June 13th, 2024
I always hated this question.

And I envied the other kids who always had the answer.

They knew exactly what they wanted in life.

So much confidence. So much conviction.

But me... I always felt like a mutt.

I wanted to be many things, but none of them ever really stood out to me.

I was always bouncing around... Different hobbies, changing interests, different careers, and more.

“Pat, what are you really passionate about?”

Deep down, this question haunted me.

I spent so much time thinking about it, that I never really gave myself the time to find the answer.

I was so obsessed with control. So worried about working on the wrong things.

That I never committed to anything.

It took me a long time to realize this all came from one thing: a deep fear of rejection.

"What would people think of me? What will they say?"

But I kept working on myself. And over time I discovered:

Failure is success. Rejection is progress.

I finally gave myself permission to fail.

And when I did this, I was able to answer this question for the first time in my life:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I want to build stuff.
I want to create products that people use.
I want to be an entrepreneur.

And within days, I came up with the idea for http://starterstory.com.

And you know what's even crazier...?

This idea for Starter Story... it had been in my head all along.

But my fear of failure. My fear of commitment. My obsession with the "perfect" business idea...

For years, it convinced me not to build it.

Once you give yourself permission to fail.

Then you're able to let go.

You become free.

And that's when your life actually begins.

May 30th, 2024
So here’s the truth: Building a business is hard as f*ck.

And last week, I hit the wall. 

Well… I’d actually been running head first into the wall for a few weeks. 

But I was so far up my own ass I didn't even realize. 

And inevitably... it finally knocked my ass down. 

After finishing another workshop, I looked up at the clock and realized I had been working for like 12 hours straight. 


The worst part? I still had MORE to do.

I felt like this:

See, when you build a business almost everything falls on you: Revenue

Cash flow

All this work piles up higher and higher.

And to cope, maybe you open up Twitter for (what feels like) a harmless distraction.

(bad idea)

Then you see hundreds of people boasting about their success.

And then you start comparing yourself to them.

How’d they make $10K in one day?
Do they really only work 4 hours per day??
What the hell am I doing wrong???

I found myself in a downward spiral.

So I did something I haven’t done in a long time.

I took a week off. I went silent. I went off the grid. 

I turned off all email, all chats, all social media.  

And I hit the road.  

First, I drove 2 hours to this random spring in Florida. 

I ended up having a nice chat with that old guy you see right there:

Then I flew to NYC and met up with old friends and played some tennis. 

While I was playing tennis, I ran into my buddy Zach (@zachpogrob, the obsession guy) 

He threw off my game, but I forgive him 🤣

After smashing some balls, my buddy and I went and smashed cheeseburgers at this new burger spot in NYC called Hamburger America. 

(epic burger btw)

And then I found myself at a wedding. 

I had been dreading this wedding because I was feeling SOOOO busy. 

But then I went and it was so much fun!

Not gonna lie – taking a week off was hard.

It was very uncomfortable to step away from the business for a week. 

I think I have this deep fear of stopping. 

I’m scared that if I stop, the entire business will die. 

But as I paused for the week…I realized something:

I started this business to change my life. I didn't start this business to BECOME my life.  

I had become too obsessed with numbers and metrics.

I had become too obsessed with optimizing every minute of every day. 

And I lost sight of WHY I built my own business in the first place:

• To sleep in when I wanted
• To play tennis at 11am on a Thursday
• To create things for fun and creativity
• To be present with friends and family

Most importantly, I started a business so I could have a life that was more fulfilling. 

The goal is to stay in the game for the next 20 years.  

And you can’t keep playing if you’re burnt out. 

Maybe you can’t take a week off. But I bet you can find one hour, one afternoon, or one day.  

You’ll thank yourself later.
March 18th, 2024
My mom and dad got divorced right after I graduated from college.
If you’re a kid of divorce, you know how hard that is on the family – especially on finances.
It was especially tough on my mom.
For respect of her privacy, I'm not going to go into all of the details.
But what I will say is: My mom grew up with nothing. She worked her ass off to build a family, put food on the table, and put us through school.
Whenever we needed anything - she would be there - no questions asked.
But financially, she didn't end up with a whole lot.
As I built my business over the years, I always knew in the back of my head that I wanted to repay her for this.
I just didn't know how.
Until one day, everything changed:
My mom noticed a strange noise coming from the engine of her car.

She took it to the shop.
Mechanic: "Ma'am you're going to need a new engine."
Her car was totaled. It would cost more to fix than the car was worth.
She didn't tell anyone about it. She didn't want any handouts.
She went straight to the dealership and bought another car.
And financed it with a shitty high-interest auto loan.
A few days later, she texted me to tell me about her new car and how much money it was going to cost per month:
"It was my best option. Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.”
And at that very moment, the lightbulb went off in my head.
Later that night, I Facetimed her.
She started telling me about the new car.
She was excited about it, but also weary of the $700/month payment she'd have for the next 5 years.
I could tell she was holding back.
See, my mom is a fighter.
Even though she’s been through hell, she’d never put that on me.
She’s always managed to figure it out.
I paused her and said:
“Mom… I know things have been tough. You’ve always been there for me. And now I want to be there for you.”
And I let her know that I wired $26,352 into her bank account.

Enough to pay off the car in full.
The best money I’ve ever spent.
And one of the proudest moments of my life.
I don’t share this to show off or tell you how great I am.
I share this to show you how building a business can not only change your life.
It can change the lives of the people you love most!
It's bigger than you :)
March 15th, 2024
4 years ago, I get a call from my friend Jon.
Jon: "Hey man - you want to come out and help out at the ranch?"
Me: "What ranch?"
Jon: "I'm out here with Kanye and his team and we need some extra hands while he's recording his album."
I nearly dropped the phone in disbelief.
Kanye is my favorite artist person of all time.
Of course I said yes - how could I turn down this opportunity?
I get in my car and start the 5 hour drive to the secret location Jon sends me.
I have no idea what's about to happen.
But I'm so f*ing excited.

"I'm going to meet Kanye West."
"I'm going to meet his team of A-players."
"This is going to change my life."
I get to the location, walk inside, and sit down at one of the desks.
His whole team is in there working.
Then, Kanye walks in and starts walking towards me.
He shakes my hand, and introduces himself. He is cordial.
Then, he immediately turns to my friend Jon (who hired me) and says:

"I don't want anyone new joining my team without my DIRECT approval."
I put my head down and pretend I don't hear him.
Yep. That was my first interaction with Kanye West.
For the next couple days, his team starts giving me orders.
Here's what I learn they need my "help" with:
- Chauffeuring the artists around
- Picking up pizza for the team
- Driving people to Dairy Queen
- Making sure Kanye always has enough snacks
Yep, I'm running errands all day.
I'm the bottom of the totem pole.
It's not a big deal though... I've worked minimum wage service jobs before.
But... here's the problem:
At this point, I've already quit my full time job and started my own business.
And this business is making money.
Yet I'm out here on Kanye's ranch... picking up Dairy Queen orders?
Then it gets worse...
I start to meet his team.
These so-called A-players...
And guess what? They all clearly hate working there.
They're all complaining about their bosses, gossiping about coworkers, and not really doing anything productive.
It's like every other company I've worked at...
This place reminds me why I quit my job in the first place.
It reminds me why I'll NEVER be happy working for someone else.
(even if that person happens to be the greatest artist of our generation)
Here's what I realize:
I don't want to work for Kanye.
I want to work with Kanye.
And Kanye did not become Kanye by working for someone else.
He became Kanye by creating his own sh*t!
After 4 days of working for Kanye, I tell my friend:

"Hey man - I'm gonna head home and get back to working on my business."
I quit working for Kanye.
And on that drive home from the ranch, I've never felt more conviction that I was on the right path.
Since then I built Starter Story into a business that's generated millions of dollars.
I'm grateful I got to meet Kanye because it reminded me why I never want to have a boss for the rest of my life.
I hope this story inspired you :)
Don't meet your heroes!
December 6th, 2023
PSA: You should take a “think week”.

3 years ago, I hit my breaking point.

So… I got in my car and drove 3,029 miles.

No destination. No plan. Nothing.

This drive across the country… it grew my business 6,900%. Here’s the story:


It’s May 2020 (my 3rd year as a founder).

I’m running 2 different businesses + dabbling in dozens of side projects.

I’m working 80 hours a week.

And I’m living with my mom at 29 years old in the name of “ramen profitability”.


I can’t even crack $10K/month in revenue.

I’m working myself to the bone. And I have nothing to show for it.

I’m f*ing burnt out.

Then… I come across an article about Bill Gates…

Every year, he does this thing called a “think week” at his tiny waterfront cottage in the Pacific Northwest.

He takes a week off every year with no email, no twitter, no nothing!

He just… thinks.

I ask myself: 

Should I do a think week?

Maybe it will get me out of my mom’s basement.

And give me some ideas on how I can cross $10k/month.

But… there’s one problem… 

I can’t afford a cute little waterfront cottage like Bill Gates.

I need a cheaper option.

So I get in my car, and start driving across the country.

I head… west. No destination.

My only goal: to think about solutions.

Just me and my thoughts and the open road.

And I ask myself:

How do I fix my burnout? Why won’t my businesses grow? Will I ever be as rich as Bill Gates?

From mile 0 to 500, my solution consists of:

“I’ll just work harder.”

From mile 500-1,000, my solution:

“I’ll start another business!”

From mile 1,000-1,500, my solution:

“I’ll work smarter. I'll learn that fancy new productivity system / I'll test out 15 marketing channels.”

But... none of these feel right.

So, I simply… let go.

I just keep driving and stop forcing myself to think about an answer.

And then, around mile 2,000, in the middle of nowhere Oregon, it finally hits me:

My revenue isn’t growing because I’m doing 1,000 things at the same time. But focused on nothing.

I’m running 2 completely different businesses at the same time - desperate to make both of them work.

Having all these projects gives me the illusion of safety. If one thing fails, I won’t have all my eggs in one basket, right?

Yes, but in doing so, I’m neglecting the one project with the biggest potential: starterstory.com

Starter Story could be huge if I gave it the time it deserved.

In this moment, everything clicked.

I had crystal clarity on exactly what I needed to do.

When I finished my road trip, I immediately shut down all of my other projects.

And went all in on starterstory.com.

Within 30 days, I doubled revenue.

Within 2 months, I tripled revenue.

And last month, revenue was 60x bigger than it was “pre-Think Week”.

During my think week, I drove 3,029 miles over the course of 8 days.

But I needed 2,000 miles of driving to come to the best professional decision I ever made: to go all in.

And that’s why you should not take a “think day”, or a “think weekend”.

You should take a “think week”.

August 4th, 2023
How I built a $1M business on 2 hours a day.

This is the story of how I changed my life from a Starbucks:


It's 2017 and:

- I'm 5 years into "working for the man"
- I'm $50,000 in debt
- I feel like there's no way out

Me: "I'm going to start a side project to get myself out of this."


Months go by.

No progress.

Same old story...

Full of ideas and dreams with no plan on how to execute them.



I'm gifted the book "Deep Work."

Deep work is the state of focused, undistracted, and highly productive work where one can reach a state of flow and accomplish meaningful tasks.

Why do I struggle so much with actually getting sh*t done?

Maybe deep work is the answer?

My plan:

1. After I get off work, go straight to Starbucks
2. Order a large drip coffee
3. Turn off phone, turn on site blocker
4. Work on my side project for 2 hrs


October 18, 2017:

I get off work. I order my coffee. I sit down, turn off my phone and start working.

"Wow, this is so f*ing hard."

2 hours of pain and suffering later...

"This is the most progress I've made in years."


I go back the next day, and the next day.

Suddenly, I'm addicted to that feeling of progress.

What originally felt like a struggle now feels fun.

Deep work is thrilling, and the 2 hours fly by. 

Flow state.

I start to look forward to these sessions. 

I'm building a habit.


There's just one issue: I'm wiped out after work...

I switch to the morning, and my progress accelerates even more!

New routine:

1. Wake up 6AM, go straight to Starbucks
2. Order lg drip coffee
3. Turn off phone
4. Work on side project for 2 hrs
5. Go to my day job


I did this routine for 365 days.

October 18, 2018 (1yr later):

- I've built a side project (starterstory.com) making $3,000/mo
- I've paid off ~$30K in debt
- I've made plans to quit my FT job to go all in on Starter Story
- I've learned how to actually execute on sh*t


Now starterstory.com is making $1M/year.

But... I certainly wasn't perfect. Of course I missed days!

However, I got addicted to the process, and the PROGRESS.

& I found myself doing 3,4, even 5 hours of deep work on days when I had the energy.



1. do deep work
2. consistently
3. over a long period of time

And you'll make a sh*t ton of progress.

I recommend this routine to anyone building anything.

I still find two hours every day for deep work.
May 17th, 2023

Cringe alert.

Nearly 10 years ago I took this embarrassing selfie.

It was my first day in corporate America.

I woke up at 6AM, put on a very uncomfortable suit and snapped this photo.

I was so excited about my big new career.

“I made it.”

I’d spent over $200K and thousands of hours for this moment (4 year degree).

But within 8 hours, I realized I’d made the biggest mistake of my life.

Here was the reality of that “career”:

  • Working 80 hour weeks
  • Doing meaningless work to create more billable hours
  • Happy hour every night with people you don’t even like
  • Begging your boss to leave at 8PM on a Friday

That day, I knew I had to change something.

But I was scared sh!tless thanks to the “sunk cost fallacy”:

  • I’d already invested $200K
  • I’d spent thousands of hours in the library studying for this
  • I’d spent 4+ years attaching my personal identity to this career.

What would people say if I threw all of that away?

The problem with “careers” is that we invest so much into them before we know if we’ll truly love the work.

And this sunk cost fallacy only gets worse the longer you let it fester.

The next 5 years after this selfie were not pretty...

I jumped from job to job and career to career, hoping that I’d find the “career for me”.

Never did. After 5 more years I realized that no “career” would ever fulfill me.

And that’s what led me to starting my very first side project.

In a matter of days, I realized entrepreneurship was the only “career” with no limits.

Endless challenge and endless possibilities. There is no ceiling.

It’s not for everyone, but it’s the game I want to play for the next 60 years.
October 5th, 2022
It’s officially been 5 years since I launched the original Starter Story website:

Yep, that’s starterstory.com, when I “launched” the website in 2017. And, of course, nobody visited it. 
On the surface, it doesn’t look much different than it does now.
But behind the scenes, everything has changed. I’ve turned this little side project into a real business, with a real team.
Since I’ve been working on Starter Story for half a decade, I wanted to write a bit about the journey and some of my biggest lessons.

Before we jump in…

In case you didn’t know, Starter Story is a platform where founders share how they built their businesses.
Last month (September 2022), we made $74K in revenue, and over 1.5M people visited the website!
You’re probably wondering how Starter Story works as a business and how it makes money:

  1. Premium memberships (~38% of revenue): Members pay a yearly fee and get unlimited access to all of our case studies, databases, and other benefits
  2. Advertising and sponsorships (~57% of revenue): Companies pay us to advertise their product in our newsletter and our website.
  3. Affiliate revenue (~5% of revenue): We get paid when a reader clicks an affiliate link on our website and signs up for something or makes a purchase.

A bit more details on each of our revenue streams:
1. Starter Story Premium Membership (~38% of revenue)
With about 2,500 active members, our paid subscription generates ~$30k/month on average.
Similar to the New York Times, you can read a limited number of case studies on our website per month, for free. But if you sign up and pay to be a member, you can read unlimited, plus you’ll get access to some of our databases (e.g. business ideas database).
2. Ads & Sponsors (~57% of revenue)
Companies pay us to advertise their products in our articles or on our newsletter. Our audience is niche, so brands will come to us, looking to get in front of our audience. We also go out and pitch brands as well.
3. Affiliates (~5% of revenue)
Our case studies & content often mention what products founders use, such as Shopify, Klaviyo, and thousands of other tools. If a reader clicks a link to these tools, we sometimes get a cut of the sale (if they buy). This is a smaller part of our revenue but we’re hoping to grow it (feedback welcome).

Early traction: celebrate and zone in on the smallest wins

I started Starter Story as a side project (while I had a full-time job).
I’ve had many other projects that have failed... 
What I’ve learned through these failures: the hardest part about building a side project is not giving up.
IMO the best way to not give up is to work as hard as you can to achieve some small traction or small positive reinforcement in the early days
This traction doesn’t have to be life-changing, it could be something as simple as getting a few dozen people on an email list, or one happy customer sending you a note about how they love your product.
Finding early traction is not easy though - you’ll need to try a lot of things, and likely pivot your idea, strategy, market, etc many times. At least that was the case for me.
I was lucky enough to get some early traction, here's how:
1. Finding a solid distribution channel: Reddit
In the early days, I was publishing lots of great case studies, but nobody even knew my website existed…
I realized I needed a distribution channel.
I tried a lot of things and finally found something that worked: posting the case studies on reddit.

My first success: This post hit the top of r/entrepreneur, and it validated that our case studies with founders were actually interesting and valuable to Redditors.
These reddit posts would get a lot of upvotes, comments, etc, and some people would enjoy the posts enough to visit Starter Story and read more case studies, subscribe to our newsletter, etc.

There were many positive outcomes of sharing our content on Reddit. Besides its huge reach, these Reddit posts also helped us find our first “sponsors” (advertisers) and it also helped us find more businesses to interview on the site.
Key takeaway: Distribution beats product 99% of the time.
2. Differentiate yourself: Create amazing content you can’t find anywhere else
In the early days, I worked hard to make our case studies super in-depth - there was nothing else like it on the Internet.
I wanted to show how people actually built their business, which takes thousands of words.
Our competition at the time: 500-word fluff promotional articles on Forbes and TechCrunch about companies that raised their $20M Series A.
My goal: To create content that was different and better than anything else you could find. Additionally, our case studies also had something unique that caught people’s attention: we always shared how much money people were actually making.
Back then, it was rare to see entrepreneurs being so open about revenue, costs, and profit. We worked hard to get that info into our content, which helped set us apart from other blogs and websites.
Key takeaway: Our content was unique, fresh, and interesting which helped us stand out. Because we were different, people would share our site with their friends, on social media, etc.
3. Document the journey
In the early days, I used to write monthly progress reports about my journey building Starter Story.
I would blog, tweet, and create videos about what I was working on, the results I got after trying different strategies, etc. For example, I would write blog posts like this when the website had less than 1,000 visitors per month and made $0…
I think nowadays this is called “building in public”, but I was doing it because I really loved working on this project, learning new things, and writing about them.
Sharing all this stuff not only helped me build a better business, but it also helped me make tons of friends and connections online and build a small personal brand.
Here’s the archive of many of the articles I wrote.
Key takeaway: Writing or sharing your journey can (1) help you understand your own priorities and (2) attract likeminded people into your corner.

Later traction: Reinventing ourselves, over and over

One thing I’ve learned as I’ve worked on growing Starter Story: what worked in the past won’t necessarily work in the future. 
In other words, what got us from 0 to $10K/month is different than what got us from $10k to $20k/month, and so on.
Growing the business past its early stages was a challenge, and still remains a challenge every day. 
I feel like we’ve had to reinvent ourselves multiple times to get where we are… But, I think that’s something that all growing businesses face, even if it’s not on the surface.
Here are some key things that led to our growth in our later days:
1. We found a more reliable distribution channel: SEO
Back in early 2020, I had monetized the business, but it wasn’t making more than $5,000/month.
I realized that in order to grow Starter Story, we needed more, and better, distribution. 
Reddit was not a scalable channel of distribution for us, as the novelty of our case studies mainly had worn off.
So, we started looking into a new way to distribute our content: SEO.
We started creating content that we thought would do well in search engines, for example, golfers searching for business ideas.
We repackaged our content to match high-level search keywords and it was a big success.
This strategy resulted in 10x organic traffic growth over the next year, and it’s how we reached over 1 million visitors to our site per month.
Key takeaway: Find a truly scalable method of distributing your product. You might need to find multiple, over the years. Some good ones: SEO, YouTube, social media, direct sales.
2. Go all in + a stroke of luck
I used to be the guy that had 12 different unrelated businesses/projects going at once.
I wasn’t able to commit to one idea, so I just kept creating and trying new things.
I don't think it's bad to try a lot of things (especially early on), but it's nearly impossible to build two successful businesses at the same time.
In early 2020, I decided to drop all my other projects and go full-time on Starter Story.
Somewhat coincidentally, this was also the time that the COVID pandemic took over the world, which actually became a "boom" for entrepreneurs around the world.
More people than ever were sitting at home, browsing the internet and wanting to find a side hustle or ways to make money online. In 2020 and 2021, we saw records in terms of new startups and businesses created (see image).
This led to a ton of interest in Starter Story.
We certainly got lucky with the circumstances around the pandemic, but I’m not sure I would have been able to capitalize on this opportunity if I was still working on 12 different projects.
Key takeaway: Eventually, you’ll need to pick one idea and go all in on it.
3. I hired someone
In 2020, I made the most key hire in the company, and it was basically by accident.
My sister was laid off right after the pandemic hit, so I asked her to help me write a few articles for Starter Story.
One thing led to another, and she came on to the business full-time just a few months later.
She gave the business life, and pushed forward projects that took Starter Story to the next level in terms of revenue and potential.
As founders, we’re good at many things, but great at nothing. Our attention is scattered all across the business, preventing us from being consistent and focused on certain parts of our businesses that need a full time focus.
Key takeaway: Hire smart people to work on ambitious projects. Let them become “mini-founders” and allow them to learn and grow.
4. We diversified our revenue with a paid membership
We used to rely 100% on sponsorships and ad revenue.
As a bootstrapped company, it’s a bad idea to rely on a single source of revenue, especially because the "plug" could be pulled on us at anytime.
I realized we needed to diversify our revenue streams.
About 3 years ago, we started putting together a paid subscription version of our product (Starter Story Premium) we've refined it ever since.
We first started with our paywall, and then added more premium products like our Business Ideas database, our Case Studies Database, and more.
Starter Story Premium has been a work in progress for years. We are refining it and improving it every day.
Key takeaway: As a bootstrapped company, we don't have the luxury of millions sitting in the bank in case something goes wrong. Therefore, it's better to have more reliable revenue, even if it's at the cost of growth.
5. We built systems and processes for everything possible
As a developer, I’ve built countless small tools and automations that have allowed us to scale our operations as a super lean team.
I’ve automated every piece of the business possible. If something is not possible to automate, then we try to hire or outsource for it.
I like to look at my developer/hacking skills as an advantage in my business. It’s allowed us to move quickly and operate with lower costs. It’s scrappy, and I often break things, but it’s something that sets us apart from the competition and the copycats.
Key takeaway: Identify and take advantage of your own skills - make them your competitive advantage.

If you want to know more about the business, or want me to clarify some things, shoot me an email or reach out on Twitter.
Thanks for reading!
May 27th, 2022
If someone runs into a bug on Starter Story, I always try to send them a personal email that it was fixed.

If the user is logged in, my error reporting tool Sentry tells me what user experienced the bug.

If someone did that to me, I think it would be pretty cool. Customer service and care goes a long way.
May 26th, 2022
I invest money every single week. 60% into index funds (auto balancing robo investor). 20% into equities. And 20% into Bitcoin.

I have it set up so it withdraws and deposits the money automatically every week. I barely even think about it much. But it feels like a nice way to financial independence. 

1. Make consistent money from a profitable business (cash flow)
2. Don't spend too much of it on yourself, invest as much cash as you can each week
3. Sell that profitable business one day

You get the best of both worlds if you do this. You build wealth predictably, but also set yourself up for a potential big exit lump sum (if you're lucky). 

But if that doesn't work, you can always fall back on your money you diligently invested.

And if you're really lucky, something like Bitcoin really pays off.
May 25th, 2022
It blows my mind how endless the possibilities there are building your own business. It is fulfilling and fun and scary. I'm grateful I get to do this every day. Right now I sit here on my couch building. Building cool shit that makes money. Unbelievable that I do this for a living. That is all.
May 17th, 2022
Just came across this media company called 'Future' today. Never heard of them before, but they are primarily digital media and run lots of smaller sites.

They have literally hundreds of "brands" (websites) that they manage.

Their revenue is $756M with an operating profit margin of 32%. That's $243M in profit. (source)

I've found a few other companies that are doing this well: Dotdash, Red Ventures, & Ziff Davis. I'm sure there are many more. I love the model.

This is what we're building at Starter Story! Profitable, focused on one channel, all digital, and one day we'll have a few brands. 
May 16th, 2022
I had a shower thought today. 

Disruption happens a lot differently (and more slowly) than we think.

For example, think about disruption in the newspaper industry by the internet:

Newspapers didn’t immediately go online once the internet was created. Rather, blogs and websites started cropping up, and slowly people started getting their news from the internet.

This adoption took years. Once the shift already happened, the newspapers finally went online. But it was too late. Only a complete shift in business model  would allow them to survive.

The next big industries to get disrupted are healthcare and education.

And I think the same thing will happen in healthcare.

Doctors and hospitals aren’t going to adopt new technologies. They have no incentive to. Their system works just fine right now.

But, just like the newspaper industry, people will find new, better, and more convenient ways of getting health care.

For example, the Apple watch can track many of your vitals. And Levels can analyze your blood. You can get prescriptions online. You can see doctors online. WebMD. The list goes on.

Slowly, these methods will become more popular than going to the doctor / hospital. Health care costs will go down for the average person. 

The profits will be sucked out of the healthcare industry. Only then will the hospitals and administrators realize they need to adopt these new technologies to survive as a business. 

But it will be too late, just like the newspapers. With their business model (massive fixed costs), they won’t be able to make it work.

The same will happen in education. We won’t replace traditional college. But less people will go every year. Thousands of apps, websites, and platforms will replace traditional education (Starter Story being one of them).

Colleges will try to implement these new technologies, but it will be too late.
May 13th, 2022
I want to be a more positive person. More optimistic, less pessimistic. Glass half full, instead of glass half empty. 

Stop saying sarcastic, clever, or negative skewing things, in my personal and professional life. 

What I’ve been doing lately is just noticing whenever I have negative thoughts or say negative things. It’s OK to have them. But just noticing them is the first step.

I think that with positive thinking, I could achieve more and be happier. It feels like it’s one of those things that I need to “unlock” so I can level up.

More to come on this.
May 11th, 2022
I've been working on rebuilding our "databases" at Starter Story. I want them to be way more useful, and have them look a lot more professional.

It all started with this database for side hustles.

side hustles database

I modeled this off of the U.S. News Best Universities database and UX. I love how that page looks and feels. And it does very well in Google search.

That project took forever, but now we're migrating the database to work for other "objects", the first one being our tools database. It uses the same code and logic.

Here is the before and after:

You can now search, filter, and sort the tools, and see all 2,500+ tools, and ton of more metadata for each tool. Let me know what you think! (and if anything can be improved in terms of functionality, design, etc)

Here it is in all its glory. Really proud of this!

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 10.16.01 AM.png 732 KB

The next one we will migrate is our business ideas database, which is a long time coming :)
May 10th, 2022
Today, I find myself with a million tasks to do. Last week I was away, and the work piled up… 

On one hand, it’s kind of depressing to think that the rest of my life is filled with work. Filled with various tasks I need to complete every day, that in the grand scheme, are mostly pointless. 

95% of the things I did today will amount to nothing. Will be forgotten in 5 years. The project will fail, wither out, I’ll lose interest, or I’ll find a better way to do the thing.

But that is kind of the beauty of it all. There is no end

And if there was an end, I know I would only feel temporary finality, and probably go start working on something new, and the work would start all over.

Lately I’ve been enjoying the process of doing my small, pointless tasks. Instead of feeling burdened by them, I feel empowered by them. They give my purpose.

I work hard to do them to the best of my ability. I’m not focused on just getting them done, but doing them well, with care and passion.

Sure, there are truly pointless tasks you shouldn’t do at all. And you should outsource things to save you time. But there will always be more work after that. And that’s a good thing.

The work never ends. So enjoy the work, learn to love the work. Get addicted to the daily work. Focus on the process, not the outcome.
May 9th, 2022
I spent the last week in Mexico. A few days at a tennis camp during the week, and then a weekend bachelor party with old college friends.

Traveling is finally, finally a thing again. And it felt really nice.

In 2021 I almost never traveled, and it definitely affected my mental health.

Although flying on planes and going through airports are still such a nuisance, it is so very worth it to get out there and see the world.

I forgot how travel opens up your perspective. Being in Mexico City reminded me just how small my own world is.

And seeing friends is worth all the money you have to spend. Bachelor parties and weddings and other related events are so expensive, and sometimes that bothers me. But they are worth the money. Getting together with friends is priceless.

I want to do that a lot more this year. Take more weekend trips. Take advantage of this time where nobody is worried about Covid and we can go anywhere.
May 4th, 2022
More updates on the Starter Story business model transition (to ads). We are finally starting to see some success. 

Although it’s taken months of thinking and planning and selling, we have officially locked down 3 big advertisers. For a total of $23K recurring ad revenue per month.

Our goal is to do everything in our power to make them happy, and keep them on board and get them to renew past their original contracts. 

Our longer term goal is to get to $50K recurring ad revenue per month by the end of September. 

Once we hit that, I think we’ll have a pretty solid grasp on the sales process (and better cash flows), and we can hire a salesperson to do this work. 

Then, we can put more time and energy into growing our inventory, so we can sell more ads.
May 3rd, 2022
Since I started playing tennis, I’ve been documenting every time I’ve played, practiced, or just hit around for fun.

I track lots of things, such as type of play, opponent, court type, duration, score, and some notes.

(I didn’t actually start doing this until 1 year in, so I had to make up some of the data based on my old playing habits)

I put this all in my “Life” spreadsheet where I also track personal finances, expenses, investments, my business, and other things. I used to have a few different spreadsheets for this, but recently I merged them all into one.

The first tab of my “Life” spreadsheet is my high level “Home” dashboard where I can see bigger picture stuff, like net worth, last 30 months expenses, etc.

I just use some formulas on the raw data and can see some pretty cool stuff. 

For example, how many hours I’ve spent playing in the last 30 days, or my official win-loss record.

I’ve dedicated 715 hours to playing tennis over the last couple years. Sometimes, I wish I could get better, faster. But then I realize that 700 hours is really not that much. Imagine how good I’ll be at 10,000 hours!
April 29th, 2022
As a first time founder I focused way too much on implementation. What coding language to use, what marketing strategy, what the business model will be.

Over-systemizing, over-optimizing, and overthinking.

What I’ve learned over the years:

The most valuable thing to focus on is one question: am I helping people? 

Am I adding genuine value to at least one person’s life? Success scales when I do more of that.

I talk to aspiring founders and they ask me questions like “should I do e-commerce or should I make an app?”. I think that’s the wrong way to think about building a business. Because that’s doing it for you, not for others.

I believe we would be more successful (more quickly) if we just focused on helping people. 

Why? Because the job of a business is to serve its customers. Not to serve you. The best founders are servants to their customers.

This is something I’m only realizing years into my entrepreneurship journey. To be frank, I got into entrepreneurship for me

Because I wanted people to use the products that I designed and created. And I wanted to quit my 9 to 5. I didn't want to work for someone else anymore.

Those were perfectly normal motivations to start a business, and they actually make sense for why so many people make the leap.

But now, I'm getting close to Year 5 of building businesses full time, and I’m sensing a shift.

Those things don’t motivate me much anymore. I get the most joy out of helping people. I think this will lead to far more growth, too. Will keep you updated.