Book Reviews: The Tiny MBA

- Got it in June 2022 after hearing about it from the [[][Stacking The Bricks podcast]].

- It's a collection of short statments mostly pulled from tweets by [[][Alex Hillman]] (who's the author)

- Content is based on their experience of building business.

- Format is fun. Each page has one statement on it like like the [[][Oblique Strategies]] from Brian Eno and a cat named Peter Schmidt.

- Recommendation is to ask yourself some questions about each page/statemnt:

- How do the words make you feel?

- Have you ever experienced it yourself? (Why or why not?)

- What can I do or try, even if it's uncomfortable?

- How is this differenct from my experience and why?

- I didn't really approach the book that way, that's not really the way I process. I just kinda think about the questions in general and how they apply to whatever else it is that I'm thinking of.

- Would be cool to setup a little process that shows you one all the time randomly. (Gonna add that into my new browser tab launchpad page when I rebuild it)

- On of the key ideas for me is the idea of selling something that lets people effectively buy their time back. (You could say something that saves them time, but I really like the idea that it of buying time back. That's much more powerful)

*** Favorites

Some of my favorites (and key ones I want to keep front of mind)

- Eveyrone charges FAR too little when they start out on their own.

(This is something I've seen from a ton of photographers and heard countless anechdotes about from web developers)

- If you listen to your customers' needs and show up to do the work when you say you will, you're ahead of 99.9% of businesses that exist.

(I don't think this has as much to do with a product business as it does with a service business, but I really like it and it's totally true based off the contractors I've worked with in the past.)

- People don't pay you because they like you. They pay you because you generate some kind of economic value or upside elsewhere in a system that matters to them - If you learn how that system works, you can figure out how to make more money.

- Things that attract crappy customers (e.g. demanding, flaky, short term thinkers) include:

- selling to vague audiences

- selling in marketplaces

- selling "quick fixes"

- pricing your products and services too low

- Recurring revenue is the "holy grail" of business models, and yes, it can be amazing. But, most people don't realize that it's also 500x harder to sell than one off purchases.

Many people who try subscriptions as their first offering struggle or fail as a results of this miscalculation.

- Most long term success doesn't look anything like success in the beginning. Or, even in the middle.

- A lot of early successes can look like failures just because the first success isn't as big as you expected, or needed, to feel confident continuing.

- An inability to copy with boredom kills more successes than any kind of competition.

(This one struck home with me since my unmedicated mind wouldn't let me be bored, I'd jump to other stuff constantly. It wasn't an option to stick with something that was bofing to work though it. It feels like that won't be a problem now since I'm leveled off.)

- Audience building should really just be called, "earning trust at scale"

- Before you ask "what can I do to make more money", try asking "who can I reach that has moey to spend?"

- It's infinitely easier to get people to change *where* they already spend money than it is to convince them to spend new money, or even spend money in a new way.

(I really like this one)

- If you find something that works in your business, *do it again* - and again and again and eventaully automate or delegate it.

- When you find things in yoru business that work, don't take them for granted. Try to understand *why* they work.

- Bigger isn't better. Better is better.

- (This isn't a quote, but a general idea behind several pages: look for and position so that you are letting folks buy their own time back by using the thing you offer since time is the untimate non-renewable.)

- Your #1 competition is most likely to be:

- apathy about the problem

- uncertainty that you have the right solution for their needs

- attention (because they got distracted)

- awareness (becaue they don't know you exist)

- non-existance (becaue you never shipped)

- Unless you specifically sell industry analysis, you are almost certainly wasting time by paying attention to what other businesses (who are not your customers) are doing.

- Instead of trying to be better than other people, jsut try to be better than the last version of yourself.

(I don't really have a problem with this more writing it down so it's in the list for anyone else who sees it because it's a very valuable mindset)

- If you can't build the business you're dreaming of today, build the business you _can_ build today. - It's better than building no business at all.

- If you are looking for your first clients or customers, start by asking yourself:

- Where do they go when they have questions or need help?

- What resources do they trust?

- What communities do they belong to?

Then, go there, but *don't* go there to sell. Go there to listen and be helpful when you can.

- If you only show up when you want their clicks or attention, you will lose. - But, you'd be amazed how uqicly you can get people contating and referring you if they see you as a helful peer and a community regular.

- Ruthless generosity scales extremely well.

- If done well, teaching and marketing can be nearly indistinguishable from each other.

- Almost all modern business books are written for middle managers, or as business-porn entertainment.

The most valuable books for business owners and operators aren't business books, they're books about human psychology and communicaiton.

- Almost every business function or skill you could needs to support your business is availableas an expert contractor.

- It can feel like there is so much social and cultural pressure to grow and sell a business. But, what if you just did the best job you could running it for as long as you wwanted to?

(I don't really have an eye on selling things, but I like the idea of keeping it front of mind even more directly that the goal is *not* to sell it, but to run until I'm done with it. Sure, then I'd want to pass it off somehow, but that's not the goal)

- You can pick any kind of business you want to run, but unlike a video game you won't win extra points for playing on the most difficult mode. - Instead, use every advantage you have, however small they may seem.

- The most likely thing ot kill your business is you. - That also meand the most likely causes of failure are 100% in your control.

*** Recommended Readings

Some other books and Artiles that were recommended: