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James Altucher
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Starting and Running A Business (and treat your career as a business): the next 50-100 tweets by me but all on this thread. It took me about 20 businesses plus another 50 investments to START to get this right. So...here goes....
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
1) there are many types of businesses. So some of these tweets I'm about to do don't apply. And I'm not a lawyer. So some of this is from experience rather than from a lawyer. You decide. And feel free to add or suggest or propose alternatives to the tweets I'm about to do
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
2) HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RAISE MONEY? In a GREAT business, six months. In a mediocre business, infinity. (which means: if you have six months of money left, you are ALREADY out of business).
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
3) Should I blog / create content? Yes. You must. Blog about everything going wrong in your industry. Blog personal stories that you think will scare away customers. They won’t. Customers will be attracted to honesty. Creating content creates authenticity. You stand out.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
4) My 2 successful businesses in past 12 years came from creating MASSIVE amounts of content. Current biz is about 60mm in revs, give or take.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
5) SHOULD I RAISE VENTURE CAPITAL MONEY? No, get a customer. I never started a successful business that didn’t start with a customer. “But what about Google?” someone might ask. Stop asking that. First get a customer. Then build a product. Then create content. Lots of it.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
6) SHOULD I QUIT MY JOB IN ORDER TO "FOCUS"? No, many successful businesses were started by people who did not quickly quit their jobs. Starting a business is not about taking risks. It’s 100% about risk mitigation. EXAMPLES:
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
Larry Page stayed in graduate school for an entire year or so after he started Google. Steve Wozniak stayed at Hewlett-Packard because he didn’t want to give up his safe job. I stayed at HBO full time for 18 months before quitting to join my first business first time.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
6A) WHEN DO I QUIT MY JOB? When there are profits. When there are recurring customers. When you have so much work to do you have to hire people. When I first quit my job to join my business I was SCARED. If you aren't scared enough then you are ignoring the risks.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
6B) THEN DO I RAISE VC MONEY? Not if you don't have to. The easiest money is customer profits, then bank loans, then friends and family, then finally VC money. I've never been fired by "friends and family" but Ive been fired twice by VCs.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
7) WHEN SHOULD I GIVE UP ON AN IDEA? In the beginning of a business, don't smoke your own crack. No matter how good an idea seems, it might not work. Give up on an idea when you can’t generate revenues, customers, or interest for two months. No interest, no business.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
8) HOW MUCH EQUITY SHOULD I GIVE A PARTNER(S)? Divide things up into these categories: manages the company; raises the money; had the idea; brings in the revenues; built the product (or performs the services). Divide up in equal portions.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
9) SO...WAIT! WHEN SHOULD I QUIT MY JOB? I REALLY WANT TO QUIT MY JOB! Only if you have recurring profits that can pay you for six months at your startup. Aim to quit your job but don’t quit your job. Six months is a MINIMUM.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
10) HOW DO I GET NEW CLIENTS? DO I SPEND ON ADS? The best new clients are old clients. Always offer new services. Think every day of new services to offer old clients. THIS WORKS FOR EVERY BUSINESS? Even with my podcast. My best podcast guests are my recurring podcast guests.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
11) WHAT'S THE BEST THING TO DO FOR A NEW CLIENT? Over-deliver for the first 100 days. Then you will never lose them. (see my podcast with Joey Coleman. This is also a truism for many areas of life). Practice over-promising and over-delivering (and no, don't say "underpromise")
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
12) WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF AN AMATEUR? - Asking for an NDA. - Trying to raise VC money before a product or customers. - Having fights with partners in the first year. Fire them or split before anything gets out of control. - Worrying about dilution.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
12a) AMATEUR HOUR, PART II: - Trying to get Mark Cuban to invest because “this would be great for the Dallas Mavericks.” - Asking people you barely know to introduce you to Mark Cuban. - Asking people for five minutes of their time. You are establishing yourself as a liar.
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
12b) AMATEUR HOUR, PART III - Having a PowerPoint that doesn’t show me arbitrage. Investors need to know WHY they are getting this "amazing" opportunity. - Rejecting a cash offer for your company when you have almost no revenues. Hello Friendster and Foursquare
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
13) WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A PROFESSIONAL: - Going from BS product to services to product to SaaS product. (Corollary: The reverse is amateur hour.) (e.g. Oracle). - Cutting costs every day. - Selling every day, every minute. - Studying the entire industry (applies to career).
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James Altucher Mar 25
Replying to @jaltucher
13a) PRO, PART II: - When you have a billion in revenues, staying focused. - When you have zero revenues, staying unfocused and coming up with new ideas every day. - Saying “no” to people who are obvious losers. - Saying “yes” to meeting winners, without a purpose.
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