The Tools, Books, Systems and Resources That Helped Us Most (FS020)

We’ve seen a trend recently in people buying every damn book, mastermind, hangout, conference, system, toolset, info product, membership, coaching, etc.

It’s understandable. Sometimes we just don’t know what we don’t know and we’re smart enough to go look for those insights.

But it can lead to what I call Infoprepassionprodlearning Syndrome, or IS for short. You may have IS if you’ve bought loads of things about creating a business but haven’t yet made a dollar off your thing.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Shit. I think I have IS.” That’s OK. Most of us have suffered from IS at some point in our careers. The real question is not “do I have IS?” It’s “how will I recover from IS?”

That’s exactly why we created this podcast episode: to help those suffering with the debilitating effects of IS.

It’s easy to use. Simply insert the podcast into your earholes, face east, open your heart and press play.

NB: Due to the serious nature of IS this conversation will be coming to you in 2 parts. We’ll be delivering the second part next friday automatically to podcast subscribers and on this blog.

NB: Due to the serious nature of one of the resources, we end up going quite deep on the topic of running a services business (as opposed to a product-based business). If you sell services you will want to have fresh underwear and/or access to a bath when you listen to this.

Fine Print: you may feel a tingling in your finger tips and/or bathing suit area. Do not be alarmed. It simply means your spirit is awakening and counteracting the effects of the IS. If the tingling lasts for over 4 hours you can do what chase does and take off your pants or you can do what sane people do and contact your doctor or watch 10 consecutive hours of Dr. Phil. Both will work.

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I’m gonna work my ass off to counteract the effects of Infoprepassionprodlearning Syndrome. You?
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Resources Mentioned In Part 1

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

There are many colorful things said about this book and the author at around 20m into the podcast. There are some helpful caveats to pick up on there. Here’s a few quick notes:

  • It really helps with the mindset and outlook of the entrepreneur.
  • It’s a little more philosophical (and existential) than other resources on the list.
  • Chase does not love the idea of approaching a business from the “what’s the smallest amount of care I can have for my work?” perspective.
  • Caleb found the “hacking” elements of the book very helpful… dealing with email, information diet, less reactive more proactive, etc.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Chris really knows his shit and fills this book with tons of great examples of different people doing different things (like our very own Corbett Barr). What we love about this one is that it gives you a sweeping perspective on what’s possible. Chris is a friend of Think Traffic and we can’t speak highly enough of the guy.

Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port

This is Corbett’s big time #1 pick. We talk about it around minute 50. The gist is: if you’re doing any kind of service work you need to spend this $10 right now, drop everything else, and get through this work and all the worksheets in it.

The DIYthemes Forums

Not necessarily a specific recommendation. It is where I (and Caleb) spent loads of time early on as I was learning how to code and design. We gotta get good at our stuff. Having a crew to do it alongside of can be a huge boost.

Fizzle by The Three C’s

When you listen to the show you’ll hear us plug Fizzle once in the beginning. We believe we’re making the best possible resource for an indie entrepreneur, combining community, honest and entertaining training in a video based, learn at your own pace format. Corbett, Caleb and I are throwing ourselves all in on this; we are not going away. If you sign up (right now it costs $1) you are not guaranteed success. You are, however, guaranteed a secret gif of all three of us and a warm welcome into the most earnest entrepreneurial community online.

We don’t want this to feel like an advertisement, but we are very proud of Fizzle and the results Fizzlers are achieving. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

More Resources To Come

This is just part 1 of the conversation. We go a little buckwild in here on the services and so we weren’t able to get to the rest of the resources. BUT you can find Part 2 here.

So in the mean time: think you could guess what the resources will be next week? Or, say there’s someone you care about starting up their own online business. What two resources would you give them? Books, systems, seminars, conferences… could be anything. If you could only choose two what would they be?

Show Notes

Lift App“Lift is the Ultimate Self Improvement App.”

Paul Graham on Building Companies for Fast Growth |

Does Teamwork Make the Dream Work? (FS015)“Your business may just be another way to play with yourself. Harnessing some team-work tactics could be a huge multiplier for you.”

Studio Neat — these guys make amazing things like the Glif iPhone tripod adapter, the Cosmonaut pen and the brand new Neat Ice Kit.

Muse — what the word actually means. “…the goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths.”

Brett Kelly — I’m a total fan boy. If you use evernote, this guy wrote the book on it.

Tom Ross’ PSDFan Site“Do you know the basic tools in Photoshop but feel that your work is still looking average?”

My Lawyer GabeClear, solid advice from Mike Monteiro and his lawyer, Gabe Levine.

Paul Jarvis | Web designer and author“I’m interested in creating simple, meaningful things on the web.”

Nathan Barry Holds a Baby“I’ve always cared about good visual design, but a few years ago I learned that I loved to teach as well.”

Justin Jackson | Building businesses and products that people love — This guy has amazing hair and wrote this amazing thing.“I’m Sacha Greif, a designer, coder, and entrepreneur living in Osaka.”

The Self Publishing Hangout“Four eBook Authors Share Their Self-Publishing Tips & Strategies Live”

MetaLab | Interface Design Agency“We design and build interfaces that millions of people click, tap, pinch, and zoom every day.”

Digital Telepathy — there’s a great interview with founder Chuck Longanecker inside “We talk about what it was like to build the web apps Hello Bar and Slide Deck as well as work on big name book launches like the 4-Hour Body and 4-Hour Chef with Tim Ferriss and The Lean Startup with Eric Ries.”

Gumroad“Sell directly to your audience. We enable thousands of creators to make millions of dollars. Sell directly to your. audience. Start selling with Gumroad.”

That Creepy Tool Song — it really is creepy.

Sarah J. Bray“My name is Sarah, and I build nations on the internet.”

Get the free guide to defining your audience
  • Deborah Owen

    OK, I haven’t even had a chance to listen to this podcast and already I picked up useful info, just from the write-up. May I say that you made my Friday with this hysterical description??? Thanks guys! Can’t wait to listen later.

  • Jelle Derckx

    My Two Resources would be:

    ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
    ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey.

    Excellent start-up material to get off your butt.

    • Corbett Barr

      Thanks for the contributions Jelle, I have read both, although I can’t remember a lasting impression from either. Maybe it’s time to read them again.

  • Ben Altieri

    I was wondering when somebody was going to cover this topic. You guys nailed it.
    Personally I am regrouping on my “muse” efforts of late.
    But I am starting to ease back into it.
    I too have suffered from / committed “IS” that you speak of in this podcast.
    It sucks, but it comes with the territory.
    I like all of you guys, but Chase makes me crack up every show.
    That guy is a riot.

    • Corbett Barr

      I won’t take that personally, he cracks me up too ;)

    • Chase Reeves

      I take it personally, Ben. Thanks!

    • Darlene

      I am already cracking up just from the “do what Chase does and take off your pants” in the description! LOL

  • Scott Fussell

    Great Episode as usual except for the visual of Chase ….Steve Kamb references 2 Gluten Free Crackers references 0

    • Corbett Barr

      Glad somebody is keeping score. Wait till next week though, I think the score evens up a little.

  • Adam from The Green Microgym

    Wow guys! Another awesome show. I was dubious with the title, but learned something that will benefit me a ton:

    There aren’t many people doing physical products with 1 or 2 employees.

    Just this year, I started offering The UpCycle Eco-Charger, a physical product. I put up an email list form and when I had 38 contacts, I made the first offer (for $750). I got 2 purchases!

    Now I’m up to 114 on the list and have sold 6 to 3 countries.

    I believe there’s a real opportunity here for people to create their own physical products and sell them online. The secret is to do minimal design and start by combining components you can by online at retail.

    If you guys are interested, I’d love to volunteer some time leading a Fizzle group that wants to figure out how to sell unique physical products. I’m in the beginning of my process and don’t know anywhere close to everything, but I can tell if I stay focused on this one product and don’t lose my way, I will be successful.

    Let me know if you’re interested.

    Also, the best resource I have ever used is Time of Your Life by Tony Robbins. It’s an audio program about time management and prioritizing. Much more actionable than most of his stuff.

    • Chase Reeves

      I love this, Adam! We’ll be in touch.

  • John Aellig

    I just wanted to thank you guys for enlightening me to: Determined, Enthusiastic, and Flexible. As soon as you said it, I felt like you we’re describing my overall way of approaching my entrepreneurial ventures. Being in the car, I was scrambling for a way to remember these three words, when it hit me, ” I’m D.E.F. The guys at Think Traffic are D.E.F. And most good entrepreneur are probably D.E.F. ” I’m definitely not going to forget this idea now!

    • Chase Reeves

      You def got it, John!

  • Jeremy

    Another great show. Sometimes I want to post comments here that are all the great quotables from each episode. IMBD style.

    I agree the T Ferriss 4HWW leaves a potential entreprenuer a little lost when it comes to the actual work it takes day in and day out.
    These guys over at Empire Flippers podcast talk about this pretty thoroughly in a recent episode…

    But, on the contrary, I read the 4HWW and jumped straight into a product business without any prior knowledge in my niche. I was doing photoshop and photo stuffs and now I sell women’s clothing with my wife. So I learn on the job everyday which has become part of the entreprenuerial journey.

    Come to the dark side of selling original, physical products. Where the balla’s ball and the playa’s play. Or just sell women’s clothes.

    • Chase Reeves

      Jeremy! Anytime there’s a quote you love you should absolutely add it here. I’m insatiably curious about which of the bits stick. Lady’s clothing ftw.

    • Tom Ross

      There was a point of a certain episode where you were imagining Caleb in a medieval setting and kept shouting about mead. I can’t for the life of me remember which part of which episode it was in though haha. Any ideas?

  • Jamie Anderson

    Couldn’t agree more with you guys on the 4 hour work week. I’ve read it 3 times and every time I read it reminds me of things I should be doing more of. Always found it hard to outsource but that book always reminds me how important it is to do it.

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  • Tom Ross

    Great episode guys! Thanks so much for the mention too Chase, I’m still buzzing from our coaching sessions.

    I totally agreed with your summary of 4 Hour Work Week btw. The main takeaways for me were productivity based. I much prefer the Fizzle approach of having my ass on the line (fire assers unite!) than being as hands off and distant as possible from a company being run in India. As usual, I think balance is the key here, and a Fizzle inspired lifestyle business combined with Tim’s streamlining tips feels right.

    That being said, I encourage everyone to try O-desk to handle their most hated, boring jobs. I now outsource my data submission tasks that I would ALWAYS put off and it costs me about $15 per month!

    • Chase Reeves

      “Fire assers unite.” <== whelp, I guess we can all stop our talking and publishing now… you’ve said it all, Tom.

  • Ian

    Oh my! It’s amazing. There is a huge things I can find in here. Thank you so much for your sharing!!!

  • metz

    As usual, Fizzle Show has amazing topics. The show was energetic and it is not boring. I always enjoyed listening your audios guys! I like your topic today! It’s Fizzle day today!

    Back to the topic, the tools are helpful for us. The books, or any resources. I think you must choose one tool that fits you, that will surely help you. Well, if you do not like reading books, you can watch a video that is related and has information that you need to know.

    I found this post shared on, the Internet marketing social site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Chase,

    Sensational list!

    Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week influenced me to use the auto-reply feature on gmail. Which saved me 2 hours each day. Which lead to less anxiety. Which led to rapid online business growth. Like you guys I agree with a bit of what TF advises but when it comes to automating processes the man is beyond brilliant.

    We do so many things that could be outsourced for a minimal feel…..OR, and this one is even better, we do so many things we would not do if we had posture. 4 Hour taught me how to have posture when it comes to answering the phone or responding to emails. Once your view of self changes and your view of time changes you address people from a high energy but so direct space.

    I am busy. So each phone call is 5 minutes and I explain that I only have 5 minutes to talk. I also do not call someone unless he or she explains what the call is in regards to, with explicit details offered via email before the call because most folks BS away precious minutes or hours talking about non-business stuff.

    Someone wanted to connect with me on the phone the other day but refused to go into detail via email with specific questions so I never made the call. My time is too precious. I need clarity. Bravo Timmy, he taught me posture ;)

    Thanks for the powerful share Chase!


  • Darlene

    The 2 resources I would and DO send people to:

    #1 – it’s simply been the best for me, been a member since day one exactly ONE year ago today! Happy anniversary Fizzle!

    #2 WDS and Chris’ site and books – join a community of people with a “what’s possible” mentality instead of one that says “get a good job and you can’t do that” all the time like “normal” society does

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  • Teresa

    Another fun filled actionable adventure!
    Biggest take-a-way for me happened at the end with Corbett sharing about booking himself solid and thinking in terms of his service as a product. It’s totally in alignment with what I’m working on now. Thanks for keeping this stuff FUN and actionable!

Up Next:

Part 2: The Tools, Books, Systems and Resources That Helped Us Most (FS021)

Last week we started a conversation about the tools, resources and systems that have been the most helpful to us. This week we conclude that conversation with a slew of killer resources. Again, if you or someone you know suffers from Infoprepassionprodlearning Syndrome, this conversation is the healing balm to get you:

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