10 easy steps to set your membership site up and running in 30min, for FREE!


Hi,

these past weeks I’ve been busy studying the best infrastructures online to get up and running with a small online business (a membership site, as I’m building one…), so I thought of sharing the main steps to get your presence online and the tools you need.

What is a membership site? A place where people regularly pay to have access to restricted topics of your choice (e.g. a cousine website where for $9 per month you get new recipes regularly…)

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Facebook and create a Page and a Group (the group is useful to create a private community on the topic)
  2. Go to gmail.com and create an email (do this first so you can use it as the email contact for all the other steps)
  3. Go to Teachable (www.teachable.com) and create your own “school” (where you’ll put all your material)
  4. Go to Twitter and create an account
  5. Go to IFTT.com and create an account
  6. Go to Buffer.com and create an account
  7. Go to YouTube and open a channel, this will also create a Google+ profile (to post promotional videos)
  8. Go to Google Analytics an create an account (for web analytics)
  9. Go to Optimize.ly and create an account
  10. Go to MailChimp and create an account (for a free mailing system up to 2000 subscribers) — [ActiveCampaign is definitively a better choice, but it ain’t free]
  11. Use GoDaddy.com to get your domain name (.com! search on google for coupons and you’ll spend $1 for your first year – ok it’s the only thing that’s not free, but it’s very affortable!)
  12. Go to Mixpanel.com and get an account (for mobile analytics)
  13. Go to SumoMe and get an account (to grow traffic: AWESOME!)

The nice thing about this is that you will then:

  1. Link your Facebook Page, Twitter, and Google+ together thru IFTT and Buffer (so you just have to write in 1 place and have ALL your posts propagated in the other social channels!)
  2. Link your MailChimp account to Teachable and your Facebook Page (so people signing up will grow your list, and that’s the only thing that matters)
  3. Link your Google Analytics to everywhere you can…
  4. Forward your domain thru GoDaddy to Teachable

And VOILA’!

People who go to your .com domain will split test your landing page (thru Optimize.ly), and then either receive an email or go directly to your membership site. You’ll write new stuff on your blog on Teachable and gather all the emails with MailChimp.

What do you think? Any other tools you’d recommend?

How Investors Make Better Decisions: The Investment Readiness Level


Here’s the 3rd post related to the Investment Readiness Level by Steve Blank.

1st post here: It’s Time to Play Moneyball: The Investment Readiness Level.

2nd post here: Is This Startup Ready For Investment?.

Steve Blank

Investors sitting through Incubator or Accelerator demo days have three metrics to judge fledgling startups – 1) great looking product demos, 2) compelling PowerPoint slides, and 3) a world-class team.  Other than “I’ll know it when I see it”, there’s no formal way for an investor to assess project maturity or quantify risks. Other than measuring engineering progress, there’s no standard language to communicate progress.

What’s been missing for everyone is:

  1. a common language for investors to communicate objectives to startups
  2. a language corporate innovation groups can use to communicate to business units and finance
  3. data that investors, accelerators and incubators can use to inform selection

Teams can prove their competence and validate their ideas by showing investors evidence that there’s a repeatable and scalable business model. While it doesn’t eliminate great investor judgment, pattern recognition skills and mentoring, we’ve developed an Investment Readiness Level tool that fills in these missing…

View original post 1,520 more words

Why Build, Measure, Learn – isn’t just throwing things against the wall to see if they work


Latest on Lean Start Up

Steve Blank

I am always surprised when critics complain that the Lean Startup’s Build, Measure, Learn approach is nothing more than “throwing incomplete products out of the building to see if they work.”

Unfortunately the Build, Measure, Learn diagram is the cause of that confusion. At first glance it seems like a fire-ready-aim process.

It’s time to update Build, Measure, Learn to what we now know is the best way to build Lean startups.

Here’s how.


Build, Measure, Learn sounds pretty simple. Build a product, get it into the real world, measure customers’ reactions and behaviors, learn from this, and use what you’ve learned to build something better. Repeat, learning whether to iterate, pivot or restart until you have something that customers love. build measure learn

Waterfall Development
While it sounds simple, the Build Measure Learn approach to product development is a radical improvement over the traditional Waterfall model used throughout the 20th century to build…

View original post 1,403 more words

Book Summary – The Instant Millionaire


My bullet-summary of Mark Fisher – The Instant Millionaire [1990]

  • Most people are afraid of asking for things, and when they finally do, they don’t insist enough: that’s a mistake.
  • Think seriously on WHY I’m not rich already.
  • Love what you do –> successful people hardly take vacations as they love what they do…
  • Believe I can succeed!
  • Seize opportunities and take risks!
  • Use other people’s money to become rich!
  • Take action NOW, even if in imperfect conditions. Don’t wait for all the things to be perfect or I’ll never start and miss lots of opportunities.
  • Burn my bridges: I have no choice but to become rich. Make sure I have no choice: put my back to the wall: use all my inner strengths to succeed or die –> take risks! BUT always cover my back! Be conscious, but not too much or I’ll lose my opportunities!
  • Have integrity.
  • If you do the same things, you’ll get the same results most of the time (not always).
  • Mozart: “true genius resides in simplicity.”
  • Have faith! In myself and in becoming successful.
  • Life gives you what you ask for! –> be clear!
  • Focus on my goal: e.g. “I want 1M€ by age 40”. Quantified, precise objective. Have clear how much money I wanna earn this year: e.g. 80k€ –> this amount is what I think I’m worth in a year –> work on myself to have a HIGH self-image!! (e.g. Tiger Woods: 100M$/yr)
  • The outside world is what I internally think of it –> attitude is everything: change my thoughts! Rational thoughts are instruments, but are not enough to get to success! Have faith in the power of my mind, regardless of naysayers! “I can get rich!” Everything is possible if I think it is!
  • You have 1 hour left to live!” words have strong meanings: imagination always wins over logic! –> Success is not only reason, but also heart!
  • The greatest limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves! The greatest obstacles are mental ones. Expand my mental limits and comfort zones. Have wider & wider boundaries.
  • Your objectives and goals should be bold (ambitious) but reasonable! But don’t be overly conservative. Destroy my mental limitations, expand my boundaries.
  • Secret to my financial destiny (clear written goals with a deadline): “I’ll be a millionaire in 6 years to the date: 16-3-2019.” Then 10 millions in the next 6 years… ANY GOAL/DREAM CAN BE WRITTEN THE SAME WAY.
  • Take note on the impressions the written sentence gives me: the goal/dream needs to be in my innermost thoughts! Think about it every moment!
  • Attitude of the millionaire: words combined with images and emotions/feelings. My character is my destiny –> DESIRE firmly to become rich. Have FAITH I’ll succeed –> through the repetition of words (to the subconscious).
  • Experience is a much better teacher than mere theory. Experience is life!
  • Thoughts –> words –> POWER!
  • My mission: mastering of my destiny and fulfilling my dreams!
  • The problems I face have nothing to do with me! –> be detached and don’t make them bigger than they are! They will look small in a few years time.
  • Life can be a rose garden or a hell on earth: think of roses most of the time, especially when I have problems. Don’t shoulder the burden of my problems. This is not just optimism! My life conditions depend on my inner thoughts!
  • Secret of success: love what you do and love for others!
  • “I’ll be a millionaire in 6 years to the date: 16-3-2019.” Accept this formula as the truth: have faith! Convince the subconscious, through my words & emotions –> create the self-image I want: accept as truth I’ll be a millionaire: pretend it’s TRUE! Repetition of self-suggestions –> the power of self-image! Use my subconscious & its powers!
  • Assets = total wealth (money, car, jewels, investments…) after all expenses.
  • E.g. Now I have 32’000EUR. Double my assets each year for 6 years, and I’ll be a millionaire!
  • “By the end of the 2012 I’ll possess assets worth 32’000EUR. I’ll double my assets every year for 5 years so that I’ll be a millionaire by 2018!”
  • Have also short term objectives and an annual goal. Write on paper. Plan & charts, project the plan, dream to be rich and quantify it, with dates –> quantified goal with a deadline (–> I need side activities if I work for someone else, or change job! Otherwise I won’t meet my deadlines!). REPEAT my goals over and over, and seize any opportunity without fears! Don’t hesitate!
  • Issue my subconscious with orders: double my assets each year! It will obey!
  • Have self-confidence –> high self-image: I’m WORTH a lot more than I think!!
  • “I’ll be a millionaire by 16-3-2019!” Say it 50 times per day. DISCIPLINE: persist, say it loud! Conquer my doubts: I will succeed! Be an instant millionaire by thinking I am! Master my destiny!
  • Formula: “every day in every way I’m getting better and better!” repeat it endlessly. Never lose happiness for the search of money. Be alert. Don’t lose my perspective! Don’t be afraid. Remember that money is a medium, not a purpose. Don’t be a slave of money! Money is my slave!
  • Know clearly what I want so I can avoid mistakes: think!
  • Key to happiness: “if I had to die tonight, have I accomplished everything I should have this day?” –> plan each day & do what I love doing.
  • Do what you love –> KNOW what you love/want! Don’t give up your dreams! If I had 24 hours to live, I’d do what I love to do! –> Do it every day! Don’t fear to lose my security! Be a genius by doing what I love! …and maybe I will die tomorrow… there is not a lot of time if you don’t use it well (Seneca) –> DO! Take action! –> Live each day as if it was my last, and live it to the fullest by doing what I love! Have the courage to do what I love! My dreams have to be bigger than my fears. DARE! What do I really enjoy? Of course every job has some drawbacks, but if I had 1M€ in the bank, would I still do the same job? If not –> this job is not what I like! –> do what I like!
  • My character IS my destiny. Get control over myself, be the master of my life by mastering my mind: “every day in every way I’m getting better and better.”
  • When I’m angry, think tranquillity as power: “Be still, and know that I am GOD!” –> this will give me calmness. I could do anything. Repeat this formula: it’s the most powerful ever!
  • Write all I want from life, in detail (it will show how narrow I think: have great ambitions), every dream for the next 5 years. E.g.: house, car, 500k in cash, 500k in stocks, 500k in real estate, 6 weeks of vacation, <40hrs/week work, philosophy and art, history, a maid & a cook, wife & children, travel around the world. DON’T THINK SMALL! Don’t be too specific though (e.g. I can’t live in Buckingham palace… but I can live in something similar).
  • The stronger my mind becomes, the greater dreams I’ll achieve. “Faith moves mountains” (Jesus). Believe in myself. Follow my intuition.
  • Live in the here and the now, don’t dwell in the future or the past. Concentrate in what I’m doing, focus on the present. Learn to concentrate –> attention to details, in everything! Don’t be distracted!
  • Don’t be overly anxious. By concentration I’ll know why I’m here, now –> I’ll see clearly, and accept my starting position. Ask luck to help you, and she will!
  • Concentrate: reflect, meditate on the rose; any problem will transform in a beautiful rose! “Be still and know I’m God!” Things are as important as the mind says so. The problems are problems only if I make them so –> inner peace, concentrate: the problems have no hold of me, they don’t exist! They’re just situations (and opportunities)!
  • At a certain height there are no clouds –> if I’m struggling, it’s because I’m not high enough!
  • My subconscious will lead me to the field where I’ll work. Just command it with what I like and know what my goals are. Ask, and my subconscious will find the answer.
  • Find a work that satisfies my heart!
  • Connect with my essence, and I’ll find WHY I’m on Earth.
  • Never give up before trying! And when you try, have faith you’ll succeed –> the power of my thoughts will do the rest. Be in harmony with myself. Have no doubt (as it’d be a thought that materializes itself)! Ask for what I need! Ask with faith (and kindness) and I’ll get what I want!
  • The value of work is the strength of my thoughts and desires! –> the outer world is a reflection of my inner world –> be positive, without doubts, ask being convinced that I’ll get it, as if it were already mine (power of self-suggestion). Nevertheless, ask thinking of the good of people, or my thoughts will go against me…
  • Have no fear! Conquer it!
  • Money must flow freely in order to grow.
  • The power of the mind is the greatest. Greatest goal: FREEDOM, not money! And freedom is reached through detachment. Have desire and help others: there’s no coincidence! The truth will set me free: discover who I really am!
  • Books: read them, but only the great ones (of the competent)… not all are good! And test every method you learn.
  • Share this legacy with others.

 

Book Summary – The Richest Man in Babylon


My bullet-summary of George Clason – The Richest Man in Babylon [1926]

  • A man is what he thinks.
  • Wealth increases the possibility of happiness and content.
  • I claim my share of a happy life –> study + learn theory & practice.
  • 3 LAWS:
  1. Live on less than you earn.
  2. Seek financial advice from those who are competent (through experience… E.g. you don’t talk about cars with the bread-maker, you just talk about bread! With a car-maker you talk about cars, not bricks…). Seek wise counsel.
  3. Make gold work for you (together with its children) –> a part of all I earn is mine to keep. “Think about it morning, noon and night. Impress yourself with the idea. Fill yourself with the thought. As it grows it will stimulate you.” Make gold be your slave.
  • “Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.”
  • “Will power is but the unflinching purpose to carry a task you set for yourself to fulfilment. When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore, I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks (e.g. I can’t lift 1ton alone!), because I love leisure.” –> each time a bigger task though!
  • “Wealth grows wherever men exert energy.”
  • Get a millionaire as a partner!
  • Have the desire to prosper before getting there!
  • The 7 Cures for a Lean Purse:
  1. Start your purse to fattening: “For every ten coins you place within your purse take out for use but nine. Your purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will feel good in your hand and bring satisfaction to your soul.”
  1. Control your expenditures: “Budget your expenses that you may have coins to pay for your necessities, to pay for your enjoyments and to gratify your worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.”
  1. Make your gold multiply: “Put each coin to labouring that it may reproduce its kind even as flocks of the field and help to bring to you income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into your purse.”
  1. Guard your treasures from loss: “Guard your treasure from loss by investing only where your principle is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable, and where you will not fail to collect a fair rental. Consult with wise men. Secure the advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect your treasure from unsafe investments.”
  1. Make your dwelling a profitable investment: “Own your own home.”
  1. Insure a future income: “Provide for in advance for the needs of your growing age and the protection of your family.”
  1. Increase your ability to earn: “Cultivate your own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skilful, to act as to respect yourself.”
  • “Good luck waits to come to that man who accepts opportunity.” We all have countless situations where we regret afterwards not acting swiftly enough. Procrastination very often gets in the way of good luck! We desire riches, yet, how often when opportunity presents itself, the spirit of procrastination urges delays in our acceptance and we become our own enemy.
  • To attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Men of action are favoured by the Goddess of Good Luck.
  • Gold is reserved for those who know its laws and abide by them.
  • Don’t approve of giving without evidence of the ability to acquire, protect and multiply wealth.
  • The 5 Laws Of Gold:
  1. Gold comes gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.
  2. Gold labours diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.
  3. Gold clings to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of wise men in its handling.
  4. Gold slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keeping.
  5. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who follows the advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.
  • Wealth that comes quickly goes the same way.
  • Wealth that stays to give enjoyment and satisfaction to its owner comes gradually.
  • You should know that to borrowing and lending there is more than the passing of gold from the hands of one to the hands of another (there’s the risk associated to it). If you desire to help your friend then do so in a way that will not bring your friend’s burden upon yourself!
  • Loan process. Keep a token chest, a token for each loan until it is repaid. Some tokens will always stay in the chest.
    • The safest loan is where the borrower has possessions greater than the value of the one they desire. Such loans are based on property.  If necessary, these can be sold to repay the loan.
    • Others have the capacity to earn to repay the loan and interest. They will have income as long as they are honest and suffer no misfortune. Such loans are based on income.
    • Others neither have property or enough income. Their borrowings are guaranteed by family or good friends (collateral).
  • I do not discourage borrowing gold. I encourage it. I recommend it if it be for a wise purpose.
  • It is easy to lend. If it is lent unwisely, it is difficult to get back. I like not idle gold, even less I like too much of risk. Better a little caution than a great regret.
  • We cannot afford to be without adequate protection.
  • The hungrier one becomes, the clearer one’s mind works.
  • Ill fortune pursues every man who thinks more of borrowing than of repaying.
  • No man is otherwise who cannot respect himself and no man can respect himself who does not repay honest debts. Your debts are not your enemy and you shouldn’t run out of town to escape them. If you stood up and fought like a man, you would find respect.
  • You have shown me a vision; already I feel the soul of a free man surge within me.” Where the determination is, the way can be found.
  1. Firstly, the plan provides for his future prosperity. One-tenth of his earnings were put aside for his own to keep.
  2. Secondly, seven-tenths of his earnings paid for all living expenses.
  3. Thirdly, two-tenths of his earnings provided a way for his debts to be paid out over a time.
  • “Work is the best friend I’ve ever known. Work, well done, does good to the man who does it. It makes him a better man.”
  • Act like a free man and succeed like one!

Book Summary – The Science of Getting Rich


For anybody who likes learning but doesn’t have time, I’ll be dedicating a few posts to books’ summaries. I’ve been reading a lot in the past years and I’d like to share what I’ve learned. As my engineering mind likes bullets a lot, there will be plenty!

So, without further ado, let’s start with the first book summary: Wallace Wattles – The Science of Getting Rich [1910]

  • Life = body (health: physical development) + mind (wealth: mental development) + soul (love: service to others). All 3 are NEEDED in order to reach proper fulfilment.
  • Getting rich = doing things in a certain way (following certain laws) –> thinking things in a certain way –> everything comes from a thought, thoughts become things –> don’t fear nor doubt as I create what I want!
  • Riches don’t come from the environment: even if people are living in the same neighbourhood, doing the same business, having the same talents there are still rich and poor –> only doing things a certain way makes rich (law of CAUSE & EFFECT) –> SCIENCE of getting rich.
  • Doing what you like, where you like, with the talents you have, developing/choosing a growing market for your business: it all helps you in getting rich but is not sufficient to be rich.
  • Desire of riches = capacity for larger life-seeking fulfilment (unexpressed possibility coming to action). Nature does it continually, when a plant or an animal grows: it’s natural to desire riches (the purpose of nature is the advancement and enfoldment of life).
  • Extreme selfishness is as wrong as extreme altruism: be wealthy in body + mind + soul, in BALANCE.
  • The world is a place of  A B U N D A N C E: there’s no need of competition, just be a creator. The supply is not limited.
  • In the past, great riches came by systematizing and organizing an industry (steel & oil in the past, information now).
  • Give to others more value than you take from them in cash –> generate value. Apply the same to employees: pay them LESS than you get out from them in value (or you’d be destroying value).
  • Be clear and express what I want to the universe: visualize.
  • Seek harmony with the universe –> GRATITUDE towards the universe (or god, or infinite power or however you wanna call it).
  • Surround myself with the best.
  • Desires: very CLEAR mental picture & linger upon it while visualizing.
  • It’s like a compass. You follow where it says the north is. The north is your desire when you visualize it –> if you don’t visualize it there’s no more north and the needle moves randomly but you still follow it… –> be clear and hold on your thought!
  • A Vision exists because of a Purpose (desire), which holds because of Faith.
  • Apply my will ONLY to myself, not to others. Don’t force them to do things. Don’t take, give. And they’ll give back…
  • Use my will only to think and do things in the right way in order to achieve my goals. No more is needed…
  • Only put positive impression on what I want in order to reach it faster (no doubt nor disbelief) –> don’t think of poverty, illness, war, etc. Think of wealth, health, peace, etc.
  • Have pictures of wealth in my mind. Help the poor by getting rich myself and being a model for them. The poor don’t need charity, they need inspiration –> get rich and show them how to do the same. Get rich by creation, NOT competition.
  • Think of the poor as people who are about to get rich, and should be congratulated instead of pitied.
  • Make the most of myself to help the world the greatest. Solve my own problems and get rich:
    1. Visualize clearly (thought) with purpose and faith.
    2. Act in a certain way: stick to my purpose, with faith. Combine action with thought:
      • Thought: how things are brought to me (vision, purpose & faith draw things towards me);
      • Action: how I receive what I thought (actions make forces move me towards the things I want).
    3. Act now, not in the past or the future. And think in the NOW as well, not in the future. Don’t dwell upon the past as it’s gone; I can only act where I am now, and on people and things within reach. Think on what I can do NOW to get me closer NOW to what I desire for the future. Hold the thought of what I want with purpose and faith, but act now.
    4. CREATIVE MIND: thought with a fixed purpose + act now.
  • Progress = to fill MORE than the present place I’m holding now.
  • Only successful days get me what I want. Day of failure = I don’t do what I should have done today –> don’t overwork but do something everyday towards my goal –> do only the few effective things, but efficiently –> put all my power in every act, with the purpose to move towards a larger life.
  • Business for me: the one in which I have natural abilities (although it’s not sufficient to get rich). Abilities are just TOOLS, but they need to be used in the proper way! Otherwise (if I don’t have the abilities), I need to make the tools (learn the abilities) along the way (it’s harder, but not impossible).
  • I can do whatever I want but doing what I’m good at is simply easier.
  • Don’t have a competitive mind, have a creative mind.
  • If in doubt, step back and refine your vision and faith. Never hurry (= mentality of the competitor).
  • Actions today: to do well and better what I’m doing, where I’m doing it (even if I wanna change what I’m doing in the future) –> GROWTH.
  • Don’t brag about my success when I reach it. Just think of vision, purpose, and faith.
  • If others think they’d grow by being with me, they’ll associate with me, otherwise they won’t…
  • Law of increase of life: man naturally wants to increase their life.
  • Hence, if I can increase the life of others and make them aware of it, I’ll get rich.
  • Advancement at work: be too big for my workplace (but this is not enough) + know what I wanna do (power of purpose: vision, purpose, faith, gratitude –> action).
  • Have an advancing mind: will to move forward with a purpose. But always think creatively (in order to have access to the super-conscious mind), not competitively. Never speak of failure nor fear. Always speak of advancement: failure doesn’t exist (it’s just a learning experience, a proof that the vision wasn’t strong enough). Have gratitude towards life.

9 Great Crowd Funding Websites


Here’s a list of crowd funding websites that can help you find the money you need for your projects, or help fund someone else’s!

  • Kickstarter (probably the most famous one, so it’s hard to get funded)
  • IndieGoGo (here you can keep the money you collected even if you don’t reach your target)
  • RocketHub
  • Ulele
  • Quirky (for inventors)
  • GoFundMe (you’ll get most likely funded mostly by friends and family here)
  • Razoo (especially to donate to causes)
  • Kiva (especially to lend money to microbusinesses in developing countries)
  • CrowdCube (to get a share in the ownership of a company)

They don’t all work the same way: in the vast majority you just donate money to a cause/project you like (e.g. GoFundMe, Razoo) and/or may get a reward for your donation (e.g. Kickstarter, IndieGoGo), in others you just lend money that most likely will be paid back (e.g. Kiva), in others still you can have a part of the equity of the company (e.g. crowdcube). There are of course many other fundraising websites, and some, not included here, are designed for particular niches (e.g. coders, journalists, etc.).

As for eBay and other websites, a well-thought strategy on how to manage your project fundraising is critical to its success (here some tips)!

So choose your platform(s) according to your needs after considering the implications, also related to the fees of each website which are quite different!

11 Great Outsourcing Websites


Here’s a list of outsourcing websites to free up your time (and lower costs) so that you can concentrate of what really contributes value…

You can outsource (almost) everything to (almost) anywhere, and have your virtual assistants and free lancers ready to help you.

One of the experts on the topic is Tim Ferriss… Tim explains well in his blog posts and his book that outsourcing is great but has some pitfalls, mainly related to mismatched expectations (clarity of objectives) and communication (taking things for granted) in delegating tasks to others.

I also suggest this great book that analyses in detail opportunities and threats of the world getting flatter and flatter:

Thomas Friedman – The World Is Flat [2007]

What’s your experience with outsourcing?

11 People to Get You Inspired


Here’s a list of inspiring people that greatly impacted the way I view the world:

Who inspires you?