😎 From Full-Time Jobs to Media Moguls: Our Blueprint Revealed


My wife and I both have businesses we want to grow into full-time concerns.

Monica (my wife) has an audiobook business with her mom.

I have my new marketing agency.

We both want to build them into full-fledged media companies:

  • Thousands of email subscribers
  • An annual conference
  • Published books
  • New categories

The issue is we both have full-time jobs. So to get us organized and find the time in between family responsibilities and our jobs, we decided to create our own course.

We’ve created a course outline that we would give to real live students if they were to sign up and pay us money, but instead of offering it as a product, we’re using it as a motivational and organizational tool to get us on track to eventually build 6-7 figure businesses in 3-5 years.

The strategy – and course curriculum – we’ve devised is based on the StartupBook method.

I wanted to share the curriculum we came up with in case you might want apply it to your own business.

And to repeat: we’re giving ourselves the course. We’re the instructors, and we’re the students.

Here’s the course outline, the steps we’re taking to build our businesses.

The Course Outline

This course is called ‘StartupBook: How to Build a Business Using the Four-Legged Stool Framework’ (a riff on Joe Pulizzi’s three-leged stool idea).

1. Introduction: The Four Legged Stool

The four legs of the stool are:

  1. Design a new category
  2. Publish content on one platform
  3. Speak publicly
  4. Publish a book (or two, or three)

We’ll also take advantage of AI to shortcut the time it takes to achieve all of the above, while infusing our own voice into all our content.

2. Design Your Category

How do you design a new category?

  1. Focus on a specific niche market.
  2. Identify their unique problems.
  3. Solve their unique problems in an innovative way. (This is the obvious <> non-obvious concept devised by The Category Pirates).
  4. Create the vocabulary for your category.

This last part is important. The Category Pirates use the term “name and claim.” You can name and claim your category and thus coin the terms that describe it.

Very much like Bryan and Jeffery Eisenberg did with the term “Conversion Rate Optimization” which they coined back in 2005 (see last week‘s newsletter).

3. Start a Newsletter

We’ve decided we build our media “empires” using a newsletter.

Though it lacks the discoverability of social platforms (ConvertKit has solved for that with their Creator Network referral function), with a newsletter you own your subscribers’ data. This will come in very handy when/if we decide to sell our companies, as having a database of subscribers can be worth a lot of money.

To grow our newsletter we’ll:

  1. Create a compelling lead magnet in the form of a multi-part “mini-course” dripped over 3-7 days.
  2. To get to our first 1000 subscribers, we’ll approach our personal networks (LinkedIn and Facebook contacts) to subscribe.
  3. We’ll leverage ConvertKit’s Creator Network.
  4. There are a ton of additional growth hacks we’ll test out. A great source we’ve fallen in love with is the Growth In Reverse newsletter that reverse engineers how the top creators have built their media empires.

4. Choose one social network for discoverability

To boost our discoverability, we’ll focus on one social network where we’ll publish and share content.

Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok seem like good places to start. I’m also intrigued that GaryVee has been bullish on Facebook Fan Pages!

What? Facebook Fan Pages? Yes. He has said that’s where you can find great “underpriced attention” since so many brands and creators have abandoned their fan pages.

5. Boost Our Website with SEO

SEO is not a new, sexy digital marketing strategy, but it’s the work-horse for creators and media businesses.

To get a start with SEO, we’ll build websites with proper structure. We like the concept of the ‘pyramid structure’ explained by Ahrefs in the previously referenced article.

As we’ll be starting out with websites with 0 site authority, our strategy will be to find easy-to-rank-for keywords that can get us within the first 3-4 results of Google quickly, and build on from there.

These are keywords we can identify (using tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush) that have fairly high monthly search volume and low competition.

Literal needles in a haystack.

But they’re available and we’ve already achieved it with a few keywords on my wife’s website.

Our main goal for SEO is to drive subscriptions. We will do the selling within our newsletter through automated sequences, not through our website.

6. Write a Book

As so many creators who have built successful media businesses, we’ll write a book to try to own our space as part of our category design strategy.

That’s what StartupBook is all about.

The book will be a manifesto or guide, so-to-speak, for our category.

Here’s a rough structure for our respective books:

  • Intro of the target niche, the problem, and our unique solution for this problem
  • Case study that illustrates the before and after of the success the niche market can have within the new category (in other words, the unique solution to their existential problem).
  • Detailed description of the problem
  • Steps for the solution
  • More case studies
  • Mistakes to avoid
  • Your next steps

7. Identify Speaking Opportunities

Our next step is to identify speaking opportunities within our niches to present the ideas behind our books and newsletters.

It’s important to note here that all our content, from our regular newsletter content, to what we post on social media, our books and our speeches, will be aligned to communicate the same message.

We went to be known as the experts in our category.

To find relevant speaking opportunities we will identify conferences, professional associations, educational institutions and organizations that cater to our niches.

We will put together speaker kits and pitch the organizers of conferences from these organizations. We believe that event organizers are always looking for good speakers.

We will look for free and paid speaking opportunities. Any opportunity to get in front of our target audience and spread the message of our new category.