The audience-first business model I keep using

Live long and prosper!
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Howdy readers!

Letting you in on my latest project:

  • The reverse CAC model we’re using for our next newsletter!

Let me explain…

(By the way: do you want your business in front of 33,000 businesspeople, SMB owners, executives, and searchers? Sponsor an issue of this newsletter! Reach out to

Why we're starting a Longevity newsletter (you should subscribe)

We’re using a business model I love to start a longevity newsletter

But why longevity?

I’m 49 and feeling every minute of it.

In the past decade, I’ve gone deaf in one ear (sudden deafness), was diagnosed with extremely high cholesterol (which I fixed), and had a close friend nearly die from a heart attack.

The generation ahead of me is aging into their 70s, with my youngest uncle passing away in his 60s a few years ago.

In short, my life is well past half over.

Do I want to be that guy with broken knees, overweight, pre-diabetic, and with high blood pressure 20 years from now? 

Or, the guy skiing with his buddies well into retirement?

Spoiler alert: I want to be the skier guy.

There’s an emerging movement around this idea called “longevity.”

It answers the question:

How do you live the remainder of your years as well as possible?

Sure, medicine can keep us alive well into our 80s and beyond.

But, seeing many live poorly to old age, I want to do it well.

Fit, fabulous, and super active.

But the longevity space is confusing AF.

Finding the correct information or even knowing who to trust is hard.

The longevity space: 

  • Moves incredibly fast
  • Has a ton of misinformation
  • Is full of 2-hour podcasts (who has the time)
  • Is based on jargon-filled academic articles

So we started brainstorming how to solve those problems when the space is still new. We wanted to make sure whatever we created: 

  • Is based on science → could become a trusted source
  • Has clear, actionable benefits
  • Is entertaining and simple to understand

We know the space will be huge, so a newsletter lets us explore the space using the “negative customer acquisition cost” model before going in on an idea.

(More on how Negative CAC works below!)

We still have lots to figure out. So I’m partnering with my Chief of Staff Robyn on this venture, who has a degree in health science and a passion for longevity. She knows how to dive into the science and pull out the interesting bits.

We’ll be partners on this, with her leading the way.

We launched The Long Haul a few weeks ago and have received a ton of positive feedback. Interested? Subscribe here!

Are you interested in reaching an audience focused on health & wellness? Email about sponsorship opportunities.

How we’re doing it 

It might seem like launching a newsletter is a weird way to start a business. But it’s actually a weird business model I love: Negative Customer Aquisition Cost.

The Negative CAC model starts with building a niche audience. 

Niche media used to be really hard. But social media made it way easier for niche stuff to be discovered. If you’re the creator, you can also target ads to hyperspecific demographics.

Once you build out the audience, you can then build a service or product based on: 

  • Needs of the audience
  • Data collected
  • What’s valuable to customers (sponsors)

You don’t need to know the end state. You learn about your audience as you go. 

I’ve done this a few times. The last two companies I’ve incubated have filled a need with my audience: 

  • Near solves for overseas staffing
  • Scalepath offers SMB peer groups 

You can do it too. Just find a niche hungry to be informed and start writing!

(My friend Craig Fuller built an amazing negative CAC model with FreightWaves - I wrote about it here!)


3 things from this week

  • Appetizer: Lots of people agreed with this one. I’m lucky to be tall!
  • Main: If you’re in the audience game, you need great content. So I made a video about how I produce my stuff — it’s all about building a Content Machine. Check it out here!

Click to play

  • Dessert: The heart wants what the heart wants!

Have a great week!