The Million Dollar Weekend Book Review – Does It Really Work?


This book is taking over YouTube recently. Everyone from Tim Ferris, My First Million and Ali Abdaal are talking about The Million Dollar Weekend by Noah Kagan.

The Million Dollar Weekend is a book by Noah Kagan that reveals the surprisingly simple way to launch a seven-figure business in just 48 hours.

In this book, Noah guides aspiring entrepreneurs step-by-step through what they need to do to start a million-dollar business in a weekend.

He sets mini-challenges you can do to fix your entrepreneurial mindset.

He helps you spot million-dollar business ideas around you.

He even gives you specific tasks to complete to validate your idea.

It’s the closest you can get to having a millionaire mentor you without paying $1,000/hour.

In this article, I will review the book and highlight the best takeaways you can steal to build your business.

But first…

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Who is Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo, a successful discount software website. Prior to founding AppSumo, he was employee #30 at Facebook with a 0.1% share (worth $947 million!) before he got himself fired for leaking company info to the press at Coachella. (Naughty naughty.)

He also founded SumoMe, OKDork and runs a popular YouTube channel where tries to hitchhike a ride on billionaire’s private jet.

source: Noah Kagan YouTube

Most recently, he wrote a book called The Million Dollar Weekend to share everything he learned about business.

It got to the top of The Times’ Bestsellers list instantly.

What is The Million Dollar Weekend Book by Noah Kagan About

The Million Dollar Weekend Book is a practical book that guides first-time entrepreneurs through the process of starting a business. You will learn:

  • Why most founders fail to take action on their business ideas
  • A simple exercise to overcome your fear of rejection
  • How to come up with unlimited million dollar businesss ideas every day
  • Why making your first $1 is the most powerful
  • What the Golden Rule of Validation is, and how to build conviction in your idea.

Can You Really Build A Million-Dollars Business In 48 Hours?

Even though he documented himself doing the challenge from scratch multiple times (here and here), he knows most people will still be sceptical.

“But I’m not you Noah. I don’t have [your favorite excuse!]”.

To prove anyone can replicate his strategy, Noah Kagan flew one of his YouTube subscribers, Jake, to Austin and documented Jake’s entire weekend experiment.

Jake ended up going from zero ideas to $5,000 in sales for a new travel golfing business in just 48 hours. It’s a fascinating story and one worth watching if you’re at the beginning stages of your startup.

Answer: Yes, anyone can build a million-dollar business within 48 hours. Including you.

The Million Dollar Weekend’s Best Growth Strategies

“The Million Dollar Weekend” book is divided into three parts: “Start It,” “Build It,” and “Grow It.” Noah tackles common fears that stop most people from taking action. He also provides a framework for generating and validating profitable business ideas.

Here are five of the most powerful ideas from Million Dollar Weekend that anyone can apply.

  1. First, make $1 – Before you make your first million, you have to make your first $1. I will show you 2 simple challenges Noah shared to help you gain momentum right now.
  2. The Now Not How habit – Most people obsess too much about HOW to start a business. Noah shows you why this is an unhealthy obsession, and why you should adopt the NOW habit instead.
  3. You are wasting your million-dollar ideas – Every day, you walk by many million-dollar ideas and don’t know it. I will show you the 4 questions Noah wants you to ask yourself every day to find these ideas.
  4. Where else to steal million dollar ideas – Don’t want to come up with your own ideas? Steal them! I shared a similar strategy in The Ideation Bootcamp For Founders. Today, you will from Noah why this works.
  5. The Golden Rule of Validation – Before you start building any business, find 3 customers in 48 hours who’d be willing to pay for you product or service. Do not build the business if you can’t do it.

Now let’s break down each in detail.

1. First, Make $1

Noah says that the fear of starting and the fear of asking are the two most significant obstacles preventing people from entrepreneurial success. To overcome these fears, Kagan shares two unconventional challenges:

  1. The Dollar Challenge: Ask someone you know for a $1 investment in your future business. This simple act forces you out of your comfort zone, makes you accountable to someone, and starts building early supporters.
  2. The Coffee Challenge: Go to a coffee shop, order your favorite drink, and politely ask for a 10% discount without justifying your request. The exercise may seem trivial, but it helps you overcome the fear of rejection and asking for what you want.
The Coffee Challenge Million Dollar Weekend Noah Kagan

I love these practical challenges.

But as someone who hates feeling embarrassed, both challenges make me squirm.

This made me realize one thing: If you are uncomfortable asking for just $1, what makes you think asking for money from strangers to grow your business will be any easier?

If you have been procrastinating on launching your business, or have been avoiding speaking to your early adopters for a while, you need to take these two challenges. Even successful 8-figure founders like Sam Parr (My First Million) tried it.

It’s the best 20-minute exercise you can do to confront hidden fears.

2: The Now Not How habit

Most people think too much when it comes to starting or growing their business. They over-analyse the market, constantly track their competitors every move, and end up in a never-ending quest to figure out “HOW” to do something.

For Noah, this is counter-productive.

There are too many uncertainties in entrepreneurship. It’s hard to have everything mapped out nicely.

The better approach is to just try a bunch of things. See for yourself what’s working for you. Learn from doing and use experience as your guide.

So his advice? Adopt a new habit to always choose NOW over HOW. If in doubt, just start taking action.

3: Your Are Wasting Your Million Dollar Ideas

You are your best million dollar idea generation machine.

Every day, you will walk by multiple million dollar business ideas, completely oblivious that they can change your life.

The issue most people have, is that they are NOT asking the right questions.

You see, most people ask themselves “how can I make money as fast as possible?”

This leads them to chase trends, hopping from one idea to the next without success.

Source: Noah Kagan’s blog

Instead, figure out your own pain point where you desperately need a solution. Then, build the solution.

4 Questions To Find A Business Idea That Solves Your Own Problem

  • What is one thing that irritated me this morning?
  • What’s one task on my to-do list that’s been there over a week?
  • What is something I regularly fail to do well?
  • What is something I wanted to buy recently but couldn’t find anyone making it?

Do this exercise daily to find pain points you can solve. Remember, if you have the problem, chances are, someone else has it too.

Just don’t forget to validate that it’s a problem people (and you!) are willing to pay to solve. I will show you how in a minute.

4. Where Else to Steal Million Dollar Ideas

If you prefer, you can use the word borrow instead of steal.

But the idea is the same. Beyond scratching your own itch (solving your own problems), you can also find ideas that are lurking out there waiting to be found.

Remember that customers don’t care about your ideas; they care about whether you can solve their problems.

The Million Dollar Weekend Noah Kagan book quote (2)

Which is why you need to find where people go to share their problems.

The Million Dollar Weekend identified 3 places you can start:

Where to find problems worth solving

  1. Complement a bestseller: Identify bestsellers (books, tools, courses…) Create a product or service that enhances or supports an existing popular offering.
  2. Scour online marketplaces: Explore platforms like eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist to find unmet demands or gaps in the market.
  3. Google what people are Googling: Use Google’s autocomplete feature to uncover common queries and pain points people are searching for solutions to.

First you need to find something that people really want (like a bestseller). Then find your unique angle and start building it.

I love this strategy because you will avoid wasting time building lots of products no one really care about.

If you want to find 7 more ways to find problems worth solving, check out our Ideation Bootcamp.

5. The Golden Rule of Validation

Here comes the fun (or scary) part. Validation.

Market validation is when you take an idea to your customers and test whether they want it.

Over the years, people have come up with all kinds of strategies – soft-launch, pre-launch, smoke test… I’ve done over 50 validation tests myself both professionally and for my own side hustles.

But The Million Dollar Weekend’s Golden Rule of Validation is ruthlessly simple.

Don’t start any business until you convince three people to pay you for your idea in 48 hours.

The Million Dollar Weekend Noah Kagan book quote (3)

No more falling into excuses like:

  • “I like your idea. Come back to me when you have this thing built.” – They are just stalling.
  • “This is great. Have you thought of this?” – They don’t like the idea but don’t want to say it.
  • “I don’t have money right now” – They don’t think it’s worth paying for

Lesson: “Will you give me money now?” is the only form of validation you need to get started.

Where to Buy The Million Dollar Weekend

If you’re intrigued by Noah Kagan’s approach and want to learn directly from him, buy the book here. I recommend it for first-time entrepreneurs who want to break out of analysis paralysis and start taking more action.

Juicy Ideas To Replicate Success

While the title “The Million Dollar Weekend” may seem like a clickbait, Noah Kagan shared some solid, actionable strategies for validating and launching a business with real market demand.

  • Take The Dollar Challenge and The Coffee Challenge to practice overcoming your fear of rejection. Get over the embarrassment of rejection now so that you don’t fall apart when you hear the word NO when it matters.
  • Build a NOW not HOW habit to stop searching for the perfect strategy. The one you have is good enough to work on.
  • Use the 4 questions to find ideas that solve your own problems.
  • Use Google, marketplaces and platforms to hunt for ideas worth solving. They are out there, you just need to practice spotting them.
  • The Golden Rule of Validation. Do not start any business until you managed to convince 3 people to pay you over a weekend.

What’s Next

If you enjoyed this article you’ll like How Tim Stoddart went from alcohol addiction to making $6.7m a year from a portfolio of businesses.

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Growth Strategies of Top Indie Makers Delivered to Your Inbox

Each week, we will reverse engineer the growth and distribution strategies used by top indie makers to grow their startups past $100k annual revenue. Subscribe so you don’t miss the latest issues!