Summary of Starting From Nothing: How To Get To $10,000 A Month

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00:00:00 - 01:00:00

The video discusses various approaches to building a personal enterprise and reaching a $10,000 revenue goal. It emphasizes the importance of focusing on cash flow, building trust and influence through mediums like newsletters and podcasts, and generating recurring revenue through paid products like newsletters and communities. The speakers also highlight the value of owning online property and building an audience through blogging, social media, and podcasts. Additionally, they discuss the concept of front-end and back-end products in creating a profitable business and using distribution channels to increase revenue. They suggest surrounding oneself with successful people and hustling during downtime while delivering measurable value to clients.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, the speakers discuss different approaches to building a personal enterprise and starting from scratch. They mention the compounding effect of doing a little work every day and how it can be very beneficial in this industry. The first option they explore is a paid newsletter and the pros and cons that come with it. While it can be a direct and streamlined way to build a personal enterprise, the downside is the constant need to feed the beast and provide new content. They also acknowledge that different people will have different goals and there are various approaches that can be taken depending on those goals.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, the speaker discusses a framework for starting an online business and reaching a $10,000 revenue goal. The first step is to focus on cash flow, which involves finding a source of income to sustain oneself while building the business. The second step is to build trust and influence through mediums like newsletters, Twitter, and podcasts in order to monetize through ads and affiliate deals. Finally, the speaker suggests paid products like newsletters and communities to generate recurring revenue and increase the lifetime value of customers. By understanding this underlying model, one can choose the tools and approaches that work best for them.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, the importance of thinking about money as the first step in starting a successful business is discussed. Although building an audience and establishing trust and influence is important, it's crucial to figure out how to get cash flow and resources before running out of money. Starting a service business is the fastest path to a sustainable revenue stream, and freelancing is an excellent place to start. By selling your time, you can build a brand around yourself and establish a reputation that will be an actual marketing asset in the beginning. Eventually, as you build trust and influence, people will start signing up for your email list and offer ideas for collaborations, leading to other schemes.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the importance of building credibility and reputation in starting a new business venture. They emphasize the value of having an audience that finds value in what you have to say and being part of a conversation around you. They also touch on the issue of cash flow and the role of marketing in freelancing. They suggest that if you're starting a freelance gig or your own agency, focusing on marketing services is more likely to produce quick results. They also mention that there are different approaches to this, but offering freelance services in content marketing, social media marketing, or web development can be the easiest to sell.
  • 00:20:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the concept of keeping a job while building an enterprise, as they believe it is cash flow that allows you to pursue a larger vision. They highlight the success stories of several well-known copywriters who started their careers as ad writers and went on to become successful writers or entrepreneurs, such as Steven Pressfield, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Hugh Hefner. The speakers note that copywriting offers writers an opportunity to improve their writing skills and understand what drives people to buy, making it an excellent launching pad for starting a business. Finally, they highlight the influence of women in copywriting, such as Helen Lansdowne Resor, who is credited with introducing the famous phrase "sex sells" through her work in advertising.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, the speaker discusses successful women in advertising who started by writing ads for companies before building their own empires. He notes that it is not necessary to step out immediately and build your own business, but rather focus on delivering value, which often starts with a marketing position. The speaker also reminds the audience that having a job can be beneficial and valuable, and encourages them to hustle during downtime. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with people who are a couple of steps ahead and who can provide guidance and support.
  • 00:30:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the importance of surrounding oneself with successful people in order to learn and grow. Being around people who are better at their jobs than oneself can provide great value. The speaker advises against sacrificing one's quality of life to start a company and suggests either finding a job or starting freelancing, ensuring that what one offers is delivering measurable value to clients. Moving onto the next phases, the speaker talks about trust and influence, which involve growing an audience and building distribution for paid products. While there are many avenues to grow an audience, the speaker recommends starting a blog because it's a long-form medium and has seen fewer ups and downs than social media platforms. The goal is to build a writing habit of publishing a well-formatted, long-form article once a week on a domain and hosting platform of one's own.
  • 00:35:00 In this section, the speakers talk about the importance of owning some kind of online property, like a blog or a website, as a way of converting web traffic into an email list. Social media is seen as a way to direct traffic towards the blog and subsequently the email list. The speakers discuss the three levers that are key to building an online audience - the size of the audience, how much money they have to spend, and how engaged they are with the content. They emphasize that it is important to consider these three levers when positioning ads and building paid products in the future.
  • 00:40:00 In this section, the speaker discusses their strategy for growing trust and influence from scratch. They plan to start by fixing up their blog and keeping it simple before doubling down on Twitter and audio. They believe Twitter is a fun spot to compete in because of the low bar for quality content and the ease of getting noticed by putting out quality work. Additionally, they mention that audio, in particular, podcasts, can create a unique relationship between the listener and the speaker, which can increase the level of trust. Finally, the speaker concludes by saying that Twitter threads and podcasts can be an excellent way to grow influence and shares a resource, Alex Garcia, who has previously grown his Twitter following from 4,000 to 40,000 in less than two months.
  • 00:45:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the value of podcasts and its ability to develop trust and influence with its audience. They mention the difficulty of growing a podcast, but once an audience is established, there is a much higher stickiness rate. The importance of consistency and breaking the 40-episode barrier is also mentioned, with the example of a podcast breaking 10,000 downloads after 50 episodes. Moving on to monetization, the speakers discuss the difficulty of relying on ads or sponsorships for income and the importance of creating repeatable and scalable income. They suggest paid communities, newsletters, and courses as potential sources for recurring revenue that can scale without increasing costs.
  • 00:50:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the concept of front-end and back-end products in the context of building a community or paid newsletter. He explains that a front-end product is usually priced between $5-$10 per month or $50-$100 per year and is more broad in scope. A back-end product, on the other hand, starts at around $500 per year and can go up to $15,000 per year, depending on how much value it delivers to the customer. The speaker emphasizes the need to be in touch with the audience to determine which product will work best and how much they are willing to spend. He also recommends building a distribution mechanism such as using the hustle to distribute paid products.
  • 00:55:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the method of using distribution channels for front-end product and developing expensive but valuable back-end products to increase revenue. He cites examples of companies like Copyblogger and Stadzi that follow the same scheme irrespective of whether they are a media company or a service business. The conversation also touches upon the idea that businesses tend to evolve into finance companies and how airlines generate profit primarily through their rewards programs, further highlighting the importance of having a back-end product to increase revenue. The speaker emphasizes that once businesses adopt this model, they begin to see it everywhere, and cites examples like Substack, Pomp, and Seed Table that use a similar approach.

01:00:00 - 01:05:00

The video discusses Steph Smith, Justin Welsh, and Alice Lemay, who have successfully implemented the model of a front-end product with a back-end consulting firm, generating more than $1.3 million in revenue over the last few years. The speakers also suggest a few people worth following on Twitter to learn about the freelance writing business, and the podcast will post an outline on their blog to provide context to each section. Additionally, a future episode will focus on how to get your first client, which is rich in practical experience. The podcast can be found on iTunes or Spotify and via the email list at

  • 01:00:00 In this section, the speakers discuss a few individuals who are successfully implementing the same model of a front-end product with a back-end consulting firm, with the goal of making at least $10,000 a month. The first person mentioned is Steph Smith, who has successfully built her own audience through Twitter, podcasting, and blogging. She has also created two front-end products that are considered courses and have generated more than six figures in their first year. Next, Justin Welsh is mentioned, a tech executive who burned out and moved to Nashville, growing a series of one-man businesses, generating $1.3 million in revenue over the last few years. To achieve this, he advises SaaS founders and uses a retainer model that focuses on advising for $4,000 a month. He also uses his LinkedIn influence to grow his audience and monetize it against paid communities and courses, with revenue so far of $341,000 and $81,000, respectively. Finally, Alice Lemay, a successful freelance writer, is also mentioned.
  • 01:05:00 In this section, the speaker mentions a couple of people worth following on Twitter who are a few steps ahead of anyone just getting into the freelance writing business, and with 18 months to three years of experience. The episode covered a lot of information, and each section requires context, so the podcast will post an outline on their blog Additionally, the speakers mentioned that they will do an episode on how to get your first client because the topic is interesting and rich in sales and practical experience. Finally, the podcast can be found on iTunes or Spotify, and you can sign up for the email list at to get access to each episode.

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