I've done pretty well with no list, but on the advice of most everyone here (thank you), I have started building a list. My problem: what to do with it. I sell a one-time solution to a (hopefully) one-time problem (tendon pain), and my customers are all over the map, both literally and figuratively. As far as I can see, there is really no "typical" customer for me... I've got men, women, old, young, athletic, sedentary, all education levels, all income levels... On and on. I can't see a common point among them to market to.
So I guess I've got two questions. One, is it REALLY always the best thing to start building a list right away, and two, in a niche where you sell a one-time solution to a very specific problem, how do you monetize such a list even if you have it?
Looking forward to some discussion.