what’s your model?

My client said “you must be so frustrated with me. I’m saying no to everything.”

We were talking about the different things she could do to ensure a steady flow of clients moving forward.

I wasn’t frustrated because it’s her business.
She gets to call the shots and doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do. But she does have to do something to create the revenue she wants.

With a recent pivot in her business, she’ll have to commit to a new model she can sustain.

Eight people signed up for her amazing new 6-month program within the first few weeks of offering it to her former and current clients.

And now she needs to build a quality audience that’s specifically interested in and looking for this new offer. We went over a number of ways she could do that but she wasn’t loving any of them.

You can’t be successful for the long haul if you aren’t feeling good about how you do business.

So over the next few weeks, we’ll work on designing a model that works for her.
And I’m excited to see what she’ll do with her company moving forward.

As I support my client with this, I wanted to share some thoughts and examples with you to help you think about how you want to do business.

Finding your unique model using the minimalist biz approach

A business model defines how you make money.

When creating your model, you have a ton of building blocks to choose from.
You only need to pick the pieces that appeal to you, that you feel you can keep working with for a year or two.

There are a crap ton of programs out there teaching a ‘proven’ formula that worked for the business owner.
(Although this formula is likely not working so well anymore. Otherwise, there’d be no reason to now be selling the formula.)

They’ll tell you that you can make it your own but that’s only a little true.
A formula is by definition something you need to follow pretty closely if you want it to work.
The tweaks you can make aren’t usually enough to make it feel just right for you.

The minimalist biz framework is not a formula, it’s a set of guiding principles on which you build your own unique model.

You choose this framework when you want a business that is meaningful, memorable, and maintainable. That emphasizes depth, quality, simplicity, and connection.

The beauty of it being a framework and not a formula means you can play around with the blocks without breaking anything.

Today, I’m sharing two different business models that fit the minimalist biz approach and I’m hoping they might inspire you and give you some ideas for your own model.

Business Model:
Calm + minimal time spent online
Dani Gardner (The Quiet Marketer)

Early on in her business, Dani found someone who had a Facebook groups formula for growing your business. She followed this method and it worked but she found that it was too much for her. That this approach made her anxious and she couldn’t unplug.

So she changed her model to something that worked much better for her.

Here’s how her current business model breaks down:

Dani’s offers:
Book → Tiny Courses → Masterminds and some 1:1

How people find Dani:

  • Intentional searches – Google and YouTube
  • Kindle unlimited recommendations of her book
  • Existing network and referrals

How Dani’s business is maintainable:

  1. She limits her accessibility.
    Her autoresponder on Instagram states that she does not do DMs. And some people decide to work with her because they want to establish similarly strong boundaries.

  2. She uses Human Design as a filter.
    Human Design is a self-knowledge system that she uses in her work and to determine who to work with 1:1. It’s a sort of shortcut to attract the right-for-her people.

  3. She is leveraging her book.
    She’s created a book bundle that includes a credit for her foundational tiny course which helps increase her course sales.

  4. She has a few powerful partnerships.
    Her network for referrals consists of 5 people whose businesses complement hers. And that’s more than enough to help her create steady revenue.

How Dani’s business is memorable:

  1. She owns the term “quiet marketing”.
    This is how she stands out and it’s one of the most popular search keywords for how people find her.

  2. She stands for not being online all the time.
    She is a beacon for those who want a successful online business but don’t want to spend a ton of time on screens.

  3. She doesn’t have a freebie and her email list is for clients only.
    Doing things differently like this means that her email is more valuable and specific to clients who understand her approach.
    This has also increased sales of her tiny courses because people don’t have the option to do a free thing first.

How Dani’s business is meaningful:

  1. Her content is transparent, thoughtful and has depth.

  2. She works with entrepreneurs who are introverted and highly sensitive.
    Being specific about her people engenders a deeper connection and she can help them more meaningfully.

  3. Her mastermind and 1:1 containers are 3 months.
    This relatively short engagement suits her and her people best for how they prefer showing up.

Business Model: Deep content
David Perrell - Write of Passage

Here’s how his current business model breaks down:

How people find David:

  • Twitter (398k followers)
  • Strong network with powerful partnerships
  • Word of mouth from his students

David’s offer:
Write of Passage: a 5-week online writing course with 3 tiers from $4000-$9000

How David’s business is maintainable:

  1. He has very profitable and powerful partnerships.
    One, in particular, has accounted for a lot of his success.
    Since about 2015, he has partnered with Tiago Forte, the creator of Building a Second Brain – a popular smart note taking course.
    They perfectly complement each other and help each other with strategy.
  2. He keeps things simple.
    Write of Passage is offered once a year (as far as I can tell) and accounts for most of David’s revenue – around $2.5 Million
  3. Focuses on one main channel for connecting.
    Twitter is where he works out ideas for his essays and where he connects with his audience.
  4. Intentional content creation.
    For years, he had 2 podcasts and was active on his YouTube channel. He stopped doing these to make room for his other interests and to explore other projects.

How David’s business is memorable:

  1. He has strong and clear messaging.
    Since he showed up on the scene, he has had the same message:
    Unleash the power of the internet by writing online, publish quality ideas, find your people, 2x your potential.
  2. His Personal Monopoly framework.
    This is the approach he teaches in his course. The focus is on differentiating yourself and your writing through your own interests and not what you think the world wants.
    This is different from most digital writing programs that teach finding a market first.

How David’s business is meaningful:

  1. His deep long-form essays exploring one big idea.
    He has a number of 10,000+ word essays that attract people who want to write this kind of in-depth content. They serve as an example of what you can do in his course.
  2. David invests in companies focused on the areas he cares most about: content creation, productivity, and the future of education.

Design a model you can sustain

Both Danielle and David have been in business for many years and have explored different models. It took some experimenting but they have stuck with what’s working for long enough to get traction in a way that they could sustain.

Once you’ve designed a business model that works for you – that is in line with how you want to work – you need to stick with it to find out how effective it is in achieving your goals. A minimum of 6 months but more likely 1-2 years.

I personally love both these models and I hope you’re fired up about creating your own.


Every Sunday morning I’ll send you an email to help you build a minimalist biz that’s money making, meaningful, memorable, and maintainable. 

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