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I’ve been building businesses on the Internet since 2004. Before that I worked in technology through the first Internet bubble. I’ve raised venture capital, worked in Fortune 500 companies, been a freelancer, and bootstrapped to multiple millions in revenue. Over the years and through many roles in many different kinds of businesses I’ve seen lots of things change, while plen ...
Email newsletters can be a great way to grow an audience and keep them engaged. If you’re working to grow an audience through email, offering an email newsletter instead of the traditional subscriber giveaway is an option worth considering. With a standard opt-in gift, after you’ve delivered the initial offer, you have to decide what else you’ll send to keep your audience engaged.
Martin Seligman, the father of the field of positive psychology, famously said in a 1999 speech that “psychology was half-baked.” He was referring to the fact that psychology up to that point had really focused just on mental illness and on repairing damage. He then said, “…that’s only half of it. The other side’s unbaked, the side of strength, the side of what we’re good at.
Let’s face it. Jobs suck. I spent 13 years of my life working in various jobs, and I never felt right about it. Not once did I feel like I was doing my life’s work. There was always a little voice in the back of my head telling me “you’ll never be happy working for someone else. When are you going to get the balls to try working for yourself?” In 2006 I found those balls.
More and more, we keep hearing from readers and customers about ConvertKit, the email marketing and automation tool for professional bloggers, podcasters and more. People have been raving to us about ConvertKit so much that I had to see for myself what all the fuss is about. The ConvertKit team gave me a full insider walkthrough of all the features.
Choosing a business idea is probably the thing we help our members with most. It’s understandable. You don’t want to put a bunch of time and effort into building a business, only to realize later on that there was a major flaw in the idea that will forever stunt your company’s growth. Of course you’re worried about your business idea. You should be. Ideas matter.
How’s that for a headline? Headlines are an arms race these days, with every article competing to toss in more excitement and bigger promises. One of my biggest annoyances is the way “science” is shamelessly used to back up weak claims in link-bait listicles. You may have noticed how common it is to include the phrase “backed by science” in a headline lately.
Earlier this week I stumbled on an example of absolutely terrible advice from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This advice made me angry and sad at the same time. Angry at the SBA and sad for anyone who follows the advice. I was googling some common phrases about building a business as research for an upcoming podcast episode.
Something really stuck with me after reading the amazing four-part blog post series at Wait But Why about Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX. In the first article in the series, Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man, author Tim Urban notes “… he [Elon Musk] refuses to advertise for Tesla, something most startup car companies wouldn’t think twice about — because he sees advertising as m ...
Let’s be honest about two things for a minute: 1) we all procrastinate sometimes, and 2) procrastinating has benefits. When we procrastinate, we often work on things that are simply easier or more enjoyable than the things we’re putting off. Sometimes we play. Sometimes we nap. Sometimes we tackle another project that just seems more fun right now. These are all good things on their own.
On this week’s episode of Lifestyle Business Weekly, we answer a great question from listener Paul Minors: I’d love some help with growing product revenue. I’d love to hear your advice around the steps you would take after launching a digital product to get more revenue from it. Note: if you haven’t heard Lifestyle Business Weekly before, it’s a weekly podcast and curated ...
You’ve heard the advice: when creating your first product, you should aim for a minimum viable product. In other words, the smallest thing you can put out in the world to test whether customers really want it. The minimum viable product (MVP) can be such a useful approach, but it’s also often misunderstood. We launched Fizzle using the MVP approach in just 7 weeks.
This week I launched a new podcast, called Lifestyle Business Weekly (listen on iTunes here). It’s based on the weekly curated email and video series I’ve been publishing for the past five weeks. If you’re interested in independent entrepreneurship and lifestyle businesses, check out the podcast, I think you’ll like it.
Last Saturday, our friend Scott Dinsmore died while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. He was just 33 years old. Scott and his wife Chelsea were eight months into a year-long trip around the world. Scott was a close personal friend, and a big supporter of the work we do here at Fizzle. Scott’s Live Your Legend blog and community reached hundreds of thousands around the wo ...
I just launched a new weekly video show, and the first two episodes are available today! Lifestyle Business Weekly is a show and weekly email for people interested in lifestyle business and independent entrepreneurship. Episode 1: Finding Yourself & The Truth About Passive Income Episode 2: Humble Beginnings, Business Plans and 100 Days Without Fear If you want to support ...
Confused about personal branding? Let’s clear it up in about 200 words. Personal branding means marketing yourself and your career as a brand. You become a brand. Oprah, Richard Branson and Martha Stewart are all examples. Oprah could have called her show “Talk Time.” Instead, she became the brand. Personal branding and regular branding can be used together.
“It started as a whim in a coffee shop,” explains Joseph Michael, creator of Learn Scrivener Fast, an online course that teaches students how to use the popular writing program Scrivener. “I had been trying to get a pizza delivery job, but got rejected over and over. I just wanted to make some extra dough on the side.
The odds are stacked against you. It’s true. I’m often amazed at how many people decide to try to build small businesses online, despite the odds. Maybe it’s naivete. Maybe it’s egotism. Maybe it’s bravery. Probably it’s a combination of all three. I think you need all three to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Small businesses live and die by what our customers think of us. Staying intimately connected to your customer base isn’t just advised, it’s essential to your very survival. On The Fizzle Show, we often recommend talking with customers frequently, through both in-depth one-on-one interviews, responsive and frequent email conversations, and through surveys. Each approach has different benefits.
If you consider yourself a generalist, here’s the good news: doing great work in the future will require the skills of a generalist, especially if you work independently or on a small team. And more and more of us are working independently these days. 40% of American workers will be freelancers by 2020 (and according to Freelancer’s Union, 33% of us already are) and freelance ...