TotalStart

Lifestyle Business & Passive Income Talk With A Side Of Travel And Gadgets

Passive Income

Building A Lifestyle Business – Let The Games Begin!

Starting LIneWith 2014 officially under way it seems like the perfect time to fire up this idea I’ve been kicking around for awhile now.  Basically I’m going to spend an hour at night (whenever possible) working on building a small business and documenting it every step of the way.   Over the years I’ve had so many people ask questions about how to build a business online I figured this would be a great way to show in detail how anyone can go about building up a small business on your own.

My goal is to get to a business that generates $2,500 a month profit within 6 months,  and ideally I’ll be trying to make it as much of  lifestyle business / passive income stream as possible.   Lifestyle businesses are basically creating something that generates enough income for you to live on; while freeing you up from the confines of a normal 9-5 job.  The passive income side means that the business ulimately runs on it’s own as much as possible creating a passive flow of income into your bank account.  What most people say is that you should figure out how much money ideally you’d need to live on comfortably and make that your goal.   I figured $2,500/mo is a pretty solid starting income especially if it’s mostly passive, so that’s what I’m going to aim for.  Of course as with most any business the sky is the limit and really comes down to how much effort you put in building it up.

The reality is the internet is a giant gamechanger when it comes to starting your own business.   With very little capital and some hard work on your end there is no reason that everyone out there can figure out how to generate some or all of their income online.   The beauty of it is there’s little to no risk; the only thing you really lose if it doesn’t work is your time.  Even if your first idea fails, that time you’ve spent on it will make the next thing you try even easier and eventually you’ll find something that clicks and works out.  Every business owner out there has failed, probably countless times, before figuring out what works for them.

This Diary will give you a break down of what I’ve found works for me.  It’ll give you a good guide of how to get things going as quick as possible which is the name of the game.  You don’t want to spend alot of time messing around with an idea that wont pan out.  The key is to cut your losses early on if the idea is a dud and move onto the next thing.

So follow along, definitely leave any input along the way.  I’ll try to answer as many questions as possible to help you getting on the right path of getting your own lifestyle business off the ground!

Tools For Startups

Startup Podcasts Sites:

I think we can all agree that we enjoy hearing about startups, and though we may not necessarily be attempting to start our own, it’s always inspiring to draw on the experience of other entrepreneurs who have also had success.

 

 

earwolf  Earwolf: Seth Godin’s Startup School is devoted to showing people how they can go about starting and building up their dream business. Seth Godin is considered quite a leader in the business world, and when you hear him speak he is quite motivational and really knows his stuff. He goes through all the steps in his podcasts, from coming up with the initial idea, to raising funding and getting your idea off the ground.

 

 

thisweekinstartups  This Week in Startups has a collection of podcasts from many different influential people. There are a lot of great podcasts by CEOs, owners, and partners in many different startups. You can hear great advice from Mat Ellis of Cloudability, and Aaron Levy of Box for example. They also have podcasts on up and coming technology, new services and trends in the industry.

 

 

ecorner  eCorner is brought to you by Stanford University. Their Entrepreneurship corner has over two thousand FREE videos and podcasts which feature entrepreneurship and innovation thought leaders. You can get advice from the pros, and hear experiences from other entrepreneurs and students of Stanford.  It is constantly being updated, and they usually have one or two new items every week.

 

 

mixergy Mixergy offers you the opportunity to learn from the best. They have over 932 interviews which consist of proven entrepreneurs. You can hear some great advice and get insight from the founders of Wikipedia, YCombinator, KIVA, and Groupon for example. They also have 117 courses to help budding entrepreneurs get started in bringing their ideas to life.

 

 

frankpetersshow Frank Peters Show:  The Frank Peters Show has a lot of interesting podcasts not only on startups, but on different things effecting startups. They have shows on angel investing, public policy updates, and updates on summits and seminars. They release about 3 to 4 new items a week. (sometimes more, sometimes less)

 

 

startupsuccesspodcast The Startup Success Podcast actually stopped adding new material back in April 2013, however all their old shows are still available to listen to. They have over 140 interviews with some of the biggest names in startups archived and freely available to those that want to listen.  The reason they closed up shop is one of the partners left Microsoft to start consulting for a non-profit and the other partner went on to develop some web apps.

 

 

startupbusinesspodcast Startup Business Podcast:  Startup Business Podcast is another podcast that has closed its doors, however, you can still go and download their past shows until January 4th 2014. If you are interested in grabbing the podcasts and perhaps registering for their last free seminar in Las Vegas, you better do so now, while you still have the chance.

 

 

startupsfortherestofus Startups for the rest of us is brought to you by Mike Taber and Rob Walling who provide insight and advice from their perspective. They have successfully developed their companies without any Angel or Venture Capital funding. They currently have 154 episodes and counting.

 

 

startupdaddy Startup Daddy:  Startup Daddy is run by a down to earth family man who has been involved in various startups and his own small business.  He not only has podcasts, but also many informative articles and videos as well. The site seems to have slowed down a bit, with the last podcast being in May 2013.

 

 

itunesgeneric  Founderware is a series of Podcasts put out by Founderware.co. They feature interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and anyone else that has an interest in technology and life in general. They welcome suggestions for shows, and quite frequently feature listener submissions into their podcasts.

 

 

toiletpaperentrepeneur Toiletpaperentrepeneur: Don’t be fooled by the name, Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is some serious business! When you hear the name you might think of it as a joke site, but they have lots of useful videos and articles on startups, and advice on how to run them. While they don’t have any podcasts, this site deserves an honorable mention, not just for the unique name, but for the information it contains as well.

 

 

helpmybusinesssucks Help My Business Sucks! This website takes a more toned down view, and injects humor into its videos and podcasts to help see the lighter side of entrepreneurship and to help you keep your business from “sucking”. They have information on advertising, marketing strategies, and how to implement plans. They only come out with an episode per month on average. (sometimes they skip a month).

 

 

iinovate iinnovate  – Iinnovate is a podcast by Stanford University’s Business and Design Schools. It looks as if this was taken over by eCorner, but the old podcasts are still available to download and listen to, and still have some really good information. This podcast was last updated in June of 2009.

 

 

advancedsellingpodcast Advanced Selling Podcast:  The advanced selling podcast is a good mix of startup information, which covers a wide variety of topics. Not only does it cover important things in terms of your startup, but it also covers things like advice on how to end a long term relationship amicably if it takes a turn for the worse.  They have podcasts about once to twice a week.

 

 

venturevoice VentureVoice Podcast:  VentureVoice is a podcast not only about startups, but also about how people who are involved in startups live their lives. It has a lot of great information on how to balance your working on the startup and also your personal life, as sometimes it is difficult to keep a balance. Some really good information, though sometimes they take a while to come out with something new.

 

 

ITConversations ITConversations: (Innovators) –  Jon Udell works with Microsoft and also an author, information architect software developer, and a new media innovator. His main focus in terms of startups is the interaction of technology on society, and he has a lot of very interesting things to say. You can also browse other similar people there as well.

 

 

web20show Web 2.0 Show:   The Web 2.0 show currently has 73 episodes, chock full of information, ideas, and advice when it comes to startups and the different methods of tackling them. They have some pretty big names for their podcasts such as Neil Patel, who has also given advice to large companies such as AOL, General Motors and Hewlett Packard. It is definitely worth a listen.

 

 

37signals 37 Signals Show:  The 37 Signals Show doesn’t just focus on startups, but they also focus on technology in the new era, applying for jobs, hiring, and even new software development and how it pertains to startups. They have some really good advice on working in the digital age, and of course, some interesting insights when it comes to startups.  While it hasn’t been updated in quite a while,  May 2011, the information is still quite good.

 

 

pipeline The Pipeline:  The Pipeline is a podcast hosted by Dan Benjamin. It consists of interviews which feature in-depth conversations with innovators, designers, geeks, newsmakers, entrepreneurs, and with people who create amazing things. The last time is was updated was September 2011, but that doesn’t make the interviews any less relevant to today’s world.

 

 

founderstalk Founders Talk:  Founders Talk is a podcast which is really similar to The Pipeline in terms of interviews with innovative people, and talking about the issues which arise with startups and how to face them. They have a podcast every Wednesday at 5PM CST, or you can select one of their previous shows to listen to. Founders Talk is hosted by Adam Stacoviak.

 

 

tractionbook Traction: (honorable mention) While traction is not necessarily focused on startups per se, it drawn on interviews with 30 different successful entrepreneurs who have had great success with their startups. Some of the experience thrown into the book comes from David Hauser (Founder of Grasshopper), Chris McMann (Founder of StartupDigest), and Alex Pachikov (Co Founder of Evernote) for example.

 

Startup Accelerators

YCombinator S2005 Startups

ClickFacts ClickFacts is a Malware solution provider for buyers and sellers of online media.  They offer you the ability to protect your company’s reputation, as some advertisers don’t monitor as they should and allow malware through to be displayed on YOUR site. They will monitor, track and make recommendations for the ads you are serving.

 

RIP  Kiko was a web calendar for anyone who wanted to keep and share a calendar online.  It had all the features you needed, events, reminders, tasks, as well as some other unique features.  (No longer exists)

 

 

RIP   Loopt was a social service which connected people to their community. Like so many other social sites, this one too did not last long. (No longer exists)

 

 

reddit  Reddit is a social news website that was launched in 2005. They display news based on your personal preferences and community likes. The most popular news is always on top, so you don’t need to worry about reading “fluff”.

 

 

textpayme  TextPayMe was an SMS payment service which allowed you to send money to other people by sending them a simple text message from your phone. They were founded in 2005, and later on were bought out by Amazon Payments.

Startup Accelerators

YCombinator W2006 Startups

clustix  Clustrix is a service which offers NewSQL with absolutely no limits. They are specifically tailoring their service to developers and websites that need high performance with multiple and massive transaction or request volumes.  They also offer you real-time monitoring and stats, so you always know what’s going on with your database.

 

 

RIP  Flagr was a service which enabled users to share places. It allowed people to add photos, video and descriptions from their mobile phone while they were traveling. (Site no longer exists)

 

 

inklingmarkets   Inkling provides a robust platform for companies to be able to run their own internal or external prediction marketplaces. It’s a data crunching machine. You input the data and Inkling does the rest.  You can monitor things like productivity, sick time, vacations, and overall costs over time.

 

 

snipshot Snipshot is an online photo editing website that allows you to start editing any photo with one click of “bookmarklet”. You can add special effects, crop, rotate, and change colors for any photo you upload quickly and easily. While it isn’t free, their prices are affordable.

 

 

wufoo  Wufoo offers a unique, feature rich HTML form builder which helps users to create online web forms. You can use their web form creator to power your contact forms, online surveys, and event registrations. They have a free version available, but their premium services offer more.

 

 

RIP  YouOS offered a platform for developers to be able to create and distribute applications that live in a “browser-based” desktop environment. The website no longer exists.

Startup Accelerators

YCombinator S2006 Startups

RIP  JamGlue was an online community where you could listen to or mix music from your own personal library, or from user-contributed music. (Site no longer exists.)

 

 

RIP  JumpChat was a platform which aimed to bridge mobile text messages, e-mail and IM communication without needing to download anything. Users were able to send mass messages to any medium and JumpChat would send it to the proper platform the receiver signed up with. (No longer exists)

 

 

RIP  LikeBetter was an online personality test game. You would look at two photos and choose the one you “like better”. You would then after a series of these questions have your personality revealed to you, and see what percentage of people chose the same or other photo.  (No longer Exists)

 

 

OMGPOP  OMGPOP (formerly known as “iminlikewithyou”) is a developer and publisher of multiplayer, social and mobile games. They have developed games such as “pool”, “draw my thing”, “tonk” and many more. All their games showcased are free to play and download.

 

 

RIP  PollGround was a social polling site. They allowed users to quickly and easily create surveys and allow the “wisdom of the crowd” to answer your questions. Questions and comments could be posted anonymously as well. (No longer exists)

 

 

scribd  Scribd is a leading social reading and publishing website. They allow users to post anything under the sun from articles, tutorials, reviews, walktrhoughs and more. The cool thing about Scribd is that viewers cannot easily copy your hard work.  Having protected work is only one of the many benefits they offer, check them out to see more.

 

 

RIP  Shoutfit was a “fashion related community”. They offered all the same things as any social network, but were focused on the fashion industry, designers, and fashion “aficionados”.   (No longer exists)

 

 

RIP  Talkito   was a service which enabled users to meet and chat when they visit the same website. No installation was necessary, and you could chat in real time with any visitor to the same site with a user name or anonymously.   (No longer exists)

 

 

RIP  Thinkature was an online environment that allowed users to collaborate on a virtual whiteboard. Users could chat, share pictures, and draw diagrams on a shared whiteboard. (Think Moodle). No longer exists.

 

 

Xobni  Xobni (which is really just the word inbox spelled backwards) makes your inbox and address book smarter. It shows you how many contacts you have had with a specific person, allows you to search those contacts, helps filter out spam, helps save messages from spam based on factors you set, and even scrapes the web for their social profiles.

Startup Accelerators

YCombinator W2007 Startups

auctomatic  Actomatic (a YCombinator company) offered an auction and marketplace management system for all individual sellers on sites such as eBay, Amazon, Overstock and others. They aimed to make it easy to manage your multiple stores and items across platforms. They were acquired by Live Current Media.

 

 

buxfer  Buxfer offers the next-generation of personal finance management, right from your browser. Track your expenses and income in real time via their website, or while on the go from your mobile phone. They track your information, show trending, and give tips on how you can tighten your belt and save more.

 

 

octopart  Ocotpart offers a verticle search engine focused specifically on the automotive industry. They saw a lack of features and search parameters on traditional search engines, and have focused theirs to offer better results by honing in on the industry. They are connecting buyers and sellers of automotive parts one lug nut at a time.

 

 

Parakey  Parakey was founded in early 2006 by Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt (of Mozilla/Firefox fame). Parakey offers their users not only the ability to find and search for homes, but to actually COMPARE homes. You can compare things like square footage, interior and exterior features, and even taxes all from the comfort of your home. Once you find a suitable match they will even pair you with an expert realtor to help you through the process.

 

 

RIP  Socialmoth was a community to help post your thoughts anonymously, no matter what they may be. Got a conspiracy theory? Post it. Like to wear clown shoes? Post it. Like to feed chocolate pudding and dance with cats? Post it. 100% anonymously. (No longer exists)

 

 

tsumbi  Mobile applications have so far been a nightmare to implement. Tsumobi plans to put a change to all that. Nobody knows exactly how though, they are in stealth mode for their BETA. They have an opt-in form on their site so you can keep up to date.

 

 

virtualmin  Virtualmin is taking the lack of innovation in server admin programs (like plesk), by making a more accessible version for pages managed by the non-technical crowd. Their aim is to make is fast, easy, and efficient for anyone to manage their servers, even if they aren’t web gurus.  They aim to do this for free, but donations are gladly accepted.

 

 

weeblyWeebly is an AJAX website creator that allows you to create a website in no time at all. They have a WYSIWYG editor and pre-designed templates and content widgets that make designing a breeze. Best of all, it’s free to use, and you get your own (dot)weebly domain. So, try your hand at designing a page today. If you decide you like it, plans start at only $10 per month.

 

 

RIP  Whitenoise was a social network for the music industry. They had all the bells and whistles and were specifically designed with the music industry in mind. Whether you were a singer, drummer, a band or an agent, you could find people to connect to. (no longer exists)

 

 

RIP   Writewith was a collaborative writing web application, which allows you to easily flow through the steps of writing, editing and publishing a document with a group. This was especially targeted to research groups, and even theatre groups. (website no longer exists)

Startup Accelerators

YCombinator S2007 Startups

bountii  Bountii allows users to browse for the best deals on electronics and appliances from all the top brand stores such as Amazon.com, Newegg, CircuitCity, Best Buy, Walmart and Dell.  You simply go to their site, input what you are looking for, add your budget and away you go.  Compare prices, find out who has the best, and go pick it up.

 

 

cloudant  Cloudant is the distributed database as a service (DBaas) built from the ground up to deliver fast-growing application data to the edge. They allow developers to focus on building and expanding upon their applications, without needing to worry about scaling and managing ever growing databases on their own.  It was specifically designed to handle concurrent read and writes of JSON, full-text, and geospatial.

 

 

disqus  Disqus is the web’s community for communities. They offer beautiful, real-time, and engaging discussions for your website. With just a few quick steps, you can turn your old boring comment system into a new way to engage your visitors.  For example, you can pull comments from ALL the communities involving “celebrities” or “video games” and have it all in one place for your readers.

 

 

draftmix  Draftmix offered fantasy sports fans the opportunity to sign up and play pickup games against other players on the site for virtual dollars or for real money. (The site no longer exists)

 

 

dropboxDropbox was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. They offer the world’s leading service for document sharing and storage. You can sync Dropbox directly with your computer and use it like a normal file folder. Anyone else who is sharing that folder will have a similar folder on their desktop and get the files synced in real time as well.

 

 

justin.tv  Justin.tv offers the one of the easiest ways on the web to create live video and show anyone in the world what is happening right now. Justin.tv makes it fun, easy, and fast to gather and engage with a live audience. With their app, it’s simple point and click and you can share your birthday, a concert or even a football game live.

 

 

songkick  Songkick was launched in October 2007 by innovators Ian Hogarth, Michelle You and Pete Smith.  Songkick offers an online database of concerts for music enthusiasts.  You can input your favorite bands, and track when they are going to have concerts next, and where, and even pre-purchase tickets.

 

 

splashup  Splashup (formerly known as fauxto) offers an online image editing service that provides users some rather advanced tools for quick and easy image editing right from your browser. While it may not be Photoshop, for most basic editing functions it works rather nicely.  Once you are done editing you can share directly to facebook, picasa, and flickr.

Startup Accelerators

YCombinator W2008 Startups

addmired  Addmired is an up and coming Software Design Company, located in Palo Alto, California which focuses on creating innovate, new and engaging applications and games for users of social networks and mobile devices.  (They were merged with MachineZone and developed the Game of War Saga)

 

 

Chatterous Chatterous is a new communications service which aims to allow groups of friends to stay in contact with each other synchronously through any communication channel, be it phone, IM, or e-mail.  It can easily integrate with all existing chat and IM (for example GTalk) so you can keep in touch with people who are only using cell phones for example.

 

 

RIPDeluux aimed to become a distributed Facebook, or an inverted Ning, by relocating the center of people’s online identities to their websites, which would exist outside of any social network. This would allow for greater customization. (Interesting idea, however, no longer exists).

 

 

fathomdb FathomDB offers databases as a service. They take care of the many day to day tasks that database administrators have to deal with so you can focus more on building your website, expanding your business or other more complex things. They have not launched yet, but have a form you can fill out to be notified when they do.

 

 

insoshiInoshi is an open-source networking platform.  Now anyone can quickly and easily create their own social website. Whether you want to make a place for your friends or want to go full blown and rival Facebook, Insoshi has the framework you need to get started.

 

 

RIP  Joberator was a service designed to help employers find developer talent by encouraging computer science students to refer their developer friends. The site and service no longer exist. (It was a Facebook application)

 

 

RIP  MightyQuiz powered a collection of user generated quiz questions that can be rated on the site, or shared through a distributable widget on their own blogs, websites, or social profiles. MightyQuiz is no more, the website and service no longer exist.

 

 

ninite  Ninite is the easiest, quickest way to update or install software. This tiny program will download and install programs automatically in the background, while you continue on other tasks.  Currently it supports about 100 applications (like instant messengers and updates) but they are always adding more to their selection all the time.

 

 

rescuetime RescueTime is an innovative web-based application that is a robust time management tool. It will help keep track of what you do and for how long you do it for when you are on your computer.    It will monitor everything in the background and give you a detailed report, and even add suggestions on how you can better manage your time.

 

 

webmynd  Webmynd has now joined forces with Trigg.io to help make it fast and easy to create extensions for browsers and mobile apps. By helping to utilize one codebase you will find you can design and launch new extensions and apps in no time at all. You can literally create and launch and extension or application in half the time it normally takes.

 

 

yumdots  Yumdots was supposed to be the “go-to” mobile application for finding places to eat when you are out on the town. The website and service no longer exists, and even redirects to a virus….

Startup Accelerators

YCombinator S2008 Startups

anyvite  Anyvite is a free site which allows anyone to quickly and easily create event invitations. Whether it’s for a school event, charity ball, sporting event or even a birthday party, Anyvite will allow you to make an amazing, eye-catching invitation in no time at all. Best of all, it’s always FREE.

 

 

co2stats  CO2Stats aims to help website owners to understand the electricity usage and related carbon emissions associated with their site usage. They then help site owners to better manage their carbon footprint. Everyone likes helping the environment, now you can proudly show off that your site is “green”.

 

 

contestmachine  ContestMachine is a unique web service that allows users to make and run web promotions from any website a breeze. Increase customer loyalty, get some more social traction, and get your site noticed with monthly giveaways. Starting at just $10 a month, it really is a good deal.

 

frogmetrics  Frogmetrics offered touchscreen platforms for effortless data collection. What better way to collect data than to have touchscreens to make for more engaging experience.  (Site is currently down for maintenance.)

 

 

RIP  ididwork was an online tool that allowed employees to keep track of the work that they do over time. (Website no longer exists)

 

 

RIP  MeetCast was a browser-based software which provided a host of features which were critical to having effective real-time interaction. These features included document sharing, interactive whiteboad, real-time text editing and screensharing. (No longer exists)

 

polleverywhere  PollEverywhere aims to be the best way to create stylish, real-time experiences for events by using mobile devices.  Quickly and easily create polls which users can participate in by sending a quick text message directly from their phone. You will see the results in real time, and be able to give your users the satisfaction of having a say.

 

 

RIP  Scoopler was a real-time music search engine which scoured the web to help bring together music lovers with their favorite music quickly and easily. (No longer exists).

 

 

startuply  Startuply is a service which connects startup companies to people looking for jobs in startup companies. You can find jobs at the world’s best angel and venture- backed web, media, and technology companies. Got a startup? Post a job. Looking to work for a startup? Apply now!

Startup Accelerators

YCombinator W2009 Startups

adioso  Adioso is a better search and booking app which caters to those users who are looking for leisure travel.  They claim to be the most flexible search around, while not compromising quality of the travel arrangements.  Search in style!

 

 

airbnb  AirBnB was founded in August of 2008 and is based in San Francisco California. AirBnB is an upcoming trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique spaces for their leisure travel around the world. You can book online, or from a mobile phone.

 

 

echodio  Echodio (now known as RealNetworks) was an easy way to keep your iTunes libraries in sync, securely backed up, and able to be streamed from anywhere. However, now their focus on on sharing videos.

 

 

foodoro  Foodoro is a new marketplace that allows users to buy specialty and gourmet foods directly from artisanal food makers and chefs. Some of them offer a delivery option, but all of them do offer a pickup option. You can browse and order directly from your phone on the go.

 

 

heyzap  HeyZap is a social discovery platform for mobile games. Users can play and discover thousands of mobile and mobile social games, and connect with an ever growing base of mobile gamers. Instantly compete with people all over the world in real-time on some of your favorite games.

 

 

picurio  Picurio is a web-based photo sharing and photo management software. Easily upload and share your photos and touch them up, add themes, text etc with this easy to use tool. Create albums and organize your photos quickly and easily, then share those albums directly to your favorite social networks.

 

 

RIP  Pocketfungames was a game developer for the iPhone which focused on games with strong social components. (No longer in business)

 

 

skysheet  Skysheet is a web-based spreadsheet which has been in stealth mode and in development since March of 2009. While they are currently taking inquiries, we are not sure if this one is going to launch or not.

 

 

thesixtyone  TheSixtyOne is a Digg-like platform for new music. New artists can submit their music and listeners decide which music rises to the top and which music stays in the garage. Listeners can help sift through the Tsunami of new music everyday by reading user reviews and decide what to listen to.

 

 

RIP  Voxli offered a browser-based group voice chat designed specifically for gamers and teams. (No longer Exists)

 

 

wattvision Wattvision offers a simple and unique idea. They offer a solution to help monitor and manage your energy consumption in real-time right from the web. Simply set it up, and you can track your energy usage in real time, and find ways you can save on your energy bill, or find inefficient appliances to replace them.