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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.
Visit our website at www.startbreakingfree.com ISBN 978-1-4303-0787-7 Cover Design by Angi Shearstone Illustrations by Seema Doshi
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 .
I happened to notice a huddled figure emerging from the revolving glass doors. The logo on his oversized laptop bag was unmistakable. I’ll never forget the look on this man’s face as I drove by. downtrodden person who had just finished a long day of work.Chapter 1 The First Step on the Journey “So many fail because they don't get started . As I drove past that building. Not the kind of work he was excited and passionate about.they don't go.W. This was the face of an exhausted. frustrated. he worked for my old employer. Clement Stone Houston. 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 . 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. The lights of the city were starting to come on to form the beautiful evening skyline.
like many people. I was flooded with new information to learn. I knew the exact emotions and feelings going through his head as he left those doors because I had been in his exact spot. and the “right” thing to do was to go find work. There was a hint of shame in his step. Shame at the fact he would probably get home and crash on the couch. I had applied to a number of companies and. Shame that he was leaving the office at 9pm on a Friday. But I had a degree. finally releasing the choke hold of the work day. He pulled the tie off the rest of the way and undid the top button of his shirt. I was at a point in my life where I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. new people to meet. being completely exhausted and unable to go meet his friends who were already out having fun. In this man’s face I instantly saw myself and suddenly realized how far I had come in the past year. 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. He had showered that morning. His button down shirt had come untucked on one side and his tie hung loosely around his neck. After being hired. I reported to work and did what I was told. In the years after college I tried a number of different jobs.8 Breaking Free didn’t want to get fired. but that was a full twelve hours ago. Like many people. It had been almost exactly one year since I’d quit the job that he was now going home from. They essentially leave it up to chance and wait to see who gives them the best offer. Sweat glistened on his forehead and his face looked dark and unshaven. but this is truly how many people decide what they will spend one-third of their life doing. and . Shame at the half hearted job he had done on it just to get out of the office before it was completely dark outside. ultimately decided to work at the company that gave me the best offer! It’s almost funny to think about in retrospect.
but would eventually turn out to be a suffocating experience. When I was working those long hours. What if I was wrong? That’s what they told me to do. After learning the new material. but the bureaucracy ordered it must be done. day to day work suddenly became mundane and repetitive (and often pointless from what I could tell. Was that even legal1? I briefly indulged fantasies of tape recording the conversation and breaking the news to the authorities! But a moment later. The job started to affect other areas of my life. Don’t think too much. I was told by the hiring manager that “Even though 40 hours per week is acceptable. I guess I should do it.The First Step on the Journey 9 new processes to master. Some days I would just get fed up and leave the office after eight hours. Were these reports I was preparing meaningful? Important? Would they even be read? I didn’t fully understand what I was writing (pasting). 46 hours per week is really the minimum they expected of entry level employees”. for unpaid overtime. and refusing to do so could put their job in jeopardy. . Copy paste.. SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. copy paste. But things got worse when the long hours started. a class action lawsuit was filed by the employees of Electronic Arts. The fun soon started to end. my boss was calling on the phone and I was back to being a good worker bee. They claimed the company culture required them to work evenings and weekends. This was all interesting and exciting at first.. copy paste. the world’s biggest third party publisher. feeling guilty since I had been the last to get in (on time) and was now the first to leave (on time). so it had to be done). it meant I didn’t have time to do the other 1 In late 2004.
and she was absolutely right. combined with the lack of time to exercise and eat right. Moreover. at least I made it to the gym. And simply being emotionally drained was causing me to use junk food as self medication. I was so tired. The first thing that started to change was my health. Most of the people I worked with struggled to stay on good terms with friends. I actually fell asleep in the gym one day! I had just done a set of reps on the incline bench press. it was nice restaurant meals paid for by the company and overindulgence. I put down the weights. The stress. but would instead make me jittery enough not to fall asleep. and my worst enemy at the same time. having time for a real relationship was difficult at best.10 Breaking Free important things in my life. a siesta sounded absolutely divine. or stuffed and drowsy. After lunch. and spouses. There was no in between. It was my only friend. “I’ve had a hard day. Then there were the relationship problems. Even when it wasn’t junk food. I’m sure it wasn’t ideal for her to date someone who was constantly exhausted. I deserve it”. Then there was the issue of sleep. Each morning would require several cups of coffee. . I was often too exhausted to make it to the gym. One woman I dated told me I was never around. Each morning an epic battle of biblical proportions was waged in my mind between responsibility and apathy. After working long hours. Unless you wanted to date inside the company. so I was always either starving. and woke up a half hour later! That was a good day though. In speaking to my peers at the company I realized I wasn’t alone. was a sure fire formula for weight gain. I developed a love hate relationship with my snooze button. I would justify to myself. but the company didn’t share my same views on the value of power-napping. There were long breaks between meals with all the work to get done. It never seemed to actually wake me up. Many of them had gained 2030 pounds in their first year at the company. lovers.
spending even an hour or two extra per week on their own company was difficult. but it sure beat the unknown risks of a start-up business. Society and conventional wisdom was telling us how lucky we were to have such a secure high paying job. But when their “real job” required all their time and then some. and no time to pursue the things I loved. That minority group was greatly outweighed. by the people who viewed it simply as a job. entry level colleagues like myself would constantly complain about work. It was their favorite topic. They were the type of person who was born to do the job. like myself. To be fair. . I dropped out of touch with many friends from school as my life began to revolve more and more around work. a small percentage of people there truly loved what they were doing. In fact. 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. When it came down to it. there were people out there who had to dig ditches for a living. 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. Stuck in a job we didn’t love was not a fun place to be. About five to ten percent of the employees appeared to be really passionate about their work. they were all talk.The First Step on the Journey 11 slowly gaining weight. right? I wasn’t the only one at the company who realized the situation we were in. After all. Mostly these were pipe dreams and water cooler gossip. however. and woke up excited every Monday. Many of my co-workers. But the fact was that we were paralyzed by fear in our current occupations. To most of us. it was a way to earn money and make it through another day in life. had ideas of working for themselves or starting a business some day. and didn’t like his job! I had no time for hobbies.
When it came down to it. and would transform my life more than I could have possibly imagined. This wasn’t a change or improvement. My tanks were out of balance. but had not really wanted to admit it to myself. and I began to search desperately for a better way of living. money really was the rationale behind spending one-third of my life doing something I didn’t truly love doing. The next year would take me on a wild ride. People would say “You . I had known it for a long time.12 Breaking Free Figure 1 – Making plenty of money at a job you don’t love. That and the fact I was too scared to go out on my own to follow my dream of starting a business. READY TO CHANGE Deep down. but I was still unsure of what to do. It was a quantum leap in all around life fulfillment that would change me forever. 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. Working for myself had been a dream since I was in high school. I knew that I needed to take the plunge and quit.
I didn’t want to be another person at the cocktail party who defined themselves with “I work in accounting”. Maybe it was . but didn’t tell anyone. but that doesn’t matter. I wanted to say “I invented [INSERT AMAZING PRODUCT EVERYONE USES AND LOVES]” and actually mean it. 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”. They told me that doing the right thing for yourself may not always make other people happy. People would say “There is no security in being an entrepreneur" and "You don’t want to burn any bridges”. My heroes were people who worked for themselves. Every day I thought more and more about it. then I’d pull the trigger. and amateur detective”. working their way up the corporate ladder. Whatever! As long as I felt like I was doing what I loved and my life had significance. but rewarding. international spy. who were doing new and innovative things. At first I told myself I would wait until Thanksgiving to decide. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t making a rash decision on a whim. Finally I decided I would give my notice to quit in one week. or “I work in HR”. If I still felt the same way by Thanksgiving. They told me that the journey to accomplish this is difficult. But soon it became apparent I wouldn’t make it that long. Or “I’m an astronaut. I looked at my role models. “I work in sales”. professional surfer. Part of me thought that I was completely crazy and that it was a stupid idea. 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. They told me that true happiness comes only from following your path and purpose in life. I had read a number of books on the subject and these experts had a much different message.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”. They weren’t cogs in a giant machine.
completely exhausted as usual and started sipping on bad coffee. Maybe I’d wake up tomorrow and realize that I was just being silly. It didn’t really make me more awake. A lot. Finally the day had arrived. But. I drafted an email to the HR manager. I made it to work. 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. but the caffeine hit me hard with no food in my stomach (late for work. It started with a few days of rest. 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. . Projects seemed less and less important as they showed up in my inbox. 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. and no breakfast again). or a mental breakdown. a week had gone by and I felt more excited than ever about quitting. letting him know I had decided to quit and work for myself.. Most new businesses fail don’t they? I think I read that somewhere. CLICK. and I headed for home. The first thing I did was sleep. a tough period at work. low and behold. 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. My mind was racing with newfound ideas and freedom. they wished me luck in my new adventure. and what my next step would be.. I was free. I gave them a few suggestions for improvement.but what now? A NEW LIFE Over the next few years. some truly extraordinary things occurred.. I remember sitting there with the completed email ready to send and looking at it.14 Breaking Free just a phase I was going through.
. Even when I was doing something boring. I would go to “work” in my underwear or work by the apartment swimming pool with my laptop. I was acquiring new skills and ideas at a rapid pace. but I was working at home. 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. I even took a speed reading course and was soon devouring a book a week. or compose a masterpiece. so right there I had an extra hour in every day! The benefits of this one item alone. were (and continue to be) simply staggering. You could spend more time with friends and family. Sometimes even while showering I would have great ideas and try to remember them. Not only was I not working unpaid overtime. Before long I found myself getting an extraordinary amount of work done in an average day. I didn’t have an hour round-trip commute through rush hour traffic. I’d get great ideas just before falling asleep at night. Not things I had to read. That way I’d be sure to remember all my brilliant thoughts! I started reading again. not commuting. like taxes. not something I had to get done because my boss told me.The First Step on the Journey 15 I’d wake up in the morning with great ideas. All those books I had been meaning to read. things I wanted to read. Having an extra hour every day means you gain eleven full days every year to do whatever you want. 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 never had time for suddenly became one of my top priorities. 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. read something thought provoking or inspirational. Educational things.
things were going too well. I stopped using junk food as self medication and stopped spending as much money eating out. I had a sense of empowerment that I really was in control of life. 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. learning Brazilian jujitsu and Thai kickboxing. . I even became a better cook.16 Breaking Free One day I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and asked myself a question. I was now generating my own events and direction. People couldn’t help but want to be around me. If someone cut me off in traffic I didn’t get upset. My apartment was actually clean for once and since I didn’t avoid (and actually enjoyed) going to the grocery store. Perhaps most importantly. I had time to do errands which before would get pushed back farther and farther. I was just working smarter. my fridge was always stocked with great healthy food. I was in the best shape of my life and had more energy than I knew what to do with. I worked on building a regular sleeping schedule and finally developed a good relationship with my alarm clock by not needing it. To be fair. Eventually. My dating life exploded as I had time to meet new people and build relationships with them. I had more energy each day because I was excited about what I was doing. Within six months of quitting my job I was taking salsa lessons. you weren’t working!” But in reality I was. the women I was meeting were exponentially more attracted to a man who didn’t hate his job and life. My happiness and my newfound freedom were contagious. even if I slept the same amount. and had joined a public speaking club called Toastmasters. Of course some of you may be wondering about the tiny little problem of money! “Of course you were having all kinds of fun. I was finally living life. Instead of reacting to external events. I had taken a big pay cut and while my happiness tank was full.
the exact steps that anyone can take to accomplish this. the best way to get both tanks full is to do what they’ve known deep down they always wanted for themselves. as clearly as I know how. I had taken a few key steps before quitting to ease the transition into working for myself. but it soon grew to cover my expenses.The First Step on the Journey 17 my money tank was not quite so full. But it’s certainly possible for anyone who is committed and willing to learn. (How to make this transition smoothly will be a major topic of the book in Chapter 4. It won’t necessarily be easy. For some people (and I suspect you may be one of them. The most wonderful thing about loving your job . It didn't equal my old salary right off the bat. 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. Those things worth getting rarely are. I had started a business that was ready to go from the day I quit. since you picked up this book). Fortunately.) 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.
was the fact that so many people are never able to leave that situation. Start a business in an area you are passionate about. CONGRATULATIONS I’d like to stop for a moment here and congratulate you. 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. discard the ones that don’t. By the very fact you have read this far. 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. and ultimately was the impetus for this book.18 Breaking Free is that the money will come naturally. Even out of all those who did do something about it and purchased this book. They settled for mediocrity and the safe way out. In fact. and take the final most important steps at the end of this book to start making changes in your life. WHY THIS BOOK NEEDED WRITING! The specific company I worked at is not important. But very few have ever actually done anything about it. you have done an amazing thing that the vast majority of people don't have the courage to do. of the half dozen companies where I worked before working for myself. all of them were basically similar to the one I described above. Despite a deep yearning in the bottom of their heart to do . and you’re well on your way to having both tanks full. I have the confidence in you that you’ll take the points from this book that make sense to you. 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.
When you actually do it. It is downright scary to quit your job. and you aren’t giving your greatest gifts to the world. 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. Let me be that helping hand to walk you through it.The First Step on the Journey 19 something great. they are never able to do it. less violence. 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. and did some of the hard work for you. you’ll just do the minimum to not get fired. Unfortunately. 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. As Lao Tzu. If they could only take that difficult step into entrepreneurship and working for themselves. if only people became free from their next paycheck. have the freedom to choose their work. I’ve come up with a bunch of ways to make the scary part less scary. you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. You aren’t using your full potential. And let me tell you. So let’s get started. By doing this you are selling yourself short. then their lives and the lives of everyone around them would benefit. Besides. innovative software. in a way I don’t blame them. pursue their ideas. I’m firmly convinced that the world would be full of so many new inventions. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. the Taoist philosopher said. and happier people. and take the first step together! . when you don’t love your job. most people are telling you that you’re crazy and trying to talk you out of it. better music. cooler trends.
and there is something magical about the physical action of writing that sets you well on the way to accomplishing your goal. so you can jot down some notes on the actual exercise pages. Our relationships suffer. • . then tell em what you told em”. We put in long hours. I encourage you to keep a pen or pencil handy with this book. tell em. o o o o o o • We let “who offered the most money” determine what we do with one-third of our lives. At least. Our health suffers. Our money tank is more full while our happiness tank is less full. there will be a little summary. They make the material personal to you.20 Breaking Free CHAPTER 1 SUMMARY Brian’s Note Yes. even if they seem a little hokey at first. at the end of each chapter. In my experience. The exercises are the most important part of the book. it always helped me to hear it a few times. Most of us sacrifice too much for a day job that we don’t truly love. There will also be exercises at the end of most chapters (although not this one). the best presentations/books where I learned the most followed the philosophy of “tell em what you’re gonna tell em. We work because someone tells us we have to. For many the answer is working for yourself.
You can choose to make time for health and relationships. but for some reason never let it flourish. I hope this book will help you start on the path and give you the confidence to reach your full potential! . You can choose to work on what you love. New possibilities open up as you have time to explore and learn. o This book needed to be written because so many people have this desire buried deep inside them. 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.The First Step on the Journey 21 o o o o o o • Instead of feeling like you are reacting to external events. You suddenly find time to do all the things you never had time for. You get more done in each day because you are excited about what you are working on. you can control your own life.
“I haven’t been able to raise the money”. not legitimate reasons. 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. reasons like “I need to get more experience”. To the untrained eye. the primary problem is not the people who shouldn’t quit their job. Unfortunately.Henry Ford legitimate reasons why this might not be a good idea for you which we’ll discuss in this chapter.Chapter 2 Is it Right for Me? "Whether You Think You Can or Can't. The wonderful grey matter resting between our ears is good for many things. With that being said. You're Right" . to justify why they haven’t taken the first step. There are a number of . however. it is also very good at creating excuses not to act when we have an incredible opportunity in front of us. 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.
Part of the problem stems from something I call hero worship. 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. but never see them as something magical that is unattainable or placed upon a pedestal. We see examples all the time of successful business people like Donald Trump. or just being so stubborn and determined that they wouldn’t give up after failing over and over and over again. The first thing I want you to do is quit the hero worship. In effect. 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. accounting. and politicians and think about how lucky they are. some technology. they went out and made their own luck. to believe and know that you too can be successful and that you deserve it. CEO’s. “They are incredible!”. The people we admire are human beings just like you and I. Richard Branson (the CEO of Virgin Group who runs about 200 companies). etc]” seem very good. People love to look at celebrities. we immediately think to ourselves: “They are brilliant!”. You can learn from them and model them. The truth of the matter is that nearly all of them are where they are because of lots of hard work. finding a mentor. Everyone you see with success is just like you and they are no more or less deserving of success than you are. and “I could never do that!” Oh. they probably started off reading a book like this one. When we hear about how much these people have accomplished and what they have done. Sergey Brin and Larry Page (who started Google). . or even someone closer to home like a successful relative or neighbor.24 Breaking Free how to do [fill in the blank. Unfortunately they are not. sales. You really have to give yourself permission. what a horrible mistake.
sibling. or parents can eat. spouse. 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. find any customers. By doing this you are putting other’s needs ahead of your own. The vast majority of the excuses we give ourselves are just that: excuses. 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. .Is it Right for Me? 25 which we’ll discuss later). 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. and you may never reach your full potential or happiness at work. then so be 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. outsource it. but if your life at home is more important. Your job may not be spectacular. or if they are legitimate reasons. get through school. it may be prudent not to quit your job. Our greatest limitations are the ones we create in our own mind. or get by without it. or make the website!” you’ll know that you can either learn it. The next time you hear yourself say “I don’t have enough experience”. and that you probably need far less money than you think (Chapter 7). and do whatever else it is that they depend on you for. With that being said. In this case you will be making a sacrifice so that your kids.
The difference is that they aren’t living paycheck to paycheck. or if the situation improves in other ways. Does it mean they are looking forward to it? No. “My husband/wife/significant other thinks I’m crazy for wanting to quit” doesn’t count. In other words. but may be a necessary sacrifice in the short term. 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. What it means is that they will find a way to live with it for a chance at something much greater. Make your own decision and stick to your guns. . Does it mean what they won’t have any sacrifices? No. this doesn’t mean you are doomed forever to be in this position! After the kids are through school. failure for you to bring home a paycheck would have immediate consequences not just for yourself but for others around you. For this to be a legitimate reason you must be supporting a family and have money be tight. Finally. But once she had graduated. Chapter 4 will deal in depth with this topic of how to take a pay cut smoothly. Keep in mind. 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”.26 Breaking Free It’s not as good as everyone having a full tank. you may still be able to pursue the journey through this book. just to pay her tuition. Does it mean it will be easy for them not to have a steady paycheck? No.
there are much better options. But it should indicate to you that others have found it very hard. go to ten different club meetings. I know. 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. as you find your identity and interests. there can be some pretty huge consequences. it’s highly unlikely you will ever go back. and simply putting up with school long enough to get a degree and get out. Or take a class . I wouldn’t recommend actually dropping out of school. and there is probably a good reason for this. In fact. not to mention lost time and reapplication process. and see how many beers you can drink. Does that mean you are one of the statistics? Of course not. 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.Is it Right for Me? 27 You Are a Current Student If you are a current student then your “job” is being a student. even if you hate it. Even if it turns out to be a bad idea or that you were wrong. But unfortunately. Change majors. 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. myself included. 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. I know. It is probably harder than you think to get yourself to go back. statistically speaking. But even Bill Gates himself has publicly stated that this was a really bad idea and he wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Many people. such as starting the business while still in college (this is what I did). Take a lighter class load so you have time to work on other projects. there aren’t any significant consequences! You learn your lesson and no harm done. They don’t hire college drop outs at Microsoft. Besides.
or finance. Pain then gain! Stay in school long enough to finish with your degree.28 Breaking Free that will help you on your way. 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. accounting. but as hard as it is for me to believe. then quitting your job isn’t a heroic step toward your personal freedom. preparing financially. the consequences of quitting are fairly minimal. it’s a careless act. Dropping out of school is not the right choice when the consequences are dire and so many other good options are available. instead of one solitary action. Quitting your job to work for yourself should be thought of as an ongoing process. and approach this journey one step at a time. You Truly Love Your Job Only you can answer this question for yourself. 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. When you reach the job world. and building your business on nights and weekends. The process involves many things such as discovering what type of business you’d like to start. Quitting school and having to find another one is much harder than quitting a job and having to find another one. Put in the time. You can always find another job if you really had to. such as entrepreneurship. and you will be glad you did. people do this all the time. You should only quit your job once you have a plan in place. some people truly do love their job working for someone else! As a purely unscientific study based on my personal . In fact.
be completely unaware that something better exists. They recite the line they have used so many times before with just a hint of shame. the second question in particular always intrigues me. They could be in denial about it. and I tend to look closely at how someone answers it. I did say that ninety percent (or more) of people aren’t passionate about their job. As you listen (wondering to yourself. have their eyes dart to the ground for just an instant. Some people can’t wait to bubble away about their exciting projects and are truly inspiring in their commitment and passion. most people will never admit to you (or even themselves) that they aren’t passionate about their work. 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. Will you be impressed? . Keep in mind. But the majority of people.Is it Right for Me? 29 experience interacting with hundreds of people at dozens of companies. As with all communication. two inevitable questions will come up: Where are you from? And what do you do? Whenever I find myself in this situation. “I do sales at a large medical distribution company”. what the heck do I know about medical sales and what the heck will my next small talk question be). the non verbal (voice tone. You can test this theory for yourself next time you are at any type of social event. they watch your face to see what your reaction will be. speed. variety. I would estimate that about five to ten percent of people at any given company truly love their job. pitch. Also keep in mind that I didn’t say ninety percent of people hate their job. and most importantly body language) says so much more than the actual words coming out of their mouth. when asked this question. As you are standing there meeting new people and desperately trying to make small talk. We’ll discuss more of what that means in a second.
”.. you are excited to start your day and can’t wait to see what new things you can get done this week. You may already know that you don’t like your job. You obviously like some parts of it. Without even asking. service. some parts of it you love. SIGNS YOU LOVE YOUR JOB When you have free time (meaning. Ask them how they like it and you may hear some words like “It’s not too bad”. I can usually spot the people in the room who love their work. They are having the most fun. you will start to be able to spot them from across the room. If you ask enough people this question. they did say “large” distribution company.30 Breaking Free After all..”. 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. When your spouse or friends ask you about your day at work.. Or will you see through their social mask and discount them as another boring person you met at the party. . but some days it really gets to you. or customer experience? When you wake up Monday morning. If you are still on the fence. “But it has great benefits”. you eagerly recount tales of challenges overcome and fun experiences instead of all the things that really bothered you. What are some good indicators that you love your job? Here are a few. Maybe all you need is a similar job. and “Next year I might. this is actually a good clue as to what your ideal job might be.. “It’d be better if. But what if you are on the fence? I mean. 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.
And every time they say . I had heard it so many times it started to sink in and I realized how important it was in my own life. and isn't too important here). Years ago I first heard of the concept of an internal vs. every time they find themselves saying “If I was in charge I wouldn’t do it that way”. These are some common emotions and feelings that people with the entrepreneurial spirit experience at some point in their lives. work shows up on their desk and inbox. Before long. they are expressing a desire for more control in their lives. external locus of control (locus just means place or position.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. or merely present the message another time if you’ve already heard it. The majority of people have an external locus of control. 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. but then I started to hear other authors talk about the same concept in different terms. every time there is an inordinate amount of red tape around a seemingly simple task. The first time I heard it. Those with an internal locus of control. There are two types of people in this world. etc. their girlfriend/boyfriend breaks up with them. let’s take a closer look at some good indicators you should. Every time their boss gives them something pointless to do. I didn’t give it much thought. They get a parking ticket. So let me pass it on to you. and they spend their lives reacting to external events that happen to them. and those with an external locus of control.
no one did it to them. It was just their lucky day. Such is the fate of those people with an external locus of control. without any control of what events take place in their lives. It was out of their control. leaves blowing in the wind. etc. They take responsibility. As you can imagine. The best way to sum up this idea is to realize there will always be things you can blame failure on. If they get a parking ticket. They evaluate it. They have an ultimate goal in mind and they are constantly making small steps toward it because that’s what they are focused on. 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. people with an internal locus of control are the people that don’t believe in luck. learn their lesson. They are a victim. When work shows up on their desk. taxes are too high. Unsuccessful people talk about how the economy is just not strong enough. build success habits. the universe did this to them. On the other hand. the wrong person is in office. they don’t react to it. etc. They make their own luck. After all. And even when good things happen. they are creating their own events. because the world gave it to them. Instead of reacting to external events. The world must hate them. etc. their family is holding them back.32 Breaking Free “How could this happen to me?” You see. what luck!” They can’t take credit for good things. they think “Wow. and change their lives . and move on without getting upset. and something like a little parking ticket sure isn’t going to matter in the big scheme of things. this is a cause of great distress in their life because bad things keep happening to them. 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. But then they change their locus of control. how silly would that be to let a stupid parking ticket control you? They are in control of themselves and reaching their goals.
there will be a number of points in your life as an entrepreneur where the final decision is up to you. Your palms might get clammy and you will feel a whole family of butterflies flying around your stomach.Is it Right for Me? 33 slowly. you will need to have some tolerance for risk. so they start their own . so when we say risk here. Five years later they wake up and they are extremely successful. we aren’t talking about the lottery. 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. or at least educated guesses. the person in office is about the same. business. For some. whether to invest 50% of your net worth in an idea or not. this feeling is unbearable. But at the end of the day. as an entrepreneur. and their family is about the same. But for entrepreneurs this feeling is equivalent to excitement. taxes are about the same. not knowing if your “bet” will pay off can be a cause of anxiety. But guess what? The economy is about the same. Your heart rate will quicken as adrenaline courses through your veins. Those with a Tolerance for Risk Unfortunately. and that made all the difference. 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. Remember the internal locus of control and try to make it an integral part of your life. and is equivalent to pain which they will avoid at all costs. It lets them know they are alive! They can’t accomplish this by working for someone else. Most people with this character trait have a strong desire to control the destiny of their own life. You will be making well thought out choices.
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. It lets you know that you are doing something significant and important that will have real significance in the world. It lets you know that you are alive and having memorable experiences in life! Do you have to love the feeling? No. change the world.34 Breaking Free So what. you sound like a big dreamer to me. but many of us do because they can be just like excitement. are the symptoms of being excited? Well. as giddy as a kid on Christmas eve. You may even get some butterflies going around in your stomach. If you are someone who has always had big goals and aspirations to help others. the chances of you accomplishing this while working for someone else are fairly small. leave your mark. on the other hand. Wow. But you do have to at least be able to tolerate it. The day before launching a new product you may not sleep a wink. you don’t have to like those feelings. and you may even grow to like it. 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]. your heart rate quickens and you get some adrenaline running through your veins. being excited feels a lot like the feelings of anxiety! As an entrepreneur. You may sweat a bit and get clammy hands. You could do this as part of a .
This means. We’ll hear more about him later. they didn’t inherit wealth. few do anything about it. 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. you are a perfect candidate to quit your job and work for yourself. If you are a big dreamer. It’s exciting.Is it Right for Me? 35 small company. While many feel this way. they weren’t born rich. Many people state that they want to feel like their work is important. It seems so obvious in retrospect. but I didn’t notice it for years. 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. you won’t truly be happy in life until you are on the path to achieving part of that dream. 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. If you aren’t excited to go to work most mornings. this is a big red flag waving right in your face. fully 74% of people in the US who are millionaires are self-made. but now I look forward to the tasks I’m doing each morning in my own business. According to Brian Tracy1. . or in a top position in a big company. 1 Brian Tracy is one of the top success coaches in the US. but in my experience it’s much easier to accomplish this by working for yourself.
Luckily. But there is one more category that isn’t any type of reason at all: the excuse. 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. and we’ve gone over some good reasons not to quit your job. I’m too old or too young There really is no time like now. I mentioned earlier in this book a friend of mine who went back to medical school at the age of 59. Harv Eker2 taught me a wonderful thing to say when your brain brings up these excuses. It’s hard wired into your brain to tell you this and cause some self doubt at times. You have to realize that your brain will never stop bringing things like this up. It’s a survival mechanism that is occasionally very outdated in our modern world. because our magnificent brains seem to come up with them so easily when we are about to do something scary. 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.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. There are also many successful businesses started every year by people in high school and college. you should take decisive . All you have to say is “Thank you for sharing”. If you think you are too old now. 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. That’s why it’s your job to ignore your brain when it says things like this! T.
do it today. Instead. Only a small percentage of businesses have ever been created in this way. Don’t focus on how much you have ahead. the inventor of AC electricity and the radio. in a 2 Harv Eker is an author and teaches people financial freedom . Nikola Tesla. In fact. who made the first rubber that could be used year round. if you only have to take one bite a day. Pretty soon. It took me a while to realize that conventional wisdom – successful businesses are formed with a brilliant original idea – was flat wrong. you’ll look back and a month will have gone by and so much has been accomplished you will hardly believe it. all died without a cent to their name. higher quality. You can eat an entire elephant. 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. and it’s far from the truth. Charles Goodyear. If you think you are too young (with the exception of being a student. Right now if possible. And just keep doing a little bit every day (make it a habit. I don’t have any good ideas I fell for this excuse for many years. and do it. which I described above). which we’ll talk more about). First.Is it Right for Me? 37 action right then to get started. so don’t feel bad. very few businesses are started on some brand new idea. often times the person with the brilliant idea dies penniless and broke while others capitalize on it. telling yourself you will get started later is the same as saying you will never do it. most successful businesses take an existing idea and find some way to improve on it. They sell at a lower price. Don’t wait until tomorrow. just focus on the single next step right in front of you. who created the printing press. Take massive action the moment you decide. and Johannes Gutenberg. historically speaking.
by combining with another product. I listened to their ideas and some of them were good! Those people became my new business partners as we started companies together. even if you have absolutely no original ideas whatsoever in your entire life (which I find highly unlikely). you can buy an existing business. Study effective brainstorming techniques. but they rarely start something from scratch. you can teach others what you know as a tutor or consultant. 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. . Just because you think you don’t have any good ideas doesn’t mean you won’t. You can also invest in commercial real estate. or with a new twist. I should also mention that when I first started out. I also learned and read day and night to get new ideas (there are many ideas for free out there for the taking). you’ll be amazed what you come up with. The bottom line is that plenty of good ideas exist out there in the world. you don’t need them in the first place! Take a page from Thomas Edison who said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. What we truly have is a shortage of committed entrepreneurs with the audacity to make them happen. But what I did do was talk to lots of people. 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. Just to give you an example. and moreover.38 Breaking Free better location. there are still a ton of businesses you can start. and the list goes on and on. I didn’t have any ideas that I thought were good.
Ultimately this thinking is destructive and is holding you back. if you have been carrying around this chip on their shoulder your whole life. and say “He doesn’t understand” or “Of course he But stop for a moment to reflect on your strong emotions. drug addiction.Is it Right for Me? 39 I’m not wealthy. and stole food to survive. from a good family. these feelings can come to define your life. He cried himself to sleep for weeks before finally selling the script for Rocky. etc). then I have news for you: This is actually your greatest strength. You could become attached to it because it has secondary pay offs (sympathy from others. You may get defensive to this idea. discrimination (and the list goes on) where people overcame incredible odds to become extremely successful happy people. I have a great deal of sympathy and respect for people who don’t come from a privileged background. This can be a bitter pill to swallow. is now an HR manager at a top firm with a beautiful home and family. 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. A personal friend of mine who was abandoned as a child. etc. would say that”. well educated. grew up on the streets in gangs. Life is absolutely full of stories of people who have overcome incredible odds. The harsh reality is that you may be using your past as an excuse. because nothing has been given to them. It could be your story that you tell. If you fall into this boat. Sylvester Stallone was so poor at one time he sold his dog (his best friend in the world) for $25 to avoid starvation. an explanation for when things go wrong. friendship from people in a similar condition. I’ve heard stories of sexual abuse. and it’s holding you back. because it gives you the toughness to keep going no matter what. . If you aren’t careful.
Find something you are passionate about and enjoy doing (Chapter 5). Second.40 Breaking Free At the same time. you will usually find a way no matter how hard it seems. my only goal is to make you aware of it. In chapter six I outline all the steps to starting a business and it’s really not as tough as people imagine. it’s not as much as you think. You can make a decision right now to stop using the excuse of your current situation. External situations simply don’t matter in the long run. 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. saying it sounds like a lot of work is indicative of a larger problem. and perhaps more importantly. The thing is. The point I’m trying to make here is simple: your past does not equal your future. That is the first step to cutting it out of your life and moving on to success. . loving parents. and think about it everyday. and you will have to do them. trust fund) who ended up spending their life in and out of rehab. and it won’t seem like work anymore. I have only a few things to say on this subject. If this is an excuse you’ve been using. If you decide you want to do something. suicidal. So this is more an issue of having the right mindset. or on anti-depressants. The only thing that matters is what is on the inside. First. yes it is. It sounds like a lot of work Well. To take responsibility for your own progress and improve your life no matter what.
or how much force is required to kill a giant rat. etc.Is it Right for Me? 41 I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO [BLANK] Fill in the blank: raise the money. 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. do the accounting. I know nothing about chemistry or poisons. do the “technical” part. I know you don’t believe me. hire good people. but it will be okay. This is a very powerful mentality. find customers. let’s say you wanted to produce a better mousetrap. The difference is that they told themselves “It might be difficult. but what other types exist? I know nothing about physics or mechanical engineering. China is a big market. Maybe you don’t even know what you don’t know! For example. This is perhaps the biggest excuse we all use in one form or another. 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?” . Your thought process might go something like this: “I know basically how a common mousetrap works. How big do rats get anyway? Maybe I’ll have to talk to some biologists. but it’s true. create the marketing. 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. but somehow I’ll find a way to get it done”. To realize that you don’t know something.
Whenever you encounter a situation where you say “I don’t know how to do [BLANK]”. This is most likely the single greatest resource ever created. I bet you’d come up with lots. If you sat down and brainstormed for ten minutes on ways to “find out what government regulations exist for companies that sell poisonous products”.42 Breaking Free Clearly. Learn it yourself • Google The first step is to type whatever you are wondering about in Google and start reading. there are a lot of unanswered questions. It’s the largest encyclopedia in the world (far bigger than Britannica) and is written in many different languages. or pay someone to do it. You can outsource all types of things now for next to nothing (see below). nothing is impossible. . 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. Neither one is as hard as you might think. So here are some of my favorite ways to get around these problems. If you really wanted to build a better mousetrap. • Wikipedia Visit en. I bet you could still do it. Every successful person I know uses it dozens of times per day. You will almost surely find a detailed article on it with links to the best sites. you have two basic options: learn it.wikipedia.org. you can find out almost anything you could ever want. With the internet today. and this is just a simple example! But I’m here to tell you.
15. Every single industry and profession (and often times even individual products) will have a huge discussion board dedicated to it. You don’t need to find all of them. but one of them usually accounts for probably 80% of all the content. and it was entirely free! As a side note.Is it Right for Me? 43 • Forums Find a discussion board on the internet related to your topic. etc) one of the most valuable things I do is get the top one or two books on a subject and read them.ehow. how to compose a song. I posted a highly technical question (at least it was to me. how to cook. to these old timers it was second nature) and within a day I had a dozen responses from people with 10. Just this one act alone will give you more knowledge than 99% of other people out there. 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. This website is amazing. You can get step-by-step instructions on everything from designing an effective business card to selling a business. search it. If you need an in depth knowledge of a subject.com and you will likely find an article on how to do exactly what you are pondering. read the top five or ten books on a subject to get . there will be several discussion boards. the higher the value. post your question! I joined a board like this when researching a mechanical engineering issue for a product I was designing. Join it. The more participants the forum has. • eHow Go to www. and post to it. even 20 years experience in the industry. They were eager to help and share their knowledge. for almost any topic. just find the one best one.
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. know! For example. This is a unique ability human beings have that isn’t taken advantage of enough. You can literally learn any subject in this manner. talk to all the top people in a field. Does this take awhile? Of course. Its not who you know. 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. But successful people are simply those who are willing to never stop learning. Yes. They will read hundreds of articles. authors will dedicate a significant portion of their lives to learning about a particular topic. You really owe it to yourself to learn how to speed read. synthesize complex ideas from all over the world into easy principles. and summarize all the conflicting view points. speed reading and speed comprehension are real. and I really believe it’s true. but I . I happen to know very little about bio-diesel.44 Breaking Free different perspectives and approaches. • Networking Learn how to network! They say that you are only five or six degrees away from anyone on this planet. Often times. it’s who the people you know. 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. Make an investment in this skill and it will continue to reward you for the rest of your life.
On any given day. interviews. Hiring an actual employee can be a long. most people are more than willing to help. reach out to your network! Even if they are acquaintances or you haven’t seen them in a while. Two of the best websites I’ve found to outsource work are www. and even if he can’t answer my question. expensive. etc). Also check your local city’s small business association to see what classes they offer. Here are a few ideas: • Outsourcing One of the best ways to hire an expert is outsourcing.com and www. website design. benefits.com . difficult process (taxes. There are still plenty of budget conscious ways to get some help. 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. hundreds of seminars are probably being given in your city on various topics. My acquaintance John hosted that event and could put me in touch with the speaker.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. salary. I’m sure he would be able to put me in touch with half a dozen people who research the topic for the living. it’s time to call in an expert. so outsourcing makes great sense for small businesses.guru. I also know that my former roommate’s father works for Shell Oil.elance. and marketing. Pay someone else to do it. • 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. If you have a question.
google.yahoo. and a background in the aesthetics of product design). artistic ability. If you are going to need an expert in a particular subject on a regular basis at . it’s often amazing how inexpensively you can get quality work done. for example.com.com and type in your 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. Guru. 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.46 Breaking Free The way these sites work is that you post a project on the website. you may have to pay them with equity in the company. 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 job. • Answers Websites Go to answers. If you don’t have cash to hire someone full time. For a very reasonable fee.com or answers. The professionals are already there. has over half a million registered professionals at the time of this writing. bidding the lowest price to get your business! Because these people are bidding from all over the world. It’s great because you don’t have to go out and find people or negotiate prices. you can have experts all over the world help answer your question and do the research for you. proficiency in a particular piece of software.
Really. 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]”. your relationships. • Trade You can pay others in trade. catch yourself and go back to review this list. Approach them and ask them about starting the business together. MAKE THE DECISION As an exercise. stop right now and don’t continue reading till you think of one! . your health (like losing weight or quitting smoking). 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. Take a moment right now.Is it Right for Me? 47 the company. It’s easy to fall into that trap. but you need some graphic design work done for your logo and brochures. For example. stop reading. so the next time it happens. Be very clear on what skills you are each bringing to the table to form a great partnership. Maybe it has to do with money. try thinking about a long term goal you have had that you haven’t yet accomplished. you may want to find a partner. Cultivate these relationships (remember networking?) and don’t hesitate to do someone a favor if they ask you. and come up with one that is important to you. you still have your knowledge in other areas to sell. and outsourcing would become a day to day activity. if you are a good programmer. If you can’t pay in cash.
imagine how it would feel. or to a time when you first started thinking about a goal. Again. Take a moment and try it. The goal seems almost impossible. but thinking back to that time. Go ahead! I bet that goal seems a long way off. Compare it to how you are now. and at the same time so inspiring to see how far we have come. Think about how you acted then. and never make the very first step.48 Breaking Free Now imagine your perfect ideal self as you would be in the future if you had fully accomplished this goal. because they spend all their time thinking about how far away it is. this can be down right depressing to think about. The problem is that most people don’t usually get to experience the second one. how others would perceive you. doesn’t it? Comparing your ideal self with how you are today is going to be a pretty large difference. the difference should be surprising! Notice how you really have changed so much in that short period of time. Imagine yourself five years from now with all your dreams fulfilled. and how you would feel about yourself. how little you knew. and how people perceived you as it relates to this particular goal. Now compare this to where you are today. You hadn’t noticed it because it was so gradual. 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. what you were like. think back to five years ago. You have tried and worked hard for all this time and it still seems so far away! Now. . If you are like most people.
lets try to personalize it for your own life. and excuses (that aren’t reasons at all) to quit your job. then you will wake up a year later and be utterly astounded at how far you have come. after writing one sentence. it was often easy to write a few more sentences or even a few pages. Clearly you have to do long term planning sometimes. successful people don’t dwell on how far away it is. Of course. Well guess what? It’s going to be even farther away if you wait another year to get started.” Now that we’ve discussed in depth the good reasons. Without fail. bad reasons. he would write one sentence. 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. We are going to do this with some simple exercises on the next few pages where you can write in the book. . one of my favorite sayings starts with a question: “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer: “One bite at a time. If you can just do one thing every day. this will just take a second”. “Oh yeah. 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.Is it Right for Me? 49 That is so key. I have to write my one sentence for the day. A friend of mine finished his thesis for his graduate degree by making a rule for himself: every day no matter what. to get one step closer toward your goal. As stated before. they just ask themselves “What is the next step?” Then they finish that little part today. and make sure you are on track. The biggest mistake you can make is to say “A year? Ten years? What is the point? That is so far away”. but this was a great way to trick his brain into getting started.
you might be tempted at this point to skip over the exercises and start reading the next chapter. Even if you have a thought in your head that you think is crystal clear. But it wasn’t until years later that I started actually doing the exercises myself. especially if you are in a hurry. Perhaps. 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. If you are anything like me. and thank the person for being such a good listener! . trying to explain the problem clearly so your friend will understand the exact situation you’re in. For your own sake. try writing it down and you will discover new aspects you hadn’t even considered. and that is when my success went up drastically. Typically. please don’t! I will tell you why. You are writing away. I think that on some level I thought I was smart enough to understand it without writing anything down. agree with it.50 Breaking Free WARNING: The next few pages of this book are going to contain some written exercises that will take a few minutes. When I first started learning about this topic. and move on to the next. you have discovered the power of writing things down while sending a letter or email to a friend to ask for advice. I was too quick to hear an idea. I can’t fully explain it. I still send the letter or email anyway. like me. 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.
of the small percentage who make it as far as you did. and get your thoughts on paper! If you are worried about someone coming along and reading your most personal thoughts. Please don't make the same mistake I did for so many years by assuming you can get everything just by reading. . Unfortunately. where you are going. or if you may want to share this book with someone else later. But please write. When you are finished with the book. Write directly in the book.Is it Right for Me? 51 At the beginning of this book. and what you will do. you will have in your hands a whole collection of clues into your own life. then feel free to write on a separate sheet. an even smaller percentage take action and actually do the exercises to get the full benefit. I congratulated you on taking the step that so many others didn't. The book will cease to become abstract thoughts that could apply to anyone. it will be a book about your life. not doing. by picking up this book and investing in yourself.
3. 1. 5.52 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. 3. 4. 1. 2. 5. What would be some advantages to quitting your job? Please list five. How do you feel when you wake up Monday morning to go to work? What do you do in your free time. 2. What do you dislike about your job? Please list at least five negative aspects of your job. 5. 2. 4. when there is nothing you have to do? 1. 3. 4. . 1.
3.Is it Right for Me? 53 2. 4. significant other. 3. 5. 5. Be honest! . please decide whether each of the last 10 disadvantages you wrote down is an excuse or legitimate reason not to actually quit. 4. etc). 5. 2. What reasons come up in conversation about why you shouldn’t quit your job? 1. 4. Mark each one with an “E” or an “LR”. 1. Think back to conversations you have had with others (family. Using the chapter as a reference if necessary. What would be some disadvantages to quitting your job? Please list five. 2. 3. friends.
I’m not wealthy/well educated/from a good family. Google Who should quit their job? I don’t know how to do [blank]. Big dreamers. Those who truly love their job. Those with a desire for control of their life. avoid people with an external locus of control. People with no idea what business to start. o o o o • o I’m too old/young. Strive to become a person with an internal locus of control. o o o o • Risk lovers. Many people’s excuses are nothing more than limiting beliefs. Current students. Those who don’t spend time on what they are passionate about. .54 Breaking Free CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY • • • It’s often hard to tell whether the reasons we use are excuses or legitimate reasons. I don’t have any good ideas. People who are bored with their life. Learn how to do it yourself. It sounds like a lot of work. Who shouldn’t quit their job? o o o o • o Those struggling to support a family. Common excuses.
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
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
that you will be so glad you took, so let’s look at some of the things that might hold you back.
WHY MOST PEOPLE FAIL
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.
after you closed a big contract with your first client you would know you were going to make it! Slowly but surely. this might be the first indication of it! Luckily there are ways to build self confidence. Each and every time you feel nervous about something. Once you discovered how easy it was and actually did the exercises. you wouldn’t feel nervous about that. For example. let’s say you lack confidence in starting a company. In fact. Finally. then you would automatically feel more confident. A Lack of Self Confidence Although it’s tough to admit. you will build confidence. we are often the greatest obstacles to our own success.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 61 overwhelming desire for certainty can totally prevent us from achieving them. Finally maybe you’d start a larger business. Maybe first you could read a book about it and write out some exercises. Everyone suffers from a lack of self confidence at various points in their life. and still go through with it. your confidence would increase. Then you could invest in a small business. You’d be nervous about interviewing people. but after you hired the first one it would get easier. like putting up a simple website or writing an e-Book. A simple . The primary way is to go right through it by starting small. the number of things you were unsure of would get smaller and smaller. if you can’t admit to yourself that you sometimes suffer from a lack of confidence. Simultaneously. After you wrote a successful advertisement. Once this worked you’d get even more confident.
Then take immediate action! The confidence will come as a byproduct over time. An External Locus of Control We discussed this concept in the previous chapter. after a while you can actually train yourself to respond positively to a nervous unconfident feeling. In fact. So don’t worry about getting confidence. Imagine for a moment that you are riding a motorcycle. I first heard it from a man named Don Akers. who is a This concept is attributed to a man named Erik Von Markovik. Just learn the basics to become competent. 3 . Don’t ever 2 Feeling nervous or unconfident about something means you are about to have an incredibly I didn’t create this phrase. valuable experience. What you need instead is to build competence3. I’m feeling nervous. Feeling nervous will turn into an automatic response where your brain says “Hey. but if you still feel your life is controlled by the external events in life that are happening all around you. You can get by without it. Be like a Nike ad and just do it. 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. then you will always be doomed to failure. business coach and former Golden Gloves Boxing champion. sometimes when I start to feel nervous about a particular event. a competent motorcycle driver who lacks confidence will still be alive to slowly build the confidence over time. that means its time to just do it!” Actually. What a great opportunity! The second thing to realize about confidence is that it really isn’t that important to have. I stop and tell myself “This is great! It means I’m about to learn something”.62 Breaking Free way to remember this is action eliminates fear2.
it’s important to eliminate negative influences like this from your life.Mark Twain When you are in the transition phase of starting your own company. The time to take responsibility for your progress is now. too. simply cut off all communication with them. They are holding you back (more on this later). No one owes you anything." . You are the only one responsible for your own happiness. just as the first tender green leaves are emerging from the soil. 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. or closest friends? The best policy in this case is to avoid discussing it with them as much as you can. Small people always do that. If these people are friends or acquaintances of yours. Better yet.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 63 make excuses that something “happened” to you or someone “did” something to you. and nourishment to grow one day into a strong tree. What do you think is going to happen if every few days. sunlight. It’s going to take lots of water. many people let the expectations of others control their life. spouse. What if those people are your family. Parents & Loved Ones' Expectations Unfortunately. just don’t even tell them what you are . can become great. but the really great make you feel that 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.
there is probably something wrong. 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. Then they can sleep at night with plenty of certainty. the . to tell those people who might not understand what you are doing. This might make you safe. Other entrepreneurs. but it must be said. they will eventually come to love you more for being your true self and reaching your full potential. for example will help keep you in the right mindset.64 Breaking Free doing! Some people will probably write me angry letters for saying this. What’s important to keep in mind here is that your discouraging family and friends don’t mean to sabotage you. Often. not what others expect of you. but it will almost certainly guarantee a life of mediocrity. Theirs or your own? It’s time to stop caring what other people think. If you are doing what everyone else is doing. If her child ever falls into the wrong group of friends. that only those who dare to fail greatly ever After all. Wait at least until your little tree has become a sapling. The old phrase “You are who you spend time with” is true. At the same time. strong enough to survive on its own. whose reality do you live in? achieve greatly. Remember. You’ve only got one shot on this planet and my advice is to spend it doing what you want. Even if they don’t understand at first. They actually care for you deeply. A Negative Peer Group Most people vastly underestimate the influence that their peer group has on them. Every good mother knows to encourage her child to play with the good kids. But your parent’s or spouse’s goals for your life are not always in harmony with your goals for yourself. actively seek out and surround yourself with people who do understand what you’re trying to do.
If you do this long enough with enough people. we really aren’t very different. you knew it wasn’t your best. Likewise. 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. In The Psychology of Achievement. you played up to their level? Even if you lost. you may have played the best game of your life. you’ve probably experienced this first hand. it would still happen. Even if you won. When you make the .Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 65 damage can be swift and drastic! As grown ups. and even if you tried to fight it. If you’ve ever played a sport. you’ll also have to worry about the unsuccessful ones holding you back. 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. It isn’t even a conscious process most of the time. What they found was astounding: one single factor. Let’s try an experiment for a moment. Did you ever notice that when you played a team or opponent that was far better than you. 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. was enough to ensure a person would be unsuccessful no matter what. Think of your five closest friends and take the average of their incomes (guess if needed). a negative peer group. you played sloppily and without focus. you will automatically become more like them.
You are . Be prepared for it and expect it. If you become wildly successful. Very few people take this path. 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. which is filled with excuses as to why they can’t succeed will be broken. it isn’t the “safe” route. I chose to listen to people who were successful and had the life I wanted. In my own personal experience.66 Breaking Free decision to quit your job and work for yourself. some people are going to think you are crazy. it may be people someone who you love and respect. GETTING STARTED Now that we’ve listed the reasons most people fail. Ultimately however. Many of them told me the opposite. I also got plenty of advice from other people who didn’t have the life I wanted. significant other. people who are not living to their full potential may want you to fail in this endeavor. they would look lazy or ineffective by comparison. This can have a big effect on you. what are the implications from their point of view? You would probably stop being friends with them. let’s focus on a more positive aspect: how to get started. and their model of the world. They all told me to follow my path in life and achieve my true purpose. It’s your responsibility to decide for yourself. and we all fear change. and quit my job to work for myself. Taking this scary step in your life isn’t going to happen all at once. because they aren't going to be random people off the street. In the end I chose to listen to those people who I most wanted to be like. Your own parents. What’s most important is to realize that what other people think doesn’t matter. Subconsciously. It’s up to you to decide who to listen to and who to ignore. the reasons why aren’t important.
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. Believe me. Finally one day we come upon it and it has carved a deep canyon. we can’t change everything in one day. We are creatures of habit. After a while. because it has been so deeply ingrained over time. But eventually it would start to affect the river. barely an inch wide. It wanders downhill in no particular direction hitting rocks and trees. getting water from other sources such as nearby streams or seasonal rain.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 67 going to be tested over and over again. The path continues to carve deeper and deeper into the mountain side. Beliefs are built up over time. and you will need to build up a positive mindset that will stay with you day after day. Imagine a small stream that bubbles up one day and forms a small trickle down a hillside. little by little. it starts to form a pattern and become more consistent in what direction it takes. It starts to carve a little path in the hillside. If we have been thinking a particular way for some time. one person could have easily changed its course. Even the Grand Canyon was formed this way over millions of years. Overtime it builds up. about an inch deep until almost 100% of the water is flowing together. going around them effortlessly. If they had caught it when it was just a little trickle. However. What if we came by each day and dumped a bucket of concrete near the edge? At first it would have no effect whatsoever. Years go by and it’s a raging river. but now it’s not so easy. 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. we can still change the path of the river. . The same is true of human belief.
Three words that I would like you to remember are: constant positive reinforcement. because it needs to happen every day. and this is the way you can create an unstoppable mindset toward achieving your goals. Positive. Imagine you read a book that gave you a new idea or way of thinking. the “high” of the book would have worn off. new clients. because each time it needs to go in the right direction. I would love to have people tell me that this book changed their life. Or it will be one more constant positive reinforcement in a long list that a successful person is already using. Finally. 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. because it slowly gets stronger and stronger building on top of itself. It would still be in the back of your mind. a family problem. Reinforcement. and even became excited and ready to take action! Then the next day you would go to work. Especially your beliefs about your own ability to work for yourself and be successful.68 Breaking Free This is the solution! This is the way to change human beliefs. but something more important would always . think about how much you don’t like your job. financial issues. This is the way mountains are moved. Something would come up. Maybe you enjoyed the book. a month later. What I’m telling you is that this book you are reading right now isn’t enough. and you would delay your action. and come home exhausted. promising yourself you would do it later. agreed with the premise. Each day you would continue to go to work and be distracted by things that just don’t matter. Constant. CONSTANT POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT Each word is important.
Just one exciting book can’t possibly wage war against the tide of negative messages that are telling you something different. For a more inexpensive option. Become a permanent student throughout your life and never stop learning. Most people who take a speed reading course double or even triple their reading rate. or if it was just some fad you went through. and doubled my reading rate. 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. but it can still work. parts of the book would be forgotten and you’d wonder if it really made sense.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 69 seem to come up. If you already read voraciously or discuss entrepreneurship on a regular basis. who I consider to be successful. realize that nothing has changed. follows this philosophy. This takes discipline to actually do the exercises. you would stop one day. then you are far ahead of most people. you can buy a speed reading book. we are creatures of habit. educational. Every single person that I know. You will have to transform yourself into a permanent student for the duration of your life. Remember. and inspirational messages. Two months later. 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. But if you are like most of us. and accept the fact it just wasn’t for you. It gets left on the back burner. . • Take a Speed Reading Course Speed reading and speed comprehension are real. Six months later. getting educational work done is something we often don’t have time for. constantly feeding your brain with positive.
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. According to Brian Tracy. and pay for coaching. But if every time you start your engine. or forget. Immediately stop spending time with the people in your life now who aren’t helping you grow. you have an audio program going. Most people are sitting there listening to advertisements on the radio or Britney Spears. It’s automatically built into your daily routine. pick their brain. This is equivalent to one or two semesters at a university. If you meet someone who you think you could learn from. most people spend 500 to 1000 hours in their car every year.) If you get busy. it’s easy to not be able to read as much as you’d like. don’t be shy about getting their card and following up with them. If you aren’t listening to audio programs in your car. (Or if you live in a city with a subway. 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. . I can’t emphasize this point enough. Go to networking events and seminars. you quite simply aren’t serious about being successful in life. • Start Listening to Audio Programs in Your Car If I could pick one thing for you to start doing immediately this would be it. then you always have time to listen there with an MP3 player. Then find new friends and mentors who are the right type of person. and ask for their advice. wasting minutes and hours of their life. Buy them lunch. then it’s impossible to forget. You’ll be amazed at who you will find to help you if you only ask.
and almost any other topic you can think of. 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. finance. NO MATTER WHAT This particular phrase is especially important. which are listed through the book and in the resource index at the end. You will wake up in the morning with random ideas to help you on your path that you had . Events will come up that you can change and take advantage of. period. the more you learn. rocket science. This is a slight improvement. It no longer is something you should do. and your subconscious listens. I assume one of your goals is starting your own business. You are making a declaration to your subconscious that this is your new path. Some people who I’ve given this advice to have readily agreed and even started using it. If you are reading this book. it is something you know you will do. There are many fine programs on this subject. writing. there are more effective ways you could be using your time. You need to be learning material in specific fields that will help you accomplish your goals quickly.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. Often. relationships. or want to do. but the effect of this is actually quite profound. It may sound subtle. psychology. but not nearly as effective as what they could be doing. Suddenly you will start to notice things around you that that you never saw before. There are a wide variety of audio programs available on marketing. Unless you are studying to be a fiction writer or a news anchor. the more you realize you need to learn. Something magical happens when you make a decision to do something no matter what.
The critical first step is making that firm commitment to do it no matter what. If you think every day about being a successful business owner. should. Maybe you’d be on your way to work one day. implies a chance it won’t even happen! On the other hand. The very word itself. The universe has a strange way of bringing the very things we think about the most into our life. a speaker and author. and make a new friend with similar interests. lets say you decide you are going to quit your job and start your own business no matter what. As an example. describes this as the difference between a should and a must. you weren’t fully committed and focused on starting a business yet. your subconscious would go to work right away. going through your usual routine. 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. and happen to notice a sign posted for a business plan writing seminar. then eventually it will just happen as more and more opportunities come into your life. join the conversation. (Note: I’m not asking you to actually commit right here. At lunch you might overhear some people discussing a business idea.72 Breaking Free never even considered before (your subconscious was working while you slept). All these things were happening around you already. and you’d never noticed. How could this be? Well. but you never noticed them. It is optional. If you tell yourself constantly that you should go exercise. then you probably won’t do it regularly. You may even depart with their business card and an invitation to join them at a speaking event the next week. It had been there for months. if you tell yourself you must make it to the .) If you made this decision and were firmly committed. Tony Robbins. it’s merely an example.
This subtle shift in thinking and how you talk to yourself4 may sound silly if you’ve never heard of it before. it becomes ingrained as a priority in your life. Remember the character Yoda from the Star Wars movies? He said. We call this “hedging your bets”. but you weren’t entirely sure it would work out.” “I’m trying to start a business. That is fine.” “I’m trying to exercise more. you are doing it no matter what. "Do or do not. Some people will tell you that playing it safe and having a backup plan is just good planning. You start to view yourself as a person who always exercises regularly. You aren’t trying. you’d be forced to make some sacrifices. How well would it work? Well. Your time would be severely limited. As you tell yourself this over and over. In fact. If you do it no matter what. you didn’t fully commit to one outcome. In other words. decided to play it safe by holding on to your old job just in case. then by definition there’s a chance you will fail. Not to do so would break your identity and sense of who you are as a person! Similarly. You will keep on persisting until you accomplish your goal. but I know that it worked for me and countless others. 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” . You don’t have to understand it or even fully believe in it right now. “I’m trying to quit smoking.. so you may want to try it as well.Building the Confidence to Take the Scary Step 73 gym no matter what. then failure isn’t an option. there is no try”.” How weak does that sound! If you just try. while starting this business. Let’s say you decided you wanted to quit your job and work for yourself. avoid words like trying. then it ceases to become optional. But sometimes this can actually be self You destructive.
Sure. When you do get work done. 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. cash reserves. Most likely. you’ll one day have to take the big step of actually quitting. but you can build up to it with plenty of smaller steps before taking the plunge. 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. ONE STEP AT A TIME Sure. Most people do the opposite of this and fall into one of two categories. If you want to have a backup plan. numerous sales channels to market your product. you wouldn’t be able to discuss your new business at work with anyone. 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. In a situation like this. then have a backup plan for how you will still accomplish your primary goal: being self employed. playing it safe and hedging your bets may very well cost you your primary goal. have multiple products. In other words. just in case word got back to the boss. The entire business would just be a distant second to your regular life. and another entire business idea in your back pocket in case things don’t work out. you wouldn’t be at your peak and it would take time away from your family. you would just be too tired in the evening and end up watching TV instead of working. During the day. 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.74 Breaking Free job. quitting your job will be a big undertaking that will be scary at times.
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. you’ll have more confidence. and for these people their fear is paralyzing. you’ll have learned more than you can possibly imagine. The second category of people are so risk averse they never act at all! This is probably a much bigger category. you will look back and see how far you’ve come. You’ll hardly even recognize yourself! It really is ironic. You will be focused. Please don’t skip it! . but as with many things in life. please take the time to jot down in a few notes in the exercises on the next page. while still making progress. The secret is to fall somewhere in between these two groups by taking small steps. quitting your job to work for yourself is a mental game. and you will have changed your entire mindset. if you decide it’s what you really want. Anyone can do it. resilient. The day you finally quit your job and strike out on your own. As always. By taking small steps you are minimizing risk and learning as you go. Eventually. But very few ever do because the greatest obstacles are the ones we create in our own mind. and have all the tools at your disposal. This is an essential step of reading this book. a sense of calm will come over you as you walk out the door because you will know you made the right decision. A year later. They have the best of intentions but never change anything. The logistics and physical steps are not difficult. determined.
) 1.76 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. 3. 5. 5. 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. severely limit your time with them. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to meet with them or find more people like them. 3. . You may want to cut these people out of your life. you can use code words or nick names. You may want to make an effort to spend more time with these people. 2. or write it on a separate sheet. 2.
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. 1. 3. 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. I’m going to fill this one in for you. 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 day.com (or your favorite book store) and purchase an audio program called The Psychology of Achievement by Brian Tracy. 4.amazon. Are you only partially . I make no money from this. 2. 5. www. 3. make it this one! 2. 4. If you are going to do one thing on this list. and motivate you toward your goal of working for yourself? 1. 5. and it is merely one of many good audio programs. Go right now to education.
Your brain will invent excuses constantly. don’t hedge your bets. Say “Thank you for An external locus of control. . o o o • • • • Action eliminates fear. Take small steps in the right direction. Lack of self confidence. not confident. We can’t change it instantly. Why most people fail. Use Constant Positive Reinforcement.a. We are creatures of habit. excitement). Parents & loved one’s expectations. sharing” and continue. A negative peer group. o o Addicted to comfort and routine. Become comfortable with anxiety. o o o Speed reading Positive peer group Audio programs in your car • • Deciding to do it no matter what. start small.78 Breaking Free CHAPTER 3 SUMMARY • • • • • Quitting your job will be scary.k. it must be done slowly over time. Beliefs are built up over time like a stream carving the Grand Canyon. There will be anxiety (a. it means you are about to learn something. Be competent.
so they pass on what hasn’t worked for them to their children who grow up poor. your business finances and personal finances will be one and the same. Poor people don’t know how to manage money.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. This is an . but so far it hasn’t happened. so their children grow up rich. 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. At the beginning. This isn’t a book on money management. 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.
but the principles will remain much the same. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. Harv Eker’s programs on building wealth.80 Breaking Free (Chapter 7). some excellent books to read are Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. They take on debt to finance their house. cars. Most people who start their own business don’t have much excess cash lying around. don’t worry. vacations. They aren’t living paycheck to paycheck like the majority of people! Poor people work for money. Rich people believe what they earn is there to invest. etc) until one day they have enough income coming in that they can stop working. businesses. save at least 15% of their income and never touch it. When poor people get a raise. This money is then reinvested into income generating assets (real estate. 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. Because they have assets. Better yet. but in reality. and . and still have an income. For more information on this topic. The word entrepreneur. Rich people have money work for them. they celebrate by instantly going out and getting a nicer car. this is a major reason for why people never become wealthy. mutual funds. means you are getting things going any way you can! Beg. get them as audio programs and listen to them when you are done with Brian Tracy’s The Psychology of Achievement. borrow. etc. and The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. credit card expenses. on the other hand. The main problem is that most people spend what money they earn. they can afford to start a business. almost by definition. This sounds innocent enough. Poor people believe what they earn is there to spend. If you haven’t been building wealth for the long term.
(2) get a different job with more flexible hours. This will allow you to make the initial steps and get your confidence going. 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. my intent here is to provide you with practical advice that will help you right now to get things started. THREE WAYS TO MAKE AN EASY TRANSITION 1. you will most likely be taking a pay cut in the short term to earn more down the road. but we shouldn’t assume it will.Taking the Pay Cut 81 steal just to get the first product out. Don’t be rash and quit without a plan in mind. So don’t worry. When you quit your job to start your own business. That would be foolish and you could quickly find yourself in a difficult situation. there are a number of ways to make this transition fairly easy. This is great when it happens. and I’m going to tell you the three best ones right now. and (3) save up enough to survive for six months with no income while at the same time spending less. Keep your current job a little bit longer It’s never a good idea to be rash. . One or a combination of these can be used and we will cover each one in detail. 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. Many famous stories exist of big name entrepreneurs who started with almost nothing and pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. Luckily. There are a lucky few who quit and earn more in their first year working for themselves than they did at their old job.
you will at least have made huge progress before actually quitting. Many companies today have you sign a non-compete agreement which could land you in big trouble. If you use this strategy. you will be generating enough money in your new business on the side that your current job’s income becomes small by comparison. The weekends were better.82 Breaking Free In fact. I would come home from a long day of work at the office and be absolutely exhausted. Wouldn’t that make it easy to quit! I know people that have actually had that work for them. Start your new business ethically. I know that when I was starting my company. In fact. gotten potential customers lined up and ready to go. affording a few hours here and there. 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. 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. it was often difficult. at a certain point you may find yourself becoming frustrated by your lack of progress on your new business. in an ideal world. They have slowly built their business in their free time. 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). the time it takes between first starting a business and making profit can be quite substantial. But for me it was very . So the goal is to get as close to actually earning profit as you can. Often. but it wasn’t my best work since I was already tired. I would get some work done occasionally.
If you did well in any particular subject in school. you may want to get another one. or isn’t respected as much as your current job. 2. Get a different job If your current job has you working overtime or involves extensive traveling. Even if the job pays you less hourly. and never looked back. 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. • 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. 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. then you could tutor others. your job required special knowledge. This solution offers the best of both worlds because you will still have a steady income.Taking the Pay Cut 83 frustrating to make such slow progress. 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. it may be just what you need: part time work that gives you time to accomplish your primary objective. . Use this method to get as far as you can down the road to starting your business. 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.
spelling. organization. physics. hours.google. psychology. busy schedule. and more. writing. Every city in the world is full of students who need help in algebra. and an easy way to get in touch with you. put an advertisement in a PTA newsletter. How does one begin working as a tutor? Post flyers at local high schools. But probably the single most effective way you could find work as a tutor is to make a simple one page website. 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. experience. or send an email to all your friends asking them to forward it to anyone they know with children. Many parents are willing to pay excellent hourly rates to ensure their child’s success (rates from $45/hour and up are not uncommon).84 Breaking Free Tutoring is one of the best part time jobs because your hours are flexible and you can charge very substantial rates. Then start getting potential customers to your site by advertising with Google (adwords. • Bartender If you like to stay up late. with your credentials.com). preparing for the SAT. general study skills. this is a good alternative job because it has odd hours. chemistry. speaking English. rates. accounting. grammar. statistics. In less than a month and for less than $100 you will have clients and a side income. photo. economics.
Don’t assume your boss will say yes or no until you’ve asked them. but work part time.Taking the Pay Cut 85 Bartenders earn $100-$300 per night. • Help Desk Providing technical support or answering phones is a great alternative job to have. • Work Part Time Another great option is to stay at your current company. It’s great because you are often left with nothing to do for long periods of time (and often have access to a computer). Instead. and many bartenders don’t report their cash earnings to the IRS (in essence. just tell them . you may want to seek out a bartender training school in your area. This might not help your relationships at the office. You don’t have to tell them “I’d like to work less so I can spend more time on my own business”. 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. You may also need to get certified by the state. To find work as a bartender. You never know. 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. 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). College campuses are full of jobs like this and many IT help desk positions carry these same advantages. receiving tax free income). or about $1 per drink.
86 Breaking Free it is for personal reasons. but if money is really tight. 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. Everyone can save 1% no matter what state you are in financially. money is tight! Living for six months without any income would spell eviction. You are under no obligation to give a full explanation. and you won’t even miss it. If you fall in to this category. you probably won’t even notice that 10% missing! When it’s in your bank account it’s easy to spend. then just start with taking out 1%. The key to saving income is to take a percentage out before you ever have a chance to spend it. Chances are. taking it out before you have a chance to spend it will ensure it is safely tucked away. But if you are like most people who start companies. Don’t make the mistake of telling yourself you’ll save whatever is left at the end of the month. don’t despair. By following the strategy below you can build enough income to survive for six months or more. At the same time. There will . never be anything left! Instead. Eventually. The most important part is to build the habit (remember what type of creatures we are?). It won’t be there at the end of the month. bump it up to 2%. then 3% and you will soon get to 10%. then you are one of the lucky few! Quit your job and live off your savings while you get started. Most people can survive on 90% of their income. Save up enough money to live for six months before quitting If you already have sufficient savings. and you won’t be sure where it went.
and remember. This is far above the national average. however.com which currently has a 4. federal government is guaranteeing your money. because they are FDIC insured. bump it up to 15% and higher as your income increases. I use ING Direct www.Taking the Pay Cut 87 After you’ve reached the point of saving 10% of your income. which allows $100 per month to turn into far more than the sum of its . mutual funds.5% right now! ING Direct is able to pay this rate because they are an online bank without any branches. and it would continue to double each day for a month. One important point to remember is that saving money brings you compounding interest. In fact. Where should you put the money? I recommend putting it into a high yield savings account. Many self-made millionaires save 50% or more of their income each year! This is how they continue to build wealth.S. it’s a savings account so you can move money in and out of it any time you’d like. You still know your money is safe. “So what?” you might say. Using a high yield savings account will continue to earn your interest. only to be left with $1200 at the end of the year. rewarding you for being smart enough to save. Some people find it discouraging to think about saving $100 per month. The first day I’d give you one penny. the second day two.5% interest rate.ingdirect. “What good is $1200?” they ask. “How much could you possibly be giving me?” A few dollars? Ten? A couple hundred? They are forgetting the power of compounding interest. many CD’s that require a one year commitment can’t match 4. That means the U. What if I told you that every day for a month I’d give you some pennies. “How will that help me live for six months?” parts. the third day four. Once you have more money to invest you can look into stocks. Personally. and real estate.
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. Reinvest what you earn. HOW MUCH MONEY DO I REALLY NEED? There is no need to make a guess here and estimate how much money you will need. This is the secret of wealth that the rich have known for centuries. . and it will give you the cash reserves to start any business you’d like. Even Albert Einstein once said that “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”. but you should at least be able to earn a 10% return on your investment1! Start saving today. one crucial question we must answer is: How much should I save? We will now answer that question. Please go through the following exercise to find out how much money you really need to live off. Of course. It is actually quite simple to determine. but by investing in index funds and real estate. Take a moment to list your monthly expense for each of the following: Housing 1 ING Direct will pay you 4. you should be able to earn at least 10% over the long run. speak with a financial planner you trust. Of course your money won’t be doubling every day like our example above.5% for now risk free. If you don’t feel comfortable investing. but by then end of the month it turned into $10 million? Behold the power of compounding interest. and do so for the rest of your life.
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 $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ .
mp3’s) Shows Video Games Magazines Vacations Plane Flights Hotels Taxi Meals Debt/Investments Credit Card Debt Student Loans $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ $ _____________ .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. CD’s.
If it seems a bit large. Multiplying this number by six will give you your savings goal. Please total your monthly expenses. don’t worry we will discuss cutting expenses later on. If the business you want to start requires some initial investment. Startup costs will be discussed in chapter 6 (starting a business probably costs much less than you expect). you will add it to this number. 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. 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 .
Harv Eker’s Millionaire Mind . I would name my account “Entrepreneurship Fund . Meanwhile. then call your bank to set up an automatic funds transfer. you can setup the funds transfer right from your home computer. If you would like to get your financial life organized in general. If you deposit your paychecks or cash at the bank. So if my monthly expenses totaled $1000. or set up an automatic funds transfer with your bank. You can write it down right on the bank statement if the bank won’t let you label the account. one program I will recommend is T. 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. This will make the transfer happen automatically without any action on your part. 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. is entirely up to you. Whether you do it manually by transferring the funds yourself every two weeks.92 Breaking Free label it somehow in online banking. So please take advantage of this by naming the actual account with your goal. Or if you use online banking.$6000” – and file it away. your compounding interest will be working while you sleep to bring you closer and closer to your goal.$6000”. If your current employer automatically deposits your money right into your bank account. The key is to reinforce the habit so that 10% comes out before you have a chance to spend it. Name it something like “Entrepreneurship Fund” and put the actual amount that you are going to save. you will need to take the 10% out (or whatever you are starting with) before you have a chance to spend it. 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. This is a great idea. Remember. Just write it each month on the statement – “Entrepreneurship Fund .
Taking the Pay Cut 93 program. and feeling guilty whenever you spend money) this can also be a destructive habit and deserves attention. then we don’t miss it. you will start to have your money work for you. Some fine books exist on the topic of spending money wisely. instead of working for money. 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. Most importantly. Again. I resisted it. 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. . we must address the topic of how you can cut your expenses. But it may help you out quite a bit. “I shouldn’t have to give anything up to get ahead. and one I recommend you read is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. you should also address this with programs like the Millionaire Mind. A NOTE ON HOW TO LIVE FRUGALLY Finally. and it will change your entire relationship with money. You don’t have to give up anything. You can get it as an audio program to listen to in your car. many people find that their own inner beliefs are what is limiting them the most. you aren’t alone. You will no longer be a spender or penny pincher (both are equally bad). If you are a saver (cheap. but if we’ve never experienced it. We always hate to give up what we’re used to. 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. I’m already poor!” So if you’re in the same boat. Likewise. the decision is yours of course.
Can you imagine how much more difficult it would be to quit your job when you are living one paycheck away from bankrupcy? . Remember. Being an image conscious city. Instead. This may seem unrelated to starting a new business. leaving nothing to save or invest. Get a car that you can actually afford by paying cash for it up front. even if it isn’t quite as extreme. they were slowly being buried alive in debt. financially unsuccessful people aren’t able to plan for the future because they spend what money they make. They are not the people driving around in flashy new cars or visibly displaying their wealth.94 Breaking Free The book eloquently makes the point that millionaires are not the people you think. TX when I first became aware of the term “thirty-thousand dollar millionaire”. Entrepreneurs are able to plan for the future by saving what they earn instead of spending it. but it actually isn’t. They are always living right on the edge of what they earn. One of the worst decisions you can make financially is to purchase a new car. most millionaires buy used cars and live modestly. purchase a used car with low miles. Most people live a form of this lifestyle. they immediately go out and buy a nicer car. Many children of millionaires aren’t even aware they are wealthy until it comes time to inherit. It loses about 25% of its value the minute you drive it off the lot. While they sped around the city in their new Range Rover with spinning rims. you should probably purchase a cheaper car. this was the term coined for those people who earned a modest living and were trying to live above their means. and don’t get stuck making car payments if you can help it. When they get a raise at work. I was spending some time in Dallas. Instead. Don’t take on any new debt! If you can’t afford to pay cash for it.
so you can’t afford to quit your job. you can eventually become discouraged and disillusioned with the whole process. If you’ve made some financial mistakes in the past. You can’t enjoy life that way! If you don’t reward yourself for every small success along the way. you become a slave to your job. Try staying at your old job while you start your company to keep money coming in. What is important is that you now know the way out and have started building a new habit. You are stuck. and rent. Live below your means and save as much as you can! If you think its too late to start saving now. This will allow you to invest for your future by saving up enough money to quit your job and work for yourself.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. Nobody gets it perfect. credit card payments. it is very possible to take it too far in the opposite direction. and you can be sure to make plenty more mistakes along this journey. Becoming a fanatical saver will simply make you feel guilty every time you spend money. . but didn’t! As a final note about reducing your expenses. In essence. unable to leave. don’t dwell on it or get discouraged. and start spending less than you earn today. or get a job with more flexible hours. and promise to quit when it’s full. Set up an “Entrepreneurship Fund” account with six months of cash reserves. The secret to minimizing risk when starting a business is financial responsibility. You can’t afford to miss this month’s car payments. just think what you’ll feel like in five years knowing you could have started today.
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. 2. 4. If your current job involves many long hours. 1. even if you were still at your current job.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. 5. 4. 2. 3. list jobs that sound interesting and fun compared to your current job. 1. 4. . and achieve your six month savings goal. 5. 3. 2. try to write five alternative jobs you could take on that would give you more time. 5. If you get stuck. 1. 3.
o Stay at your current job as long as you can. Rich people think what they earn is what they have to invest. Tutor/Consultant Bartender Help Desk Part Time at your Current Job Save up enough money to live for six months without . o income. getting work on your business done during nights. Start saving 10% of your income into a separate high yield savings account. and rich people have money work for them. Poor people think what they earn is what they have to spend. o o Poor people work for money. your Entrepreneurship Fund.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. weekends. • There are three strategies to use when quitting your job. or any free moment. you can calculate how much money you actually need each month to live on. • • By using the provided form. o Get a different job that requires fewer hours each week. Strive to spend less money and don’t get caught in the “rate race” by incurring debt.
Use different bank accounts to allocate your income on luxuries. • • When you get a raise. travel.98 Breaking Free • Remember The Millionaire Next Door and “The $30. • Spending less than you earn is the secret to having enough money to start your own business and become wealthy. necessities. education. but one bought it used and paid in full while the other bought it new and is up to his ears in debt. o They both drive the same car. don’t spend more. save and invest more. and saving for the future. . This takes the guess work out and removes guilt for spending.000 Millionaire”.
We are trying to find You will be continually getting closer.He must be capable of not knowing what to do with his life. To clarify.Chapter 5 Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life “A man must be prepared to give 100% to his purpose. you have can say “I made it.. it will be a journey to follow over time. we are trying to discover some important things.. 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. game over”. The Way of the Superior Man The next step in the process is one of the most difficult.” -David Deida. because there is not a clear ending where you can say “I’ve got it!” Instead. when we discuss “your path in life” in this chapter. full of twists and turns. but what type of business should you start? . entering a period of unknowingness and waiting for a vision or a new form of purpose to emerge. but there won’t be a specific moment when S o you’ve learned how to start saving and make the transition.
you can never be completely happy. or what type of work is right for you. but they can all be summarized with the following statement: if you aren’t on your path in life. relationships. whether you are using your best skills. We must break the habit of purely reacting to external events all the time (an external locus of control). Make no mistake about it. Let’s take a closer look at four reasons to give your purpose some serious thought: fulfillment. These might sound like some rather tough questions to answer. The alternative is to be like everyone else. and whether the work is easy or hard. and significance. excitement. making their way through life one day at a time without a clear goal or purpose in mind.100 Breaking Free what your highest values are. FULFILLMENT Fulfillment is one of those words with a rather murky definition. 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. what you are well suited for. . what makes you happiest. whether you are growing as a person. Are you fulfilled? Instinctively you can probably say “no” or “not all the time”. 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. 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. It’s a feeling that can’t really be quantified. this chapter is designed to do nothing less than help you find the purpose of your life. instead choosing to create our own reality. but believe me it’s worth it.
Your time and energy is being wasted on menial tasks. but you won’t be fulfilled. If you look at the diagram above you will see four categories of work you could be doing. you will most likely still be able to make your way through it. whether it is hard to do or not. If you aren’t very skilled in a particular area and the problem is easy. 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. Imagine you are a world class chef hired to cater a party. Stephen Covey spoke of this work classification in his book. .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. You will finish the work. You’re really only average at what they’ve asked you to do. The task isn’t very difficult. but here low or high skill refers to one particular skill needed for the task at hand. but you sure wouldn’t feel very important. if only someone would give you a chance. and you would be able to complete it. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. On the side is listed the difficulty of the problem. you will most likely begin to experience a feeling of unimportance or insignificance. not your overall ability. On the top is listed your skill level. or how proficient you are in the skills needed for the job. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. so the fact you’ve been asked to do it means the results aren’t very important. but when you got there the host had already ordered out and asked you just to help valet the cars.
This is the area of fulfillment! Here you will be in the perfect balance where you are challenged. but it isn’t very difficult. but still able to produce excellent results. but they take place everyday in offices around the world. Your skills are being utilized on important tasks and your contribution is truly valuable. This type of work can quickly lead to boredom. the world class chef. and are wasting their time by doing. aren’t qualified to be doing. Your feeling of unimportance goes away because you are dealing with more meaningful work. Fortunately. . but you will quickly become frustrated. and only asking you to make microwave popcorn! Cooking is certainly your area of expertise. but it’s a more difficult task than parking cars. This would leave you feeling guilty for your poor work and frustrated at how difficult it was to complete.102 Breaking Free If you still aren’t very skilled and someone comes along to give you a difficult problem. If you are finally given work that you are very skilled at. “Why do they keep giving me this when they know it’s not my area of expertise?”. you will quickly become bored. Workers are frequently matched with tasks they don’t care do be doing. things don’t get much better. Your magic show would probably be mediocre at best compared to the exceptional meal you had planned and trained for. you might say. This would be like the host hiring you. These above examples are a bit contrived to make a point. but your skills won’t be utilized and you won’t feel challenged. there is an ideal to strive for here: challenging work that is well matched to your skill level. 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.
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 . 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. and if you can hear the passion in someone’s voice about what they are working on. The reality is that anything can be fun if you’re in the right atmosphere. and the next task they are absolutely dreading? What a depressing life! “If you hate it so much. If they were to give up that excuse. you can’t help but get excited about it too. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of the same. If you aren’t convinced yet. because they are addicted to their struggle. 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. why don’t you quit!” you might say. It’s impossible to stay attracted to someone who is living a mediocre life and is afraid to change it. Enthusiasm is contagious. I’ve had friends that were involved in hobbies I found downright boring. then they might have to actually take a risk and try succeeding! In fact. like painting and board games.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. But of course they never will. How attractive is it to be around a person who constantly complains about their work. and after seeing how excited it made them. their terrible boss. simply consider the alternative. That is “their story” and the excuse they have been using for why they haven’t achieved more. But listening to them talk about it.
but because it was just so exciting they couldn’t put it down. they’ve never even been outside the fish bowl. that if you were to disappear tomorrow. It’s time to break free! The solution is simple: bring significance to your life by finding what you were born to do. once they find their purpose. . The truth is that many people.104 Breaking Free through this exercise end up telling me things like “This is going to sound strange. maybe no one would really notice or care. “Work” and “fun” just haven’t been together in the same sentence before. this can actually be quite difficult to grasp or believe. not because they have to. and you aren’t contributing to the world in some way. It’s like telling a fish how fun it will be to walk on land. If your life truly is unimportant. This shadow will be the unconscious feeling that your life is simply unimportant. What a sad thought. The minute you decide to work toward a greater purpose than yourself is the minute you decide to start down the path toward happiness. Find a job doing what you love. but I just feel happy all the time”. For someone who has worked their whole life for someone else at a job they don't love. and you’ll never “work” another day of your life. this shadow will follow you around until it consumes you on the day you die. The idea that work can be really fun doesn’t compute inside their head. They will end up working the entire weekend. and in time you would be forgotten. so imagining walking on land is outside their model of the world. no one would wonder who they would turn to now that you are gone. constantly striving to find out what your purpose is. No great project would come to a halt. SIGNIFICANCE If you aren’t on your path in life. then there will probably be a shadow hanging over your life.
to help them find love. and a number of other issues in the developing world. Every Sunday when he woke up in some developing foreign country. was not in the banking industry.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 105 discover it mostly involves helping others. He had done seven years in the FBI. One day he realized that his path in life at that time. my friend had quit his job. and earned a small fortune in the banking industry. It was solar powered light that could be charged during the day and used at night. he would miss his family back home. to teach others. to help them achieve financial independence. all he was doing was “making a rich man richer”. day in and day out. people were now able to have electricity. It provided free light to towns across the developing world that had no electricity. Soon. traveled the world. and he poured all his energy into it. the place he could be the most significant. or to help them become better parents. A friend of mine had been through an amazing life at the age of 45 by anyone’s standards. and developed a product that would help improve illiteracy. but his most exciting time was spent with homeless orphaned children. They lived there because that was the only way they could find food. been a diplomat on several continents. He was working all week with important men in expensive business suits. Instead of burning expensive kerosene or dangerous brush fires for light at night. Every Sunday he would bring them breakfast until one day he realized it had become the most exciting day of his week. his purpose was to help these children. Instead. This is one of those clichés that is true. to help them get in better shape. to help them overcome the pain of their childhood. foraging through the trash. there were thousands of these . health. In his words. 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. You may find that your purpose in life is to heal others. Within a year.
Whenever a topic such as this is discussed. You see. If you are passionate about making surfboards and happen to be extremely good at it. then you can help people by making the best surfboards in the world. security was improved in refugee camps. It simply means you should do what you do best. they have an epiphany and make a drastic change in their life. It’s that simple. an inevitable concern comes up for some people. excited as a little kid in a candy store. and doesn’t have to involve charity. Children were able to do their homework at night.” As you're about to see. The good news is that it’s not too late. Then one day. no longer dependent on kerosene lanterns. to contribute to the world. but what if you need to make money to survive! I can’t just quit and become a monk if I want to eat. 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. The person has achieved some level of success in their current work. this concern is reasonable. but feels that something is missing. you can start down the path to living a life of purpose. and entire families pulled themselves out of poverty. but they all have something in common. There are numerous stories like this that I have heard as part of studying this subject. My friend had found his purpose. and you should have seen him. I know I had this concern as well. but totally unnecessary. 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.106 Breaking Free lights around the globe. He had never been happier. My inner voice would say “That’s all well and good to live a life of charity. being on your path in life doesn’t necessarily mean you should devote your life to charity. Wherever you are in your life right now.
Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 107 Instead of focusing on making money. If you can make anything that saves people time. people are willing to pay money for it. And one of the great things about value is that by definition. Each word is chosen very carefully here and deserves a bit more attention. Some companies have one or two of those qualities. there are some activities where it is possible to make money and there are some activities where it is very difficult to make money. truly find its direction by having all three. and although he was speaking about business. Finally. but rarely does a company He had some excellent thoughts on how exactly you should come up with that purpose. I actually found it helpful in discovering my life’s purpose. that is how you help others. After all. They also have things they love doing and things they hate doing. they spend their time thinking about how they can create value. 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. Everyone has things they are good at and things they are bad at. or is just more convenient. The companies in the world that ask “How can we improve our bottom line?” may achieve temporary success. At the intersection of these three qualities lies the company’s singular purpose. by creating value in their lives. . in his book From Good to Great. Your purpose lies at the intersection of all three positive characteristics: finding something you are good at. money. and that you can earn money from. brings them enjoyment. love doing. you have contributed value to their lives. came up with three qualities that every great business should have.
But I bet if you look at the job you have right now. if you truly love playing football. 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. his clients actually annoy him at times. He .108 Breaking Free Something You Are Good At You must find something you are good at. but he isn’t really excited about working in web design any more. This is a huge problem. and says it must be something that you have the potential to be the best in the world at. If truth be told. it is in no way related to your passions. He loved it when he first started. because this is the only way you will be successful (remember the fulfillment chart above?). But if you don’t feel you have the potential to be one of the best football players in the world. Think for a moment about two people who each start a web design company. These can all provide clues as to what you are passionate about. you have two out of three. For example. you still must feel you have the potential to be at the top of your field someday with hard work. Even if you love doing something and it’s possible to make money at it. Jim actually takes it a step further. and you know that it’s possible to earn a living as a professional football player. Person A got into the business because he was good at it and heard there was money to be made. Even though you probably aren’t the best in the world at it right now. Meanwhile. you shouldn’t pursue it unless you can be one of the best in the world. person B truly is passionate about the business. then this should not be your life’s purpose.
Before long. 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. Person A and person B might start out with equal revenue and client lists. Something You Can Earn Money Doing Again.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. but this wouldn’t last for long. It says “something you can earn . In the evenings. Person B would have eclipsed Person A’s web design company in every area. It doesn’t say “something you will earn money doing”. the wording here is very deliberate. To him. It doesn’t matter if you are great at it and it makes you tons of money. you have not found your path in life. the person who loves it will always be more successful. Meanwhile. while to Person B it would all be fun. If you don’t love it. no matter how hard Person A worked. You see. This would give him new ideas on how to generate business. person A would watch TV and try to relax after a hard day. person B would have been planning the trip for months and would bring his whole family with him. being burned out with all his clients. Person A. or how much he forced himself to keep up. wouldn’t want to also spend his weekend doing web design. Let’s say its time for the annual Webmaster World conference. but Person B would read web design magazines just because he liked the subject. and would justify skipping the conference by saying he needed to spend more time with his family. he still wouldn’t have a chance. it would all be work. a huge industry event and great opportunity to learn and network. This is the key difference: if you hate doing something and someone else loves it.
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. It doesn’t matter if the industry is in a recession. end of story. you might be able to find something related to it. and you are passionate about it. Note: Yes. this in itself is not a path in life. even if it isn’t much. Don’t worry about what others say. if you have the potential to be the best in the world at it. You can also write them on a separate sheet if you don’t want anyone to find your notes.110 Breaking Free money doing”. but please do it! . find which celebrities were popular or making appearances for charity. Within six months she had a job booking celebrities for charity events. that is enough. 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. as long as it’s possible to earn something. She assumed no one would pay her for her passions. If you love it. If you are passionate about (and really good at) lying on the beach in the sun. or if your friends say it’s a bad idea. Her job was literally to watch TV. She turned out to be wrong. and it’s at least possible to earn money doing it. if the Wall Street Journal says it has no growth prospects. that in itself is enough to make you extremely successful financially in any industry. and then to contact them and book them for events. Now it still has to be possible to earn money at it. 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. This was frustrating to her because she immediately assumed there was no way to earn money with these passions. In other words. You see. However. Don’t be too quick to discount your passions as unsuitable to make money. you’re great at it.
9. whether you like doing them or not. When you have free time and there is nothing you have to do. Finally. even if they seem silly. 1. 4. 2. 3. 2. 3. Now list 10 things that you really enjoy doing. 2. 10.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 111 List 10 things you happen to be really good at. and see what ways you could put them together to earn money. 5. An example would be if you are really good at painting. and you feel happiest when helping children. They can be from any time in your life. 7. 9. 1. you could write “paint + help kids = art teacher” here. When have you been happiest in the past year? 1. 7. randomly pick combinations of the above two lists. 8. 6. These could be skills that came naturally or skills you trained for years to master. 10. You probably talk about them constantly (ask your friends what you mostly talk about). Try to force yourself to write 10. you probably end up doing these things for fun. It doesn’t matter whether you use them now. 5. 8. 6. 4. .
so you can be constantly getting closer. Just do each one. one at a time and put some thought into it.112 Breaking Free 3. 6. 5. This chapter is going to be a series of exercises that can hopefully help you get closer to discovering your path in life. with a simple answer. For an interesting twist. It’s not a quick fix. Grab a glass of wine. 10. and wrap yourself if a big blanket if it will help you get the emotions flowing! Take a break. 8. 7. Don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t jump right out at you. As I said in the beginning of the chapter. put on some comfortable clothes. The idea is just to get your brain thinking in a new way. You might be surprised! Finally. and do this chapter over several days if necessary. forget what your kindergarten teacher told you. and please write in this book! . 4. Spend some time thinking about each one. come back in six months and try it again. The more time you put in. the more value you will get from these exercises. There is no need to rush because there is no right or wrong answer. to see how much things have changed. 9. discovering your purpose in life is a journey and a process to go through and enjoy. Don’t look ahead and try to see what it all means.
what would you do after that? You would have a lot of time on your hands and would need to fill it with something. 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”. 2. it is your money free and clear. 5. 3.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. All taxes and fees have been paid. so what would you do? 1. . 4.
In exactly 30 days. 4. Now imagine for a moment that your doctor has given you some bad news. Even when he did need the money. 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.114 Breaking Free As you may have guessed. He doesn’t have to. 5. he does it because he likes it. and there won’t be any pain. he still enjoyed it. 2. close your eyes for a moment and imagine the eulogy at your funeral. I suggest the reason he became a billionaire is that he is doing what he loves. you will be dead! Until that time. you will live in perfect health. but you have exactly 30 days to live. what you wrote down in the previous section is a good indication of what you are passionate about. . and that gave him the edge to become very successful. In fact. yet he still goes to work every day. What do you want people to say? 1. How are you going to spend your time? In addition. 3.
because they are what you value most. what do you end up filling time with? What are the hobbies that you enjoy most? 1. . or require you to put yourself in a vulnerable position. etc) for us to finally take action. that the things we value most are often the things we avoid the most. 4. 3.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. No excuses. saying “no matter what”. Right now. 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). when there is nothing you have to do? When you are procrastinating. reading this book. Why have you been putting them off? They probably sound scary. How ironic. we will find ways to avoid them and it sometimes takes a new force (a coach. 2. What do you find yourself doing naturally. Subconsciously. 5. before you go on to the next exercise. schedule a time right now and make a commitment that you will do it no matter what on that day.
without even thinking. You may have to look one level deeper than the mere activity you end up doing. sometimes it is quite straightforward. What you find yourself doing naturally. Perhaps what you really enjoy is to hunt down problems that can harm people. the entrepreneur extraordinaire behind the Virgin brand (Virgin Airways. such as a tax accountant. 5. Virgin Records. “Since 80 percent of your life is spent working. Virgin Mobile. • 1. can provide a valuable insight into what is your greatest passion. etc) once said.116 Breaking Free Richard Branson. or police detective. and what did you get in trouble for as a child? . it’s a safe bet you are pretty passionate about cars. This could lead to any number of careers. 4. This doesn’t mean it should be taken literally to mean “My passion in life is to play minesweeper”. 3. What do you get in trouble for now. 2. Then again. auditor. If you spend all your free time reading car magazines and waste time at work surfing car websites and forums. Try to narrow it down. For example. you should start your business around something that is a passion of yours”. 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). You will need to look one level deeper.
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!” . 5. maybe you should look into comedy or a career making people laugh1. maybe you have a future as a fitness coach or personal trainer. 3. when Jay Leno was a little boy in grade school. 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. maybe you have a future as a consultant. 1 Reportedly. and a few qualities you really like about them. If you get in trouble for giving your opinion even when it isn’t asked for.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 117 This is an interesting question because it’s quite counterintuitive. List five people that you really admire. 1. 2. 4. If you get in trouble for skipping work to get to the gym.
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. . Do a quick survey right now by asking (or sending email) to five of your closest friends or family. or results they each have. values. what do you think my dream job would be? If you want to give them some background. just simply say “I’m reading a book about different paths in life. 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. it should be a clear indication to yourself that you have underdeveloped potential in that area. and I wanted to get your opinion”. and try to group together similar traits. Write their results here (come back later if necessary).118 Breaking Free What do all these people have in common? Jot down a few more notes if necessary. 1. 5. 2. 4.
Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 119 If they are honest. Sometimes our best friends know us better than we know ourselves! Think back to when you were a small child. 4. when you were under the impression everyone talked that much about their pets! Suddenly. will become clear. . 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. they may tell you something you never realized about yourself. that you are passionate about pets. If possible. something you never would have considered. 3. look at some baby photos of yourself right now (this will help immensely). They may tell you that you are constantly talking about your pet dog. 2.
friends. You too have a core value and a theme that is running throughout your life. for him it was helping children. but there is still a theme. 3. and activist all at different stages of his life. He was able to bring children into the world as a doctor. 4. and hair styles. based on their core value. It started from a very young age . writer. you still have the same goals and desires in some form today. and would be awfully exciting. 5. What do you value most? More likely than not. They may change professions. 1. 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. What theme could possibly run throughout these? Well. educate them with his children’s books. . For example. his core value. and protect them by becoming an activist for issues that affected children. clothes. 2.120 Breaking Free Most people have a theme that runs throughout their life. 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. a friend of mine was a doctor. seem impossible.
Most people have a list buried away in there head of tasks like this.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 121 All of us dream big.. Yes.. even if it feels a bit silly. 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. but they always view them as out of reach.close your eyes for a moment and visualize your ideal self in your head. but it’s just not me. 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). they don’t feel they deserve to have such “peak experiences” in life. and not going down the path because of fear. Bullshit! If it would be exciting. Maybe on some level. you are going to draw a picture of yourself. As the final exercise.” they might say. start making steps toward them. The way to get the most out of life is to actually do some of these things! At the very least. but putting those plans into action is a bit harder.. “That always sounded exciting.just start drawings what comes into your head! . Don’t make the mistake of actually finding your passion...
122 Breaking Free Self Portrait: .
The first time I heard that my friend Dan was taking Brazilian Jujitsu classes. How can this be? The answer lies in the fact that it is the journey.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 123 THERE IS NO MAGIC ANSWER. You see. those who are looking for the journey to end are missing the point. 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. And even if it does. This will very likely involve quitting your job and starting a business or two (or ten). But overall the trend will be upward and you will continually be getting closer to your core value and a life of purpose. which brings us the most joy out of life. do something about it. IT IS A JOURNEY TO ENJOY Sometimes. that’s exactly where you should be! Not everyone is going to have an epiphany moment where their entire life suddenly comes into focus. Don’t worry. Just focus on the next step in front of you. those grand ideas will probably change as you go farther down the path. or a new book they just read. There will be high points and low points that will be tough to get through. When is the journey over? The day that you die. not the end result. Make a commitment to explore it further. I was immediately interested. 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. and you find yourself becoming strangely interested. When something sounds interesting or exciting. It is an exciting journey that has ups and downs. Taking some martial arts classes had been in the back of my mind for the . In short. a trip they are taking. One of the ironies of success is that many people experience a let down or feeling of depression after finally reaching their goal.
Sheena. Not every single thing you try will end up being a good fit. Furthermore. signing huge contracts. He had to sign a lot of little contracts. Develop a mindset that you can do anything. Later that very day I decided on what I wanted to write about and started an outline! If you are stuck in a job. mentioned she had written a book and that it had led to many other opportunities. my ears again perked up. you must also take small steps toward your path in life. You will wake up one day five years later and be a completely different person: the person you dreamt of becoming! . you will be expanding your identity and concept of yourself. Do you think Donald Trump was born with the identity of business mogul. that I joined him at his next class. Dan talked about it with such passion. but I’d never found time to research which style or philosophy to learn. and you can try any new thing that catches your fancy. to build the confidence to sign the big ones. but you will certainly be getting closer to your path and purpose each time. and I am still going today. Your job is simply something you do. But your job is not who you are. Suddenly I realized how much I would enjoy the process of writing a book and sharing my ideas.124 Breaking Free past year. jetting across the country. by trying smaller things that weren’t quite as scary or as far outside his reality. When people talk about their job they like to say “I am an accountant” or “I am a counselor”. each time you actually do explore one of those opportunities that sounds exciting (and a bit scary). then you will probably never even take these exciting ideas that are dropped in your lap and explore them. you is a flexible concept. and dating super models? No way! He approached it slowly over time. and your identity is wrapped around it. When another of my friends. Whether you secretly admire the Donald or despise him.
he talks about how you cannot choose your own purpose and path in life. Not so fast! It was your own self doubt and lack of drive. But don’t hand off responsibility for your success. Saying that your purpose in life is already decided by someone else is a cop out. or believing in God. no one is even going to care if you are wildly successful. These can all have positive benefits in your life. In the first chapter. to make your path in life. then you can literally create it from nothing. Your only goal should be to surrender to this ultimate purpose. They may give you token But that doesn’t mean you should avoid it. If your purpose doesn’t exist yet. This is a terrible idea. and no one else. or an opportunity doesn’t present itself.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. It may be easier to stomach the idea that your purpose in life is out of your control. and ultimately give up responsibility for your own success. If it doesn’t work out. accept second best. You can do whatever you want. It allows you to place blame. then “It was God’s will”. or following the wisdom of scripture. enjoy the process each day. and a dangerous trap. No one has chosen your path for you. Instead. No one is going to do it for you. because it has already been chosen by God. It is up to you. I admit that this is a very appealing notion because it takes the weight off your shoulders. embrace the challenge and . Taking responsibility for finding your own purpose in life can be downright scary. There is nothing wrong with praying for guidance. Most likely.
congratulations, or secretly envy you, but ultimately they won’t care. It is up to you, and you alone, to create what you desire.
A FEELING, NOT A DECISION
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.
A FINAL METHOD TO TRY
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
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
PASSION IS IMPORTANT
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,
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.
Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 131 CHAPTER 5 EXERCISES The exercises for this chapter are found throughout the chapter. . instead of at the end.
. helps others Finding Love Excitement Significance Don’t focus on money. 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. o o o o • • Fulfillment will follow. Three qualities.132 Breaking Free CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY • Finding your purpose in life is essential.. focus on finding your passion and money Exercises .
o o Try a long isolated walk through nature. not your logical mind. Take guidance from religion. • Passion is essential! . Take responsibility to discover and create it for • • Listen to your feelings. and there isn’t one magic answer. but don’t depend on God to hand you your purpose. Use images to trigger thoughts and write them down as a stream of consciousness.Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life 133 • • Finding your purpose is a journey to enjoy. Sit for an hour in total silence with a blank sheet of paper to access your subconscious. yourself.
or a relative with a small retail store. they are a terrible first business for you to start. owner of Virgin Group might think of people you know who are self-employed. you . 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 should start your business around something that is a passion of yours” . While there is nothing inherently wrong with these businesses. These are what I call old fashioned ideas of how to become a business owner. many opportunities exist today to work for yourself with a fraction of the expense and risk.Richard Branson. A neighbor with a family owned restaurant. Luckily.Chapter 6 What Kind of Business Should I Start? “Since 80 percent of your life is spent working. and they are very difficult.
You’ll have to spend money on décor and interior design. It’s up to you to fill in at the last minute. and this is all before you have earned a single dollar! Once you are finally open for business. On that property you’ll have to pay utilities. you are now spending all your time on managing employees. 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. The primary problem is that it is risky and takes plenty of hard work. but for minimum wage it’s tough to find good help. just like owning another home. dealing with health inspectors. and some of them may even sue you. The list goes on and on. or sandwich shop.136 Breaking Free this chapter to completely restructure your idea of what owning a business is all about. a new set of problems arise. You’ll have to buy or rent another property for the business. Then there is the inventory. and worrying about how to get new business. You'll have to furnish it purchase equipment to operate your business. and you’ll quickly find yourself spending twelve hour days just to keep an eye on everything. Turnover will be high. preferably in a good location (you do want customers don’t you?). Just think about all the costs you will have to incur before you can ever make a dime. You’ll have to buy ingredients for whatever you want to sell. corner bakery. some of them may steal from you. some of them won’t care. Even though you were originally passionate about the food. You’ll have to interview them. etc. Your most frequent annoyance may be when one of them quits unexpectedly or just doesn’t show up. you are always on call. insurance. Is it any wonder the vast majority of new restaurants don’t make it past two years? . repairs. Then come the employees – oh the dreaded employees. You’ll have to focus on advertising if you want your restaurant to actually be profitable.
giving up control of your company is not a pleasant experience.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 137 Sure. trying new things that catch your fancy. You don’t need a large investment or . The typical business plan goes something like this: First. Think about your first business as something on this scale. and have secured financing. Luckily. instead of spending eight hours a day as a worker bee for someone else. and become millionaires! Unfortunately it rarely works out and this is once again a poor strategy to build your first company. or planning a road trip with friends is a project. even if they hate it. You may be pursuing several projects at once. give them stock options. it’s no wonder most people choose the security of their worker bee jobs. you are a slave to your own business working twelve hour days! Moreover. we’ll build a team of twenty top engineers from the best universities. and the small amount of money invested won’t be important if you make a mistake (otherwise known as learning). Finally. The first business you start should be more like a project. put them in a swanky Silicon Valley office building. owning your own business might give you a sense of pride. putting together a photo album of your family. Then we’ll secure $20 million in venture capital funding. You are taking on huge amounts of debt and betting the farm on an unproven strategy. it could be years before you recover your initial investment in the business (if you recover it at all). we’ll take a hot new technology that has been getting lots of buzz. Now. For example. It’s merely something interesting you are going to try. Even if you aren’t betting your money. starting a business today is much easier than the painful stories depicted above. But your situation hasn’t improved much. The other typical example of starting a business than many people think of today involves a high tech startup. writing a journal. If this is the average person’s idea of owning a business.
printers. great people on their team. 6. You don’t need an office because you can work at home or in a garage.138 Breaking Free venture capital. but it is probably nowhere near as much as you might think. Thou shalt not hire fancy lawyers to draft contracts. Thou shalt not hire assistants and employees. 5. and you certainly don’t need a swanky office building or retail store. Thou shalt not travel to meetings. 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. I have to ask them what their net income looks like. I hear you saying. “surely you’ll have to spend something to get a new business off the ground!” True. faxes. Thou shalt not purchase unnecessary electronic equipment (computers. and excellent meetings they attended in other cities. Don’t ever spend money you don’t have to in the early stages because you never know what might happen. Thou shalt not spend a single cent that isn’t absolutely required until there is profit coming in the door! Anytime. 3. You don’t need business cards and fancy letterhead because you don’t have a product finished yet. 4. 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. I hear a new business owner going on about how much “progress” they have made getting the office put together. . etc). “But Brian”. 2. you don’t need a large team of people. Thou shalt not rent an office.
com is a voice over IP service that is excellent and inexpensive for national and international calls . He has an intern do exactly what you were doing. you should work out of your home by creating a “home office”. There are many reasons to create a home office. 2 www.) WORK AT HOME As I stated above. borrow. find templates on the internet (or make friends with lawyers who will email them to you) and copy/paste them together on your own. copying and pasting templates. but here are a few of them: 1 Incidentally. and fax machine because you are working at home. Use the hardware you already have! As an entrepreneur your credo should be to beg.skype. In fact. which he then gives a quick once over. printer. the $500 per hour lawyer isn’t writing the contract himself. 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. 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.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 139 You don’t need lawyers to charge exorbitant fees to write contracts. You don’t need to hire assistants or employees because you don’t have any customers yet (more on this below). then you can worry about covering all your bases with high priced lawyers. and steal any item you possibly can before spending money! (Ok. You don’t need to purchase a new computer. don’t actually steal it. 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.
and fax. or through collaboration over the internet. Others are concerned they won’t be able to work with the lack of isolation at home. 3. or a coffee shop. 5.com . Even big companies with the most expensive office buildings often prefer to meet at restaurants. You save money on food (since you are eating groceries instead of food from restaurants). You’ll never sit in rush hour traffic. a restaurant. printer. 4. Some people are concerned that they won’t be able to work in isolation at home. Your commute time is zero (get an extra hour in every day). 8. It’s very reasonable for a new company to get started at a home office.140 Breaking Free 1. If you need to have a meeting with clients or potential clients to “make a good impression”. You can write documents and spreadsheets with others through Google Documents and Spreadsheets. 3 Still others fear they might go crazy www. You save money on office rent. Many small businesses who rent an office don’t ever have clients show up. You can keep your projects organized with tools like Basecamp3. You eat healthier food. You save money on office energy costs and other utilities. meet with them at their office. 2. You save money on office equipment by using your home computer. You can use excellent free call and video conferencing applications such as Skype to collaborate with other people anywhere in the world. You save money on gas. 6.basecamphq. 7. A nice meal or cup of coffee here and there will be far cheaper than rent. It is a waste of money each month that is slowly but surely destroying their cash reserves.
I have met several other successful entrepreneurs in these locations that I am still friends with today. yet few companies actually practice this. this is true. They provide perfect working environments. With a few small changes like this. working at home becomes one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. 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. it’s advisable to take your work to a coffee shop or bookstore at least a couple times per week. returning voicemails. like building and selling a great product. 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. I agree that small teams can have incredible synergy to become far more than the sum of their parts. Attending meetings. When you work at home. Their employees instead spend a large percentage of their time on bureaucracy. I agree that you aren’t superman or superwoman and you can’t do everything yourself. the more employees involved in the business. and indignantly reply that “Employees are the most valuable resource a business can have!” Well. sometimes. But this doesn’t mean you should automatically move to hiring people as a way to solve problems. Bring a laptop if you have one and look for locations with free wireless internet access.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. Some people have a negative reaction to this statement. You should also join local clubs related to your business and hobbies to stay in touch with knowledgeable people and keep learning. the more problems you will have. NO EMPLOYEES As a general rule. and filling out the proverbial .
Some checks will bounce. or will be incorrect. a way to track hours and bonuses. and you’ll need to print checks and deliver them or setup direct deposit.) 3. someone full time would be a mistake in this case. Here is a partial list of problems than can come about from hiring employees: 1. Now you need a payroll department (more employees). 4. and has come to mean “mindless paperwork” . You will need to develop a hiring/interview process. working by yourself in a team of one is arguably the best team you can have. 4 Hiring This term was made popular by the film Office Space .142 Breaking Free “TPS Reports”4 takes up all their time which should be spent on developing a great product and marketing it. leading to more phone calls. 2. When you encounter a problem that you don’t have the experience to solve (graphic design. If you make a mistake at some point and hire the wrong person. this can be the most damaging of all. You have to pay them. If you are going to work with others. 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. of course. but you have to make sure you are doing so legally. If they are actual employees. be lost. You will need to develop a recruiting process. then the smaller the team the better. 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. 5. (You could hire independent contractors instead. Of course. accounting. Sounds simple right? Wrong.
7. such as getting timely feedback on how your product is performing and your customer’s problems with it? Suddenly. 9. Yes.000 a year. You will have to fire people. You may be sued by past employees.000 per year? In other words. what additional time and money would need to be spent on finding a good candidate for the job. but what is the cost and is it worth it? Let’s say you need to pay this customer support employee $30.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 143 6. You may have employees steal from you.000 in profit did come in. that may be true.000 in profit (not revenue) come into the business as a result of my additional time spent on sales5? Moreover. will at least an additional $30. but you wouldn’t earn anything either. 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. 8. you would only break even in this example. Is the benefit of no longer having to answer phone calls from customers worth $30. setting up payroll. 5 It should be noted that even if an additional $30. You may have employees quit and become your competitors. The list goes on. There would be no disadvantage. and learn how to do so in way that avoids lawsuits. 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”. 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. .
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. complete destruction of the relationship) no matter how close you are right now. If you feel absolutely confident you need to work with someone else. There are two exceptions to this rule: partners and an assistant. I don't recommend becoming business partners with someone you live with. They now earn more than they did at their big company.144 Breaking Free “We wouldn’t have to spend time answering phone calls from customers” doesn’t seem quite so simple. They also get far more work done and have less stress. As a general rule. Then again. you can be sure to have disagreements and tension (and in a fairly high percent of cases. having a partner will hinder your productivity because every decision has to go . For this reason. people with ownership are less likely to steal and more likely to care. it may make sense to undertake larger projects that require levels of management. Furthermore. choose a business that doesn’t require a single employee other than you! Once you are an experienced entrepreneur. taking on partners doesn’t come without risk. But then again. if you ever become business partners with a friend or family member. This has several benefits because payroll is simplified (you just decide when to pay yourselves by writing a check). but instead they work for themselves and have zero employees (or perhaps one assistant). Working all day together and spending all evening together is a sure fire way to be at each other’s throats in no time. and the interview/hiring process is a one time thing. it probably won’t. I’m going to make a recommendation: For at least the first few businesses you start. then you could take on a partner instead of hiring an employee.
I didn’t have the confidence or belief in myself that I could do it on my own. it could last indefinitely (there is no boss with the final say). 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. Secondly. Hire someone who complements you and is skilled in the areas that you are weak. partnerships are rarely formed as a necessary and sound business decision. this doesn’t mean you should go out and hire one right away and waste money. and if there is ever a disagreement. hiring employees is a common mistake and often carries far more costs in time and money than entrepreneurs realize. the amount of time spent communicating goes up exponentially and the amount of time spent . 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). They are formed because the parties aren’t confident or experienced enough to go at it on their own. so be it. In my experience. As a general rule. you are so busy you can't handle your workload. don’t hire a personal assistant who shares your same skills. 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). and gave me the confidence to start a business on my own which was far more successful. With each additional person added to a team.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 145 through two (or more) people instead of just one. Finally. a personal assistant may be appropriate as your one employee. In summary. Referring back to the previous section on cutting expenses. I wouldn’t consider hiring a personal assistant until you have a net worth in excess of $1 million. If you need to follow the same path. I have to admit. Ultimately they were great learning experiences. this was the reason the first two businesses I started were partnerships. Don’t ever hire a personal assistant until you are making enough profit to easily hire one.
Remember that any time you come across a task you wish to delegate or don’t know how to do. I will tell you a secret: the ducks will never all be in a row! The minute you get that last one in line. it is far better to outsource it or quickly learn to do it well enough yourself.146 Breaking Free working goes down exponentially. can you begin to correct your aim. At some point you will have to exit the learning stage and enter the doing stage. Make at least your first few businesses. It’s imperative you go ahead and do your best with what you have now. than it is to hire an employee. I didn’t know if anyone would buy my product. and figure out the details later. Only then. take the first step toward completing it now. AIM. Once you have an idea. after actually taking the . It is no longer theory or discussion. I didn’t know how to pay business taxes. another one will pop out. if not all of them. What did I know? I was barely an adult. I just decided to go for it. it is actually happening. I was full of uncertainty and doubt. because then you can see where your shot actually went. ready or not. After pulling the trigger is when the real learning will start. Don’t get caught in the “analysis paralysis” of continuing to learn more and more. At some point you’ll have to just pull the trigger. 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. whether you have every possible contingency covered or not. But after reading a little bit. but I couldn’t afford any actual legal advice. READY. I had read a little bit about incorporating. FIRE. Those who have to wait until all their ducks are in a row will be stuck waiting forever. I didn’t know how to find customers. The effect was dramatic. first shot. a one employee company: yourself. When starting my first business.
and you will earn $10 of profit when you sell it. Sure. Imagine for a moment that you decide to start a shoe company. ECONOMIES OF SCALE This is just a fancy economics term that describes how your business can grow. Now imagine a second business you might start which is selling an e-Book on the internet. No one is entirely prepared the first time. But if you have poor economies of scale. In fact. business can grow. I made a few mistakes. You have all the materials at home and can start right away.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 147 Experience is the best teacher. then growing your business will lead to growing profits. It is your first business and you’ve decided to make the shoes from your home and sew them by hand. which is why they are successful today. But they have the courage to act in spite of their fear. the entire selling process is automated so that people can order it and download it without you having to do a single thing. Each shoe takes you one hour to make. to get the book written and the automated process setup takes you 100 hours of time up front and $100. If you have good economies of scale. then there is an upper limit on how much your . However. Each e-Book you sell earns you the same $10 profit. So what? Do it anyway. but it doesn’t take you any time to sell or make each individual one. but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t recover from. It’s time to realize and accept the fact that you will not be entirely prepared when you start your first business.
for a nice $80 profit. However. Since each sale . your e-Book requires much more up front work.com $10 100 hours $100 0 hours Figure 5 – Economies of scale example What is the difference between these two businesses and which has better economies of scale? At first glance the Shoe company appears to be a lot cheaper to run. From now on you could simply leave it and earn the pure profit off each additional sale. Your business is not scaling well.148 Breaking Free Shoe’s R Us Profit per sale Fixed Cost (time) Fixed Cost ($) Unit Cost (time) $10 0 hours $0 1 hour eBook. A month later. and as more orders come in you have to start making a wait list. You have your first shoe done in one hour and have started earning money right away. Soon you are making and selling eight shoes per day. and more orders come in. but does this tell the whole story? To answer this question. 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. you finally break even and recover your initial cost. Meanwhile. with some marketing efforts. To grow this business you will have to start taking on employees or outsourcing large parts of your work. The shoe company doesn’t require any work up front. your time becomes scarce making shoes eight hours per day since they take an hour each. let’s imagine how each one will grow. Your business grows.
for each additional shoe you sell. You also need to spend one additional hour to make it. For example. creating new versions of the product. To further explain. very little additional time is required on your part. fixed costs are anything that you pay regardless of how much you sell. The businesses that scale well are those with low per unit costs of time. followed by some word of mouth marketing. That is a unit cost. Suddenly your sales go through the roof. . you are spending your time on your next business idea and picking up a check each month. or dealing with the occasional technical problem. The cost can be in terms of time or money. This is why I say that businesses with low unit costs of time have good economies of scale. A few more months go by and your eBook gets a favorable write-up in a magazine. Your business continues to expand and grow with no upper limit since each sale is automated. you would still have to buy a sewing machine to make your shoes. this business scales well and has a lot of upside potential.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 149 doesn’t require any effort on your part. This example should not be taken to mean shoe companies are bad and e-Book’s are great. For example. which is a unit cost of time. That is a fixed cost. For each additional item you sell. The only time you may spend on the business could be additional marketing. Your website is processing dozens of orders per day. Overall. It makes money for you while you sleep. Per unit costs (or variable costs) are those costs that vary with how many items you sell. regardless of how many shoes you sold. It is merely the concept of scaling that I wish to convey here. you have to buy the raw materials for it.
where the parents could upload photos to his website. and a few weeks later an illustrated children’s book (with their actual child in it) would arrive. 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. take a moment to consider what life would be like if you actually succeeded. I met a nice young man at a speaking event. He wanted to create custom children’s books. What is the full potential of the business? What is it that you are actually working toward? One night about a year ago. He found out that I was an entrepreneur and told me all about his great business idea that he had started working on. 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 business. But after you have sold eighteen e-Book’s and beyond.com.
I advised him to look into the idea of automating the book creation in some way. but still viable. When he finally took a moment to look at his best case scenario (all the books being ordered that he could handle). not stuck behind a computer doing the repetitive graphic design for eight hours a day. it didn’t look quite as bright. You too should take a moment to analyze the best case scenario of what will happen if your business succeeds. About an hour of work would need to go into each book. making the books wasn’t a passion. either through technology or outsourcing it. 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. which I admired. But at the same time I had to let him know that he would essentially be working for $10 per hour. He certainly wasn’t going to get rich off his idea. What type of work will take up most of your day? In the best case. then fine. Now. 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. but it’s also about what you can earn working at Starbucks. Making an average salary to do what you love is fine. for him. Not a bad wage. I didn’t want to discourage him since he had such enthusiasm. Unfortunately. He liked the idea of the business and was an entrepreneur who wanted to be out selling. Retailing for $25 or $30 made it a relatively expensive children’s book. It could have been a great starting off point for him to get something out there and meet others in the industry. However. if he was exceptionally passionate about making children’s books. how many items could you .What Kind of Business Should I Start? 151 intriguing so I started to ask him some questions.
and it didn’t require your entire life savings invested just to get started. or year? If you actually shipped this many. then you can start thinking about bigger projects that are riskier or require bigger investments. You also will have learned so much from your . Many people will tell you that this definition of being an entrepreneur is wrong. I would generally define “owning your own business” as any project that allows you to pay yourself. 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. You’ll have past experiences (success in your previous businesses) to draw your confidence from. would you be happy with the income you were generating? As the old saying goes.152 Breaking Free realistically produce and ship every day. and anyone who tells you different is holding on to the past. week. you might just get it! Wishing for a successful business means much more than wishing for lots of sales. These old fashioned ideas of business ownership are on their way out. It’s no longer difficult or risky to get started. All types of activities fall into this category (besides owning the illfated restaurant or shoe company described earlier). To summarize. Your name (or your company’s name) is on the checks. be careful what you wish for. That’s it. 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). it doesn’t have a 401k plan. You’ll be ready for bigger projects at that point because you’ll have more confidence. If you get all those sales. They will tell you that your company isn’t real because it doesn’t have a high rise office with lots of workers.
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. can be started on nights and weekends while still at your current job. Most consultants who are just getting into the business price themselves far too low. The secret to getting more through networking is giving more. Read Thomas Stanely’s book Networking with Millionaires. Regardless of what industry you are in. you must not be very good. which is where the real economies of scale come into play. Work with the first few clients for free to get your foot in the door. Often. there will again only be a limited number of hours you can . here are seven businesses that you can start for $100 or less. and to be hired as an expert speaker or trainer.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 follow all the guidelines discussed at the beginning of the chapter. When your services come into demand. You have the ability now to train people coming into the industry. If you decide to go this route. to be hired by companies for short term projects. there are others interested in what’s sitting between your ears. They can be profitable quickly. The key here is to become an expert networker. and then set your price in the top third for the industry. Start going to industry trade shows and events. new “crisis” situations will come up for you to learn from). your price is your perceived value to your customers. Collect their endorsements. start making a list of possible customers. and deliver far more than they expect. If you aren’t charging very much. These materials can be sold as information products at a later time. So without further ado.
I bet you went to the internet to do some research. television. plenty of advertisements. or car. the power of creating a community of like minded people is far better. you most likely ran into some poorly designed websites. and some websites that only address your topic indirectly. • Buyers Guide Website A buyers guide website provides recommendations and reviews of products to help consumers decide what to buy (think Consumer Reports). and more and more people today are turning to the internet for this information. Focus on one niche. Allowing this user generated content will have multiple benefits. First. Key to Success: Be confident enough in the value of your advice to charge a premium. you won’t have to create as much of it yourself. No matter how much Bob claims to be an expert on the subject. Pros: Truly helps people by teaching. Cons: Takes time to build client list and information products.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. . However. but your information products can be sold over and over again with no additional work on your part. puts you in touch with many great contacts. a product with an average ranking of 9.154 Breaking Free work each week. Secondly. Think about the last time you purchased an expensive item like a computer. 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.
Of course. create some advertisements or earn money through affiliate commissions (more on this below).What Kind of Business Should I Start? 155 Instead of doing computers. • 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. You also don’t need to be rich to invest in real estate. No one is making any more of it. this doesn’t . Pick whatever topic you love and In the create a website to help people buy the right product. so as long as the population of earth continues to grow. ever. you are an entrepreneur if you start a real estate investment business. and your community will stay loyal. 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. Once you have an active community. don’t worry about earning money. You can also buy an investment property with 100% financing if you choose to live there for the first six months or so. beginning. Make no mistake about it. do light-weight notebooks. Pros: Users generate most of the content for you. Cons: Takes time to build traffic. Keys to success: Getting a critical mass of users and establishing credibility. Don’t compromise the integrity of your reviews for advertising sake. not you. 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. so will real estate prices. You can usually buy your first home with 100% financing. do badminton. The ads must have useful content as well.
Cons: Can be risky. like many. 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. who then goes on to incorrectly assume they are not a good writer! Just because you hated writing a . You earn money while you sleep. 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. it’s one of the best ways to learn). While at lunch. buy successful people lunch as often as you can. Don’t be too quick to discount writing if you. Pros: Real estate earns passive income. The type of writing we are forced to do in school often isn't a good fit for the student. This is by far the best way I’ve found to learn about real estate (and many other subjects): surround yourself with experts. or create sales copy for other businesses. • Writer Everyone has at least one good book inside them. were never a good writer in school. Follow up with them as you make progress and soon you will have a mentor. write articles for publication. Read at least three books on the subject and start attending local real estate investor meetings in your area.156 Breaking Free mean you should rush into debt if you can’t cover the payments. This isn’t a book on real estate investing. Find someone who is a successful real estate investor or real estate agent and buy them lunch (in general. so it would be valuable to learn much more before getting involved. You can start a blog. But writing doesn’t have to just be about books. Most people will be flattered and enjoy teaching you.
Great self-publishing resources exist today. the words just came naturally.lulu. in the form of advertisements on your site (can be set up with a few . start smaller with articles or by making a blog at www. The SelfPublishing Manual: How to write. so the writing was forced and laborious. In my own life.com. It will never come to fruition. which can help any aspiring writer become selfpublished for $100 or less.blogger. for inspiration and guidance. Tell a story. Over time you will accumulate readers on your website and will begin to develop an audience. don’t worry about finding an agent or getting a publisher. print. Instead. Don’t be afraid to include references to other's work. It is extremely easy and you can have your first article published within an hour. Money. such as www. and sell your own book. Don’t write with the purpose in mind to make money. Stories are the most basic building blocks of communication that the human mind has evolved to understand. The secret to great (non-fiction) writing is just to tell a true story from your life. and people will listen. write about a topic you love just because you love writing and thinking about it. I was always a mediocre writer by academic standards. If you wish. it will still be valuable to the reader who hasn’t had the time to read all the books that you have.com. The first is that you don’t have anything original to say. Secondly. There are a few common misconceptions about writing that shouldn’t deter you. Read Dan Poynter’s book. But once I graduated and had the opportunity to write about what I knew and loved. and no one else has read the same books you have.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. I didn’t particularly care about the required subject matter. Just start writing. All writers reference other sources.
Cons: Many great books sell very few copies. you get a commission. If you think you can design better advertisements than an existing company . The buyers guide website mentioned earlier is one idea (careful not to let affiliate commissions bias your reviews. Tell a story. You are a creative person and can most likely find a way to match people with potential products they want to buy.com started doing it back in 1996. Pros: Earns passive income. then you should consider reselling goods as an affiliate. Keys to success: Write non-fiction about what you know and love. When someone you refer ends up buying the product. web savvy readers will be able to tell if you are getting paid for the referral). Can lead to other sources of income such as speaking engagements. The business idea is simple. • Reseller or Affiliate If you have an interest in marketing. You can also make affiliate commissions off a blog. How does this work? Companies have products available for sale online. They will be a byproduct of loving what you are writing about. but not in making an actual product right now. advertisements you create.blogger.158 Breaking Free clicks on www. You’ll have to become a master of doing your own marketing. and has been around for years since Amazon. whether you get paid or not. and will pay you to let potential customers know about it. Thousands of companies on the internet offer all types of affiliate programs to help bring them business. and many other ways. successful. or affiliate commissions will come over time as a result of not focusing on money. mailing list.com). paid articles.
Instead. Making a profit from attendance is nice. Sign up as an affiliate and start making their ads for them! When the sales start coming in. Once the customer buys. From this they create a DVD or audio information product. and word of mouth. and you take zero risk.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 159 with a great product. fulfill orders. In fact. You don’t need to keep an inventory of products. Keys to Success: Study marketing and have a genuine interest in helping customers find what they want. 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). set a date. they hire a small camera crew to record the entire event. Pros: You carry no inventory and don’t deal directly with customers. Cons: Highly competitive and you must love marketing/sales. If you don’t have all the answers. or even ever speak to a customer. you pick up a check and the job is done. • Seminar or Information Product This is an exciting business idea that has made some people very rich. Rent a hotel conference room. some seminar organizers seek to only break even at the actual seminar. and create a seminar to teach people about it. but not entirely necessary. . deal with charge backs and returns. invite guest speakers to bring additional value to the program. relevant mailing lists (which may be your own website). The beauty of this business idea is that it can be started on a miniscule budget. the numbers will be tough to argue with. and seek attendees via local newspaper ads. Take your area of expertise (or develop one) on a subject you love. you don’t need to be an employee at the company to convince them they’re doing it wrong.
$50-$100 per year) you will learn an invaluable skill. or finding love. Keep in mind that every single successful speaker you see today was once exactly like you. Information. and the idea of speaking in public brings on panic attacks. Information products and seminars can command a very high price and a profit margin that would be considered absurd in any other business. making it through a divorce. then they would be willing to give almost anything for your help. If that is the primary problem in their life at the moment. every top speaker I’ve ever met has told me they still get nervous before a talk. It never goes away completely. and they have simply learned to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Cons: Must become comfortable with public speaking and asking people for their money.toastmasters. is one of the most valuable products you can sell. Four thousand dollars for a weekend seminar and $500 for a DVD recording of the event is not unheard of. Keys to Success: Provide real value.org).160 Breaking Free which will bring them passive income for years to come (meaning each additional unit sold takes none of their time. especially information that can earn you money or improve your life in some way. becoming financially independent. highly recommend Toastmasters (www. Pros: Highly lucrative. 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 . think about how much importance some people would put on getting out of debt. If you can’t imagine yourself leading a seminar. In fact. For example. it has good economies of scale). you aren’t alone.
Sit down with the people who have to use the software and watch them work. 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). • Make a Better Piece of Software Most software that exists today is downright horrible. It is the user interface. Develop a series of products. destroying customer’s hard work. and it’s not hard to see why. or how the user interacts with the program (and this is the part most major software companies today can’t get right). A low priced entry product should draw people in and win their loyalty. You don’t need to add new features. Then they will buy the next and the next. you will most likely see many opportunities for improvement. but business software that is used internally in many companies is even worse. car dealerships) and look at the software they are using. If you go into any industry (real estate. If you can draw and describe in detail how you want every screen of an application to look. Most likely users will be spending 80% of the time using 20% of the features of the . just make the ones people use the most better.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 161 buck. It has a steep learning curve. insurance. You don’t need to be a computer scientist to design good software. The most important part of designing good software is not all the technical stuff of how it works underneath. throws esoteric error messages to baffled users. Most consumer software that is marketed to millions of home PC users is bad enough. and routinely crashes. Most people hate computers. In fact. 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).
These are written for non-technical people.com or eLance. and 37Signals. Consider making the application entirely web based and possibly open source. Get rid of the clutter and remove most of the features that are rarely used. and describe in detail how you want it to work. Look at companies such as Google. Hopefully you now have a better idea now of the type and characteristics of a good first business to start: 6 gettingreal. who are among the few companies today creating software that people actually want to use. STARTING SMALL WILL LEAD TO BIG SUCCESS This is by no means an exhaustive list. and there are plenty of good business ideas all around you. Draw on paper (or in a graphics program) each screen of your application. This is the future of software. Pros: Once the software is made. each additional sale (or subscriber) takes very little of your time. Less is more in this case.com . To get an education in good software. Cons: You must become a student of good user interface design. Keys to Success: Make your application so easy to use that customers fall in love with it and tell all their friends. read The Inmates are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper and Getting Real by 37Signals6. Concentrate on those 20% and make them exceptional. Post the project on Guru.37signals.162 Breaking Free program. Apple. Good economies of scale. Make the transition to using your software seamless.com and programmers from around the world will bid on how much they will charge to make it a reality.
With every business you start that doesn’t work out. Your success in a small business like those listed above will be invaluable. they are necessary to your progress. Watson. Don’t let this discourage you! In the world of entrepreneurs. Relish every opportunity to learn that you have. the only true failure is one you refuse to learn from. the loss I experienced at the time (money. They will be lessons you couldn’t have learned in any classroom or from any guru. A reporter once asked Thomas J. In fact. You won’t be afraid to take on riskier and more challenging businesses. good economies of scale. It also may take you a couple tries to get your first successful business. Looking back on every “failure” or setback I ever had. etc) was always less important than the lesson learned.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 163 low expenses. You should actually look forward to failures and setbacks because they represent an invaluable learning opportunity that very few people will ever get. They will be personal and unforgettable because you actually experienced it. Watson responded “double your rate of failure”. time. With every failure. Once you have started a successful business your confidence will skyrocket. and minimal up front investment. you’ll see that there really is no such thing as failure. I think what he meant is this: failure is the best way to learn so start doing it quickly and inexpensively. it’s a badge of honor to be proudly displayed. and will guide you toward bigger and better projects! . a failed startup is not a mark against you. how other companies could match the success of IBM. former President of IBM. When you take on this attitude. the lessons learned will be far more valuable than any monetary loss. It’s important to remember that failure and setbacks are not only likely. no employees. you will be one giant step closer to success.
It’s very easy to come up with excuses. but” or “that’d be great if only” while reading the above business examples. winners are those who say “I don’t have it all figured out yet. but the idea is just to get you thinking in the right direction.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. Losers are those who say “Yes. then this reminder is for you: are you coming up with excuses or legitimate reasons? Look back to chapter two if necessary. and still do! “If I don’t come up with an excuse quick then I might have to actually try this!” Remember. If you found yourself saying “yes. and most people’s brains have become very adept in this area as a defense mechanism. You’d laugh and probably think they were a bit strange. You are so sure that the sky is blue. If you find yourself resisting these ideas or getting angry and defensive. Getting into an emotional argument with the person would be pointless because you know you’re . What if someone came up to you on the street and tried to convince you the sky was green instead of blue. The fact that you are getting upset and defensive is typically an indication that you know it has some truth deep down. the very notion that it is something else is just a bit ridiculous and silly. but I know I can do it”. Each one has pre-requisites. Some of them may be right for you and some may not. but” and “It wouldn’t work for me”. I know because I did it. Make a shift in your thinking to look for solutions instead of reasons not to. this is good to notice. It doesn’t mean you have to love the examples above or that they will be easy. but you certainly wouldn’t get upset.
you happily sell it to them thinking “Their mistake. I want to make you familiar with two different terms. you will be able to figure it out. remind yourself that you can learn anything or pay someone else to do it. Will they often be profitable in the short run? Yes. Any time you find yourself saying “I don’t know how to [blank]”. You may be thinking “I’d never do that!”. As human beings. . Maybe your product is only useful to a certain group of people. The first is “don’t be evil”. Maybe you have some customers who are delinquent on their payments. but when someone else unknowingly buys it. 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. Should you do them? No. more money for me!” Is it your right to do these things? Yes. which many people will overlook. an idea coined by Google. but it can sneak up on you in unsuspecting ways. You’ll rationalize it to yourself that no one will notice or that everyone else is doing it. INTEGRITY – THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSINESS VALUE This is one of the most important parts of the book.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 165 right. 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. 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. 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. and you hand over their accounts to a collection agency with a bad reputation for harassment. and the second is “contributing value”.
This is sound long term business strategy. This is not only an ethical issue. Address it before going ahead. Blockbuster. They were products that people couldn’t live without.166 Breaking Free There is a simple litmus test you can do any time you come across a decision such as this. then don’t do it. You may be familiar with a company called Netflix. One of their major competitors. Would you be a customer for your company? If the answer is no. This is not something that is optional and would be nice to do. saw this as a threat and decided to compete by offering “no A national ad campaign swept the country to promote . 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). If you think about the best business ideas in the world. Simply stop and ask yourself. late fees”. they were so successful and earned their creators millions of dollars because they contributed value to the world. 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. They weren’t products that people regretted buying later. 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”. Treat your customers with respect. “Am I contributing value to the world?” and “If I were a customer of this business. a new company was born that quickly gained momentum. These products were so successful because the early customers went out and told fifty people how great the product was. These products were designed with the customer’s needs in mind. not the businesses. that dramatically changed their lives for the better. then there is a problem. With that simple idea. It is absolutely essential to be successful in business in the long term.
Annual Fees.What Kind of Business Should I Start? 167 Blockbuster’s new offering. per Transaction Fees. Were they contributing value to the world? Not nearly as much as they claimed. and Monthly Processing Minimum. Termination Penalties. because that was their only option. it turned out that their “no late fees” came along with some fine print. Do you think the average customer even knows what most of those are? To make it worse. Blockbuster suffered as a result of this mismanaged idea. Batch Header Fees. Leasing Fees. To even order the product from most companies today is extremely confusing. Once word got out. Monthly Service Fee (including Monthly Statement Fee). There are Application Fees. It is impossible to compare prices between competing companies because they all have hidden fees! In fact. 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. People would just give up trying to figure it out. and there was even a class action lawsuit. Unfortunately for Blockbuster. or make you call to get it. it isn’t uncommon at all for people to sign up for a service having no idea what their monthly cost will be. they said “How can we contribute value here?” They started with the fact that no one knew what the heck all those terms were. the VISA/MasterCard Qualified Discount Rate. The industry standard is to have about ten different types of fees. I’m sure the “no late fees” campaign was designed by some very intelligent MBAs who evaluated the idea from Blockbuster’s perspective. the bond of trust was broken. and they stated their price on the first page of their website: “2% per . Address Verification (AVS) Fees. most companies hide the actual price several layers deep into the website. customers felt like they had been misled. Were they being entirely honest and up front with their customers? No. When Google released Google Checkout. and wasn’t entirely true.
Is it any wonder Google has such great brand loyalty? People love Google because they are up front and honest. Contribute value to the world. Your startup will have an incredible advantage over them by using this philosophy. Probably more than 90% of all business people today don’t fully understand this concept. . It is something you do to make tons of money in the long term because it is sound business strategy. integrity is not optional when it comes to business.168 Breaking Free transaction plus $0. and the world will contribute greatly back to you. and it isn’t something you do to stay out of jail. They treat their customers like they want to be treated themselves. There were those two fees. instead of ten. Remember. The old adage that says “find a need and fill it” is absolutely true.20”.
What Kind of Business Should I Start? 169 CHAPTER 6 EXERCISES Before reading this chapter. 5. 2. Now that you have read the chapter. 3. 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. what came to mind when you thought about starting a business? imagine? 1. 5. what comes to mind when thinking about starting a new business? What types of businesses do you imagine creating? In what areas? 1. 5. 4. 2. 2. 4. 4. 3. What types of businesses did you .
3. 4. arm”? 1. 2. 5.170 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. What business ideas (if any) sound appealing or like something you’d like to explore further? 1. What is the best case scenario of your business idea (if you have one)? 1. 2. 4. 5. 5. 2. 4. fire. 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? . 3. 3.
1. 4. 5. 2. . 3.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”.
172 Breaking Free CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY • • • • • • • • This is a totally different way to think about starting a business. You might get what you wish for. Become a writer. o o o o o o o • o o Become a consultant. it’s a great learning experience and necessary to have success. You don’t need to take on big investment and risk. Just start with what you have now so you can begin to get feedback. . Create a buyers guide website. and make sure you like it. You can start a business for less than $100. Being self employed simply means you pay yourself. Eliminate costs and expenses you don’t absolutely need. Carry your failures as a badge of honor. Don’t be afraid to fail. Become a real estate investor. Use the philosophy of “ready. Start a business with zero employees. Resell other people’s products for commissions (affiliate). Seek businesses with good economies of scale. What if you succeed? Start small and build your confidence for bigger projects. Look at the best case scenario for your business. Don’t wait to get started. Create a seminar or information product. fire. o o • o • Higher fixed costs. Your time is valuable and limited. and lower (or zero) variable/unit costs will win over time. aim”. Make a better piece of software.
o You can overcome any challenge by learning a skill or paying someone else to do it. o o o o o Don’t be evil. or taking it? . • Always operate your business with integrity. but”. Would you be a customer of your own business? Are you contributing value to the world.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. Be up front and honest with your customers.
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
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
WHY GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS?
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
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).
$500 in profit minus your $165 in owed taxes leaves you with $335 of profit at the end of year.00 500. This times your tax rate of 33% is only $165 in taxes that you owe. You will always be working as you go through your normal life.33 166. so $1000 minus $500 in expenses is $500 of profit.67 $ $ 33% 1. However.000. .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. which is $333.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 179 If you had not incorporated then you pay the full tax.00 33% $ 500. You are left with $667 dollars of after tax profit. You deduct the expenses before paying tax.00 $ 166. Unincorporated Gross Profit Expenses Tax Rate Taxable Profit Taxes Owed Net Profit $ $ $ 1.00 333. Make the effort to keep track of them all.00 $ 500. then you are paying your expenses with pre-tax dollars. and you deserve to not pay taxes on business expenses.67 $ 333. 33% of $1000. more than double the profit of your unincorporated counterpart.000.00 Incorporated $1. if you did incorporate. and the advantage is substantial. and after deducting your expenses you are left with $167 of profit.000.
Get a blank piece of paper and a pen and start jotting words down that come to mind about your business. We will do that later. how it is different from your competition. Force yourself to keep writing until you have at least .180 Breaking Free With the tax advantages. 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. incorporating and legally becoming a business is a no-brainer. Now start combining random words together and see what you come up with. For example. Don’t be afraid to add in new words you haven’t written down previously. you’ll need to decide on a name. and my strongest company value was empowering minorities. and necessity of limiting your risk. Write words that have to do with your product. Just start letting the words flow onto the paper as seeing one makes you think of the next. let’s say I differentiated my business by offering personalized advice. Further. try not to judge anything you write down as being good or bad. Most importantly. and the values of the company. Don’t worry about them making sense. DECIDE ON A NAME Once you have an idea for a business. By far the best method I’ve found to do this is a brainstorming session. just lets the words flow as they come to mind.
such as “Smart Savings”.com www. but your business is completely different from theirs.S. 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. If so. If someone already has your name. You’ll most likely have to do this in person. Narrow your list down to names that are both available and desirable.htm . Finally.godaddy. they will have filed a DBA form (stands for “doing business as”) with the county. and they should know what you are talking about. sleep on it. for a catchier title. It would also be a good idea to check the U. Just tell them you’d like to check your business name with the DBA office. Patents and Trademark Office to see if your name is already being used by someone else2. See if you can use repetition of initial letters. do an informal survey with your 1 2 Debt Education Credit Card School Debt Busters Minorities Free and Clear www. and don’t stop even if you see one that looks perfect.gov/main/trademarks.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 181 twenty business names. That is perfectly fine. you may still be able to use it. 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. If you are starting a website business. or a double entendre like “Financial Interests” (the word interests here has double meaning). Empowered Savings Smart Savings Financial Interests Notice how other words came to mind like “School” and “Busters” that weren’t in my original list.uspto. If necessary.
You’ll be incorporating as an LLC (not a partnership) at the state level. but the IRS doesn’t have a classification for LLC (more on this later). think about your corporation like . If you are incorporating with partners you can select “partnership”.182 Breaking Free friends. 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. You can also apply online by going to www. If you have an idea for your business already.irs. Under entity type select “other” and enter “disregarded entity” if you are incorporating by yourself. then “Employer ID Numbers”. They will create a provisional number for you right there and mail you the paperwork later. It’s free and easy and you can do it right now by calling 800-829-4933.gov and clicking “Business”. 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. don’t wait.
this is a bit of an oversimplification. The federal government will use this number to track all correspondence and taxes with your business. and that was all you needed to know. no liability protection Partnership – you with some other people. like IBM and Exxon Mobil) Limited Liability Company – you by yourself or lots of people (doesn’t matter). easy paperwork Entire books have been written on that subject. plenty of liability protection.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 183 it’s another person). The LLC seems like an easy choice. right? Granted. 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. but to be honest with you . plenty of paperwork (think big companies. no liability protection Corporation – plenty of liability protection. Let’s take a brief look at each one: • • • • Sole Proprietorship – you by yourself. Figure 9 – The official EIN paperwork arrives a week later.
there is a specific type of corporation called a Subchapter S Corporation. You can incorporate in any state. The entire process is totally transparent from your perspective. The LLC was specifically designed to help small business owners like yourself get . which is fairly similar to an LLC. you don’t get much mail there because for all intents and purposes your “real” business is established and running somewhere entirely different. started. or even know what that address is. One may be slightly better than the other in certain cases. In general.S. Just focus on getting the business started quickly by using an LLC and keep your mind on what matters. box for you and forwards any mail to you. 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.184 Breaking Free the details are really unimportant. Basically this is someone who maintains a P. They have what is called a “registered agent”. Many (if not most) of the businesses incorporated there don’t have offices in Delaware. you will need to pick a state. You never have to go to Delaware. who cares? The difference is minor and saving a few percent on your taxes when you have zero profit is still zero savings. so that is what we will use. For example. but Delaware is the best choice. but like I said before. are incorporated in Delaware.O. 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). So how do you actually incorporate? First. 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. Don’t have an office in Delaware? That’s fine. 58% of fortune 500 companies. and 50% of all businesses in the U.
inexpensive. business name. It can be confusing. try www. The company you pay to incorporate will also assign you a It is remarkably easy and registered agent for about $50 to $100. and employer identification number that you obtained from the IRS (it’s a one page form). me. Delaware corporation.com. You can search www. You will have to fill out some simple paperwork with your name. You can pay a lawyer to help you incorporate.com for “Delaware llc” and get more hits than you could possibly want to see. Instead. I’d recommend going with a company online that will get you incorporated for a couple hundred dollars. or as it is better known in Delaware.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 185 Incorporating in Delaware can be done for a couple hundred bucks. but these two names really mean the same thing for a I haven’t researched all of them. but if you need one choice that has worked for Figure 10 – Certificate of Formation for a Delaware LLC . but they will most likely charge you a couple thousand dollars.delawareinc. The first document is called your Articles of Incorporation.google. your Certificate of Formation.
You can search www.com/operatingagreement.medlawplus.google. and then modify them to your needs. This is a formality which outlines the structure of the company and its partners.186 Breaking Free The second document you should draft is called your Operating Agreement which you will keep on file at your company office.formation-llc.htm and www.htm .comforminfo/llc. but you should keep it on file to show you went through the correct procedure to establish your LLC.com for “operating agreement llc” to get some operating agreement templates. You don’t need to submit it to anyone.3 Figure 11 – Sample Operating Agreement 3 Try www.
Figure 12 – Example DBA form Fill out the Articles of Incorporation to send to Delaware. . But if you incorporated under the name “Inter-Galactic Shoe Manufacturing Company LLC” and you decide to make your website something completely different. and you will be officially incorporated! 4 Note that DBA's are based on the county. I say optional because if you are doing business under the same name you incorporated under. as an optional step. you should obtain a DBA (doing business as) certificate for each county4 where you will be doing business. then this isn’t necessary. not the country. the Operating Agreement to keep for your own records. and (optional) the DBA form for your local country clerk’s office. then it would be a good idea to obtain a DBA.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 187 Finally. like “Brian’s Shoes”.
DBA. just because you have an LLC doesn’t mean you are home free to do whatever you’d like. Your business is no longer separate. Your business and personal assets were mixed together. so the law has evolved to be more strict. instead of a separate entity. articles of incorporation. and as a budding entrepreneur it would be wise to know of them. and financial records). You can now take advantage of the tax breaks and rest easy knowing you have personal liability protection with regards to your business.188 Breaking Free MAKING SURE YOUR ASSETS ARE SAFE Getting your LLC set up is great first step. Unfortunately. At that point the company will be regarded by the court as being the same as you (a sole proprietorship). In legal jargon this is referred to as “piercing the corporate veil”. You failed to observe corporate formalities and keep records of important • • documents (operating agreement. • • • Your business engaged in fraud or some other criminal act. A court can actually rule that your LLC no longer has liability protection if you aren’t careful. some people have tried to take advantage of the LLC’s limited liability status in the past. You treated business assets as if they were your own. . You misrepresented corporate officers or members. Unfortunately. and your limited liability is gone! The following are a few reasons you could lose your status as an LLC. But there are a few more steps you should take to cover all your bases. A few special cases exist where small business owners will not be shielded from personal liability.
What courts are most wary of are people who create the company as a façade to conceal some shady dealings. One that does (that I have been very happy with) is Washington Mutual. In these cases. To maintain your corporate status (and your liability protection). expenses. You can use them or if they aren’t available in your area. and keeping all your finances separate (more detail on this below). Keeping them separate will make things much more clear when tax time comes.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 189 As you can see. and the same is starting to become true of business bank accounts. This mean filing all the appropriate paperwork discussed above. There are a number of reasons for this: 1. Therefore. 3. shop around and find a bank with . 2. if you plan on doing anything illegal. the LLC status will not protect you. to keep your status as an LLC you must follow all the rules. Many banks today have started offering free checking for personal accounts. even if you aren’t doing anything illegal. It will help you keep track of your revenue. 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. Next you’ll need to select a bank. you need to keep your personal finances separate from your business finances. and profit throughout the year. With each step. GETTING A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT AND CHARGE CARD Congratulations! You now know the exact steps to get incorporated and are well on your way. you will not be protected.
190 Breaking Free free business checking and no annual fees. it looks unprofessional. Get some free checks with your business name on it. This will help you build the habit of recording every single time money moves between your business account and your personal account. See if the bank can give you a credit card (or even better. don’t let yourself be tempted to borrow money) for your business bank account. 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). debit card. Remember. Avoid at all costs making purchases for your business on your personal credit card and then transferring the money over later. and is a business expense. and it just means you can send checks to be deposited through the mail instead of walking into a branch. and it is important to record it. and you are ready to go. because when your use your business credit card it will automatically create a record of your business expenses. This will be important for making purchases. You don’t need a branch. You should also record this initial investment in a spreadsheet. 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). If the bank won’t give you one. and it may get you in trouble legally. use an online bank. . 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 can record your initial deposit as your investment in the company on your operating agreement. open the account with an initial deposit from your personal account. You won’t remember. get a business credit card from another bank. If you can’t find one. That is called a paycheck.
and it’s just as illegal as stealing. You want to keep them separate so if your business goes bankrupt or gets sued. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of saying “I’ll take whatever is left over at the end of the month”. Record all transactions by using a business credit/debit card for expenses and a spreadsheet for checks. the business absorbs the loss instead of you. That would be money wasted for nothing! Remember. Set a salary for yourself (even if it’s very small at first) and pay yourself first. Always think of your business as a separate “person” because if you and that “person” become one and the same. then you are liable when someone sues the business. and you might end up having to pay taxes on it. no matter how small. which is why I stress it here. the best way to think about your business. You just decided to invest in the business. This is a bad idea because it shows irregular transfers of money as compensation. In fact. If you have partners. take special care to record it.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 191 account. then you’ll have trouble classifying it as a business expense. It’s not “your money” in the business account to be freely taken out whenever you want. it’s the business’s money. These are your paychecks and expenses and should not be done on a whim. This point can be a bit confusing to first time business owners. is to imagine it is another person. When you are at business lunch. It’s called embezzlement. When money is moving between your business and personal account. it’s easy to put it on the company card. If you don’t know what it is. and more . discuss it with them before ever transferring money. 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”. Never assume you will remember some detail of a transaction. You just got a free discount on lunch because you paid with pre-tax dollars and can expense 50% of the lunch.
Register your website with a reputable hosting company (you can check BuyersVote. 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. there are some other options. To get the content of your business website created. Once you have your website created. The second option is to outsource the creation of the website to someone else through www.com for reviews) and you’ll be up and running in no time.com and www. you have a few options. Always pay an outside company to host your website for you. and don’t try to host it on your own computer or server. then by all means go right ahead.guru. For the rest of us who are less technical or don’t have the time to put together a great website. but the look of it).com and then modify it. 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. If you fancy yourself a webmaster. .elance. you are establishing good business practices from day one. and will cost you about $5-$10 per month. CREATE A WEBSITE Your business will most likely need a website presence. The first option is to use a website template from a site like www.templatemonster. here are some tools to help you optimize it and get some more traffic. It is inexpensive to have a website these days. 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 communication.com. Programmers from all over the world will help you create your site for a very small fee.192 Breaking Free importantly.
20 to the credit card processing companies. It works with Google Adwords to show you measurable return on your advertising dollars. 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. Checks can bounce and never be paid. • Google Analytics This will help you view your website traffic to see how people are finding your site. This is the fee for offering your customers convenient payment options. this means credit cards. 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. and credit cards. For this service you will pay about 2% of each transaction plus $0. Think back to the “old fashioned” business model I discussed in Chapter 6. and which pages are causing people to leave. your customers will need a way to pay you. Today it is easier to get a credit card payment solution set up than ever before. your sales conversions will go up dramatically. If you have a restaurant you need to accept cash. how many hits you are getting. This . and all those mentioned above. All this means you are in for quite a hassle with the “old fashioned” model! Luckily. • 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. which means most likely the only thing you’ll need is the ability to accept credit cards on the internet. PAYMENT SOLUTIONS Next. For most businesses today. checks. you are starting a business the smart way.
You may also want to check out Paypal7.google. most customers are intelligent and will figure it out anyway.com A “shopping cart” on a website is analogous to a shopping cart at the grocery store. there are a couple options which range from basic and inexpensive to professional and more expensive.paypal. As you find items you want to buy. but their customer service and user interface aren’t as good. which at the time of this writing offers a few more features.194 Breaking Free money also covers the credit card processing companies’ risk. I believe this is a mistake. Credit card fraud in its various forms (identity theft. Does it really matter? It’s is tough to say. Once they are done the customer is returned to your website. It’s simply a container to hold everything you want to buy.com www. chargeback’s. For one thing. Some entrepreneurs try to hide the fact they are a small company because they think customer’s won’t trust them or be impressed. but usually not. Google Checkout6 is the best basic option in my opinion. you place them in the virtual “cart” and go to checkout when you’re done. 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). etc) make it an expensive business. 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. When getting credit card processing set up. It is worth the 2% and really you have no other choice. . But you should also be proud of being a small company. This is usually an indication to your customers that you are a small company who hasn’t set up a more professional solution. and use it to your 6 7 8 checkout.
but there is no monthly fee.20. personalized support. etc). Even if you are a programmer. Use Google Analytics to track the pages of the shopping cart and see where people are abandoning the checkout process. or enter any information that isn’t absolutely necessary.net .com) if you have any doubts. and a cleaner look is possible. There is little or no programming involved. There will be monthly fees of about $30 in addition to the 2% plus $0. If at all possible. and all the technical stuff is done for you. don’t force your customers to create an account. but now you will have the customer stay on your website the entire time. The more professional solution is to use a company such as Authorize.authorize. It’s better to hire an outside firm (see www. choose a password. You’ll have to hire a website designer to put this together for you. 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.20. The true benefit to using a “basic” payment solution such as this is that all the hard work is done for you.net9 with a custom shopping cart on your website.elance. It will cost 2% of each transaction plus $0.com and www.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 195 advantage by highlighting the benefits to the customer (lower overhead means lower price. 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. Beware that to program a system such as this yourself requires some serious technical background.guru. 9 www. Something that is important to remember when designing your shopping cart is the user interface (technical term for how the customer interacts with it).
hire independent contractors instead of employees whenever possible. But I know some people will ignore my advice or get themselves into a situation where they need other people. or the courts may argue your independent contractors were actually employed! Make sure none of your company literature uses the term “employee”. that your independent contractors are told they are independent contractors. They don’t require you to offer any benefits. I know people who have a degree in accounting (CPAs) and even they still get . If that ends up being the case. Independent contractors are people that work for you on a specific job. the IRS has an incredible ability to write documents that make no sense. It is far less of a headache. part time. take taxes out of their paycheck. independent contractors are given a larger degree of control over the work they do compared to their employee counterparts. If you can. Also. or worry about salaries and vacation days. Keep them separate. you will have to take certain steps to make sure you don’t cross the line into employees. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS You aren’t supposed to be hiring employees! At least I hope you aren’t. offering benefits. TAXES As I stated earlier. and calculating vacation days. and that they sign documents accordingly. and avoid hiring employees.196 Breaking Free EMPLOYEES VS. Employees work for you full time and come with all sorts of headaches like deducting taxes from their paychecks. Don’t feel bad if it’s confusing. it’s important to know the difference between employees and independent contractors. Legally.
Sometimes magazines will review tax preparation companies by sending them each identical financial statements from a fictitious company. You can figure it out as you go. but it’s the best I’ve found so far. just buckle down and do it in a weekend. and is certainly better than doing it on your own . Keep accurate records throughout the year and back them up regularly. You’ll also be entering all your data on a computer instead of writing by hand.5% of new businesses get audited.intuit. and you’ll be able to do them yourself (at least in the initial stages of your company. Your best friend will be Turbo Tax Business from Intuit10. WRAPPING IT UP You now have all the technical knowledge at your fingertips to get a business off the ground. and action is the best teacher. Only about 0. It is more of an art than a science. then you can afford to get “close enough”.to be clear. later you can outsource it). I don’t think this software is particularly good. Just don’t get greedy and try to cheat. but even with those odds it’s not worth risking jail time and fines. Despite what they say.com . 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”. just go ahead. which will save you plenty of time. If that’s how the big guys operate. Tax accountants would kill me for saying this. but if you aren’t sure what something is. 10 turbotax. It most likely doesn’t apply to you.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 197 confused. taxes should not be feared. just skip it and keep going. That being said. When it comes to tax time. It’s rare for any two tax returns to come back the same. This piece of software will help you walk through the steps and hold your hand through the tricky parts. Even if something isn’t 100% clear.
. Was starting a business anywhere near as expensive as you thought? A few hundred for the LLC setup was the main expense.startbreakingfree. and a free business checking account are all very easy on the wallet. Website hosting at $5-$10 per month.198 Breaking Free Remember to “ready. arm”. a DBA for maybe $10 (if you even need it). Take a moment to look back at the chapter. more people will take the first step toward working for themselves. fire. basic credit card processing with zero up front costs. 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. You can also get questions answered by other readers in the discussion forum on our website at www.com.
Answers are on the next page. Is the money in your business bank account yours? 10. Why should you incorporate as an LLC as opposed to any other type of business (sole proprietor ship. What state should you incorporate in and why? 8. or corporation)? 7. What is the best way to decide on a company name? 4. Does incorporating protect you from 100% of liability? 3. partnership. when you’re done. 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. What are the two main reasons/advantages of incorporating? 2. . A “social security number” for your business is called a [blank]? 6.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 199 CHAPTER 7 EXERCISES This section will be a mini quiz instead of the usual exercises. 1. How should you check to see if your company name is available? 5. What is the best way to keep track of business expenses? 11. Why should you get a separate business bank account for your business? 9. How much will it cost to get basic credit card processing set up on your company website? 12.
• • Employer Identification Number LLC’s are designed for small business owners like you. Their court system is favorable to business owners should you ever need to go to court.200 Breaking Free CHAPTER 7 EXERCISE ANSWERS • Your liability is limited (they can’t go after your personal assets) and there are tax advantages.S. Fifty percent of all U. You don’t need an office there. Patents and Trademark Office website. • • Brainstorming See if the domain name is available at www. see if the trademark is available at the U. companies are incorporated there. They offer the limited liability protection not found in sole proprietorships and partnerships without the increased paperwork of a full corporation. • Delaware.com.S. • No. This is why you should maintain separate financial records and go through formalities such as creating your Operating Agreement. You can still be personally liable if you do something illegal or fail to follow proper procedure when establishing your LLC. Zero business sales and income tax.godaddy. you will have a registered agent as . and check with your local County Clerk’s Office to see if someone else is already “doing business as” (DBA) your desired name.
• • About 2% of each transaction plus $0. • No. expenses not on the card in a spreadsheet. Independent contractors are a much simpler (and therefore cheaper) way to involve others in your business if you must. • A business credit card or debit card. It is the business’s money. • 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. sick days.20 for a basic setup.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 201 your proxy. etc). benefits. Remember to think about your business like it is another person. Employees require more work on your part because there are more laws to deal with (taking out taxes. Record all other business . Instead you should pay yourself a regular salary and record all such transactions in a spreadsheet.
Check the name’s availability (domain. 80% of your success comes from the “inner game” discussed in other chapters. trademark.202 Breaking Free CHAPTER 7 SUMMARY • • The actual steps to starting a business is only about 20% of the success equation. You should incorporate because. . Select a company name by brainstorming. o o You pay for company expenses with pre-tax dollars. To maintain this status you must follow all corporate formalities and keep business finances separate from your own. and DBA). o • It offers tax advantages. Combine words into potential names. o o o o o • o Overcoming self doubt Confidence Peer group Habits of learning Motivation It shields you from liability. List words using free association. • Get an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. o Don’t evaluate any and don’t stop till you have at least twenty written. Your personal assets are safe.
• • • Pay someone to host your website. Incorporate in Delaware. If you must hire others. Choose a payment solution. depending on your budget and needs. basic or professional. . like a social security number for an individual. Keep track of expenses. Favorable courts for businesses. instead of employees. Use an incorporation service online to get setup quickly and inexpensively. o o This will help establish your LLC and improve record keeping for taxes. and limited liability. • Use TurboTax to do your own taxes.The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business 203 o • The IRS will use this number to track the taxes of your business. Incorporate as an LLC. and possibly to design it if you don’t have the time or technical skills. • Get a business bank account with free checking. Use a registered agent in Delaware. Use a business credit or debit card to keep track of business expenses. Try not to hire anyone at all (see Chapter Six). o No business sales or income tax. make them independent contractors when possible. o o It offers the best combination of easy paperwork.
so they get home to think it over and get to bed early for work the next day. it's a dream." . they talk to other like minded people who fuel their enthusiasm. The next day it’s their H ave you ever heard the term “conference high”? Many people experience it after attending a conference. 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. Their head is filled with great plans as they drift off to sleep. and the next day it’s off to work for a full Monday morning. By the time they get home. it's possible.Anthony Robbins reading a book.Chapter 8 Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick "If you talk about it. They get excited about the ideas they’ve just heard or read. If you envision it. they are exhausted and decide to put off their great plan for tomorrow when they have more energy. or having a powerful learning experience. But if you schedule it. They’ve had a long day. and soon they are immersed in their daily routine. Problems pile up and need to be solved at work. .
creaky . We’ll cover some specific ways to implement constant positive reinforcement into your life. Let’s say you decided to clean out the house. but they won’t be able to quite remember why. and put some new beliefs into your head. He told a story comparing all the old beliefs and limiting ideas in your head to a house filled with dusty old furniture. the “high” has ended. and they eventually move back to their old life with absolutely nothing changing. yet it happens all the time. Shad Helmstetter had a great analogy in his book. Pretty soon a week has gone by and their great plans aren’t quite as exciting. By the time you finish with this chapter.. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. which helps illustrate this idea. I’ve done it. I could come in to help you clean out the house and we would spend all day moving tired old couches. After a month they will think back on the conference or book in passing and recall how excited they were. some productivity and time management techniques. The day after they take a break to watch their favorite TV show because “they’ve earned it”. but they never get started. and we’ll finish with a written plan for the future. The purpose of this chapter will be to make sure it doesn’t happen again. “I’ll still do it when I have more time” they tell themselves. You probably have at some point.206 Breaking Free kid’s soccer game and they can’t miss that. I’m going to share with you several ways to stay on track and make sure your dreams become reality. The moment has passed. What a sad story. you will have a written step-by-step plan for quitting your job and starting your own business. we are stuck in our ways. CONSTANT POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT As creatures of habit.
you’d be sweaty and tired. Every time I read it I get inspired and filled with new ideas. the old ones will eventually return! Constant positive reinforcement is not just nice to have. Make a commitment to find at least three people who are either successful entrepreneurs or want to . but if we don’t replace them with new ones. the old habits will come back. you’d need a chair to sit on and would retrieve one from the garage. • Subscribe to Business 2. 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. You’d be hungry after a long day’s work and would eventually have to bring the table in for one last meal. you are who you hang out with. but happy to see a beautifully cleaned out house. If we don’t continually feed great ideas into our head. we can spend all day eliminating your old ideas. and dim lights into the garage. You see. period. After your meal you’d be awfully sleepy and might retrieve a mattress to sleep the night. Here are some great ways to keep learning after you have finished reading this book.0 This is the best business magazine available today and many top entrepreneurs I know read it religiously. 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.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 207 chairs. Your mother was right all this time. it is required. • Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People As I mentioned earlier. and our “conference high” will fade. At the end of the day. because I didn’t give you anything new to replace the old. Slowly but surely the house would fill back up with your old furniture.
I repeat my goals over and over to myself in my head. If you spend most of your time thinking about how successful you will be working for yourself. I like to use the time I spend brushing my teeth and showering each morning to review my goals. 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. then that will become your reality. or busy to work for yourself. The people who constantly complain about how much they hate their jobs don’t count. visualizing the outcome I want to achieve and reviewing a list of things that I’m thankful for. you quite simply aren’t serious about becoming successful. Personally. poor. A typical session . Find someone who has already started a business and has demonstrated their commitment with action.208 Breaking Free become one. It sounds simplistic. • Spend a Moment to Focus on Your Goals Each Day We become what we spend most of our time thinking about. then it will become reality. Build your network. but the truth often is. You have to drive. • Start Listening to Audio Books in Your Car Today As I stated earlier. so you might as well make it productive. and they will build you. If you spend most of your time thinking about how you are too dumb. if you aren’t listening to books on tape in your car. coffee shops near business schools. this is one of the most effective ways to build constant positive reinforcement into your life. You will find these people by going to entrepreneurship related events and locations (small business association classes. Toastmasters meetings. etc).
Let’s see. I’d have my exit strategy . Now that I think about it.. For more information read Shad Helmstetter’s. 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.well. And I’m going to read that report I’ve been meaning to get to. haha! I’m thankful that the project milestone got finished this week and my marketing campaign worked out so well. I’d suggest book marking it now by folding the corner of the page. open up the book to this page. THE EMERGENCY MOTIVATOR This page is like the fire alarm! In case of emergencies. Usually the moment you are about ready to quit is just before success comes! Believe me. break glass. I’m going to finish that proposal first because it’s the most important to achieving my income goal this year.. or out loud): “Wow.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 209 might sound something like (in my head. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. I also have been getting in great shape. I’ve achieved so much. I was so close to quitting at times. I have been there myself. I’m pretty amazing! I’m so thankful that I’m in this unique position and have so much potential. I got to sleep in an extra hour because I work from home and don’t commute through rush hour traffic.. Are you experiencing some self doubt? As entrepreneurs we all do. and we can’t let it stop us. I’m certainly thankful for that. and read it for a quick boost. what do I want to do today. I’ll make time to go to the gym. it’s so great I didn’t have to go to work today.
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. They give up at the last minute of the game. or an actual coach. Seasoned entrepreneurs don’t fear failure. It is as sure as death and taxes. you must realize that failure is a good thing. 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. an audio program. They know setbacks will come up in every project they undertake. So instead they chose to look forward to setbacks. whether it is yourself. a book.210 Breaking Free totally planned. They are the most wonderful opportunities to learn. The lesson you get from most “failures” is worth far more than the time or money lost in the actual “failure”." .Winston Churchill .” .H. "Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. “Success is the ability to move from one failure to the next with enthusiasm. Ross Perot Moreover. Does this mean you should try to fail? No. They quit on the one yard line. one foot from a winning touchdown. 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. this page. Failure is a good thing because it is the most valuable learning experience you could possibly have. your peer group.
Acknowledge what he says. then ignore his advice and send him flying! . Patton Think about your self doubt as if it’s a little creature sitting on your shoulder. “What a waste of your time”. and get back to work! Figure 13 – The Self Doubt Creature People who fail focus on the worst possible outcome. Every time he speaks up. Picture it in your mind and give it a name. imagine him there on your shoulder. They stay in the “safety” of their jobs out of fear and a lack of confidence. and “Everyone will laugh when this doesn’t work”. 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" . Then punch him right in the face. listening to their self doubt creature. Winners acknowledge the self doubt creature. send him flying off your shoulder. and thank him for sharing.General George S. “Who are you kidding”. and tell him “Thank you for sharing”.
NOT STUBBORN While keeping the mentality of never giving up. or spend all day “working” on tasks that have little value. Smart people especially tend to have a problem with this because they have been right their entire lives. What is the difference? A person who is persistent has a goal in mind and will do anything to achieve it. They will even convince themselves that they were right. Many people find this to be a tough transition because they no longer have to do anything. Things have come easily to them. they try another and another until it finally works. If they try one way and it doesn’t work. and they’ve developed the hubris of being very confident in their ideas. A stubborn leader can drive the company into the ground if left unchecked. take a flexible approach to reaching your goals. . But be flexible to try different approaches until you find one that works. They may start sleeping in late. With blind faith. A stubborn person will arrogantly think they have the perfect solution the first time. they will convince others they were right. The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over while expecting a different result. When you quit your job and start to work for yourself. 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. so why not now? Even when the results are poor. Be firmly committed to achieve your desired result no matter what. they will continue to try the same method over and over even when it isn’t working. keep in mind that this does not mean to be stubborn.212 Breaking Free BE PERSISTENT. Instead. wasting time. you’ll have to become your own boss.
Circle the top three most important things you’d like to get done that would make it a productive day. 5. Our brain loves . Then mark the most important one with a star. or casual reading. it must be written right away.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. Often your most important task will also be the most difficult. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. go straight to work on your most important task. 4. All successful people think on paper. 1. Work each day from a written to-do list. The very act of writing something drastically increases the chances it will get done. I will give you a head start however with a crash course in time management right here. Do this before you do anything else. Don’t assume you’ll remember it later. will give you an unstoppable feeling of confidence throughout the rest of the day. 2. No BS Time Management For Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy. 3. while your mind is freshest. Getting it done first. Many people prefer to keep an “inbox” of tasks to be done that they prioritize later. Three in particular that I enjoyed are Getting Things Done by David Allen. When you get up. 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. While you sleep your subconscious mind will be pondering your most important task for the next day. like checking your email. and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. When you remember something you need to do. voicemail. Write it the night before by brainstorming everything you’d like to get done the next day.
As you are writing your to-do lists for the next day. take a moment at the beginning of each week. 7. Simply ask yourself the question. Answering telephone calls (2). Not Important Urgent Not Urgent 1 3 Important 2 4 Figure 14 . and year to write a to-do list. Just as you write a to-do list before the end of each day. glance at your “bigger picture” lists to see if your day to day work is moving you toward your bigger goals. while unsuccessful people spend their time in quadrant’s 2 and 4. month. what did I get done? Each day we are bombarded with tasks that fall into one of four categories.Urgency and Importance Matrix. browsing emails (2). Where do you spend your time? Whether you are productive or not depends on where you spend your time. we will finish it at the last minute (1). 6. and surfing the internet (4) are not important but take up most of our day. but successful people on the other hand spend . Successful people spend most of their time in quadrants 1 and 3. When something important becomes very urgent.214 Breaking Free to creatively avoid hard work. “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. Force yourself to complete your top three items before finishing anything else on your to-do list. Have you ever spent the whole day working only to reach the end wondering.
reading in their industry. There is something about the very act of writing it and putting a big line through it that gives a satisfying sense of . Close your door. and close your email program during scheduled long periods of uninterrupted work each day. Any items left on your to-do list at the end of the day can be moved to the next day. spreadsheet. However. I just use yellow legal pads and two pens with different colored ink. It wasn’t that important in the first place. or some other high tech solution. it will take several minutes to get back into what we were working on. Any item you move more than three times should be either removed entirely or delegated. 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. The technology geeks out there (like myself) may be tempted to use a handheld computer.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 215 more time than anyone else in quadrant 3. email. and building new products. these few minutes to get “into” and “out of” the zone add up over the day to hours of lost work. website. and cell phones have done wonders to improve business communications. They work on important tasks with long term benefits such as building client lists. They do it first thing in the morning before any other tasks can come along to distract them. email. 8. Set aside part of every day to do uninterrupted work with your phone. Technologies like instant messaging. after trying various high tech solutions. turn off instant messaging programs. I have to say that old fashioned paper and pen has been the best solution for me. 9. and instant messenger turned off. You can implement the above to-do list and inbox in any method you prefer. but these great tools can destroy your productivity if you let them. unhook your phone. Each time.
and get text message meeting reminders sent to my cell phone whether I’m near my desk or not. and personal. The reasons behind it are not entirely clear. In this case I think technology wins out because I can schedule recurring appointments in one action. Brainstorming and writing goals on paper has been shown to be more effective on paper.google. In the end. Instead 1 calendar. So instead of saying “I’m going to start a business” or “I will start a business” say “I am starting a business”. 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. your goals must be written down. month. All written goals should be in the present tense. • Positive You should always reaffirm positive beliefs about yourself. your subconscious mind will begin to believe it. • Present The subconscious mind can only understand the present moment in time.com . First of all. Writing it will crystallize the goal and make you far more likely to accomplish it. or year. use whatever is easiest for you and helps you get more things done! HOW TO WRITE GOALS When setting your goals for the week.216 Breaking Free completion. A goal that is in your head is nothing more than an idea. As you write them and repeat them to yourself. it’s worthwhile to follow a particular format that many great minds have written about over the years. drag and drop to reschedule. positive.
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”. If your goal isn’t measurable then you won’t be able to determine if you achieved it or how close you are. • Personal You can’t change others. • Measurable Instead of writing “This year I earn more money” try “This year I earn $100. The very act of writing “try” or “should” indicates a lack of commitment and a high probability of failure. Instead of writing “My boss will transform into a nicer person” try “I will perform better at work and get along with my boss”. Without a deadline you may complete your goal. it is measurable and has a deadline.. but it won’t be nearly as soon as you’d like. In fact. take a minute to evaluate them. . 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. or you probably never will. Finally.. 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. Each time you write your goals. This is where many people drop the ball. you must have a deadline to create a sense of urgency. A good goal has two other properties.000”..” is doomed from the start.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”. but you can change yourself. Either you are starting a company right now.
It’s fun to make progress and improve every day. The challenge is gone and we know there isn’t much more left to do. 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. and we know we’re going to make it. and quit part way through the process? It happens to all of us at some point. doesn’t it!) 2 I first learned of this from a success coach named Linda Starr. and we know it’s about to end. We’ve been having fun making all this progress. How often have you been working toward a goal. One final tip about goal setting has had a profound effect on my life2. 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.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. . the end is in sight. had moderate success. Suddenly it’s not so fun anymore.
unmotivated. inspired!) Time Figure 15 When you reach 75% of your goal. In this way. and self sabotage. not actually reaching the top. The fun part of success is the ride up. set a new target even higher.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 219 100% (boredom. you will continue to grow without ever actually reaching one of your goals. sad) 75% Progress (excited. instead of actually reaching your goal (or what is more likely. double it! Avoid the danger area of boredom. motivated. The paradox of success is that many people who reach their goal feel depressed or sad. A good new goal to set is double what you were aiming for. low motivation. The irony of setting goals is that you should never actually reach them! Instead. . Therefore. when you reach 75% of your goal. getting close only to experience a lack of motivation or self sabotage) set a new goal when you are 75% of the way there.
You recognized that you wanted to make a change. it can be one of the best decisions of their life. but for those who commit to it and find passion in working for themselves. they started getting done. If this seems silly. At the end you will sign your name to show your commitment. do the exercises. but when I started writing my goals. I can’t explain why it works. and learn lots. What do you have to lose? . it's possible. Becoming self employed isn’t for everyone and isn’t without risk. You now know more than 95% of people about how to start a business. You also know the biggest secret of all: it can be done with less money and risk than most people realize. But if you schedule it. picked up a book for more information. go with me through the following pages to set a date next to each action you’ll need to take. and went through it. If you envision it. it’s time to commit by scheduling the next steps. but I know it has worked for myself and many others. but if you don’t take action it was merely entertainment. I thought it was silly too.” As the final exercises in this book. You could read this entire book.220 Breaking Free SET A SCHEDULE Congratulations for getting this far! You’ve done what other people were unwilling to do. As Anthony Robbins says: “If you talk about it. it's a dream. The time to act is now. it's real. please still try it. If you are still unsure you may want to go back and re-read Chapter 2. Remember. If you are ready to proceed down this path. Are you ready to take the next step? Only you can make the decision. so think carefully about your answers.
and be incorporated as an LLC by ___________________. contribute to the world. Signed: ______________________________ Date: ________________ . I commit to focusing on what I want each day. I commit to deciding on my first business to start by ___________________.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 ___________________. not the things I don’t want. 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 commit to starting the transition into quitting my job now. have good economies of scale. business bank account. or (3) save enough money to live for six months without income (circle one) by _____________. I will (1) work nights and weekends on my new business. I will select one other idea for constant positive reinforcement from this book and implement it by ___________________. and then continuing my work. I commit to telling my self doubt creature “thank you for sharing”. I will get three audio programs or books to start my life of ongoing learning by ___________________. (2) get a different job with more flexible hours. I will have an Employer Identification Number. It will have low up front investment. and fit into my life’s purpose. require zero employees.
how many people do you know who look forward to Monday mornings? Yet. they have grown to accept it. We hear remarks all the time about how “My job isn’t so bad”.222 Breaking Free Congratulations! Napoleon Hill once wrote that “What the mind of man can conceive and believe. Somehow. or vying for another position in the same company. I am always amazed by the number of people who tell me how unsatisfied they are with their current job." You’ve just taken a major step toward achieving. 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. and “Nobody likes their job all the time”. deciding between offers based on who pays more. after the “conference high” has faded. I’d like to leave you with a final thought. considering going back to school. After all. It seems almost everyone these days is casually in the market looking for a new job. As creatures of habit it is so easy to fall back into our old ways. Inevitably the topic of work comes up as we catch up on lost time together. it can achieve. as your old . or next to the bathroom mirror where you will see it every day. The very act of writing what you want puts you in the top 1% of all adults in the United States. habits slowly fade and are replaced by new ones. People assume the eight hours a day you spend working is a required hardship for a normal life. “At least it has good benefits”. Most people don’t hate their jobs. but they certainly do not love their jobs. You’ve created a roadmap for your own success and you will be getting closer and closer every day. Please take a moment to cut The Breaking Free Promise out of the book (or print it if you have an electronic copy). Seeing your written commitment each day will help turn the tides in your favor. As we reach the end of this book. the idea that work shouldn’t be fun has spread throughout our society like a terrible virus. Put it on the wall in your (home) office.
most people take the “safe” route. When it comes time to decide between a steady paycheck and betting the farm on yourself. I was afraid that my friends (and the opposite sex) might think I was unemployed and a loser. and reaps the rewards through an incredible life. I wanted to achieve financial success most people only dream of. people would think I was a fool. There were ups and downs but it turned out to be the best decision of my life to date. who follows their path to self-employment. I was afraid that if I failed in my own business. I took the steady paycheck (for a period of time) because I was afraid. Of all the things I wanted. Anyone can do it. It is my sincere hope that you are one of the people who doesn’t play it safe. I was afraid because I thought maybe I didn’t know enough. Get started today! Go out now and do the first item on your schedule. I did. and I almost didn’t make it. and most of all I wanted complete freedom in my life. But one thing scared me more than anything else: waking up in 20 years to discover I hadn’t lived the life I wanted. I was afraid of what my parents would think. to wake up every day excited about my work. 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. Nothing I did was special or unique. So I took the plunge. 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. I wish you all the best! . working for myself was the way to get there. I finally decided it would be better to do my best and fail than to never know.Develop a Plan for Action! – Making it Stick 223 Why do we accept such levels of mediocrity for ourselves? The answer is fear. to change the world for the better and leave my mark.
224 Breaking Free CHAPTER 8 SUMMARY • • A “conference high” follows a powerful learning experience. Study time management to be more productive. but quickly fades. We tend to selfsabotage when the end is in sight. • • • • Use the emergency motivator when self doubt is becoming too strong. Spend a moment to focus on your goals each day. When the self doubt creature rears it’d ugly head. . and personal. but if we don’t replace it with new furniture. Spend more time on tasks that are important and not urgent. When you’ve reached 75% of your goal. Listen to audio books in your car. o o • • Work from written to-do lists. Subscribe to Business 2. Surround yourself with positive people and build a peer group. Make them measurable and give them a deadline. o o o o o o We can clear out the furniture of your mind. thank it for sharing and punch it off your shoulder. Build it into your daily routine such as when you are showering or brushing your teeth. Write goals that are in the present. positive. double it. We are creatures of habit. Be persistent yet flexible by trying many approaches.0. not stubborn. Constant positive reinforcement is the best way to make sure that what you’ve learned stays with you. the old will return.
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 . Just meeting a few people and staying in touch can do wonders to help keep you on track. inspiring success stories.com Here you can get your questions answered. Once or twice a week we make posts there to keep the “conference high” going. What better way to build constant positive reinforcement into your life? • Teach this to someone else Some time in the next week.startbreakingfree. discuss with other readers of Breaking Free.Afterword Now that you’ve read the book. 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. or new ideas that weren’t available at the time the book was published. You should also sign up for the RSS or email newsletter on our website. They could be reminders of material covered in this book. Here are a few ideas to help keep you going! • Join us on the web at www. and find additional resources.
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: email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
• • 1and1.com An excellent place to host your business website. Amazon.com 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. • • Authorize.net A good service to accept credit cards on your business website. Basecamphq.com An excellent product by 37Signals. Use it to collaborate with others, and learn from it as a great business model. • Blogger.com 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. Delawareinc.com 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.
• • •
eHow.com An excellent resource of “how to” articles on all topics. eLance.com 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.
Guru.com 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.
Logoyes.com Quickly and easily design a logo for your business. Lulu.com 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.
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.
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No BS Time Management For Entrepreneurs - Dan Kennedy Read this and you will get more done in every day as your own boss. Paypal.com 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. Skype.com 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).
TemplateMonster.com 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.
The Secret An inspiring video to help you stay positive and bring what you want into your life. It can be viewed at www.thesecret.tv.
Toastmasters.org 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
Sergey. 119. 93 benefits. 70. 131. 34. David.com. 79 articles of incorporation. 191 bankruptcy. 160 alarm clock.net. 215 Amazon. 62. 36. 200 action. 84 Basecamp. 191 assistants. 148 anxiety. 200 name. 24 bureaucracy. 196 starting a. 16 Allen. 24. 37. 164 accountants. 165. 137 Brian Tracy. 41. 159 books on tape. 210. 80. 124. 177 typical. 35 Brin. 180 bank account. 118. 43. 104 brainstorming. 190. 144. 198 badge of honor. 208 negative. 199 Blockbuster. 143 business expenses. 218. 207. 137. 9. 105 audio books. 68. 137 what type to start.0. 170 Branson. 93. 182. 210 boredom. 70. 209 . 164 Aristotle. 93. 168 blogs. 67. 28. 33. 28. 18. 101. 138. 180 bartending. 180. 38. 141 attraction. 180 Authorize. business. 210 auditors. 142 beliefs.Index 37Signals. 121 affiliates. 222 admiration. 158. 157. 187. 9. 184. 140. 182 old fashioned ideas. 57 Apple. 30. Richard. 215 brand loyalty. 137 Business 2. 190. 191 assets. 77 analysis paralysis. 154.
Stephen. 164 corporation. 201 debit card. 127. 23 . 61. 80. 160 buyers guides. Jim. 32. 224. 94. 215 creating events. 120. 209. 122. 196 credit card. 103 celebrities. 60. 123 Churchill. 156 categories of work. 222 commuting. 170 control. 214. 215 compared to competence. 165. 106. 18. Winston. 62 compounding interest. 168. 192 credit-card processing industry. 189. 140 contributing value. 162 decisions. 167. 213. 108. 219 Cooper. 207. 112 certainty. 15 competence compared to competence. 109 commitment. 128. 212 class action lawsuit. 103. 187. 185. 139. 92 conference high. 87. 68. 63. 208. 185 county clerk's office. 35. 187 as another person.234 Breaking Free business cards. 33. 191. 190. 155 strategy. 140 businesses examples. 227 confidence. 127. 109. 69. 81. 62 constant positive reinforcement. 13. 88. 169. 45 Collins. 57. 155 pricing. 169 Danko. 188 charge card. business. 191. 155 contracts. 31. Alan. 192 debt. 158. 64 certificate of formation. 32 creative avoidance. business. 154. 177. 183. 75. 168 buyers guide. 77. William. 227 consulting. 94 DBA. 108 childhood. 147. 180. 95. 169 classes. 24. 38. 16. 118 credit card payment solutions. 183 Covey. 191 charity.
35. 141. 144 lawsuits. 66. 36. 143. 189 don’t be evil. 184 doing business as. 63. 186. 140. 199 benefits. 145 hiring. 34. 145 quitting. 126 diet. 183. 145. David. 24. 168 dreaming big. 145. 181. Thomas. 198 employer identification number. 38 family. 49 e-Books. 23. 36. 148. 164 Edison. 101 Delaware. 144. 167. 106. 49. 187. 81. 138. 45. 124 Eat That Frog. 185. 198. 141. 184. 80. 164. 215 eating an elephant. 162. 93 eLance. 147. 40. 146. 58. 149. 16 entrepreneur defined. 10. 167 education. 38 eHow. 25. 144 cost benefit analysis. 7. 154 struggling financially. 38 money. 132 excuses. 38 . 33. 162 ethics. Albert. 80 entrepreneurship fund. 193 employees. 24. 155. 160. 200 defensive.Index 235 deductions. 16 different job. 166 Deida. 11. 61. 187 energy. 164. 146 vs. 96 entry product. 192 depression. 166 age. 25. 188. 43 Einstein. 83 disregarded entity. 149 economies of scale. T. 195. 36 don't know how. 144 hiring wrong person. Harv. 35. 180 excitement. 9. 42.com. independent contractors. 118. 151. 129. 82. 198 Electronic Arts. 190 deposit by mail. 92. 145 stealing. 9 embezzlement. 34. 168. 88 Eker. 196. 36. 166. 145 firing. 45.
64. 27. 11. 133. 219 measurable and written. 191.236 Breaking Free no good ideas. 104 façade. 66. 129 finances. 149. 63. 113. 118. 212 family. 110 funeral. 66. 66. 11. 227 franchises. 117 Getting Real. 143. 192 financial independence. 213 learning. 191 failure. 137. 227 exercise. 162 firing employees. 71. 89. 38. 154 expertise. 110. 74. 165. 81. 81. 183 goals. 27. 211. 10 expenses. 91 writing. 213. 225 feeling. 65. 107. 164 Getting Things Done. 142 Ford. 48. 14. 102. 126. 165. 127. 210. 214 flexible hours. 201. 15. 18. 26. 57. 220. 84. 19. 209. 219. 129 Gates. 32. 23. 111. 42. 70. 68. 212. 121. 131. 37. Henry. 12. 196 free time. 109 frustration. Bill. 146. 30. 47. 25. 15. 68. 30. 25. 38 fraud. 32. 81. 11. 104. 103. 23 formalities. 19. 49. 180 calculator. 212. 121. 64. 151 flexibility. 222 deadlines. 12. 94. 7 fixed costs. 119 friends. 218. 64. 57. 33. 129 feelings. 145 first step. 128 . 218 God. 219 measurable. 164. 79. 140 experience. 36. 92 saving. 82. 71. 58. 191 forums. 96 food. 191. 63. 146 fear. 228 From Good to Great. 94 reducing. 73. 124. 221. 15. 104 fulfillment. 157. 215 Go Daddy. 150.
87 Inmates are Running the Asylum. 57 lawsuits. 149. 47. 208. 130. 48. 186 independent contractors. 164. 185 ideal self. 179. 120 hiring. 144 cost benefit analysis. 193. Robert Francis. The. 131. 209. 10. 216 health. 70. 59. 215 Kennedy. 170 interviewing. 199 information products. 104 Guru. 155. 126 Kennedy. 133 identity. 67. 179. 169. 17. 73. 93. 180. 157. 110. 106. 88. 13. 95.com. 161 ING Direct. 28. 65. 194 lawyers. 184. 164 inner game. 93. 81. 69. 27. 69. 36. 177. 193 IRS. 102. 106 incorporating. work. 14. 165. 114.Index 237 Google. 142 job different. 195. 180 hours. Dan. 168. 32. 42. 187. 124. 95. 36. 24. 30 not who you are. 195. 199 isolation. 108. 127 importance. 144 investment. 24 heroes. 144 home office. 164. 9 IBM. 81. 83 loving it. 84. 20. 182. 101. 187 state. 164. 198 habits. 208 help desk. 196. 167. 140. 213 insignificance. 129 ideas. 45. 178 inner voice. 197. 35. 25. 58. 129. Shad. 145 wrong person. 141. 144. 107 Henry Ford. 178. 224 happiness. 42. 14. 103 integrity. 179 learn new skills. 9. 102. 142. 177 hero worship. 103. 178. 227 . 86. 85 helping others. 142 Helmstetter. 44. 139. 67 guilt. 198. 167. 127 journey. 198. 92. 178. 144. 218 Grand Canyon. 184.
87. 45. 35. 91. 63 negative thoughts. 181 Netflix. 201 locus of control. 82 office buildings. 224 money. 155 No BS Time Management For Entrepreneurs. 16 how much is needed. 139. 192 limited liability. 179. 156 nights and weekends. 142 office equipment. 70 Millionaire Mind. 190. Sheena. 13. 8 monthly expenses. 120 liability. 94 LLC. 186. 41. 89. 148 Leno. 94 millionaires. Jay. 118 non-compete agreement. 81. 127 living frugally. 162 net profit. 185. 184. 33. 140. 73. 188. 88 possible to earn. 211 mutual funds. 139. 57. 158 Networking with Millionaires. 225 meetings. 25. 18. 180. 164 operating agreement. 61. 185. 168 networking. 141. 224 natural tendency. 87 Napoleon Hill. 189. 7. 83. 72. 44. 155 new cars. 140. 31. 178. 178 mentors. 215 no matter what. 39. 58. 62. 95 niche markets. 132. 177. 80. 80. 112 temptation of. 105 loving your work. 119 negative people. 93 Millionaire Next Door. 185 Lindahl. 11. 207. 71. 58 nervousness. 35. 129 long distance phone calls. 42. 142 mental game. 190. 62. 117 mediocrity. 188. 190. 191. 142 open source software. 28. 155. 129 motivation. 141 love. 195 . 30. 102 logic. 139. 94. 157 mindset. 64. 119 Mondays. 191 outsourcing. 214 Minesweeper.238 Breaking Free learning new skills. 92 mood. 190 limited liability company. The. 32.
Larry. 106. 162 past. 154 patents. 149 pre-tax dollars. 106 Purpose Driven Life. 95. 39. 85 partnerships. 66. 162 purpose. 17. 146 peer group. 13. 31. 209. 83. 143 picturing yourself. 65. 197 payroll. 16. 180. 70. 81. 224 Psychology of Achievement. 28. 102. 102. 96. 181. 19. 146 passion. 144. 25. 8. 183 path in life. 31. 225 part time work. 64. 145. 86. 63. 141. 39. 42. 129. 191 planning. 77. The. 199. 160. 121 passions. 102 ready. 105. aim. 32. 81. 92. 15 promise. 214 personal assets. 124 piercing the corporate veil. 66. 214 Quiznos. General George S. 112 passive income. 179. 9. the Breaking Free. 194 procrastination. 196 Paypal. 191 personal assistants. 147 phone calls. 7. 29. 75. 73. 19. 86. 79. 96. 11. 118 productivity. 128 quitting. 114. 158. 46. 80 potential. 133 Patton. 95. 212 perceived value. Dan. 26. 83. 26. 120. 66. 108. 72. 193. 185 with friends and family. 132 getting in trouble. 13. 155 persistence. 213 pay cuts. 49. The. 144. 24 parents. 123. 38 reacting to external events. 145. 16. 35. 15. 63. 148 . 119 what you talk about. 225 paychecks. 184. 178. 80.Index 239 overtime. 28. fire. 117. 107. 225 paying yourself first.. 121 Poynter. 84. 92 payment solutions. 105. 65. 159 preparation. 95. 146. 28 quitting your job. 83 Page. 25. 119 natural tendencies. 128. 129. 112. 207 poor people. 80 public speaking. 101. 101.
108. 80. 33. 158 reasons. 74. high tech. 154 Self-Publishing Manual. 10. 44. 148. 110 Skype. 191 speaking in public. 16. The. 211 safe route. 128 Rich Dad Poor Dad. 144 registered agent. 128. 48. 40. The. 207. 164 startup. 186 relationships.240 Breaking Free real estate. 69 spouses. 178 self doubt. 10. 208 self-employed defined. 80. 81. 15. 192. 66. 81 social security number. 222 role models. 194 recruiting. 34. . 130 business and personal finances. 86 10% of your income. 225 salary. 32. The. 14. 212. 222 Robbins. Anthony. 155 Starr. 71 small steps. 63. 95. Linda. 39 Stanley. 31. Thomas. 80 rich people. 103. 47. 179 separating 193 Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. 80 risk. 25. 103. 14. 141. 137. 179 starting out small. 179. 63 Stallone. 74. 94. 131 starting a business defined. 194 saving. 138. 222 S-corp. 157. legitimate. 71. 38. 87. 64. 8 significance. 130 skill level. 185. 25. 26. 139 Stephen Covey. 159 separate entity. 179. 13. 66. 106. 86 responsibility. 165. 211. 213. 87 scheduling. 86 savings accounts. 32. 213 self talk. 96. 36. 121 rush hour. 178. 23. 141. 15. 120. 43. 36. 132 silence. 177. 215 shame. 185 software. 166 records. Sylvester. 162 speed reading. 139 sleep. 107. 57. 15. 16. 142 slave. 163 sole proprietorship. 210. 79. 80 Richest Man in Babylon.
83 keep current job. 83. 39. Mark. 150. 7 story. Brian. 27 subconscious. 199 teams. 210. 126. 94 time management. 181 unit costs. 137 Warren. 139 victim mentality. 182 taxes. 142 Virgin Group. 214 Toastmasters. 84 Twain. 179. See contributing value values. 38 success. 65. 48. contributing. 70. 81 get a different job. 210 TPS reports. 215 trademarks. 185. 94. Clement. 133. 144 Tracy. 102. Thomas J.Index 241 stock options. 35. 25. 17. 10. 27. 218 Subway. 217 tanks. 217 thirty-thousand millionaire. 18 tax advantages. 156 user interface design. 165 Way of the Superior Man. 24. as an excuse. 91 dropping out. money and happiness. 32. 11. 38. feeling. Donald. 180. 151 venture capital. 198 value. 72. 123. 177 successful people. 180 trouble. 141. 163. 146 technology. 215 variable costs. 81 travel. 181. 119. 83. 65. 214 students. 144. 43. smooth. 101 . 151 used cars. 12. 199 tutoring. 16. 17. The. 105 stubborness. 215. 153 success formula. 63 unconfident. 140. 152. 139 Stone. 128 Washington Mutual. 180. 105 video conferencing.. 58. 16 dollar transition. 130. 192 Watson. 95 user generated content. getting in. 71. 183 traffic. 119 Trump. 143. 162. W. 215. 62 unincorporated. 109. 24. 77. 80. 127 Turbo Tax Business. Rick. 131.
34. 158. 139 working at home. 106. 60. 84. 215 . 141. 9.242 Breaking Free wealth. 195 websites. 40 worker bee. hard. 94. 88. 126 writing. 65. 194 What to Say When you Talk to Yourself. 42 work vs. fun. 211 Wikipedia. Dan. 111 work. creating. 80. 157. 87. 142 Worrall. 133 website templates. 35.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Brian Armstrong had always dreamed of being his own boss. In 2001. and today seeks to help others do the same as a writer. speaker. but couldn’t bring himself to walk away from a steady paycheck. Brian currently resides in Houston. he finally quit his job. After going through the process he writes about in this book. started his own business. . to several small startups with less than 15 employees. Prior to becoming self employed. and consultant. starting two more in the next five years. Brian’s work experience ranged from fortune 500 companies. 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. he ventured out on his own with his first company and was instantly hooked.
Breaking Free .
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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. $4 for first book.S. Shipping: With in the U. 2111 Welch St. and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $24. Date:____/____ . A228 Houston.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.com Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: firstname.lastname@example.org. $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp. TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Boss.com Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders.125% will be added for orders shipped within Texas.
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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. Shipping: With in the U. 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. $4 for first book.com Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders. A228 Houston. and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $24.S.com Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: orders@startbreakingfree. $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp.startbreakingfree. Toss Your Alarm Clock. Date:____/____ .125% will be added for orders shipped within Texas. TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Boss.
Breaking Free .
Shipping: With in the U.125% will be added for orders shipped within Texas. $4 for first book. TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Boss. 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.S.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. and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $24. Date:____/____ . $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp. Toss Your Alarm Clock.com Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders.com Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: email@example.com.
Breaking Free .
Quick Order Form (please tear out this page for your convenience) Internet Orders: The quickest way to order in online at: www. Date:____/____ . Toss Your Alarm Clock.S. Shipping: With in the U. TX 77019 Please send me the following books: [ ] Breaking Free: Fire Your Boss.com Postal Orders: Breaking Free Orders. $1 for each additional Payment: [ ] Credit card [ ] Check [ ] Money Order Visa Mastercard AMEX Discover Card Number:___________________________________________ Name on Card:_________________________Exp. $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. and Double Your Income with An Easy Transition into Self-Employment Quantity:_________ at $24.125% will be added for orders shipped within Texas. 2111 Welch St.com Fax Orders: Send this form to 360-656-2207 Email Orders: orders@startbreakingfree. A228 Houston.startbreakingfree.
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