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INTRO Near to the starting line

KeithWallace

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Hi all, thanks for having me at the forum.

So I’m currently 44 years old and live in the UK. I work a Slowlane job which can be quite fun but involves working shifts. The salary is ok but typical Slowlane - enough to pay the bills but not to save much or live an extraordinary life. I’d been looking to leave that job as the shift work means I don’t see my family as much as I’d like, and I’m not around for many weekends - plus I’ve just stopped growing and developing there.

Constantly growing, learning new skills and improving myself is a huge deal for me. I’m a compulsive course-taker or book reader, even if I’ve no direct plans for whatever it is I’m learning. Only a year ago the idea of owning my own business sounded horrendous - now after reading both of MJ’s books I look forward to the idea of all the different challenges it would bring and the learning of new skills necessary. I can’t wait to see who I’ll have become in 5 or 10 years time.

I don’t yet have a definite idea of what my business will be. I have started a notebook of ideas for problems that needed solving, ranging from the ridiculous and unfeasible to ones that it turned out had solutions already in existence that I just hadn’t come across. I like the Dyson way of taking long-established items that can’t possibly be improved upon (like vacuum cleaners and hand-dryers), and then improving them beyond all measure and making the old items seem obsolete. I feel I want to offer something of real value that people genuinely benefit from, and I’d rather go for high quality and innovation than cheap.

I am pretty confident that I can learn to do most things to a reasonably good level - I’m not the most intelligent person in the world but am good at persevering and digging out the information I need. It mystifies me why people wouldn’t take advantage of this amazing time we live in, where information about anything is free and beamed straight into your computer. Pretty much anyone can learn to do pretty much anything - there’s just too much to fit into one lifetime.

Without this trying to sound like a job application, let me tell you my current view of my skills/attributes:

My strengths are:
  • I have great troubleshooting and research skills
  • I am technically proficient (with skills in coding and website development)
  • I’m logical, thorough and thoughtful
  • I don’t get stressed or upset easily
  • I’m honest, ethical and trustworthy
  • My writing is decent and I have a pretty good vocabulary and grasp of grammar

My weaknesses are:
  • I don’t have any experience at all in business or marketing and have absolutely no idea how to get a product designed and manufactured
  • I’ve never sold anything in my life
  • I’m scared of failing and making mistakes (“but Keith, failure is an essential part of the process” - I know, I know!)
  • I feel like I’m starting late in the game at age 44, especially as I expect it to take a few years of hard work before I see results
  • I’m under-confident about charging people money and don’t believe my ideas/products/services would be worth what people might be willing to pay
  • There’s always another book to read, rather than getting off my a$$ and actually taking some action
I've got a long way to go, but I’m excited by the journey. It’s great to read a few of these threads in the forum and be surrounded by Fastlaners - I don’t personally know anyone who’s doing this so I look forward to sharing the experience with you all.

Now, off to start another e-course on marketing… dammit! I mean, come up with an actual business idea and get started.

Best,

Keith

:smile:
 

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jpanarra

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The best way to learn business is to do a simple service business. You don't have to go into this with a mindset of making this into a million dollar enterprise. Go into this with the mindset of how can I increase the monthly recurring revenue every month and expand on it. You can find literally thousands of 'needs' that needs to be serviced and learn how to do it on youtube and offer it.

Everyone has a personal network they can tap into and you can offer a service on Facebook nowadays local to you.

For instance you can start with a simple lawnmower and go knocking around the neighborhood on over and offer a lawn-moving service every weekend for like 20-30$. Round up enough houses and hire some High school aged kids in your network to do it for you and figure out how to expand marketing and scope.

You dont have to go down this path but its an example of what can be done in a week.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Strong intro, welcome aboard Keith, great to have ya!
 

totallybroke

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Adding to this, you could do web design. Check out Fox's Web Design course inside the fastlaneforum. Good news is that the Fox's course doesn't teach much into coding, he teach much more about selling websites.
So with your existing web design skills, this is something you can start right away.

Also you sound like you're probably running away from selling because you are still learning instead of actually doing something. (I might be wrong) It sounds like an addiction and addiction usually comes from fear.

As a compulsive learner myself, you might probably face a 'wall' of fear. The fear of taking action/selling/contacting people. When that time comes, you need to sit down, lock the door, put away all distractions (phone, porn, reddit, udemy etc), tell yourself that nothing is going to change (and you will be 45, 46, 47 if you don't do anything), set expectations (that this is your first time calling, they probably won't reply or say 'No' and that is fine. You are doing this to get used to contacting people.) Give yourself 1-2 hours, (repeat no distractions!) then pick up the phone/contact them on Facebook.

After a while you will get used to contacting people regardless of the outcome.
 
OP
OP
KeithWallace

KeithWallace

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 7, 2018
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Adding to this, you could do web design. Check out Fox's Web Design course inside the fastlaneforum. Good news is that the Fox's course doesn't teach much into coding, he teach much more about selling websites.
So with your existing web design skills, this is something you can start right away.

Also you sound like you're probably running away from selling because you are still learning instead of actually doing something. (I might be wrong) It sounds like an addiction and addiction usually comes from fear.

As a compulsive learner myself, you might probably face a 'wall' of fear. The fear of taking action/selling/contacting people. When that time comes, you need to sit down, lock the door, put away all distractions (phone, porn, reddit, udemy etc), tell yourself that nothing is going to change (and you will be 45, 46, 47 if you don't do anything), set expectations (that this is your first time calling, they probably won't reply or say 'No' and that is fine. You are doing this to get used to contacting people.) Give yourself 1-2 hours, (repeat no distractions!) then pick up the phone/contact them on Facebook.

After a while you will get used to contacting people regardless of the outcome.
totallybroke - wow, you have nailed it. Deep down I know I am fearful of picking up that phone because it might not work out and be uncomfortable - it's 1,000 times easier to do another course where I can have the false feeling of achievement without any risk of failure. I also know that that fear won't change until I push through it - I like your 'wall' metaphor.

Funnily enough I'd just started to read through Fox's web development thread and I am going to do this - it has really inspired me. I have the technical side down okay but it will force me to get used to hustling for work, getting rejected, dealing with clients, problems, charging people etc. It may not be fastlane but it's a step towards building the skills that I need and overcoming that fear.

Thanks for the valuable input.
 
OP
OP
KeithWallace

KeithWallace

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 7, 2018
15
30
22
The best way to learn business is to do a simple service business. You don't have to go into this with a mindset of making this into a million dollar enterprise. Go into this with the mindset of how can I increase the monthly recurring revenue every month and expand on it. You can find literally thousands of 'needs' that needs to be serviced and learn how to do it on youtube and offer it.

Everyone has a personal network they can tap into and you can offer a service on Facebook nowadays local to you.

For instance you can start with a simple lawnmower and go knocking around the neighborhood on over and offer a lawn-moving service every weekend for like 20-30$. Round up enough houses and hire some High school aged kids in your network to do it for you and figure out how to expand marketing and scope.

You dont have to go down this path but its an example of what can be done in a week.
jpanarra, thanks for this, that's really helpful. I am going to follow the advice in Fox's web development thread elsewhere on the forum and get started doing this (see my reply below for slightly more).
 

Late Bloomer

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Apr 17, 2018
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Hi all, thanks for having me at the forum.

So I’m currently 44 years old and live in the UK. I work a Slowlane job which can be quite fun but involves working shifts. The salary is ok but typical Slowlane - enough to pay the bills but not to save much or live an extraordinary life. I’d been looking to leave that job as the shift work means I don’t see my family as much as I’d like, and I’m not around for many weekends - plus I’ve just stopped growing and developing there.

Constantly growing, learning new skills and improving myself is a huge deal for me. I’m a compulsive course-taker or book reader, even if I’ve no direct plans for whatever it is I’m learning. Only a year ago the idea of owning my own business sounded horrendous - now after reading both of MJ’s books I look forward to the idea of all the different challenges it would bring and the learning of new skills necessary. I can’t wait to see who I’ll have become in 5 or 10 years time.

I don’t yet have a definite idea of what my business will be. I have started a notebook of ideas for problems that needed solving, ranging from the ridiculous and unfeasible to ones that it turned out had solutions already in existence that I just hadn’t come across. I like the Dyson way of taking long-established items that can’t possibly be improved upon (like vacuum cleaners and hand-dryers), and then improving them beyond all measure and making the old items seem obsolete. I feel I want to offer something of real value that people genuinely benefit from, and I’d rather go for high quality and innovation than cheap.

I am pretty confident that I can learn to do most things to a reasonably good level - I’m not the most intelligent person in the world but am good at persevering and digging out the information I need. It mystifies me why people wouldn’t take advantage of this amazing time we live in, where information about anything is free and beamed straight into your computer. Pretty much anyone can learn to do pretty much anything - there’s just too much to fit into one lifetime.

Without this trying to sound like a job application, let me tell you my current view of my skills/attributes:

My strengths are:
  • I have great troubleshooting and research skills
  • I am technically proficient (with skills in coding and website development)
  • I’m logical, thorough and thoughtful
  • I don’t get stressed or upset easily
  • I’m honest, ethical and trustworthy
  • My writing is decent and I have a pretty good vocabulary and grasp of grammar

My weaknesses are:
  • I don’t have any experience at all in business or marketing and have absolutely no idea how to get a product designed and manufactured
  • I’ve never sold anything in my life
  • I’m scared of failing and making mistakes (“but Keith, failure is an essential part of the process” - I know, I know!)
  • I feel like I’m starting late in the game at age 44, especially as I expect it to take a few years of hard work before I see results
  • I’m under-confident about charging people money and don’t believe my ideas/products/services would be worth what people might be willing to pay
  • There’s always another book to read, rather than getting off my a$$ and actually taking some action
I've got a long way to go, but I’m excited by the journey. It’s great to read a few of these threads in the forum and be surrounded by Fastlaners - I don’t personally know anyone who’s doing this so I look forward to sharing the experience with you all.

Now, off to start another e-course on marketing… dammit! I mean, come up with an actual business idea and get started.

Best,

Keith

:smile:
Great intro, Keith. Welcome!

I'm starting a few years later than you, and there are other people much older than either of us who have succeeded with a midlife switch into entrepreneurship. There are very few business ideas you might want to do, where it would be a problem that an emotionally calm, mature, ethical, thoughtful adult, who can write and code, is running the business!

In addition to the web work, I think that, like me, you have strong enough writing skills and empathy skills that copywriting could be another very good possibility for you. I recommend you get a "how to sell copywriting services" book from Bob Bly (whatever his latest one is) and browse through to see if this appeals to you.

Some threads I'm involved in that might interest you too, to see if the topics look more interesting to you than your current shift work:
EXECUTION - Copywriting Challenge May 2018 (Join me)
EXECUTION - From Fired to Cold Calling
Calling all CLOSERS. Need sales advice!

I like the Dyson way of taking long-established items that can’t possibly be improved upon
Me too. MJ has a lot to say about this. If you want a more technical deep dive into the topic, I highly recommend the books Blue Ocean Strategy and Lean Startup.

Sales, business strategy, marketing, production: these are all just skills that people have learned. You've learned many skills in your life, studied many subjects and got good at them. You can do this too!

I also suggest you look at Andy Black's material here in particular.
 
Last edited:
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KeithWallace

KeithWallace

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 7, 2018
15
30
22
Great intro, Keith. Welcome!

I'm starting a few years later than you, and there are other people much older than either of us who have succeeded with a midlife switch into entrepreneurship. There are very few business ideas you might want to do, where it would be a problem that an emotionally calm, mature, ethical, thoughtful adult, who can write and code, is running the business!

In addition to the web work, I think that, like me, you have strong enough writing skills and empathy skills that copywriting could be another very good possibility for you. I recommend you get a "how to sell copywriting services" book from Bob Bly (whatever his latest one is) and browse through to see if this appeals to you.

Some threads I'm involved in that might interest you too, to see if the topics look more interesting to you than your current shift work:
EXECUTION - Copywriting Challenge May 2018 (Join me)
EXECUTION - From Fired to Cold Calling
Calling all CLOSERS. Need sales advice!


Me too. MJ has a lot to say about this. If you want a more technical deep dive into the topic, I highly recommend the books Blue Ocean Strategy and Lean Startup.

Sales, business strategy, marketing, production: these are all just skills that people have learned. You've learned many skills in your life, studied many subjects and got good at them. You can do this too!

I also suggest you look at Andy Black's material here in particular.
Thanks Late Bloomer, that is great advice. I very much like your reframing of being older into a positive thing where I can bring maturity and composure.

I'd not really considered copywriting before but the more I think about it the more excited I get, and it seems a good fit for me. Definitely something that would add value to my services, and skew my value proposition from many of the other generic 'web developers'.

Thanks for taking the time to reply so thoughtfully.
 

totallybroke

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jun 29, 2015
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totallybroke - wow, you have nailed it. Deep down I know I am fearful of picking up that phone because it might not work out and be uncomfortable - it's 1,000 times easier to do another course where I can have the false feeling of achievement without any risk of failure. I also know that that fear won't change until I push through it - I like your 'wall' metaphor.

Funnily enough I'd just started to read through Fox's web development thread and I am going to do this - it has really inspired me. I have the technical side down okay but it will force me to get used to hustling for work, getting rejected, dealing with clients, problems, charging people etc. It may not be fastlane but it's a step towards building the skills that I need and overcoming that fear.

Thanks for the valuable input.
Take it slowly :) Just think of the calling as practice. Like doing the practical part of practice instead of the theory. You're not looking to get a customer right away.

Or you can do an easier way that is messaging through Forum, messaging their Facebook Page or Facebook Groups. (This is a little untested by me)

I am still learning these skills myself, so I'm just practising the skills. :)
 

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