Book Reviews

Will It Fly? by Pat Flynn -Book Notes, Summary, and Review

36. Will It Fly? - Patt Flynn

Get it on Amazon

Rating: 6/10

Date of reading: 4th – 14th of September, 2017

Description: A step-by-step process on how to test out your business idea without investing money or (too much) time. The book is simple to read, simple to use, and the author backs the claims by not only research but also by his personal (successful) example.

 

My notes:

 

FOREWORD (PRE-FLIGHT CHECK)

 

“Most people read about 200 words per minute, and, at that pace, Will It Fly? will occupy about 3 1/2 hours of your week. That’s just a few minutes more than your average NFL game and a lot shorter than your average Netflix binge.” ( :11)

“The reality is that the missing factor is you (and your partners). YOU + IDEA + EXECUTION = SUCCESS.” ( :12)

“about 30 seconds, he was finished and proudly displayed his new creation, holding it in both of his hands with his arms stretched out to me. I had to lean in to get a closer look because what I was staring at looked nothing like an airplane. It looked more like that piece of paper you forgot you had at the bottom of your backpack. I was surprised by which direction he thought was the front, but not surprised when, after a big windup, the contraption didn’t fly at all. It only landed a couple of feet in front of him.” ( :14)

“”I don’t like paper airplanes.” He disappeared into the other room to go back to playing with his brand new Batman figurine.” ( :14)

“I was pretty confident it would. I mean, the simple dart design was almost foolproof and in my experience it had lots of room for error, but how could I know for sure? What if I said yes and then it didn’t? This was a crucial moment, so I chose my words wisely. “You did your best to give it everything it needs to fly. You’ve given it a chance, and now all we can do is throw it and see what happens.”” ( :15)

“In June of 2008, I was told I was going to be let go. After some mild depression and moving back home with my parents, I ended up turning my knowledge about the incredibly difficult LEED exam into an online business selling study guides, classes, and practice exams for this test. Within a year, GreenExamAcademy.com generated over $200,000 in sales. Since then, I’ve built several other businesses and have earned a total of over $3.5 million online.” ( :16)

“As Joel Barker says,” ( :16)

“”Speed is only useful if you’re running in the right direction.” And that’s why I wrote this book—to help you build your wings, and visualize your flight path.” ( :17)

“building cool stuff, and I’ve shifted his thinking from “I can’t” to “I haven’t figured it out yet.”” ( :17)

“We can assume outcomes one way or another, but until we put a method and data behind it to test those assumptions, we’re risking being pulled into something that seems right, but may prove to be completely wrong. Experimentation will illuminate the truth.” ( :17)

“Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous architect, said, “An idea is salvation by imagination.”” ( :18)

“I can’t predict everything that will happen in the future, but as John F. Kennedy once said, “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”” ( :18)

“ou cannot fail these tests, because it’s not you who is being tested. It is your ideas. No matter the outcome of the tests, it’s always going to be a win for you.” ( :19)

“two things: 1. Making money was more important to me than serving people. 2. I rushed into it.” ( :19)

“Although you might worry that you’re “late to the party,” the fact is that you have a great advantage over everyone else who is already there. You’ll get a big-picture look at how your target market is being served, what’s missing, or what opportunities exist. From there, you can favorably position yourself to win.” ( :20)

 

PART 1: MISSION DESIGN

 

“”Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” — Japanese Proverb” ( :22)

“A few years ago, before I started my company, the thought of making this kind of money online was a pipedream. Now that my “dream” has come true, I realize that I didn’t give my dream much thought at all and there’s much more to life than just making money.” ( :23)

“”How’s life?” someone usually ends up asking, and if the answer isn’t something on the same level as “Freaking amazing!” I always feel the need to dig deeper. I don’t probe to be rude or disrespectful, I do it because I’m curious and genuinely care about these people. I wouldn’t be hanging out with them if I didn’t.” ( :23)

“There is a difference, however, between being unhappy with life, and being in a momentary state of unhappiness with business.” ( :24)

“The truth is if you don’t have a passion for what you are doing, your energy will eventually fizzle out. It always does.” ( :24)

“You respond with, “AMAZING! Life couldn’t get any better.” And you really mean it. Now here comes the key question: What’s happening in your life five years from now that makes you respond like this?” ( :26)

“”If you put something up there that makes your life awesome that’s not achievable with this job, it’s my duty to say ‘no’ to you right now.”” ( :27)

“After you’ve completed the Four Quadrants of You, examine everything you’ve written down. This piece of paper defines who you want to become and it will be the foundation for several decisions that you make from here on out. When I did this exercise for myself the first time, it opened my eyes to a lot of what I wasn’t doing to get to where I wanted to be, and it was clear that I had to make some changes in specific parts of my life (especially in my health quadrant) to help me realize this future self. On the other hand, this exercise also validated a lot of what I was already doing and the path I want to travel, especially when it comes to my family.” ( :33)

“The purpose of this question, and the secondary goal of this exercise, is to catch any red flags. We want to find out now if it’s obvious that the idea you have in your head isn’t one that makes sense for you and your future self.” ( :34)

“”You know, I could probably hire someone right now to do whatever it is you’re thinking of doing. So why should I be interested in working with you? What makes you so special?” Nice to meet you too, Kevin.” ( :42)

“In January of 2009, my LEED exam business was taking off, primarily because I was one of the only people online who had any information about it available. That month, I sold 563 copies of my study guide at a price of $29.99 each. These were digital copies too, so I didn’t have to worry about printing, packaging or shipping. A PDF version of the study guide was sent automatically to customers immediately after purchase. Because of this, virtually all of the income was generated passively. It kept my profit margins above 95% and freed up time for me to create new products and focus on marketing. Not bad for a one-man operation! Combined with the advertising on my website, I earned a total of $19,400.37 that month. The next month, my earnings increased to $23,106.16.” ( :42)

“Why would anyone want to buy my study guides when they could get one from the organization that literally writes the test questions? I didn’t get a perfect score on the exam and I wasn’t a professional teacher. I didn’t even consider myself an expert. All I had was my own experience studying for and taking this exam.” ( :42)

“Hey Pat! Thanks again for your book. I take my test in a couple of weeks and your book and practice exam recommendations have already proven to be extremely useful. I’m confident I’ll be passing with flying colors. To answer your question, I actually found you last week after searching for LEED study guides in Google. I was going to get the USGBC guide but it was a bit pricey, so I searched for other options and found yours. I liked what I saw and the price was right, but more than that I just liked the fact that you’re real. You’re just a guy who took the exam who was where I’m at right now not too long ago. I figured you would have some insider information as a test taker yourself. Keep up the great work! I’ll let you know how I do. —JP” ( :43)

“item. If you spot a Mercedes on the lot for $500.00, it really makes you wonder what’s wrong with it.” ( :43)

“And remember, this is all related to studying for the LEED exam, a niche that on the surface sounds completely boring and impersonal—but when a human element is added to it, you’ve got something people can connect with.” ( :44)

“”Building a successful business is no longer about B2B or B2C. It’s about P2P, those people-topeople relationships.”” ( :44)

“”Well, I now want to crawl into a hole where I can quietly die from embarrassment for even having this thought. Great game, Pat!”” ( :44)

“”Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”” ( :44)

“what Kevin is really asking you is this: What can you bring to the table that no one else can? What is your unfair advantage?” ( :45)

“She describes an unfair advantage as a skill or asset that you have that no one else has, or very few others might have in a specific niche. It’s your competitive edge, and whatever that edge may be, it’s your job to use it to your advantage as much as possible as you shape and create your business.” ( :45)

“Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, is another person that comes to mind who has a very clear unfair advantage over others, a superpower that he was brought up with that he’s incorporated into everything that he does. He has an unmatched ability to hustle like there’s no tomorrow, and out-hustle everyone that stand” ( :45)

“tillMotion is an entire company that comes to mind when I think of unfair advantages. They are an Emmy Award-winning filmmaking company from Portland, Oregon” ( :45)

“As they say on their about page on their website, “We don’t make commercials. We don’t sell your product. We tell stories that make the right audience fall in love with you.”” ( :45)

“You’re going to email 10 friends and colleagues and ask them to identify your superpowers. This might sound a little crazy, but this is an exercise that I’ve heard Gary Vaynerchuk and several other entrepreneurs propose, because if you don’t know what your strengths are, you’ll never be able to harness them.” ( :46)

 

PART 2: DEVELOPMENT LAB

 

“Think things through—then follow through.”” ( :52)

“Your mind mapping method (Post-It notes or software) ready. A space where you’ll be uninterrupted for 10 minutes. A countdown timer (like the one on your mobile phone) set for 10 minutes. Any other thing that helps you think best (e.g. coffee, music, your favorite chair) And finally, an open mind that won’t think about order, structure, or editing.” ( :60)

“our target idea has structure; it’s becoming real.” ( :62)

“Standing in his office, he then taught me something that changed every single encounter I had with him after that point: “Whenever I ask you a question, Patrick—in an email, on the floor, or in my office—I want you to respond in just one sentence. That’s all you get. Think about what you need to say in one sentence that will convey all of the necessary items that will help me understand exactly what’s going on. One sentence. Nothing more. Do you understand?” “Yes.”” ( :66)

“. Over time, I began to excel in the office and was soon promoted to Senior Drafter, and then later Job Captain—the youngest to have ever been promoted to that position in the history of the firm.” ( :66)

“1. One page 2. One paragraph 3. One sentence” ( :67)

“I heard about this exercise through one of my good friends, Jaime Tardy of EventualMillionaire.com. She and I have been meeting weekly for nearly five years in a small mastermind group where we all share ideas with each other and hold each other accountable for our work.” ( :67)

“And now the final step. Take what you wrote in your paragraph and distill that into one single sentence. Not surprisingly, this step will likely take you the longest to complete even though it requires the least amount of writing. And if you’re like most people, you’ll pen several different versions before you finally land on one that you like.” ( :68)

“Read your sentence out loud and listen to how it sounds. How does it feel? If it doesn’t sound right or if you aren’t super stoked about it, those you share it with will feel the same way. Keep making adjustments until you have a sentence you can confidently proclaim, because that’s exactly what you’re going to do in the next and final stage of the Development Lab.” ( :68)

“EVERYONE. Because this is what happens when you start sharing that idea—it starts becoming refined. And a refined idea is a much more mature idea.” ( :69)

“You’ll get quick feedback—instant, guttural feedback from people—and especially from complete strangers that say ‘that is a stupid idea’ or ‘that’s a great idea but have you thought about this?'” ( :69)

“”Nothing. But, here’s the difference between you and the next person on the street who has a great idea—if you’re committed and you love the idea, you will actually see it to completion. Most people never execute on their ideas because they just never execute. The reason I’m a success as an entrepreneur, and why many other entrepreneurs are a success is simply because we do it. We don’t just talk about it; we do it.” ( :70)

“The solution, however, was obvious to me. I always choose honesty, so it was easy for me to decide to be completely open about the fact that I didn’t own a food truck of my own. As far as content, I decided to establish credibility through featuring the advice, stories, strategies, and tips learned from other food truck owners, both with written content on the blog, and interviews on the FoodTruckr School Podcast. I positioned myself as simply the curator of valuable information.” ( :71)

“use it to my advantage: “What’s something I can add that even someone with experience inside this industry couldn’t do?”” ( :71)

“If there is no respect found in someone’s comment or response, then there is no need to pay them any attention. Every second you waste thinking about a hater or troll is a second you’re taking away from those who matter and can benefit from what you have to offer.” ( :72)

“”Thanks! This won’t take more than a minute. I’m an entrepreneur who is looking for honest feedback about a potential business idea, and I love to ask random people what they think so I can get an initial reaction. Do you mind if I take one minute to share it with you?” You’ve already helped them out, so chances are they’ll be more than happy to return the favor.” ( :73)

“With that said, one final word of caution: positive feedback is not 100% true validation that you’ve got a winning business on your hands.” ( :74)

“But before we get there, there’s one more series of examinations we need to perform, and it’s not about our target idea—it’s about our target audience. In Part 3,” ( :74)

 

PART 3: FLIGHT PLANNING

 

“”If you can define the problem better than your target customer, they will automatically assume you have the solution.” —Jay Abraham” ( :75)

“”Well, really, it’s not about the money, it’s about helping individual people. Like you said, it’s great to think worldly and big and create the next “spreadsheet,” but what I think you can do is niche down and change a smaller group of people’s world. Right? Taking a specific market and changing their world. Not necessarily creating a spreadsheet for everybody, but maybe a spreadsheet just for people who have 3-year-old kids who are potty training.” ( :80)

“that you don’t have to go big in the world to experience success. You just have to be big in somebody’s world.” ( :80)

“Kevin Kelly, the founding executive editor of Wired Magazine, published an article called “1,000 True Fans” on his blog in March of 2008 that I found to be one of the most important pieces of work that I’ve ever read. “1,000 True Fans” has become a cult classic that has been shared and passed around amongst creators of all types, from musicians to artists and entrepreneurs, for about a decade.” ( :81)

“”Assume conservatively that your True Fans will each spend one day’s wages per year in support of what you do. That ‘one-day-wage’ is an average, because of course your truest fans will spend a lot more than that. Let’s peg that per diem each True Fan spends at $100 per year. If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks.” ( :81)

“So to go back to Andrew’s question. Was I thinking too small? No, I wasn’t. I was thinking small enough.” ( :81)

“Before we begin our research, I must warn you that you’ll likely to find other businesses or products that are similar to the one you’re developing. Don’t let that stop you. In the thousands of conversations and the surveys I’ve conducted with future entrepreneurs, the number two reason why people hesitate to get started is because they’ve found out that someone else has already taken their idea. The number one reason is the fear of failure.” ( :84)

“”Different is better than better.”” ( :84)

“Tip: I recommend creating one master file to house each of these three separate sheets, plus a few others that we’ll be creating in later sections of this book. Both Microsoft Excel and Numbers for Mac allow you to create these sub-sheets within a single file, however I recommend using Google Drive to create a single Google Sheet that can be easily accessible on any device. Places, People and Products will each become a sub-sheet for the exercises you’ll be conducting in this section. In Chapter 12: The Market Map in the Will It Fly? Companion Course, I included a video walking you through the process of exactly how to set up a free Google Sheet for this section.” ( :85)

“We’re specifically looking for blogs because they can provide us with three great advantages at this stage: 1. Blogs will often have communities where one can interact with an end-user. 2. It’s typically much easier to find or reach the owner of the site. 3. If up-to-date, it can give us a good beat on what’s hot and trending.” ( :86)

“After clicking on “fly fishing blog sites” in this area, the results page for that search term found a few of the same sites as before, but one new one in the fifth position that was golden:” ( :89)

“Forums, like blogs, are a fantastic resource for anyone doing research in any given niche. Unlike blogs, however, which are typically authored by one person or a small team, forums are collections of end-user generated conversations (also known as threads).” ( :90)

“hand, Facebook is typically more universal, ranging in topics from DIY Crafts to DIY Brain Surgery (not kidding).” ( :93)

“See if you can come up with at least 25 notable groups across both channels, if applicable. At this point, along with the blogs and forums you’ve collected, you’re likely to have over 100 different entries on your Places sheet. If you have more, that’s great! If you have less, that’s fine, too. In all likelihood, no matter how many you have listed, you’ve done a lot more research than most people who are already serving your target niche. You should feel good about yourself and already have a nice impression of what’s out there.” ( :94)

“When I began following the top players in the Internet marketing space, for example, I subscribed to as many newsletters as I could. There were about 30 of them and every day I would receive multiple emails from this assembly of influencers. After a few weeks I had hundreds of emails and I began to notice some interesting and useful patterns.” ( :94)

“For one, I could see that each of them was extremely well versed when it came to copywriting. They paid careful attention to the words they chose to use to describe the products they were offering to me. Additionally, I started to pinpoint groups within the top tier of influencers in the space who would often send emails out at the same time about the same product or promotion. I started to notice who was friends with whom, and eventually I discovered the inner circles simply by paying attention. This taught me the importance of building key relationships and how JV (joint venture) partnerships worked within the space.” ( :94)

“I wouldn’t recommend that for everyone, but the “do the opposite of everyone else” strategy is a powerful one.” ( :95)

“search algorithm is advanced, it’s not always perfect. Just make sure the profiles and their recent updates look legitimate, and then enter those accounts into your database. I’d shoot for collecting at least 20 from Twitter, but if there are more that seem to be influencer material, by all means, add those to your database, too.” ( :98)

“With that said, not all influential profiles have to have tens of thousands of followers. Accounts with a small number of followers can still be incredibly useful. Twitter ranks accounts by the amount of activity happening on the page, not just on the size of one’s following. If an account with relatively fewer followers shows up within the top few rows of your search results page and looks legitimate, enter it into your spreadsheet. These “smaller” accounts could actually prove to be more useful for” ( :98)

“you. It will likely be much easier to reach out and build a relationship with the person behind the handle.” ( :99)

“Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Periscope” ( :99)

“Once again, the Orvis fly fishing brand shows up in our results. They seem to be everywhere! This tells us that this is a prominent brand that has a lot of authority in the space, and it’s definitely one to pay attention to.” ( :101)

“Your Customer P.L.A.N. is broken down into four sections, in this specific order:” ( :110)

“1. Problems 2. Language 3. Anecdotes 4. Needs” ( :111)

“When you serve you get paid back in return, but only if you give those you serve a way to pay you back in some way, shape, or form.” ( :111)

“what they potentially need: What’s something about [topic] that frustrates you? If you had a magic wand and could change anything related to [topic] what would it be? What problems are costing you the most money right now? What’s the most important activity related to [topic] that you do? Is there any frustration associated with that? What related to [topic] takes up the most time? Do you use anything to help you with [topic] already? What do you like about it? What do you wish was better? What’s something related to [topic] that you have to keep doing over and over again?” ( :113)

“By far, the top resource for learning how to conduct a proper business-related survey is a book titled Ask, by Ryan Levesque.” ( :113)

“What’s the ONE thing you wish you’d known before you started your food truck? After compiling a list of 250 food truck owners’ email addresses, I sent emails one-by-one,” ( :114)

“personalizing them as best as I could based on the name of the truck, location, and anything else interesting I found through my research.” ( :115)

“After a week, I received about eight responses. That’s not a huge percentage (3.2%), but the responses that did come back were quite eye-opening, especially considering I didn’t know much about this industry beyond the fact that garlic-parmesan french fries were my kryptonite. Here are a few responses to that email below:” ( :115)

“After another week, I sent an email back to everyone who had yet to respond, the remaining 242 food truck owners, and of those, I received 42 responses back. 42! That’s a 425% increase!” ( :115)

“The riches are in the niches, but the fortune is in the follow-up.” ( :115)

“The results also became inspiration for a lot of the other top posts on the site, including a top-ranked post on how to make a business plan for a food truck, and how to turn a food truck business into a catering company. How was I able to come up with this content even though I wasn’t in the food truck industry? Like I said before, I connected with the right people in the industry who had already done it before and did the proper research. The site continues to be the top online resource available today for learning how to start and manage a food truck.” ( :115)

“And trust me, it’s even more weird to type this all out…but that’s beside the point. The thing I realized is that it was natural for me to talk baby talk because as parents, we try to speak our baby’s language so that we can relate and engage with them more easily. Sure they are just babies and they don’t necessarily understand what we’re saying yet, but we try to talk like they do. Now that my son is six years old, obviously the baby talk has been put aside for more kid-like conversation (about LEGO, soccer, and pirate blasters), but it still involves language that my son can relate to, based on what words I know he knows and how he best responds to things. When you are starting a business, one of the most important things you can do is understand the” ( :116)

“language your target customer uses to communicate.” ( :117)

“To narrow down our search, we’ll be looking into the three most useful kinds of words and phrases you could collect at this point: 1. Questions 2. Complaints 3. Keywords” ( :117)

“I get to meet with my audience and hear their individual stories. And when I listen to their stories, I also listen for where I could have come in to help. Where in that journey did someone need a hero who wasn’t there for him or her? What made them keep going, and how can I help others keep going, too?” ( :127)

“”amazing story” “great story” “awesome story” “good story”” ( :127)

“You see this is a real story. It’s not made up and we can feel what Nick felt on his first day out. You get to experience what a beginner fly fisherman is really going through on his first day on the water and you see just how much a small gesture can make a huge difference to his entire experience. And now, whenever you’re speaking to a brand new fly fisherman in your posts, in your emails, or in your sales copy, you can remember Nick’s story and almost imagine Nick reading your stuff. If you’re creating a physical product for fly fisherman, imagine how Nick would feel using it on his first day— would he need extra help or instruction?” ( :130)

“A need is what you believe your customers require to solve a problem, and the product or business becomes the mechanism to fulfill that requirement.” ( :132)

“it helps you focus on one problem at a time, which tackles a common problem a lot of entrepreneurs have: creating a solution for all problems. To start small and lean, and make it much easier for us during the validation process in Part 4, we must focus on one problem and one solution at a time.” ( :133)

“They are solutions to problems, often times a combination of stuff that already exist, made in a certain way that is more potent and effective than what’s out there already.” ( :135)

“Great work! You’ve done more work in this section than you’ve done before. I didn’t say any of this would be easy, but hopefully you’re starting to see how this is all coming together. Be proud, because not everyone gets to this part. Many drop out earlier in the process because they are afraid to do the work required to make things happen, but you’re obviously not one of those people.” ( :137)

 

PART 4: FLIGHT SIMULATOR

 

“”Intuition and experience are poor predictors of which products and businesses will be profitable…To get an accurate indicator of commercial viability, don’t ask people if they would buy—ask them to buy. The response to the second is the only one that matters.”” ( :138)

“I didn’t know this at the time, but my mom was giving me a very important lesson in validation. What someone says they’re going to do, and what they actually end up doing can be completely different, so you need more than just words in order to count on them. Sorry, mom!” ( :143)

“The second worst mistake that you can make is building your business based on someone’s word that it’s something they would buy or use. Like my mom taught me, what people say and what they end up doing can be completely different, and in the world of entrepreneurship, the following is what you need to know when it comes to what other people say: Listen to others, but trust your numbers.” ( :143)

“People would see these ads, click through to the sales page, and click the buy now button to make a purchase. There was no product, of course, so the user would be prompted with an “out of stock” message, but because every click was tracked, it was easy to see if people actually wanted to buy these products, or not.” ( :144)

“”The common model for building products is we have an idea…we go into our workshop to make it…we emerge back into civilization…we shout from the rooftops what we’ve made…we wait and hope we hit the mark and people actually give us money. And sometimes this can work. But sometimes it can lead to a huge flop that could have been prevented. By getting others involved early in the process, you can get actual feedback from real customers and build not what you think they want but what they actually want.”” ( :145)

“That being said, if the first impression you offer them is an introduction that includes a massive call to action, you’re not going to receive a very warm welcome. Any community, both online and offline, is going to be very protective of their space, so you have to spend a little bit of time building a rapport with the people there. Show them that you have value to provide to the group. Pick two or three of the forums in your database and spend at least a week posting valuable information and responding to questions before asking for anything in return. During this time, you could get even deeper into your market research, and pinpoint a few individuals with whom you’d like to strike up a conversation.” ( :150)

“There was an architecture forum that was really popular at the time that I was building my business, and within that forum was a sub-forum that was all about the LEED exam. I discovered it after I began building my business but I didn’t talk about my business at all until another forum user asked me about it a few weeks later. When I first introduced myself, I said I was simply there as a resource to help people and I began answering as many questions as I could and participated in as many discussions as possible. I ended up becoming good friends with a few of the power-users in the group and eventually the news came out that I was building my website, and the forum became a huge resource for traffic, feedback, and validation as I moved forward in my business and created new products.” ( :150)

“Bryan has used this several times in the past, and I’ve even used it, too. It works. Every influencer wants to show their audience that what they are teaching or sharing with the world is making an impact, and if you become their “poster child”—a case study of someone who has used that content or a product and has benefited from it in some way—there’s a good chance that you will be shared and be able to get in front of a targeted audience. If anything, it will help you build a strong relationship with that influencer and could open up even more opportunities for you down the road.” ( :151)

“and quickly get his name out there. Even after just getting to know him, I was mentioning his name and linking to him all over my site, and so were several other influencers. All because Derek reached out and immediately provided me with some value. Here’s what he did.” ( :152)

“He then offered to do a free, full-site review for any of my websites, and I chose to have him continue to critique and review SmartPassiveIncome.com. His information was so good that I decided to create an entire video featuring Derek’s advice and sharing that on my YouTube channel and blog.” ( :152)

“There are now businesses that exist specifically to help companies fulfill pledge rewards on crowdfunding platforms, which tells you just how much extra work this will take, and how many hours it may remove from your time with the actual business you want to create.” ( :154)

“A hand raise signals “me!” or “yes!” As a public speaker, I’ve learned what an amazing tool a hand raise can be within a presentation. A lot of speakers will start a question with the phrase “by a show of hands,” or “please raise your hand if,” in order to quickly and easily survey an audience and identify certain groups within it without much effort from the audience itself.” ( :155)

“For example, if your target market is fly fisherman, and you have a product specifically suited for beginners, not everyone who goes fly fishing will be interested in your particular solution. In order to properly validate your idea, you need to at least discover who the beginner fly fisherman is. Depending on what your idea is, you may need to narrow down your search even more. Let’s say your solution helps fisherman discover what their first set of gear should be. Well, then you need to find those who are not only beginners, but those who have yet to purchase their gear.” ( :155)

“The reason I bring this up is because when I first started as an entrepreneur, I was deathly afraid to interact with people when I knew I was going to eventually ask for money. You’ve already learned how to talk to people about your idea, but adding the pitch element to it scares a lot of people, like it did to me.” ( :156)

“In person A video call, like a Google Hangout or Skype conversation A phone call A private message (i.e. on a forum or social media channel) A direct one-on-one email” ( :157)

“Quick tip: If you’re planning on speaking to prospects one-on-one, make sure you refer to them by name right from the start. Additionally, if you have some time before your calls or interactions, try to get to know the person via their social media profiles and find any connections that you may have. Perhaps you went to the same school or you’re both parents. These little connections can speed up the relationship building process quite fast in a conversation.” ( :158)

“Your own personal accolades are not as important as why you are serving them, so keep that in mind during this part of the conversation. It’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for them.” ( :158)

“I’d be completely upfront about the fact that you’re hoping to get their honest feedback on something you believe will help them that isn’t built or available yet, but that you will create and sell it if there is enough interest.” ( :158)

“How you describe your solution to your prospect will be based heavily on what you’ve done in your mind mapping exercise and what you’ve written on your “one page, one paragraph, one sentence” exercise, and I would lead with that one focused sentence.” ( :159)

“Whether your solution is a physical product, a digital product, or even a service of some kind, you should have a preliminary model of it to share with your hypertargeted audience in some shape or form. If it’s a software product, for example, your mock-up could simply be a wireframe or rough sketch of the interface. If it’s a book, perhaps you list the outline of it. If it’s a physical product and you don’t have access to a hands-on prototype, maybe it’s a 3D rendering or sketches of it. Whatever you need to make sure your prospect understands how this will help them is what you should create. Don’t get “asset happy” or create assets just for the sake of decoration or adornment, and don’t worry about the quality either. Sometimes, the more rough, the better—as long as the ideas come across.” ( :159)

“pitching in a group setting you’ll want to provide your call to action immediately after you share your solution. For example, if you’ve got a number of people attending a webinar, you should provide a web address where they can pay to be a part of the early adopter program after you provide value and share what you’re planning to do. Later in this chapter I’ll share the tools you can use to make this happen.” ( :160)

“No matter what method you choose to ask for a pre-order, if you don’t get a response within 24 hours send one more follow-up email that checks to make sure the person received it. As I mentioned earlier in the book, the fortune is in the follow-up, so make sure to give them one more message before you dismiss them as not being interested.” ( :160)

“There are a number of web solutions available to us to set up a quick page to collect pre-orders. The one I would recommend is Gumroad (Gumroad.com).” ( :161)

“You can start selling before a release date very easily in Gumroad by adding a product and selecting “pre-order” from the options. The release date can be changed at any time, so you can set it to way ahead in the future just to be able to set this up and begin collecting orders.” ( :161)

“Another option is to use services like Celery (Trycelery.com), another more robust platform that’s made for collecting pre-orders. They also have the option to help you create your own crowdfunding campaign.” ( :162)

“Taking into account our research and the interaction we have with our prospects, the goal is to have 10% of those prospects take action with you ahead of the build. That means for every 10 people you pitch here in Step 4, you should try to get at least one person to pre-order or pay. The more interested prospects you speak to, the better, but 10% is a good standard to use here.” ( :163)

“50 prospects, you should try to get at least five to sign up, and that would be a good indication that you have something you should proceed with and build out in full. In terms of how many prospects you should speak to in total, 50 is a good amount. Again, we’re validating here so you don’t need to talk to the entire world market that’s interested in your product— you’re just running a small-scale experiment and then can later go full scale with full pricing after you’ve validated.” ( :163)

“And when you do get your first order, be sure to celebrate! I remember my first sale in October of 2008. I had to take a walk outside to breathe because I was so excited, and when I got back to my desk another sale notification had popped into my email inbox. Use that momentum moving forward into reaching out to the rest of your prospects, and into your business that you create.” ( :163)

“Step 1: Get in front of an audience. Step 2: Hyper-target. Step 3: Share your solution. Step 4: Ask for the transaction.” ( :167)

“Joey decided to send an email to his entire list. He gave me special access to this early email of his to share with you, which is written below. Make sure to pay attention to how honest Joey is with his prospects, and how he’s qualifying himself while building a relationship with them at the same time.” ( :168)

“any platform, which accomplished a few favorable things for him: 1. He was able to make sure people got something out of the webinar, whether they ended up becoming a part of his program or not. 2. He was able to build a stronger relationship with his audience because they were hearing his voice and getting to know him and his teaching style even better. 3. He was essentially demonstrating the type of content that would be included in his training course.” ( :169)

“After sharing the call to action to buy, he ended up selling out all 20 spots in 10 minutes and had” ( :169)

“earned a total of $5,000. A couple of days later, he opened up another 20 spots, sent an email to his list and sold out those additional 20 spots in less than one minute. Was Joey motivated to build out his course? You’re darn right he was! Three weeks later he launched it to his initial users, getting positive and constructive feedback along the way. His first students also became some of his biggest supporters and were quick to leave glowing testimonials after the course was over. For his second round, he sold out 75 spots at $600 per student, and he keeps earning more and more with each subsequent round. Now, he has a team to help support his growing business.” ( :170)

“The only problem with that is, the more time you spend taking things in, the less time you have to actually get things done. It sucks.” ( :170)

“He began sharing a ton of advice and opening up a lot of his video-making process for free, and in doing so he was allowing people to get to know him and his expertise first, which I love. If there’s one thing that will always work for building a strong relationship with an audience quickly, it’s providing value first.” ( :171)

“Not knowing exactly what kind of business to create at first, she emailed 188 small business owners in the yoga industry to try and get them on the phone to discover what their major pains and problems were. To her surprise, the response rate was actually quite high! Only two of the 188 people she emailed asked her to remove them from her list, and she was able to get on the phone with 74 studio owners and managers and had an idea extraction call with each one.” ( :173)

“How was Jennifer able to get such a high response rate? She offered each person who would get on the phone with her a summary or report of her interviews at the end of the process. This was a genius idea because it made those who she asked to speak to feel more comfortable that this was a serious inquiry, and they knew they would also get something potentially very useful in return.” ( :173)

“”I realized that I had been an entrepreneur my whole life. Up until now, I just hadn’t owned that truth or been focused on building a business. My decision to own that fact, that title ‘I’m an entrepreneur,’ has changed every part of me. And it has given me so much confidence and almost a superhero mindset that makes all of my other work even more powerful. I now know that I can figure anything out that I need to learn. It might not be easy, but it’s possible.”” ( :174)

“Jarrod limited the ticket count to 20 based on the venues he had in mind, and he was just hoping for just few attendees to sign up to validate his concept and get a feel for what the workshop was like. He sold out all 20 spots.” ( :177)

“For this single event in Vietnam in April 2015, for example, he was able to sell 30 tickets for a total of $7,873.32 in sales.” ( :177)

“Noah runs another company called App Sumo (appsumo.com) and this jerky business actually came as a result of a challenge on that site. He challenged himself to make a $1,000 profit in less than 24 hours and let his community come up with the idea.” ( :178)

“1. How often do you eat jerky? 2. Where and how do you decide to buy your jerky? 3. What would make you pay for jerky right now? 4. What’s your hesitation in not buying right now?” ( :179)

“Noah’s focus was going to be selling jerky as a healthy and convenient snack. He decided to target young professionals who already ate healthily, and also offices, which is smart because many of them buy snacks for their employees in bulk already. A subscription service made perfect sense for these types of prospects, but again he had to validate it to make sure.” ( :179)

“Unlike digital products like software and eBooks, which have an initial production cost but can then be distributed without having to replenish inventory, physical goods and consumables require a lot” ( :179)

“more thinking when it comes to the budget and feasibility of the business.” ( :180)

“After nine more hours of calling, especially with those who his friends referred, he hit his goal. Noah earned $3,030 in total revenue, which left him with $1,135 profit! This was no easy feat, however, and Noah even said himself that he hadn’t worked that hard in a long time. So why did he do it? Two reasons: first, to show that it’s possible, even in a niche he didn’t know he was going to get into a day earlier, and second, to show that it’s not easy.” ( :182)

“8. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to start a business. With only 24 hours and $7.99, I got this biz going. You don’t need to spend tons of money and time to validate a business.” ( :182)

“”I’d recommend people joining groups where their target audience and prospects live and getting involved. It’s not difficult; it just takes work. That’s where you start.”” ( :182)

“There will likely be a number of people who don’t get this far into the book, and that’s okay. They’ll probably leave 1-star reviews on Amazon and complain about how much work it takes, that the exercises are dumb or that these validation strategies don’t work at all. If that happens and you see it, let it be. Don’t reply. Don’t respond. Don’t get upset. There are people in this world that need you, and they are the ones that deserve your time and attention, so focus on serving them, and you will be rewarded down the road.” ( :184)

 

PART 5: ALL SYSTEMS GO

 

“Building a successful business is no easy task, nor is it a small one. It’s easy to feel the weight of the work you put upon yourself and because people like you and me are so ambitious, we have big” ( :187)

“visions and create huge goals for ourselves. That’s great, but sometimes we lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel and we lose our way.” ( :188)

“fter four weeks of twoor three-hour writing sessions every morning, I literally had an outline and about 2,000 words to show for it, which calculates to about six or seven pages of work. At that rate, it would have taken me two years to finish this book!” ( :188)

“In my head, the book transformed itself into a series of blog posts, which became a lot easier to manage and a lot less intimidating. When going into a writing session, instead of having only completed another 1% of the book, I was able to complete 100% of one chapter. In the end it’s the same amount, but when you’re in the middle of a big project a small win can mean the difference between feeling miserable about the work you’ve done or feeling great about it. And of course when you feel great about something, you want to keep going.” ( :188)

“I help the other members of my group, and in return they help me. It’s like a modern-day Knights of the Round table, where no one person is the leader of the group but they are all there to help each other for a greater good. These types of structured groups are called mastermind groups; a term coined by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich.” ( :189)

“And finally, although the entrepreneurial journey can be filled with many challenges and failures, make sure you enjoy the ride, too. This path has chosen you as much as you have chosen it.” ( :190)

“BUSINESS BOOKS These are the books I recommended throughout Will It Fly?. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss Ask. The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level by Ryan Levesque Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business by Chris Ducker” ( :196)


Check out more book notes at How I Read 90 Books In The Past 2 Years By Reading 20 Pages A Day

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