First of all, I just wanted to say thank you for everyone who came out to support the launch of Minimalist Business.
The turnout was simply extraordinary. You’ve blown me away with your enthusiasm. I’ve received an incredible amount of email over the last two days, and I apologize if it’s taking me awhile to get back to everyone.
So far the feedback has been 95% positive, constructive, or simply thanking me for doing this work. Thank you.
How successful was the pre-launch of Minimalist Business?
Because Minimalist Business is truly riding on the idea that a location independent digital business can support an individual, I think it’s best if we have complete transparency about how much money came in from the pre-launch for my latest product.
I’m doing this not to gloat over the money (because it really isn’t that much, but it’s plenty compared to how much money I spend maintaining my minimal lifestyle.) But because I want you to see what’s possible if you put in the work to make this kind of business a reality for you.
The launch brought in just over $6000 over 24 hours.
My goal with this release was $2000, which I passed in the first hour. The pre-release of Minimalist Business did far better than I ever could have anticipated.
Depending on your perspective, that figure is either a lot or very little. I have friends who bring home a paycheck this size every week (and they spend it just as quickly.) If you remember from my writing last year, I survived on $3000 in Portland for three months. Needless to say, this is more than enough to support my on-going work for an extended period of time, — my life-overhead is so incredibly low.
Also, this figure is above and beyond the income already coming in fromThe Art of Being Minimalist and the affiliate work that I do for other work that I believe in. I see it as more of an investment in future work.
Long time readers know that I live with 50-things, so don’t expect to see me go on shopping sprees or anything like that. I’m just not interested in wasting money supporting consumerism, when the work is so much more important.
The myth that you can’t pay the bills working as a writer.
The biggest element of this whole story, the one that’s a real shocker to a lot of people in the world, is the fact that you truly can make a living as a writer by creating great work.
I spoke in Minimalist Business about the idea that we don’t need middlemen anymore. When you stop waiting around for a publishing house, an agent, a record label to come ‘discover’ your work, you free yourself up to start doing the work that supports you.
Far Beyond The Stars is named after a story in which a writer in the 1940s literally has his life destroyed because of middlemen who won’t publish his work. The fact that middlemen no longer rule the world is truly liberating to every artist in the world.
The first step is to recognize this fact, then we all need to actually start acting on it with the resources that we have at our disposal. I hope thatMinimalist Business gives people the tools and inspiration to do this.
On location independence in SF Bay.
As most of you know, my girlfriend and I are moving to The San Francisco bay area on Saturday May 15th. We’ll probably be setting up shop in Oakland, because it seems to be the kind of neighborhood that we’d enjoy living in.
We’re staying in a room in an apartment we booked at Airbnb. They’re letting us bring the cat, this is awesome.
As we’re moving in only a couple of days, I may be less in-contact than I normally am. Moving is fairly easy for me, being that all of my stuff fits into a bag, but I’ll be busy locating an apartment that rocks in a neighborhood that rocks.
I haven’t lived in a new place since returning to Brooklyn in January, so I’m incredibly excited about exploring a new place.
On the affiliate relaunch of Minimalist Business.
One of the hardest decisions I had to make was whether to include my affiliate network in the initial launch of Minimalist Business. I made the decision to just distribute the initial release here, on my site only.
In my view, the work just isn’t ready for wider exposure yet. It stands on it’s own, but after the relaunch is will truly rock the world.
Think about it this way: you now have a month or so to become incredibly familiar with the work for the re-release. I’ll be distributing Minimalist Business with 50% commission, so you only need to sell two copies to make back your purchase price, or even more.
My true hope is that after you’ve read the e-book, it will be easier than ever for you to do this. I’ll be sure to give you more info as we get closer to the date about how to join the affiliate relaunch of Minimalist Business.
Thanks so much for sticking with me on this. I promise that it will pay off in the future with a stronger work for you to advocate for, if you’re part of my affiliate network, or are interested in joining.
On Minimalist Business feedback.
As I’ve been saying, a lot of the work that I’ll be doing over the next month will be on making Minimalist Business better. I want to hear from you. What wasn’t clear? What was missing? How can this help you better?
We’re already nailing the grammatical problems, but I honestly think these are less important — I’ve also already received emails from dozens of people offering to help with this, so rest assured the grammar will be spotless in the next release.
The overarching message of the work is most important to me.
We can spend all day discussing whether a sentence needs to be three inches to the left, or whether a comma is necessary or not. Copy editing is important, but it’s also easy to fix. What is important is making better the work that matters, this is the hard part — and hence the focus of 90% of my attention in the next month.
Contact me with your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.
On creating work at the basis of existence.
We’re taught daily by society that money matters above all else. If only we had a little more money, everything would be better. We’d be able to live better, people would like us more, we’d be able to get a nicer handbag.
None of that matters. Money isn’t important.
I fully intend to continue living at the basis of existence, and using the resources that I’ve received by contributing value to continue contributing value to you. This is the most important element, and one that we should all consider when working on our own minimalist business ventures.
The basis of existence is an idea that you only need food and housing to survive, the rest of everything you think you need has been pushed on your by marketing and advertisers. You don’t need any of that, live simply and free yourself to work on what is important.
As Rolf Potts recently observed on Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Workweek blog “…neither self nor wealth can be measured in terms of what you consume or own.”
What matters most is the time you have to work on what matters most to you.
By supporting my work, you’ve given me the time to work on making the work even more valuable than it already is.
I fully expect $6000 to support my lifestyle for the next three to four months, due to living at the basis of existence. Will I have more money coming in from The Art of Being Minimalist? Of course. This doesn’t give me the permission to blow it on fruitless endeavors or consumerism. That would defeat the point.
When you stop trading time for money, and spending money to eat up time, you opt out of a perpetual cycle that is keeping you basically imprisoned in a corporate system.
Then you can be free to create work that matters.
Thank you all for your support, it means so much to know that I’m helping you make a difference.