Are you going to start a business?
Do you want to:
- work independently? 独立工作？
- create an online business, without a physical office? 在没有实体办公室的情况下创建在线业务？
- use the Internet to sell products? 使用互联网销售产品？
Do you value freedom and flexibility over mere profit?
With a profitable lifestyle business you can:
- set your own hours 设定自己的时间
- do not have any boss 没有老板
- have no one to respond to 没有人回应
- not have to ask permission for anything 不必征求任何许可
- not have to physically be at any particular place 不必实际在任何特定地方
- decide what to do every day, and how long you’re going to do it 决定每天要做的事情，以及要做多长时间
- have a real impact on your finances, and so have a real influence on how much you earn 对您的财务状况有实际影响，因此对您的收入有实际影响
This is the freedom, the freedom to be self-employed and to be a proud owner of an online business.
This is a reality that many people already live in.
Do you want to join them? Cool! I will introduce you to how things work, and I will explain how this freedom can be achieved.
你想加入他们吗？ 凉！ 我将向您介绍事物的运作方式，并解释如何实现这种自由。
In 2007 I was an engineering student without any idea of what I wanted to do after graduation. After dozens of attempts, some failures, some small successes, I understood what works and what does not, the hard way.
I had many ups and downs, great disappointments, huge failures, but also great satisfactions.
After 10 years I can share all the lessons I’ve learned. I don’t think I have the absolute knowledge, for sure, but I know that this post will help those who still need to try going out on their own, and are a little afraid as they do not know where to start or what to expect.
The way you can reach freedom is to create a small business and keep it small.
Why keeping it small? The general belief, and especially the American business culture, takes for granted that a business is born to grow, grow more and generate more and more money. You’re successful when you have lots of employees, lots of customers, and you’re always very busy.
为什么要缩小尺寸？ 人们普遍认为，尤其是美国的商业文化认为，企业天生就是要成长 ，增长和产生越来越多的钱。 当您有很多员工，很多客户并且总是很忙时，您就会成功。
How many times did you hear “we make X MILLIONS $ in revenue, just to discover they are not profitable yet, or have very low margins?
This is an option, of course, but let’s pan out this concept.
With a lifestyle business you want to work to reach a point where:
you own 100% of your business, you don’t have any shitty VC money or have other co-founders
you spend time on your business every week, to efficiently manage a number of customers who are very satisfied by what they get from you. Not necessarily every day, and you can take vacations when you want without asking anyone.
您每周都要花时间在业务上 ，以有效地管理许多对您的收益感到非常满意的客户。 不一定每天都有，您可以在不要求任何人的情况下随意休假。
you constantly create value for your customers
you have time to create new products, and work on new ideas, and you have the freedom to experiment
you have your own user base and you can sell new products to your existing customers
Growing too much would mean:
- continuously having to increase the number of customers 不断增加客户数量
- increasing customers, support requests increase too, and so the time you need to spend to take care of your customers 客户增加，支持请求也增加，因此需要花费时间来照顾客户
- you’ll have to hire people who can help you manage the high number of customers, because on your own you can’t do everything 您将不得不雇用可以帮助您管理大量客户的人员，因为单靠您自己您无法做任何事情
- you’ll end up managing your employees, which is a time consuming task on its own 您最终将要管理员工，这是一项非常耗时的任务
Ultimately, growing means:
最终， 增长意味着 ：
- being forced to grow the revenues, to pay your employees 被迫增加收入，支付员工工资
- increasing operating and bureaucracy management costs 增加运营和官僚管理成本
- increasing time spent in the business 增加在业务上花费的时间
- increasing stress 压力增加
- less flexibility 灵活性较差
- less freedom 自由较少
That’s not what I want you to do.
A lifestyle business is the type of business that is founded with the goal of generating and maintaining a certain level of revenue over time, providing the basis to enjoy a certain lifestyle.
Using the internet. The internet is an amazing tool that in 2019 we can use to get access to ~50% of the world population, wherever they might be, at any time during the day. Never before in the history of the human kind have people had this opportunity.
使用因特网。 互联网是一个了不起的工具，在2019年，我们可以使用它随时随地访问世界各地约50％的人口。 在人类历史上，人们从未有过这样的机会。
What is not a lifestyle business for example:
being a freelance or an electrician, because the hours you work are directly proportional to how much money you make
being a shop owner, a bartender, or have any kind of activity where customers walk in the door. In this case, you have bought a job because you can’t really close the door and reopen it the next day if you want to, unless you hire staff that helps you free yourself from your own business. This is not freedom.
作为商店老板 ，调酒师，或进行顾客走进门口的任何活动。 在这种情况下，您之所以买了一份工作，是因为如果您愿意，您无法真正关上门并在第二天重新开门，除非您雇用可以帮助您从自己的企业中解脱出来的员工。 这不是自由。
Some examples of a lifestyle business:
- be a book author 成为书作家
- create online courses 创建在线课程
- be an infoproduct maker 成为信息产品制造商
- sell your own software 出售自己的软件
- sell digital products 销售数码产品
- have a blog with affiliate links 有一个带有会员链接的博客
In each of these activities you can decide when, where and how to work.
When you first start out, you’ll need to put a lot of hours up front, to create the products and the system that powers your sales, but when the system is set up, you’ll have an automatic revenue machine in place and you will not be forced to spend 10 hours on your computer because the business will work for you.
Your lifestyle business should really be related to a topic you have a great passion in, because:
- you’ll face a lot of issues when you get started, and being passionate in the topic will make sure you stick to the business, and not drop off before it takes off 您一开始就会遇到很多问题，并且对主题充满热情将确保您坚持不懈地开展业务，并且在业务起步之前就不会因此而退缩
- lack of passion will be evident in all your communications and presence. Similarly, if you’re passionate people will see it 缺乏激情将在您的所有沟通和参与中显而易见。 同样，如果您充满热情，人们会看到它
- maybe you’ll not be making tons of money from your business, but the satisfaction you get from doing what you love will be a great motivation to go through bad times 也许您不会从自己的业务中赚到很多钱，但是从做自己喜欢的事情中获得的满足感将是渡过艰难时期的巨大动力
The consultant, the freelancer, the professional trades time with money.
In your small business, you’ll try to make products and sell them. You’ll not be directly involved in making the sale, so how much money you make is unrelated to the time you spend in the business.
Once the system is set, the money continues to flow even while we are sleeping or travelling.
Don’t look for funds from accelerators, investors, family, friends, VC, or anything else.
Accelerators, VCs or angel investors generally do give you a person you’ll need to respond to for every action you take. So if you want to keep control and especially freedom, avoid it like the plague. Making money from family or friends will only ruin the relationship if things don’t go as you think (and things almost always don’t go as you think they will).
加速器，风险投资人或天使投资人通常都会为您提供一个您需要对您采取的每一项行动做出回应的人。 因此，如果您想保持控制，尤其是自由，请像瘟疫一样避免这种情况。 从家人或朋友那里赚钱只会破坏双方的关系，除非事情没有按照您的想法去做(而且事情几乎总是不会按照您的想法去做)。
In any case, seeking and managing money is a distraction from your goal. Don’t use other people money. Don’t start a business that requires a big amount of money to start with, if you don’t have it.
无论如何，寻求和管理资金都偏离了目标。 不要用别人的钱。 如果您没有的话，请不要创办一家需要大量资金的企业。
The best idea does not need any money, but only time. It takes a long time to grow organically, bootstrapped, but it’s worth it.
If your idea requires more than 5000$ and you don’t have them ready, change idea.
If your idea needs some reasonable amount of money and you don’t have it yet, work to get the money. Freelance. Work as a contractor. And wait, working on your idea on the weekend. If you don’t have an existing network of contacts, or a marketplace specialised in what you do, sites such as Fiverr, Upwork or others are perfect to make some money on the side. If you are starting from scratch, find a temporary job in the industry of your interest.
如果您的想法需要一些合理的资金，而您还没有，请努力获得资金。 自由职业者。 作为承包商工作。 等一下，在周末讨论您的想法。 如果您没有现有的联系网络，或者没有专门从事您的业务的市场，那么Fiverr，Upwork或其他网站都非常适合赚钱。 如果您是从头开始，请在您感兴趣的行业中找到一份临时工作。
If you already have a job, keep it and work on your project in your free time.
The money you make will be useful for purchasing freelance services from the pool of talent in areas where you lack the skills; managing your company alone does not mean that you have to do it all by yourself.
You may be a programmer and making pleasing interfaces is not your strength. Maybe you don’t know where to start with marketing. You may have no idea how to make a convincing email, or maybe you think you know, but in reality you don’t. Or, you’re a designer and you have no idea how to bring your product to light, and the idea of learning programming is a taboo.
您可能是一名程序员，制作令人愉悦的界面并不是您的强项。 也许您不知道从哪里开始营销。 您可能不知道如何制作令人信服的电子邮件，或者您认为自己知道，但实际上却不知道。 或者，您是一名设计师，却不知道如何使您的产品亮相，学习编程的想法是禁忌。
Don’t block yourself. You will find many people able to help you with these tasks, just look around and if you don’t have the resources to pay, even trading your services might be an idea, sometimes you just need to ask.
你的目的 (Your purpose)
Depending on your current starting point, you may have different goals.
Here are some examples of what you might want.
If you are starting from scratch, and maybe you are still a student, you might want to earn enough to live off, and to never ever have to work for anyone else.
If you’re looking for a job and you can’t find it right now, you might want to create your own job, because maybe your skills are not appreciated by the companies you applied to, but you could sell them online.
If you’ve just been fired, you will want to take advantage of the knowledge you currently have.
If you are an employee, you might want to make some money “on the side”, work part-time and earn a bit of side income, or prepare to leave your job and set out on your own.
If you work as a freelancer, you might want to stop trading hours for money.
In each of these cases, you share a certain kind of situation and you hope the adventure will work out for the best, and you would like to improve the quality of your life.
What is the purpose for which you open an activity? Only you know, but don’t start with the wrong perspective. For example, don’t think you will make a lot of money within a few months, because it will not happen.
打开活动的目的是什么？ 只有您知道，但不要以错误的观点开始。 例如，不要认为您会在几个月内赚到很多钱，因为这不会发生。
Sure, in theory it could happen, but only if the alignment of the stars is perfect, and in 99% of cases this will not happen. It’s more likely to win the lottery, so don’t even think about it. If you’re looking for this, you’re reading the wrong post as it does not explain how you can achieve that goal.
当然， 从理论上讲，这是有可能发生的，但前提是恒星的排列是完美的，并且在99％的情况下，这不会发生。 赢得彩票的可能性更大，因此甚至不用考虑。 如果您正在寻找这个，那您读的是错误的文章，因为它没有解释如何实现该目标。
The goal I am talking about in this post is a lifestyle business; creating something that gives you satisfaction day by day, and over time generates a good economic return so that we no longer have to work for anyone else, we can work when we want to, and create an automated business.
Here is what you can aim to in the medium term: financial independence, independence from where you live and freedom, control and power.
financial independence: you will not become wealthy in 3 months but you can reasonably think that with time you will be able to build a source of cash that can first integrate and then replace your salary (assuming you have one).
Independence from where you live: One of the main advantages of online business, made in a certain way, is total independence from the location. No matter where you are, the important thing is to give your customer what they want.
与您住所的独立性 ：通过某种方式进行的在线业务的主要优势之一就是与所在位置的完全独立。 无论您身在何处，重要的都是为客户提供他们想要的东西。
freedom, control and power: creating a business, a system that can give you financial freedom, and have the freedom and power to decide from day to day our fate. If we work with commitment, nothing is impossible. Woke up with a new idea? You can start testing it today, no one can deny that to us.
自由，控制和权力 ：创建一家可以给您财务自由的系统，并拥有决定日常命运的自由和权力的系统。 如果我们恪守承诺，没有什么是不可能的。 醒来有新主意吗？ 您可以立即开始对其进行测试，没有人可以拒绝我们。
After the part where you dream about the idea and imagine how it might be, there’s hard work to do. Certainly it will not be like in movies, TV series or as described in magazines or websites. For the simple reason that when someone is listed as an example in such places, it’s because that idea is in their 1% of successful ideas. No one talks about the rest.
在您梦about以求的想法并想象它可能是什么之后，还有很多工作要做。 当然，它将不会像电影，电视连续剧或杂志或网站中所描述的那样。 出于这样的简单原因，当某人在这样的地方被列为示例时，原因是该想法占成功想法的1％。 没有人谈论其余的。
If you are a programmer, thinking of making and selling your software product seems like a fun idea. But remember that after you have completed the product, the rest is technical or commercial support to customers, debugging, writing documentation, dealing with the server, optimizing the funnel, writing emails, responding to emails, responding to feature requests, marketing, marketing, marketing. If your passion is programming, you’d be better off programming for someone else.
如果您是程序员，那么考虑制作和销售软件产品似乎是一个有趣的主意。 但是请记住，完成产品后，剩下的就是对客户的技术或商业支持，调试，编写文档，与服务器打交道，优化渠道，编写电子邮件，回复电子邮件，响应功能请求，市场营销，市场营销，行销。 如果您热衷于编程，那么最好不要为别人编程。
But if you look forward to learning everything you don’t know and learning tons of marketing and customer acquisition strategies, great!
In any case, it will be a success, because even if it does not go as you hope, you will know much, much more for your next attempt.
您学到的一切都是可重复的 (Everything you learn will be repeatable)
The process of bringing a product from idea to being sold successfully is hard, will require a lot of learning, and you will need to invest a lot of time.
Even if the product doesn’t succeed, the time invested will never be wasted. All you will learn in the process are reusable abilities that will come in handy in the future, and can also be sold as skills, as in the world there is a great need for people who can ship products.
If you do it once, next time you will already have all the skills you need. You will already know several things and above all else you will learn from mistakes and experience.
Or, if the first time you have a good response, you can repeat the procedure and see if it’s replicable, if you’ve found a system that can be applied to your future products as well.
But what are the skills you will learn? It depends on what your project is, but in general we talk about:
- product building 产品建设
- web marketing 网络营销
- email marketing 电子邮件营销
- SEO 搜索引擎优化
- advertising 广告
- customer service 客户服务
These are topics that take a long time to be learned and I can’t explain them all in this post, but at the end of the post you will have tips on how to continue learning and which other things to read.
正确的观点 (The right perspective)
Obviously, to stay in business you need to make some money. What is the minimum amount of revenue you should target?
Initially set an achievable goal. Don’t think that launching your app, book, web app, online course or anything else, customers will automatically come. The “if you build it, they will come” approach rarely works.
最初设定一个可以实现的目标。 不要以为启动您的应用程序，书籍，Web应用程序，在线课程或其他任何内容都会吸引客户。 “如果您构建它，它们就会来”的方法很少起作用。
Setting an achievable goal brings two important consequences: there will be a reason for celebration and satisfaction once achieved, and will be a great encouragement, and setting a low goal avoids that you immediately abandon your business if you realize no one is buying your product.
Let’s say 100$ in profit.
If you don’t reach 100$ in the first launch month, you will have to decide if and how to proceed. 100$ seems easy but it may not be.
I have launched projects that have done much better than 100% in the first month, and I have launched projects that have made very little. It’s all about how the launch is organized, how much audience you already have, and how you decide to promote your project.
Do you already have an audience? There will be no problems if your idea concerns a need of these people, and if you launch the product properly.
You don’t have an audience yet? 100$ in the first month will already be a great goal, and you’ll be able to expand on this in the following months. If you do more, it will already be a great achievement.
您还没有观众吗？ 第一个月100美元已经是一个不错的目标，接下来的几个月您将可以对此进行扩展。 如果您做得更多，这将是一个巨大的成就。
What matters most is not making a huge amount the first month, but to get started. The first couple dollars you’ll make from your own products will be awesome, and you’ll be thrilled.
多重个性 (Multiple personalities)
It’s not enough to be experienced in your domain; you obviously have to be experienced in your field, but this is not enough to succeed.
Michael Gerber in his books The E-Myth Revisited lists the three basic roles of a business, and you have to impersonate them altogether:
the businessman: the one who has the vision, the one who has the dream in mind
manager: the person who deals with productivity and creates the success: the one who implements the entrepreneur’s vision
the technician: the one who actually performs the job, supervised by the manager.
Since you are the only person working on your business, you will have to impersonate these three roles in turn, and it is likely that the most congenial role for you will be the role of the technician, the expert in the domain of the product you realize, but the making the product itself is the least important part.
There will be more important stuff to do:
- define and find a group of people with a need 定义并找到一群有需要的人
- know how to attract people from this group through marketing 知道如何通过营销吸引这一群体的人
- present your product in an attractive way 以有吸引力的方式展示您的产品
The product obviously has to work, and it must work fine. How a product works internally, in the case of software, is the least important thing. It does not matter to anyone the technology used, in the same way that no one cares what type of paper and ink was used to write a book.
该产品显然必须工作，并且必须工作正常。 对于软件而言，产品的内部工作方式是最不重要的。 对任何人来说，所用的技术都没有关系，就像没人在乎用哪种类型的纸和墨水来写书一样。
不要害怕 (Don’t be afraid)
It’s completely normal worrying about not being able do what you have in mind, thinking that your business idea is not really appreciated or having a nightmare where you can’t find customers. Don’t worry, everyone thinks the same way. When you are working on your own business, you are always very close to a possible failure, and this is powerful as it is both a fear and at the same time a strong motivation to always do your best.
完全正常的情况是担心您无法做到自己的想法，认为您的业务想法没有得到真正的赞赏，或者在噩梦中找不到您的客户。 不用担心，每个人都以同样的方式思考。 当您从事自己的业务时，您总是非常容易遇到失败，这很强大，因为这既是一种恐惧，同时又是始终尽力而为的强烈动力。
The first time we do something, we’re all scared. The difference between those who have never done a thing and who, on the other hand, ship constantly great products is determination and resilience, the ability to rise after each failure. Fear will never disappear. Especially when you are about to switch from consumer to manufacturer. Your ability to overcome this fear will take you from the crowded bar of those who have never had the courage to try, to the very little table of those who have tried and succeeded.
我们第一次做某事时，我们都很害怕。 从来没有做过的事情的人与另一方面一直在运送优质产品的人之间的区别是决心和韧性，即每次失败后都能提高的能力。 恐惧永远不会消失。 尤其是当您要从消费者转向制造商时。 您克服这种恐惧的能力将把您从从未有勇气尝试的那些人的拥挤的酒吧带到那些已经尝试成功的人的一小撮桌子。
What is the best way to avoid failure? Make sure that you will have customers for your services or products. How? By starting in the right way.
避免失败的最佳方法是什么？ 确保您的服务或产品有客户。 怎么样？ 通过正确的方式开始。
Don’t even start until you find the market to sell, and find out if this market is looking forward to finding your product. At this point, it is imperative to clarify this: if your market is not easily accessible, if you don’t know how to find the people you are looking for, if there is no reasonably cost-effective way to do so, question the need to switch market entirely.
开放改变 (Open to change)
You’ll have to change. I have changed my core business model 6 times over the past 10 years to adapt to the changes in the surrounding environment. At the same time I have tested and launched countless side projects.
您必须进行更改。 在过去的十年中，我已经六次更改了核心业务模型，以适应周围环境的变化。 同时，我已经测试并启动了无数的辅助项目。
In a traditional business, a change in the surrounding environment could mean that a big competitor opens his store a few blocks away. Or the road you’re on, on which many tourists pass, is replaced by a ring road, resulting in a 90% reduction in the transit traffic which makes up 70% of your customers.
In the case of an Internet business, this could happen:
- a popular platform that you’re relying on declines in a matter of a few years 一个流行的平台，您依赖它在几年内下降
- a product is launched and destroys a market (disrupts it) 产品上市并破坏市场(破坏市场)
- you sell products on Amazon, but for unknown reasons one day you get banned 您在亚马逊上销售产品，但由于未知原因，有一天您被禁止
- Amazon changes something in its system and you are no longer among the recommended products 亚马逊对其系统进行了更改，因此您不再属于推荐产品
- Google updates its search algorithms and from the first page you go to page 8, becoming invisible Google更新了搜索算法，从第一页转到第8页，变得不可见
In the world today, you need to be quick, up-to-date, agile and snappy. What worked fine 5 years ago, does not work anymore.
Some trivial example of how digital reality changes?
- The SEO of a site is completely different today from how it was 6 years ago 今天，网站的SEO与6年前完全不同
- 5 years ago Facebook introduced the Ads in the mobile app, before they didn’t even exist 5年前，Facebook在移动应用中推出了广告，甚至还不存在
- 9 years ago practically no one had a phone connected to the Internet 9年前，几乎没有人将电话连接到互联网
Think of the bookstores, how many closed doors in the last 10 years, and think about taxis after Uber.
Radical changes, things that we take for granted today are realities introduced very recently, in relative terms.
The marketing strategy that last year was perfect today starts to lose its effectiveness.
It is very important to have the ability to change strategy and focus from morning to evening.
In a time of great change, those who don’t move are destined for oblivion, while the little ones have the ability to react quickly and change direction, and this is your great competitive advantage.
In short, nothing stands still, and whoever stops while everything around changes, dies.
The changes are not always negative, the opposite may happen, or new opportunities will come out:
- A new CMS is launched on the market, and while on WordPress there are another 1000 plugins that do the same thing that yours does, on that CMS you would be the only one, becoming the de facto standard 市场上推出了一个新的CMS，而在WordPress上，还有另外1000个与您的插件功能相同的插件，在该CMS上，您将是唯一的插件，成为事实上的标准
- your competitors fail and you can get their customers 您的竞争对手失败了，您可以赢得他们的客户
- your competitor who used so-called “gray hat” SEO techniques is penalized by Google and now you’re the first in the list for many new keywords 您的竞争对手使用了所谓的“灰色帽子” SEO技术，因此受到Google的惩罚，现在您是许多新关键字列表中的第一个
- a famous person in your industry promotes your product to its 30000 fans on Facebook 您所在行业的知名人士在Facebook上向30000位粉丝推广您的产品
These are just the changes you don’t have any influence on, but there is a lot you can do to start a change, for example:
- you write on your blog every day for 2 years and finally Google starts to consider you an authority and regularly sends you traffic 您连续两年每天都在博客上写文章，最后Google开始认为您是权威机构并定期向您发送访问量
- you keep contacts with your influence network in your niche until they recommend you everywhere 您会与您的影响力网络保持联系，直到他们向您推荐任何地方
- you make a fabulous product 你做一个神话般的产品
- you find the right market and the perfect channel to advertise your product 您找到合适的市场和宣传产品的理想渠道