Editor’s note: James Altucher is one investor, programmer, author, and also several-times entrepreneur. His latest books are I was Blind yet Now ns See and 40 alternatives to College. Please follow him top top Twitter 
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A few weeks back I wrote a post about how this to be the year you had actually to quit her job. I provided the reasons why. That wasn’t a gung-ho “you have to be an entrepreneur” article. It was more: bad shit is keep going in the that company world and bit by little bit you’re going to feeling the urge to quit.

Correctly, many civilization asked, “Well, what’s next? What need to I do?”

I’ve begun asking world who go it. What walk they do? How do you quit your job and also basically, make a million dollars?

Not everyone is note Zuckerberg or Larry Page. No everyone is going to drop the end of college and also create an iphone or a time an equipment or a toilet the resizes itself automatically depending on that is sit on it (although that would be nice cool).

Some people would just like come quit their jobs and make a great living. Some human being would just like to quit your jobs and make a million dollars. In that movie (the Justin Timberlake vehicle), JT says, “A million’s no cool. A billion is cool.”

Well, actually, really often a million is nice cool. no everyone is walking to be a VC-funded $100 million hotshot. Sometimes it’s quite to make a million dollars, it is in your own boss, and use that financial liberty to catapult to success.

So I called Bryan Johnson, who began a company called Braintree. You can not have actually heard of Braintree however you’ve heard of your customers. They provide credit card transactions or payment solutions for companies like OpenTable, Uber, Airbnb, etc.


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Completely ripped indigenous the OpenTable blog. Supposedly they were making use of OpenTable.


I’ve never spoken with Bryan before. I am not an investor in Braintree. As far as I know I’m not even an investor (unfortunately) in any type of of the client of Braintree. I prefer to call civilization who i think have interesting stories and also hear what they have to say. That’s the way I develop my network that not only financial contacts yet potential friends. I’m shy and ugly and also don’t have numerous friends.

But i knew Bryan had actually an exciting story of how he set up Braintree and I figured it would fit this classification of “what perform I execute next?”

In 2007, Bryan to be a manager in ~ Sears. That quit his job and also within two years was making over a million a year. Ultimately Braintree grew much bigger and also raised $70 million indigenous Accel and also others, however that wasn’t what was interesting to me.

“How did you perform it?” i asked him. “What are the early stage steps.” and he told me. Therefore I will certainly tell you.

“I yes, really disliked mine job,” that said, “and i never believed in the idea of gaining a resolved wage. I had been a salesman prior to in the credit card processing business where I would certainly go out and get vendors like restaurants and retailers to move their organization to the agency I was marketing for. So i figured I might do this but work for myself rather of an additional company.”

Rule No. 1: Take the end the middleman. rather of Bryan going ago to the agency he used to market for, he cut out the middleman and went directly to a credit transaction card processor, cleared up his very own reselling agreement with them, and also did every one of this before leaving his project at Sears.

Many world ask me, “I”m in ~ a job, have to I advanced VC money yet?” NO, of food not! first you need to hustle. VCs want to earlier someone who mirrors a little oomph!

Rule No. 2: choose a boring business. everyone is constantly on the lookout for “the next huge thing.” The next huge thing is finding rare planet minerals ~ above Mars. That’s tough WORK. Don’t carry out it! Bryan picked a company that every merchant in the world needs and also he likewise knew that it to be an exploding business since of all the virtual stores the were opened up. Girlfriend don’t have to come up through the new, new thing. Simply do the old, old thing slightly better than anyone else. And when you are nimble and smaller 보다 the behemoths that are stuck with bureaucracy, friend can regularly offer far better sales and much better service, and greater touch to her customers. Customers will certainly switch to you.

Rule No. 3: acquire a customer! This is more than likely the many important rule for any kind of entrepreneur. I’ve written around this prior to (“The Easiest means To Succeed as An Entrepreneur”). Human being want to go the “magical path” – i.e. Acquire VC money, quit their jobs, develop a product, and then suddenly have millions the customers. It never ever works favor that.

Bryan discovered 10 customers (out of the very first 12 he approached) who would switch their credit transaction card handling to him. That figured he necessary to make $2,100 a month to quit his job. V his first 10 client he to be making $6,200 a month, so he had actually margin of safety. That quit his job and also suddenly he remained in business.

Rule No. 4: build Trust While you Sleep. This rule is often “Make Money While you Sleep.” but Bryan already was making money while the slept. He was making money ~ above every credit transaction card purchase with his first 10 customers.

“I didn’t desire to it is in going up and also down the street looking for customers,” Bryan said. “I necessary to discover a method to acquire online businesses together customers. Someone argued that I required to blog. And to blog fine you have to be totally transparent or it i will not ~ work. So I began blogging about what was yes, really happening in the credit transaction card industry, consisting of all the unscrupulous practices and how sellers were gift taken benefit of. Climate I’d placed my write-ups on the optimal social sites at the time: Digg, Reddit, and also StumbleUpon, and also sometimes the short articles would obtain to the peak of these sites and also my website would acquire so much traffic that it would crash.

“But I ended up being a trusted resource about credit transaction card processing. So prior to long every these online sites that had actually previously had a hard time navigating this industry would begin contacting me to switch their payment services.”

So a couple of points there.

Rule No. 5: Blogging is not about money. Blogging is about trust. You don’t sell ads on her blog (rarely), girlfriend don’t get the large book transaction (rarely), however you do develop trust and also this leader to opportunities. In Bryan’s case it led to more inflow, fairly than that going door come door, and it likewise led come his biggest beforehand opportunity. My own blog has actually made me a full of zero cents yet has created millions in methods for me.

“Basically, OpenTable called me and also they want a software solution to take care of storing credit cards, handing the data to restaurants, and being compliant indigenous a regulation standpoint. I signed a three year deal with them that enabled me to build a team the developers and we built them a solution. We now had more services to market to customers.”

Rule No. 6: speak YES! He began out just connecting vendors with a credit card processor. Then OpenTable asked that to do software advance when he’s never occurred software before. He claimed YES! He acquired software developers, constructed a great product, and also quadrupled his earnings or more. And then it placed his company in a whole new stratosphere of solutions he readily available customers. Suddenly, indigenous of mouth to be spreading and other online suppliers started utilizing Braintree’s services: Airbnb, Uber, etc. And also the VCs started calling because all of their clients were saying Braintree to be providing all of their payment services. It’s no that simple for startup online providers to acquire payment services.

“When I very first started, because that each new customer we’d put together whole package for our credit transaction card processor on why we assumed the customer might be trusted and would be a legit merchant.” Which leads to…

Rule No. 7: customer Service. You deserve to treat every customer, brand-new and old, like a real person being. “We intuitively kind of knew what we didn’t choose in customer business everywhere else: automated calling trees, slow solution times, bad problem solving, etc., so we made sure there was as small friction as possible between the customer contacting us and actually getting their trouble solved.” as soon as you room a tiny business, there’s no excuse because that having poor customer service. Her best new customers room your old customers, and also the best method to touch your old customers is to provide quick assist when they require it. Customer company is the most reliable touch point to keep selling your business to them.

By year 2 two, Bryan to be making end a million a year and was copy every year. They can not hire fast enough.

In 2011, after 4 years in business, Braintree took in its an initial dime of money – $34 million in a series A round. And right now, follow to CrunchBase, they procedure over $8 billion precious of credit card transactions annually.

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Not poor for someone who quit his job and also just want to figure out a means to gain his receipt paid.