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EXECUTION 3rd Execution Thread

GregDott

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After two initial attempts, and what I would class as dead-ends, I've started spinning the motor up again.

Where I failed before (not doing proper market validation), I am making sure to start there.

Three possibilities are available to me right now. They are not ideas of my own. These are ideas people have come to me with. Potential business partners. They are all also friends, so some part of me is a tad wary, but I know it is doable. Just need to create strong boundaries.

This week and the next is focused on creating landing pages and running ad campaigns to validate the viability of these ideas. Potential business partners will also be conducting in-person market validation.

This might be the shortest progress thread ever if validation bears no fruit.

At present my days are distributed as follows:
08:00 - 12:00 (Fastlane focused work)
13:00 - 17:00 (Freelance web and software development)

That's it for now. Will update as things change.
 

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GregDott

GregDott

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Progress on both sets of market validation has been slow. One potential business partner is starting to fundamentally irk me. He is obsessed with the idea and is convinced that it will work regardless of validation. He wants me to program for equity, and I refuse to do that without good validation. Not sure how this one is gonna pan out. Market validation is in progress, but the results aren't looking too good.

Still need to finish setting stuff up for the second idea with another potential partner.

Interestingly, both of these ideas centre around the world of fashion.

My freelancing work has picked up ridiculously. Getting more work offers than I can handle at the moment. I have already exceeded my capacity and am again having to put more of my focus on my freelance clients. I am planning on starting an agency at the beginning of next year and starting to outsource. I think I can ramp up my profits substantially this way.
 
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GregDott

GregDott

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Things have been moving a little slowly with fastlane oriented stuff.

Still in the process of market validation for the one fashion related idea. First phase of market validation yielded nothing fruitful, but there were significant holes in our overall marketing, so we revamped everything and are running another campaign to see who bites. Already a bit more success than before, but it's still early days.

The other fashion related idea is with a friend who I am steadily losing faith in as a business partner. I have lost all drive to pursue it. Every time I get in contact with him, it's something along the lines of "man I had a rough night last night, I'll look at this tomorrow" or "dude I'm coming down on mushrooms, I can't even comprehend this now". Now I have nothing against mushrooms, but I'm not a fan of unprofessional attitudes. I think this one is gonna fall away.

Aside from that, freelance work has been at near maximum capacity. I had my first major freelancing failure which was quite humbling. I took on too much and my brain was overloaded. Didn't manage to solve a client's problems properly and essentially poisoned the well. Fortunately it was with a penny pinching client, but it was one that I had done great work for recently, so I have lost a glowing recommendation. A nice lesson, and one that I don't wish to repeat. It feels absolutely horrid not being able to deliver quality results. Don't overload yourself! It's not worth it.

The other 3 projects I'm busy on are going well mostly. Except for the one client who is absolutely useless and disorganised. I had apprehension going into the project (I've worked with this client before. I believe she likes to hit the bottle), but was enticed by the price tag. Foolish mistake. I turned down other work making space for this client and for the most part have spent the last month chasing them for layouts and assets. Tired of working with tonsils. Going forwards, I shall trust my gut and ditch lousy clients, even if they pay well.

Then lastly, I am starting to move my freelancing efforts into a more profitable direction. I am beginning to build the structures and make the connections to start finding bigger clients and also outsourcing a lot of the work. Still early days here, but very excited for this. I have been learning a lot from @Fox and his webschool (https://foxwebschool.com/) Some really great content there. Feeling quite intimidated by this new direction, but at the same time very keen to see where it will go. Planning for 2019 to begin with a few good outsourced high ticket projects.

That's it for now. I've got the engine revving and the vehicle is beginning to speed up. Exercise, diet & a good dose of mindfulness are doing great things for me too. I don't think I give enough credit to those 3 for how they influence the daily process and functioning of the grafting mind.
 
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Things have been moving a little slowly with fastlane oriented stuff.

Still in the process of market validation for the one fashion related idea. First phase of market validation yielded nothing fruitful, but there were significant holes in our overall marketing, so we revamped everything and are running another campaign to see who bites. Already a bit more success than before, but it's still early days.

The other fashion related idea is with a friend who I am steadily losing faith in as a business partner. I have lost all drive to pursue it. Every time I get in contact with him, it's something along the lines of "man I had a rough night last night, I'll look at this tomorrow" or "dude I'm coming down on mushrooms, I can't even comprehend this now". Now I have nothing against mushrooms, but I'm not a fan of unprofessional attitudes. I think this one is gonna fall away.

Aside from that, freelance work has been at near maximum capacity. I had my first major freelancing failure which was quite humbling. I took on too much and my brain was overloaded. Didn't manage to solve a client's problems properly and essentially poisoned the well. Fortunately it was with a penny pinching client, but it was one that I had done great work for recently, so I have lost a glowing recommendation. A nice lesson, and one that I don't wish to repeat. It feels absolutely horrid not being able to deliver quality results. Don't overload yourself! It's not worth it.

The other 3 projects I'm busy on are going well mostly. Except for the one client who is absolutely useless and disorganised. I had apprehension going into the project (I've worked with this client before. I believe she likes to hit the bottle), but was enticed by the price tag. Foolish mistake. I turned down other work making space for this client and for the most part have spent the last month chasing them for layouts and assets. Tired of working with tonsils. Going forwards, I shall trust my gut and ditch lousy clients, even if they pay well.

Then lastly, I am starting to move my freelancing efforts into a more profitable direction. I am beginning to build the structures and make the connections to start finding bigger clients and also outsourcing a lot of the work. Still early days here, but very excited for this. I have been learning a lot from @Fox and his webschool (https://foxwebschool.com/) Some really great content there. Feeling quite intimidated by this new direction, but at the same time very keen to see where it will go. Planning for 2019 to begin with a few good outsourced high ticket projects.

That's it for now. I've got the engine revving and the vehicle is beginning to speed up. Exercise, diet & a good dose of mindfulness are doing great things for me too. I don't think I give enough credit to those 3 for how they influence the daily process and functioning of the grafting mind.
Thanks for the mention.

Can you give a bit more detail about the freelancing so I can see how to help on here a little. Thanks.
 
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GregDott

GregDott

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Thanks for the mention.

Can you give a bit more detail about the freelancing so I can see how to help on here a little. Thanks.
Sure thing. Your course has changed the way I think about things completely. Really solid stuff. Thank you.

Where I am hoping for my freelancing to go is for it to no longer be "freelancing". I want to get off of Upwork (at least as a freelancer), get bigger clients (and be super selective) and start outsourcing as much as possible. This is completely new ground to me. That's why I am looking to people who have been there before.

The rough plan I have mapped out is as follows:
  • Carry on with my current projects (2 of them will probably go into next year, but that's fine. Shmeckles).
  • Find some good freelancers I can trust. Already found a very promising guy in Serbia. He is busy building the first part of the sales pipeline software I plan to use (using your input on my post from the fb group @Fox). A good opportunity to test him out and to get the software built. I don't have the time myself. I'm hoping to be in contact with at least 5 good freelancers by the end of the year. I'm planning on getting others to build other parts of the sales pipeline software and a contractor/employee management system I have in mind to test them out. Might end up building some of those parts myself though as the bank balance dwindles. The software might seem unnecessary now, but I have plans for reaching huge scale, so by that time there will already be business processes and related software in place.
  • Start prospecting and cold calling, hopefully soon. Would be good to land some clients for the new year.
  • Finish building business website. Nearly there. Just stuck on mind numbing tiny details and worried about how each little thing will be perceived. Also build social media presence. Run some ad campaigns or boost some fb posts to get exposure etc.
That's the basic plan for now. It gets a little more refined as each day passes.
 
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GregDott

GregDott

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I just did something that really got the adrenaline flowing. The client I have been having trouble with, who has failed to provide me with everything I need has now been ditched. It was quite a momentous occasion and made me incredibly nervous. This was a $4000 project ($3600 after the Upwork grinch takes it's cut).

Seems like a big thing to throw away but there were many considerations to make. It had taken over a month of me tearing my hair out and chasing the client for assets and details. I had turned down other projects to work on this project. The project would have ideally only taken one month, but it was starting to look like something that would drag out over at least 3-4 months if I was lucky.

I ended up doing a weighted average decision matrix to solidify my choice and the answer was crystal clear. I ditched the client. It is quite an empowering feeling. Quite a lesson. Fortunately I had not received any money yet (it was in Escrow), so I could end the contract cleanly and the money went back to the client. I just lot a bit of time, but learned a valuable lesson.

Now I have more time to start prospecting for bigger, better clients for the new year. Here's to not working with sh*tty clients :devil:
 
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GregDott

GregDott

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A number of things have changed and shifted...

The two original ideas I was investigating (potential opportunities in the world of fashion) are not looking hopeful. Market validation for the one idea has been done (perhaps not 100%, but then how would ever hit 100% market validation without creating the actual product?) and it does not seem to generate a great amount of interest. The other possibility: the friend I was working with is in another country and has been rather useless and I have lost interest in working with him. So yeah, those two are down the drain it seems.

I'm actually quite relieved at this because it frees up time for me to work on my web development business.

  • Busy building (partly myself, partly outsourced) software for managing the sales process and for managing contractors and keeping track of which projects who is working on. The sales side of things is working relatively well so far but has a way to go.
  • Finally finished business website (for now). Was way too much of a perfectionist on that.
  • Spending time prospecting at the moment, but have realised that my offering is quite broad and not very niched. Thinking about how to niche myself and craft a proper USP. Half way there I think...
  • A little bummed it's the end of the year, and I won't have that much luck finding clients now, but I'm thinking it's a good thing as well. Let the steam build up and really pump it at the beginning of 2019.
 
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GregDott

GregDott

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Been a while since I made an update here on TFLF...

  • MVP of sales software is up and running (as of today). Working pretty nicely. Releasing it to a small group of people for testing and feedback while I carry on with development.
  • Starting tomorrow, will be using that software in tracking my sales process, which up until now has been pretty much non-existent. I'll be starting by targeting web development companies. The main offering being Business Process Management, Automation & Integration.
  • Freelancing work is going well, and I am earning a consistent stream of income.
That's it for now. Do mean to do more regular updates. Things just moved rather slowly the last month.
 

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