How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital
How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital

How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital

However you start out, my only rule is that you’re always pursuing three new opportunities at the same time. Once a venture is up and running, you’re going to set it on autopilot so it only takes an hour or two of your time per month. (Location 385)

You won’t have time to work on three huge, time-consuming projects at once. So focus 80 percent of your time on one project—the one that brings in the most money or (Location 421)

that has the potential to be your biggest earner. Split the other 20 percent of your time between the two remaining ventures. (Location 422)

You have to copy your competitors. Do it now. Do it aggressively. Do it quickly. And do it by spending the least amount of money you possibly can. I constantly talk to people who won’t give themselves (Location 452)

If you’re setting up shop as a consultant, look at sites where people list their services. On the low end (price-wise) are and (Location 511)

Advertising’s number one purpose is to get you to want something, a golden (Location 541)

Build systems around the things that take up most of your time. Sadly, most people don’t even know what those things are. How many of us are constantly busy but can’t look back on our day and say what we did? It’s all a blur. If that’s you (and even if it’s not), spend a week documenting what you’re doing. This kind of awareness forces you (Location 606)

to be reflective and intentional, not reactive to whatever thing is in front of you. (Location 608)

This is the essence of systems leverage. If you have a clear system, it can be done faster and cheaper by somebody (or even something) other than you. (Location 634)

Make sure the systems you’re spending most of your time and money on scaling have a direct correlation to additional cash flow, whether that’s downloads that translate to sponsor dollars, website impressions that convert to an increase in your average cart checkout size, if you’re an e-commerce brand, or a system for marketing the newspaper that drives more people to your brick-and-mortar location. (Location 860)

People often get stuck working on systems that suck up their time but don’t bring in cash. It’s so tempting to lie to yourself because a system feels good when it isn’t actually accomplishing anything. So be hyperintentional about where you’re spending your time and ruthlessly kill any systems that don’t have a direct correlation to growing your bank account. (Location 866)

always try to find, influence, and persuade the person who is the best in the world at something I need done to do my work for me. That’s a skill set that can be applied to getting anything done—a generalist approach—versus specializing in one thing and being pigeonholed. “But, Nathan, if I replace myself, my team won’t need me anymore!” (Location 876)

This strategy has worked for generations. Remember—the wealthiest people during the gold rush were not the gold miners. They were the people who sold pickaxes to the gold miners. (Location 1019)

Part of Rockefeller’s strategy was to buy up mines full of oil that could not be processed into usable kerosene because of its high sulfur content. He took a risk, hoping he could find a chemist to get the sulfur out of the oil. It worked. (Location 1106)

When building a business today, think about how you can work a liability into your growth plan. If you can buy an asset or a group of assets that have one common liability like sulfur, and you’re confident in your ability to solve that liability, you can unlock loads of (Location 1111)

Max immediately spotted his pickax cash cow and got to work launching Book in a Box (now Scribe Writing) in 2015. (Location 1143)

If you’re in media, look at trends on Facebook, BuzzFeed, Google, and other big media companies. If you’re in the engineering space, look at what Boeing is doing, or what Rolls-Royce is creating. Play on your playing field and make sure you have at least some expertise there. (Location 1147)

starts with masterful persuasion. Most people use their persuasion skills, or muscle, in the wrong ways every day. They try to persuade people to do stupid stuff, like getting their boss to give them a better office or their Facebook friends to like a post. (Location 1177)

Once you hit the sweet spot of having others doing the time-consuming stuff, you can focus on generating more cash flow for yourself. There you’ll need the art of negotiation. (Location 1181)

Speaking of fear, one of the reasons you lose negotiations is when you fear you’re going to lose the negotiation. That’s why it’s best to start negotiations when that fear doesn’t exist. In other words, negotiate when you don’t have (Location 1275)

Let’s say you’ve got enough money in the bank to cover two or three months’ rent. You’re not feeling financial pressure, but you’d still prefer to pay less than the full amount. That creates leverage for you. (Location 1301)

They negotiated and would only go up by $10/month. I went for it because I didn’t want to deal with the trouble of finding six new renters. You’ll always have this leverage over a landlord. Use it. (Location 1322)

Dream in Decades → Think in Years → Work in Weeks → Live in Days (Location 1360)

The concept of batching time is simple: dedicate blocks of time (at least three hours) to one task or project. No switching to do little things in between. (Location 1452)

And once you’re rolling in cash you’ll keep getting it all for free, or for very little. That’s another one of the New Rich secrets: They aren’t rich because they make (and spend) a lot of money. They’re rich because they make a lot of money, keep it, and figure out how to get anything they want without spending much. (Location 1600)

I want you to jump-start your New Rich lifestyle before you can afford it, for two reasons. First—well, because you can, even if you think you can’t. But the more important reason is that once you give off the perception of being successful, more success will find you. It’s just how the universe works. (Location 1603)

You can stop there and be happy. But if you’re willing to do some smart hustling you can get luxury anything—mansions, cars, clothes, vacations—for little or no money. (Location 1660)

If they’d be up front with you, you’d learn a new way to live like royalty without spending royalty kind of money. They’d never admit to any of this, though, so I’m here to reveal their secrets for them. (Location 1664)

But they’ll get more traction sending free stuff to people with big Instagram followings in exchange for a post tagged #targetstyle. (Location 1671)

Anyone with a big following leverages their clout for free stuff. If they say they don’t, they’re lying. It’s how I stayed fifteen nights in luxurious five-star villas in Bali for a grand total of $0. (Location 1673)

Go on Airbnb and find your dream property. Sort from most expensive to least expensive. Then email the owner and say you want to use the space to host a private gathering with top-level people in that city. (Location 1761)

Every real estate deal I’ve done has started with a knock on a door. While most people troll their Zillow and Trulia apps looking for deals, I’m meeting homeowners so I can buy their property before it even makes it to those public listings. (Location 1936)

If you can’t turn to family and must work with a bank, you can shrink your down payment if you’re willing to find a multifamily house and live in one unit while you rent out the others. Or if it’s a one-family house, aim for a four-bedroom, then live in one and rent out the other three. (Location 2006)

The best time to buy real estate you’ll never let go of is before you are married with kids and two dogs. (Location 2292)

As a general rule, always keep six months of your living expenses in a savings account. The rest? Invest! (Location 2294)

A company that needs daily attention is not one that you’re going to buy. (Location 2418)

I inquired about annual revenue (it was zero, since SndLatr was a free tool at the time), user base (75,000), how much time he spends on developing the software each week (just a couple hours), his team size (Just him. I like! He was willing to sell because it was a side project that he didn’t know how to monetize. I did). (Location 2449)

Or more accurately: I just had the balls to make these companies offers and see what happened. (Location 2509)

You legitimately don’t need any cash at all to buy a company. I’ll show you how that works in this chapter. (Location 2515)

Buying companies is so simple. Actually, that’s the most important tenet to follow when doing this. Keep it simple. If a deal or company looks too complicated, it’s not worth your energy. (Location 2546)

So my nonnegotiable rule to buying: only pursue businesses that have a natural unfair advantage. (Location 2549)

No employees. Employees are usually an organization’s biggest expense, so I avoid business models that rely on them. (Location 2553)

For digital, these are usually marketplaces like Google Play, the Apple App Store, the Chrome Web Store, or the Salesforce AppExchange. There are millions of companies lurking in those free distribution channels waiting for you to buy them. You just need to know how to look. More on this on this page. (Location 2559)

Free apps and web extensions are perfect buys for beginners. They hit all of these criteria and you can usually get them for little money because the owners aren’t making substantial income off them. (Hello, The Top Inbox and SndLatr.) (Location 2562)

Sound too simple? It is. The only reason everyone isn’t doing this is because they haven’t thought of it, or they think it’s more complicated than it is. (Location 2570)

Both company owners weren’t charging users, so as soon as I took them over I hired developers to put up a simple $5/month pay wall that pops up after fifty uses. (Location 2608)

This is the only change I made on SndLatr and The Top Inbox to go from no sales when I acquired to $130K over the first eighteen months. If someone clicks CHOOSE A PLAN they pick $5/month or $50/year. (Location 2612)

Scroll down a bit until you get to the tools being offered by small to midsize companies. (Location 2625)

Search for companies that raised capital but haven’t gotten new funding in the last three years. They’re probably failing, and you’re likely to get them for a great deal. (Location 2629)

I don’t recommend that beginners do this, but if you build up the experience to take on this kind of acquisition, always make sure you can identify the reason the company is failing and whether it’s something you can easily turn around (Location 2631)

I just went to the Chrome Web Store and browsed extensions under the Productivity category. (Location 2637)

Its profile data showed that the extension hadn’t been updated in more than eighteen months. (Location 2639)

It takes time and tedious searching to find these deals, but they are out there. If they were easy to find, everyone would do them. (Location 2641)

If reviews and users are high and the last update was more than a few months ago, I consider it a prospect. (Location 2643)

Originally he said no. So I told him to keep me in mind and left it alone. (Location 2653)

this. I said, “Wow, so if I take this company over I’m responsible for paying off this $100K. That’s a lot of money.” I had the upper hand if I could renegotiate this debt. (Location 2656)

I then built a relationship with him and asked whether we could find a way to restructure the debt if I were to buy Mail2Cloud. (Location 2660)

I struck a deal to extend Mail2Cloud’s debt terms by two years. Now my monthly payments are smaller, making it easy to service that debt just from my revenue. (Location 2663)

When you buy a company, especially if it’s a mature company with an established board, the founders will often try to use the board as the bad guy to kill deals. (Location 2679)

Sure enough, a couple months later they came back and said, “Yes, Nathan, let’s do the deal!” (Location 2682)

When I closed the deal it was literally six bullet points in an email. Any of you can copy this. It will hold up in a court of law. (Location 2685)

You want to buy companies that are easy to run, and that means their financials and infrastructure need to be sound. (Location 2732)

The most revealing detail is the number of hours they spend on development. If they spend only an hour a week, then you know it’s a pretty simple tool. (Location 2751)

“What is a number that, if you got it, you’d be totally shocked and really excited?” (Location 2761)

I start many negotiations where I am buying a company with: “If I buy this company, I will immediately shut off the pay wall, kill the revenue stream, and focus on growth.” (Location 2797)

STEP 1: Double pricing. Do this the moment you take over a company—only for addicted users. (Location 2824)

One way to not do it wisely: getting stuck in a business. A lot of people will buy a company and their ego is so big that they think they have to do everything themselves. (Location 2971)

Buying is also much more of a beginner’s game than investing. (Location 2976)

I’m always looking for ways to invest my money that the herd isn’t thinking of. It’s a big part of how I—and most megamillionaires—got rich. (Location 3007)

Think about this: the average net worth of people under thirty-five years old in the United States is $4,138.* If the typical person is this poor, you have to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing to get rich. People will call you an idiot, or crazy, but that’s a good thing. The more your ideas sound insane to the masses, the more you’re likely to be onto something. Remember, the masses are broke! (Location 3013)

The trouble with this kind of investment is that there’s not enough of it. Your tongue gets hungry for more returns like this, but there just aren’t enough “bar and hostel” deals to buy. (Location 3040)

Sexy as it sounds, I don’t actually walk up to people and just hand them checks—well, not all the time. I did it with Ming, but that’s because I could afford to lose the $6K investment if everything went up in flames. (Location 3056)

I need them to show me at least a three- or four-year financial history before I consider investing. Anything less is too risky. (Location 3060)

Even though these investments are quick and simple, they shouldn’t be thoughtless. One of my key strategies is to look for a business that is making a big monthly payment on something. If I can pay for that thing up front, erasing the payment, it frees up their cash. I’ll then tie my return to the growth of the business, which I know I can help drive with my distribution channels. (Location 3082)

My top suggestion for bringing in cash builds on the idea of trading exposure that I talked about in chapter 7. If you have a big email list or online following you can sell email spots to build your income. But what if you don’t have a big following? That’s when you play the broker. (Location 3101)

Use App Annie if you’re trying to study a market in the mobile app space. For example, if I were analyzing the document signing space, I might explore how HelloSign ranks so well in the App Store. (Location 3381)

So he did something counterintuitive: he started charging customers more money and fewer of them left. How did that work? Well, he discovered that churn was high because people were signing up for his software as a free trial but didn’t start using it right away. Then, when their trial was over, they left. (Location 3606)

they want to hoard, which means they must destroy the ladder so others can’t climb. (Location 3892)