An Akimbo workshop with Seth Godin
The chance to do work you’re proud of. Work that makes a difference for the people you’d like to serve. And perhaps, work that pays you what you’re worth and gives you the freedom to make your own choices.
There are problems to be solved, connections to be made, doors to be opened. And the people you care about are waiting for you to do this work.
You have the chance to plan your day, to be in charge, to build something that you own.
There are more tools, resources and opportunities to become a bootstrapper today than ever before. To begin with a market that needs your help, a contribution you want to make and the willingness to put in the effort—and to create something of value.
In our culture, we often celebrate a certain kind of entrepreneur. The person who comes up with a brand new original concept, quits their job, raises millions of dollars and then sells their company for a billion dollars.
But there aren’t that many Elon Musks in the world. For the rest of us, there’s the work of a bootstrapper.
It's a choice. Freelancers get paid when they work, entrepreneurs build something bigger than themselves. They're both powerful ways to do your work, but they're different. Our goal today is for you to choose. To choose the path of the freelancer, and work to get better clients. Or choose the path of the entrepreneur and learn to bootstrap, to find a project that customers need so badly that they'll help you fund it.
It matters because the customer is paying for it. Not an investor, not a venture capitalist, but a customer who decided they needed what you had to offer.
The bootstrapper builds something from scratch, something you own and nurture and build around your customers, not your investors.
It’s easy to believe that owning something is for other people, but this path is available to each of us. It’s a useful, leveraged, effective way to make a difference and to make a living.
The Bootstrapper’s Workshop teaches you a proven approach to creating value. It only takes a month to participate in the workshop, but it’s flexible and you can do it at your own pace. It’s a step-by-step process for beginning to adopt the mindset of the bootstrapper (even if you already have your own gig).
You will learn to do projects that pay, without needing to raise a lot of money. To find a job without a boss. And to do it in a way that’s resilient, scalable and fun.
The best part is: The work you do is important enough that those you serve want you to do more of it.
There are a thousand books and courses that teach hustle, shortcuts and magical secrets. They promise to make you rich overnight, regardless of what your customers want. Bootstrapping is not that. Bootstrapping is the opposite of that.
It’s possible that your new bootstrapped business will be very successful. But if it is, it will be because you figured out who to serve and did it well. It will be because you found the right business model, contributed insight, effort and care, and mostly because you kept your promises.
This workshop is a place to figure out these things. If that sounds like the sort of business you’d like to own, please read on and considering being a part of this workshop.
More than 6,000 people have taken our other workshops including The Marketing Seminar (TMS). We’re continuing to build a powerful new way to learn—not to pass a test, but to make a difference, to find the insight and confidence to move forward.
You can read some of the hundreds of student testimonials from TMS here.
We’ve applied this proven technique to The Bootstrapper's Workshop, It's for people who want to build a project (small at first) that they own.
This isn’t a shortcut, nor is it an overnight road to riches. Instead, we’re focusing on helping you find a useful project, an endeavor worthy of your effort, a chance to do work that matters, work you can be proud of.
Here’s the secret: It’s not simply a series of videos. Online videos are a significant new learning tool, but without peer support and persistent follow-through, it’s too easy to let the ideas slide.
Most online learning is nothing but videos. Our workshops are different.
Every few minutes, one of our students posts on our discussion board. All day, every day, people are leading, connecting and speaking up.
In our most recent TBW session, we averaged over 400 posts a day from people all around the world. People like you, supporting each other, teaching each other, challenging each other to go further on this journey.
You can’t fall behind, any more than you can fall behind at a conference. There’s wisdom in every corner. Take what you need, contribute what you can, repeat.
This is a community of people who know that they are lifelong learners, that we can always become better. All of us know more than any of us, and your ability to help someone else see what’s right in front of them will come back to you fifty times over inside of this workshop.
The focus is relentless: You can own something. You can build something worth building, a project worth sharing, a service or product you can sell.
People inside our workshops don’t care where you came from, but they’re very interested in where you’re going.
This workshop will teach you, inspire you and connect you to peers who will help you discover the path to being a bootstrapper. The idea of the Boostrapper’s Workshop is simple yet disruptive: When you earn the trust of the smallest viable market and give them something they need, they’ll pay you for it.
You'll discover that building your own project may be more straightforward (and rewarding) than you thought. Today, the tools are there for us to have the freedom to invent, the freedom to serve other people, the freedom to spend our own time and work without investors or a boss or board.
Through video lessons, challenge prompts and discussions, you'll engage with other students who are on a similar journey to you. If you do the work, if you contribute, you'll get back more than you put in.
It might not be for you, but if it is, we hope you’ll join us.
The Bootstrapper's Workshop includes:
It’s a workshop. There are no tests, no grades, no certificates. It’s not about memorizing answers, finding a magic sort of hustle or taking tons of notes. Instead, our new way of learning focuses on teeing up an idea, giving you a new way to look at the world and then challenging you to explore it with your peers.
And then we do it again two days later.
After three weeks, you’ll have created dozens (perhaps hundreds) of ideas, approaches and insights. And as you know, the learning and creation you do yourself is the work that really sticks.
Your new project might not work. Not the first time. Maybe not the second time. But we’re teaching you a process, a method to start on the journey of owning something, something worth doing.
This workshop is about a third way.
The first way is to be an employee.
The second way is to be the well-funded, high-stakes entrepreneur.
The third way is to be the bootstrapper.
Bootstrapping is simple: your funding comes from your customers.
That means you are completely aligned with your customers. The people you are serving are also the people who are giving you money for the work you do. And they are giving you money because they are getting something they want in return.
The workshop begins with this simple idea and builds out multiple models for creating significant value for your audience.
It’s not for shortcutters. Or the selfish. It’s not for someone who is feeling entitled, or busy looking out for #1, either.
The workshop is for people with a day job who would like to own something and freelancers who are tired of trying to find yet another client who will give them a task. It’s for inexperienced people who feel like they have a lot to learn, and for veterans who know that they have a lot to offer.
Years ago, Zig Ziglar wrote, “You can get everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.”
Seth has amplified this thought and built it deep into the workshop:
“Our work is to help other people get to where they’re going. If we can do that well enough, we’ll earn enough to get the chance to do it again.”
"The opportunity to play inside this workshop and hash out what we’re offering and who we are offering it to was invaluable. I was taken aback when the feedback I got wasn’t what I expected and what was really beneficial was other students saying to me that's okay and encouraging me to stretch my mind and go with it and see what happens." –Kathleen
"I feel like a totally different person than when I started. I have a much better sense of my gifts that I couldn’t see that everyone was mirroring back to me. I have the tools to actually make my project happen. It’s going to be a whirlwind, but I feel ready to move forward." –Michelle
"I no longer feel the need to go on the defensive regarding my smallest viable audience and my interest in working with a small audience. I know that targeting the masses is not for me. I have always known this, but could never defend my position. I no longer feel ashamed about my smallest viable audience because I see that I am proceeding with intention. In the past a small audience would’ve “happened to me” and I would’ve felt stuck and ashamed. Now, however, a small audience is being selected on purpose, thoughtfully." –Tania
"The best knowledge I drew from the workshop is there’s a difference between dreaming and planning. Romanticizing the escape, from my current career, for a long time, held me back from evaluating and pursuing a new one. The exercises here forced me to look at the reality of making a switch and weigh it objectively against my current situation. Seth Godin’s approach to finding a smallest viable audience offers a way to make starting a business feel more purposeful or noble. The pursuit of money only goes so far and I suspect it fails to sustain the motivation of many an entrepreneur. Providing help, however large or small, to others on their projects was the most gratifying experience for me. In addition, one must not overlook the combined brain trust of the Coaches and Bootstrappers themselves. That, in itself, was worth the price of tuition!" –Chris
"I started this workshop as someone who has been hiding almost all my life. I learned to stop hiding. I learned a totally new way of learning. I’ve been brainwashed at school to memorize things for the exams, not really understanding or learning much for the long term. It’s not about reading and memorizing, it’s all about doing the work. And shipping. I learned that everything is in me already. I know everything I need to know. The most important part of this workshop was the community. To see how many like-minded people there are with optimism and willingness to change things, so many with same passions and same interests. The atmosphere of support has been amazing. And support is really all we need to flourish." –Anna
"The whole thing for me in this workshop was about getting started. And so I did." –Joerg
"Bootstrapper’s Workshop - the work shop that helps your work ship." –James
"I reached my goal. Tangible results I can build on, and the motivation to do it!" –Karen
"This experience has been transformational. Thank you all." –Steven
You can sign up soon. We'll annouce the dates via email. The first lesson goes live on September 16th, 2019. The last day to join the workshop is September 24th, 2019. The discussion board will be open until November 30th, 2019.
You can finish the videos in the workshop in three weeks (or 21 days), but the workshop stays open for almost three more months so you can get the real benefit: the cohort, the discussions, the support from hundreds of people on the same journey.