Many people dream of quitting their jobs, packing up their car, and driving off into the sunset in search of adventure. When someone actually does it, we pay attention.
After working as a Fortune 500 consultant, Corbett Barr wanted more control over his life and work. So, he launched a traditional Silicon Valley startup, complete with a software prototype, angel investors, office, and staff.
And yet, as an entrepreneur Corbett actually felt less in control. He’d simply traded a list of clients for another list of people to report to. He was pulled in a million directions and grew frustrated with the business he’d worked so hard to build.
That disenchantment led Corbett on an 8-month road trip through Mexico. The experience defined the values behind what would one day become Fizzle.
This week on The Portfolio Life, the Fizzle team and I talk about building a new version of entrepreneurship. Listen in as we discuss the pitfalls of monetizing your passion and the wrong place to look to validate your ideas.
Listen to the podcast
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Don’t go it alone
Many entrepreneurs get struck with a big idea and make the mistake of isolating themselves from two very important groups of people. Their customers and their team. The trouble with creating in a vacuum is you have no clear understanding of what your customer needs.
If you want to add value to your audience you must listen to them. Pay attention to what people ask you for. And give it to them.
Delivering value is rarely done well flying solo. Entrepreneurs sometimes underestimate the effort required to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to go. If you try to do everything yourself, you are likely to burn out and the quality of your output suffers.
Build a team that shares your vision, complements your skills, and fits the culture. As Corbett says, “They'll come for the work, and stay for the dance parties.”
New entrepreneurs think they want to monetize a passion. They don’t realize what they really want to do is build a business. The team at Fizzle is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs navigate this unfamiliar territory.
In this episode, we discuss:
- The correlation between happiness and your definition of success
- Reconnecting with a love of writing
- Digital nomads and location independence
- How to recognize trends and deliver valuable content
- The secret behind why some sites are massively popular
- How to build a team that is an asset instead of a drain
- The hidden value of attending conferences early in your journey
- Why building something alone is dangerous
- Demystifying the coffee shop millionaire blogger
- What role culture plays in hiring decisions
- Sharing the story of your customers as a means of sharing your story
- Finding value in solving problems and being fulfilled in the work
Quotes and Takeaways
- ”How you build your company matters as much as what you’re building.” —Corbett Barr
- ”Everything you do join your business is nothing more than a hypothesis. Treat it as a learning process.” —Steph Crowder
- ”Vanity metrics are beyond your control. Align your work with what you believe should change about the world.” —Barrett Brooks
- Pay attention to what people ask you for.
- The most successful entrepreneurs spend most of their time talking with customers.
- You choose to be happy with what you have no matter how much or how little it might be.
- Stop looking to make a million dollars. Just make a difference.
- The Small Business Roadmap
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
- The Puzzle of Motivation by Dan Pink
What hurdles are you trying to overcome as an entrepreneur? Where are you on the journey of building a business? What is your biggest takeaway? Share in the comments