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🧑🏼‍🚀 The Blueprint 007

Why I'm building a rocket company; blinders, binoculars or bifocals, video -> newsletter experiments, money ladders, Publish Press and more!

Welcome back to The Blueprint, a series where I share an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look into my journey as a full-time creator & entrepreneur.

It’s been 7 weeks since I went full-time & 10 months since I made my first video. That means today’s my James Bond edition (007).

Today’s topics:

  • 🧮 | Week 7 metrics & earnings

  • 🧐 | Blinders, binoculars, or bifocals?

  • 🚀 | Why I’m building a rocket company (metaphorically speaking ofc)

  • 😲 | My favorite creator content from this week

A reminder that this internet game is not zero-sum. Everyone reading this can win at an unlimited scale. I’m writing this for creative nerds building their own worlds on the internet. If that’s you…let’s ride ✌🏼👩🏻‍🚀

POST PERFORMANCE

Here are links to this week’s videos if you want to check them out (my favorite to make was #4):

  1. 🗺️ | The Blueprint to becoming a full-time creator: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  2. 🛒 | The two biggest rivals in e-commerce just joined forces: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  3. 🏝️ | This small Caribbean island is making a fortune from AI: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  4. 🏈 | The NFL’s 3 best inventions that made them kings of TV: Watch on TT | IG | YT

AUDIENCE GROWTH
Weekly Recap

This was one of my worst performing content weeks since going full-time. Growth stalled. Post performance declined. Income was weak. No reason to dwell, but a great time to learn.

Here’s a quick summary of my biggest takeaways, observations, and learnings from this week:

  • 🧪 | An experiment: My Monday video (“The Blueprint to becoming a full-time creator”) was specifically designed to drive newsletter subscribers. I knew it wouldn’t go viral, but it was a pressure test to see how well a one-off video could perform at converting top of funnel viewers into Blueprint readers. From the 35.8K video views (84% from IG), I drove 454 new email subscribers (6.4x more than a normal week). From those subscribers, I drove $752 in pending earnings from newsletter cross-promotes on beehiiv and Sparkloop. For context, “newsletter cross-promote” means every time I get a new email subscriber, I show them a page that suggests other newsletters I endorse. If they also sign up on any of those, I get paid $1-3 per sign-up per newsletter. The revenue is pending because I don’t get paid unless a new subscriber sticks on the other newsletters, so I assumed the true revenue captured will be something like $300-$400. For reference, a video would need to do ~1.1M views on Tiktok to drive $400 in CPA split revenue. So overall, a helpful experiment for me to realize I can drive meaningful action (and revenue) from a videos

  • 🧮 | Low performers: Besides the Blueprint video experiment, none of my other videos performed well this week. All I can seem to point to is that maybe the topics were too niche to spread virally. The share rates were down across the board. The good news is that it feels like I’m building a durable fan base on IG. Even my poor performing videos are getting 20-30K views with decent engagement

  • 🎡 | Income strategy: My goal is to be earning $50K/month by next August (12 months from now). Currently, I’m on pace for ~$12K/month, so need to 4x from here. And ideally, none of the $50K in revenue should be performance dependent (meaning it doesn’t have to come from CPA splits like YouTube Adsense or Tiktok’s Creator Fund). Until now, I have delayed overallocating my time to set up multiple revenue streams. This is because I wanted to focus solely on finding my voice, tone, editing style & aesthetic. Once the content is golden, the money should roll in and compound very quickly. I still don’t think I’m where I need to be on the content yet. But in the next few weeks, I’m going to start making some money moves. Your goal as a creator is to climb the ladder of income quality & durability. First starting with CPA splits, then affiliates, then brand deals, then product revenue. Expect to hear more from me on this soon.

  • 🧐 | Blinders, Binoculars, or Bifocals: This was the first week I noticed a significant detachment from my daily focus. I love thinking about vision and strategy, but realize the need to stay completely locked in on daily execution (blinders). I found myself wasting a few hours this week working on vision, strategy, and future plans (binoculars). The best builders wear bifocals. They have the ability to see both near and far, and possess the discipline to keep their head down 99% of the time to only look at the daily task. When it’s time to look up, they have the farsighted lenses ready to help them see the future vision and think about strategy. When you realize this is happening to you, it’s important to reflect on why you are drifting away from the daily execution. It usually means there is some part of the work you don’t like or aren’t suited for. Sadly, there is no way around this work getting done. You either need to hire ASAP to outsource it or grit your teeth and bear it…but whatever you do, don’t get lost daydreaming in the clouds.

STRATEGY

Why I’m building a rocket company

By now I hope you realize I’m not actually building physical rockets…that would be insane.

But with all that extra strategy thinking this week (per the above), I came up with a framework to further define the vision for what I’m trying to build.

Sometimes, struggling to articulate your vision to others can be the thing holding you back from getting their help.

By showing you how I think about my long-term vision, it may help you better frame yours.

First, what does a rocket company do? It makes rockets, fuels them up, and launches them into space.

Here’s how I think about each component:

  • 🏭 Rocket company = my hold co

  • 🚀 Rockets = various businesses

  • ⛽️ Rocket fuel = cash

  • 🛣️ Launch pad = customers

My ultimate goal is to build a company that can launch and grow multiple businesses (e.g., a hold co).

So to build a rocket company, there’s 3 places you can start:

  1. 🚀 Build the rockets: You could start by building the first business (rocket) without any cash or customers. Imo, this is the hardest place to start, because every business needs customers and if you don’t have them, you’ll need cash to acquire them. This is where I’ve started in the past. Didn’t work

  2. ⛽️ Make/earn the fuel: You could also start by accumulating cash (via savings, investments, cash-flowing assets, etc.). All rockets need fuel, so accumulating it before you starting making the rockets is logical. But I’ve tried this too. Took cash with no customers and tried to launch a business. What ends up happening is that you have a bunch of cash and no idea how to actually get customers, so you waste your cash building rockets with no pad to launch them from. A rocket full of fuel with no way to launch is just an expensive paperweight

  3. 🛣️ Build the launch pad: The third option is to start by building the launch pad. Rockets come in all shapes and sizes, but they all launch off the same platform (in my example). Build once, launch many. So while we’re going to also need fuel to launch any rocket, the launch pad is the most critical. Fuel can be easily bought or traded for. It’s much harder to buy an authentic launch pad (aka customer base). Launch pad = customers

So given this frame, I started by making a launch pad (aka building an audience).

My goal is to build an audience of potential customers that can help launch any of the rockets I choose to build. A launch pad that can handle many different launches.

But here’s where things get interesting…

Launch pads are not designed to be a cash source…that’s what the fuel (cash) is for.

But weirdly, launch pads (audiences) are so valuable that you could rent access to them in exchange for cash.

There are other rocket companies that don’t have their own launch pads and need a way to launch their rockets. These are businesses without audiences.

The business equivalent to renting access to your launch pad is doing brand deals with other companies where you’re trading access to your audience for cash.

This cash helps you start to build up your fuel reserves.

Now, to continue the metaphor, you don’t want your launch pad to be solely used for cash generation.

Because if you rent out all of the slots to other companies, you’ll never be able to launch your own rockets. The equivalent to this is doing so many brand deals that your audience fatigues and doesn’t see you as an authentic source of value.

So what you need to build is some other engine that generates cash which will build up your fuel reserves.

This could be something like a services business (agency), digital products (courses), or software products (SaaS tools).

There are a variety of ways to build up fuel (cash) reserves, and you’ll need at least one of them working.

Because trying to launch a business with an audience but no cash (or a launch pad and no fuel), isn’t going to work either.

I’m still trying to figure out what this cash source is for me, but it’s clear I’m getting to the point where I need to figure it out.

To finish the metaphor, once you have the launch pad built (audience) and a consistent fuel production (reliable cash source), you’ll be able to start launching rockets (businesses).

AROUND THE WORLD

Tom Noske

Here’s a collection of my favorite content & creators I discovered this week:

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If you liked today’s post and you know another creator building their own kingdom on the internet, it’d mean the world if you shared this with them 🤙🏼