Anything You Want


What’s your compass?

  • Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want, without realizing that it won’t make them happy.
  • Don’t be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams.
  • Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself.
  • Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself.
  • Don’t pursue business just for your own gain. Only answer the calls for help.
  • Your business plan is moot. You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it.
  • Starting with no money is an advantage. You don’t need money to start helping people.
  • You can’t please everyone, so proudly exclude people.
  • Make yourself unnecessary to the running of your business.
  • The real point of doing anything is to be happy, so do only what makes you happy.

Make a dream come true

  • When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws. This is your utopia.

A business model with only two numbers

  • A business plan should never take more than a few hours of work—hopefully no more than a few minutes. The best plans start simple. A quick glance and common sense should tell you if the numbers will work. The rest are details.

This ain’t no revolution

  • When you’re onto something great, it won’t feel like revolution. It’ll feel like uncommon sense.

If it’s not a hit, switch

  • Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently doing what’s not working.
  • Don’t waste years fighting uphill battles against locked doors. Improve or invent until you get that huge response.

No “yes.” Either “Hell yeah!” or “no.”

  • If you’re not saying, “Hell yeah!” about something, say no. When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” then say no.

Just like that, my plan completely changed

“No business plan survives first contact with customers.” - Steve Blank

The strength of many little customers

  • If most of your customers love what you do, but one doesn’t, you can just say good-bye and wish him the best, with no hard feelings.

Proudly exclude people

  • Have the confidence to know that when your target 1 percent hears you excluding the other 99 percent, the people in that 1 percent will come to you because you’ve shown how much you value them.

Why no advertising?

  • Never do anything just for the money.

“I miss the mob.”

  • Never forget why you’re really doing what you’re doing. Are you helping people? Are they happy? Are you happy? Are you profitable? Isn’t that enough?

How do you grade yourself?

  • It’s important to know in advance, to make sure you’re staying focused on what’s honestly important to you, instead of doing what others think you should.

Care about your customers more than about yourself

  • You should care about your customers more than you care about yourself! Isn’t that Rule No. 1 of providing a good service? It’s all about them, not about you.
  • Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you’ll do well.

Act like you don’t need the money

  • If you set up your business like you don’t need the money, people are happier to pay you.

Set up your business like you don’t need the money, and it’ll likely come your way.

Don’t punish everyone for one person’s mistake

  • When one customer wrongs you, remember the hundred thousand who did not. You’re lucky to own your own business. Life is good. You can’t prevent bad things from happening. Learn to shrug. Resist the urge to punish everyone for one person’s mistake.

The most successful e-mail I ever wrote

  • When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts and come up with world-changing massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill people enough to make them tell all their friends about you.

Little things make all the difference

  • If you find even the smallest way to make people smile, they’ll remember you more for that smile than for all your other fancy business-model stuff.

Delegate or die: The self-employment trap

  • To be a true business owner, make it so that you could leave for a year, and when you came back, your business would be doing better than when you left.