Zero. That’s how many people I could ask for business advice when I started. I had no idea what I was doing.
7 years later, I’m proud of what I’ve built, I love the employees I hire, and what we create. I hope this helps you to get closer to build something you’re proud of, too.
1. Is entrepreneurship for everyone? No — it’s hard and lonely and hard and lonely. And hard.
2. How do I know if I should be an entrepreneur? If the thought of working for someone else makes you sick to your stomach.
3. When can I tell people I am an entrepreneur? When you are making money on your idea. You are not an entrepreneur the day you put it on your Instagram profile. You are an entrepreneur when you make money on your idea.
4. What is idea sex? Taking 4 passions and turning them into 1 business idea. If you love yoga, the beach, retreats, and being a single mom — start a yoga retreat on the beach for single moms and their kids. Boom!
5. Should I take venture capital funding? Maybe — but just know this, when someone invests in your business, you have a boss and you are in a marriage.
6. What’s the easiest way to get venture capitalists to pay attention to me? Build something that sells, and then show them the data.
7. What do venture capitalists look at before offering investment money? Data regarding sales and traction (thus the prior answer) and you — if they don’t like you, they’ll never invest in you.
8. What’s more important to an investor — me or my idea? You. The idea will probably change 100 times. If you suck, they won’t care how good the idea is.
9. Should I build a personal brand? Yes
10. How do I know how to charge for my product? Look at the market. Then charge a little less. Then overdeliver. Then every year charge more. Pricing is totally made up.
11. When should I raise my prices? As often as people will say yes to your new price. Note — I said people, not a person. Try asking 100 people for the higher price. If they all say no, stick with your ongoing rate. But someone will likely say yes. Be patient and bold.
12. Should I speak in public about my business? Yes. As much as you can. And then sell from the stage. Let people know what you offer as clearly as possible.
13. Should I give free speeches at the beginning: Yes. I did free speeches for 18 months, and it was the best decision I made. I make good money as a speaker now.
14. My romantic partner doesn’t want me to start a business, what should I do? Leave your partner or don’t start the business.
15. How do I find my passion? If you are asking that, you don’t have one. Just do something you enjoy. Passion is subjective. And it changes a lot. Enjoy them all.
16. How can I find clients? First, talk to every one of your friends and family members. Then do a great job for the clients you get. Then ask your clients to refer other people to you. Then ask your family and friends again. Rinse. Repeat.
17. What’s the best way to keep my clients happy? Do everything they want. go to their kids birthday parties, provide longer videos than promised, answer their emails at midnight.
18. But what about clients that invade my boundaries? You own a business. There are no more boundaries.
19. What if I don’t want to work on weekends? Don’t — it’s your business.
20. Should I hire a “head of sales”: Never — if you are not selling your product, you have no shot. At least in the beginning, you are the head of everything.
21. Can I have a romantic relationship with my employees? If you think there is a high chance you will marry that person, sure. If not, no.
22. How can I motivate my employees to care as much as I do about the business? You can’t. It’s your business. Not theirs. If you don’t give them 50% of the business, they won’t care as much as you do and if you think they will, you’re delusional.
23. My best employee is a jerk, what should I do? Fire them today. Culture > Profit, always.
24. How do I get good at hiring? By firing fast. There is no way to “get good” at hiring.
25. Should I take on clients if I don’t believe in their mission or values? No — you’ll resent them, or worse, yourself. Then you will find ways to sabotage the account.
26. How do I sell to someone that does not understand the value of what I am offering? You don’t. Move on and find someone who “gets it.” 7 billion people on the planet. Waste no time on convincing.
27. How can I find work-life balance? I have no idea. Let me know if you figure it out.
28. Should I hire people that are different than me? Yes — you need someone who does not think like you, and you need them today. Why would you ever hire yourself? You already have yourself on the payroll.
29. When should I leave my full time job to start my side business? When you are making almost as much on your side business as your full time job pays you OR when you have 6–12 months of runway savings. Meaning, even if you earn NOTHING for the next 6–12 months, you can still pay all your bills, etc.
30. How do I create a budget? Look at every single expense you have — cut the things you don’t really need (it will be a lot more than you think). That’s your new budget.
31. How much of my personal life should I show on social media for my professional brand? As much as you/your family feels comfortable with. I share almost everything, minus romantic relationships.
32. Office or work from home? Depends on your personality and revenues. I worked from home the first 4 years. For the last 3 years, I’ve had various offices. I like an office more because I just want to cook and drink green juices at home. And now I make enough money to have an office.
33. Remote or in-person employees? I do both. Remote works if you are clear on deliverables and dates. In person is faster because you have instant direct contact. Try both. I love and hate them both, at the same time, for different reasons.
34. When should I start firing employees? When you don’t have at least 6 months of runway for your expenses.
35. How can I tell an employee they are not performing? Honestly, and with a fair chance to get better. They have no idea what you expect unless you clearly relate it. If you tell them and then fire them, that’s crappy. Let them right their wrong.
36. How can I find a mentor? By doing something for the mentor repeatedly before asking for 10 minutes of their time. It’s never 10 minutes. It’s the worst strategy.
37. How can I be more productive? Sleep more, dream more, move your body. Stop spending hours reading books on becoming more productive.
38. What’s the most important thing to become successful? Knowing why you are doing what you are doing, and making sure that it’s actually for YOU, not someone else’s voice inside your head.
39. What happens if I make a mistake on a client account? Apologize. Own the mistake. Then overdeliver on a solution. Never place blame on your employee, even if they made the mistake.
40. Is it true that everything is my fault when it’s my business? Yes. Everything.
41. When should I go “International?” Slowly — stay local at the beginning. Too many businesses go out of business because they want to rush geographic expansions.
42. Should I write a book? Sure — but it’s super hard to make money selling books.
43. How much content should I put out? As much as you can, sustainably. Better to put out 1 video/week every week for 2 years than 44 videos one month and then burn out and do nothing for the next 23 months. Followers like consistency. It shows you care.
44. Things are going well in my business, how can I grow? Ask your existing clients what else you can do for them. Your existing clients are your best referrals and new clients. They already trust you. That’s the hardest part. Whatever else they need, figure out how to do it.
45. Who should I go to for business advice? People that have actually achieved business success in your field. No one else.
46. Should I have people sign NDA’s? No — no one is going to steal your idea and you look like an ametuer when you make that ask.
47. But there is sooooo much competition? Good — it means there is demand. Be better than everyone else and you become the competition that scares the not so wise people off.
48. Should I spend time improving things that I am not good at? No — contract or hire people to do things you are not good at. I want to learn to edit videos but have no patience and hate being in front of a computer screen. So I hire video editors.
49. How can you come up with great ideas: Drink lots of water, write down ideas every day, sleep, and spend lots of time with no screens near you, preferably while walking in nature and silence.
50. What’s the biggest reason people fail as entrepreneurs? Because they make decisions to appease other people’s judgement of themselves or impress people they don’t like.
51. What if I don’t get many views on my videos? Repeat this line over and over and over every time you have this concern: “You are one view away from your entire business and/or life changing. One.”
52. Should I listen to anything you’ve written here? Nope. Go figure it out for yourself. Your questions. Your answers. Your story.