When I moved to Minneapolis in late summer of 1986, I rented a third floor apartment that had a nice little balcony. The following spring, I decided to see if I could grow a plant or two out there.

Before I knew it, my plant or two had evolved into a gorgeous little garden complete with an old wooden ladder-turned-plant-stand and a bentwood trellis from Smith & Hawken. There were vines, pots of daisies and begonias.

At the time, none of my neighbors were balcony gardeners. When I left a dozen years later, balcony gardens were in bloom throughout the complex.

Gardening is contagious apparently and, oh, how I’ve missed it.

After my sabbatical in 1999, I returned to Minneapolis and moved into a wonderful apartment that, sadly, was without any outdoor space. I made do with houseplants.

When I relocated to Las Vegas, I didn’t even attempt outdoor gardening although I heard rumors that it was possible.

I wasn’t always enthusiastic about growing things. I’d half heartedly planted a vegetable garden one year and vowed it would be my last. Weeds took over as I avoided spending time in what I came to think of as a mosquito habitat.

Eventually, I caught the gardening bug from my friend Chris Utterback and she caught the entrepreneurial bug from me. It was a fine trade.

When we met, Chris was new to self-employment. Her passion for gardening had led her there.

An enthusiastic herb gardener, Chris had her first foray into business thanks to a bumper crop of tarragon. She harvested the herb, arranged bundles of it in a wicker basket and called on chefs at all the French restaurants in Denver.

Not only did she sell out, her new customers begged for more. Chris was hooked.

The more she learned about growing things and growing a business, the richer her world became. She went on to publish Herban Lifestyles newsletter for several years. That led her to connect with many other passionate gardening entrepreneurs.

As I’ve been tending my new balcony garden, my first in a dozen years, I keep thinking about how many things that happen in the plant world are mirrored in the business world.

In Paul Hawken’s marvelous book, Growing a Business, he points this out repeatedly. He says, “Ideally, every business student should study biology, the science of life and therefore change. At the heart of the business enterprise is the implementation of true and lasting change, creating the real out of the potential.”

This month I’m going to be sharing lessons from the garden. My little startup blooms are wise and patient teachers and I can’t wait to pass along the things they’re showing me every day that can also help us grow luscious businesses.

What are you growing this summer? Learned anything from your plants?

 

 

“Too much money, not too little, is a bigger problem for most small businesses,” says Paul Hawken. “In a business, money does not create anything at all, much less ideas and initiative. Money goes where those qualities already are. Money follows, it does not lead.”

Here are a few ways to pump up the initiative.

° Create attention-getting devices. Your business name, tagline, or vehicle call all get you noticed for the right reasons. If you need inspiration, study how the Geek Squad did it.

° Adopt a protégé. Since we learn best by teaching, what better way to sharpen your skills than by helping someone else? The satisfaction of encouraging and supporting someone else’s success is immeasurable. Ask any teacher who’s had a student go on to do great things.

° Become a media darling. Radio, tv and Internet programs are always on the hunt for interesting people to interview. So are local newspapers. Be one. Don’t just think of this as a way to promote yourself, however. Offer useful information to the audience. You never know who’s listening.

° Join forces with a bookstore. A friend and I once spent an evening at a local bookstore listening to two women who were feng shui consultants. Although they were not authors themselves, the store had publicized their talk. A nearby table display was piled with the store’s inventory of books on the subject.

Another variation of this came from a career coach who did a reading list of books for career changes printed on her letterhead. The list was placed on a display table at the bookstore along with the recommended titles.

° Add a personal touch. In this noisy, often indifferent world, looking for memorable ways to distinguish yourself can make a huge difference. Use your photo on brochures and your Website, have a trademark color, do something that nobody else is doing…like sending handwritten thank you notes.

° Show up on stage. Give talks to local groups, volunteer to be part of a panel discussion at a conference. You may not get paid for these gigs, but you’ll be creating connections.

° Participate in community events. A dogsitting business expanded their visibility and customer base by marching in a local parade wearing t-shirts emblazoned with their business name.

You might donate a prize to a local fundraiser, volunteer for a community project, talk to a local high school on career day. Opportunities exist whether you live in a small town or large urban area. Look for them.

 

Ever since I read Paul Hawken’s marvelous Growing a Business, I have looked for metaphors in the plant world to help me solve problems and find better ways of growing my business.

Even though I never lived on a farm, I grew up surrounded by small family farms and went to school with kids who lived on those farms. I didn’t realize they were teaching me many things that would serve me well as a non-farming entrepreneur.

I noticed that even though side-by-side farms endured the same weather conditions and shared the same soil, they didn’t necessarily produce the same results. The human factor had a great deal to do with a farm’s success or failure.

In most places in the Midwest, spring is for planting, summer is for growing and autumn is for harvesting.

So what does a farmer do when the crops are in the ground, but not ready to come out?

A smart farmer works on growing the business.

Your business may resemble a garden more than a farm, but here are some lessons gleaned from good farmers that will also work in a small garden.

Make business a daily practice. Eastern disciplines such as yoga and meditation talk about the power of daily practice.

Paul Hawken says, “Business is no different from learning to play the piano or to ride a surfboard. With most activities there is no presumption of excellence in the beginning, but many newcomers suppose that they should sit down at the desk on the first day and become Superbusinessperson, in full command of the situation.”

Even if you have not made the transition from employee to entrepreneur, having a regular time every day to move closer will bring big results over time. For instance, if social media is part of your activity, spend a few minutes every day rather than a big chunk of time posting once a week.

And if you are years into running a business, be diligent about cultivating new ideas. Complacency is the beginning of the end of even the best business ideas.

Get rid of the weeds. After a seminar I taught on thinking like an entrepreneur, I received an e-mail from one of the participants telling me that her first project after the seminar was to get her home office in order. That involved removing nine large bags of trash.

Even if the clutter’s gone, spend time every day pulling weed or two. Get rid of a self-limiting thought. Cancel a project that no longer excites you. Eliminate what you don’t want to make room for the things that matter.

You get the idea.

Build a Seed Bank. Like a regular bank, a Seed Bank is a physical place where you store ideas.

The best way I know to build such a collection is to constantly be on the lookout for ideas and write them down when they come. Cocktail napkins should only be temporary; your Seed Bank deserves its own special place.

Challenge yourself to see possibilities. If you faithfully did this for the next 90 days, you’d have more ideas than you could use in a year.

Don’t be afraid to get dirty. The Joyfully Jobless life is participatory, not a spectator sport. Try things. Be willing to do things badly. Reconfigure. Learn to find creative solutions.

Keep watering and nurturing. Staying inspired and creating an excellent business requires on-going attention. Know what inspires you and refresh yourself often.

Connect often with people who fan your own creative spirit. Once you’ve spent time with a group of creative thinkers, it’s a pleasure you’ll want to repeat. Accept invitations—and issue them, too.

As Goethe said, “To know someone, here or there, with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts unexpressed–that can make this earth a garden.”

 

I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise creative instincts.  ~ Richard Branson

When you decide to follow the path of self-employment, old notions that you can only make a living working for someone else may not be the only thought you need to leave behind. Your idea of what it takes to be an entrepreneur may be as outdated as the typewriter, too.

Listen in on a conventional business conversation and the first thing you’ll notice is how often sports are used as a metaphor. You’ll hear things like, “That’s just par for the course. You gotta step up to the plate. We need more team players around here.”

Business as a competitive game reflects another outdated image.

Much of the information about starting a business reflects a limited concept, too. When the idea of starting my own business took root in my mind, I began doing research.

What I discovered was the assumption that everyone wanted to grow a massive enterprise. Did I really want a building with my name in six-foot high gold letters? Employees? Pension plans? None of that appealed to me.

The idea of working for myself wouldn’t go away and I decided there must be another way of doing things—a way that’s high on satisfaction and simplicity. Happily, Dr. Schumacher came along and affirmed my hunches.

The philosophy of small scale enterprise gained global attention in the seventies when economist E.F. Schumacher wrote his visionary book Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. Schumacher mainly caught the attention of the counterculture, since conventional business was still focused on a Bigger is Better mentality.

Yet his ideas made sense to those concerned about global issues, as well as those who suspected that one of the functions of business was to help people actualize their potential.

He argued that those benefits could only come from small scale enterprises that care about people and the planet. It’s an idea that suddenly seems ripe and ready to replace the old model.

Meet the 21st Century Entrepreneur

The signs are everywhere that a new kind of businessperson is emerging. The venerable Wall Street Journal even named an editor to cover Lifestyle Entrepreneurs, as they call them. These are people who start businesses for reasons other than amassing a fortune and building a large organization.

These visionaries don’t resemble athletes at all. In fact, they look more like gardeners.

Paul Hawken, a successful entrepreneur and writer, goes so far as to suggest that every business student should study biology since the lessons learned in the plant world directly apply to successful businesses.

Penelope Hobhouse, a real hands-on gardener and prolific writer, shared her life rules for garden design and the parallels to good business design are obvious. (I’ve added a couple of comments in parenthesis.)

1. Never go anywhere without a notebook. Be a perpetual student.

2. Find a mentor—one or many.

3. Do your homework.

4. Trust your own experience. Keep notes of what works and what doesn’t.

5. Don’t get hung up on plants (or products or services). A garden is bigger than all that.

6. Never think you’ll get it right the first time. If a plant isn’t happy, don’t hesitate to dig it up and move it to a better spot.

7. Encourage self-seeding plants to seek their own place in the garden. (Find your own metaphor in that.)

8. Don’t forget that sunlight and shade are design elements. (Your business needs variety and contrast, too.)

9. Avoid fussiness. Above all, simplify.

10. Focus on the garden you really want.

My niece Gretchen is about to give birth to her first child. During her pregnancy, her husband Tony has been reading to their unborn baby. Currently, he’s working his way through Don Quixote.

In my family, this is considered normal.

Of all the things I’m thankful for, high on my list is that I was raised by readers. Since I was the eldest child and my father was faraway fighting a war, my mother read to me incessantly. Happily, I’m still being read to.

In the midst of her kindergarten year, Zoe called. When I answered the phone, I was greeted with an exuberant, “Grandma, I can read!”  Read she can and does. When I’m a guest in their house, I have the pleasure of Zoe reading to me every evening.

Of course, you can catch book passion any time in life. However, the sooner you get it, the more time you have to consume more titles.

Once caught, this fever doesn’t diminish. My sister Nancy, who has lived abroad her entire adult life, is relocating to Santa Barbara. She told me that the shipping company required that she count the books in her library.

“I discovered,” she said, with some amazement, “that I own 1,026 books.” Now I’m eager to do an inventory of my own since I have no idea how many books are in my library.

Since Nancy and I are both moving into new homes, finding the perfect spot for our books is a top priority. I keep thinking of Anna Quindlen’s observation, “I will be most happy if my children grow up to be the kind of people whose idea of decorating is to add more bookshelves.”

So while reading for pleasure is what often snares us to begin with, a desire to become our best selves often has us exploring new sections of the library and bookstore.

If you’re building a business, new titles and old can accelerate your success, connect you with ideas, resources and inspiration you’d never have encountered while walking down the street.

Here are five old favorites that are a pleasure to read and filled with useful insights for the Joyfully Jobless life:

Growing a Business by Paul Hawken

Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Small is the New Big by Seth Godin

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

While some of these titles may be old friends already, I chose them because they all are worthy of more than one visit.

And if you aren’t a regular reader, make time every day to sample the creative thinkers, the life teachers, the pioneers who have wonderful things to teach us. If you don’t, you’ll be inflicting a needless handicap on yourself.

As the wise Jim Rohn used to say, “The only thing worse than not reading a book in the last 90 days, is not reading a book in the last 90 days and thinking it doesn’t matter. Skip a meal if you must, but don’t skip a book.”

Several months ago, there was a big Twitter event in Los Angeles that was live streamed. Since there were several speakers scheduled that I was eager to hear, I planned to check in throughout the day.

On the morning of the event, I woke up with a touch of flu so changed my plans and spent the day in bed with the Twitter conference streaming nearby on my laptop. The audience was enthusiastic and most of the speakers were too.

One of the speakers was a famous motivational speaker. I won’t name names, but I always think of him as a Too-Cool-For-the-Room kind of guy. The venue seemed a bit small for his broad performance which has been fine tuned in auditoriums with audiences in the thousands.

I don’t remember what the title of his talk was, but all of a sudden he bellowed, “Eighty percent of all businesses fail within the first two years.” Just in case his audience (full of self-employed folks) weren’t horrified enough, he repeated that shocking statement.

I sat up in bed. I may have hollered something back at him. I might have even called him a liar. (I was sick, remember?)

Where did he find that statistic? This was even crazier than most of the failure numbers that seem to be pulled from thin air.

Based largely on conventional, highly capitalized business failures, the statistics aren’t based on an accurate count that includes less conventional enterprises. Adding to the inaccuracy is the fact that if a business changes hands, the original owner may be lumped into the failed business category—even if the business was profitably sold.

What struck me as even more ridiculous in the claim that eighty percent of all businesses tanked  was something even more obvious: despite the closing of many businesses during the current recession, we’re not even close to that percentage. If we were, every mall and business park would be filled with rental trucks and moving vans.

That’s a sobering thought, but it’s not what’s happening.

Of course, we can listen to the statistics without questioning them and scare ourselves away from our dreams.

Or we can listen to successful entrepreneurs and see what they have to say.

People like Sir Richard Branson has a different take on things. “The world is a massively more hospitable place today for entrepreneurs than it was twenty or thirty years ago,” he says.

We also need to recognize that business in 2010 is transforming into something new. Consider this experience shared by the wonderful and visionary Paul Hawken:

When I started the natural food business in Boston, my business knowledge was scant. I did the best I could and began reading everything I could lay my hands on.

I subscribed to The Wall Street Journal. It confused me. I read the major business magazines. Their Fortune 500 world seemed irrelevant.

I sneaked into classes at the Harvard Business School. Their case studies were lunar in their usefulness to my enterprise.

The more I searched, the more confused I became. The more exposure I gained to the “official” world of business, the more I began to doubt that I was in business at all. I seemed to be doing something entirely different.

I get that same feeling today when I read most of the standard business literature.I believe that most people in new businesses, and some in not-so-new businesses, have the same problem. They don’t feel connected to the conventional wisdom…as if a small business is just a flake chipped off the larger corporate world.

Hawken and I have discovered the same thing: the Quiet Revolution that’s been growing for the past couple of decades is thriving in all sorts of ways, in all sorts of places.

And we’re going to continue growing—whether anyone is adding us to their statistics or not.

For half a century, Andy Rooney has been an outspoken and opinionated journalist. For most of that time, his stories were written on his beloved manual typewriter.

It is only in the past few years that he’s relented and switched to a laptop computer. His ancient typewriter is enshrined in his office where it remains a symbol of a long and creative career.

Andy Rooney is not alone. Watch someone masterful at work and you’ll notice that there’s almost a reverence given to the tools of their trade.

On the days when Eric Clapton performs, he chooses not to see or touch his principle guitar. He says that as he prepares to go onstage, he walks to get his guitar and it’s like going to meet a lover.

There is no work that I can think of which doesn’t involve some sort of tool or prop or machine. Whether it’s a computer, a ladder, a camera or a chisel, humans continue to devise tools to elevate the quality of their work.

Tools also provide valuable clues about whether our work is our passion or merely a way of filling time.

Although we hear alot about the role of technology, almost nothing is said about the role that tools (technological and otherwise) play in our success. Tools are never mentioned as a vehicle for self-awareness.

And yet they’re a nearly foolproof method of getting in touch with how we feel about the work we do with them. Far too many people do not experience anything close to the feeling of going to meet a lover when they pick up their telephone or dental drill. 

On the other hand, people who love what they’re doing regard their tools in an entirely different way. Besides keeping them in superb running order, they often personify them, giving them names and talking about their tools as if they were a partner. 

Paul Hawken was touring British gardens when he learned about the personal relationship some folks have with their tools.

He writes, “As I watched the gardeners work I studied their tools. I hefted a spade, the tool of choice. It seemed unusually heavy and it was sharp as an ax.

“The gardener saw me looking and came over. That was not merely a spade, that was his spade. I asked him if it wasn’t heavy and tiring to use.

“With a smile he invited me to give it a try. I toiled away as he grew increasingly amused. In his Lancashire accent he said, ‘Let your tool do the work. That’s what it’s made for.’ He showed me how use the weight of the spade, how to make the tool an extension of my arms, how to move my body.”

Hawken was so impressed with the lesson he’d learned that when he returned to the United States he tried to interest some companies in importing English garden tools.

No one was interested. Eventually Hawken realized that this idea belonged to him and the successful mail order business Smith and Hawken was born bringing the tools Hawken loved to a new market. 

Our relationship with tools is important—and maybe even a bit mystical. “I’m always looking forward to opening the ovens in the morning,” says glass artist Dale Chihuly. “Glassblowing is a spontaneous medium that suits me. I’ve been at it for forty years and am as infatuated as when I blew my first bubble in 1965.

“We use the same tools they used 2000 years ago. I know if I go down to the glass shop, I’m going to make something that’s never been made before. That in itself is an inspiration.

“I used to think it was the glass that was so mysterious, but then I realized it was the air that went into it that was miraculous.”

Before I started my first business in 1974, I went looking for all the information I could find. I haunted my local library trying to find something that could help me start the kind of business I envisioned: small, at home, creative. The scant offerings on starting a business all assumed that the reader intended to have employees, pension plans, real estate and so forth. I wanted to market ideas; the books assumed I’d be manufacturing a product for wide distribution.

I attended a Start Your Own Business seminar hosted by the SBA. That was more discouraging than illuminating. I began to wonder if I was setting myself up for a huge disappointment since my vision didn’t seem to align with anyone’s notion of what it meant to be an entrepreneur.

Eight years earlier, unbeknownst to me at the time,  Paul Hawken was opening one of the country’s first natural food stores in Boston. A dozen years later, he started Smith & Hawken, a mail order business to offer tools and garden ornamentation.

Both of those operations were more conventional than mine, but he shared my confusion.

He still feels that way. I read a recent interview with Hawken and was both surprised and relieved to see he shared my experience. He said,  “When I started the natural food business in Boston, my business knowledge was scant. I did the best I could and began reading everything I could lay my hands on. I subscribed to The Wall Street Journal. It confused me. I read the major business magazines. Their Fortune 500 world seemed irrelevant. I sneaked into classes at the Harvard Business School. Their case studies were lunar in their usefulness to my enterprise.  The more I searched, the more confused I became. The more exposure I gained to the ‘official’ world of business, the more I began to doubt that I was in business at all. I seemed to be doing something entirely different. I get that same feeling today when I read most of the standard business literature believe that most people in new businesses, and some in not-so-new businesses, have the same problem. They don’t feel connected to the conventional wisdom..as if a small business is just a flake chipped off the larger corporate world.”

 I was thinking about this the other day when someone posted a link on Twitter to a round up of marketing books. I clicked on the link and as i scrolled through the list had that old feeling. “These books don’t have much bearing on the kind of business that I run.” While the books might have been a good fit for a large, conventional business, the ideas didn’t really transfer.

Since this new breed of entrepreneur has come on the scene, it’s been obvious that our notion of building a business is noticeably different than that of a corporate empire builder. Fortunately, there’s a growing array of tools to help us out. We may have to work a little harder to discover them, however. 

Making your way through that gigantic information hardware store can be confusing. It may involve some experimenting in order to get the right tools you need to build the business of your dreams. Make an effort to connect with others who are running solo or tiny businesses. Audition organizations to see where you feel a connection before you commit. Learn to synthesize good ideas and ignore those that don’t work for you. 

When building a business or a life or a family or an adventure, you want the best tools you can find. As Abraham Maslow warned, “When the only tool you’ve got is a hammer, you tend to see life as a nail.” 

After all, you wouldn’t use a toothbrush to build a house. You can’t build a business with the wrong tools, either.

 

Every time my UPS driver delivers another case of Making a Living Without a Job books, I am reminded that this idea almost didn’t happen. In fact, I was downright clueless about how big an idea it was.

 

Several months after I moved to Minneapolis, I discovered Open U, our local independent adult ed program. I thought this might be a good place to try out some ideas I had for seminars so I sent them a proposal. Making a Living was one of those ideas, but I didn’t think it was the biggest. Although I’d met a number of people in my new hometown who seemed intrigued by my joyfully jobless lifestyle, I suspected it was too radical to be popular. Maybe I’d do a session or two, I thought.

 

Thousands of seminar participants and tens of thousands of readers later, I am still astonished at how excited I get every time I walk into a meeting room to talk about my favorite subject. Helping others become self-employed has been a continuous source of joy and satisfaction for me.

 

So here’s a little secret about ideas: we can’t possibly know ahead of time which of our ideas are the real winners. The only way to find out is by putting them out into the world and seeing what happens.

 

Sometimes ideas arrive too early for the marketplace. Sometimes we discover when we try something out that it’s not as much fun as we thought it would be. Sometimes we don’t get the response we’d wanted, but still love the idea so much that we start looking for better ways of delivering it. It’s all a fascinating experiment.

 

We can’t know until we get into the game. It’s as simple as that. As Paul Hawken points out, “Owning a business and working for one are as different as chalk and cheese.” Surmising, fretting and musing about being an entrepreneur may be an interesting mental exercise, but it’s only by doing what an entrepreneur does that you can know what it’s really like.

 

I’m not the first person to discover this, of course. One of my favorite entrepreneurial role models was the late Dame Anita Roddick. Here’s what she had to say about her journey:

 

There are no rules or formulas for success. You just have to live it and do it. Knowing this gives us enormous freedom to experiment  toward what we want. Believe me, it’s a crazy, complicated journey. It’s trial and error. It’s opportunism. It’s quite literally, “Let’s try  lots of this stuff and see how it works.” 

 

My thinking was forged in the 1960s and in those days I would rather have slit my wrists than work in a corporation. So we had no organizational chart, no one-year, five-year plan. What we did have was management by our common values.

 

Entrepreneurs want to create a livelihood from an idea that has obsessed them. Money will grease the wheels, but becoming a millionaire is not the aim of the true entrepreneur. In fact, most entrepreneurs I know don’t give a damn about the accumulation of money. What gets their juices going is seeing how far an idea can go.

 

And I only know one way for that to happen.

 

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

The brilliant Chris Brogan talks about Overnight Success and Excuses. Check it out.

 

As fascinated as I was by Paul Hawken’s The Magic of Findhorn, I had no idea when I read Hawken’s early book that he would become one of my favorite entrepreneurial gurus. That didn’t happen until I stumbled upon his 17-part PBS series, Growing a Business. Sometime in the late 1980s this visionary program became a Saturday afternoon ritual for me and my friend Chris, who would call from Connecticut to discuss the latest installment and what we’d learned. The series, written and produced by Hawken, introduced us to all sorts of innovative entrepreneurs including Ben and Jerry and Yvon Chouinard. We were dazzled. The companion book for that series remains one of my all-time favorite books on creating a business that’s an extension of who you are and what you value.

 

Hawken, best known as the co-founder of Smith & Hawken, the mail order gardening tools company, was an early player in the natural food industry, opening a store in Boston when he was barely out of his teens. Today, he spends his time writing and speaking about the responsibility of business in caring for the environment. His book The Ecology of Commerce is a popular textbook in colleges around the country.

 

But the advice Hawken dispenses is in sharp contrast to much of the business writing out there.  He says, “When I started the natural food business in Boston, my knowledge was scant. I did the best i could and began reading everything I could lay my hands on…The more I searched, the more confused I became. I began to doubt that I was in business at all. I seemed to be doing something entirely different. I get that same feeling today when I read most of the standard business literature. I believe that most people in new businesses, and some in not-so-new businesses, have the same problem. They don’t feel connected to the conventional wisdom…as if a small business is just a flake chipped off the larger corporate world.”

 

When it comes to entrepreneurial advice, Hawken is a vocal advocate for bootstrapping and believes that hands-on learning is one of the great gifts of operating on a shoestring. Here’s an example of how Smith & Hawken put those ideas into practice. Hawken writes:

 

We did it ourselves or not at all. I never thought much about this in-house advantage until 1985, when a friend launched a new catalog company. He started with an initial mailing of 500,000 catalogs (our first effort had been 487), which he hired a large company in Dallas to create. My friend and I were having lunch when the subject of production costs came up. I asked him how much he spent and he replied nearly $100,000 for production alone. He noticed me choking on my dim sum and he asked how much my last catalog had cost (by this time Smith & Hawken was up to about 1 million circulation). I suggested we break the costs down.

 

His photography cost $25,000. Ours cost $4,000.

His copywriting costs $12,000. I did all of ours.

His layout and design team ran $25,000. Our in-house labor came to $6,000.

He paid $15,000 for typography. We paid $2,700.

He paid $5,000 for a stylist. I asked who or what that was.

He paid $82,000 in total. Our catalog cost us $12,700 for the same number of products and pages.

 

It’s not coincidental that my friend’s company is not in business today. He got further faster in the beginning because he had more money to spend, but he thereby forfeited a critical amount of self-education and development.