103: How to launch a startup, the simple way – with Trevor Blake

By February 4, 2020February 6th, 2020The Simplifiers Podcast

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Have you been thinking, “it’s (finally!) time to launch my own startup but I’m not sure where to begin?” Have no fear, The Simplifiers to the rescue! 

My special guest today is Trevor Blake and he is simplifying how to launch a startup, the simple way. Back in the day, starting your own business meant loads of capital investment, a million dollar idea, living in Silicon Valley, and attracting the very best talent for top dollar. Well, you still need that incredible idea that people desperately want and will gladly pay you for it… BUT, you might not need as much money to get things up and off the ground as you think.

Actually, Trevor gets to the core of what you’ve got to have in place before you launch, tapping into affordable tech tools and the growing surplus of qualified freelancers to help you get your new venture up and running without running out of cash.  

Here’s how.


Trevor Blake simplifies how to launch a startup, minus the stress.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why he believes “there’s never been a better time to start your own business than NOW”
  • What the number one common mistake more than 80% of new startups make… and how to avoid doing the same
  • Why he thinks that women-led businesses are much more successful than ones led by men
  • How he structures his 5-hour workday; how to make it work in the launch phase and still run a successful, profitable business 
  • What the 3 phases of launching a startup are and what critical actions you need to focus on in each phase:
    • Starting
    • Surviving
    • Thriving

Launching a startup does NOT need to be complicated. 

Trevor and I are kindred spirits who value simplicity and I really enjoyed this conversation with him today. In fact, I loved it so much, I’m hoping to bring him back in a couple of months to do a deep dive just to focus on what he calls the “practical magic of the 5-hour workday.” 

In the meantime, click here to download his free guide all about the 5-hour workday to get a head start on things.


My challenge for you this week:

How are you going to take what you’ve learned in today’s episode and apply it to your tasks this week? If you’re in the process of launching a startup, what might you test out this week? Share it with me, privately or publicly. Snap a photo of you doing the thing, and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Book: Tall Tales and Wee Stories – Billy Connolly

Book: Secrets to a Successful Startup: A Recession-Proof Guide to Starting, Surviving & Thriving in Your Own Venture – Trevor Blake

Resource: The Practical Magic of the 5-Hour Workday – free guide – Trevor Blake

Resource: Business Model Canvas template, an easy 1-sheet way of mapping out your business plan – Strategyzer

Resource: Simple scheduler tool – OnceHub

Resource: Online calendar tool – Google Calendar

Podcast: How to ditch your 9-5 job & start something new, featuring Amanda Boleyn – The Simplifiers Podcast

Favorite quotes from this episode:

[04:43] “I work with a lot of Chinese companies and they have three categories of entrepreneurism: me too, me better, and me first. You can’t really succeed with the first two. You’ve got to adopt a ‘me first’ [mindset.] You have to have a differentiating aspect of your business that’s going to disrupt all the other businesses around you.”

– Trevor


[14:21] “I always recommend to ‘react forward.’ So, what I always recommend is when you come up with what you think is a winning idea, you incorporate it immediately and it sounds very dramatic, but incorporation is so easy.”

– Trevor


[24:11] “One of the mistakes that most companies make, particularly today is that they still follow the traditional structure of a company which has a hierarchy. You know, the guy at the top and then his underlings and underlings hire underlings and underlings, hire managers and managers, hire workers and all the rest of it. And if you, if you start with that type of structure, then these days you’re pretty much doomed to fail.”

– Trevor


[25:34] “People still think of home-based businesses as “mom and pop stores” and they are not that anymore. [Instead,] you can get financial independence incredibly quickly these days. And so you can build it big and fast. But the way you build is important. So I use a hub model, using vendor contracts rather than employees. And what I ended up finding is that the company runs itself pretty much. And my only role is to stop interfering with people and let them get on with their jobs.”

– Trevor


[34:02] “All the signs and surveys show that in the regular corporate environment, when someone’s working a 9 hour day, they only really put in about 2 hours and 53 minutes of real productivity time… all the latest studies from neurologists show that it’s impossible to work 8 or 9 hours in a stretch. And  some say it’s impossible to concentrate for more than 10 minutes.”

 – Trevor

Hire The Simplifiers

If you’re in the early days of launching your own small business, I can imagine your to-do list is a mile long, right? I bet you’re bogged down with getting your website launched and getting all the backend tech stuff set up and figured out, right? Well, it’s time to Hire The Simplifiers!

When you Hire The Simplifiers, you will receive 1-1 business coaching (with me!) and also a bank of virtual assistant time (with my team) …all in ONE!

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You get…

Clarity, focus, and accountability from your business coach


A reliable, experienced, and friendly virtual team that will help you get things done


The secret ingredient that helps small businesses grow, scale, and achieve their biggest goals each month!

If you run your own business, this support package will help you save time, make more sales, and reduce the overwhelm… the simple way!

Learn more by scheduling a discovery call, and see if this is the right fit for you.

Schedule a discovery call

About Trevor Blake

Trevor Blake – He’s a serial entrepreneur who’s built and sold three companies for $300 million since 2003. He’s currently building and managing two more businesses, focused on developing treatments for the most aggressive forms of cancer. 

He’s also a NY Times best selling author, an award-winning screenplay writer and a happily married (36 years strong) Liverpudlian, now living  in California and Seattle.

Where Trevor hangs out online:

Website: trevorgblake.com

Facebook: @trevorgblake

Facebook Group: The 5-Hour Workday Community with Trevor Blake


Trevor’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Blake Barthelmess – Entrepreneur and Founder of solarX|works. They create solar power solutions that can refrigerate and air condition in any hostile territory without the need for a backup grid.

Trevor Blake

Watch the video version of the episode

Episode sponsored by…


Ethical Hour

Ethical Hour is the world’s first and largest online community for changemakers, social entrepreneurs and impact businesses, where you can meet like-minded friends, collaborators and supporters – and get the help you need to grow your income, influence, and impact. 


Disclaimer: This blog post includes affiliate links because we wholeheartedly believe in the products, books and courses featured on the podcast. Therefore, we get compensated when you click on the links above and decide to purchase these items, which helps us continue to serve and support you. We share only the very best resources with our listeners and hope you find great value in them, as well.

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