How to start a business, find gig economy success, and be an entrepreneur in 2023

It’s not easy being your own boss.

When you’re in charge of everything, you have to build a brand that other people trust, as Robert Graves writes in Claudius The God (also available on Audible):

A mended plate or a mended reputation is better than a cracked plate or a damaged reputation. But a plate that has never been cracked and a reputation that has never been damaged are better still.

For more advice, here are some of my favourite Seth Godin quotes from his 2022 blog posts, together with a recommended title from Blinkist.

If you can enter a crowded market with a remarkable entry (worth talking about) and the resources to persist over time, it might be just the place. ~ Crowded markets 

Learn more: The Pumpkin Plan

Leaping isn’t easy, but it’s far better and safer than the alternative. ~ “The dog ate my homework”  

Learn more: Employee to Entrepreneur

The best way to care is to persist in bending the culture and our systems to improve things over time. ~ Catastrophization  

Learn more: Leadership 101

If you want to leap forward, you’ll need to ship things before they’re perfect, mostly to people who want to buy them before they are. ~ Switch before perfect 

Learn more: Business for Bohemians

The media and our culture push us to build something for everyone, to sand off the edges and to invest in infrastructure toward scale. But it turns out that quality, magic and satisfaction can lie in the other direction. Not because we can’t get bigger, but because we’d rather be better. ~ The smallest viable audience  

Learn more: The Economy of You

People never pay extra. They buy something they want at a price that feels fair to them. ~ Paying extra  

Learn more: Why We Buy

Markets are extremely good at sniffing out problems that can be solved with transactions. If people care enough to buy something to fill a need, someone else is likely to try to make that thing. ~ Finding persistent invisible systems 

Learn more: Everything I Know

Growing our impact or profit usually involves maximizing something that’s valuable. And things that are valuable are often scarce. ~ Just that one scarce resource 

Learn more: Scarcity

It’s typical to include machines, rent, stationery, all that stuff. But the real startup costs are the missteps, errors and learnings that every new project goes through on the way to success. ~ Startup costs  

Learn more: Embrace the Suck

Pick up the phone or send an email. Find a few folks in a situation that is just like yours. You might find that they’d appreciate the connection and that you’ll all benefit. As will those you serve. ~ The Association  

Learn more: The Leader Lab

If the constraints went away, you’d be playing a totally different game, because your competitors would see their constraints lifted as well. ~ Constraints are a gift  

Learn more: Rogue Waves

One way to serve the community is to see it as a market and solve one of its problems. ~ For the good of the community 

Learn more: Strategize to Win

Being everyone’s favorite is such an attractive goal, and almost impossible to achieve. ~ “America’s favorite pie” 

Learn more: POP!

The work is to build and influence systems, not to seek to control it all. ~ The hodgepodge is normal  

Learn more: Provoke

In a world filled with choices, specificity in service of extraordinary results tends to outperform. ~ Neither here nor there 

Learn more: Whiplash

In every market that’s worth entering, there’s competition. That’s what you’re looking for. It’s a sign that people have a problem that they’re trying to solve through commerce. ~ No competition  

Learn more: Blue Ocean Strategy

Hospitality is a choice, not simply a tactic. ~ Peak customer service and the hospitality mindset  

Learn more: Trust and Inspire

Every small business needs a bookkeeper, but few take appropriate advantage of accounting. Accounting is a way to turn organized books into insight. ~ Accounting (and small business)  

Learn more: How to Grow Your Small Business

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