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If you only keep what is useful or what makes you happy in your business then what you’re left with you should leave you better off—in terms of revenue AND quality of life. Removing what doesn’t serve your business or make you happy just seems like a good idea (even if you think minimalism is bonkers).
And although being a broke-ass entrepreneur certainly doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become a wealthy one, I believe those who are willing to be broke – on purpose – are more likely to become rich.
If someone tells you that you can build a “six-figure business” with minimal investment, they are lying to you. (Bubble burster: After taxes and expenses and reinvesting some into growth, you’ll make about $40,000 a year from a six-figure business revenue.) Building a business that successful IS possible. I’ve done it. But what actually happens is a bit more complicated.
It’s possible to switch hats, to have side projects, to have two ‘jobs’. But we can’t wear both hats at the same time, can’t freelance our way to entrepreneurial success.
That company or project you started isn’t working out. You were excited, early customers were excited, but once you launched nothing really happened. Even worse, it’s not a total failure. You made some money. Not enough to grow, but at least a few people paid for it. When do you pull the plug and move on?
Years ago a guy decided he had some talent making cakes and wanted to start a business. But he had no clue how to start. So he went to his dad who is already a successful entrepreneur and PhD in Economics and asked him how to get started. His Dad’s reply? “If you want to have a cake business, you need to sell cake.”
How did the greatest entrepreneurs start out? What were their biggest successes? What failures did they have to overcome along the way? We’ve charted the careers of 33 inspirational company founders, from the man behind Heinz beans to the woman behind Ultimo bras, to show that there’s more than one path to success.
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers.
Recently, I’ve been trying (again) to write every day. (I’m not shooting for 1k words this time, but perhaps I should…) Once again, I found myself holding a few ideas close, reluctant to write them because of my perceived lack of skill. It really struck me the other day how ludicrous that reluctance was.
The way to have good ideas is to get close to killing yourself. It’s like weightlifting. When you lift slightly more than you can handle, you get stronger. In life, when the gun is to your head, you either figure it out, or you die. When you cut yourself open, you bleed ideas. If you’re broke and close to death, you have to start coming up with ideas. If you destroy your life, you need to come up with ideas to rebuild it.
I’ve lived and worked remotely in approximately 29 countries since I finished school three years ago. I’ve been running Toptal, a venture funded company growing hundreds of percent year over year—all from my laptop, phone, and tablet… I was repeatedly asked if I had some sort of guide or checklist for traveling/working the way I do. Especially for first-timers, the idea of adventuring while working can be daunting. There are a lot of details to consider, and I’ve learned a lot from my own trial-and-error.
The rise of digital nomads are seeing a number of entrepreneurial hubs spring up across the world – but where are they and what do they tell us about modern business?
But for all the rah-rah-rah, there are serious, under-discussed challenges with an idiosyncratic, comparison-destroying life.
A powerful scene is emerging in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam or as locals refer to it by its old name, Saigon. Entrepreneurs from America to India, from Japan to Spain are calling this city home while they’re grinding out their MVPs. It’s a scene, a location independent startup scene that should be on your radar if you’re a bootstrapping entrepreneur looking to extend your runway.
One year ago, I left San Francisco, sold and gave away everything I owned, and moved into a 40-liter backpack. I traveled to 45 cities in 20 countries, three Disneylands, and one bunny island. I also worked 50 hours a week building and launching a startup. And my total costs were less than just the rent in San Francisco.