12 Months to $1 Million – by Ryan Daniel Moran – Book Review

Episode 46


In this episode, we will be reviewing the book, “12 Months to $1 Million: How to Pick a Winning Product, Build a Real Business, and Become a Seven-Figure Entrepreneur” by Ryan Daniel Moran. Ryan founded Capitalism.com, an online resource to teach entrepreneurs how to build successful businesses and invest the profits. More than 300 of Ryan’s students have now succeeded in building seven-figure companies using his “12 months to one million” methodology. 

Let’s dive right into this review and learn more about building a business from zero to a million. 

[00:01 – 05:02] Opening Segment

  • We gave a backgrounder about Ryan Daniel Moran 
  • David talks about the core content of the book
    • How many products at what average price and at how many units selling daily can you say you have a million-dollar business?

[05:03 – 13:44] Grind, Growth, Gold

  • Ken talks about the highlights of the Grind Stage of building a business
    • Build an audience
  • David discusses the Growth Stage of building a business
    • Do a face-to-face outreach to know what your audience wants 
  • Ken talks about the Gold Stage of building a business
    • Start experimenting with different types of advertising techniques to see what works for you 
  • We share in what stage of growing your business you can start paying yourself

[13:45 – 22:21] Closing Segment 

  • We share the parts of the book that we like to wrap up our review
    • Build an audience before launching the product
    • Focus on one thing at a time
    • Learn from successful people
  • David talks about how he likes the examples cited in the book and how it is practical for people 
    • Where does your audience hang out? 
  • David shares what separates Ryan from other people

Tweetable Quotes:

“You need to make fast, bold decisions when you’re starting out.” – Ken Wilson

“You have to be comfortable with the fact that you won’t get everything right.” – Ken Wilson

“Efficiency should be top of mind in this grind stage.” – David Schomer


Resources Mentioned:

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Connect with Ryan on LinkedinFacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. Check out his personal website. Visit his company online at Capitalism.com and their social media channels: FacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

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Ken 0:00
You’re in the grind until you can sustainably achieve at least 25 sales per day on your first product. To reach that point as quickly as humanly possible. You need to make fast, bold decisions when you’re starting out.

David 0:14
People that are a perfectionist really struggle here, because everything is not going to be perfect. Efficiency is a higher priority than being perfect.

Ken 0:26
Some of the highlights for me out of the book was building an audience prior to launching products that would have made life so much easier.

Intro 0:35
Welcome, everyone, to the Firing The Man podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

David 0:59
Welcome everyone to the firing demand podcast on today’s episode, Ken and I will be discussing Ryan Daniel Moran his new book 12 months to 1 million how to pick a winning product, build a real business and become a seven figure entrepreneur, and discuss the lessons learned that we are applying in our e commerce businesses. Ken, what’s going on?

Ken 1:17
David, what’s up? I’m super excited. This book is phenomenal. I’m excited to review it. And yeah, just bring energy and share everything with the audience. So before we take a dive into the book, let’s get to know Ryan, the author a little bit more. Ryan, Daniel Moran, the founder of capitalism.com an online resource for teaching entrepreneurs how to build successful businesses and invest the profits. Ryan Moran is also the host of 1% podcast, brand builder podcast. More than 300 of Ryan Moran students have now succeeded in building seven figure companies using his 12 months to 1 million methodology. He is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University. And he has a goal of owning the Cleveland Indians.

David 2:06
Absolutely. You know, my first experience with Ryan was at sellercon in 2019. And one thing that really stood out about him was that he had a very practical approach to building and scaling a business. And there was, I would say that weekend, I probably saw 15 different speakers. And some of them gave very theoretical, like branding and marketing, like very theoretical advice. And Ryan gave very practical advice. And one thing that I really like about him is he has had some success in this industry, he has had an eight figure exit, and he is telling you what he has done to have that success. And so he was my favorite speaker that entire weekend. And after that I became a fan of capitalism.com. I became a fan of his podcast. And he just gives very prac. And I know I sound like a broken record. But just he has a very practical approach to this. And it works.

Ken 3:08
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I’ve been following Ryan for a little over two years now. I saw a couple YouTube videos with him. And then I kind of funneled me into his podcast. And it’s there where I really kind of his Ryan’s story resonated with me, you know, he’s authentic, he just kind of speaks his mind. I really, really appreciate that, you know, we don’t deal with a lot of bullshit you and I we just like authenticity and real people. And I get that vibe from Ryan. And, you know, his podcast, and you know, now his book. He just delivers, you know, hands down, he delivers. Having built these multiple, seven figure businesses. I wish I had Ryan’s Book Three years ago, because there’s stuff in there that would have really helped get through it. Right. And, you know, he has a couple of sayings, you know, it’s like, it’s like throwing adding gasoline to a fire, you know, and I’m like, Okay, give me more. Give me more. So yeah, good stuff. So David, do you want to take a deeper dive into the book?

David 4:13
Yeah, definitely, definitely. So I think kind of the credo of this entire book is, if you have three to five products at an average price point of $30 per unit, each selling 25 to 30 units per day, then you have a million dollar business. And I would say, if we were to read that book, and take a drink of this Glenlivet, 15, every time you were to read that statement, we would finish that bottle, and then some, I mean it he continually comes back to this. And one thing I like about that is that’s something that I can conceptualize, you know, when I think about a million dollar business, it seems complicated. It seems really hard to do but, you know, pick three to five products that are priced at $30 per year. In it, and you sell 25 to 30 per day. And he and he goes through the math behind this, in how that leads to a million dollar business. And so in this roadmap is based over the course of a year. So he breaks it down between the grind stage, the growth stage, then the gold stage, and we’re gonna go into those. So tell us a little bit about the grind stage.

Ken 5:24
Sure, yeah, I’d like to hit on a couple of the highlights in the grind stage grind stage is month one through four, you’re in the grind until you can sustainably achieve at least 25 sales per day on your first product. Now, this is one of the tougher phases of building a business because you don’t see immediate results, right. So it takes a lot more energy and a lot more drive. To reach that point as quickly as humanly possible. You need to make fast, bold decisions, when you’re starting out, you have to be comfortable with the fact that you won’t get everything right, you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to learn along the way. And the grind speed is your friend, every sale matters a lot. Customer service is massive focus on getting 1000 followers, and at least 20 reviews on your product. And 25 sales a day. So it’s very simple, easy to follow methods. And it just works. You know, one thing that I would definitely emphasize is like Ryan does in the book, you know, it’s like, build an audience, get on social and get a following, it will help you tremendously.

David 6:36
For sure. You know, we’re sitting here in the podcast studio, and I’m looking at a book over there on the shelf called the lean startup. And that book is built around getting to a minimum viable product. And I think that’s what he’s talking about in this grind stage. And I think that people that are a perfectionist, really struggle here, because everything is not going to be perfect. If you’re going for the perfect logo, the perfect infographic, the perfect copy. That’s not the goal. Here, the goal is to get to market and start to get sales, get feedback, and then make some subtle improvements. And so I think that that’s, that kind of goes against the grain of like trying your best or doing your best, in that you may not be putting your best foot forward, you know, efficiency is probably a higher priority in this stage, then everything being buckled, down and in perfect. And the other thing I’d add to this and after like going through this grind stage is that you don’t know what people want or what matters to people. And so like in terms of like your hero image, just pick one and put it up and then start split testing, and then figure out what your audience likes and doesn’t like. And that is a I don’t know, I think it’s just efficiency efficiency should be top of mind in the screen stage.

Ken 7:53
Yeah, absolutely. What’s the next stage David.

David 7:59
So this is the growth stage, this is typically going to happen in months five through nine. And this is where the snowball starts to build, you get your first product up and going. And then you start to roll out several more products as comfortably as you can handle. The important thing here is that you want to market these products to the same group of customers. And so he built a yoga brand. And this is a really, I really liked this example. And he uses it throughout the book is yoga mats, yoga balls, different yoga type products, it’s the same customer. And so if I think of products that I buy, I’ll give an example right now bird dog shorts, I bought one pair of bird dogs, and I, I love them. They’re the most comfortable shorts I’ve ever owned. And so I’ve went back and I’ve got some of their shirts, and some of their pants, and I am the same customer, you know, their cost of customer acquisition happened when I bought my first product, but I’m coming back in. So this is something where you’re building a portfolio of products. But there’s some underlying reason behind what you choose to put into that portfolio. And so I think that that’s something on the front end of your, you know, when you’re thinking about what’s the first product that I’m going to launch, you should also be thinking Alright, this customer my avatar, what else are they going to want to buy? If I’m selling them a fishing rod? Maybe I sell them some fishing bait or a tackle box and having those add on products? I think that’s huge.

Ken 9:35
Yeah, absolutely brand building 101.

David 9:38
For sure. In in can. You’ve seen that in your own business like you thinking of the products that you sell you’ve you’ve added on variations and in similar type products. What’s been your experience here?

Ken 9:48
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, starting out selling on Amazon, you know, back three, four years ago was kind of like hey, pick something that sells with these tools. It fits in a box backpack, that whole mentality. Now fast forward to today, it’s like, I have an audience I’m selling products to, I just asked them, or research what they’re buying more of, and just add to it say, Hey, you know, you guys are buying these from me? What else do you buy or what else is helpful for you in this space, and then just listen to the audience and then sell them what they need or what they want.

David 10:25
Before we move on, you brought up something that I think is that’s highlighted in this book, and that is asking your audience what they want. And I think especially in e commerce, it’s easy to get stuck behind your laptop, where you’re in your office, and that’s where you’re doing your work. So that customer outreach may be, you know, going to Reddit or reading forums. But what Ryan did was he went to yoga studios, and he asked people that were actually doing yoga. And I think that there’s some real value there. And that takes some legwork. I mean, it would have been easier to get on Reddit and say, What do yoga people like. But, you know, he went to yoga studios found people that were very serious about yoga, and asked him what types of products they would want. And he got samples, he gave him to those people, and got feedback. And I think I remember he’s talking about one of the yoga mats, where they wanted it to be a little bit thicker. And he would have never guessed that, until he talked to somebody that had been doing yoga for years, and had tried out a bunch of different mats. And so that was a simple change that he made on the product research side of things. And I think that that level of customer engagement is huge. And if I’m being honest with myself, I tend to do research behind my laptop. And I think this was a good reminder that I need to do a little better job of like that face to face outreach.

Ken 11:48
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you know, just the information you’re gonna, you’re gonna get from that research is really valuable.

David 11:57
So we’ve got the grind stage, the growth stage, and next is the gold stage, what happens here?

Ken 12:03
Yeah, so the gold stage months 10 through 12. And this stage, you can start experimenting with different types of advertising to figure out what really works for your product. And that that goes in terms of, you know, you’re going to have a little bit more money revenue coming in. So you can start testing different things to see what works early on, you don’t you’re super lean. Now you Okay, I got a little bit of money in here. Let’s test Google ads, let’s test Facebook ads, let’s test different types of Amazon ads, whatever channels you’re selling on, you have a little bit more freedom to test things to figure out what’s what’s going to work. It’s also the stage where you can finally start paying yourself, you know, that’s kind of where everything about this podcast, least right firing the man, you want to work for yourself, you can become a, you know, full time entrepreneur, like mentally, that will take you to the next level of, Hey, I just created something. And it’s supporting me like that is one of the biggest benefits of discipline entire book and it teaches the job in this phase is to grow revenue, to expand and grow revenue. Because at the end of the day, you either are going to hold a business for a really long time, and it’s going to sustain your lifestyle, or you’re going to exit you’re going to create something an asset that’s very valuable. And exit like Ryan, did, you know, it bigger exit, you know, so you have a couple of options. But this is a stage where you really get that that hockey stick, you could test things you can try things out, you can take your time and focus on the business, pay yourself a salary and just kind of go all in, you know, this is this is that that stage. So kind of wrapping up the book, you know, we touched pretty high level on the stages. So I would definitely recommend, you know, if you are thinking about starting a business, or you’re in the early stages, and you’re just kind of shuffling around, I would highly recommend to go get the book, it’s going to add a tremendous amount of value. Some of the highlights for me out of the book was building an audience prior to launching products. I did not do that with either of my brands, I wish I would have that would it would have made life so much easier.

David 14:20
For sure he spends a lot of time talking about that. And like on that research piece, in getting feedback from customers. He goes directly to his audience and ask them hey, what do you want. And I’m the same way I did not build an audience prior to my first product launch. In as a result, I am relying on really what I think is going to be received well by the market. And then I’m going over to China and I’m rolling the dice on a $10,000 order and I’m not even sure if it’s going to sell and that’s a that is kind of scary honestly. And if you think about you know making that first purchase Having feedback from, you know, 10 1520 people, 100 people, you’re not necessarily rolling the dice anymore. It’s a calculated risk that you’re taking on this product launch. And so yeah, that not to cut you off. But building an audience is huge. And that’s something that is not talked about as much. They talk about your hero photos, your copy, you know, getting things up on Amazon, but like, there’s some stuff that happens before that, that’s super valuable and pays dividends at every stage here.

Ken 15:33
Yeah, yeah, that’s, um, it’s almost like the sleeper tactic. You know, if you have an audience, your next level, you know, I think Ryan describes it as throwing gasoline on a fire. You know, that’s huge. A couple of last minute closing items. And really, really big piece of advice from Ryan. And for me, personally, I’ve found this out is to only focus on one thing at a time, if you spread your energy out in different, you know, areas, hey, I’m working on this, I’m working on this, I’m working on this, you know what, you’re just going to have half ass all the things that you’re working on, I’m going to be half ass if you if you it’s like a laser. If you focus the laser on one piece, you’ll burn right through it, right? Same thing. It’s a really good concept. And as as you know, we’re both serial entrepreneurs, it’s really hard to, to say no to opportunity. And and if you do early on, especially, it’s really valuable, you’ll get there faster. The last thing I would like to close on is, you know, Ryan is someone who’s done it. He’s built a business and he sold it. So if you want to learn from someone, go find someone that’s done it, learn from them. That’s how I’d like to close. David, final thoughts.

David 16:52
Yes. So one thing that in when we were planning out this episode, I’ve listened to some book review podcasts where I’ve listened to the podcast. And at the end of it, I’ve said, I don’t need to read the book. They just told me everything that was in the book. And we’ve like strategically not done that. Because I think if you were to listen to this podcast, and then not read this book, you would be doing yourself a disservice. There’s a lot of great nuggets in here. You know, Tim Ferriss, he wrote that book tribe of mentors, and one of the questions that he asks all these high performers, is what book Have you gifted the most. And I’ve, I’ve bought this book for four different people that I’ve either been mentoring or friends of mine that are getting into e commerce. And it’s just an excellent read. And I would say, you know, I’ve been in this game for four years now. And there was great nuggets information that I picked up. And so I think that investing in this book, and in the time into reading it or listening to it, is it’s a great ROI activity. And so, one thing in particular that I really liked about it is it’s chocked full of examples. And he lives in he lives in Austin, Austin, Texas. Yep, I tell you what, after my first eight figure exit, I’m getting a condo down in Austin, because I swear, that’s where all the, like big ecommerce sellers hang out. Rogan just moved down there to maybe we can get a satellite studio down on Lake Travis in Austin, right. But, uh, but anyway, so going back to examples, he has a lot of masterminds a pretty big circle of people in e commerce. And that’s one of my biggest complaints with business books, is they’re very theoretical, like, especially I not to pick on marketing people or branding people, but it’s very theoretical. And he has great real world examples of what works and what doesn’t work in any he has success stories, but he also has failure stories, which is great. I think, like, reading 100 success stories is fine. But like, I think more valuable is reading 50 success stories in 50 failure stories, so you know what not to do. And so anyway, I think, you know, every chapter had had several examples throughout. And I really like that in the last thing is, and I know I said this at the beginning, but being practical. And I’ll go back to the example of like, asking your audience what they want. I mean, that is very simple advice, but it works. You know, I asked myself, like, that’s easy, like conceptually, like, if you want to sell someone, something, ask them what they want. And I don’t know why I haven’t done that as much in my own business. But I think there was just a lot of practical examples in here like this. Or you know, another question was like, Where does your audience hanging out? Again, super practical, super relevant to growing and scaling a business. So, great book, I can’t recommend it enough. Also, I would recommend just to give a shout out To Ryan and some of his platforms so capitalism.com great website, great content out there. Freedom Fastlane and capitalism.com they both have podcasts. And really, I think one thing that separates him from a lot of people in this industry is he gives you the good and the bad. And honestly, I think sometimes when I see it episode titled like, the worst day of my ecommerce career, I like to listen to those because I also have terrible days in the e commerce business and, and he gives, he’s very honest and open about what goes well, but also what doesn’t go well and seen both sides of this is good. I think, you know, some of these gurus out there that only show you the Lamborghinis that only show you the mansions, they are doing you a disservice. Because, like anything, there are struggles that come with us with engaging in this business. And kind of knowing what to expect on the front end is super helpful. So to wrap up the episode 12 months to a million, how to pick a winning product, build a real business, and become a seven figure entrepreneur by Ryan Daniel Moran is a great book. It’s available on Amazon. It’s on Audible. Go out and get yourself a copy. We’ll put a link to both of those in the show notes. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.

Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s Firing The Man Podcast. If you like this episode, head on over to www.firingtheman.com And check out our resource library for exclusive firing demand discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is www.firingtheman.com/resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, or that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at Firing The Man on YouTube at Firing The Man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer and Ken Wilson. We’re out

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