but business software that is used internally in many companies is even worse. just make the ones people use the most better. Then they will buy the next and the next. You don’t need to be a computer scientist to design good software. In fact. If you can draw and describe in detail how you want every screen of an application to look. The most important part of designing good software is not all the technical stuff of how it works underneath.

Apple. and . Draw on paper (or in a graphics program) each screen of your application.162 Breaking Free program. STARTING SMALL WILL LEAD TO BIG SUCCESS This is by no means an exhaustive list. Hopefully you now have a better idea now of the type and characteristics of a good first business to start: 6 gettingreal. Post the project on Guru. To get an education in good software.37signals. Good economies of scale. read The Inmates are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper and Getting Real by 37Signals6. Make the transition to using your software seamless. and describe in detail how you want it to work. each additional sale (or subscriber) takes very little of your and programmers from around the world will bid on how much they will charge to make it a reality. Consider making the application entirely web based and possibly open source. Pros: Once the software is made. who are among the few companies today creating software that people actually want to use. Cons: You must become a student of good user interface design. These are written for non-technical people. Keys to Success: Make your application so easy to use that customers fall in love with it and tell all their friends. and there are plenty of good business ideas all around you. Look at companies such as Google. Get rid of the clutter and remove most of the features that are rarely or eLance. Concentrate on those 20% and make them exceptional. This is the future of software. Less is more in this case.

time. it’s a badge of honor to be proudly displayed. Relish every opportunity to learn that you have. With every business you start that doesn’t work out. you’ll see that there really is no such thing as failure. etc) was always less important than the lesson learned. a failed startup is not a mark against you. you will be one giant step closer to success. You won’t be afraid to take on riskier and more challenging businesses. they are necessary to your progress. no employees. the lessons learned will be far more valuable than any monetary loss. You should actually look forward to failures and setbacks because they represent an invaluable learning opportunity that very few people will ever get. Your success in a small business like those listed above will be invaluable. It’s important to remember that failure and setbacks are not only likely. Once you have started a successful business your confidence will skyrocket. They will be lessons you couldn’t have learned in any classroom or from any guru. how other companies could match the success of IBM. I think what he meant is this: failure is the best way to learn so start doing it quickly and inexpensively.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 163 low expenses. Watson. the loss I experienced at the time (money. Looking back on every “failure” or setback I ever had. With every failure. good economies of scale. former President of IBM. It also may take you a couple tries to get your first successful business. and minimal up front investment. Don’t let this discourage you! In the world of entrepreneurs. the only true failure is one you refuse to learn from. They will be personal and unforgettable because you actually experienced it. and will guide you toward bigger and better projects! . A reporter once asked Thomas J. When you take on this attitude. Watson responded “double your rate of failure”. In fact.

What if someone came up to you on the street and tried to convince you the sky was green instead of blue. but you certainly wouldn’t get upset. It’s very easy to come up with excuses. but” and “It wouldn’t work for me”. You are so sure that the sky is blue. Some of them may be right for you and some may not. but I know I can do it”. You’d laugh and probably think they were a bit strange. I know because I did it. If you find yourself resisting these ideas or getting angry and defensive. the very notion that it is something else is just a bit ridiculous and silly. winners are those who say “I don’t have it all figured out yet. Make a shift in your thinking to look for solutions instead of reasons not to. and still do! “If I don’t come up with an excuse quick then I might have to actually try this!” Remember. but the idea is just to get you thinking in the right direction. Each one has pre-requisites. The fact that you are getting upset and defensive is typically an indication that you know it has some truth deep down. and most people’s brains have become very adept in this area as a defense mechanism. If you found yourself saying “yes.164 Breaking Free BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO [BLANK] I want to leave you with a quick reminder before finishing up the chapter. then this reminder is for you: are you coming up with excuses or legitimate reasons? Look back to chapter two if necessary. It doesn’t mean you have to love the examples above or that they will be easy. but” or “that’d be great if only” while reading the above business examples. Losers are those who say “Yes. this is good to notice. Getting into an emotional argument with the person would be pointless because you know you’re .

Should you do them? No. remind yourself that you can learn anything or pay someone else to do it. Maybe you have some left over inventory that you suspect is broken and decide to sell it “as is” anyway with a no refund policy. I want to make you familiar with two different terms. more money for me!” Is it your right to do these things? Yes. INTEGRITY – THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSINESS VALUE This is one of the most important parts of the book. Maybe your product is only useful to a certain group of people. You may be thinking “I’d never do that!”. Will they often be profitable in the short run? Yes. an idea coined by Google. Maybe you have some customers who are delinquent on their payments. As human beings. and you hand over their accounts to a collection agency with a bad reputation for harassment. we only get defensive when the person we’re arguing with might actually be right! Take comfort in the fact that even if you don’t have a complete game plan for your first business now. but when someone else unknowingly buys it. You’ll rationalize it to yourself that no one will notice or that everyone else is doing it. Maybe your profit margin is a little low so you decide to put an extra fee in the “handling” charge during shipment that wasn’t exactly clear up front. The first is “don’t be evil”. . you happily sell it to them thinking “Their mistake. One of the biggest mistakes we can make as business owners is to go ahead with an idea that doesn’t treat our customers with respect. which many people will overlook. but it can sneak up on you in unsuspecting ways. Any time you find yourself saying “I don’t know how to [blank]”.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 165 right. you will be able to figure it out. and the second is “contributing value”.

These products were so successful because the early customers went out and told fifty people how great the product was. With that simple idea.166 Breaking Free There is a simple litmus test you can do any time you come across a decision such as this. It is absolutely essential to be successful in business in the long term. One of their major competitors. They were products that people couldn’t live without. saw this as a threat and decided to compete by offering “no A national ad campaign swept the country to promote . This is sound long term business strategy. a new company was born that quickly gained momentum. I’ll give you an example. The Google motto to “don’t be evil” roughly translates to “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. You may be familiar with a company called Netflix. Address it before going ahead. then there is a problem. This is not only an ethical issue. This is not something that is optional and would be nice to do. They weren’t products that people regretted buying later. These products were designed with the customer’s needs in mind. who started up by asking a simple question: How can we contribute more value to movie renters? The answer turned out to be that movie renters hated late fees and wanted to keep the movies as long as they wanted. late fees”. If you think about the best business ideas in the world. Simply stop and ask yourself. not the businesses. would I want it?” If you aren’t contributing value to the world and your customer probably wouldn’t want it (whether they would know or not). that dramatically changed their lives for the better. then don’t do it. Treat your customers with respect. they were so successful and earned their creators millions of dollars because they contributed value to the world. Blockbuster. “Am I contributing value to the world?” and “If I were a customer of this business. Would you be a customer for your company? If the answer is no.

When Google released Google Checkout. There are Application Fees. the bond of trust was broken. To even order the product from most companies today is extremely confusing. it isn’t uncommon at all for people to sign up for a service having no idea what their monthly cost will be. or make you call to get it. they said “How can we contribute value here?” They started with the fact that no one knew what the heck all those terms were. I’m sure the “no late fees” campaign was designed by some very intelligent MBAs who evaluated the idea from Blockbuster’s perspective. Address Verification (AVS) Fees. But they forgot to ask themselves the all important question: “Would we want to use our own product?” A second example can be found in the online credit-card processing industry. and wasn’t entirely true. Once word got out. Unfortunately for Blockbuster. most companies hide the actual price several layers deep into the website. and they stated their price on the first page of their website: “2% per . customers felt like they had been misled. the VISA/MasterCard Qualified Discount Rate. because that was their only option. and Monthly Processing Minimum. People would just give up trying to figure it out. It is impossible to compare prices between competing companies because they all have hidden fees! In fact. Blockbuster suffered as a result of this mismanaged idea. Do you think the average customer even knows what most of those are? To make it worse. Monthly Service Fee (including Monthly Statement Fee). Were they being entirely honest and up front with their customers? No. Leasing Fees. Annual Fees. it turned out that their “no late fees” came along with some fine print. The industry standard is to have about ten different types of fees.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 167 Blockbuster’s new offering. Batch Header Fees. per Transaction Fees. and there was even a class action lawsuit. Were they contributing value to the world? Not nearly as much as they claimed. Termination Penalties.

Contribute value to the world.168 Breaking Free transaction plus $0. There were those two fees. and it isn’t something you do to stay out of jail. It is something you do to make tons of money in the long term because it is sound business strategy. instead of ten. Your startup will have an incredible advantage over them by using this philosophy. Remember.20”. They treat their customers like they want to be treated themselves. integrity is not optional when it comes to business. and the world will contribute greatly back to you. The old adage that says “find a need and fill it” is absolutely true. Is it any wonder Google has such great brand loyalty? People love Google because they are up front and honest. . Probably more than 90% of all business people today don’t fully understand this concept.

What types of businesses did you . what came to mind when you thought about starting a business? imagine? 1. 4. 4. 5. 5.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 169 CHAPTER 6 EXERCISES Before reading this chapter. 3. Now that you have read the chapter. 2. 3. What (if any) new business expenses did you realize you could do without? What (if any) employees did you realize you could do without? 1. 5. 3. 2. what comes to mind when thinking about starting a new business? What types of businesses do you imagine creating? In what areas? 1. 4. 2.

2. 3. 2. 4.170 Breaking Free What projects or areas of your life have you been procrastinating on? Do you really need to wait to start? Where can you utilize the philosophy of “ready. 5. 5. 3. fire. arm”? 1. 4. What business ideas (if any) sound appealing or like something you’d like to explore further? 1. 4. What ways can you (or your businesses) contribute to the world? In what ways were you putting your business’s needs ahead of your What will your income and daily work be like if your company is a big success? . What is the best case scenario of your business idea (if you have one)? 1. 5. 2. 3.

3. 4. 1. 2. .What Kind of Business Should I Start? 171 customer’s? Where can you gain a competitive advantage by using the philosophy of “don’t be evil”. 5.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Create a buyers guide website. Carry your failures as a badge of honor. o o o o o o o • o o Become a consultant. Become a writer. and make sure you like it. You can start a business for less than $100. o o • o • Higher fixed costs. What if you succeed? Start small and build your confidence for bigger projects. Eliminate costs and expenses you don’t absolutely need. Use the philosophy of “ready. Make a better piece of software. it’s a great learning experience and necessary to have success. Become a real estate investor. Just start with what you have now so you can begin to get feedback. fire. You might get what you wish for.172 Breaking Free CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY • • • • • • • • This is a totally different way to think about starting a business. Your time is valuable and limited. . Resell other people’s products for commissions (affiliate). You don’t need to take on big investment and risk. Seek businesses with good economies of scale. Create a seminar or information product. aim”. Look at the best case scenario for your business. Don’t wait to get started. Start a business with zero employees. and lower (or zero) variable/unit costs will win over time. Being self employed simply means you pay yourself.

but”. • Always operate your business with integrity. o You can overcome any challenge by learning a skill or paying someone else to do it. Would you be a customer of your own business? Are you contributing value to the world. Be up front and honest with your customers. or taking it? .What Kind of Business Should I Start? 173 • Leave excuses at the door and avoid “yes. Treat them as you would like to be treated. o o o o o Don’t be evil.

Chapter 7 The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business
“How dare you waste your life in exchange for a paycheck.” - Seth Godin, bestselling author and entrepreneur

you will need to take. Some of you are saying “finally!” If you’re the type of person who wants to focus on the practical steps (or the type of person who skipped to this chapter first!) that is fine, but I do have a word of caution. After starting a number of businesses and helping a number of others start businesses, I’ve come to the conclusion that the actual steps only account for about 20% of the success formula. When it comes down to it, knowing the difference between an LLC and an S-corp could be important, but won’t make or break your success. What’s far more important, and what accounts for the other 80% of the success formula, is what I’d call the “inner game” of starting a business. It’s the material covered in the rest of this book, about your confidence, self


o far we have discussed the idea of starting a company theoretically. Now it’s time to get down to the actual steps


Breaking Free

doubt, peer group, learning habits, and motivation. After all, a motivated person could easily find out the difference between an LLC and an Scorp if they really needed to. If you’ve been reading this book frustrated by the lack of details on the actual steps, then this chapter is for you. Just keep in mind that to the person who ponders “When will we get to the real meat of it?”, I reply “The mental game of starting a business is the real meat of it”. The steps here will help you on your way, but without the right “inner game” they aren’t of much use. This chapter assumes you have an idea for a business and are ready to get started. It is also written from the perspective of starting a business in the United States. Starting a business is really not very expensive and is easier than you might think. However, it can be a little tricky the first time, so I’ve tried to lay it out here as simply as possible. This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive explanation. People will write me letters explaining how something in this chapter is not entirely accurate in certain cases. That is fine! The number of special cases the IRS has created could fill hundreds of books, but when starting a business, they simply aren’t important. All you need to know are the basics, which I will teach you here; the rest can be figured out later. Get the business started quickly and easily; you can always come back later once you have revenue. Getting too caught up with the legal and tax details early on just costs you more money and distracts you from your main goal. You could talk with some lawyers for months about some of these topics and they will gladly tell you all the complex details and charge you handsomely for their time (and you should probably do this once you have money coming in the door). But if you just follow what’s in this chapter to get started, you will be 99% of the way there and will have more time and money to spend on making your company

The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business



This chapter is more like a crash course than a

comprehensive guide, so treat it accordingly. Disclaimer: Speaking of lawyers, I should mention that none of this chapter should be taken as legal, accounting, or tax advice. Hopefully you find this chapter full of simple useful advice that is free from unintelligible legal jargon. If you see a word you don’t understand, please write me and tell me about it. I’m not quite sure why, but for some reason lawyers and the IRS can’t write in a way that regular people can understand. I’ll do my best to fix that but you are responsible for how you use the information in this chapter

The definition of “starting a business” is rather unclear. For our purposes it will mean incorporating, separating the business financially from your personal assets, and becoming legally recognized as a business. The alternative is to not incorporate, in which case the business is simply you. When you and the business are one and the same, you aren’t in a very good position. If the business fails, your personal assets could be taken and you won’t be able to deduct business expenses easily. This is why we separate the business into its own entity by incorporating. Incorporating your business has two important benefits: it minimizes risk (liability) and offers tax advantages. Incorporating minimizes risk because the business is treated like a separate person. Think of it like another human being. If something goes wrong, the company will get sued, not you. This is ideal because as you experiment with starting companies, it’s possible for something drastically bad to happen. If your business is incorporated then even if your company suffers major losses, nobody can take your personal home


Breaking Free

away or drain your personal bank account. You can always just file bankruptcy with the company and start over with a “clean” slate. It’s a badge of honor, not a mark against you. Note: There are some special cases where incorporating doesn’t protect you from liability which we will discuss below. Secondly, incorporating offers you great tax advantages that have helped keep rich people rich for many years. When you own a business, you can pay for business expenses with pre-tax dollars. This means that your business related lunches and dinners can be expensed (or at least a portion of them), along with part of your living costs (if you have a home office) and your business travel costs. It’s not uncommon for business owners to take 100% expensed business trips that seem a lot more like vacations. For example, their flight, hotel, and nice meals are all paid for by the company even though it is debatable what percentage of their time was actually spent working. This gets into an ethical and legal issue, and companies are occasionally audited in this area. Keep good records by putting business expenses on a company credit card. This will keep a perfect record automatically for tax time and is far easier than trying to remember to keep written records yourself. It’s a judgment call what you will expense and what you won’t. That being said, most entrepreneurs I know wouldn’t hesitate to expense a dinner with a colleague where business was mentioned, but the topics ranged from sports to how their kids were doing. If you are wondering what it means to “expense” something or use pre-tax dollars, here is an example. Let’s say your business earned $1000 profit this year and your tax rate is 33%. Through various activities during the year, you spent $500 out of your own pocket on business related expenses (the gas in your car driving to meetings, meetings with clients, rent for your home/office, etc).

33 166. and you deserve to not pay taxes on business expenses. This times your tax rate of 33% is only $165 in taxes that you owe. You are left with $667 dollars of after tax profit. then you are paying your expenses with pre-tax dollars.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 179 If you had not incorporated then you pay the full tax.00 Incorporated $1.00 33% $ 500.67 $ $ 33% 1. and the advantage is substantial.00 500. You will always be working as you go through your normal life. 33% of $1000. if you did incorporate. Unincorporated Gross Profit Expenses Tax Rate Taxable Profit Taxes Owed Net Profit $ $ $ 1.67 $ 333. so $1000 minus $500 in expenses is $500 of profit. and after deducting your expenses you are left with $167 of profit.000.000. $500 in profit minus your $165 in owed taxes leaves you with $335 of profit at the end of year. more than double the profit of your unincorporated counterpart.00 333. You deduct the expenses before paying tax.33 Figure 7 – Tax Advantages of Incorporating In essence you are getting a discount every time you spend money for the business because you are paying with pre-tax dollars. However. Make the effort to keep track of them all.00 $ 500.00 $ 166. which is $333. .000.

incorporating and legally becoming a business is a no-brainer. Most importantly. how it is different from your competition. let’s say I differentiated my business by offering personalized advice. Don’t worry about them making sense.180 Breaking Free With the tax advantages. We will do that later. try not to judge anything you write down as being good or bad. Just start letting the words flow onto the paper as seeing one makes you think of the next. Further. and my strongest company value was empowering minorities. By far the best method I’ve found to do this is a brainstorming session. you’ll need to decide on a name. Then I might start writing down words as follows: debt money help interest payments finances savings empower “free and clear” “cycle of poverty” wealth smart education children credit cards minorities literacy bad underprivileged You get the idea. We will cover how to incorporate shortly. let’s say I was starting a business that offered consulting and information products in the area of eliminating debt. just lets the words flow as they come to mind. Write words that have to do with your product. Get a blank piece of paper and a pen and start jotting words down that come to mind about your business. DECIDE ON A NAME Once you have an idea for a business. Now start combining random words together and see what you come up with. Don’t be afraid to add in new words you haven’t written down previously. and necessity of limiting your risk. Force yourself to keep writing until you have at least . and the values of the company. For example.

The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 181 twenty business names. You’ll most likely have to do this in person. but your business is completely different from theirs. and they should know what you are talking about. Narrow your list down to names that are both available and desirable. or a double entendre like “Financial Interests” (the word interests here has double meaning). you may still be able to use it. If necessary.htm . Patents and Trademark Office to see if your name is already being used by someone else2. and don’t stop even if you see one that looks www.uspto. for a catchier title. do an informal survey with your 1 2 Debt Education Credit Card School Debt Busters Minorities Free and Clear www. It would also be a good idea to check the U. See if you can use repetition of initial letters. If you are starting a website business. they will have filed a DBA form (stands for “doing business as”) with the county. Just tell them you’d like to check your business name with the DBA office. your next step will be to run all your options through a domain name checker like Go Daddy1 to see which ones are available for use. That is perfectly fine. you’ll want to check with your local County Clerk’s Office to see if anyone else is doing business under that name in your county. sleep on it. Finally.S. such as “Smart Savings” If someone already has your name. If so. Empowered Savings Smart Savings Financial Interests Notice how other words came to mind like “School” and “Busters” that weren’t in my original list.

gov and clicking “Business”. If you have an idea for your business already. Under entity type select “other” and enter “disregarded entity” if you are incorporating by yourself. It’s free and easy and you can do it right now by calling 800-829-4933. don’t wait. do more brainstorming (include more people for better results). and make a final decision! EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER Your next step to starting a business is to get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. They will create a provisional number for you right there and mail you the paperwork later. You can also apply online by going to www. You’ll be incorporating as an LLC (not a partnership) at the state level.182 Breaking Free friends. think about your corporation like . just do it right now! Figure 8 – Temporary EIN Assigned via IRS Website Application An employer identification number is like a social security number for your business (remember. but the IRS doesn’t have a classification for LLC (more on this later).irs. then “Employer ID Numbers”. If you are incorporating with partners you can select “partnership”.

no liability protection Partnership – you with some other people. but to be honest with you . plenty of paperwork (think big companies. like IBM and Exxon Mobil) Limited Liability Company – you by yourself or lots of people (doesn’t matter). plenty of liability protection. and that was all you needed to know. The federal government will use this number to track all correspondence and taxes with your business. easy paperwork Entire books have been written on that subject. Figure 9 – The official EIN paperwork arrives a week later. INCORPORATE AS AN LLC There are several different types of companies that you can incorporate as. You will need this number for the applications later in this chapter. Let’s take a brief look at each one: • • • • Sole Proprietorship – you by yourself.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 183 it’s another person). The LLC seems like an easy choice. no liability protection Corporation – plenty of liability protection. this is a bit of an oversimplification. right? Granted.

there is a specific type of corporation called a Subchapter S Corporation. which is fairly similar to an LLC. so that is what we will use.O. They have what is called a “registered agent”. You pay zero state sales tax and you pay zero business income tax to the state if your company resides outside Delaware! For this reason. you don’t get much mail there because for all intents and purposes your “real” business is established and running somewhere entirely different. or even know what that address is. The entire process is totally transparent from your perspective. are incorporated in Delaware. So how do you actually incorporate? First. Basically this is someone who maintains a P. but Delaware is the best choice. and 50% of all businesses in the U. but like I said before. You can incorporate in any state. Don’t have an office in Delaware? That’s fine.S. Just focus on getting the business started quickly by using an LLC and keep your mind on what matters. You can have a high priced lawyer look at your company once you have money coming in the door (and any choices you've made can always be changed later). box for you and forwards any mail to you. You never have to go to Delaware. In general. you will need to pick a state. 58% of fortune 500 companies. Why Delaware? Delaware is considered a business haven because their court system is favorable to business owners and their state tax laws are great for business owners. Many (if not most) of the businesses incorporated there don’t have offices in Delaware.184 Breaking Free the details are really unimportant. One may be slightly better than the other in certain cases. For example. who cares? The difference is minor and saving a few percent on your taxes when you have zero profit is still zero savings. The LLC was specifically designed to help small business owners like yourself get . started.

and employer identification number that you obtained from the IRS (it’s a one page form). but if you need one choice that has worked for Figure 10 – Certificate of Formation for a Delaware LLC . You can pay a lawyer to help you incorporate. but these two names really mean the same thing for a I haven’t researched all of them. It can be confusing. but they will most likely charge you a couple thousand dollars.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 185 Incorporating in Delaware can be done for a couple hundred or as it is better known in Delaware. try www. Instead. your Certificate of for “Delaware llc” and get more hits than you could possibly want to see. me. The company you pay to incorporate will also assign you a It is remarkably easy and registered agent for about $50 to $100. You can search www. I’d recommend going with a company online that will get you incorporated for a couple hundred dollars.delawareinc. inexpensive. Delaware corporation. business name. You will have to fill out some simple paperwork with your The first document is called your Articles of Incorporation.

This is a formality which outlines the structure of the company and its partners. You can search www. and then modify them to your needs. but you should keep it on file to show you went through the correct procedure to establish your and for “operating agreement llc” to get some operating agreement templates.186 Breaking Free The second document you should draft is called your Operating Agreement which you will keep on file at your company office.comforminfo/ You don’t need to submit it to anyone.3 Figure 11 – Sample Operating Agreement 3 Try www.htm .

Figure 12 – Example DBA form Fill out the Articles of Incorporation to send to Delaware. the Operating Agreement to keep for your own records. and you will be officially incorporated! 4 Note that DBA's are based on the county. But if you incorporated under the name “Inter-Galactic Shoe Manufacturing Company LLC” and you decide to make your website something completely different. you should obtain a DBA (doing business as) certificate for each county4 where you will be doing business. . and (optional) the DBA form for your local country clerk’s office. I say optional because if you are doing business under the same name you incorporated under. then this isn’t necessary. not the country. then it would be a good idea to obtain a DBA. as an optional step.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 187 Finally. like “Brian’s Shoes”.

just because you have an LLC doesn’t mean you are home free to do whatever you’d like. Unfortunately. DBA.188 Breaking Free MAKING SURE YOUR ASSETS ARE SAFE Getting your LLC set up is great first step. and as a budding entrepreneur it would be wise to know of them. At that point the company will be regarded by the court as being the same as you (a sole proprietorship). Your business is no longer separate. But there are a few more steps you should take to cover all your bases. You treated business assets as if they were your own. A few special cases exist where small business owners will not be shielded from personal liability. You misrepresented corporate officers or members. some people have tried to take advantage of the LLC’s limited liability status in the past. In legal jargon this is referred to as “piercing the corporate veil”. A court can actually rule that your LLC no longer has liability protection if you aren’t careful. Your business and personal assets were mixed together. . • • • Your business engaged in fraud or some other criminal act. and financial records). instead of a separate entity. Unfortunately. and your limited liability is gone! The following are a few reasons you could lose your status as an LLC. You failed to observe corporate formalities and keep records of important • • documents (operating agreement. articles of incorporation. so the law has evolved to be more strict. You can now take advantage of the tax breaks and rest easy knowing you have personal liability protection with regards to your business.

One that does (that I have been very happy with) is Washington Mutual. expenses. There are a number of reasons for this: 1. shop around and find a bank with .The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 189 As you can see. to keep your status as an LLC you must follow all the rules. and keeping all your finances separate (more detail on this below). Keeping them separate will make things much more clear when tax time comes. Many banks today have started offering free checking for personal accounts. 3. and profit throughout the year. GETTING A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT AND CHARGE CARD Congratulations! You now know the exact steps to get incorporated and are well on your way. even if you aren’t doing anything illegal. To maintain your corporate status (and your liability protection). Next you’ll need to select a bank. and the same is starting to become true of business bank accounts. if you plan on doing anything illegal. In these cases. the LLC status will not protect you. You can use them or if they aren’t available in your area. With each step. What courts are most wary of are people who create the company as a façade to conceal some shady dealings. Therefore. you will not be protected. This mean filing all the appropriate paperwork discussed above. you need to keep your personal finances separate from your business finances. 2. you will build more confidence and get closer to your goal! The next thing you should do is get a business bank account set up. It will help you keep track of your revenue.

This will help you build the habit of recording every single time money moves between your business account and your personal account. Avoid at all costs making purchases for your business on your personal credit card and then transferring the money over later. especially if you are comfortable with deposit by mail5 and will primarily be doing electronic transactions (such as billing people’s credit cards on a website). debit card. and it may get you in trouble legally. You don’t need a branch. This will be important for making purchases. If the bank won’t give you one. I guarantee you that at the end of the year (tax time) you’ll be staring at your bank records wondering where that money went when it left your 5 This service is offered by all major banks today. You should also record this initial investment in a spreadsheet. it looks unprofessional. because when your use your business credit card it will automatically create a record of your business expenses. You won’t remember. don’t let yourself be tempted to borrow money) for your business bank account. Remember. it is important to keep the two separate! Don’t just decide one day that your personal account is low on cash and it’s time to move some from the business account (or vice versus). get a business credit card from another bank. . and it is important to record it. use an online bank. open the account with an initial deposit from your personal account. and it just means you can send checks to be deposited through the mail instead of walking into a branch. Get some free checks with your business name on it. That is called a paycheck. See if the bank can give you a credit card (or even better. If you can’t find one. and is a business expense. and you are ready to go.190 Breaking Free free business checking and no annual fees. You can record your initial deposit as your investment in the company on your operating agreement.

the best way to think about your business. and you might end up having to pay taxes on it. You just got a free discount on lunch because you paid with pre-tax dollars and can expense 50% of the lunch. the business absorbs the loss instead of you. When you are at business lunch. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of saying “I’ll take whatever is left over at the end of the month”. This is a bad idea because it shows irregular transfers of money as compensation. If you don’t know what it is. You want to keep them separate so if your business goes bankrupt or gets sued. Always think of your business as a separate “person” because if you and that “person” become one and the same. is to imagine it is another person. it’s easy to put it on the company card. it’s the business’s money. When money is moving between your business and personal account. These are your paychecks and expenses and should not be done on a whim. and it’s just as illegal as stealing. which is why I stress it here. take special care to record it. In fact. It’s called embezzlement. they have a word for taking money out of a business without recording it. Taking it out without recording it would be like stealing from this “person”. Record all transactions by using a business credit/debit card for expenses and a spreadsheet for checks.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 191 account. It’s not “your money” in the business account to be freely taken out whenever you want. then you are liable when someone sues the business. then you’ll have trouble classifying it as a business expense. You just decided to invest in the business. If you have partners. and more . Never assume you will remember some detail of a transaction. This point can be a bit confusing to first time business owners. That would be money wasted for nothing! Remember. no matter how small. Set a salary for yourself (even if it’s very small at first) and pay yourself first. discuss it with them before ever transferring money.

com and www. To get the content of your business website created. and don’t try to host it on your own computer or server. you are establishing good business practices from day one. here are some tools to help you optimize it and get some more traffic. you have a few and then modify it. The first option is to use a website template from a site like www. there are some other options. This will allow your customers to find you from all over the world and will give you a business email address (or many) for more professional for reviews) and you’ll be up and running in no time. For the rest of us who are less technical or don’t have the time to put together a great website. Register your website with a reputable hosting company (you can check BuyersVote. but the look of it). there will often be nothing left for you at the end of the month! By paying yourself on a regular basis and keeping careful records. then by all means go right ahead. If you fancy yourself a webmaster. With some fairly basic HTML skills you can actually create a decent website by looking at other web pages and finding things you like to copy (don’t copy it directly.192 Breaking Free importantly. Once you have your website created. It is inexpensive to have a website these days. . The second option is to outsource the creation of the website to someone else through www.elance. and will cost you about $5-$10 per month. Always pay an outside company to host your website for you. CREATE A WEBSITE Your business will most likely need a website presence. Programmers from all over the world will help you create your site for a very small fee.

checks. It works with Google Adwords to show you measurable return on your advertising dollars. • Google Analytics This will help you view your website traffic to see how people are finding your site. how many hits you are getting. This is the fee for offering your customers convenient payment options. and all those mentioned above. If you have a restaurant you need to accept cash. All this means you are in for quite a hassle with the “old fashioned” model! Luckily. and which pages are causing people to leave. Employees need to be trusted with cash registers (which are expensive) and a system needs to be put in place to catch employees that steal. Today it is easier to get a credit card payment solution set up than ever before. and credit cards. which means most likely the only thing you’ll need is the ability to accept credit cards on the internet. PAYMENT SOLUTIONS Next. your sales conversions will go up dramatically. Checks can bounce and never be paid. • Google Website Optimizer You can use this tool to optimize the layout of your pages and test different layouts.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 193 • Google Adwords This will instantly get traffic to your site by buying inexpensive text advertisements. you are starting a business the smart way. Accepting physical credit cards requires a terminal which you need to rent from the provider and you’ll have to buy rolls of thermal paper for it. Think back to the “old fashioned” business model I discussed in Chapter 6. For most businesses today. this means credit cards. your customers will need a way to pay you. This . For this service you will pay about 2% of each transaction plus $0.20 to the credit card processing companies.

It is “basic” however because it always requires the customer to leave your website to actually pay (the address bar in the browser will show they have left your website). most customers are intelligent and will figure it out anyway. Once they are done the customer is returned to your website. etc) make it an expensive business. Credit card fraud in its various forms (identity theft. It is worth the 2% and really you have no other www. but usually not. which at the time of this writing offers a few more features. and use it to your 6 7 8 checkout. You may also want to check out Paypal7. you place them in the virtual “cart” and go to checkout when you’re done. But you should also be proud of being a small A “shopping cart” on a website is analogous to a shopping cart at the grocery but their customer service and user interface aren’t as good. It’s simply a container to hold everything you want to buy. . Does it really matter? It’s is tough to say. As you find items you want to buy. This is usually an indication to your customers that you are a small company who hasn’t set up a more professional solution.194 Breaking Free money also covers the credit card processing companies’ risk. Google Checkout6 is the best basic option in my opinion. Either will allow you to create “buy it now” buttons that customers can click to buy an item on your website and it will also integrate with more complex shopping carts8. chargeback’s. I believe this is a mistake. When getting credit card processing set up. For one thing. there are a couple options which range from basic and inexpensive to professional and more expensive. Some entrepreneurs try to hide the fact they are a small company because they think customer’s won’t trust them or be impressed.

There is little or no programming involved. and a cleaner look is possible. etc).net9 with a custom shopping cart on your website. Even if you are a programmer. The more professional solution is to use a company such as Authorize. it might not be the best use of your time to spend the next month fixing problems in your shopping cart unless you are on a shoe string budget. Something that is important to remember when designing your shopping cart is the user interface (technical term for how the customer interacts with it).20.authorize. You’ll have to hire a website designer to put this together for you. Use Google Analytics to track the pages of the shopping cart and see where people are abandoning the checkout if you have any doubts. The true benefit to using a “basic” payment solution such as this is that all the hard work is done for you. but now you will have the customer stay on your website the entire time. and all the technical stuff is done for you. 9 www. It’s better to hire an outside firm (see www.elance. There will be monthly fees of about $30 in addition to the 2% plus $0. A large percent of customers on the internet are ready and willing to buy a product but simply give up because the checkout process is confusing or annoying. choose a and www. don’t force your customers to create an account. or enter any information that isn’t absolutely necessary.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 195 advantage by highlighting the benefits to the customer (lower overhead means lower Beware that to program a system such as this yourself requires some serious technical background. If at all . personalized support. It will cost 2% of each transaction plus $0. but there is no monthly fee.

Legally. it’s important to know the difference between employees and independent contractors. part time. offering benefits. and that they sign documents accordingly. Also. They don’t require you to offer any benefits.196 Breaking Free EMPLOYEES VS. If you can. If that ends up being the case. hire independent contractors instead of employees whenever possible. you will have to take certain steps to make sure you don’t cross the line into employees. Don’t feel bad if it’s confusing. and avoid hiring employees. It is far less of a headache. take taxes out of their paycheck. Keep them separate. But I know some people will ignore my advice or get themselves into a situation where they need other people. and calculating vacation days. or the courts may argue your independent contractors were actually employed! Make sure none of your company literature uses the term “employee”. I know people who have a degree in accounting (CPAs) and even they still get . Employees work for you full time and come with all sorts of headaches like deducting taxes from their paychecks. Independent contractors are people that work for you on a specific job. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS You aren’t supposed to be hiring employees! At least I hope you aren’t. that your independent contractors are told they are independent contractors. TAXES As I stated earlier. the IRS has an incredible ability to write documents that make no sense. independent contractors are given a larger degree of control over the work they do compared to their employee counterparts. or worry about salaries and vacation days.

but it’s the best I’ve found so far. When it comes to tax time. Only about 0. and action is the best teacher. That being said. taxes should not be feared. and is certainly better than doing it on your own . Remember to deduct as many of your business expenses as you can (it will be easy since you’ve been tracking them on your business credit/debit card). the goal of taxes is to get “close enough”.com . 10 turbotax. WRAPPING IT UP You now have all the technical knowledge at your fingertips to get a business off the ground. This piece of software will help you walk through the steps and hold your hand through the tricky parts. You can figure it out as you Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 197 confused.5% of new businesses get audited. then you can afford to get “close enough”. It’s rare for any two tax returns to come back the same. If that’s how the big guys operate. which will save you plenty of time. Just don’t get greedy and try to cheat. Even if something isn’t 100% clear. just go ahead. I don’t think this software is particularly good. later you can outsource it). and you’ll be able to do them yourself (at least in the initial stages of your company. Tax accountants would kill me for saying this. just skip it and keep going. You’ll also be entering all your data on a computer instead of writing by hand. It most likely doesn’t apply to you. Despite what they say. It is more of an art than a science. Your best friend will be Turbo Tax Business from Intuit10. but even with those odds it’s not worth risking jail time and fines. just buckle down and do it in a weekend. Sometimes magazines will review tax preparation companies by sending them each identical financial statements from a fictitious company. Keep accurate records throughout the year and back them up regularly. but if you aren’t sure what something be clear.

Take a moment to look back at the chapter. a DBA for maybe $10 (if you even need it). basic credit card processing with zero up front costs. Website hosting at $5-$10 per month. Was starting a business anywhere near as expensive as you thought? A few hundred for the LLC setup was the main expense.startbreakingfree. fire. Do one per day for a week and you will have your own business! My hope is that by putting this process in plain English. arm”. .com. and a free business checking account are all very easy on the wallet.198 Breaking Free Remember to “ready. more people will take the first step toward working for themselves. You can also get questions answered by other readers in the discussion forum on our website at www.

when you’re done. How much will it cost to get basic credit card processing set up on your company website? 12.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 199 CHAPTER 7 EXERCISES This section will be a mini quiz instead of the usual exercises. Is the money in your business bank account yours? 10. What is the best way to keep track of business expenses? 11. . Why should you incorporate as an LLC as opposed to any other type of business (sole proprietor ship. 1. What are the two main reasons/advantages of incorporating? 2. or corporation)? 7. Answers are on the next page. What is the difference between an employee and an independent contractor? Please turn to the next page when you are done to check your answers. Why should you get a separate business bank account for your business? 9. partnership. What state should you incorporate in and why? 8. How should you check to see if your company name is available? 5. Does incorporating protect you from 100% of liability? 3. A “social security number” for your business is called a [blank]? 6. What is the best way to decide on a company name? 4.

200 Breaking Free CHAPTER 7 EXERCISE ANSWERS • Your liability is limited (they can’t go after your personal assets) and there are tax advantages. companies are incorporated there. • • Employer Identification Number LLC’s are designed for small business owners like you. • • Brainstorming See if the domain name is available at • No.S. They offer the limited liability protection not found in sole proprietorships and partnerships without the increased paperwork of a full corporation. you will have a registered agent as . Zero business sales and income tax. This is why you should maintain separate financial records and go through formalities such as creating your Operating Agreement. see if the trademark is available at the U. Patents and Trademark Office website. You can still be personally liable if you do something illegal or fail to follow proper procedure when establishing your LLC. Their court system is favorable to business owners should you ever need to go to and check with your local County Clerk’s Office to see if someone else is already “doing business as” (DBA) your desired name. You don’t need an office there. Fifty percent of all U. • Delaware.

Instead you should pay yourself a regular salary and record all such transactions in a spreadsheet. sick days. It is the business’s money.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 201 your proxy. • A business credit card or debit card. • • About 2% of each transaction plus $0.20 for a basic setup. Independent contractors are a much simpler (and therefore cheaper) way to involve others in your business if you must. benefits. • This will help keep your financial records separate (which is necessary to keep your LLC status) and it will be immensely helpful keeping everything straight at tax time. Money should not be transferred back and forth with the business as if it’s another of your personal accounts. etc). Remember to think about your business like it is another person. Record all other business . Employees require more work on your part because there are more laws to deal with (taking out taxes. expenses not on the card in a spreadsheet. • No.

  Your personal assets are safe.  o Don’t evaluate any and don’t stop till you have at least twenty written. Combine words into potential names. Select a company name by brainstorming. trademark. You should incorporate because.  o o You pay for company expenses with pre-tax dollars. List words using free association.202 Breaking Free CHAPTER 7 SUMMARY • • The actual steps to starting a business is only about 20% of the success equation. Check the name’s availability (domain. To maintain this status you must follow all corporate formalities and keep business finances separate from your own. o • It offers tax advantages. o o o o o • o Overcoming self doubt Confidence Peer group Habits of learning Motivation It shields you from liability. and DBA). . • Get an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. 80% of your success comes from the “inner game” discussed in other chapters.

like a social security number for an individual. • • • Pay someone to host your website. Use an incorporation service online to get setup quickly and inexpensively. o o It offers the best combination of easy paperwork. basic or professional. instead of employees.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 203 o • The IRS will use this number to track the taxes of your business. and limited liability.  Use a registered agent in Delaware.   o No business sales or income tax. and possibly to design it if you don’t have the time or technical skills. o o This will help establish your LLC and improve record keeping for taxes. If you must hire others. Favorable courts for businesses. Use a business credit or debit card to keep track of business expenses. • Get a business bank account with free checking. depending on your budget and needs. . make them independent contractors when possible. Incorporate in Delaware. Choose a payment solution. Try not to hire anyone at all (see Chapter Six). Incorporate as an LLC. Keep track of expenses. • Use TurboTax to do your own taxes.


it's possible." . they are exhausted and decide to put off their great plan for tomorrow when they have more energy. Their head is filled with great plans as they drift off to sleep. The next day it’s their H ave you ever heard the term “conference high”? Many people experience it after attending a conference. they talk to other like minded people who fuel their enthusiasm. But if you schedule it. so they get home to think it over and get to bed early for work the next day. They’ve had a long day. By the time they get home. They get excited about the ideas they’ve just heard or read. and the next day it’s off to work for a full Monday morning.Chapter 8 Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick "If you talk about it.Anthony Robbins reading a book. Problems pile up and need to be solved at work. or having a powerful learning experience. and they leave on a great “high” feeling as though they can conquer the world! But the feeling is only temporary for them. it's real. and soon they are immersed in their daily routine. If you envision it. . it's a dream.

but they never get started. yet it happens all the time. You probably have at some point. which helps illustrate this idea.206 Breaking Free kid’s soccer game and they can’t miss that. Let’s say you decided to clean out the house. we are stuck in our ways. creaky . I could come in to help you clean out the house and we would spend all day moving tired old couches. I’ve done it. What a sad story. The purpose of this chapter will be to make sure it doesn’t happen again. and put some new beliefs into your head. but they won’t be able to quite remember why. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. and they eventually move back to their old life with absolutely nothing changing. and we’ll finish with a written plan for the future. The day after they take a break to watch their favorite TV show because “they’ve earned it”. “I’ll still do it when I have more time” they tell themselves. We’ll cover some specific ways to implement constant positive reinforcement into your life. By the time you finish with this chapter. He told a story comparing all the old beliefs and limiting ideas in your head to a house filled with dusty old furniture. Shad Helmstetter had a great analogy in his book.. The moment has passed. CONSTANT POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT As creatures of habit. the “high” has ended. some productivity and time management techniques. After a month they will think back on the conference or book in passing and recall how excited they were. Pretty soon a week has gone by and their great plans aren’t quite as exciting. you will have a written step-by-step plan for quitting your job and starting your own business. I’m going to share with you several ways to stay on track and make sure your dreams become reality.

the old habits will come back. After your meal you’d be awfully sleepy and might retrieve a mattress to sleep the night. and dim lights into the garage. At the end of the day. • Subscribe to Business 2. the old ones will eventually return! Constant positive reinforcement is not just nice to have. it is required. you’d be sweaty and tired.0 This is the best business magazine available today and many top entrepreneurs I know read it religiously. • Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People As I mentioned earlier. If we don’t continually feed great ideas into our head. You’d be hungry after a long day’s work and would eventually have to bring the table in for one last meal.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 207 chairs. but if we don’t replace them with new ones. Here are some great ways to keep learning after you have finished reading this book. Make a commitment to find at least three people who are either successful entrepreneurs or want to . you’d need a chair to sit on and would retrieve one from the garage. I’m going to show you some ways to bring this reinforcement into your daily routine that will give you incredible strength (and a new set of furniture) over time. we can spend all day eliminating your old ideas. because I didn’t give you anything new to replace the old. You see. but happy to see a beautifully cleaned out house. period. you are who you hang out with. Every time I read it I get inspired and filled with new ideas. Slowly but surely the house would fill back up with your old furniture. and our “conference high” will fade. Your mother was right all this time. It would look so neat and tidy with all the junk gone and you’d feel a great sense of freedom! But as the evening came.

visualizing the outcome I want to achieve and reviewing a list of things that I’m thankful for. but the truth often is. etc). and they will build you. The people who constantly complain about how much they hate their jobs don’t count. I can’t tell you how many times I have been sitting in rush hour traffic with angry frustrated people honking and cursing all around me while I sit there thinking how great it is to get some more of my book finished! As Brian Tracy says. you quite simply aren’t serious about becoming successful. I repeat my goals over and over to myself in my head. You have to drive. then that will become your reality. If you spend most of your time thinking about how you are too dumb. or busy to work for yourself. If you spend most of your time thinking about how successful you will be working for yourself. then it will become reality. coffee shops near business schools. • Spend a Moment to Focus on Your Goals Each Day We become what we spend most of our time thinking about. • Start Listening to Audio Books in Your Car Today As I stated earlier. Personally. poor. You will find these people by going to entrepreneurship related events and locations (small business association classes. so you might as well make it productive.208 Breaking Free become one. A typical session . I like to use the time I spend brushing my teeth and showering each morning to review my goals. It sounds simplistic. Toastmasters meetings. if you aren’t listening to books on tape in your car. Find someone who has already started a business and has demonstrated their commitment with action. Build your network. this is one of the most effective ways to build constant positive reinforcement into your life.

Are you experiencing some self doubt? As entrepreneurs we all do. I’d have my exit strategy . I’d suggest book marking it now by folding the corner of the page. I got to sleep in an extra hour because I work from home and don’t commute through rush hour traffic.. I feel great!” Does that sound pretty silly? Try it for six months and tell me if you still think so! You can be your own best motivator and coach every single morning. Usually the moment you are about ready to quit is just before success comes! Believe me. it’s so great I didn’t have to go to work today. or out loud): “Wow. what do I want to do today. I’ll make time to go to the gym. and read it for a quick boost. break glass. I’m going to finish that proposal first because it’s the most important to achieving my income goal this year. For more information read Shad Helmstetter’s.. I’ve achieved so much. and we can’t let it stop us. THE EMERGENCY MOTIVATOR This page is like the fire alarm! In case of emergencies. I also have been getting in great shape. Now that I think about it.well. open up the book to this page. I have been there myself. Let’s see. I was so close to quitting at times..Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 209 might sound something like (in my head. haha! I’m thankful that the project milestone got finished this week and my marketing campaign worked out so well. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. I’m pretty amazing! I’m so thankful that I’m in this unique position and have so much potential. I’m certainly thankful for that. And I’m going to read that report I’ve been meaning to get to.

So instead they chose to look forward to setbacks. or an actual coach. “Success is the ability to move from one failure to the next with enthusiasm. Ross Perot Moreover. "Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. whether it is yourself. this page. They know setbacks will come up in every project they undertake. a book.H. you must realize that failure is a good thing." . They quit on the one yard line. But it does mean if you give up and quit then you’ll miss out on the most valuable lessons of your life! Each failure brings you closer and closer to success. Seasoned entrepreneurs don’t fear failure. Failure is a good thing because it is the most valuable learning experience you could possibly have.” . I knew how much I could liquidate all the business assets for and had pondered what paperwork would need to be filed to officially close shop.Winston Churchill .210 Breaking Free totally planned. Does this mean you should try to fail? No. It is as sure as death and taxes. one foot from a winning touchdown. The lesson you get from most “failures” is worth far more than the time or money lost in the actual “failure”. They give up at the last minute of the game. Then I’d wake up the next morning and slap myself in the face and renew my determination! You will need someone there to coach you through the tough times of self doubt. They are the most wonderful opportunities to learn. your peer group. an audio program.

He speaks with the little voice in your head that says things like “This will never work”.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 211 "Success is measured by how far you bounce back after hitting bottom" . and tell him “Thank you for sharing”. and get back to work! Figure 13 – The Self Doubt Creature People who fail focus on the worst possible outcome. Winners acknowledge the self doubt creature. “Who are you kidding”. “What a waste of your time”. then ignore his advice and send him flying! . and “Everyone will laugh when this doesn’t work”.General George S. imagine him there on your shoulder. Acknowledge what he says. Patton Think about your self doubt as if it’s a little creature sitting on your shoulder. send him flying off your shoulder. Picture it in your mind and give it a name. listening to their self doubt creature. Every time he speaks up. They stay in the “safety” of their jobs out of fear and a lack of confidence. Then punch him right in the face. and thank him for sharing.

take a flexible approach to reaching your goals. or spend all day “working” on tasks that have little value. Be firmly committed to achieve your desired result no matter what. wasting time. NOT STUBBORN While keeping the mentality of never giving up. you’ll have to become your own boss. keep in mind that this does not mean to be stubborn. They will even convince themselves that they were right. If they try one way and it doesn’t work. When it comes to business (or any area they aren’t as familiar with) they will use the same approach of assuming they know better than everyone else. It has worked for them their entire life. they will convince others they were right. Many people find this to be a tough transition because they no longer have to do anything. What is the difference? A person who is persistent has a goal in mind and will do anything to achieve it. they try another and another until it finally works. so why not now? Even when the results are poor. But be flexible to try different approaches until you find one that works. The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over while expecting a different result. Smart people especially tend to have a problem with this because they have been right their entire lives. With blind faith. they will continue to try the same method over and over even when it isn’t working. . A stubborn person will arrogantly think they have the perfect solution the first time. When you quit your job and start to work for yourself. Things have come easily to them.212 Breaking Free BE PERSISTENT. A stubborn leader can drive the company into the ground if left unchecked. They may start sleeping in late. and they’ve developed the hubris of being very confident in their ideas. Instead.

The very act of writing something drastically increases the chances it will get done. While you sleep your subconscious mind will be pondering your most important task for the next day. Write it the night before by brainstorming everything you’d like to get done the next day.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 213 There are many fine books written on this subject and I suggest you read (or listen to) as many as you can get your hands on. will give you an unstoppable feeling of confidence throughout the rest of the day. Never do a quick and easy task “just to get it out of the way” while there are more important items on your to-do list. I will give you a head start however with a crash course in time management right here. When you remember something you need to do. Don’t assume you’ll remember it later. 4. while your mind is freshest. and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. like checking your email. All successful people think on paper. Three in particular that I enjoyed are Getting Things Done by David Allen. or casual reading. it must be written right away. Many people prefer to keep an “inbox” of tasks to be done that they prioritize later. Do this before you do anything else. When you get up. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. 5. go straight to work on your most important task. Getting it done first. Circle the top three most important things you’d like to get done that would make it a productive day. 1. 2. Work each day from a written to-do list. voicemail. Then mark the most important one with a star. Our brain loves . Often your most important task will also be the most difficult. No BS Time Management For Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy. 3.

“What would I have to get done this week/month/year for me to be happy?” Put the lists on your wall or somewhere you will see them often. Simply ask yourself the question. Just as you write a to-do list before the end of each day. and year to write a to-do list. Not Important Urgent Not Urgent 1 3 Important 2 4 Figure 14 .214 Breaking Free to creatively avoid hard work.Urgency and Importance Matrix. Have you ever spent the whole day working only to reach the end wondering. month. Where do you spend your time? Whether you are productive or not depends on where you spend your time. Successful people spend most of their time in quadrants 1 and 3. glance at your “bigger picture” lists to see if your day to day work is moving you toward your bigger goals. but successful people on the other hand spend . Force yourself to complete your top three items before finishing anything else on your to-do list. When something important becomes very urgent. while unsuccessful people spend their time in quadrant’s 2 and 4. take a moment at the beginning of each week. 7. what did I get done? Each day we are bombarded with tasks that fall into one of four categories. and surfing the internet (4) are not important but take up most of our day. we will finish it at the last minute (1). 6. browsing emails (2). As you are writing your to-do lists for the next day. Answering telephone calls (2).

after trying various high tech solutions. Technologies like instant messaging. reading in their industry. Any items left on your to-do list at the end of the day can be moved to the next day. Close your door. website. turn off instant messaging programs. and instant messenger turned off.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 215 more time than anyone else in quadrant 3. They do it first thing in the morning before any other tasks can come along to distract them. spreadsheet. unhook your phone. 8. You can implement the above to-do list and inbox in any method you prefer. Set aside part of every day to do uninterrupted work with your phone. 9. It wasn’t that important in the first place. and close your email program during scheduled long periods of uninterrupted work each day. The technology geeks out there (like myself) may be tempted to use a handheld computer. but these great tools can destroy your productivity if you let them. email. I just use yellow legal pads and two pens with different colored ink. Any item you move more than three times should be either removed entirely or delegated. However. They work on important tasks with long term benefits such as building client lists. I have to say that old fashioned paper and pen has been the best solution for me. it will take several minutes to get back into what we were working on. Every time our thought process is interrupted by a well meaning coworker asking if we have a minute or we pick up a ringing phone. Each time. email. and building new products. There is something about the very act of writing it and putting a big line through it that gives a satisfying sense of . and cell phones have done wonders to improve business communications. or some other high tech solution. these few minutes to get “into” and “out of” the zone add up over the day to hours of lost work.

In this case I think technology wins out because I can schedule recurring appointments in one action. • Present The subconscious mind can only understand the present moment in time. drag and drop to reschedule. All written goals should be in the present In the end. As you write them and repeat them to yourself. Brainstorming and writing goals on paper has been shown to be more effective on paper. and they will become true. The main technology that I do use is a calendar system (Google Calendar1) which complements the paper to-do list. First of all. Instead 1 calendar. your subconscious mind will begin to believe it. it’s worthwhile to follow a particular format that many great minds have written about over the years. A goal that is in your head is nothing more than an idea. and personal. use whatever is easiest for you and helps you get more things done! HOW TO WRITE GOALS When setting your goals for the week. your goals must be written down. month. positive.216 Breaking Free completion. Writing it will crystallize the goal and make you far more likely to accomplish it. So instead of saying “I’m going to start a business” or “I will start a business” say “I am starting a business”. • Positive You should always reaffirm positive beliefs about . and get text message meeting reminders sent to my cell phone whether I’m near my desk or not. The reasons behind it are not entirely clear. or year.

or you probably never will. Without a deadline you may complete your goal.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 217 of saying “I don’t make bad investments” write “I make good investments with a high rate of return”. • Personal You can’t change others. A good goal has two other properties. In fact. it is measurable and has a deadline. take a minute to evaluate them.000”.. • Measurable Instead of writing “This year I earn more money” try “This year I earn $100. but you can change yourself. even big time company CEO’s! Writing a goal that isn’t measurable has one major problem: you can’t tell whether you’ve reached it or not. Was that a positive belief about myself that I just wrote? Am I trying to change something outside my control or am I focusing on myself? Am I talking about the future here or did I phrase it in the present tense? A goal that starts off as “I will try to. Each time you write your goals. Either you are starting a company right now. you must have a deadline to create a sense of urgency. Instead of writing “My boss will transform into a nicer person” try “I will perform better at work and get along with my boss”.. but it won’t be nearly as soon as you’d like. If your goal isn’t measurable then you won’t be able to determine if you achieved it or how close you are. The very act of writing “try” or “should” indicates a lack of commitment and a high probability of failure.” is doomed from the start. Finally. This is where many people drop the ball. . I cringe every time I hear someone say “I should really get to the gym more often” or “I’m trying to start a company right now”..

We’ve been having fun making all this progress. had moderate success. It’s fun to make progress and improve every day. Suddenly it’s not so fun anymore. This is the point when we subconsciously sabotage ourselves so that we can keep having fun. This provides a sense of urgency and a timeline to follow. The challenge is gone and we know there isn’t much more left to do.218 Breaking Free • Deadline Instead of “I sell 1000 widgets” try “I sell 1000 widgets by June 1st this year”. We’ve gotten this far. and quit part way through the process? It happens to all of us at some point. . and we know we’re going to make it. How often have you been working toward a goal. the end is in sight. We are no longer motivated and we slip back down the slope of progress only to experience the fun of going up again! (The brain sure works in funny ways. We get excited and a sense of accomplishment! But when we are about 75% of the way toward completing the goal. One final tip about goal setting has had a profound effect on my life2. doesn’t it!) 2 I first learned of this from a success coach named Linda Starr. and we know it’s about to end.

In this way. and self sabotage. The fun part of success is the ride up. Therefore. inspired!) Time Figure 15 When you reach 75% of your goal. sad) 75% Progress (excited. when you reach 75% of your goal. not actually reaching the top.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 219 100% (boredom. . The paradox of success is that many people who reach their goal feel depressed or sad. low motivation. double it! Avoid the danger area of boredom. you will continue to grow without ever actually reaching one of your goals. motivated. set a new target even higher. unmotivated. instead of actually reaching your goal (or what is more likely. getting close only to experience a lack of motivation or self sabotage) set a new goal when you are 75% of the way there. A good new goal to set is double what you were aiming for. The irony of setting goals is that you should never actually reach them! Instead.

If you envision it. but when I started writing my goals. go with me through the following pages to set a date next to each action you’ll need to take. If you are still unsure you may want to go back and re-read Chapter 2. I can’t explain why it works. Are you ready to take the next step? Only you can make the decision. You now know more than 95% of people about how to start a business. it's possible. do the exercises. but I know it has worked for myself and many others. The time to act is now. Becoming self employed isn’t for everyone and isn’t without risk. please still try it. they started getting done. If this seems silly. it's a dream. it’s time to commit by scheduling the next steps. You also know the biggest secret of all: it can be done with less money and risk than most people realize. If you are ready to proceed down this path.” As the final exercises in this book. At the end you will sign your name to show your commitment. but for those who commit to it and find passion in working for themselves. but if you don’t take action it was merely entertainment. so think carefully about your answers. I thought it was silly too. it's real.220 Breaking Free SET A SCHEDULE Congratulations for getting this far! You’ve done what other people were unwilling to do. But if you schedule it. and learn lots. it can be one of the best decisions of their life. What do you have to lose? . and went through it. You recognized that you wanted to make a change. You could read this entire book. picked up a book for more information. Remember. As Anthony Robbins says: “If you talk about it.

Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 221 BREAKING FREE PROMISE I will make three friends who are supportive and interested in starting a business by ___________________. or (3) save enough money to live for six months without income (circle one) by _____________. and then continuing my work. I commit to focusing on what I want each day. It will have low up front investment. I will (1) work nights and weekends on my new business. business bank account. contribute to the world. and fit into my life’s purpose. I will select one other idea for constant positive reinforcement from this book and implement it by ___________________. have good economies of scale. and be incorporated as an LLC by ___________________. I will have an Employer Identification Number. Signed: ______________________________ Date: ________________ . not the things I don’t want. require zero employees. (2) get a different job with more flexible hours. I will quit the job that requires me to spend one third of my life doing something I don’t love by ___________________! I commit to not letting excuses in my mind turn into legitimate reasons. I will get three audio programs or books to start my life of ongoing learning by ___________________. I commit to starting the transition into quitting my job now. I commit to deciding on my first business to start by ___________________. I commit to telling my self doubt creature “thank you for sharing”.

Inevitably the topic of work comes up as we catch up on lost time together.222 Breaking Free Congratulations! Napoleon Hill once wrote that “What the mind of man can conceive and believe. Put it on the wall in your (home) office. I am always amazed by the number of people who tell me how unsatisfied they are with their current job. after the “conference high” has faded. habits slowly fade and are replaced by new ones. Please take a moment to cut The Breaking Free Promise out of the book (or print it if you have an electronic copy). You’ve created a roadmap for your own success and you will be getting closer and closer every day. as your old . or next to the bathroom mirror where you will see it every day. I’d like to leave you with a final thought. Somehow. People compare themselves to others with even worse jobs to make themselves feel superior. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t run into an old friend who I haven’t seen in a while. Seeing your written commitment each day will help turn the tides in your favor. they have grown to accept it. considering going back to school. it can achieve. We hear remarks all the time about how “My job isn’t so bad”. “At least it has good benefits”. but they certainly do not love their jobs." You’ve just taken a major step toward achieving. People assume the eight hours a day you spend working is a required hardship for a normal life. It seems almost everyone these days is casually in the market looking for a new job. and “Nobody likes their job all the time”. As we reach the end of this book. Most people don’t hate their jobs. deciding between offers based on who pays more. or vying for another position in the same company. how many people do you know who look forward to Monday mornings? Yet. The very act of writing what you want puts you in the top 1% of all adults in the United States. After all. As creatures of habit it is so easy to fall back into our old ways. the idea that work shouldn’t be fun has spread throughout our society like a terrible virus.

to wake up every day excited about my work. I was afraid of what my parents would think. who follows their path to self-employment.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 223 Why do we accept such levels of mediocrity for ourselves? The answer is fear. I wanted to achieve financial success most people only dream of. people would think I was a fool. and I almost didn’t make it. Get started today! Go out now and do the first item on your schedule. Anyone can do it. I was afraid because I thought maybe I didn’t know enough. working for myself was the way to get there. I took the steady paycheck (for a period of time) because I was afraid. What would it feel like to know that you never did what you wanted because you were scared? That was the scariest thing of all. and reaps the rewards through an incredible life. There were ups and downs but it turned out to be the best decision of my life to date. When it comes time to decide between a steady paycheck and betting the farm on yourself. most people take the “safe” route. I was afraid that if I failed in my own business. So I took the plunge. But one thing scared me more than anything else: waking up in 20 years to discover I hadn’t lived the life I wanted. and most of all I wanted complete freedom in my life. I was afraid because I didn’t want to temporarily take a pay cut and give up my standard of living in the short term. I was afraid that my friends (and the opposite sex) might think I was unemployed and a loser. to change the world for the better and leave my mark. I finally decided it would be better to do my best and fail than to never know. I did. I wish you all the best! . Nothing I did was special or unique. It is my sincere hope that you are one of the people who doesn’t play it safe. Of all the things I wanted.

.0. Study time management to be more productive. Be persistent yet flexible by trying many approaches. We tend to selfsabotage when the end is in sight. but quickly fades. positive. Subscribe to Business 2. Spend more time on tasks that are important and not urgent. the old will return. Make them measurable and give them a deadline. double it. When the self doubt creature rears it’d ugly head. Surround yourself with positive people and build a peer group. When you’ve reached 75% of your goal.224 Breaking Free CHAPTER 8 SUMMARY • • A “conference high” follows a powerful learning experience. Write goals that are in the present. • • • • Use the emergency motivator when self doubt is becoming too strong. o o • • Work from written to-do lists. We are creatures of habit. Listen to audio books in your car. Spend a moment to focus on your goals each day. o o o o o o We can clear out the furniture of your mind. but if we don’t replace it with new furniture. and personal. Constant positive reinforcement is the best way to make sure that what you’ve learned stays with you. thank it for sharing and punch it off your shoulder. not stubborn. Build it into your daily routine such as when you are showering or brushing your teeth.

Don’t let fear prevent you from living the life you’ve always dreamed of! .Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 225 • • Follow the Breaking Free promise by putting it on your wall where you will see it every day.


take something interesting you learned from this book and teach it to someone else! Numerous studies have shown that teaching a subject is the best way to learn it and . inspiring success stories. Once or twice a week we make posts there to keep the “conference high” going. They could be reminders of material covered in this book. You should also sign up for the RSS or email newsletter on our Here you can get your questions answered. What better way to build constant positive reinforcement into your life? • Teach this to someone else Some time in the next week. Just meeting a few people and staying in touch can do wonders to help keep you on track. discuss with other readers of Breaking Free.startbreakingfree. Here are a few ideas to help keep you going! • Join us on the web at www. or new ideas that weren’t available at the time the book was published.Afterword Now that you’ve read the book. and find additional resources. Would you like to meet other budding entrepreneurs as part of your constant positive reinforcement? On our website you can link up with other reader.


Breaking Free

internalize it. Moreover, tell someone else about this book if it has inspired you. Have them sign up for the free newsletter on our website to get them started, give them your copy to read, or send them their own. The more friends you have with the right mindset, the better shape you will be in. If you give someone a gift that changes their life for the better, they will be eternally grateful, and you’ll help yourself in the process. • Please Send us your feedback All comments, questions, and media inquiries can be sent to: Finally, if this book helped you out in anyway, please let me know! It made the book worth writing every time I hear from someone whose life it has changed. I look forward to hearing from you too, and I wish you all the best!


Brian Armstrong

Recommended Resources
• • An excellent place to host your business website. An easy place to purchase books. Each time you see a book you’d like to read, add it to your cart. Wait until you have at least $25 worth before purchasing and you’ll never pay for shipping. • • A good service to accept credit cards on your business website. An excellent product by 37Signals. Use it to collaborate with others, and learn from it as a great business model. • Get started as a writer in just a few minutes by creating a blog. Drop dead simple to use. • Breakthrough Rapid Reading - Peter Kump Do the half hour exercises in this book every day for a month, and you can double your reading (and comprehension) rate. • • Business 2.0 The best business and entrepreneurship magazine available today. Quickly incorporate your business in Delaware and get setup with a registered agent. • Eker, T. Harv Read or listen to his programs such as the Millionaire Mind. Highly recommended.


Breaking Free

• • • An excellent resource of “how to” articles on all topics. Use this website to outsource work, instead of hiring employees. Getting Real An excellent book by the people at 37Signals on how to start a business (and how to design great software).

• • •

Getting Things Done - David Allen A good read to improve your productivity in your home office. Good to Great - Jim Collins One of the best business books of all time. Google Search, Adwords, Website Optimizer, Analytics, and Checkout You should be using Google as a resource every day. The tools they provide are second to none for your business websites.

• • Another excellent website to outsource work. ING Direct They offer one of the highest yielding savings accounts today. Start saving for your entrepreneurship fund here.

• • Quickly and easily design a logo for your business. Excellent resource to self-publish information products at a low price.

Millionaire Next Door, The - Thomas Stanley and William Danko This book will change the way you think about success and money. Excellent read.

Recommended Resources


Networking With Millionaires - Thomas Stanley Networking and word of mouth marketing are among the best ways to grow your business. A great read on the subject.

• • •

No BS Time Management For Entrepreneurs - Dan Kennedy Read this and you will get more done in every day as your own boss. A good alternative to Google Checkout. Rich Dad Poor Dad and Cash Flow Quadrant - Robert Kiyosaki Robert Kiyosaki’s books are inspiring and are a great addition to your constant positive reinforcement reading.

Robbins, Tony Tony is the ultimate success coach. Read and listen to his books as soon as you can.

• •

Self-Publishing Manual, The - Dan Poynter A great resource for writers and information product creators. A great tool for operating your business with low expenses. Very inexpensive international calls, video conferencing, etc.

Starr, Linda An exceptional coach based in Houston, TX who taught me the “75% rule” (see Starr, Linda in index). An inexpensive way to get a professional business website put together quickly.

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum - Alan Cooper A great read about how poorly software is designed, and how you can make it better in your own business.


Breaking Free

The Secret An inspiring video to help you stay positive and bring what you want into your life. It can be viewed at An outstanding organization to help improve your public speaking, confidence, and management skills. entrepreneur. Also a great networking opportunity. Highly recommended to improve your abilities as an

Tracy, Brian One of my favorite success authors. His The Psychology of Achievement is a must read (or buy as an audio program). His other programs on time management are also exceptional.

TurboTax Generally, I don’t like this product, but I recommend it because it’s the best thing I’ve found so far for doing your business taxes.

Washington Mutual A good place to get your business bank account set up with free business checking.

Way of the Superior Man, The - David Deida An excellent book about purpose and following your path in life to achieve greatness. Can be read by both sexes.

What to Say When You Talk To Yourself - Shad Helmstetter A classic book on how negative we are when talking to ourselves, and how changing this will lead to great success in life.

Wikipedia The best and most thorough encyclopedia every created. indispensable resource. An

93 benefits. 24. 138. 141 attraction. 84 Basecamp. 144. 28. 28. 207. 165. 182. David. 191 assets. 140. 218. 170 Branson. business. 148 anxiety. 215 brand loyalty. 9. 180 bank account. 190. 180 Authorize. 131. 184. 38. 164 accountants. 18. 30. 93. 43. 199 Blockbuster.0. 196 starting a. 62. 121 affiliates. 118. 187. 210 auditors. 210. 180.Index 37Signals. Sergey. 191 bankruptcy. 157. 37. 93. 137 what type to start. 77 analysis paralysis. 222 33. 198 badge of honor. 200 action. 35 Brin. Richard. 41. 36. 210 boredom. 154. 70. 159 books on tape. 158. 101. 124. 143 business expenses. 191 assistants. 142 beliefs. 215 Amazon. 164 Aristotle. 68. 137. 24 bureaucracy. 104 brainstorming. 168 blogs. 208 negative. 190. 105 audio books. 137 Brian Tracy. 79 articles of incorporation. 137 Business 2. 119. 180 bartending. 9. 177 typical. 34. 160 alarm clock. 209 . 57 Apple. 16 Allen. 200 name. 80. 182 old fashioned ideas. 70.

business. 88. William. 60. 122. 207. 227 confidence. 94. 222 commuting. 68. 169 classes. 227 consulting. 177. 18. 109. 75. 168 buyers guide. 215 creating events. 189. 208. 191. 155 contracts. 32 creative avoidance. 45 Collins. 192 debt. 192 credit-card processing industry. 187 as another person. 127. 219 Cooper. 154. 103. 190. 92 conference high. 33. 13. 214. business. 215 compared to competence. 183 Covey. 147. 38. 191 charity. 185 county clerk's office. 62 constant positive reinforcement. 61. 156 categories of work. 140 contributing value. 103 celebrities. 108. 140 businesses examples. 77. 169. 128. 169 Danko. 155 strategy. Alan. 160 buyers guides. 191. 31. 15 competence compared to competence. 213. 139. 224. 118 credit card payment solutions. 35. 188 charge card. 196 credit card.234 Breaking Free business cards. 209. 158. 80. 57. 81. 162 decisions. 165. 94 DBA. 106. 201 debit card. 123 Churchill. 187. Jim. 180. 109 commitment. 63. 32. 24. 108 childhood. 120. 23 . 127. 164 corporation. 212 class action lawsuit. 62 compounding interest. 170 control. Winston. Stephen. 64 certificate of formation. 16. 112 certainty. 167. 185. 69. 87. 155 pricing. 95. 168. 183.

181. 106. 9. Albert. 34. 80. 187 energy. 188. 63. 7. 185. 23. 35. 189 don’t be evil. independent contractors. 186. 164. 147. 36. 33. 162. 144 hiring wrong person. 166. 38 family. 82. T.Index 235 deductions. 187. 25. 138. 16 entrepreneur defined. 66. 196. 166 Deida. 93 eLance. 190 deposit by 38 eHow. 164 Edison. 149 economies of scale. 145 stealing. 166 age. 129. 154 struggling financially. 16 different job. 184. 38 money. Thomas. 40. 143. 167. 145 quitting. 167 education. 83 disregarded entity. 200 defensive. 164. 61. 148. 146 vs. 199 benefits. 42. 180 excitement. 149. 198 Electronic Arts. 162 ethics. 141. 58. 160. 36. 195. 45. 45. 35. 184 doing business as. 9 embezzlement. 10. 80 entrepreneurship fund. 34. 88 Eker. 198 employer identification number. Harv. 168 dreaming big. 151. 101 Delaware. 49 e-Books. 141. 36 don't know how. 146. 36. 145. 192 depression. 144 cost benefit analysis. 96 entry product. 215 eating an elephant. 145 firing. 38 . 193 employees. 49. 118. 198. 25. David. 168. 183. 155. 24. 144. 144 lawsuits. 11. 43 Einstein. 145 hiring. 145. 124 Eat That Frog. 81. 126 diet. 132 excuses. 24. 140. 92.

117 Getting Real. 140 experience. 25. 213 learning. 94. 146. 74. 15. 218 God. 71. 212. 143. 57. 211.236 Breaking Free no good ideas. 128 . 162 firing employees. 221. 210. 64. 32. 227 exercise. 58. 94 reducing. 84. 113. 33. 191. 183 goals. 57. 73. 146 fear. 89. 12. 133. 165. 165. 81. 32. 192 financial independence. 70. 213. 104 façade. 63. 219 measurable. 30. 110 funeral. 212. 18. 191. 27. 66. 71. 145 first step. 131. 27. 64. 191 forums. 220. 215 Go Daddy. 126. 68. 228 From Good to Great. 15. 214 flexible hours. Bill. 26. 11. 154 expertise. 15. 137. 64. 103. 25. 218. 201. 14. 164 Getting Things Done. 42. 118. 102. 109 frustration. Henry. 129 finances. 79. 119 friends. 11. 149. 129 Gates. 23. 38 fraud. 10 expenses. 150. 222 deadlines. 104. 12. 47. 212 family. 124. 209. 11. 7 fixed costs. 91 writing. 65. 49. 219. 68. 66. 219 measurable and written. 142 Ford. 111. 227 franchises. 157. 191 failure. 121. 30. 110. 81. 151 flexibility. 82. 36. 66. 127. 104 fulfillment. 38. 81. 48. 19. 19. 196 free time. 180 calculator. 63. 225 feeling. 96 food. 23 formalities. 164. 37. 107. 121. 92 saving. 129 feelings.

9 IBM. 93. 114. 35. 28. 133 identity. 42. 47. 161 ING Direct. 142 Helmstetter. 103 integrity. 42. 102. 144 investment. 177. 44. Dan. 126 Kennedy. 182. 102. 110. 69. 199 isolation. 83 loving it. 179. 141. 73. 179 learn new skills. 196. 197. 95. 13. 59. 95. 185 ideal self. 17. 85 helping others. 81. 224 happiness. 24. 120 hiring. 186 independent contractors. 67. 195. 124. 106 incorporating. 227 . 184. 195. 86. 69. 193 IRS. 81. 27. 140. 92. 199 information products. 179. 131. 213 insignificance. 198 habits. 184. 144. 104 Guru. 178. 139. 216 health. 14.Index 237 Google. 164. 20. 70. 129 ideas. 107 Henry Ford. 208. 169. 142. 218 Grand Canyon. 198. 193. 177 hero worship. 25. 48. 187 state. 36. 106. 30 not who you are. 144 home office. 194 lawyers. 167. 24 heroes. 164. 142 job different. Shad. 164 inner game. 67 guilt. 187. 167. 178. The. 88. 155. 127 journey. 58. 101. 157. 36. 170 interviewing. 215 Kennedy. 93. 130. Robert Francis. 87 Inmates are Running the Asylum. 57 lawsuits. 9. 180. 209. 180 hours. 45. work. 144 cost benefit analysis. 10. 208 help desk. 165. 144. 145 wrong person. 198. 127 importance. 129. 178. 84. 178 inner voice. 149. 164. 108. 65. 14. 103. 168.

41. 157 mindset. 62. 80. 72. 16 how much is needed. 25. 82 office buildings. 224 money. 225 meetings. 81. 127 living frugally. 89. 117 mediocrity. 112 temptation of. Sheena. 140. 181 Netflix. 186. 185 Lindahl. 189. 118 non-compete agreement. 201 locus of control. 61. 80. 39. 190. 192 limited liability. 73. 139.238 Breaking Free learning new skills. 140. 31. 8 monthly expenses. 141 love. 178 mentors. 155. 215 no matter what. Jay. 57. 35. 139. 87. The. 63 negative thoughts. 168 networking. 180. 94 LLC. 184. 62. 28. 155 new cars. 70 Millionaire Mind. 162 net profit. 64. 179. 92 mood. 88 possible to earn. 94. 7. 129 motivation. 132. 142 open source software. 119 negative people. 45. 105 loving your work. 102 logic. 94 millionaires. 191. 13. 33. 83. 32. 207. 148 Leno. 18. 11. 120 liability. 195 . 44. 191 outsourcing. 93 Millionaire Next Door. 188. 142 mental game. 155 No BS Time Management For Entrepreneurs. 185. 185. 71. 190 limited liability company. 35. 58. 188. 129 long distance phone calls. 42. 158 Networking with Millionaires. 178. 224 natural tendency. 211 mutual funds. 87 Napoleon Hill. 214 Minesweeper. 156 nights and weekends. 58 nervousness. 190. 91. 164 operating agreement. 30. 142 office equipment. 190. 177. 139. 119 Mondays. 141. 95 niche markets.

225 part time work. 95. 81. 77. 183 path in life. 92 payment solutions. 148 . 31. 207 poor people. 65. the Breaking Free. 191 planning. 124 piercing the corporate veil. 107. 7. 86. 214 Quiznos. 86. 19. 180. 13. 128 quitting. 80. 149 pre-tax dollars. 146 passion. 38 reacting to external events. 32. 15. 132 getting in trouble. 225 paychecks. Dan. 25. 31. 209. 213 pay cuts. 194 procrastination. 19. 129. 133 Patton. 119 natural tendencies. 160. 143 picturing yourself. 24 parents. 75. 26. 81. 26. 42. 212 perceived value. 96. 141. 79. General George S. 162 purpose. 64. 73. 35. 95. 9. 28 quitting your job. 16. 101. 66. 144. 108. 83 Page. 16. 199.Index 239 overtime. 102 ready. 129. The. 197 payroll. 154 patents. 112 passive income. 119 what you talk about. 83. 121 Poynter. 158. 65. 83. 146 peer group. 145. 46. 102. 39. 179. 105. 49. 120. 112. 146. 181. aim. 66. 17. The. 11.. 85 partnerships. 128. 214 personal assets. 162 past. 118 productivity. 185 with friends and family. 28. 96. 191 personal assistants. 196 Paypal. 144. 106. 63. 39. 84. 145. fire. 121 passions. 117. 15 promise. 159 preparation. 70. 178. 184. 13. 114. 92. 106 Purpose Driven Life. 63. 123. 28. 8. 147 phone calls. 80 potential. 102. 225 paying yourself first. 72. 29. 101. 224 Psychology of Achievement. 193. 66. 80 public speaking. 105. 95. 155 persistence. 25. Larry.

13. 164 startup. 144 registered agent. 86 savings accounts. 43. 213 self talk. 15. 81. 110 Skype. 121 rush hour. 95. 32. 106. 14. 208 self-employed defined. 179 separating 193 Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. 222 Robbins.240 Breaking Free real estate. 141. 107. The. 155 Starr. 222 S-corp. 166 records. 8 significance. 192. 44. 36. 10. Anthony. The. 185. 66. 79. Sylvester. 194 saving. 185 software. 16. 69 spouses. 215 shame. The. 137. high tech. 177. 108. 74. 38. 225 salary. 16. 15. 213. 186 relationships. 23. 139 Stephen Covey. 148. 179. 40. 71 small steps. 63. 222 role models. 64. 165. 66. 74. 80 Richest Man in Babylon. 120. 191 speaking in public. 179 starting out small. legitimate. 131 starting a business defined. 94. 210. 158 reasons. 130 business and personal finances. 194 recruiting. 207. 142 slave. 162 speed reading. 87 scheduling. 10. 96. 154 Self-Publishing Manual. 47. 87. 103. 132 silence. 31. 71. 179. . 36. 141. 26. 138. 178 self doubt. 86 responsibility. 80. 15. 157. 63 Stallone. 128. 178. 80 risk. 80 rich people. 57. Thomas. 211 safe route. 212. 14. Linda. 211. 32. 128 Rich Dad Poor Dad. 103. 86 10% of your income. 48. 39 Stanley. 163 sole proprietorship. 25. 33. 159 separate entity. 81 social security number. 80. 139 sleep. 130 skill level. 25. 34.

144. 214 students. 163. 16 dollar transition. Rick. 102. 83. 165 Way of the Superior Man. 32. money and happiness. 38 success. See contributing value values. 198 value. 177 successful people. 139 victim mentality. 81 get a different job. 27. 58. 18 tax advantages. 214 Toastmasters. 142 Virgin Group. 151 venture capital. 38. 150. 146 technology. Brian. 11. 144 Tracy. 80. 24. 109. 39. 16. 48. 182 taxes. 131. 181. 183 traffic. 123. 119. 91 dropping out. 151 used cars. 140. 128 Washington Mutual. 137 Warren. 199 teams. 179. 141. 84 Twain. 101 . 77. 10. 83.. 70. 65. 217 thirty-thousand millionaire. 139 Stone. 71. Donald. 94. 185. 126. W. 143. 215. 127 Turbo Tax Business. 17.Index 241 stock options. 25. 43. 35. getting in. 153 success formula. 65. 210. 72. 180. Mark. 119 Trump. 181 unit costs. Thomas J. 94 time management. 7 story. 156 user interface design. 217 tanks. 83 keep current job. 24. 162. 210 TPS reports. 130. 180 trouble. 199 tutoring. 62 unincorporated. 63 unconfident. 215. as an excuse. 180. Clement. 105 video conferencing. 215 trademarks. 17. 95 user generated content. The. 27 subconscious. 192 Watson. 12. 81 travel. feeling. 105 stubborness. smooth. 218 Subway. 215 variable costs. 133. contributing. 152.

157. 211 Wikipedia. 60. Dan. 111 work. 84. 158. 87. 195 websites. 133 website templates. 194 What to Say When you Talk to Yourself. 88. fun. creating. hard. 141. 80. 139 working at home. 65. 35. 94. 42 work vs. 40 worker bee. 34. 106. 215 . 9.242 Breaking Free wealth. 126 writing. 142 Worrall.

and today seeks to help others do the same as a writer. In 2001. After going through the process he writes about in this book. started his own business. Brian’s work experience ranged from fortune 500 companies. he finally quit his job. speaker. but couldn’t bring himself to walk away from a steady paycheck. to several small startups with less than 15 employees. and consultant. he ventured out on his own with his first company and was instantly hooked. Prior to becoming self employed. starting two more in the next five years. TX leading authority on how to quit your job to work for yourself. and achieved financial freedom working for himself! He has never looked back. Brian currently resides in Houston.ABOUT THE AUTHOR Brian Armstrong had always dreamed of being his own boss. .


Breaking Free .

and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $24. TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: orders@startbreakingfree. $4 for first book.95 each Please send me more free information on: [ ] Speaking/seminars [ ] Other Books [ ] Consulting Name:________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City:________________________State:______Zip:____________ Telephone:____________________________________________ Email Address:_________________________________________ Sales Tax: 8. A228 Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders. 2111 Welch St.Quick Order Form (please tear out this page for your convenience) Internet Orders: The quickest way to order in online at: www.startbreakingfree. Toss Your Alarm Clock. Shipping: With in the U.S. Date:____/____ . $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp.125% will be added for orders shipped within Texas.

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TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Boss.95 each Please send me more free information on: [ ] Speaking/seminars [ ] Other Books [ ] Consulting Name:________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City:________________________State:______Zip:____________ Telephone:____________________________________________ Email Address:_________________________________________ Sales Tax: 8. $4 for first book. $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp. and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $24. Toss Your Alarm Clock.Quick Order Form (please tear out this page for your convenience) Internet Orders: The quickest way to order in online at: www.startbreakingfree. A228 Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders. Shipping: With in the U. 2111 Welch St.125% will be added for orders shipped within Texas. Date:____/____ Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: orders@startbreakingfree.

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95 each Please send me more free information on: [ ] Speaking/seminars [ ] Other Books [ ] Consulting Name:________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City:________________________State:______Zip:____________ Telephone:____________________________________________ Email Address:_________________________________________ Sales Tax: 8.Quick Order Form (please tear out this page for your convenience) Internet Orders: The quickest way to order in online at: www. and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $ Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: orders@startbreakingfree. TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Boss. 2111 Welch St.startbreakingfree. Shipping: With in the U.S.125% will be added for orders shipped within Texas. Toss Your Alarm Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders. Date:____/____ . $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp. A228 Houston. $4 for first book.

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com Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders. TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Boss. $4 for first book. Date:____/____ . 2111 Welch Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: orders@startbreakingfree.S.Quick Order Form (please tear out this page for your convenience) Internet Orders: The quickest way to order in online at: www. $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp. Toss Your Alarm Clock. and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $24.95 each Please send me more free information on: [ ] Speaking/seminars [ ] Other Books [ ] Consulting Name:________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City:________________________State:______Zip:____________ Telephone:____________________________________________ Email Address:_________________________________________ Sales Tax: 8. A228 Houston.125% will be added for orders shipped within Texas.startbreakingfree. Shipping: With in the U.

Breaking Free .

A228 Houston. TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Boss. Toss Your Alarm Clock. 2111 Welch St. Date:____/____ . Shipping: With in the U.95 each Please send me more free information on: [ ] Speaking/seminars [ ] Other Books [ ] Consulting Name:________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City:________________________State:______Zip:____________ Telephone:____________________________________________ Email Address:_________________________________________ Sales Tax: 8.S.startbreakingfree.Quick Order Form (please tear out this page for your convenience) Internet Orders: The quickest way to order in online at: Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders. $4 for first book. and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $24. $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp.125% will be added for orders shipped within Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: orders@startbreakingfree.

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