Reset
12 Comments

Good Reasons to Keep Your Money

Money - Keep it

Marketers tend to deliberately over-hype their products in an attempt to break through a crowded marketplace. In an environment where we receive 3,000 advertising messages on an average day, the idea is to be bigger and better – but if that’s too difficult, the theory goes, we can at least be noisier.

I’m coming out with my second information product exactly one week from today, and instead of trying to sell you on it, I thought I’d tell you why not to buy it.

On Monday I’ll explain how to create an Incredibly Convincing Guarantee. The idea is that most promises of “satisfaction guaranteed” aren’t that convincing at all anymore. Almost everything we buy has some kind of guarantee, but we still end up ignoring most of those 3,000 messages each day.

Since I’m in the marketplace of ideas, I’ve decided to create a guarantee for my own product that goes beyond the usual. I think I’ve found something unique, and I think it will resonate. I also can’t wait to tell you more about the guide itself – which currently runs to more than 55 pages and also includes several 25-minute audio segments.

I was going to write about both of those things today, but then I got worried… what if I’m writing for the wrong people?

See, I want to deliver great products to the right customers, and I am the first to point out that there are usually a number of good reasons to keep your money instead of exchanging it for something else. Therefore, I need to do some disqualification for your benefit and mine.

The next product will be called the Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself. The subtitle is “Creating Freedom through a Very Small Business,” and that’s basically what it’s all about:

Creating Freedom = finding a way to work for yourself instead of someone else, or at least finding a way to bring in additional income that allows you to do more of what you want and be less dependent on a job

Through a Very Small Business = not trying to start the next Google or Amazon.com, but instead building a microbusiness that brings in at least $200 a month, and potentially a series of these opportunities that eventually allow you to quit your current job

Please understand that this is not for everyone. Not everyone values freedom over traditional employment, and not everyone wants to have a business of any kind, even a very small one.

The ever-insightful Tim at Soul Shelter recently wrote a post entitled In Praise of Salaried Employment. Reading it was an affirmation that I (still) don’t want a “real job,” but I see Tim’s point — and it also served as a good reminder that not everyone wants to work for themselves. Like most art forms, the way people on the outside perceive self-employment is quite different from the way it actually works for most of us who practice it.

Why Not to Buy the UG to Working for Yourself

As mentioned, there are many good reasons to not buy any particular product or service. A few of them for this one are:

If you’re looking for the quick path to riches. Feel free to keep looking for that – but please, not here. If I had found such a thing, I would probably not be selling it in a low-cost ebook. I might still travel around the world, but I don’t think I would sleep on the floor of airports from Rome to Dallas to save money.

If you don’t like to learn or aren’t willing to work. I use a lot of irony in my writing, but there is nothing ironic about this. A lot of people are simply not comfortable with learning new things, and if you have never worked for yourself before, there’s a lot of things you have to learn.

One of the things I mention in the guide is that you don’t have to be especially intelligent to earn money without a job, but you do need to be willing to work.

If your primary goal is to build a huge business. I have nothing against huge businesses for the most part; I just don’t know anything about building them. I’m far more interested in finding a way to pay the rent so I can do what I want.

On a higher level, I’m also interested in convergence and alignment, where my whole life is related to what I want to do for myself and how I think I can best help others. But in a nutshell, this guide is just about starting a very small business. Getting the cash flow coming in. Ready, fire, aim – that kind of thing.

If you are a complete beginner to technology. I write almost exclusively about online business because that’s what I’ve done for ten years. If you don’t know how blogs work or how Google makes money (for example), there will be more of a learning curve. The guide is targeted to the low to mid-intermediate level – not the guru who knows everything, but also not the complete beginner.

Don’t worry too much about this if you’re on the fence – I am a fairly low-tech person. I write on a $500 laptop and don’t do any programming or complex work at all. But I mention this because if you are going to work online in some kind of business, it does help to be fairly proficient with the world of computers. You should know what eBay is, you should probably have your own internet connection, etc.

***

Creating Freedom through a Very Small Business

I do not know how to create internet millionaires because I am not one myself. What I have done instead is find a way to create a lifestyle that works for me and gives me a great deal of freedom. It’s not a four-hour work week, but I spend a lot of time doing exactly what I want to do instead of being tied to a desk somewhere.

For me, the freedom itself is the most important thing – it is definitely the highest goal and most significant benefit of working for myself. That is what I know how to do, and that’s why the subtitle of the guide is “Creating Freedom through a Very Small Business.”

It can sometimes be unpopular to say so, but money and freedom are related to a certain point. Is there anyone who can argue that it’s fun to be poor? Let’s be honest: it sucks.

So you have to do something to avoid that, and if inheritance or litigation is not an option, then you either have to work for someone else or work for yourself.

I have chosen to work for myself. And if you’re interested, I’ll tell you all about what I do and how you can work towards creating your own freedom, doing it your own way, creating your own rules. By popular demand, I’ll include a lot of personal stories (especially “big mistakes” I’ve made along the way) and a lot of specific, actionable items you can take to get started right away.

The time for that will be Wednesday, October 8, at 10am EST / 7am here on the West Coast.

A couple of days before that, I’ll tell you all about the unique guarantee, exactly what you’ll get, how it works, how much it costs, and so on.

Sound good?

For Everyone Else

I needed to address the fact that the Working for Yourself guide is not for everyone – which will hopefully be clear now. If it’s not for you due to any of the reasons mentioned above (or something else), you won’t be left out of the party entirely.

I write three times a week and will never charge for that. I’m currently writing the sequel to the World Domination Manifesto, which will be released in January. I have more plans for the next 6-9 months that all involve scaling up the project without putting ads on the site or selling anything other than a few more teaching products like this one.

And as we did last time, I’ll also post a detailed analysis after the launch with what went well and what I could have done better.

Here is the launch schedule:

Friday, October 3: Working from Any Country in the World
Monday, October 6: The Incredibly Convincing Guarantee
Wednesday, October 8 (10am EST): The Launch

Thursday, October 9: Chris retires! (Wait, probably not yet. It may take a few more days.)

Thanks for listening, and see you all next time. Feel free to share your feedback in the comments section.

###

Stumble-this

Did you enjoy this article? Please pass it on to others at StumbleUpon, or share your own thoughts in the comments section.

Image by moal

Subscribe now and you’ll get the best posts of all time.

12 Comments

  • Anca says:

    I think this whole post is relevant to monetizing a small business — being upfront with your potential customers so they can make the deliberate decision that you are offering them value in exchange for their money.

    I’m also looking forward to the Guarantee post.

    FYI, last night I attended Northwest Entrepreneur Network’s “Are you, or should you be, an entrepreneur?” ThinkTank at Seattle U. Good stuff.

  • Ben Young says:

    Interesting approach, you now have me intrigued.

    I like your micro business idea, I follow a similar approach, using several initiatives that do things like pay my rent, allowing me to spend my time doing what i love.

  • Chris Guillebeau says:

    @Anca,

    Thanks – that forum sounds good; I was not aware of it. Maybe I’ll see you at a future one.

    @Ben,

    Don’t give me too much credit — I am also intrigued to see what will happen. 🙂

  • Saravanan says:

    Hey Chris,

    Please consider a low price edition for Indian Sub-continent. It might be less for the Americans but definitely not for the Indians. I would really appreciate if you come up with such a novel method and help guys like me to start up some micro business. I really love to start one but don’t how to start one. I am looking forward for such a guide. I know good things doesn’t come cheap/free. It costs.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Regards,
    Saravanan

  • Heather says:

    I like your approach, but I think you left out one possible reason not to buy your book – maybe now isn’t the best time to be starting a Very Small Business? (That phrase is very Winnie the Pooh to me somehow, and I mean that in a good way.) Or, it can be a good point for you – how to do this in the present situation.

    Personally, I am buying your guide anyway. 🙂

  • Metroknow says:

    I am anxiously awaiting the new book. I think it will really address nearly exactly where I am in my process to work on my own.

  • Mr Crash says:

    Hmmm, I feel almost slightly disappointed that I was only lucky enough to find this blog today. I’m quite enjoying it. Would be a pity if you’re *actually* retiring from keeping freeloaders like myself entertained 😉

    Of course, when you actually do put out your book… I’m interested in buying. Reminds me of a more realistic, less egotistical Tim Ferris styled work (at least thus far). Which I think is awesome.

  • Chris Guillebeau says:

    Thanks, guys. Glad you are excited.

    @Saravan,

    Sorry, there will just be one version.

    @Heather,

    Well, I suppose it depends on how you look at it. I tend to believe there is more security in taking individual responsibility than depending on what’s happening in the broader economy. But I realize not everyone is comfortable with that – if someone is happy in a job, then I don’t think they should necessarily plan towards leaving it, regardless of the economy.

    @Mr Crash,

    Nice to meet you. I actually like Tim Ferriss — he does things his own way, different from me of course, but he has definitely inspired a lot of people to seriously consider their priorities. That to me is a great thing.

  • Nicole says:

    Chris,

    I really enjoy your writing, and have been referring it to others. I have a small home biz already, and have been active for ~6 months. I love the service my co. offers, and I know that much of what may be holding me up right now is my own ‘growth’ from employee mindset to self-employed. Is this guide for people like me that haven’t quite hit the consistent montly cash flow goals, but already have a business?

  • Wendy says:

    Chris,
    Is this guide geared toward a specific type of business, like blogging? Or other types of writing? I’d love to start a small business, but I don’t know where to start, what my product would be, etc. I’d love it to be about writing, but I’m not sure what my subject matter would be. Are these things I need to sort out before your guide would be useful to me?

    Thanks!

  • chris marx says:

    THIS made me laugh 🙂
    Thanks!

    “Thursday, October 9: Chris retires! (Wait, probably not yet. It may take a few more days.)”

  • Berthold says:

    I’ve started my own business before and I didn’t do so great, not because I wasn’t ready to work or didn’t know what to do, but mostly because I misunderstood what being self-employed really entails. You are literally your own boss, so all the management, all the bookkeeping and all the responsibility are yours to bear.

    As such, I have decided to stay employed for the time being; freelancing as a designer is easy to get into but particularly hazardous. Learning from somebody else instead of your own mistakes may not have the same impact (read scarring) as going headfirst does, but sometimes it’s just easier to follow in somebodies footsteps until you’re ready to face the wind.

    That said, I absolutely encourage anyone with a 9-5 job to make something of their spare time. If nothing else, it’s a great learning experience within the safety of regular employment. Don’t expect too much and you may well be surprised when your little hobby turns into a company.

Your comments are welcome! Please be nice and use your real name.

If you have a website, include it in the website field (not in the text of the comment).

Want to see your photo in the comments? Visit Gravatar.com to get one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *