The Reason Your Business Idea Won’t Work (+ 12 page guide)

The Reason Your Business Idea Won’t Work (+ 12 page guide)

The biggest danger you face right now is NOT technology or tools or trends or algorithms or personal branding buzzwords or social media buttons.

  • You can update and change technology later. You’ll be fine.
  • Any of the tools you’re deliberating about would work. You can always move to a different one later. You’ll be fine.
  • The design trends you’re chasing will change… again, and you’ll be fine.
  • Google’s algorithms change regularly. Expect it. You’ll be fine.

Those aren’t the dangers.

Those aren’t the things that keep you from success. They won’t be responsible for your site failing or your product fizzling out.

The biggest danger you face is your own resistance, your shadow, the dense reluctancy you have about clicking “Publish,” the self doubt, the fear of being found to be an impostor, the sense that you have no right trying to do anything like {insert name of your project here}.

You’re far more likely to get caught up in something and never end up clicking “Publish” (because resistance is already clawing against you) than you are to release something and end up in trouble with any technology or tools.

That’s your biggest danger. And what I want to pound into your head is the idea of me in a drill sergeant uniform yelling: Quit worrying about fucking tools, technology and trends. They are NOT the monster.

You are.

The Advice

Since we released the First Product Story Series there’s been one piece of advice we heard over and over that’s rattled around in my head.

It’s this: get your thing out as quickly as possible and iterate based on feedback.

Derek Halpern said it. So did Danielle Laporte and Josh Shipp.

The Revelation

Look at me… look into my eyes… disregard the mysterious music and swinging timepiece… I want to get something deep into your psyche…

… Get your thing out there… do the work to decide on the thing, write the thing, make the thing, build the thing, and get it out there ASAP…

… so you can have a HUGE realization… one of the biggest revelations you’ll receive as in independent entrepreneur…

… here’s the revelation: nobody cares

… you just launched your thing into crickets… {chirp}…

… you’re not entitled to sales just because you made something. Your work isn’t valuable just because you finished it. Nobody but your mom cares about you and your little ebook…

unless it’s useful… unless it’s valuable… unless it solves my problem…

… and now the real work begins — building trust and relationship with an audience you make useful, valuable, matterful things for.

The Tool

That’s why we want you to know how to use Gumroad. Make something fast, get it up, share it, sell it, see what the work is.

Gumroad is the best tool we’ve found for this. It:

  • it’s ridiculously easy
  • it’s well designed (aka, it looks and feels trustworthy… and so will you)
  • it serves up a great landing page for products
  • it makes money (on the internet!)

So we partnered with them and made a quick start guide to Gumroad to walk you through the steps and introduce you to the interface so you’ve got no excuses.

The Gumroad Quick Start Guide includes the following:

  • a video tutorial
  • a free guide book
  • interviews with experienced sellers about their big tips and lessons learned
  • six super powerful advanced features you will love
  • Caleb in a mustache

I hope you’re getting this — it’s scattered and jumbly and messy in my head and on this page — but I’m starting to lose patience with my friends who seem to love the idea of being entrepreneurial without doing the work of becoming an entrepreneur.

Once you get your first thing up, once you break the seal and make your first dollar, you’ll see what the work is… it’ll change your whole deal.

The guide book for Gumroad, the actual book part of this project, was the first time I used Apple’s iBooks Author. Holy crype is it ever easy to use… as soon as I started using it I came up with about 10 other ideas for things I wanted to make.

And adding it to Gumroad (it was my first time)… holy shit was that ever easy. Made me realize 3 of those 10 ideas could actually make me some money.

If you’re anything like me you’ll get the idea for your next project as soon as you hit publish on the current one.

But you gotta hit publish.

So checkout the Gumroad Quick Start Guide, understand it, put something up for free, realize how fucking simple this shit is, let the advice and the revelation above sink in and scratch that damn monster’s eyes out.

Get the Free Gumroad Quick Start Guide »


Get the free guide to defining your audience
  • Gigi

    I found myself nodding emphatically as I read this.

    We did a soft launch a few months back after much anxious nail-biting. What did we find? We received a great deal of “atta boys” and no one threw eggs at us or tp’ed our website, so to speak. There was no reason for all our stalling and procrastinating and general freaking out prior to pulling the trigger.

    Once we crossed the “I went live” threshold, we could really see the work that lie ahead of us in order to make our thing successful. Pulling the trigger is what actually got us to the start line, surprisingly.

  • Tate Johnston

    I agree with Gigi that “pulling the trigger is what actually got us to the start line.”

    And in terms of Gumroad: Even the back end of WordPress makes me twitch a little, so I can say with confidence that using Gumroad is INSANELY easy, even for techno-ambivalents like me! It was so simple and user friendly, which helped me make available my five little ebooks for kids first learning to read.

  • Carolyn Mycue

    I know…I am my own worst enemy. I get it. I have these amazing insights into guides that I know with my whole being will be tremendously useful, but I can’t seem to follow through. See? Instead of finishing my e-guide, I’m leaving this comment. I’m hopeless. My most sincere goal this week was to finish my e-guide and publish it. I have a lot to say, but I keep avoiding it. I’ve been distracted by all these program launches that are happening all around me by Dinsmore, Forleo, Wojcik (I bought his), and more. There’s so much I want to learn about online business, but none of it will mean sh*t if I don’t learn how to actually turn out a product. Okay. It’s only Wednesday. I might still be able to do this, even with the throbbing headache I have today…

    • Roger Williams

      I feel ya, Carolyn. In case you haven’t already done this- you could just release the first draft of your ebook to a small, closed audience before totally releasing it into the wild.

      I have a book I am working on as well, but I know it will only appeal to a small group. That’s ok with me. Its just another brick to help me construct my ‘wall’.‎

      • Carolyn Mycue

        Thanks Roger. :) I’m an “all in” type of gal. I’m making good progress today. It’s just a guide, not a full-blown book, and I’m very enthused about the topic. I’ll look forward to seeing yours when it’s done too.

    • Ben Overmyer

      Instead of saying stuff like “I’m my own worst enemy” and “I’m hopeless” you could turn off the Interwebs, get your ebook to a “good enough” state, and then release it.

      • Carolyn Mycue

        Thanks so much Ben. It will be done. I greatly appreciate your show of support!

        • Ben Overmyer

          Glad I could help. =)

    • Chase Reeves

      Get’r done, Carolyn. I know that struggle well…

      • Carolyn Mycue

        I have this very real sense that once I “break the seal”, there will be nothing to stop me anymore. That’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time. There is something kinda sweet about this moment of innocence, and part of me just wants to linger in it for a bit longer. “Enjoy the digging”, right? I sooo am… Thanks Chase. :)

  • Steven Adams

    A quick comment on Gumroad itself. I made a “thing” as Chase says, an eBook and a list of stock warrants, and began using Gumroad to sell them. Listing the products was super easy with Gumroad. I made a few sales. Watched the $$ start accumulating in my Gumroad account. And then the email shows up from Gumroad…”a sale has been disputed.” Ugh.

    I’ve talked to a couple of my customers and the problem is no one (my customers are generally in the 40-60 range, stock market savvy, etc.) has ever heard of Gumroad. They get a charge on their credit card statement that says only “Gumroad” and they immediately think the Target store hackers have their account info. Gumroad is working on changing it so that the charge appears with the seller’s name on the card statement, but they’re not there yet.

    In the meantime, I’ve come up with a painless quick fix that seems to be working well. I do two things. First, at the end of my product description I add this…(Please note that the charge for the warrant list or eBook will show up as a charge from “Gumroad” on your credit card statement.) You can see it here if you want to see what it looks like on the product page.

    Second, I send a thank you email for the purchase, in which I also include a sentence that says the charge for the eBook will show up as a charge from Gumroad. Since I have started doing this I haven’t had any “disputed sale” emails. Hope this helps, and despite this slight hiccup I highly recommend Gumroad.

    • Chase Reeves

      Great points, Steven. Thanks, man!

    • Carolyn Mycue

      Invaluable. Thank you!

  • Robb Gorringe

    I so appreciate this post. I’ve had an account with gumroad for awhile now, but your post, videos, and emails has really been crackin the whip. As a new entrepreneur, there’s so many choices, and I just want it to be the right one. But like you said, it just needs to get out the door!



  • nktokyo

    Good stuff, we just launched a podcast. It sucks! For now… (*evil laugh*)

  • Beatrix Willius

    For my software business Fastspring still offers much more than Gumroad. The pricing and the look of the store are really attractive, though.

    Will do a release today. Hoping that this won’t be as much fun as my last release where practically the last change I did made the software crash – for everybody :-)

  • ThatGuyKC

    Hit me right between the eyes, Chase. Thanks for shooting straight and calling me out.

    Now publish that Father Apprentice book, bro! Walk the talk.

  • Carl

    Gumroad is fantastic and very user friendly even if you’re a first timer!

Up Next:

Setting Prices, Raising Rates & Getting Paid What You’re Worth (FS041)

You’d be amazed what I can pull out of Caleb whilst getting saucy about his wife’s flexible packages… There’s a lot to learn on the road from “that’s ok, you don’t have to pay me” to “I know what I’m worth and you can’t afford me.”

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