No More Excuses – How to Make an Extra $100,000 in the Next 6 Months

The Wilburns have created a multinational from their home.(Photo: Dana Smith)

“So, do you have any ideas?”

“Well, if we’re going to do something, it should be big. It should make people sit up and say OMFG. Make people actually do something,” I responded.

The conversation continued in front of the Thai restaurant, me pacing on my cell phone in San Francisco — foregoing food in excitement — and Tobi in his offices in Ottawa, Canada.

We decided in the subsequent 10 minutes to offer $100,000 cash as a bribe to you all. The overview?

* $100,000 for the grand winner

* $120,000 total in prizes

* 6 months starting January 1 but you can (and should) get started now

* Even if you don’t win the prizes, you should end up with a viable business at the end of 6 months

The details make it even better…

Background

Randy and Nicola Wilburn in the above photo, featured in BusinessWeek’s “Mom-and-Pop Multinationals“, are just two of the thousands of people in 35 countries who have used the steps in The 4-Hour Workweek as a basis to create near- or fully-automated businesses. The principles of automation have been equally applied within both Fortune and Inc. 500 companies.

The problem?

Some things just aren’t as simple in execution as they appear on paper. If there is one place where readers fail or give up, it is on such automated “muses”, as such automated businesses are called in book to abbreviate.

It’s most often due to lack of technical skills, lack of testing abilities, or — much more often — simple intimidation and failure to attempt it at all. The truth: it’s easier to continue in the predictable and comfortable mediocrity of the 9-to-5 than to start a business. It seems too big and there is little perceived incentive to change.

Let’s change that.

Tobi Lutke is the CEO of Shopify. Several months ago, I polled more than 50,000 Twitter users about e-commerce platforms, and the near-unanimous response was that Shopify offered the easiest-to-use full-service platform in existence. I’d never heard of them.

It seems I was late to the party.

From Pixar to Tesla, Pamela Anderson to Amnesty International, I saw slick design after slick design, all of which could be set up in minutes. Even Google Website Optimizer is built-in for testing. I was so surprised and impressed that I became an advisor upon meeting Tobi at RailsConf.

I want to give you a reason to finally take the jump with full confidence. Here’s what we’re doing:

The Competition – More Than One Winner

Shopify and I are running a 6-month “Build Your Business” competition. The store with the most revenue for two consecutive months (we’ll use your best two) wins $100,000.

There are other runner-up prizes, and there will be worthwhile surprises. To support you with the tools and skills you need, there will be expert tutorials on critical subjects (like Google Adwords testing, design, etc.) on a monthly basis at minimum, posts on this blog with real-life examples, and more.

The bullets:

* $100,000 for the grand winner

* $120,000 total in prizes

* 6 months starting January 1 but you can (and should) get started now. Even two weeks of practice will give you a massive advantage. I strongly suggest playing with it now.

* The best two consecutive months of sales count

* Even if you don’t win the prizes, you should end up with a viable business at the end of 6 months

* The steps and details in the new, expanded 4-Hour Workweek will be used as ground-zero for instructions

* Contest open — unfortunately — to US residents only. Please see “Afterword” below for why you should do it regardless. The tools and guidance will be available to all entrants.

Outside the US? Perhaps you should just incorporate a US company online? But – I’m no lawyer. Speak with a professional first and read the fine print. Be sure to read the FAQ, which opens up even more opportunities.

[Update: there is a new forum on Shopify for questions and feedback about the contest]

Tens of thousands of online stores have been created with Shopify: everything from Nerdbots to CrossFit.

Will you be next? I know a Fortune 500 company employee who’s quitting in 2010 because his Shopify store makes more than $1,000,000 per year. Not bad for a side gig!

If you’ve thought of starting a muse but have put it off or given up, here are two reasons to make 2010 the year that changes everything:

$100,000 and know-how guidance from experts. Though I’m an advisor, I receive no commission or payment whatsoever for this competition. It’s to get more people to pull the trigger.

If you decide not to pull the trigger, ask yourself “why not?” If not now, then when?

This competition is intended as a benevolent and encouraging kick in the ass. This stuff isn’t rocket science, but it does require stepping outside your comfort zone for a bit to realize: this isn’t that hard. It’s just unfamiliar. If you do it now, a lot of people will be in the same boat and you’ll take the trip together.

No more excuses. Click here to learn how simple it can be.

[Update: there is a new forum on Shopify for questions and feedback about the contest]

###

Frequently Asked Questions with Tobi

[The most up-to-date FAQ is on the contest page here]

> Rachel: Can you sell a combination of affiliate products and your own products through Shopify?

Yes absolutely. In fact we highly encourage our customers to source extra products that round off the product offering. A lot of our customers started by selling just a single product and later on started cross selling related products between their stores for additional sales.

> BrianReid: Can we use a drop shipper like Doba for products?

Yes, Shopify even integrates directly with drop shippers and consignment warehouses such as Shipwire, Webgistix and Amazon fulfillment. These services are really the key to fully automate your online store because manual shipping is labor intensive. At Shopify we have something called the App Store (http://apps.shopify.com) which allows you to add extensions to your store (think a mix of wordpress plugins and facebook apps). I know there are a few developers currently working on Doba integration.

> Erica: I’m using 1ShoppingCart right now. Can I just move stuff over to Shopify and qualify, or does it have to be a new business?

The point of this competition is to encourage people to create new businesses. If you could simply move a million or multi million dollar business over to Shopify and take the pot then the entire thing would be fairly uninteresting. So in other words, moving an existing business over: no go. Creating a new, related business that you organically grow from the start without simply redirecting your old store: OK.

That being said, we would love to get your existing business on Shopify. If you want to talk more in depth about this, contact me at tobi[at]shopify.com.

> Erica: For the Shopify folks: Do you offer a 1-click post-sale upsell feature like Upsell Express from 1SC?

I’m not familiar with the 1-click post-sale product but marketing to prior clients is a big part of Shopify. We have great integration with Sendloop, Vertical Response, Campaign Monitor and all such services. Through the App Store that I mentioned earlier there are also some really exciting new apps being developed that help people find related products that go well with their current cart content. Shopify is a very flexible platform.

Afterword

Gross revenue and US residents only? A case study in technology and real-life lawyering…

First and foremost, the best prize we can offer is this: your own near-automated, cash-flow positive business at the end of six months. The $100,000 is just a catalyst, a push. The former is, as the proverb goes, teaching you to fish, whereas the latter is handing over a single fish.

No contest is perfect. Shopify can’t verify net profit (without private investigators proving margins), so revenue is used as the measuring stick, which is trackable. Does this handicap you if you sell comic books instead of race cars? Not necessarily. It just means you’ll need to sell more units. Important: the most any single transaction can be applied the contest is $5,000.

Life is a competition. The rules were the best we could put together without making it impossibly complicated.

But, what’s up with the “limited to US residents” and all that?

From a post on Etsy about their own contest challenges (the whole post is worth a read):

Etsy is an international site. We have buyers and sellers from all around the globe. And we love our community. To solely enable U.S. residents to participate in an aspect of our site did not sit well with me or with Etsy. So I called an attorney who specializes in contest law to find an alternative. Unfortunately, his response supported my disappointing findings. He explained that in order to hold an international contest, Etsy would need to consult a licensed attorney who specializes in contest law for each and every country eligible for the contest. And, in fact, for many countries a translator would have to draft the rules. “How much would this cost and how much time would it take?” I innocently asked the contest law attorney. His two-word answer was most discouraging: “a lot.”

Here is Tobi’s version, especially frustrating, considering that Shopify is based in Canada!

“When putting together the contest we really wanted to make it a contest for anyone, anywhere in the world. Throughout the planning I spent more hours on the phone with lawyers than I’d care to admit to anyone. Unfortunately, as time when on, it became clear that it would be impossible to hold the contest anywhere outside the US without fundamentally altering the original concept.

Without going into too much detail, the crux of the matter is the classification of the contest as a game of chance versus a game of skill. Apparently, being good at selling stuff online is considered chance by many agencies and therefore would be governed by Lottery laws, as silly as this sounds.

That being said, you can still participate in this contest wherever you are. The prize money is significant, but don’t forget the spirit of the contest: to give a kick in the pants to all those people who have wanted to start businesses but haven’t. The real prize is having a business of your own at the end of the six months. You’ll still have all the same resources and guides as everyone else: support from the Shopify team, help and guidance from Tim and other experts, and more control over your financial independence.”

###

Elsewhere on the web:

Get the brand-new Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek, published 12/15, which includes more than 50 new case studies (including families) of luxury lifestyle design, muse creation, and world travel.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 800 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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394 Replies to “No More Excuses – How to Make an Extra $100,000 in the Next 6 Months”

  1. I am having difficulty with shopify as well. I also have extensive html knowledge with different platforms and this one is kicking my butt. I am looking at the specs and I don’t see the advantage. It doesn’t have or at least I haven’t found the following

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

    ROI Tracker

    Affiliate program

    MyRewards system

    customer reviews

    Manage Returns / RMAs

    Point of Sale

    Abandoned / Live Carts

    Process Phone Orders

    I have found all of the above and more in another competitor but am not sure how efficiently they deliver on those promises yet. I am also still waiting to hear from Shopify’s customer service for over a week and a half now for a problem I am having with some of the settings. I am thinking that it is because of the holidays that they are taking so long but it doesn’t look good at all .

    On the plus side the idea of the competition did help me to get out there and I am actively taking steps towards getting my shop launched.

  2. Sorry for the second short post…

    @Andrew

    I’d love to see what’s up with LotusJump. Hadn’t ever heard of your tool till today!

  3. @ Doc.

    Which app did you find that helps with returns, abandoned carts and live service?

    None. Just two apps for customer reviews and you have to pay $24.99 a month for it. It is also a third party vendor so am not too keen on them. The cheapest was $19.95.

  4. Hello,

    I just bought the 4hww and im on ch 7 so I guess you can say Im a newbie. Im a real estate investor in CA looking to cut my work load and need to figure out a way how. I decided to check out this site after hearing about it from the book. Im so excited to start implementing everything Im learning and love this 100k contest. I plan to win and exceed all my expectation by doing so. I hope to meet you and remember my name.

    Crystal Gomez, CA

  5. Hey All,

    I want to create a site to review a very specific category of iPhone app. The site will be mostly rich content until I come up with a product.

    What type of site should I start with? Maybe just a straight vertical blog style(think Hypebeast)?

    I want to get it live this week.

    Thanks.

  6. Hi Tim,

    Great idea, I’m in the UK so can’t win the prize, but think this one’s more about the experience….I like the balance between supporting…and competing with each other!

    4hww is a real inspiration to a lot of people Tim, going to buy the updated version as audio, would be great to listen to while driving!

    Mike

  7. Just curious when should we should expect to start seeing the expert tutorials on critical subjects (like Google Adwords testing, design, etc.) and real-life examples and where will be notified of them? Will it be in this blog?

  8. Mr. Ferriss,

    It was great to see you post about our Business Week article again. I still cannot believe that after more than 18 months the article still has a tremendous amount of traction. Nicola and I have received calls and emails from people all over the world due to that article and our experiences. I can only imagine what it must be like for you given the difference your book and ideas have made on the lives of folks around the world. Nicola and I plan to participate in your contest and we look forward to what the next 6 months have in store.

    Keep doing what you do and hopefully our paths will cross and we’ll get to meet in real life soon.

    God Bless,

    Randy Wilburn

    1. Thanks so much, Randy! You and Nicola have inspired a great many people worldwide, and you should be proud. Hope to meet you in 2010.

      All the best to you and yours,

      Tim

  9. Hello All,

    I’m really excited to start up my own shopify store, but i have some questions.

    I grow an Asian citrus known as Calamansi have received some interest about shipping fresh quantities. It only grows in certain climates stateside (California, and Florida) so I know many states can’t get them. I plan to market to Philippinos (2nd largest Asian American group in the US)

    I’m kind of stuck on how to price them. They are very small and potent so only a few are needed for any type of cooking. They are usually sold and used when they are still green so they stay fresh for a long time, but I don’t see anyone needing large quantities for home use.

    I’m thinking about charging $10.00 for roughly 10-12 fruits, this is including shipping. I can only ship within the US due to USDA regs.

    I’m just wondering what your guys opinion is on how to go about this, I want to be fair, but I also need it to be worth my while.

    Any input would be great guys.

    Thanks you,

    Chris H.

  10. Ok I have some questions.

    I am a U.S citizen but right now I am living in Pakistan. I might be in Thailand in April. Do I still qualify to take part in the contest even if I am not currently in the USA?

    Also I JUST started an online store for my brand of Muay Thai gear. In fact I am sorting out the payment issues right NOW, when I stumbled onto this contest. The site was up like 2 weeks ago so its not an established business by any means.

    If I move it over to shopify am I good to go? I have not made a single sale yet, the site doesn’t have all the content online yet and the shopping cart hasnt even been set up.

    I want to take part in this contest but I wanna be sure I qualify. I have so many things going on, it would be rash of me to abandon all other thigns I devoted to right now and try to come up with something new out of thin air.

    Tim please check it out and let me know!

    1. Hi Bashir,

      I would check on the Shopify forums to be sure (see new link in the post), but I think you should be OK to go.

      Good luck!

      Tim

  11. Hi everyone,

    @scott and everyone else asking about the professional tutorials, this will be happening very soon – we’re looking to put the first video up at the end of the month. If you’re registered for the contest, you will be getting it delivered right to your inbox, and it will also get posted on http://www.storecontest.com

    Regards,

    Dimitri

  12. Joined on Mon and have a market picked out for our store, now it’s time to sort through dropshippers to find high demand/low supply and profitable products for our store.

    Besides what’s recommended in the book, are there other quality dropshipping sites that you’d recommend?

    From the entrepreneur forums I frequent it appears that most are scams, especially if one does a Google search for “dropshippers” or related terms such as “dropshipping company”, “dropshipping source”, etc.

    And oh yea, as part of the contest as this is probably going to be the most popular of the 3 options from Income Autopilot I, will steps to finding the right source for products be part of the expert tutorials?

    At the end of the day though, we won’t know until we try and like the Diff’rent Strokes theme states “what might be right for you, might not be right for some” 🙂

  13. @ChrisH

    I might be interested in featuring the Calamansi limes on the site I’m working on at the moment. I’m familiar with the limes for sure. We’re launching Feb 1st, and your limes will appeal to our audience of home and professional bakers/pastry makers. You can feel free to reach out to me at doc @ roscommon.com and we can set up a time to chat. Cheers, Doc

  14. does anyone know what is going on with this contest?

    “there will be expert tutorials on critical subjects (like Google Adwords testing, design, etc.) on a monthly basis at minimum, posts on this blog with real-life examples, and more.”

    I was expecting some guidence on picking a muse, to get the ball rolling..havent seen any activity.

  15. It has been a rough year and a half having the Four Hour Work Week pressing in the back of my mind. I have tossed idea after idea around as I struggled to come up with what I felt was THE answer. After months of prep, I have officially launched as of today. This contest was extremely timely as I had the wheels in motion just as this post was blasted across the internet.

    I want to thank you Tim, for everything. Your words have been an inspiration and a driving force behind everything I have accomplished to date. I look forward to running into you in some far off land as we both grasp the lifestyle of the NEW RICH!

    With many thanks,

    Patrick Hitches

  16. Hi everyone,

    the first Pro Tips video has been posted, and you can watch it here:

    Keep your eyes open for the second video coming in the next two weeks!

  17. Where is there more literature on how Shopify integrates with dropship houses like Doba? I’m spinning my wheels. I’ve been through the forums on Shopify and looked through the App store several times over. Anybody out there that can point me in the right direction? I really want to take the next step.

  18. Pinoy Big Blogger: the contest is open to everyone, however the cash prizes are only available to citizens of some US states due to legal limitations that are simply not possible to overcome at this point.

    Rob: For now we don’t integrate directly with Doba, however we know that there is a Doba integration in the works for our App Store. We don’t have a timeline for you, though, since it’s a third party working on the development.

    Hope that helps!

  19. I don’t see why one would pick a $25 month option (Shopify) over a great free option (WordPress). Both are customizable with templates available. Both can easily add Paypal capabilities. I like free. Free is good. $25 a month is not good.

  20. @jay: I love free too, but I also love the chance to win $100,000.00.

    In all seriousness (and the above comment was serious as well), shopify not only makes things easier for store owners, but also web designers. I onced tried to work with my web designer to get a store up using wordpress, but there are so many different e-commerce plug-ins, choosing one was difficult. Plus, many of them have limits unless you pay, which I don’t mind, but not knowing which is the best made me scrap this.

    I have been enjoying my shopify account because it’s streamlined and dedicated to e-commerce. While we can argue that one could easily google to find what was the best plug in for wordpress (try googling it, you’re gonna have to sift through a lot of bad links) Tesla, Pixar, Evisu Jeans and Nest Living endorsements sold me pretty fast.

  21. I think it’s a great idea, but as far as shopify I don’t know. They charge a month, and transaction fee on top of what you pay for merchant discounts fees or paypal fees. We use a stand a lone shopping cart that pretty much dos the same with out a month or transaction fee. Just saying pay attention to bottom line cost involved. Just my thoughts

  22. Peoples,

    I was wondering because i just made a similiar test site to tim’s pxmethod. I gonna sell a product for autism but was wondering if tim had to get some kind of licensing for the px speed reading techniques because he didn’t invent it? Thanx I could really use some intel because i don’t want to get sued…

    -Steve-

  23. WordPress is definitely the way to go. It’s free, and you can easily find great looking templates that are ready to go. Tons of free plugins for ecommerce. Even if you need to tweak, that’s easy too. Did I mention it’s free?

  24. The app Tobi mentioned (to show related products in your online shop) is now available at the Shopify App Store: http://bit.ly/aci1k0

    Contest participants, feel free to shoot us a mail with your new store’s URL and we’ll sort you out with a free trial!

  25. I’m always game for a contest. I find that I do better in business if I’m working to win instead of to make money. I think that the real winners here will be the people that stay true to the laws of business and focus on profitability as much as gross revenue. While you probably won’t win the prize, you’ll be better off in the long run.

    I dropped anchor here on Maui about 9 years ago. It’s not exactly the best place to run a online business from, but I think that I can make it work. I’ll definitely be looking for some suggestions on how I can capitalize on my location. Hopefully we’ll see some great sportsmanship during and at the end when the winners are announced.

    I just hope to walk away with a business that runs by itself, makes a profit, has great potential for growth, and allows me to spend more time in the ocean surfing.

    Good luck everyone.

  26. Hi Tim,

    I tried out Shopify as you suggested – and left it alone after a day because it just wasn’t a scratch on the technology I already use. I was surprised then, months later, to get an invoice for US$100 for the ‘free’ trial? Was this part of the plan?

  27. This competition is incredible! I love your book Tim and love the way shopify works..

    the only thing is: I really suck in finding a muse ^^ and that’s why I think the pot isn’t finding the way to my bank..

    anyway thank you for the opportunity!

  28. Very inspirational stuff as usual Tim!

    By the way, not sure if it is a mistake or not however when I click the name of a Blog commenter it takes me away from your site to their site, rather than opening up a new window – is this supposed to happen?

    cheers

    Peter

  29. To all you fellow New store owners! Here’s an update you all need to know about!!!

    Olark, a live chat application, has just sent out their beta testing on giving intel to when your shopify “shoppers” have items in their cart over “x” price point. Basically, you’ll get notified via chat (I use gchat) when your shopper tosses something in their cart. You know exactly what is in their cart, how they came to your store and what page they are actually shopping on! This could be a ground breaking application. They are looking for “testers” right now who will get this app for free and be grandfathered into that.

    To me, this has basically taken my store from “virtual” and turned it into an interactive experience to where I can personally close the sale and ultimately cross sell in the process. Full reign “personal touch” on your store!

    Not to mention, they are really nice guys over there at Olark… I chatted for over an hour with them today. Here’s a link to their site if you’re not already synced up: https://www.olark.com

    Feel free to check out my store to get a preview of how it looks on the store front. Very sleek and appealing to the eye if you ask me.

    Anywho, continued success to you all and Cheers to the ultimate Victor!!!

    Patrick Hitches

  30. Tim, you probably won’t read this but I wanted to post my news just in case you happen to catch this comment. Yesterday I did something that I have been wanting to do for quite some time. I put in my 2 weeks notice to my day job! It was one of the hardest things I have ever done but I am so excited. It was simply getting in the way of my “muse” side business and really holding me back. Now I can focus on my business and I can have more time for family, travel and fun! It is pretty scary though since we just finished building a home but the muse has been quite successful and it will only get better. Thank you for your inspiration!

      1. Hi Tim,

        Was wondering even though this contest has ended if it is possible to still get access to the interesting tutorials that you supplied to the contestants. Even though there it’s over I’d still like to run my own 6 month contest :).

        -M

  31. I’d like to join the contest even though I’m outside the US. It is too late for this,Tim? Thanks

  32. Hi Tim, thanks for your Books, I have them both, great inspiration. My opt-in list are growing every day and so are the monthly visitors. Product launch this fall. Cross the fingers.

  33. So I wonder if any of the people who won were inspired from this post, or were readers of the 4HWW?

    At any rate, I didn’t participate in the contest but this post and all the other great ideas in 4HWW really helped motivate my lifestyle change. So for that thank you very much!

  34. Hey Tim,

    Thank you for your amazing blog and the book, which I have just ordered.

    I have a question, though.

    You talk about doing what you love. Well, I love languages and books, and would like to be a college professor or just have my work connected to books and different languages and cultures. The thing is that Literature professors don’t really make any money. I want to do what I love but I want stability in income, and a chance to live in style, travel and so on. Humanities seem to be among those dying careers, according to many people.

    What do you think I should do–go for Literature anyway, or go into a financial field (which is not my strongest side)? I know it’s not that bad, but sometimes it gets so depressing, I feel like I am trapped in this world.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    Larisa

  35. Larisa

    I think I can guess what Tim will say! 🙂

    Set up a muse, for money.

    And then do what you love.

    Caro

  36. Thanks Caro,

    I was a little overwhelmed at that moment and felt depressed. But I feel better now and ready to fight to for what I want to do! Thanks for the advice.

  37. Sarah,

    I would try amazon and Ebay first. Then you can test the market and see what’s selling. I also recommend making your own Ecommerce site and driving traffic to it, there are plenty of E commerce sites that can do well especially certain times of the year. I hope that helps;)

    -Steve-

  38. Tim

    8 months ago I felt compelled to pickup your book. It was a breath of fresh air; I purchased 4 copies for my friends and partners and made 4 others buy it them-selves.

    I have been in real estate for some time and needed a change, not to mention the falling commercial market. An exit strategy was in order and your book provided a great framework for reinvention.

    I will be releasing a new video web series next week in Sacramento. It looks promising and it has been a blast.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight.

    Best Regards,

    Matthew Harmon

  39. Hello all. I would love to talk to someone that did move their online biz to shopify. I know this isn’t recommended as it’s better for starting one but I really like the look of their system. I do wonder though if $100 a month to get the basic features any biz would need is really worth what they provide. So once again if anyone moved to them or even has a successful store there and a minute to chat please let me know.

    Thank you.

  40. Hey Chris! I ran a Shopify store for a year and had a blast doing it… I’ve had some changes in regards to my online platform, so I currently have it down, but I definitely could give you lots of insight as to pros and cons if you’re interested… Hit me up if you’d like to chat! patrick (at) myfoundationfitness.com

  41. Anyone know whether Tim Ferriss is going to be involved in this year’s Shopify Build a Business competition?

    And a more important question – will non-US businesses be eligible to win prizes this time round??

  42. Hey Will!

    I was involved in the first contest and while I love Tim to death, he wasn’t actually around much during the first contest. Shopify does a good job on the support forums and that was pretty much the “tutorial” side of things. There were a few videos posted (I think 4 throughout the 6 months) that had tips and such on marketing… But nothing you can’t find just paroosing solid marketing books and here on Tim’s site.

    I didn’t even know they were doing another contest! Might have to check for a second round of competition!! 🙂

  43. Hey, I see that this contest is over, and I am not familiar with this community, but I am still interested in getting in on this business model. I tried to go to the youtube video link for the tips but the video is private. Is there any way I can get access to those?

    Thanks,

    Jon

  44. I know the contest is over, but I just set up my new shopify store anyway. I’ve had a lot of good feedback from friends and people wanting to order my giant blocks drinking game, so I thought why not put up an online store and see what happens?

    Any thoughts and suggestions on the site layout are much appreciated (from anyone).

    Thanks again for all the great info and blog posts!

  45. Tim,

    I see there is a new contest for 2012, but I live in Maryland and a major incentive for me is the ‘free’ tools to grow the business and the awards. It’s pretty discouraging to have to ‘compete’ with a disadvantage since I don’t have the finances to level the playing field.

    Do you happen to know the reason why Maryland residents are excluded?

  46. Took a look at shopify. Noticed the rules mentioned that the competition is only applicable for Americans. Amusingly, I’m in Canada. Perhaps I just found my “first excuse”. Or didn’t I?

  47. Sigh…when I was 19, I created a web store that did about 30k in sales per year for 3 years. At the time I could see a decline in my store’s performance but I couldn’t figure out how to move against the trend. It died eventually… or I killed it in year three after my Chinese suppliers kept letting me down, and I couldn’t find any replacements that my visitors would buy from. I struggled on this for at least a year before I let it go…always wondered if there was something I could do to save it.

  48. Alright, I know I’m late to the party, but I have an indirect question. At the moment I live in China (going to school) and have several ideas that are getting worked up to the prototype stage. My question is, would it be best to wait until I get home to produce my item, or should I produce it here in China to then ship? And if I ship from China, is there an established warehouse that I could store those items?

  49. I’m so stuck. i think I have a great idea for a new product, but I have no idea where to begin. There’s no such product in the Brazillian market, it’s extremely useful, but I don’t know how to start, design, prototype and set it up for sale. It’s so overwhelming. I read The 4HWW twice now, and it’s so clear, makes it look so easy. Don’t know if it’s the burocracy in Brazil that’s holding me down. I’ve sent a survey to my facebook friends at least to see if there’s any interest as a first step.

    Should I look already into patent already or should I leave this more towards the end? I feel I should se costs for now: designer, prototyping, website, patent. I feel like I’m a few thousand short of making some good money.

    Has anybody been through this process of creating a new product and could give some advice as to the most important things to get done ASAP?

    Thanks for the help!

  50. Just seeing this, but definitely a cool opportunity for some and I applaud you for continuing to make it known that you don’t have to put up with the typical 9-5 mentality!

  51. Hi Tim. I just completed your 4-Hour Work Week book. Although it seems very realistic but it’s quite outdated in 2019. So all I would like to know is how to create a Muse in this generation? Some examples will help.

    And if there’s a new book or a latest edition of 4HWW, let me know. I’m ready to join the NR!

    Thanks!