Episode-1433- Developing an Online Business — 49 Comments

  1. Great show Jack!

    I’m half way through and you are talking about the two classifications for products. Needs and Wants.

    I’m curious if there might be a third class. What would you say about the products that you are guilted into buying?

    For example: The fundraising card being sold door-to-door by the little kid. Once i actually bought a nasty hot loaf of banana bread from a homeless man.

    Both of these are items that i neither wanted or needed. Maybe I just wanted the guy to go away or needed to not feel like a snob.

    I’d love to hear what you think.

    • I figured that would be the case. I heard the part about don’t try to come up with a 3rd one right after i posted this. Sorry 🙂

    • Catching up on missed episodes. This one got me to thinking Jack! Thanks for that.
      When reviewing the comments, I had to agree with Eric – then I saw your response and had to agree with you – then – I got to thinking…
      Using your line of thought, wouldn’t it boil all things down to “want”? Since you also would “want” the “need” to go away?
      Just a thought – thanks for the great show!

  2. Yeah seriously it kills me when I am looking for services around where we live and can’t find anything online. I am not sure if it is just our area here where word of mouth seems to be king or what, but here in Louisiana fewer businesses have a online site than anywhere else I have lived. It just seems incredibly short sighted to not get your local business online somewhere (and not the yellow pages, that doesn’t tell me anything about what you offer at all).

    • Well its an entrenched area. I might also point out that New Orleans is probably not like that. Where we live its probably just more older folks. I mean shit just getting internet worth a damn around here just isn’t happening and not even out in the boonies!

      That or my definition of boonies has drastically changed.

  3. Perfect timing, Jack! I’ve listened to your previous podcasts on online entrepreneurship, but this is the first one you’ve done on this topic since I started my history podcast a few months ago, so I am extra fired up for this one! (Will be listening momentarily.)


    I had sent this to Jack a while back, but it is lengthy and he only has so much time. However, I feel it is essential that it be posted and this episode is the most superior place to do that. This will explain why it is HIGHLY INADVISABLE to have a sole proprietorship. I strongly suggest that you have a way to take notes and be prepared to hit pause a LOT. Otherwise you’ll be like me and get to go through it twice, not that it hurt me to do so. Whether you seek to own a business or not, this knowledge is indescribably valuable.

  5. Damn Jack, that was my dream too–to be an astronaut. I’m your age. I knew the names of all planets, their moons, the distance from the earth to the sun in miles and light time. I also knew the name of the closest start to the sun. The concept of time travel was fascinating. I learned all this out of cheer curiosity. It was fantastic to know such things.

  6. Very good podcast! You gave the golden nuggets to everyone. Now hopefully the people that desire a business will digest the food given to them by this episode.

    Carry on Jack, I’ll be listening!

  7. Excellent, excellent podcast. Still about 9 agonizing months away from my independence from corporate wage-slavery, but this podcast (particularly covering the need vs. want and the 3 primary motivations to buy) is giving me a lot of good stuff to think about as we continue to put together our business plan for next year.

    • Cool! 9 Months will fly by in an instance. I’m still walking around the house going “what the hell happened to june?” That’s when I apparently lost connection with time. Everytime we start a month I look down at my “watch” look up and its the 22nd.

      • Well while I hate waiting and enduring my current soul-withering job for another 3/4 of a year, I admit having that time to plan and prepare is really helpful, especially when throwing a major relocation into the mix.

  8. Funny to hear about yours and others shared astronaut dreams… I wanted to be an astronaut (or at least be involved in space exploration) so much that I went back to school, buckled down, and got my degree in aerospace engineering. My first job out of school was on the DoD side and, while not wholly without value, the experience pretty much ruined me for working for any government agency or contractor. From what I’ve seen and people I’ve talked to, NASA is just as dysfunctional and inefficient as the DoD (which as bad as the DoD and military is it’s still somewhat less dysfunctional than most other gov’t agencies and departments), and I know I’d come to hate it there over time. Ultimately I’ve put that dream on the shelf for a time so I can pursue entrepreneurship and secure financial freedom. After that, well… just maybe I can then leverage that success into a new business that can build on or contribute to the successes of those few private space companies like SpaceX and Scaled Composites that still manage to innovate. I know it’s a total longshot and a roundabout path but at least it’s a chance, and in the meantime I have a better shot of being happy and financially independent than if I’m working in a government program that is in a slow decline. If I’m right, then this is one of those times there’s an upside to quitting. 😉

    (And it helps me knowing that Elon Musk’s path to creating SpaceX started with completely unrelated companies like PayPal and Zip2 either…)

    • You know the key though right? How many kids today grow up and dream about being anything as awesome as an astronaut?

      I bet it is almost zero!

      I either wanted to do that or go to sea and study ocean life like Jacques Cousteau.

      In the end my biggest passion like that was hunting the swamps for reptiles. As I lived in a swamp with lots of reptiles it was the one I could actually do.

      If I had bothered to go to college I would have studied wildlife biology and focused on herpetology.

      In the end I learned to sell, built a career and later multiple businesses. Still I can’t help but believe those childhood DREAMS played a big part in me being able to step up and become a father to a 7 year old, by the age of 24 and do a pretty good job. To build a successful career with no degree. Frankly to join the Army at 17, jump out planes, it was as close to being an astronaut a guy with 20-100 vision in his left eye was likely to get.

      I am sure our 5 year olds have big dreams still but what do little boys of 10 years old dream of being today? Do they dream big at all? It saddens me that I almost don’t want to know the answers.

    • @Jack
      The first words that came out of my mouth were “Why don’t/didn’t you get serious about reptiles?” Then I remembered from the podcast that YOUR passion is Freedom/Liberty and self sufficiency.

      To be honest that really is mine, always has been. What that actually means to me has evolved and has become significantly more in focus AND pragmatic than it was in the past. I have always done “my own thing” (you can ask my parents about that). I’ve never ever followed anybody (that I knew personally) rather leading from the front. I don’t know why, never a conscious decision, but that’s just me and I just never see that changing, regardless of circumstances.

      If I don’t like something, I don’t do it, or it becomes so impossible for me to actually focus and do it. If it NEEDS doing (and I know it) I’ll hold my nose and try to get it done as minimal as I can. Other than I just don’t, period.

      Long story, long, and turning this back around, I definitely think I agree with you regarding the astronaut thing. Even then I think nobody really believes you can REALLY make money and create immense value. My wife’s parents spent their whole lives accruing money through a job/career (as doctors) and now they’ve “made it” but they don’t act that way. I’m convinced anybody in their 20s can do what they’ve done in 40 years, in 3-5 years. I even tried to convince them recently that they could be doing this themselves now!

      • Passions also change, I own zero reptiles now.

        When I was living in Arlington at one time I had over 50 snakes in my small office and those were just breeders in breeder racks.

        I actually created a few morphs as they are known in the world of African House Snakes, this is one

        But all the messing around with snakes and breeding I eventually realized was just me chasing that childhood dream. It was costing me both money and time and really wasn’t what I even wanted as a kid.

        I never wanted rooms full of snakes, I wanted to go into the swamps, deserts and jungles, now I want to stay home, work with livestock and grow food.

        I do consider at times getting one or two really beautiful vivariums and one or two really awesome animals though. Something like a Brazilian Rainbow Boa in a really cool tropical viv with misting, live plants and all. Never kept one because they need an environment like that, when you work with hundreds you don’t have time to mess with such stuff. Now I could do a floor to ceiling one and grow edible tropics in it and function stack!

        Here is a Brazilian Rainbow if you have never seen one, they are strikingly beautiful in my opinion.

        • Yeah I definitely understand that passions change. In part that’s why I think an “idea” is less and less important as the execution and sticking to “the idea”. (Or really the vision in a way).

          I had a buddy who was obsessed with snakes and spiders. He had hundreds in his house. He was asking me before he joined the navy and went to OCS if they would allow him to keep a few. Yes you read that right, he was wondering if he could keep snakes at OCS. “Uhm no…..”.

          I’ve never really understood the whole thing, but to each their own. That rainbow snake looks ridiculous. While I was building a tractor recently a brown water snake came slithering one foot by me (why I have no idea) and was at least 8 foot long. Insanely huge snake. As it slithered off I went cheering.. “Yeah go get em!!! Wooooo!” Made me look up snakes in this area, and WOW St Tammany Parish is loaded with varieties. I think the most in the state.

        • Huh, I figured that many younger kids and Millenials “sensible career” aspirations may be taking big hits, but to think most would have fully forgotten or abandoned their big dreams at 10? That’s the most depressing thing I’ve heard all week, if not all month….

        • I can’t speak for others, but all I can do is to try to set the kind of example my son and daughter would want to follow. Not necessarily have them follow my exact path (my son said he wants to be an engineer like me but its more than ok with me if he later follows another dream), but just be willing to dream big and take a chance. And if I fall on my face which I expect will happen at least once if not multiple times in starting out on my own, show them it’s ok to take a chance and fail as long as I get up and try again. It’s not something that can influence millions at once, but I think it’d be foolish to think any ‘one-shot’ or top-down solution exists.

          In the meantime, not letting them watch the TV or cable news (or much TV in general) has gotta help too…

  9. I have not listened yet, but when I was about 12, (1976) I use to write long hand written letters to JPL in Pasadena, asking for pictures of the various Mariner missions and they sent me these beautiful glossy black and white photos of Mercury and Mars. Then they sent me glossies of the Viking Missions and the Pioneer missions of Jupiter. Fast forward to 2006, and I emailed them my story and thanked them for what JPL did for me all those years ago.

      • I also have an email from Charlie Duke (Apollo 16), I went to his website and shared my experiences about the Apollo program. Man, I miss those days. I was born in 1963, so my early memories are vague, but I do remember 17 with Eugene Cernan quite well

  10. Oh and nothings screams adrenaline like watching a Saturn V liftoff on a 46″ LCD with surround sound on full

  11. Thanks! Perfect timing! Just filed for LLC status yesterday, and my PDC Cert. is in the mail from Geoff Lawton’s course. This episode will help “Abundance by Design Permaculture LLC” have a laser focused marketing strategy.

    I can easily say you have changed the course of my life for the better.

  12. Great podcast-as you always say put out great content and they will come. I’ve been listening to 5mins w jack and thought I would hear a lot of the same material on today’s post-but I got tons of new stuff too. Thanks for putting out all these business shows lately. It’s been very useful to me and surely to a lot of other folks out there.If things go well, I will be ready with my business endeavor before the end of the year. It is a children’s book for self reliance, with emphasis on trouble-shooting and problem solving. Currently all the line art is done and I am writing in and laying out text. It was very easy to research how to publish via Kindle and get some quotes so I can estimate paperback costs. Still working on how to integrate the other lessons from 5mins w Jack, like defining my market (further) and how to use analytics-not my priority right now but will get there.
    Again thanks for all the business podcasts. I never understood business as I never had a mentor. With these shows I can find ways to make things happen and not just dream them up.

  13. Hey Jack great show as always, I am not busting your chops but you have used the needs and wants because that’s always something I rembered you said that made so much sence to me. I am a 6 year listener. Got to run get back to painting a porch swing in the listening to your show. Take care Brent from Michigan

  14. Jack, always appreciate when you do a business and/or motivational show. Hope you do a show on a list of business ideas like you mentioned on a previous podcast.

  15. I was waiting for a curve ball on the three primary reasons people buy. I was expecting it to go into 8 forms of capital. If you folks like this episode, you’d be foolish not to dig into 5 Minutes with Jack. Great episode.

  16. I started my blog, like many others, after hearing you yell at us to fricking do it! After a few years and some amazing opportunities I now, as of last month, do it full time. Thank you so much Jack for waking the sleeping entrepreneur.

  17. Pardon the nit picking but I’ve been trying to confirm the story about the “Model T” and, so far, have not been able to actually verify this as anything more than a persistent rumor and legend. That in no way invalidates the brilliance of the concepts and ideas highlighted but I was just wondering if anyone can confirm this and/or what I’m missing.

    Thanks for all the work, an amazing product and some very thought provoking and inspirational podcasts!

    • It was in a book I read about Ford many years ago. Can’t remember the name but it was a biography and not something you’d expect hyperbole in.