Million-Dollar, One-Person Businesses: High-Leverage Skills, Personal Brands, Category of One

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๐Ÿ” Problem

โ€œBuild your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.โ€

You want freedom and equity.

You’re willing to work hard. But on your terms.

๐Ÿ’ก Solution


What do you mean?

One-To-Many ChannelsEmail, Podcasts, Blogs
Social Networks Twitter, YouTube, Instagram
Paid DemandGoogle Ads, Facebook Ads, Reddit Ads
Membership Platforms Patreon, OnlyFans, Substack
Productized ServicesManyPixels, Bean Ninjas, Catalog
MarketplacesAmazon, Etsy, Gumroad
On-Demand ComputingAWS, Heroku, Netlify
No-Code Tools Shopify, Mailchimp, WordPress
On-Demand ManufacturingPrintify, Shapeways, Printful
Open SourceRuby on Rails, Laravel, React
APIsStripe, Twilio, Plaid

These power million-dollar, one-person businesses.

Code, distribution and manufacturing are being commoditized.

Build wealth by focusing on what’s scarce.

๐Ÿ“˜ Terms

Million-Dollar Business

Forget revenue.

Ask: “What would the business sell for?

Use earnings multiples or discounted cash flows.

One-Person Business

Operated by one person or built on a personal brand.

๐Ÿ Players



๐Ÿ”ฎ Predictions

  • Services like Printful will commoditize manufacturing. Kylie Cosmetics reached $1 billion with 7 employees using SEED Beauty. Most FBA sellers slap labels on generic products. Oberlo takes this further.
  • Growth and product skills will remain valuable. These are areas of innovation. Unlike accounting. Unless you’re Enron.

โ˜๏ธ Opportunities

๐Ÿ”‘ Key Lessons

๐Ÿ˜  Haters

“Million-dollar, one-person businesses can’t be sold.”
Have you seen, Closet Tools or Overcast?

“How do you value an unsellable, service business?”
You don’t. But for this report, look at single-year net income.

โ€œStoremapper had employees.โ€
The point of that example was to show you how to use Nathanโ€™s ladder. Or Robโ€™s stairs

“Code, distribution and manufacturing will not be commoditized.”
code, distribution and manufacturing will not be. Apple and Tesla are vertically integrated. If it’s a core competency, keep it in-house. Otherwise outsource.

“I have one million in revenue, so I have a million-dollar business.”
If you buy $2,000,000 worth of iPhones and sell them for $1,000,000. You also have $1m in revenue. As Lauryn Hill says, “… it ain’t what you cop, it’s about what you keep.”

“Some of these people have teams.
Joe Rogan and Tim Ferris have teams but they’ve built businesses on personal brands. Pieter Levels has a sysadmin. Ben Thompson has an assistant. Elaine Pofeldt addresses this in her book. Most million-dollar, one-person businesses get help.

“Screw this. I love my job.”
That’s all that matters.

๐Ÿ”— Links

  1. Looking for million-dollar, one-person businesses. Know any? โ€” The thread that started this report.
  2. Product and Media are New Leverage โ€” Naval talks about the role of zero marginal cost products in building wealth.
  3. One-Person Media Companies โ€” Stew Fortier on why you should share ideas online and how one-person media companies make money.

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What you’ll get:

  • 25 Million-Dollar, One-Person Businesses (177% More)
  • 35 People (288% More)
  • 5 Predictions (150% More)
  • 9 Opportunities (80% More)
  • 4 Key Lessons (100% More)
  • 10 Summarized Links (233% More)

What you’ll learn:

  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) Why isn’t everyone self-employed? Yet.
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How can you avoid operational complexity
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to leverage the wisdom of crowds
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) What are the two main drivers of entrepreneurs? 
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) Why is it dangerous to rely on YouTube, Amazon, Instagram and others? 
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How can you avoid blindspots as a solo founder? 
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) Whatโ€™s the key difference between freelancers and entrepreneurs
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) Which solo investors are competing with VC firms? 
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) Which tiny teams are building billion-dollar companies? 
  • and a lot moreโ€ฆ