Dear ETR: “Where do you suggest we start rebuilding?”

“Your ETR newsletter is great – but it seems to be for earners and those that are employed. My husband and I are starting again now, as our business has just failed. We have 6-10 months of rent left and 3 small children.

“Where do you suggest we start rebuilding? I am learning website design and have 3 websites and an e-book. I am getting website traffic, but no sales. How do I get people to buy my e-book?

“Thanks for your help.”

Geroge, South Africa

Dear Kate,

First things first: One or both of you must be employed. This is important. You have to take care of your family.

If you can, find employment working for a business that is similar to the business you want to start. I explain how to do this in Automatic Wealth for Grads, and I’ve discussed it in several past issues of ETR.

Next, you need to figure out why your last business failed. My bet is that you ran out of money before you figured out how to make profitable sales. That is the main reason businesses in the first stage of development (from start-up to generating reasonable cash flow) fail.

Before you spend another hour on planning your future, buy Ready, Fire, Aim and study everything about stage-one businesses. You’d also benefit from reading Automatic Wealth. Most of what you need to know about being successful is contained in those two books.

Third, if you want to be successful in the e-book business, you have to know how to develop titles that will sell – and you have to know how to sell those salable titles. You will find out how to do both by buying Bob Bly’s e-book, “How to Write E-Books for Fun and Profit.

Keep us posted on your progress.

– Michael Masterson

[Ed. Note: Send your questions to Include your full name, your hometown and state, and the ETR team may answer you in an upcoming issue.]