Six Figure Businesses, To Think Lists, and the Value of Disassembly

Whether you've been thinking of going out on your own or you find yourself there, you can build a profitable business as a small operation. The hardest part is figuring out the gap in the marketplace, and how you can help deliver value there.

The other hard aspect of being on your own is receiving support and continuing to learn. Which is why it is exciting when you find a community of people and many examples of businesses that have been built that way.

When you also work on improving the quality of your thinking, you become even more effective in what you do.


Six Figure Businesses, To Think Lists, and the Value of Disassembly

The three stories that caught my eye this week are:


1In a guest post over at Tim Ferriss site, Chris Guillebeau summarizes 17 lessons learned while researching six figure businesses built for less than $100. His definition micro-businesses is small operations (typically one person) that make $50,000 a year or more (often a lot more):

The constant themes in our study were freedom and value: freedom is what we all want, and value is the way to achieve it. Over and over, I found business owners who had created their own freedom (and a great income) by making something useful and desirable for their customers.

It’s easy to think that these are isolated examples, or that you can’t achieve the same results, but the micro-business phenomenon is happening all over the world in different ways.

Follow the path of these stories and make actionable plans. Pick one thing, get it on the calendar, and do it in the next week. Just do something.

The value of failure is overrated. Learn to succeed from the get go. With more examples of others who have done it, you can figure out what would work faster. Don't forget to read the comments here. There's lots of gold there, too.


2Thinking will allow you to lift the quality of your actions. Make to think lists says Rajesh Setty:

You meet and exceed people’s expectations based on your actions. your quality of thinking definitely influences the actions you take but that is not easily visible to others.

[…] The only way you get better at something is via practice. So, you get better at thinking by…well, thinking!

Follow this link and find a manifesto on Making the Most of Your Time, too.


3Tom Armitage reviews Chip Kidd's The Cheese Monkeys and the value of disassembly – taking apart things you know and learning how to start from nothing:

Taking apart a problem to find the only appropriate answer (though there may, in fact, be many). The value of being challenged to do difficult things, and honing skills. The value of physical skills – literal muscle control – in an era before the technological overhaul of design (and the value, as ever, of being able to draw. Even just trying to draw. It helps me a lot).

And, most notably, the value of criticising the Work as the Work

[…] As Sorbeck’s students find, it is difficult to learn how to be in a crit, difficult to learn how to respond to one, and difficult to learn how to give one. But it’s all valuable: it is focused on making the work better.

A good case of seeing to comprehend — understanding the difference between criticism and complaining, criticism and anger.


Learning to become autonomous, to rely on your own skills can be liberating, and provide a good livelihood in the process. The quality of your actions is directly proportional to the quality of your thinking — it's a good idea to set aside time to improve that.

Seeing translates into understanding and putting things together better.



Looking for motivation to connect your purpose and values with forward movement? Contact me today.