BIO: Nick Hutchison is the author of Rise of the Reader: Strategies for Mastering Your Reading Habits and Applying What You Learn and the founder of BookThinkers. This growing 7-figure digital marketing agency serves mission-driven authors.
STORY: Nick envisioned the first iteration of BookThinkers to be a grand mobile application. He got partners together, and they started working on the idea. Without much research or due diligence, the partners contracted an Argentinian company to build the app. Unfortunately, the company in Argentina went out of business under a year later.
LEARNING: Failure is a great thing. Before you dive into a big idea, have a proof of concept and spend tens of thousands of dollars on it. Do more due diligence and understand the process before jumping into it.
“I think that failure is a great thing. You should fail often and fast. Then make iterations and change.”
Nick Hutchison is the author of Rise of the Reader: Strategies for Mastering Your Reading Habits and Applying What You Learn and founder of BookThinkers, a growing 7-figure digital marketing agency that serves mission-driven authors.
At the age of 20, Nick discovered the world of personal development and quickly used the books he was reading to improve every aspect of his personal and professional life. Now, Nick has dedicated his life to helping millions of readers take action on the information they learn and rise to their potential.
Nick’s podcast, BookThinkers: Life-Changing Books, features captivating interviews with world-class authors such as Grant Cardone, Lewis Howes, and Alex Hormozi. During these insightful discussions, Nick delves into the pages of their books, uncovering practical and transformative takeaways for his motivated audience.
Worst investment ever
As Nick was getting ready to graduate college, he knew he wanted to start a business and make a splash in entrepreneurship. Luckily, Nick had a safety net—a software sales rep full-time job that allowed him to make a lot of money right after graduating. So Nick had a bit of cash to spend on a side hustle idea he’d had for a while.
The first iteration of BookThinkers was supposed to be a grand mobile application that readers could use to categorize their favorite takeaways from each book they read, follow each other, and see the trending books within the platform. It was supposed to be a much better version of what Good Reads is today.
Nick connected with a couple of friends and started this business. The first order of business was how to build a mobile application. They found a firm in Argentina that would create the mobile application for them. They put all of their money that we’ve got into this mobile app.
The company in Argentina went out of business under a year later. The tech built so far wasn’t working, so they couldn’t test it. Nick and his partners never found a product market fit and had no successful monetization after spending tens of thousands of dollars on the mobile app.
- Failure is a great thing. Fail often and fast, then make iterations and changes.
- Have a proof of concept before you dive into a big idea and spend tons of money on it.
- Do more due diligence and understand the process before jumping into it.
- If you have to have a mobile app, the best way to do it is to create a tiny MVP that does one small thing and then release it to an audience.
Speak to potential mentors or people who have severally done what you want to do and have also helped other people do it as well. Have them show you the roadmap.
Nick recommends reading $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No. In the book, the author Alex Hormozi talks about how 20% of your customers are willing to pay five times more if you could provide more value. He teaches how to have the same revenue but work with 1/5 of your clientele, serve them better, work slower, and offer more value.
Nick also recommends pre-ordering his book Rise of the Reader: Strategies for Mastering Your Reading Habits and Applying What You Learn. The book has the power to help readers rise to their potential.
No.1 goal for the next 12 months
Nick’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to make seven figures in revenue. He also plans to have a kid in the next 12 months.
“The right book at the right time can change your life if you can apply it the right way. So, just remember that our life experiences aren’t as unique as we think they are. Billions of people have lived before us; millions of them have written books, and thousands of those books might be able to solve your problems.”
Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community. We know that winning investing, you must take risk, but to win big, you've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. And I want to thank you for joining that mission today. Fellow risk takers this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz, from a stance Academy, and I'm here with featured guest, Nick Hutchison. Nick, are you ready to join the mission?
Nick Hutchison 00:36
Andrew, I am ready to join the mission.
Andrew Stotz 00:40
All right, well, let me introduce you to the audience. Nick is the author of Rise of the reader strategies for mastering your reading habits and applying what you learn and founder of book thinkers, a growing seven figure digital marketing agency that serves mission driven authors. At the age of 20, Nick discovered the world of personal development and quickly use the books he was reading to improve every aspect of his personal and professional life. Now Nick has dedicated his life to helping millions of readers take action on the information they learn and rise to their potentials. Next podcast book thinkers live JVC changing books features captivating interviews with world class authors such as Grant Cardone, Lewis Howes and Alex are mosey. During these insightful discussions, Nick delves into the pages of the books, uncovering practical and transformative takeaways for his motivated audience. Nick, take a moment and tell us about the unique value you are bringing to this wonderful world.
Nick Hutchison 01:42
Andrew, I am living up to my potential by taking action each and every day. So the people that I serve, they understand there's a difference between where they are and where they want to be. But most of the time, they go to bed regretting the fact that they didn't do more. I'm somebody who makes the most out of every moment I live up to my potential I take action. And I'm not going to live a life full of regrets. So many of us look back at our time. And we say, Man, I just wish I did more. That's not me. So my unique value is taking action every single day.
Andrew Stotz 02:16
That's excellent. And one of the questions I have with that is like, when people are they somebody asked me this question yesterday in my community, they said, how do you get so much stuff done? And I explained it to them in this way. I said that I realized many years ago, that we all have the same amount of time in the day. And most people would say 24 hours, but you know, you're working, you're doing a lot of different things, whatever. So if we bring that down to what I would call concentrated, work time, or focus time, how many hours do we really have in a day? And the answer I get from people around the world is two to four hours. And so let's pick three hours. What I did when I started my own business 10 years ago is I realized that if I wasted those three hours a day, when I was working at Citibank as an example, it wouldn't have an impact on my job. If I've wasted that time for a day or for a week or for a month, or I had a three month period, something happened in my family or whatever. And I really didn't focus in on that time. I would still have a job and things would still go. But when I had my own business, I realized if I do that, in my own business, I'm dead. So what I did to take more action in my life was I started every day, working for the first three hours to capture what I consider to be like my highest energy time, but also might focus on that's my little tip. What is your tip for how to take action because people are tired and people are, you know, downhearted sometimes.
Nick Hutchison 03:59
Yeah. Well, very similar to you. I try to look at my calendar and decipher what are the highest leverage activities. What activities can I put into this funnel that will generate the most results because not every activity is created equal within a business. Some of them bring you energy and create a big impact. Those to me are the highest leverage activities. And if you can stack them in the beginning of your day, just like you're suggesting, it reminds me of Brian Tracy's Eat That Frog metaphor. Imagine every single day you had to eat a frog, a big, hairy, ugly frog. Well, if you wait until the end of the day, you're going to think about it all day long. But if you just wake up, roll out of bed and Eat That Frog the rest of the day is easy. You get your hardest tasks, your highest leveraged tasks done first. And so I think I learned how to do that because book thinkers, my business it started as a side hustle. I had a nine to five and then I really only had five to nine to work on my Business. So I didn't have time to goof around and mess around like, I had to focus. And so yeah, I think that's where I learned to do that.
Andrew Stotz 05:08
Well, you're putting it into action because you're referencing a book. And I read Yes. When it came out, and I was like, okay, that that makes sense. I estimate I've read between 3005 1000 books in my life. And I've got about 750 books in my library here in Bangkok. In the old days, when I moved to Thailand, 30 years ago, we didn't have a lot of books, you know, in bookstores at that time, particularly for English language, so I became a hoarder.
Nick Hutchison 05:36
I love it. I started reading a little bit less than 10 years ago, and I've read about 500 books cover to cover. But if you included second, third, fourth, maybe even the 10th time I've read a book, I'm probably up over 1000.
Andrew Stotz 05:49
Yeah, it's great. That's the fun thing for me about having a book is I love to go back through it and see what I highlighted and all that. So just before we get into your story, maybe you could just tell the listeners what, you know, what type of person comes to your business, to say I need your help.
Nick Hutchison 06:12
I'm mission driven author. And what I mean by that is somebody who's written a nonfiction book. And when their target client or their target reader reads that book, they can use what's being written about to improve their lives. So I call it personal development, I call it self help. I call it mission driven nonfiction authors, people who write books to make the world a better place. Oftentimes, like we were talking about before we pressed record, somebody spends years of their life writing about decades of experience and putting it into a book, only to find out that they didn't have an audience and nobody wants to buy their book, right. So we were joking around before, it's not the best written books that perform well. It's the best selling books that perform well. Writing a book, that's a team sport, you need people to work on your behalf. So you can delegate some of that marketing to a team. And that's what my team does, we love to put the right book into the right hands, so the right person can change their life.
Andrew Stotz 07:08
So if there's a listener out there, who's got a book in process, it's great opportunity for them to, you know, to get involved and help. You know, I thought, I thought I was 95% done when I wrote my book and publisher, the different books I wrote, and particularly the first one, and I published it on Amazon, it's like, I'm done. That's it. I'm never doing that again. And then what I realized was that holy crap, the marketing of this is so hard, I went to Cal State Long Beach, we had a huge library, and it was like 10, floors or whatever, full of books. And I said, you know, the way I feel about the what I did was that I walked into that library with my new book that I had written. And I went up to the seventh floor, to the 14th row, to the sixth shelf in the middle, and I put my book right there, I now and there's my book. And nobody, of course, would ever, ever, ever find it. And so if you're if you've written a book, or you're in the process of writing books, you know, this is great stuff. One other question for somebody, let's say a listener, like myself, has written books, maybe they didn't market it that well, and you feel like oh, I don't know if it's worth going back and re doing the marketing. Maybe it's too late. What is your opinion or your thoughts about that?
Nick Hutchison 08:26
I think you can always bring a book back to life especially if you Sorry about that. I don't know what happened.
Andrew Stotz 10:13
But I think you can always bring a book back to life, especially if you.
Nick Hutchison 10:20
Okay, thank you for saving that I'm on my phone now, because apparently my house WiFi is down, which is coincidentally strange, because it's been up all day. But alright, we'll go think you can always bring a book back to life, especially if you launch some type of complementary product or service associated to the book, something that's related to the subject you've written about, like coaching, consulting, speaking, some type of business service or venture, it gives you a new fresh reason to talk about the book, or if you release the book in a new format. So some people wait a few years to release the hardcover, or the audiobook or the Kindle version. And so those are always good reasons to restart the book.
Andrew Stotz 11:12
Okay. In my case, also, I have like course, related to the book. And I didn't, I never really connected it that well, to the book, so that someone that goes to Amazon doesn't necessarily go to the course they just see the book as a standalone thing. Maybe that's a good way for someone that's you know, in that situation is to kind of figure out how you, you know, get that connection.
Nick Hutchison 11:37
Yeah, and if the right person is behind your book, anything can happen. Think about the philosophy of stoicism, something that was dormant for about 1000 years until Ryan Holiday comes up and says, Hey, everybody, you should read about this group of philosophers that lived 2500 years ago to maybe 1500 years ago, and look at the philosophies that they were talking about. And now personal journals, like meditations by Marcus Aurelius being purchased by the millions. And so that's that's how you revive a book, you know, you get a big influence, or just start writing about it again,
Andrew Stotz 12:10
exciting. And I know I've just ordered, pre ordered your book. So for those people that are interested in, go to amazon.com, and you'll be able to get access to that. And I just pre ordered it, as I said, and I got it in the Kindle version, Rise of the reader, just type it in, and you'll see it. Let's continue on. And I want to ask you the big question of this podcast, which is, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment, thinking it will be tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it, then tell us your story.
Nick Hutchison 12:45
So it's actually the origin story of book thinkers Believe it or not. So when I was getting ready to graduate college, I knew that I wanted to start a business. And I knew that I wanted to make a splash in this world of entrepreneurship. I had a safety net, which was this full time job that I was graduating into, I was an intern than I was accepting a full time job. And so I started to make a lot of money actually, as a software sales rep. And so I had a little bit of cash to spend in this side hustle idea. So the first iteration of book thinkers was going to be this big, grand mobile application that readers can use to categorize their favorite takeaways from each book they read, follow each other, you know, see what books are trending within the platform, like a much better version of what good reads is today. And so I connect with a couple of friends and we start this business, we legally register it. And then we start to meet about how do we build a mobile application? Well, we found a firm in Argentina, none of us had been to Argentina, but we found a firm in Argentina that would build this mobile application for us. And so we start the process, we all put all of the money that we've got into this mobile app. Well, even long story short, fast forward about six months, 12 months, that company in Argentina goes out of business. And everybody in that company kind of disbands. The tech that we had built, so far wasn't working, never found product market fit, we still didn't have a successful form of monetization. We just thought if we built it, people would come. So we never tested it out. We never put out an MVP and collected feedback. We just wanted the perfect thing out there. And lo and behold, it failed. We spent 10s of 1000s of dollars that we didn't have. And that was the worst investment that I've ever made.
Andrew Stotz 14:34
And how would you describe the lessons that you learned?
Nick Hutchison 14:37
Oh, well, I've learned a ton. I think over here. You know, as you know, in the United States, especially in the public education system, you're taught that failure is a bad thing. But I think that failure is a great thing. I think you should fail often. You should fail fast. You should make iterations and you should change. So that was one of the most expensive lessons I've ever had. 10s of 1000s of dollars. As an early 20s, kid, but I've learned a lot, you know, I think one of the biggest lessons that I learned is to have a proof of concept, before you dive into a big idea and spend 10s of 1000s of dollars, do a little bit more due diligence, try to understand the process before you jump into it. And, you know, I've had other bad investments, but that's the first one that came to mind. And, you know, I was able to, to get past that, because I didn't quit my job and jump into this side hustle full time, I was able to keep a full time job, which kind of kept me stable while everything else was melting, and falling apart.
Andrew Stotz 15:37
Um, one of the takeaways I got is don't do a mobile app. No, I was not one of
Nick Hutchison 15:44
us don't do a mobile app, my experience is that's much harder
Andrew Stotz 15:47
than it appears. It seems like it should be something pretty simple. And I say if you feel like you have to do the mobile app, then the best way to do it is to create a tiny, tiny little MVP that does one tiny little thing and release it to an audience and try to work with a developer that can help you do that in a week. Yeah, and then it's great advice. Yeah, and then try but just know, all I'm asking is, you know, submit this, that and you know, do one thing. And what you'll find is that you most developers can't really help you with that, because they just think it's so deep, and they want to be left alone, they want to go deep. So and it's not to say, you know, because you've got bigger problems when you're starting a business, which is the product market fit. And a lot of people think that you know, an app is going to, you know, already they think I've got the product market fit for my genius idea. Or they think that an app is going to bring product market fit. And it's something that can help you test product market fit. But you can test product market fit in so many ways. So that's I would say is kind of my biggest takeaway from listening. Anything you'd add to that?
Nick Hutchison 16:58
Well, I'll add that I wish Andrew Stotz could reach back in time and slap young Nick Hutchison around a little bit and say, Hey, wake up, buddy. This isn't how business is done. But there's a you know, there are some benefits to blissful ignorance, I don't think I ever would have gotten started or have the business that I have today that serves hundreds of authors a year, if I didn't have that blissful ignorance at the beginning, you know, I thought I could conquer the world and just make it happen overnight. And that that definitely was not the case.
Andrew Stotz 17:26
Yeah, and unfortunately, my work on the Time Machine is just really, pathetically slow. And so therefore, we're going to have to slap other peoples through this podcast to Hey, say, take a step back, you know, get your product market fit, you know, iterate through that, if you're going to do an app, do it simple and short and fast,
Nick Hutchison 17:44
and use it there should be an app for that.
Andrew Stotz 17:48
What an awful thing to say. Alright, so based on what you learn, let's just think about that young person right now, who is got a great idea in their head, and they're really excited about it, they got the friends, you've got some cash, based on what you learned from this story and what you've continued to learn what one action would you recommend that they take to avoid suffering the same fate?
Nick Hutchison 18:12
patients. I think the action though I think the action would be what you actually recommended before, which is speak to some potential mentors, people who have done what you want to do. And they've done it a few times. And they've also helped other people do it as well. And have them show you the roadmap. I mean, we didn't consult anybody except the people that wanted us to pay them for a mobile application. Right. So I think it's important to, you know, seek guidance from people who have done what you want to do and who have helped other people do it as well. That's probably the biggest piece of advice. And you know, in Michael Gerber's book, the E Myth revisited, he says 95% of small businesses fail in the first five years. Why does that happened most of the time, because people do what I did, they just rush into things. They throw money at it, they run out of money, I think the difference was that I had a full time job that could help kind of support me at the same time. So it wasn't as damaging as it would have been, if I didn't have that backup plan.
Andrew Stotz 19:12
And Michael Gerber's book is one of the great books on starting up a business. One of the things that I was thinking about, you know, in relation to that is we talked about how many startups survive, and we say, maybe 5%, survive or 10%. But when you really think about it, it's much, much, much, much, much, much less. I did some research where I tried to kind of make some assumptions and go through it. And I tried to basically say that success means that you've survived, you're profitable. So you survive, you're profitable, and you're paying a dividend. Meaning dividend is the ultimate Exam. Apple that your business is successful. And my estimate is it's probably, you know, 50,000 businesses in America that are successful. And it could be even less. And that's a topic for another day. But for everybody out there, you know, Michael Gerber's book is a great book, you know, to get you started. So let's talk about a resource that you'd recommend for our listeners
Nick Hutchison 20:30
a resource that I'd recommend for business,
Andrew Stotz 20:33
or for any, you know, for our listeners, yeah, absolutely. Yeah,
Nick Hutchison 20:38
I, one of the best books that I've read in the last couple of years, it came out last year, early last year, I think maybe about two years ago, I don't know. It's called 100 million dollar offers by Alex Hormoz. Z. Fantastic book. So in the beginning of last year, I was at a stage with my business where we had revenue, serving people, providing a lot of value. But there were some bottlenecks within the business, I won't go into too much detail, but essentially, they required me to change our service structures. And so I was looking for a new, bigger, better service that I can provide my author clients. And Alex makes a promise in the beginning of that book, 100 million dollar offers where he says, hey, 20% of your customers are probably willing to pay five times more, if you could provide more value. So that means that you can have the same revenue, but work with 1/5 The clientele, so you could serve them better, work slower, and provide more value. And so I said, okay, like, let's jump into this book and see what he has to offer. And so I went through all these exercises, and I found it, I found a service that was priced, it was actually about 10 times bigger than my average deal size at the time. But it provided more than 10 times the value. So I thought, I wonder if people would buy this. And again, the only way that I came up with this service was by going through all of the exercises in Alex's book, and I started to call some of my existing customers, and I said have this brand new idea. I don't know if it's gonna work. But I'd love to try it out. What do you think, and the very first person that I call, said, Nick, I've been thinking about a service like this, I think you're the right person to do it. In fact, I had call Nick written on the back of a napkin. And so I started to perform the service. And I was able to literally five to 10x, my average deal size almost overnight, generate a ton of additional revenue for my business. And so the investment was a $20 book, The return on investment, within the first four or five months was hundreds of 1000s of dollars in additional revenue. So $20 book, hundreds of 1000s of dollars, a little bit of time, and a ton of money. So I just wanted to highlight that as an investment as a resource for people because it's a very good book. And I think what differentiates it is that Alex for Mozi, as an author, writes at a third to fifth grade reading level. He's not trying to be fancy and intellectual and write about all these complex business strategies. He's like a gym, bro, who's got a couple 100 million under management. And he writes at a third grade reading level, was that
Andrew Stotz 23:21
incredible. And that just for fun. Many a couple of years ago, I went on the internet. And I scraped the data off of Amazon and Goodreads of every business book I could find. And from that, I created a spreadsheet that had a list of basically the reviews and the star ratings and the number of written reviews. And from that I created a composite score of all of those. So from both Goodreads and Amazon and I ranked about 500 business books, by Best to Worst and the number one top book was 100 million dollar offers. So I got that book. Oh, was it? That's funny? Yes. So I got that book. I did the exact same thing you did. So ladies and gentlemen, you may have thought that mixed stories, you know, oh, come on, come on. But I got that book. And I created an offer that is at least five times higher. And I started selling it. And now my business is built around my profit bootcamp that I created, thanks to Alex for Mozi. So, you know, it's, it's great, a great reminder for everybody out there. books, books, books, books can help and Alex's, you know, his book is a knockout so fantastic. Alright, last question. What is your number one goal for the next 12 months?
Nick Hutchison 24:47
My number one goal for the next 12 months? seven figures in revenue. And yeah, that's my number one goal. I'm really excited and the second man, there's so many competing goals that To be a business number one goal, personal number one goal. My wife and I are just about to start trying for our first kid. We just got married back in May. And so to have a kid in the next 12 months, fingers crossed. That's the number one goal in my personal life.
Andrew Stotz 25:15
That is exciting. Well, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. Remember, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. As we conclude, Nick, I want to thank you again for joining our mission and on behalf of a Stotz Academy I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?
Nick Hutchison 25:39
The right book at the right time can change your life if you can apply it the right way. And so just remember that our life experiences aren't as unique as we think they are. Billions of people have lived before us, millions of them have written books and 1000s of those books might be able to solve your problems.
Andrew Stotz 25:56
Beautiful, and that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. Let's celebrate that today. We added one more person to our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. This is your worst podcast. Oh Is Andrew Stotz saying I'll see you on the upside.
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- How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market
- My Worst Investment Ever
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- Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points
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