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Stacking the Bricks - Real Entrepreneur Confessions on Smash Notes

Stacking the Bricks - Real Entrepreneur Confessions podcast.

December 28, 2019

If you're tired of all the buzzwords, boosterism, mythologizing, the cult of overwork in the world of startups, it's easy to feel like the oddball in the room.

We're here to share the real stories of today's business bootstrappers: the makers who make their money with products and launches instead of client pitches and hourly consulting.

Episodes with Smash Notes

In this episode I visited with Will Toms and the REC Philly community here in Philadelphia, for one of their "creator talks" streamed live over the internet

I shared 10 choice lessons from The Tiny MBA, and Will asked me questions about:

- The importance of listening as a business skill, and how you can practice it. - Where I learned how to sell people back their time and confidence. - And how much sharing is oversharing.

And a whole lot more!

I love any chance to jam with the REC Philly crew, and I'm very excited to share this session with you.

In this episode I visited with Michele Hansen and Colleen Schnettler on the Software Social podcast, where they talk about their respective businesses and workshop through challenges together.

During my visit, we talked about:

- Why education is the most effective marketing you can create - How psychology can be thought of as "debugging, for people" - And why one question in The Tiny MBA left Colleen feeling TERRIFIED.

And a whole lot more!

In this episode I visited with Tony Lopes on the Self Made Strategies podcast, where he talks with entrepreneurs, business owners, and more about how they built their own thing.

We talk about:

- The biggest hurdles and challenges in publishing a book (hint - it's not writing a book). - Making reversable decisions - And what people get wrong about risk.

And a whole lot more!

In this episode I visited with Matthew Arnold on the Iowa Idea podcast, where he explores modern collaboration, craft, and persistence.

Matt and I talk about:

- Why businesses - especially agencies - get distracted by awards - What it means to "flintstone" your work - And what people get wrong about passion

And a whole lot more!

In today's episode, I visit with Brendan Hufford from the SEO for the Rest of Us podcast to talk about some of his favorite lessons from The Tiny MBA.

We talk about: - Learning and feedback loops - Building in public - The valuable knowledge that's often locked up behind closed doors


In today's episode, we riffed on a few of Ken and Becca's favorite nuggets from The Tiny MBA, including:

- The power of slowing down to take a look for hidden C - The real reason self-promotion feels achy to you. - And we explored a hidden theme of "wellness" in the book!

Over the coming weeks I'm going to be adding new episodes to the Stacking the Bricks feed to highlight conversations that I've been having across the internet with creators and entrepreneurs. Today's episode is one of the first conversations I had about t

Nathan Johnson left a corporate gig to bootstrap an affiliate business to 100,000 users. But to get it any bigger - and profitable - he would have to give up the very thing he left his corporate gig for: freedom. Ouch.

Find out how he changed course to b

I've been wanting to do an episode with Brennan Dunn for a LONG time. He's one of our most successful students, having built an empire of resources and products for freelancers at But freelancing rates aren't the only thing Bren

Dave Ceddia knew how to ship, but none of his projects had ever made a sale.

Today, $15,000 in sales of his book "Pure React" later, he knows how to create new, bigger products for his loyal and growing audience.

In this episode, you'll find out how he

Donovan picked up JFS in December. Read it over Christmas. By the end of February, he'd grown his mailing list to 1,500 people. He created a landing page and JFS'd an email course on CSS animation, with a price tag of $49. In the first 7 days, he made 50

Updated on August 22

Here is the double-edged sword of the software business:

All the “features” in the world will not matter if you don’t have the customer pipeline. It is better to lose many customers over a missing feature than spend a month on a feature that people say