When you’ve got the skills to create things — but you don’t know what to make, or how to sell it — it can seem like you’re facing down a journey of a thousand miles. CLICHÉ ALERT: You are, kinda. But it’s not a bad thing! As the old saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” — and so does the journey to a million-dollar business.
I didn’t start off with a huge list, a pile of VC cash, or a a huge launch.
In 2008, I made exactly $0 in product revenue.
In 2009, my products made $85,000. It was a lot of work! But it worked.
Over that year, I learned to make every step I took a step forward… towards Money Mountain. And today, I’ve built a business that brings in over $1m/year.
If I hadn’t buckled down 8 years ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
That’s the power of what I called my Year of Hustle.
Now I’ve put together this guide to help you create your Year of Hustle.
First: Get Your Head Screwed On Right
Work smart, and it’s not hard to hit five figures… in a year… on the side.
The trick is to break everything down into achievable chunks. Don’t aim for $1 mil. Don’t aim for a blockbuster. Those goals are too far away to be useful. Aim for something achievable — five figures ($10k) — and hit that target.
Then once you’ve nailed it, pick a bigger target and nail that one too.
Before you can start, though, it’s all about the mindset:
- No, you don’t need to be famous or even well-known.
- What will keep you going? Not a fantasy stuffed with mansions and Lambos. You need the right motivation.
- And if you need a kick in the ass to get started? Learn what to do when you don’t FEEL ready.
Second: Get Your Roadmap
Now you’re thinking the right way… what do you actually need to do? What’s your first step? And your second? And your tenth? And your fiftieth?
It’s easy to know what you’re “supposed” to do if you want to get a traditional job; there’s also metric tons of content out there for you if you want to take the “traditional” startup route with F&F rounds and venture capital.
But if you want to make and sell things directly? And retain full ownership?
Well, I couldn’t find a map. So I forged my own.
And now I’ve put together an absolutely MAGNIFICENT (and enormous) roadmap for you: The Year of Hustle. It covers every step, from calculating your price vs sales to a specific to-do list for your launch content.
Get your roadmap now:
Third: Implement the Roadmap
While the Year of Hustle Roadmap is totally epic, I couldn’t fit in everything. So here are detailed articles that will help you implement each stage:
Understanding your audience (Safari)…
Producing your marketing content (Ebombs)…
- The Ebomb Recipe That Works (free lesson)
- Pricing Your Product - The D&D Test
- Finish your drafts! Three rules to make writing for your audience easier
Deciding what to make (Method + Format!)…
Don’t overthink the pricing. That’s why I gave two example prices in the Year of Hustle Roadmap!
- Pick a price that would make it worth your while and help you achieve your goals…
- Then figure out how to deliver 3-5x that value.
- For a professional audience, you really only have to save them 5-15 hours of work (or stress, or procrastination, or inefficiency…) to make a ~$78 price point well worth their while.
Still freaked? Check out Will Low Prices Help You Sell More?.
- 3 critical, non-obvious ingredients for ANY launch
- What if your product launch fails? This interview will give you $10k reasons to do it anyway.
The whole cycle…
- I wrote an entire series of live blogs/journal entries as I designed, wrote, and shipped the first version of my book Just Fucking Ship in just 24 hours… and then followed up as I built the foundations of an evergreen launch under it! Read the latest installment here: Anatomy of a Launch.
Don’t forget to grab your roadmap!