The Sparkline — a blog for independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

The simple 1-page business plan

As an indie entrepreneur, if you want to make sales and build a thriving business you need to overcome the hurdle between free and paid. When we say “free” we mean the stuff you do for free… the content, the social media stuff, the free guides you create as lead magnets.

Think back to the beginning of your journey. Or, perhaps you're here right now: overwhelmed by the choices, drowning in info, all the options and none of the focus. In today's world, with the "minimalism movement" upon us, there's a good chance you've heard that more does not equal more. More stuff doesn't mean more happiness (in fact, the science is starting to reveal that the opposite is true.)

You know how important it is. We don't have to tell you. Your email list is one of the most valuable parts of your business... or at least it should be. But yours isn't growing, not as fast as you know it should be anyway. Or, maybe you haven't even started one. You're worried your competitors are passing you by because their lists are growing much faster. You're right to worry. You should be worried.

If we go for too long without progress, we lose momentum and the work grows more and more resistance. Do you know what I mean? When the work just kind of feels heavier and heavier?

Humans have a destructive tendency to overcomplicate things. Building a small business is no different. The essence of a successful business is incredibly simple. As Paul Graham says, you have to build something people want. Expanded just a little, you have to create something that solves a problem or addresses a desire for people in a way they’re willing to pay for.

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