How to Start Your First Business in 48 Hours

start your first business

If we haven’t yet before – Hey 👋 I’m Ali, a doctor-turned-entrepreneur and I’ve somehow become the world’s most-followed productivity expert. Through my videos here on this channel, my podcast Deep Dive and writing, I share evidence-based strategies and tools to help you be more productive and build a life you love.

In the video by Ali Abdaal about how to start your first business in 48 hours, he discusses the book “Million Dollar Weekend” by Noah Kagan as a source of inspiration. He provides links to an interview with Noah Kagan and other related videos, as well as mentioning 12 apps that he personally uses to run a $4m business.

Ali Abdaal also shares links to his podcast, social media accounts, and website. As a doctor-turned-entrepreneur, he offers an introduction and brief description of his background. The book “Million Dollar Weekend” emphasizes the importance of starting a business before having the perfect idea and encourages readers to take action rather than overthinking.

It highlights the customer-first approach to building a business and provides valuable tips on how to validate business ideas and effectively communicate with potential customers to succeed in business.

How to Start Your First Business in 48 Hours

Introduction to Ali Abdaal and his background as a doctor-turned-entrepreneur

Hey there! Have you ever wondered how to start your first business in just 48 hours? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the insights shared by Ali Abdaal in his video on this topic.

Ali Abdaal is not only a successful online creator, but he’s also a doctor-turned-entrepreneur. His unique journey and experiences have given him valuable insights into the world of business. So, let’s dive in and learn from Ali’s wisdom!

The inspiration from Noah Kagan’s book

One of Ali Abdaal’s sources of inspiration in starting a business is a book by Noah Kagan called “Million Dollar Weekend”. This book serves as a practical guide on how to start a business in just a weekend. It is divided into three parts: Start It, Build It, and Grow It. By following the steps outlined in this book, you can accelerate your journey towards entrepreneurship.

Importance of starting a business before having the perfect idea

Often, aspiring entrepreneurs fall into the trap of waiting for the perfect idea before starting their business. However, Noah Kagan emphasizes that it’s more important to take action and start a business before having that perfect idea. Starting a business is a journey of discovery, and the right idea can come along the way.

Taking action instead of overthinking (The motto: ‘Now, not how’)

When it comes to starting a business, overthinking can be a major roadblock. Noah Kagan shares a powerful motto that can shift your mindset: “Now, not how”. Instead of getting caught up in the details of how to start, take small actions right now. By focusing on taking immediate action, you can begin your entrepreneurial journey and figure out the how as you go along.

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Customer-first approach to building a business

A key principle in starting a successful business is taking a customer-first approach. Your business should be centered around solving a problem for your customers. Rather than focusing solely on your idea, think about who your potential customers are and what problems they face. By understanding their needs, you can create a business that truly adds value.

Brainstorming potential customers with money and identifying their problems

To build a successful business, it’s important to identify potential customers who are willing to pay for your solution. Start by brainstorming different customer segments that have the financial means to invest in your product or service. Once you have identified these segments, dive deeper into understanding their specific problems and pain points.

Validating business ideas by asking potential customers to pay

Validating your business ideas is crucial before investing time and resources into building them. One effective way to validate your ideas is by asking potential customers to pay for your solution upfront. This not only helps you assess market demand but also ensures that you are creating something that people are willing to invest in.

Looking at personal problems as potential business ideas

When it comes to generating business ideas, don’t overlook personal problems. Your own experiences and challenges can often serve as a starting point for a successful business. By identifying problems that you have personally faced, you can create solutions that resonate with others who may be facing similar issues.

Pre-selling products or services before building them

A smart strategy to validate the market demand for your products or services is by pre-selling them before they are fully built. This means offering your solution to potential customers and collecting payment before you invest further in production. This approach not only confirms that there is a market for your offering but also reduces the risk of investing in a product that may not sell.

Understanding customer problems for business success

Building a successful business is ultimately about understanding and addressing the problems faced by your customers. Embrace a customer-centric mindset and prioritize truly understanding their pain points and challenges. By offering valuable solutions, you can build a loyal customer base and set yourself up for long-term success.


Starting your first business in just 48 hours might seem like a daunting task, but with the right mindset and approach, it’s absolutely possible. Remember the key takeaways from Ali Abdaal’s insights: start before you feel ready, focus on taking action, and put your customers at the forefront of your business.

By following these principles, you can embark on an exciting entrepreneurial journey and turn your dream into a reality. So go ahead, take that leap, and start building your business today!

More Discussions:

This video provides a comprehensive roadmap for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to start their first business in just a weekend, based on Noah Kagan’s book, Million Dollar Weekend.

The focus is on the initial stages of starting and building a business, emphasizing the importance of action over perfect planning. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Just Start: The core message is to begin your entrepreneurial journey before feeling fully ready. Many potential entrepreneurs delay starting their business waiting for the “right” idea. However, the process should actually start by deciding to start a business, then finding a process to come up with the right idea. The motto “now, not how” is highlighted, stressing the importance of taking small actions immediately instead of getting caught up in the details of how to execute the larger plan.

  • Emotional Support: The video addresses the emotional challenges that come with starting a business. It’s often not the technical aspects but the emotional hurdles that hold people back. Aspiring entrepreneurs fear starting without the perfect idea, but the video reassures that perfect ideas are not necessary at the beginning. What’s crucial is to take the first step.

  • Customer First Approach: A key strategy for generating business ideas is putting the customer first. Instead of looking for an idea for a business, start by identifying who you want to serve. A business should solve a problem for someone willing to pay for that solution. It’s essential to verify that there is a demand for your idea before fully committing to building a solution.

  • Validating Business Ideas: The video discusses practical steps to validate business ideas, such as asking potential customers directly if they would pay for your solution, thus shifting from speculation to action. It’s about finding a problem, ensuring there are people willing to pay for a solution, and then building the business around that validation.

  • Investment Advice: The sponsor, Trading212, is introduced as a tool for investing profits from your business. It offers a commission-free platform for investing in stocks, shares, and funds, with features like practice mode, pies and auto-invest, and support for multi-currency accounts, aiming to simplify the investment process for entrepreneurs.

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Insights based on numbers:

  • The video mentions teaching over 5,000 students through a YouTuber Academy, highlighting the significant impact of addressing emotional barriers to starting creative projects.
  • The promotion by Trading212 includes offering a free share worth up to £100, illustrating an incentive to engage new users in investing.

Exploring Questions:

How does the “customer first” approach change the way entrepreneurs develop their business ideas?

The “customer first” approach fundamentally changes the way entrepreneurs develop their business ideas by shifting the focus from the entrepreneur’s vision to the needs and problems of potential customers. Here’s how this approach alters the business development process:

  1. Identifying Customer Needs Before Product Development: Instead of starting with a product or service idea, entrepreneurs begin by identifying the people they want to serve and understanding their needs. This ensures that the business idea is rooted in solving real problems for real people, making it more likely to succeed.

  2. Validating Demand Before Building: Before investing time and resources into developing a product or service, entrepreneurs validate that there’s a demand for their idea. This involves directly engaging with potential customers to see if they’re willing to pay for the solution, thus reducing the risk of building something that no one wants.

  3. Iterative Feedback and Adaptation: By putting the customer first, entrepreneurs are open to feedback and able to adapt their offerings based on what they learn from their target market. This iterative process helps refine the business idea to better meet customer needs, which can lead to a more successful and resilient business.

  4. Building a Solution Around the Customer: This approach ensures that the product or service is designed with the customer in mind from the outset, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty. Businesses are built to solve specific problems, making them more relevant and valuable to their target audience.

  5. Prioritizing Customer Relationships: Engaging with customers early and often fosters stronger relationships and a deeper understanding of the market. These relationships can provide ongoing insights and opportunities for growth, as well as creating advocates for the business.

By focusing on the customer first, entrepreneurs can create more targeted, effective, and successful business ventures that are capable of making a meaningful impact in the market.

What are the common emotional hurdles that aspiring entrepreneurs face, and how can they overcome them?

Aspiring entrepreneurs face several emotional hurdles on their journey to starting a business. Understanding and overcoming these challenges are crucial steps in the entrepreneurial process. Here are the common emotional barriers and strategies to overcome them:

  1. Fear of Failure: Many potential entrepreneurs fear the consequences of their business failing, which can paralyze them from taking the first step. Overcoming this fear involves accepting failure as a part of the learning process and understanding that each failure brings valuable lessons that pave the way to success.

  2. Perfectionism: The desire to have the perfect business idea or perfect execution before starting can significantly delay or even prevent entrepreneurs from taking action. It’s important to recognize that perfection is an illusion and that starting with a “good enough” idea and improving it over time through feedback and iteration is a more effective approach.

  3. Lack of Confidence: Doubting one’s abilities to start and run a successful business is another common hurdle. Building confidence can come from educating oneself on business principles, seeking mentorship, and starting small to gain experience and gradually build up self-assurance.

  4. Analysis Paralysis: Overanalyzing every detail and potential outcome can prevent taking any action. Entrepreneurs can overcome this by setting clear, achievable goals and deadlines to force action, even if all the details aren’t figured out.

  5. Fear of the Unknown: Stepping into the unknown world of entrepreneurship can be daunting. To mitigate this, aspiring entrepreneurs should conduct thorough research, network with other entrepreneurs, and potentially seek a mentor to guide them through the early stages of their business.

  6. Emotional Attachment to Ideas: Being too emotionally attached to a specific business idea can blind entrepreneurs to its feasibility or to better opportunities. Developing a flexible mindset and being willing to pivot or adapt ideas based on feedback and market demand is crucial.

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Strategies to Overcome Emotional Hurdles:

  • Start Small: Begin with small, manageable projects to build confidence and momentum.
  • Seek Feedback: Regularly seek constructive feedback from potential customers, mentors, and peers to improve and adapt your business idea.
  • Focus on Learning: View the entrepreneurial journey as a learning experience, where every setback is an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Build a Support Network: Surround yourself with supportive individuals, such as other entrepreneurs, friends, and family who understand and encourage your journey.
  • Embrace Mindfulness and Resilience Practices: Techniques such as meditation, journaling, and physical exercise can help manage stress and build resilience.

By acknowledging and addressing these emotional hurdles, aspiring entrepreneurs can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey.

In what ways can investment tools like Trading212 assist entrepreneurs in managing their earnings more effectively?

Investment tools like Trading212 can significantly assist entrepreneurs in managing their earnings more effectively by providing a platform for diversification, accessibility, and education in investment. Here’s how they can benefit entrepreneurs:

  1. Commission-Free Trading: By offering commission-free trades, platforms like Trading212 make it more feasible for entrepreneurs to invest their earnings without the burden of high transaction costs. This allows for smaller, more frequent investments, optimizing the potential for returns.

  2. Access to a Wide Range of Investments: Entrepreneurs can access a vast array of stocks, ETFs, and other financial instruments globally. This diversity enables them to spread their risk across different sectors and geographic locations, reducing the impact of market volatility on their portfolio.

  3. Educational Resources: Many investment platforms provide educational materials and tools, such as practice accounts with fake money, to help entrepreneurs learn about investing without risking their capital. This education is crucial for making informed decisions and understanding market dynamics.

  4. Automated Investment Features: Features like auto-invest and investment pies allow entrepreneurs to automate their investment strategies, ensuring consistent market participation. This automation can help in building wealth over time, with minimal daily management effort.

  5. Multi-Currency Accounts: For entrepreneurs earning in different currencies, platforms offering multi-currency accounts save on conversion fees and simplify the process of investing in foreign markets. This is particularly beneficial for those looking to invest in international stocks directly.

  6. Liquid Savings Management: The ability to earn interest on uninvested cash balances in the account offers an additional benefit, ensuring that all funds, whether invested in securities or not, are working for the entrepreneur.

  7. Enhanced Portfolio Management: With real-time analytics and portfolio management tools, entrepreneurs can closely monitor their investments’ performance, make informed decisions, and adjust their strategies as needed to align with their financial goals.

  8. Easy Access and Flexibility: The mobile accessibility of platforms like Trading212 means that entrepreneurs can manage their investments on the go, making it easier to react to market changes promptly.

By leveraging the features and benefits of investment platforms like Trading212, entrepreneurs can effectively manage their business earnings, ensuring their capital is growing and supporting their long-term financial stability and goals.

start your first business