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Worldwide Wantrepreneur

Create a Business Challenge: August Update

$25K in 4 Months Outline

Featured picture is from my book outline.

Guess who finally found a product to sell?

Charles Johnson with monkey

And no, I’m not selling bananas.

You may recall that back in 2014, I paid off $25,000 of debt in 4 months. This was accomplished through a combination of some pretty extreme tactics:

  • I slept in the woods and under my office desk for 4 months (i.e., no rent to pay)
  • I stopped drinking, going out, and cancelled most ongoing bills (i.e., very few expenses)
  • I started consulting, sold restaurants, and named porn titles to make money (i.e., massive boost to income)

That was all while maintaining a full-time job.

2 years later… I’m proud (well, grateful really) to announce that I’ll soon be releasing a book on Amazon that details these crazy exploits while providing a step-by-step system for generating a serious amount of money, fast.

It’s essentially a guide on building wealth ridiculously fast, disguised as a “get out of debt” book.

My goal is to help those in debt achieve financial freedom faster, while also providing uncommon (some would say insane) methods for making money fast to those who need it – be it for investing, saving money, starting a business, or straight up making it rain at the club.

Make it rain

So how did this all go down?

Well, it had a bit of a devious start… I pre-sold it on my personal Facebook account before having written a single page of the book.

Pre-selling on Facebook

I’ll be the first to admit that this is a bit of an underhanded tactic, but it’s crazy effective for validating ideas and saving time.

And to be honest, I didn’t think anyone would really want to buy it, I just expected likes and supportive comments from friends and family.

Instead what I got was this:

Book validation on Facebook

And that was just the initial response. I’ve since had over 20 people ask if they could buy my book, and the “buys” keep trickling in.

One person even sent me the $5 before messaging me.


$5 payment for ebook

I refunded it of course. I’ll send him (and the rest of the gang) the Amazon link once it’s up there.

Now just the small matter of writing the damn thing.

So anyways, that’s my big business challenge update – but how is any of this useful to you?

So far, this whole post is basically just one long brag-athon. I’m a little sorry, but also a little not sorry–because seriously, I was starting to doubt my ability to succeed in my business challenge this year, but now it looks like I might have a profitable product to sell.

But there are a few important takeaways I want to share with you. Things that ring SO friggin’ true after having this experience.

And you don’t have to sleep in the woods or name porn titles to benefit from them…

Takeaway #1: Do something, anything.

Since beginning this challenge to create a business this year, I’ve done a stupid amount of planning. I like things organized, and I like to feel in control, so I read books, read blog posts, and created far too many Google Documents detailing my plans for world domination.

This all felt good, but didn’t teach me much, and certainly didn’t do much to advance my progress in creating a business.

I have a habit of reverting to “command and control mode” – my euphemism for overplanning shit.

So what changed?

My girlfriend pushed me into action. Essentially, I got lucky.

Despite being the cause of numerous arguments, my girlfriend continues to play the role of “accountability coach” and after a typical day of me doing lots of things that felt productive but in fact did not advance my interests, she said something to the effect of, “If you spent half the time that you do exercising on creating a book, you’d be done by now.” She went on to suggest that I should A) write something short and sweet, and B) get it out ASAP.

While not a student of entrepreneurship, my girlfriend basically just told me I should adopt LEAN methodology and create a minimum viable product (MVP).

I’ve heard this spiel for years, but it took hearing it from a non-techie/non-entrepreneur for it to really click.

She was right.

This was the push over the cliff that made me start flapping my arms to see if I could fly. (OK, weird analogy but you know what I mean.)

You might not have the luxury of a significant other who bugs you despite your asking them not to* suggests helpful next steps. In that case, you need to light a fire under your own ass and get to work.

*In all seriousness though, my girlfriend is awesome for pushing me despite my pushing back.

Think about it, when was the last time you really executed and created something meaningful?

When was the last time you achieved a meaningful result? (Not just progress)

If you’re in a rut, go get some exercise, read an inspiring story (check out this Neil Patel interview), or join a mastermind group or something. Do something different. Don’t just keep doing whatever you’ve been doing.

It’s not easy to hold yourself accountable, so make your goal public, or find someone to hold you accountable. It might not sound like a big deal, but try it before you judge. Truly, it’s life changing.

Takeaway #2: Validate and pre-sell like a lazy person.

OK, maybe not a super lazy person.

You still want to put some thought into who you’re targeting and what benefits/results they want.

But truly, validation doesn’t have to be complicated.

If you search online, you’ll find countless articles about validating business ideas via Adwords and Facebook which can help you – just remember that this should be a quick and rough step, not a perfect, finely-tuned one.

The point of validation is to avoid wasting time on business ideas that no one wants. If you spend days or weeks setting up landing pages and doing keyword research, then it kind of defeats the purpose.

Maybe it’s worth investing more time in validation and customer discovery at some point, but not when you’re just starting out. When you’re still testing the waters with a new idea, be lazy. Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn – maybe on Reddit too. Just get it on the internet fast and see how people react.

If you need to refine who you’re targeting, or change your spiel, do so after the lazy approach.

Alright, time to get back to work. Talk soon.

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