A book by Arvid Kahl Zero to Sold How to Start, Run, and Sell a Bootstrapped Business
From your first idea to successfully selling your business for life-changing amounts of money, this book will help you become a world-class entrepreneur.
Zero to Sold is a comprehensive and actionable guide through the four stages of a bootstrapped business: Preparation, Survival, Stability, and Growth.
The book tells the story of FeedbackPanda, a sustainable, bootstrapped software business that grew to thousands of customers before it was acquired.
What's in it for you
An actionable no-fluff guide to bootstrapping a business.
If you want to build a self-funded business that will catapult you into financial security, this book is for you.
Real experiences, real talk
Everything I talk about is something I learned from
running a real business. No guesswork. No wild theories.
Just actionable knowledge.
What worked and what didn't
One common gripe with business books is that they only show the "happy path."
In Zero to Sold, I share the failures just as much as the successes.
For self-funded founders
You don't need funding to start a business. Zero to Sold
presents strategies that allow you to get to revenue quickly.
No VC talk: no rounds, no decks, no pitches. Just making money selling a product.
Every chapter can be read out of context. You can use
Zero to Sold as a manual at all stages of your founder journey.
Every chapter will leave you with clear and pragmatic instructions that you can apply immediately.
A focus on mental health
After selling FeedbackPanda, I started writing because I
needed to deal with the mental health issues of running a bootstrapped business.
You'll find several chapters on dealing with burnout and anxiety.
A free peek into the book
Here is a collection of sample chapters from the book. It starts with an introduction to FeedbackPanda, explains the structure of the book, and is followed by the chapters:
- Not All Subscribers Are Equal
- Preparing for the Sale from Day One
I'll try to not spam up my timeline with more recommendations today 😅
But I simply *have* to recommend this one as well 👇
I recently read Zero to Sold, and it was an eye-opener in many ways!
I'm really enjoying reading @arvidkahl's "Zero to Sold"!!
Information-dense book about building businesses, interleaved with anecdotes of building FeedbackPanda, a tool for online English teachers. 📚
I highly recommend checking it out!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is this for?
- This book can help founders of any level. It starts with the most fundamental question —who will I serve and what do they need help with— and guides you to the eventual exit of your business.
- Is this book just about SaaS businesses?
- No. Any business that is built on solving a customer's problem can be self-funded, and Software-as-a-Service businesses are just a subset. However, examples and suggestions in the book focus on SaaS businesses.
- What formats does this book come in?
- Zero to Sold comes as a paperback, hardcover, eBook, PDF, and audiobook. Depending on the platform you buy it from, only some formats may be available.
- Why don't you talk about fundraising?
- I believe that hunting for unicorns isn't the only way to build a business. In an ideal world, we can all find our niche and build a business that leads us to financial independence. That's why I focus on bootstrapping.
- How quickly will I build my business?
- I won't promise you the impossible. It takes time to figure out what problem you'll solve and how to best go at it. Finding your customers, running price experiments, and iterating are equally time-consuming. Entrepreneurship is a long-term commitment. Think in years.
- Will you share growth hacks?
- No. I'm not a fan of growth hacks, and the book will introduce you to much better and more reliable strategies and tactics that don't involve hacking people — but actually treating them like human beings. It's important to build relationships. No hacks, just honest work.
Ready to dive in? Start learning today.
Can't afford this book? This book supports Purchasing Power Parity Pricing. If you visit this page from a supported country, you will see a banner on top of your screen with a coupon code. If you don't see that or have any reason to think you should get a discount, reach out to me via email and let me know.
More about Arvid Kahl
I've been teaching my experience on Twitter for years. Showing kindness, supporting entrepreneurs, and celebrating my community is my mission.
I wrote two best-selling books on entrepreneurship: Zero to Sold and The Embedded Entrepreneur — and I wrote them in public. Having grown a substantial Twitter audience, I created a course called Find your Following.