How a 5 minute conversation saved me from a $4,416.22 mistake

I lost my nerve.

That’s it, plain and simple.

I’d spent hundreds of hours researching, outlining, writing and editing my second book. And the more time I spent on the project, the less confident I felt that anyone would buy it.

After all, I hadn’t done much research with my audience to confirm that this was a book they wanted to buy. When I started writing the book, I wasn’t too worried about whether it would sell. I planned to use it as a learning experience, a chance to work on my writing process so that I could learn to work more efficiently on future projects.

I decided that the best thing to do, under the circumstances, would be to skip the launch entirely. The book wasn’t going to sell well, so why waste the time putting together a full launch? Sure, I’d send a couple of emails to my list, and maybe I’d sell a few copies. But I wouldn’t do any big build up, no “coming soon” announcements or coordinated email sequence.

I announced this to my mastermind group, which consists of two fellow programmer-entrepreneurs, John Sonmez and Derick Bailey, during one of our weekly meetings.

They reacted … appropriately.

“No you’re not!” Derick yelled. “You’re going to do that launch, even if it fails. Either way, you’re going to blog about it.”

John agreed with him.

After five minutes of this, I conceded.


Six weeks later, I launched my book.

The launch wasn’t flawless, by any means. But I got it done. There was some build up. There was some fanfare. There was a flurry of launch emails with an “ending soon” discount.

I earned $4,416.22 from that launch.

And without some well-timed peer pressure, I would have missed out on reaping the fruits of months of effort.


Are you in a mastermind group? I’m convinced everyone should be. Whether your goal is to earn money from a side business or improve in your current field, meeting regularly with a small group of people with similar aspirations and complimentary strengths will help you get there faster.

It’ll help you follow through and avoid distraction.

It’ll help you overcome gaps in your skillset.

John, Derick and I have found our mastermind meetings so valuable that we’ve decided to start recording them and sharing them as a podcast.

This isn’t a typical podcast, where you hear a panel of experts discussing a topic in the abstract. This is an uncut, uncensored look at what we’re doing week to week in our online businesses. You’ll hear about the experiments we’re trying–and the disasters that ensue. You’ll hear about our successes, too.

We didn’t start recording our meetings until after the little meltdown I had about my launch. But you will get to hear us yell at Derick when he decided to give up on screencasting. You’ll also get to listen in to John tell us how his product launch was going to fail.

We’re calling this real-life look at online business “The Entreprogrammers Podcast.”

‘Cause, you know, we’re all three programmers, but we’re also entrepreneurs… (It gets worse: Just check out the tagline…)

It’s launching today at:

We’re releasing episodes per week for the next few weeks, and then it will be a weekly podcast after that.

Check it out–then start a mastermind group of your own.