Don’t be an Idiot: Learn to run a viable business

Don’t be an Idiot: Learn to run a viable business


So you want to start your own business do you? Well where do you start? How many hours a day will you be able to bill? How will you charge? do you know how to budget?

This is a no nonsense guide to running a small business and freelancing.

It’s not just my opinion either I interviewed over 10 other business owners and freelancers and you can get their advice as well. See video snippets.

Full interviews are available for viewing on a restricted page on the site. You must setup an account at checkout to see the page.

Curtis’ book should be read by every freelancer. It contains practical and straight forward thinking. No fluff! Just real world experience and thoughts. Even if you’re a seasoned freelancer I know between the collective knowledge of the book and video interviews, you’re bound to learn something, if not a lot. – Drew Poland

Read the review by Matthew Lang

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Product Description

I want to freelance but…

“But how do I price my services?”

“How do I budget for my business expenses?”

Yeah I hear those 2 things a lot from beginning freelancers. Most of them don’t have business degrees or 10 years experience running a business for someone else. They are awesome designers or developers or photographers and want to work for themselves.

Unanswered Questions

  • How many hours will you really bill each day?
  • Should you be answering emails and phone calls at all hours?
  • How should you set your payment terms?
  • How do you know what projects are profitable?
  • What type of business do you really run? (hint: it’s customer service)

The truth is that I almost failed (as in I almost missed a mortgage payment) at running my freelance business in the first two years because I couldn’t answer these questions.

One weekend I convinced my wife that we should go for a drive and we just ‘happened’ to end up near a client’s house who just happened to owe me money and have a cheque. The truth was that I wouldn’t have been able to pay myself if we hadn’t picked up the money that day.

Just wanted to say Hi and thank you for your latest book – Don’t be an Idiot: Learn to run a viable business. I really enjoyed it! It was short and to the point without the unnecessary talks looking through pink glasses. I also like when people use real numbers when talking about money – it definitely helps me understand the value. – Uģis Ozols

That doesn’t have to be your story

“Don’t be an Idiot: Learn to run a viable business” is all about passing on my answers to those questions to you.

2 years ago I really learned how to budget properly. That meant that when I made a few thousand dollars more in a year it really felt like 3X that amount since I wasn’t wasting my money. I ended the year with $10k more ‘laying around’ while only making $3k extra compared to the year before. And I bought a $3k new computer.

Last year I started setting proper boundaries and you know what, my ‘bad’ clients evaporated. I started treating myself like a business and so did they.

This year I really dug in to business goals and after 6 months of intentional work to hit my goals I had made all of last year’s income. Yes at 6 months I had 100% of the income from 2012.

I want you to have the story of my last 3 years this year. I don’t want you to have to struggle along for 2 years before you really start running a proper business.

What’s included?

The book includes answers to:

  • How do I budget
  • How do I set proper boundaries
  • Am I ready to jump out on my own
  • Am I anticipating my time realistically
  • Am I setting proper payment terms (and what are bad terms)
  • What types of goals should I be setting
  • How do I figure out what projects are most profitable
  • Am I focused on the right things day to day
  • What type of business do I really run

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If you want just a bit more I’ve done interviews with over 10 business owners totalling over 6 hours of video that have succeeded. They answer questions like:

  • What is the best advice to give someone getting ready to leave ‘work’
  • How do you define success in your business
  • What made your first year successful
  • After the first year – what next
  • What changes did you make that made your business really start ‘winning’
  • Where do you see your business going over the next 5 – 10 years

I’ve published some of the interview snippets for you to watch.

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