No More Excuses – How to Make an Extra $100,000 in the Next 6 Months

391 Comments


The Wilburns have created a multinational from their home.(Photo: Dana Smith)

“So, do you have any ideas?”

“Well, if we’re going to do something, it should be big. It should make people sit up and say OMFG. Make people actually do something,” I responded.

The conversation continued in front of the Thai restaurant, me pacing on my cell phone in San Francisco — foregoing food in excitement — and Tobi in his offices in Ottawa, Canada.

We decided in the subsequent 10 minutes to offer $100,000 cash as a bribe to you all. The overview?

* $100,000 for the grand winner
* $120,000 total in prizes
* 6 months starting January 1 but you can (and should) get started now
* Even if you don’t win the prizes, you should end up with a viable business at the end of 6 months

The details make it even better…

Background

Randy and Nicola Wilburn in the above photo, featured in BusinessWeek’s “Mom-and-Pop Multinationals“, are just two of the thousands of people in 35 countries who have used the steps in The 4-Hour Workweek as a basis to create near- or fully-automated businesses. The principles of automation have been equally applied within both Fortune and Inc. 500 companies.

The problem?

Some things just aren’t as simple in execution as they appear on paper. If there is one place where readers fail or give up, it is on such automated “muses”, as such automated businesses are called in book to abbreviate.

It’s most often due to lack of technical skills, lack of testing abilities, or — much more often — simple intimidation and failure to attempt it at all. The truth: it’s easier to continue in the predictable and comfortable mediocrity of the 9-to-5 than to start a business. It seems too big and there is little perceived incentive to change.

Let’s change that.

Tobi Lutke is the CEO of Shopify. Several months ago, I polled more than 50,000 Twitter users about e-commerce platforms, and the near-unanimous response was that Shopify offered the easiest-to-use full-service platform in existence. I’d never heard of them.

It seems I was late to the party.

From Pixar to Tesla, Pamela Anderson to Amnesty International, I saw slick design after slick design, all of which could be set up in minutes. Even Google Website Optimizer is built-in for testing. I was so surprised and impressed that I became an advisor upon meeting Tobi at RailsConf.

I want to give you a reason to finally take the jump with full confidence. Here’s what we’re doing:

The Competition – More Than One Winner

Shopify and I are running a 6-month “Build Your Business” competition. The store with the most revenue for two consecutive months (we’ll use your best two) wins $100,000.

There are other runner-up prizes, and there will be worthwhile surprises. To support you with the tools and skills you need, there will be expert tutorials on critical subjects (like Google Adwords testing, design, etc.) on a monthly basis at minimum, posts on this blog with real-life examples, and more.

The bullets:

* $100,000 for the grand winner
* $120,000 total in prizes
* 6 months starting January 1 but you can (and should) get started now. Even two weeks of practice will give you a massive advantage. I strongly suggest playing with it now.
* The best two consecutive months of sales count
* Even if you don’t win the prizes, you should end up with a viable business at the end of 6 months
* The steps and details in the new, expanded 4-Hour Workweek will be used as ground-zero for instructions
* Contest open — unfortunately — to US residents only. Please see “Afterword” below for why you should do it regardless. The tools and guidance will be available to all entrants.

Outside the US? Perhaps you should just incorporate a US company online? But – I’m no lawyer. Speak with a professional first and read the fine print. Be sure to read the FAQ, which opens up even more opportunities.

[Update: there is a new forum on Shopify for questions and feedback about the contest]

Tens of thousands of online stores have been created with Shopify: everything from Nerdbots to CrossFit.

Will you be next? I know a Fortune 500 company employee who’s quitting in 2010 because his Shopify store makes more than $1,000,000 per year. Not bad for a side gig!

If you’ve thought of starting a muse but have put it off or given up, here are two reasons to make 2010 the year that changes everything:

$100,000 and know-how guidance from experts. Though I’m an advisor, I receive no commission or payment whatsoever for this competition. It’s to get more people to pull the trigger.

If you decide not to pull the trigger, ask yourself “why not?” If not now, then when?

This competition is intended as a benevolent and encouraging kick in the ass. This stuff isn’t rocket science, but it does require stepping outside your comfort zone for a bit to realize: this isn’t that hard. It’s just unfamiliar. If you do it now, a lot of people will be in the same boat and you’ll take the trip together.

No more excuses. Click here to learn how simple it can be.

[Update: there is a new forum on Shopify for questions and feedback about the contest]

###

Frequently Asked Questions with Tobi

[The most up-to-date FAQ is on the contest page here]

> Rachel: Can you sell a combination of affiliate products and your own products through Shopify?

Yes absolutely. In fact we highly encourage our customers to source extra products that round off the product offering. A lot of our customers started by selling just a single product and later on started cross selling related products between their stores for additional sales.

> BrianReid: Can we use a drop shipper like Doba for products?

Yes, Shopify even integrates directly with drop shippers and consignment warehouses such as Shipwire, Webgistix and Amazon fulfillment. These services are really the key to fully automate your online store because manual shipping is labor intensive. At Shopify we have something called the App Store (http://apps.shopify.com) which allows you to add extensions to your store (think a mix of wordpress plugins and facebook apps). I know there are a few developers currently working on Doba integration.

> Erica: I’m using 1ShoppingCart right now. Can I just move stuff over to Shopify and qualify, or does it have to be a new business?

The point of this competition is to encourage people to create new businesses. If you could simply move a million or multi million dollar business over to Shopify and take the pot then the entire thing would be fairly uninteresting. So in other words, moving an existing business over: no go. Creating a new, related business that you organically grow from the start without simply redirecting your old store: OK.

That being said, we would love to get your existing business on Shopify. If you want to talk more in depth about this, contact me at tobi[at]shopify.com.

> Erica: For the Shopify folks: Do you offer a 1-click post-sale upsell feature like Upsell Express from 1SC?

I’m not familiar with the 1-click post-sale product but marketing to prior clients is a big part of Shopify. We have great integration with Sendloop, Vertical Response, Campaign Monitor and all such services. Through the App Store that I mentioned earlier there are also some really exciting new apps being developed that help people find related products that go well with their current cart content. Shopify is a very flexible platform.

Afterword

Gross revenue and US residents only? A case study in technology and real-life lawyering…

First and foremost, the best prize we can offer is this: your own near-automated, cash-flow positive business at the end of six months. The $100,000 is just a catalyst, a push. The former is, as the proverb goes, teaching you to fish, whereas the latter is handing over a single fish.

No contest is perfect. Shopify can’t verify net profit (without private investigators proving margins), so revenue is used as the measuring stick, which is trackable. Does this handicap you if you sell comic books instead of race cars? Not necessarily. It just means you’ll need to sell more units. Important: the most any single transaction can be applied the contest is $5,000.

Life is a competition. The rules were the best we could put together without making it impossibly complicated.

But, what’s up with the “limited to US residents” and all that?

From a post on Etsy about their own contest challenges (the whole post is worth a read):

Etsy is an international site. We have buyers and sellers from all around the globe. And we love our community. To solely enable U.S. residents to participate in an aspect of our site did not sit well with me or with Etsy. So I called an attorney who specializes in contest law to find an alternative. Unfortunately, his response supported my disappointing findings. He explained that in order to hold an international contest, Etsy would need to consult a licensed attorney who specializes in contest law for each and every country eligible for the contest. And, in fact, for many countries a translator would have to draft the rules. “How much would this cost and how much time would it take?” I innocently asked the contest law attorney. His two-word answer was most discouraging: “a lot.”

Here is Tobi’s version, especially frustrating, considering that Shopify is based in Canada!

“When putting together the contest we really wanted to make it a contest for anyone, anywhere in the world. Throughout the planning I spent more hours on the phone with lawyers than I’d care to admit to anyone. Unfortunately, as time when on, it became clear that it would be impossible to hold the contest anywhere outside the US without fundamentally altering the original concept.

Without going into too much detail, the crux of the matter is the classification of the contest as a game of chance versus a game of skill. Apparently, being good at selling stuff online is considered chance by many agencies and therefore would be governed by Lottery laws, as silly as this sounds.

That being said, you can still participate in this contest wherever you are. The prize money is significant, but don’t forget the spirit of the contest: to give a kick in the pants to all those people who have wanted to start businesses but haven’t. The real prize is having a business of your own at the end of the six months. You’ll still have all the same resources and guides as everyone else: support from the Shopify team, help and guidance from Tim and other experts, and more control over your financial independence.”

###

Elsewhere on the web:

Get the brand-new Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek, published 12/15, which includes more than 50 new case studies (including families) of luxury lifestyle design, muse creation, and world travel.

Posted on: December 8, 2009.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

391 comments on “No More Excuses – How to Make an Extra $100,000 in the Next 6 Months

  1. Took a look at shopify. Noticed the rules mentioned that the competition is only applicable for Americans. Amusingly, I’m in Canada. Perhaps I just found my “first excuse”. Or didn’t I?

    Like

  2. I’m going to put the energy I would have used for a thoughtful post into starting this up. Whether or not I win the $100k, this is the best opp. for action I have ever seen.

    Like

  3. This is a great way to wake up this morning. A sunny day and a kick in the pants to get off my butt and do what I wanted to ever since reading you book. Thanks for the motivation!

    Like

  4. Hi Tim,

    Shopify looks great, but can Europeans join in on the fun? If not, i’ll just keep working on my high-tech university spin-off project ;) Heard you mention that you were coming to Amsterdam a while back; did you make the trip yet and if so, how was it?

    Kind regards,
    Tim

    Like

  5. Sorry for this double post, but upon closer inspection it seems that I am not allowed to participate. However, is it possible to enter without being eligible for the cash prize but still be able to see/follow the expert tutorials and such? Can you shed some light on this for the poor saps who feel left out ;)

    Thanks!
    Tim

    Like

    • Hi Tim,

      Yes, this entirely possible. Unfortunately, and I’ll let Tobi explain, there are some legal issues that make it tough to set up a US and Canadian competition.

      BUT — and this is a big but — you can still get started and have expert tutorials and tools to help you along.

      Best,

      Tim

      Like

  6. I’m in. I’m on the brink of finishing up a store that sells good beer, but it doesn’t use Shopify. I think I’m going to start from ground up with another niche. Thanks for the opportunity Tim!

    Like

  7. Hey Tim,

    Why isn’t the contest open to Canadians?

    Good thing Tobi’s office is only a few blocks from where I live. Looks like I will have to walk down there and ask him myself.

    Like

  8. Great idea, Tim, but I wonder: Is this contest for only for people starting from scratch with no previous online presence? If you have people mixed in that already have businesses and/or a following wouldn’t it be very difficult if not impossible for a true newbie to compete with them?

    Like

  9. Tim, isn’t it possible for already successful businesses to sign up and make a quick 100k? Even startups that have more help and capital than people with absolutely nothing. This is where I think it is unfair.

    Like

  10. Several questions:

    1) I’m using 1ShoppingCart right now. Can I just move stuff over to Shopify and qualify, or does it have to be a new business?
    2) For the Shopify folks: Do you offer a 1-click post-sale upsell feature like Upsell Express from 1SC?

    #1 is key, because if a business is doing $1M a year and just moves over to Shopify, the competition is really over at that point.

    -Erica

    Like

  11. Awesome challenge, I’m psyched. Although totally believe that people with more than the 1k in the bank like me will have a large completely unfair advantage over my unrelenting will power….won’t stop me from trying though.

    Like

  12. LOVE the idea. Two things:
    1. Can we use a drop shipper like Doba for products?
    2. A bit ironic that Shopify is a Canadian company, but the contest is for Americans! :)

    Can’t wait to get started!

    Like

  13. Guys, I don’t think the point is to be “fair.” It’s a business competition! And it should stir up some great business for Shopify, too. As a college student, I’m not jumping into entrepreneurhood just yet, but I’ll have fun watching the competition unfold.

    Like

  14. Hi Tim,

    I will definately keep an eye on this page to see if there are any updates on this contest. Also to jumpstart everyones imagination and creativity I am going to start a list of ideas for stuff to sell. Feel free to add:
    1) Local specialties which transport well (for example: Holland has lots of liquorice specialties unavailable elsewhere)
    2) Custom designed wooden bases for commodity lamps (try to make them fit generic IKEA lamps, transforming them into something beautiful)
    3) Bags specific for popular items, example a sturdy high quality perfectly sized bag for your Vibram Five-Fingers
    4) Custom Spice mixes in quality pots for cooking enthusiasts
    5) Gardening Fertilizer Mix specifically for bonsai trees (protip: cater for the ever so popular Ikea bonsai)

    Good luck everyone!
    Tim

    Like

  15. So even if I’m in the UK, I can still get started, and use the expertise of those around me, to help facilitate a useful and beneficial business.

    Like

  16. Great idea! Simply brilliant.

    I think you should add the “US only” to the blog post though. I got my hope up a bit too early (no biggie though, I think I’ll compete anyway :) ). Just a heads up.

    Have a great day,
    Jonas

    Like

  17. I agree with Jed Wood. What if I’m selling a book for 40 bucks and someone is selling racecars for 40,000? He sells one racecar and he’s automatically beat me. But wut if his racecar took 30,000 to make? And what if i sell 2,000 copies of my book getting me 80,000 bucks and he only made 10,000 bucks?

    For some reason I feel like there are a lot of variables that make this contest unfair. I wonder if Tim took a lot of time to think this thing out or just got an idea to give away 100,000 bucks to help the rerelease of his book and his “brand” to get a ton of publicity.

    This is said with the most respect because Tim is to me, a true Renaissance man. He is what I strive to be like.

    Like

  18. The prize in nothing but a MacGuffin. I’m going to make a prediction right now: the winner will have made more than $100k by the end of the contest. In fact, I bet all the runners-up will have as well.

    Like

  19. A few quick questions

    1 Can the store be under a corporation?-If so does, is collaborating with partners allowed?

    2 Are there any stipulations as far as which types of products may not be sold?

    3 Could it be real estate or automobiles?

    4 Do Net Profits have to be a certain percentage?

    5 Any other details we might overlook?

    I think many readers may have similar questions from above.

    – Jose A Castro-Frenzel

    Like

  20. “If not me, who? And if not now, when?” – Gorbachev

    Great contest Tim! If your goal is to inspire believe to believe that they CAN do whatever they imagine you’re constantly hitting the mark.

    Article suggestion: Best options for incorporating your retail business.

    I feel as though I’ve read dozens of articles on the topic but that they gloss over the facts so lightly that I will have to crack some law books open myself.

    Cheers!
    -Another Tim

    Like

  21. Another excuse (and unfortunately a problem that prevents execution of most of the book’s lessons): being on a student visa in the US. Not allowed to work, not allowed to start a business. (Not here, not elsewhere.)

    Like

  22. @Jed Wood

    Shopify makes money on your revenue through transaction fees, not on how much profit you make.

    As this contest is clearly a promotion engineered by Tim, you can bet he’s engineered and tested it before launching it and has determined the prizes paid out in the contest will more than pay for the discounted lifetime value of the decreased customer acquisition costs, increased transaction fees and publicity.

    Like

  23. Tim, this is a great contest, but it’s also a GREAT example of exceptional marketing.

    All the readers of this blog should pay close attention to the way Tim and Tobi, promote and market this contest.

    I’m not questioning Tim’s motive (there are other ways he could use this blog to make a LOT more money and doesn’t for the sake of his readers), but a lot can be learned from this promotion.

    Here’s some info to consider:

    Tim’s blog currently has about 48,000 (US) readers each month. You can see the stats here:

    http://www.quantcast.com/fourhourworkweek.com#traffic

    If 3% of his readers participate in the contest, that would amount to about 1440 people signing up for Shopify.com. (Based on the great relationship Tim has with his readers I think he will have between 4-6% of his reader sign up for the contest).

    And obviously this post will be passed around and talked about on countless other blogs, facebook pages, and re-tweeted. So the actually number of readers will be much higher.

    But if only 3% of Tim’s readers sign up, that would be approximately 1,440 people.

    If all 1,440 only sign up for the basic service at $24.00 per month (some will definitely opt for more expensive options), that would mean an additional $34,460 in revenue for Shopify.com each month after the 30 day free trial period.

    Assuming all of the new subscribers stay with Shopify.com for the remaining 5 months of the contest, that would total $172,800.00 in additional revenue.

    $172,800.00 less the $120,000 in prizes equals $52,800.00 in extra income resulting from this contest (this doesn’t take into account the revenue from the transaction fee Shopify.com charges).

    Obviously, some people will cancel their subscription before the trial period ends, but others will continue their subscription long after the contest is over.

    I don’t mean for my comments to take away from this a contest. This contest will definitely help change a LOT of peoples’ lives. But this contest is also a GREAT example of creative (calculated) marketing, and should be carefully observed.

    No doubt about it, Tim is a master of marketing and promotion. Watch what he does, and learn.

    Like

  24. Excellent opportunity to get people moving Tim, although not open to Canadians like me. What’s up with a Canadian company (Shopify) sponsoring a US only competition! I know the market is bigger in the US for Shopify, I used to run a US and Canadian ecommerce site and we had the same challenges with promos and contests, but we’d try to do something similar on both sides of the border. Kudos for getting people motivated even if it is just one country.

    Like

  25. From looking at the rules, it looks like you’re able to enter anytime between the contest duration… is that correct? I ask because I don’t turn 18 until early February, but would love to participate.

    Like

  26. Tim,

    What prevents someone from doing something like running a zero or negative margin on a popular product with the express intent of making their profits on the prize? Seems like running the contest like this would encourage a store to be created specifically to win the prizes. Although its not a sound business choice, clearly, I would imagine that enough people would try and game the system that it would wash out the rest of the fiscally sound businesses of the running, as they would be hard pressed to be able to post up the pure numbers of someone trying to game the system.

    Mitchell

    Like

  27. @Wayne Don’t forget Tim’s book sales will also increase. People who enter the contest who don’t own the book will most likely buy it. Tim really does great marketing and promotion.

    Like

  28. I am in Australia so won’t be in the competition

    Can’t wait for the tutorials. I will still participate this way and look forward to sharing in your experiences via the comments

    Like

  29. @Wayne – Brilliant! This is exactly how all ‘sweepstake/contests’-type promos go. You’re spot on in your calculations and assumptions, and people should learn not only from TFerris, but also learn about the exceptional power of leverage in social media/viral marketing.

    Like

  30. For all you Canadians – and I’m one – and for all those disenfranchised Americans too who live in states like (I’m going from memory here) Arizona, Maryland and Vermont, please understand that we agonized over this.

    I think you’ll understand this scenario: bright non-lawyer people have bright non-lawyer-approved idea. A contest for the world! And then the lawyers read the riot act: the liability consequences, the different rules that apply in each State and in each Province. And no Canadian reading this post will be surprised to learn that it’s a whole different set of rules for Québec….

    When the dust settled, you have what we have: our best effort with the least aggro.

    But two thoughts for you: focus on Tim’s bigger message about pulling the trigger…and who’s to say that this will be the last contest?

    Like

  31. Anyone,

    Not looking for a freebie. Not looking for someone to give me the prize but are their any helpful articles on wholesalers or products in demand. Aside from being creative and selling my products can I get some ideas of things to sell? I assume a lot of people that use Shopfiy.com do not produce these goods themselves but rather maintain an inventory and then process orders, correct?

    Troy

    Like

  32. When putting together the contest we really wanted to make it a contest for anyone, anywhere in the world. Throughout the planning I spent more hours on the phone with lawyers than I’d care to admit to anyone. Unfortunately, as time when on, it became clear that it would be impossible to hold the contest anywhere outside the US without fundamentally altering the original concept.

    Without going into too much detail, the crux of the matter is the classification of the contest as a game of chance versus a game of skill. Apparently, being good at selling stuff online is considered chance by many agencies and therefore would be governed by Lottery laws, as silly as this sounds.

    That being said, you can still participate in this contest wherever you are. The prize money is significant, but don’t forget the spirit of the contest: to give a kick in the pants to all those people who have wanted to start businesses but haven’t. The real prize is having a business of your own at the end of the six months. You’ll still have all the same resources and guides as everyone else: support from the Shopify team, help and guidance from Tim and other experts, and more control over your financial independence.

    Like

  33. Hmmm. I’m sort of glad I’m not eligible for this (I’m Aussie). It’s an awesome competition but the last thing I need is to lose focus on my current project which is going so well so far.

    Definitely am excited to see the winners though.

    Like

  34. the promotion of creating your own business has never been greater. angel funds are spurring up in all parts of the country, countless ebooks to help you become an entrepreneur, an assortment of online tools to help you become successful online…etc. information is too available, but motivation isn’t. this is exactly what TIm and Tobi are providing.

    Like

  35. I’m in.

    Checked out Shopify. Very impressed. Even saw that you can have a blog on there.

    I have a WP blog that I just started that I intend to turn into a store. Anyone know if I can transfer it to a Shopify?

    Like

  36. The contest looks amazing, I’m in the midst of creating a fitness/lifestyle product which will be ready for sale a few months into the new year.

    However, I live in Canada. So there’s no chance of joining the competition?

    Thanks,

    Chad

    Like

  37. Here’s the meat of it.

    ——————————————
    Etsy is an international site. We have buyers and sellers from all around the globe. And we love our community. To solely enable U.S. residents to participate in an aspect of our site did not sit well with me or with Etsy. So I called an attorney who specializes in contest law to find an alternative. Unfortunately, his response supported my disappointing findings. He explained that in order to hold an international contest, Etsy would need to consult a licensed attorney who specializes in contest law for each and every country eligible for the contest. And, in fact, for many countries a translator would have to draft the rules. “How much would this cost and how much time would it take?” I innocently asked the contest law attorney. His two-word answer was most discouraging: “a lot.”
    ——————————————

    Hope that helps

    Like

  38. hi tim,

    i won’t make it as i’m in europe but still… i have 2 questions:

    1. can you make the guidance material available to us not in the competition?

    2. i read the 4 hour workweek (1. edition) and i still can’t come up with a suitable muse that’s not been done already (and done well at that). can you elaborate more on how to find your muse/niche/thing?

    thank you!

    Like

  39. Tim, you should compete.

    I also wonder, what other businesses did you experiment with and decide not to pursue during your formative years?

    Like

  40. That is a great idea. I set it out to my group to encourage those on the sidelines to take the plunge. Thanks for putting this together.

    I’m going to do this myself. Will brainstorm tonight.

    Thanks again.

    Like

  41. @Brendan Wenzel: where can you setup an american corporation for $200-$300 online? would appreciate some information about that..

    or anyone in the US interested to start a business with a German? :)

    Like

  42. I’m in on this, since i’ve had an idea in waiting for the past few months, that miscellaneous section is mine.

    Though i have the same concerns as others, and ironic enough, they apply to me. I work for and currently run my family’s business, i see a niche for us that we’re not currently doing, but something that i could leverage my current business buying power in order to dive into (if that makes sense). Thus giving me an advantage, maybe this kind of thing would be frowned upon, but not illegal in the contest?

    I definitely want to get my very own thing going, separate from the family entity, but the fact is, i can be much more powerful if i leverage what i’m currently doing in order to launch the new site.

    Like

  43. Tim,

    If we live outside the US are we still able to enter, even though we won’t be eligible for the prize, to take advantage of any info/tutorials/insight that will be given to contestants?

    Cheers,

    Luke

    Like

  44. Hey Tim i got quite excited about this contest till i read the comment about it being US only. (i live in UK). Could you perhaps include that it is US only in your post? so that loads of people don’t mistakenly sign up

    that said i think i will check out shopify anyway though :)

    Like

  45. I just finished reading Tim’s book and was ready to start this competition is that extra push I needed to jump in the water and JUST DO IT.
    I love Tim!

    Like

  46. Tim:

    Its been some time since you talked about entrepreneurship and muses, but I think this is a wonderful Christmas gift. Thanks and keep the inspiration coming!

    best wishes,
    Ziqi

    Like

  47. Very smart idea. Coincidentally, I just saw Shopify about two weeks ago for the first time while exploring potential shopping cart solutions for a client. I came across it on the Paypal website and it has some very attractive features. We will most likely be implementing it.

    Good luck to everyone who’s taking part. The world can always use more innovators.

    Like

  48. What a way to kick off the release of 4HWW: 2nd Edition!!!!

    This better be the kick in the butt my fiance and I need to finally pull the 180 and do as your wonderful book says to live anywhere, do anything and join the “new rich” :)

    Like

  49. I suggest a FAQ be put up for the contest itself. I don’t see anywhere to direct questions on the contest splash page or rules page. I can understand Shopify not wanting to be inundated with tedious questions, but there should be an email address or forum where legitimate questions can be asked. (I.e., my LLCs were formed in AZ but all current business and personal addresses are in CA. Is there anything special I need to do about that to qualify?)

    Hmmm… Super impressed that Shopify leverages a Content Delivery Network by default. Google Base integration handled by a plugin it appears. Bulk product import seems straightforward…

    Looks like a good excuse to learn a little Ruby and an all-around enjoyable (and affordable) service. I’m currently hosting Magento on a dedicated virtual server, which costs just a fraction less than the Professional tier which is what I would need for my number of products. If I factor in that SSL and backups are included with Shopify, it really does seem like a good deal.

    Like

  50. I’m always amazed at the amount of my fellow Canadians on these sites and continue to share their pain at always being excluded from the many American games. :P
    That aside regardless of being ineligible for the $100K prize I still look forward to picking up your new book next week and automating my way to wealth and muse.

    Like

  51. Tim I’m just getting started with reading your book. I’m in Step 1. Any suggestions for those of us just getting started. I could speed read your book, skip all the work exercises and miss that benefit..I don’t even know what product to sell.

    Not trying to make excuses (even though I presented some), just looking for ideas on how to succeed in this contest and get the most out of your book.

    Like

  52. @Mike Siete Cinco – When you said: “Tim has always helped people get where they want to go and in turn, he gets what he wants out of life.” That reminds me of one of the very first Zig Ziglar quotes I heard.

    “You can have everything you want in life, IF you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”

    A powerful principle, if followed.

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  53. This is perfect timing for New Years Resolutions. In this case, you can make 100k if you do it right. No reason not to take advantage, now get off your @ss’s, read 4HWW and Crush It for more steam, and start your 6 month hustle.

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  54. Very cool and interesting. Maybe I’m just too cynical and cheap, but I’m sitting here thinking ‘great, now I just need to come up with some sort of product to sell. And if I had something tangible or marketable or something that I could provide/do that people wanted, I’d already be doing it and wouldn’t need to shell out 25 bucks a month to do it, to boot.’

    I’m sure that if I had a hot idea the monthly fee would be negligible, and probably even pay for itself. But here I am pretty sure that I’d sign up for the free trial and it would sit there for a month empty because I have no ideas at all. I know that ideas are a dime a dozen and it’s the action on those ideas that actually makes a difference. But I would also need something that would scale and sell well, right? Paying for an online store front to sell a couple trinkets each month at best isn’t going to cut it either way.

    Man, I need to find my niche…

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  55. Tim, Serendipity being what it is, I read your book three weeks ago, and a short time afterward got off my butt and began my own web store. While it doesn’t use Shopify, I still consider myself in the competitive fray, if only for the bragging rights.

    Let the game begin!

    Michael

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  56. I’m also in Canada, and was disappointed to see that the contest was limited to US residents. Having read the explanations, I realize it wasn’t your intention to create this limitation. I found the fact that shopify is based in canada especially amusing! I’m still interested in participating, gotta think up some ideas!

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