Remember that time The 4-Hour Workweek got super popular and people became obsessed with making passive income while traveling?
One of the reasons it took-off was Tim did a great job showing how it was possible to achieve that lifestyle.
He went into deep detail on how he did it — then showed how others did it, too.
His site has dozens of case studies breaking down how people created their own lifestyle business.
Let’s break one down to see what made them so successful:
Part 1: The intro
Here’s the first section of Tim’s case study for the business “Lapdawg“.
This gives you context for the rest of the case study.
It lets you know what the business is and how much they are making. Since it’s a pretty good number, it also creates curiosity and desire in the reader. They want to read on so they can see how to get that monthly income for themselves.
It’s kind of like how Star Wars uses the intro crawl to explain what you’re about to see. It creates curiosity and desire while setting context for what you’re about to see. So once you see Wookies and lasers you’re not wondering wtf is going on.
Part 2: The turning point
The next section shows the problem this person faced that led him to create his business.
What’s great here is the language pulls you into the case study. He describes what it was like to be in that hospital bed with his computer on his lap. Describing the specific moment helps you feel like you’re there. It sucks you in so you read more.
It also makes it relatable. You start to realize there may be moments in your life just like this. Moments you encounter problems or discomfort that could be the start of your life-changing business.
Part 3: Stumbling out of the gate
No matter what you sell, people are scared it won’t work for them.
More specifically, they are terrified they will FAIL.
So what can you do?
Alleviate that fear by showing how others failed, too.
Let them see that it’s okay. That it’s part of the process.
And that’s exactly what Tim does in the next section. He asks a question that gets the person to open up and show that his first few ideas didn’t pan out.
It shows the reader success isn’t a straight line. And it’s okay if your first few ideas fail.
Part 4: Lessons learned
This is where things get juicy.
Tim asks questions that get the participant to open up on how he became successful.
They dive into detail in the lessons and resources that helped him the most.
Doing this adds value to the reader. Because it gives them something they can use to shortcut their success.
The specific details also make the journey believable.
Here’s how that works:
The reader may have an idea to create a physical product they can sell. But the thought of building it in mass may be overwhelming. They can’t wrap their head around how to do it.
So towards the end of the “lessons leanred” section, this case study shows the reader exactly where to find manufacturers and how to make sure you’ve found a good one.
They “demystify” the process. The reader can see how it’s possible and therefore has a stronger belief they can do it.
If they can’t see it, they’re left in a swirling pool of doubt and are less likely to take any action (like buying yo’ stuff!).
One other thing about this section:
Teaching people lessons that help them is awesome. But you don’t want to make it look so easy that they think they don’t need your help.
You want to show that yes, it’s doable and easier than they think — but there are a lot of issues they’ll encounter which they can bypass if they get your lead magnet/course/product.
The last section, where Tims asks “what would you do differently?” does this very well.
It introduces all these problems around bookkeeping and setting up a business.
So it would be perfect if he then transitioned to how you can easily take care of those problems — and get help achieving the other major milestones mentioned in the case study — by buying yo’ stuff.
Part 5: Their new life
In the last bit, Tim contrasts where the person is now vs where they were at the beginning.
Before he merely had an idea in a hospital bed. Now, he’s got a ton of possibilities on how to grow his business.
A lot of people feel stuck where they are at. They don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel — and it’s not a good feeling.
This shows how by creating a lifestyle business you can get out of that state. You can step into a world where you’ve got endless possibilities in front you — which would be awfully exciting for a lot of people.
Things to improve
These case studies are awesome. Especially because you can get them simply by emailing questions to your list. So you don’t have to spend time on the phone.
However, doing it this way means you’ll miss out on the deeper emotional journey. And that’s exactly what happened with these case studies.
They don’t really cover the pain or struggle he faced, and how this journey helped escape that.
It doesn’t cover the fear and doubts he battled along the way — and how he found the courage to overcome them.
It doesn’t cover the exhilaration of the small wins along the way. Or show how having this business made his life better.
If all this was included, it would help the case studies connect deeper with the reader.
Because it would show this is a normal guy just like them.
It could inspire them to overcome their own obstacles.
And showing how his life is changed would tap into and ramp up the desire already inside the reader.
And of course, adding a Call to Action for a course or lead magnet that promises to help them achieve those same results would be exactly what many readers would want.