Many of us live in a prison of our own making. We spend our lives dreading Mondays, looking forward to paychecks, and working longer hours, only to shoulder even more responsibility.

It’s a never-ending chase, but life doesn’t have to be that way. It’s time to stop going through the motions and start living. It’s time to build a business that offers you freedom.

After interviewing more than 150 entrepreneurs, Doug Foley realized they all had one thing in common—and it wasn’t a fancy job title, car, or house. Instead of building their lives around their businesses, they built their businesses around the lives they wanted to live.

He wrote Breakout Blueprint to help others follow their lead. Using the four pillars of every successful business—passion, expertise, need, and value—Doug explains how anyone can break free from the typical 9-to-5 and create a deeply fulfilling career on their own terms. I recently caught up with Doug to learn more about his book-writing journey.

Published with permission from the author.

What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?

Much like starting my podcast, writing a book was a result of simply taking action. When I first started The Happiness of Pursuit Podcast, it was because I had a crazy goal to help 1,000 entrepreneurs build a million-dollar business by January of 2023.

Published with permission from the author.

When I originally had the idea for the podcast, it was a way to learn how people had built a business that truly enabled the lifestyle they wanted. Ironically, one of my guests was Zach Obront, who introduced me to the concept of Book In A Box, which is now Scribe.

I remember after wrapping up our interview that I should probably write a book. At the time there was so much going on, but roughly a year later Zach reached out to let me know they were launching a “Guided Author Program,” and the timing was perfect, so I jumped on it.

What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?

One of the most actionable parts of the book is the script for finding your first client. So many think they need to build a website, get business cards, register an incorporation, and try to perfect what they think their product or service should be. We call this a false start.

In Breakout Blueprint, we have a simple script people can use to validate their idea and find their first customer. Here’s a sample from the book that people can use:

Hi {name},

I recently decided to start a new business helping small businesses with their marketing.

I am reaching out to you as a (friend/family/colleague/potential customer) to get your feedback on the idea before I go to market?

The reason this is my favorite actionable idea is because it allows people to build momentum and start generating revenue instead of being distracted by all the other “shiny objects” – like building a website. That will be important after you land your first few clients.

Don’t start with a website. Start by reaching out to people you know to validate your idea.

What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?

I have used this script for myself to launch three different businesses, but my favorite success story comes from coaching clients. One in particular, which is in the book, was a friend of mine who was trying to launch a marketing program to teach women in network marketing how she had been so successful. For months, she had been trying to build a course, a Facebook group, a webinar, a brand. It was a classic false start. I gave her one simple challenge:

Use this script and text it to 10 people who are in your ideal market.

She took action right away, and 23 minutes later, she landed her first client for the program. I have had many others follow this script and land thousand dollar projects and retainers within just a few days. The process works and can also be applied to established businesses who are looking to add additional products or services by simply asking their best customers.