Braintree Founder Bryan Johnson: “Entrepreneurs Are Authoring Life”

Braintree Founder Bryan Johnson: “Entrepreneurs Are Authoring Life”

Bryan Johnson had a fast rise to fame once he set his entrepreneurial wheels in motion. He went from a middle-income-earning management position at a Sear’s store in 2007, to a million dollar a year salary in 2009.

He was broke and needed money, and so decided to write his own life story or “author his own life” as he says in the video further down the page, rather than let the cards fall where they may.

Braintree was a onsite, self-hosted payment gateway that helped new Internet merchants secure the ability to process payments directly on their websites. It was successful due to the fact that their fees were competitive with “payment-processing-megalith” PayPal and their customer service was second-to-none.

Ebay (PayPal) purchased Braintree for $800 million last year.

Bryan has a simple process for boot-strapping a business:

  1. Don’t use middlemen: Middlemen take a cut of the profits that you can get for yourself if you hustle and go for the guy at the top.
  2. Pick a boring business: Instead of following trends and trying to compete with everyone.
  3. Get a customer: This goes without saying — one turns into two, then 4, then 8, etc.
  4. Build trust while you sleep: This is all about blogging. Brian advocates blogging to build trust with people who read your words even when you’re sleeping.
  5. Blogging isn’t about money: Bryan doesn’t believe in monetizing your trust-building blog, but rather letting the trust and authority-building it offers lead you to bigger and better things.
  6. Say YES: Don’t sit around thinking about whether you can or can’t do something new to expand your business. When someone asks, say “YES”!
  7. Customer service: Treat all your customers like human beings. Leave no room for friction between the customer contacting you and them getting their problem solved.

This video series is around 45 minutes long, but drops plenty of knowledge bombs about bootstrapping and relationship building:


Ask yourself this question: “Do I have it in me to start a ‘boring business’ if I can become a millionaire in two years time?”

Or is it all about “doing what you love” and money is a secondary benefit?

Share your thoughts…

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