Start From Zero – Dane Maxwell Book Summary

Start From Zero – Dane Maxwell | Free Book Summary

Start From Zero – Dane Maxwell

Start From Zero is a book written by Dane Maxwell, a successful entrepreneur and business coach. In the book, Maxwell provides readers with a blueprint for financial freedom, covering everything from finding the right business idea to launching and scaling a successful venture. He discusses the importance of understanding the customer, creating a product that solves a real problem, and developing a steady revenue stream. He also covers topics such as networking, marketing, sales, and outsourcing.

Throughout the book, Maxwell stresses the importance of taking consistent action and learning from mistakes. The book is designed to help readers create a sustainable business that allows them to experience true freedom.

Subscribe to Miniwise Newsletter (Free!)

Miniwise newsletter brings you one great bite-sized idea every day, curated from world's best non-fiction books, articles, podcasts..and more. An entire new world in just 5 minutes!


What you don’t need to start a business

  • You don’t need to be an expert – you want to be an owner instead – being an expert can make you focus on details that aren’t important
  • You don’t need money – there are lots of creative ways to build businesses with no up-front cost i.e. doing it yourself, outsourcing in exchange for equity, pre-selling your product, seeking investors
  • You don’t need 12-hour days – if you focus on the critical actions, you only need two hours a day to start a business i.e. outreach, business development and fulfillment etc

The Five Questions

The Five Questions To Find A Problem/Business Idea:

  • Over the last year, what has been your most persistent and present problem?
  • How do you currently go about solving that problem?
  • What happens if you don’t solve that problem?
  • What would your dream solution be?
  • Would that be worth paying for? If so, how much?

Things to keep in mind

  • The 4 States – stripping things away, co-creating with the customer, finding what seems off and helping your customer
  • The 3 Goals – Get product built quickly, with limited financial risk, get results for first users
  • The 8 Distinctions – align product with customer’s desire, prototype product vision, get validation, find experts to create the vision, test concept for results, structure deal for limited financial risk, create communication loops with experts, determine if product meets your goals
  • The 4 Killers – customer doesn’t do activity outside the product, product requires change in behaviour, burden to use the product is high, product doesn’t deliver end result clearly

Deeply Program The Best Thoughts

To become financially abundant, you need to adopt a new set of beliefs and challenge your existing ones that you’ve been programmed to believeFree book, podcast summaries

  • Example new belief – being an employee is riskier than being an entrepreneur
  • If you stop working for any reason (e.g. something bad happens to you), your income stops
  • You could be fired or let go because of a company merger/other circumstances
  • Your income has a ceiling and someone else controls it
  • Just as you took the time to learn how to be an employee, learn how to be an entrepreneur

Inspire Your Own Heart

You need to make a declaration of what you want for yourself and write it down.

Be as honest and unrealistic as possible – it will feel alien and that’s okay.

Ask yourself “What is it I desire with all my being?”

Your answers will be shockingly simple e.g. “To be happy, content, to create something meaningful” – and it’ll feel really good to get it off your chest

You don’t need to justify your answers – just accept them – your heart knows what it wants

It might take a while to reconnect with your heart if you haven’t listened to it in a long time

Just keep an open mind and keep listening

Align Your Environment

We need to structure and align our environment in four areas to help our brain throughout this journey.

Ask yourself:

  • What primary thought can I hold to pursue my dream of X?

e.g. I am a humble entrepreneur who loves making profits so I can solve more problems and help more people

  • What primary feeling can I insert to pursue my dream of X?

e.g. I am already safe and taken care of

  • What primary change can I make to my environment to pursue X?

e.g. Hanging out with the right crowd so the right people will show up

  • What primary change can I make to my schedule to pursue X?

e.g. be in bed at 8.30pm

Dealing With Losing Motivation

We can lose motivation when things aren’t and even are working

  • This is because our previous identities/beliefs hold us back when we fail or even succeed
  • “I’m a fat person” can affect you even if you’re fit or not and stop you from exercising

Identity is just a thought – they are who you think you are on a deep, unconscious level – they’re not who you truly are

  • Our identities don’t want us to believe them – they just want us to listen and hold them with love – they are real, but not true

To troubleshoot your motivation, ask yourself:

  • Is there a belief I’m holding right now that’s causing me to lose motivation?
  • Is there an identity or story I’m holding about myself that’s causing me to lose motivation?
  • Am I just being lazy?

Using Words That Sell

Copywriting (or using words that sell) allows you to speak directly to the deep pains and desire of people (whether they’re your customers, people you want to hire or even meet)

  • You need to understand people and touch on every pain with words and ensure you solve their pain while conforming to their objections

Using just a few words and a powerful formula, companies can grow to humungous sizes

  • Formula – [End Result a Customer Wants] + [In a Specific Period of Time] + [Addressing Objections]

Ownership vs Expert Thinking

Ownership vs Expert Thinking

Ownership is a safer path than being an expert – if you’re trained and knowledgeable.

  • An expert sets out to learn skills they can use to exchange their time for money
  • An owner sets out to create or buy assets earning money while they sleep

Think of ownership as this list of criteria:

  • Does the business income depend on my time?
  • Do I have to be the expert for the business to succeed?
  • Do I have the key metrics in place I can track to ensure the business is operating well?

Outcome Thinking vs Process Thinking

  • Focus on the core outcome you’re trying to achieve with the process that fits you
  • 100 processes can each achieve the same outcome – you don’t want to master 100 different processes, you want the outcome with a process you like
  • Not being clear on your desired outcome results in burnout and overwhelm
  • Everything you do must be checked/aligned with your outcome

Get the book!

Sign Up for nextbigwhat newsletter

The smartest newsletter, partly written by AI.

Download, the short news app for busy professionals