How to Start A Creative Business In Two Hours a Day With Dane Maxwell

A close up of a man smiling for the camera, with Dane Maxwell

Could you start a creative business in two hours a day?

That’s how I launched Become a Writer Today. I got up early in the mornings to write, create courses and figure out what readers wanted.

I’m hardly unique.

Dane Maxwell believes one can do it.

He is the author of Start From Zero: Build Your Own Business & Experience True Freedom and the founder of several software-as-a-service businesses.

In this interview, Dane explains:

  • How to build your creative business in two hours a day
  • What to outsource if you want to increase profits fast
  • How to balance your ideas with what readers, students or clients will pay for 
  • Why he likes James Patterson’s writing routine

And lots more.

I start by asking Dane how to build a business in two hours a day.


Bryan Collins: Dane, so it's very nice to talk to you today. I've read your book, Start From Zero: Build Your Own Business and Experience True Freedom, which is I believe on sale later this month at the end of March. I know we're recording this interview on the 20th of March. Perhaps you could start by telling me about one of the key ideas in the book, which is that it's possible to build a business in just two hours a day. That's something I suppose I found particularly intriguing, but how could somebody do that?

Dane Maxwell: Well, you would do that by stop trying to be an expert at something and just focus on building two skills: sales skills and outsourcing skills. Within that, you'd want to rewire your entire orientation around sales so that you see selling as a loving, gentle, noble act. When you get real deep in your unconscious that selling can be gentle, selling can be loving, and selling can be noble, it becomes a very enjoyable process, because every single person on the planet has a dormant inner salesman or an active one.

Dane Maxwell: Children are naturally amazing at selling. Then somehow we start thinking along the way we don't know sales, but the belief blocks the natural innate ability to want to serve someone, which is the true orientation of sales. If you did sales and you got on a conversation with someone, and you could be happy no matter the outcome of that conversation, you could be happy whether they bought whatever you were selling or not. If you have that sort of unconditional happiness, you can actually really serve them where they're at and not force them into something that might not be good for them. So selling is the first. Selling is such a beautiful act when done with real beautiful intentions.

Dane Maxwell: Then after you've sold, then you outsource. If you're going to build a business in two hours a day, it requires you to take away some of the activities that would otherwise make it an eight-hour day. Most of the activities in a business are spent doing the technical aspects of that business, whether you're a neurosurgeon, a LASIK eye surgeon, a dog walker, or a plumber, most of your time is spent in business doing the technical aspects. Unfortunately, that doesn't really ever build wealth unless you're in a really, really unique situation or category.

Dane Maxwell: So first, stop trying to be an expert. Second, sell. And then third, outsource what you sold. That'll do it.

Bryan Collins: There's a couple of points there, really, that brings up. When I started my business a couple of years ago, like many people who write, I thought there was a distinction between writing and selling, and maybe selling felt a little bit sleazy. I still think that's an issue. I got over that problem eventually, but I still think that's an issue that people have when it comes to their idea. They want to get somebody else to take care of sales, or perhaps they believe their book, or the product that they're creating, or their course, is good enough to sell itself. What would you say to those people?

Dane Maxwell: If you're struggling, then you're an idiot. You're literally accepting your stupidity, if you're struggling. In order to ask a girl out, you've got to ask her; in order to dance, you have to dance; in order to be in business, you must sell. There's no way around it. There's absolutely no way around it.

Bryan Collins: One of the key strategies or tactics that you have in a book for selling, is copywriting. Is that a crucial selling skill? Or there other skills to pick up?

Dane Maxwell: Can I say something else? I did a little research on the history of selling from the 1800s to 2011, and 80% of sales materi