Let’s talk about the F-word.
No, not that one. Dirty mind you’ve got there! (Full disclosure: I tricked you, hahaha, sorry not sorry ;)
But, in all seriousness, I’m talking about a 7-letter word… Freedom.
That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? That’s why I’m here. Yep, what I write and record and teach and rant about is making things and selling them, and growing your list and building an empire… you know, the usual: life-affirming mindsets, productive habits, copywriting, product design, customer research, marketing, and of course money. (Money money money!)
But FREEDOM is what it’s really about
I’m not into Product™ as a way to be, like, a Super Famous + Envied Startup Girl. F fame, and I never paint myself as some kind of lifestyle guru. I don’t particularly want to be a “thought leader.” I couldn’t give a flying fig if Inc magazine thinks I’m the hot shit. I don’t want to build to a big exit. I don’t even care about being filthy rich. That’s not what it’s about for me, for my life, and my business — and it’s not why I expend so much time and effort and energy to teach folks like you.
For me, it’s all about freedom… for me and for you.
I’ve identified four essential varieties of career freedom:
Love-your-work freedom — freedom from stakeholders and bosses and clients who tend to prefer work that is easily palatable — or worse, stamped with their own mark — rather than great; freedom, too, from working with people you hate, or merely dislike. That’s the freedom to do your best work, free from interference, with only people you enjoy working with (or no one at all!), and with a direct connection to the people who will use it and love it.
Set-your-own-schedule freedom — freedom from the daily grind, the butt-in-seat mentality that requires you to spend a certain number of hours a day being visible or available regardless of whether you’re actually being productive. That’s the freedom to work fewer, better hours, on the schedule that works best for you.
Go-where-you-want-to freedom — freedom from having to ask another adult for permission to go on a trip, take a long lunch to meet with friends, spend time with a sick family member, or take a day off just because it’s gorgeous. That’s the freedom to control your actual life, every day.
Live-where-you-want-to freedom — freedom from long commutes, or having to choose housing that’s nearby but expensive or undesirable. (Not to mention having to move for a job.) When you’re the boss, your company is wherever you say it is. That’s the freedom to live where you love, whether that’s about choosing to live simply and inexpensively, or it’s about being near your family and friends, or an area you adore.
In other words: Freedom is being a grownup who’s in control of what you make, how you make it, when you make it, and where you make it. Fancy that.
That’s why, when I’m feeling nerdy, I refer to it as personal sovereignty rather than freedom… aka: you being the boss of you, both literally and figuratively.
That’s what I want for me. And that’s what I want for you.
Isn’t that what you deserve?
I think so. I think everybody deserves it. Including me. That’s why I chose to throw away an extremely lucrative consulting practice.
March 2008. That was the moment when I decided to say F@$ IT* and quit. I had this realization on a month-long trip to New Zealand. Back in 2008, there was virtually no internet in NZ 😂 and for the first time ever, I was far enough away from my consulting work to realize how much I loathed it. Thomas and I were making bank for big, fancy clients — our phones were ringing off the hook; we were doing really groundbreaking shit; we were even getting press coverage… but I didn’t care. Consulting, for me, absolutely did NOT deliver the four freedoms. Which was sort of ironic considering I left my actual job-job for the freedom of consulting. Irony, right?
I realized it was time to do what I had thought about for years: Build a product business
We launched Freckle in December 2008 — did our first billing cycle in January 2009.
As of today, Freckle has made a total of $3,166,031.
Over three million dollars.
And, of course, there were other products —
- Year of Hustle, and now 30x500
- HTML5 Mobile Pro
- Charm, which we shut down in favor of freedom even though it was already making $50k ARR
- Just F*cking Ship
- and now, of course, our new SaaS, Sweep
I’ve sold technical books, technical screencasts, technical workshops. SaaS, twice, and coming up on #3. Short ebooks, and long ones, and email courses, live workshops and recorded ones, infoproducts and coaching.
Today, I’ve built a million-dollar-a-year business.
And our total lifetime revenue for all products is around $6 million. And, obviously, it’s going up by a million bucks every year now.
But — and this is the really exciting part — my students have eclipsed me.
We’ve estimated lifetime 30x500 student revenue at over $10 million
Not only have my students as a group made more from the class than I have (yes!) they have earned more than I have, period, over all my products (YES!!).
I’m SO proud to report that…
- Nearly every single student who launched a product made back the cost of the class and then some
- Most students who have launched products have added an extra $5-10k to their pockets
- Many have been able to quit their jobs, or consulting, and built the four freedoms for themselves.
- And a few have built businesses bigger than mine!
This makes me the happiest.
I get to work on the things I love.
I get to do my best work, with people I like…
… from a house on 10 acres in the middle of nowhere
… on my own schedule (thanks, chronic illness)…
and, on top of all that awesomesauce, I get to have that kind of impact on the lives of my students.
There’s nothing better than the feeling of really helping people with the sweat of your brow and brain
And if you can do it while you ALSO help yourself, by creating a life you love — by building the four freedoms for yourself — then that’s the literal best thing in the world.
That’s why I love product businesses.
That’s why I’m a zealot for them.
That’s why I teach creative people like you, B, how to build them.
My lifetime revenue shows that I’m really, really good at coming up with products that sell. I’ve sold nearly every kind of digital product: from ebook to screencast to live workshop to app.
And I can teach you how!!
And, unlike all those other guys who claim to be able to teach you how to build a product biz, I built and sold technical workshops, books, and app subscriptions waayyyyy before I ever endeavored to teach anyone. I was employed in the technical field and I was a consultant to big companies. I’m a designer, a developer, and a writer… like you.
Here’s what you’ll learn when you enroll in 30x500:
In short, just about everything I’ve learned over the past 9 years of building and marketing and selling products:
- why most products fail… and how you can avoid failure entirely
- how to choose an audience that won’t let you down
- how to find them, and target them, and learn exactly what motivates them to click, read, share, signup, and most importantly, buy
- how to come up with infinite product ideas
- how to be sure your product will sell before you EVER build it
- how to build a personal audience that knows you, trusts you, and is eager to buy
- how to build your list
- how to choose the right product for you, right now — one you can actually finish, and ship, and profit from
- how to break down your product into manageable chunks and get ‘er done
- how to write sales copy that opens wallets — even if you suck at writing
- how to price (it’s easier than you think!)
- how to grow an empire over time with products of different scales and types
- how to keep going when things get tough
And every one of these skills is portable — you’ll level up for every task where you have to understand, market, persuade, or sell, be it it’s a job hunt, or consulting, or growing a biz you already have.
Every lesson is short, tight, and actionable — and there are 109 lessons as of right now. (I’m working on a few new ones specific to SaaS and ebook businesses!)
A lot of so-called “courses” out there are little more than coffee cup slogans and hand-waving. They ask you about your dreams; you fill out “worksheets” with fantasies about your “ideal” customer. They tell you to cold-call 100 people (and ask a formulaic set of questions, trusting you will get good answers.) They tell you to “market” and “connect with your niche” but don’t show you what that means. They tell you to spend money on ads, without teaching you how to hook people and build trust.
They throw around words that sound good, but they don’t show you exactly what to do.
They’re designed to look sexy. They’re designed to whip you into a frenzy to make you feel like you’re doing something, instead of actually making progress.
They’re selling the dream, not the knowledge and skills you need to do to make that dream real.
30x500 is the polar opposite: Not sexy, but productive.
And I designed it, built it, feverishly overhauled it (4 times!!), for you. Each lesson is short and info-packed. Each section comes with exercises and tools that’ll help you implement, in bite-sized chunks so you can experience a win as soon as possible. So the progress will keep you motivated. So you can build your biz on the side, just like I had to. So you can punch above your weight, and get double or triple return on every hour you work… just like I had to.
Whether you’ve got weeks at a time to dedicate to your business, or just one weekend a month… every lesson, every exercise, every challenge will bring you one, solid step closer to your goal. To the four freedoms.
We don’t usually ask for testimonials, so here’s a couple screenies of alums in the Slack just celebrating their latest wins: