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TIE #030: How to Start a One-Person Business (What I Would Do in 2023)
There are only 5 steps and 2.5 of them are optional.
Apparently you hate money. If you didn’t, you’d be using Rakuten every time you shop on websites like Walmart and Target to save money.
They have paid me over $8,000 for things I was already going to buy for my one-person business (click here for proof).
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Building a one-person business is the most efficient way to escape the 9-5 grind.
This is not an easy task (nor should it be) and one that many people believe “isn’t realistic” for most people.
I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The requirement to making this a reality is simple:
Make enough money via the internet so that you can tell your boss to fuck off.
Not easy, but simple.
It took me 7 years to do it. However, I didn’t take it serious until I was halfway in.
If I had to start over today, here is what I’d do.
Step 1: Start an Amazon Business
I’m not an Amazon fanboy, I’ve just tried almost every possible side hustle on earth.
All of them have a higher chance of failure and are not as lucrative as a beginner.
You can start with as little as $200-300.
I would focus heavily on non-fiction books thanks to their insanely high profit margin while mixing in retail arbitrage.
Retail arbitrage is where you physically travel to stores, scan items until you find those that are profitable if sold on Amazon, buy those items, and then sell them.
It’s great for beginners but not great for scaling.
After racking up ~$10,000-20,000 in capital, I would transition to online arbitrage only.
Time required: 6-12 months
Step 2: Scale, Scale, Scale
I quit my job after the job was starting to cost me money. Looking back I played it a bit too safe.
At minimum, you should match your 9-5 income and have 6-12 months of living expenses saved before leaving.
For me, this was roughly $6,000/month and $30,000 in the bank but I pushed beyond that as a precaution.
These numbers may sound insane, but they aren’t. If you read my monthly profit & loss reports, you’ll know the power of an efficient Amazon business.
Warning: If you want this to happen in a realistic amount of time, this side business should be your life.
In the final three years of my rat race escape, I spent less than a week traveling and worked nearly every night/weekend on my business while scaling it.
Crazy? Maybe, but it’s a small price to pay for the time freedom I now have.
The more diligent you are, the faster you’ll compound profit, and the more your business will grow.
Time required: 12-24 months
At this point, some will be able to quit their job, while others won’t. If it takes longer, so be it.
The key is to never give up. We all learn and build at different speeds.
Step 3: Start LEGO Investing
LEGO “investing” isn’t even technically investing. It is online arbitrage, but on a delayed time scale.
You buy LEGOs, wait 6-24 months and then sell them rather than buying and selling immediately.
For this patience, you are rewarded. Most people are not willing to be that patient.
Given that you will not see an immediate return on capital, I don’t recommend LEGO investing unless you have $10,000 - $20,000 in capital outside of what you need to continue operating your Amazon business.
I didn’t begin LEGO investing until after I quit my job, but you could do it either way.
Had you used my set picking system described here, $20,000 in LEGOs from late 2021 would now be worth as much as $55,000.
Lucrative doesn’t even begin to describe just how rewarding this venture is.
Step 4 (optional): Experiment with Other Ideas
I have no intention of creating an army of people who have Amazon businesses and invest in LEGOs.
The goal of this newsletter is break people out of the matrix and both of those are a great way of doing that.
However, once you are free, I strongly encourage you to try new ideas with your newfound business skills.
Never stop trying new things, no matter how successful you are.
Try everything and double down on what you are good at while operating your Amazon business in the background.
Step 5 (optional): Document the Process
This isn’t for everyone, I get it.
That said, wouldn’t it be cool if there was content that showed the entire process of someone escaping the rat race from start to finish? I know I’d love it.
Consider documenting your progress from start to finish.
I regret that I didn’t do this.
Not only will you learn a ton about content creation, but you’ll sharpen your business skills in a way never thought imaginable as you explain it to your reader/viewer/listener.
There is also a high chance the content creation becomes a new income stream.
I’m not a good writer, yet over 300 of you pay me every month to read what I write about LEGOs.
You never know what’s possible until you try.
As always, the choice is yours.
When you are ready, there are two different ways I can help you:
If you are interested in starting an efficient one-person online business, I recommend starting with one of the following:
Textbook Flipping Mastery - My in-depth guide on how to start a high-margin Amazon e-commerce business.
LEGO Investing Mastery - My in-depth guide on how to start a long-term “buy, hold, and sell” LEGO investing business.
The Conference Room - My private mentorship community that includes the two guides above, for free. Pay once and stay a member for life.
If you are interested following along with my personal LEGO investment portfolio and getting exclusive alerts when I add a new set to that portfolio:
Become a paid subscriber here (7-day free trial available)