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Desert of Desertion

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Tuvo Apps

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8 years ago, I decided to give entrepreneurship my everything.

And it worked out: 3 years ago I finally chose one business model (web design), and made around 15K total from that.

However, it's really not that much after all, not nearly as much for the sacrifices that I made:

For the past 8 years, I've stopped meeting new people, going to the gym, forgot about my hobbies... all just to have the time and focus for business.

And it makes sense to me: It's not clever to go to the gym, when I seriously need to make money right now, to support myself. Even if I try to go and work out, the guilt of not working on my business kills me every time.

My plan is that when I start making enough to support myself (and move out from my parent's apartment), I can start focusing on other areas of my life.

It makes sense to me! I shouldn't focus on more areas of life at once. But the thing is, I've been going all-in for 8 years now... no new friends, no excercise... I even started neglecting my health, hygiene, and other stuff.

The worst thing is, for the first time in my 3 years as a web designer, I lost my direction.

I have decided on my niche, and get to land a new client on average every 3 months. I have no idea how to land more clients.

I found a few problems in the niche, but everything would take another 2-3 years to make me any significant income.

I am in so much stress every day... But I should be! According to my plan, I was supposed to move out 4 years ago, and make that 15K I made in 3 years every month.

The most stressful thing is, I have so much free time. I could be working 18 hours every day. But I have no idea what to work on.

Have you ever reached this phase? I'll be grateful for any thoughts.
 

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dario

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But I have no idea what to work on.

Have you ever reached this phase?

Having no idea about what you should do is a common issue when you don't have a solid business or a you have a business but no customers. Anyway doing nothing it's better than wasting time and money trying to save a company that is destined to fail.
At least you are free to decide what to do with the resources and skills you have.

My plan is that when I start making enough to support myself (and move out from my parent's apartment), I can start focusing on other areas of my life.

It makes sense to me! I shouldn't focus on more areas of life at once. But the thing is, I've been going all-in for 8 years now... no new friends, no excercise... I even started neglecting my health, hygiene, and other stuff.

The worst thing is, for the first time in my 3 years as a web designer, I lost my direction.

This won't help your mental clarity at all.
Also take a short walk everyday and start talking with people again.
 

Kid

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One tactic you could use is take notes.
On anything- phone, pc/laptop or plain paper.

Its not some magical voodoo or self help scam (although there are self help gurus who try to sell it as such).
 

Black_Dragon43

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Man $15K in 3 years is no business at all. Honestly, even in a third world country (and Im in one) you’d make more than that working at McDonald’s.

You’ve got to stop thinking about making BIG MONEY, and start with small things. Do simple stuff, and do them consistently so you start at least making a decent income. Go freelance on Upwork, work for $20/hr, focus on becoming FAST and turning work in quickly, so that you can go through a lot of projects. SPEED is your number one asset when doing low value work.

So start there. It won’t be long until you can make $2,000-3,000 per month doing this. And you will develop discipline which you lack now. And then once that income is coming in, find a way to increase it... either by raising your rates, or by starting to build a business around your freelance activity.

But whatever you do, start with simple, easy stuff. Manual labor, except that on a computer.
 

Tuvo Apps

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You’ve got to stop thinking about making BIG MONEY, and start with small things. Do simple stuff, and do them consistently so you start at least making a decent income. Go freelance on Upwork, work for $20/hr, focus on becoming FAST and turning work in quickly, so that you can go through a lot of projects. SPEED is your number one asset when doing low value work.

Thank you, this makes a lot of sense. It hurts to give up the Big money dream (especially after this many years of trying to hit it big) but I guess it has to be done.

However, is freealncing on Upwork or getting a job really the "simple" way to pick up the momentum and bring in some money? I feel like it's really difficult to get the "low value" jobs given the competition, and I could waste another year simply building a job for myself. Addtionally, to be honest, I'm not really good at the service I'm providing - I think the reason I got the few larger $3-5K jobs are my sales skills. I oculd get a sales job, but then again, what guarantees me that I'll be able to make some money with that? I've been an entrepreneur for 8 years, I seriously need a sure-fire way to bring in at least some money.

Am I confident that I can get more smaller $1K web design jobs right now? YES.

Why don't I go and get them? I don't know. Lately, I've had an enormously strong resistance towards taking the right action. Instead of hitting up potential clients, I've been researching other business ideas, where I could make more money faster.

I need to gain some mental clarity, I DO know how to do that, but the resistance to do anything actually useful is just.so.strong! It's a fight, and not an enjoyable one.


Also take a short walk everyday and start talking with people again.
Thank you. I do take a short walk everyday, but my life is still nothing like the life I would like to live. You're right, I need to start talking to people again. I've called my friends and planned a few meetings with them. It feels like a huge time-waste (money-wise), but I'll believe that it will help my mental clarity and put me on the right track again.

One tactic you could use is take notes.
What kind of notes? Do you mean a daily journal?
 

Black_Dragon43

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Thank you, this makes a lot of sense. It hurts to give up the Big money dream (especially after this many years of trying to hit it big) but I guess it has to be done.
You don't have to give it up, you just have to do the work to get there. This "low value" work is a stepping stone. If I never freelanced, I would never have managed to secure the first clients, gain experience, learn how to manage projects, and do higher value work. I learned and built relationships by working and doing "low value" work. It's important.

And perhaps if I did more low value work (I don't accept $200 projects these days), I would have been even further ahead today. A lot of my best paying clients have been clients that first worked with me when I freelanced, before I even had my agency.

However, is freealncing on Upwork or getting a job really the "simple" way to pick up the momentum and bring in some money?
It's easy... if you start picking out 100 clients from low value work, at least 10 of those clients would be willing to spend big money with you if you do a good job, and you could become a long-term partner for them. If someone hires web dev people, it's likely that they have a need for this.

I feel like it's really difficult to get the "low value" jobs given the competition, and I could waste another year simply building a job for myself.
You would be building an income source for yourself. Imagine if you had just 2K extra coming in every month. In 5 months that is 10K you could invest in another project. In 8 months, you'll make more than you made in 3 years mate! And all you have to do is work 120 hours a month at $20/hr... that is 30 hours per week. Which is 6 hours every day if you do 0 work on weekends, and 4 hours every day if you work every single day.

It won't take you long anyway to raise your rates. If you do web development work, and you have decent sales skills, you could easily get to $30-40/hr and undercut most other developers, while delivering better quality.

I've been an entrepreneur for 8 years, I seriously need a sure-fire way to bring in at least some money.
Since you've made $15K in 3 years, I don't really count that as being an entrepreneur. Evena McD's worker in a 3rd world country makes more.

Why don't I go and get them? I don't know. Lately, I've had an enormously strong resistance towards taking the right action. Instead of hitting up potential clients, I've been researching other business ideas, where I could make more money faster.
Well, $15K in 3 years doesn't sound like you went out to get them very often. You can research other business ideas as much as you wish, but likelihood is that if you don't have money you won't be able to execute them. It's hard to execute a new project or initiative when you've got no income stream, and you're spending your last remaining dollars.

I need to gain some mental clarity, I DO know how to do that, but the resistance to do anything actually useful is just.so.strong! It's a fight, and not an enjoyable one.
Are you sure it's not fear of failure that is holding you back? Sort of like "what if I try to sell my web dev services, but I don't succeed? What will I do then? At least now, I have the hope that I could always do that..."
 

Kid

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What kind of notes? Do you mean a daily journal?
Basically note your thinking. Its different from journal b/c journal is log of things you did.
And notes are what you think.

There are no rules to follow. Try writing this, then that, and see what works for you. You might find that writing something that is specific to you will help, while someone's else way would be of no benefit to you.

Hope it makes sense.
 

Jon L

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$15,000 in 3 years is $400 a month. That's not a lot. I think at least a few things are going on:

1) Your clients are taking advantage of you. Start charging $50/hr for every hour you work for a client. Let them know that that is starting immediately. You will lose some clients. That's a good thing. You also need to make yourself worth $50/hr to a client. Honestly, you need to be charging $100 for every hour you work for a client, but $50 is a good start.

2) You have waaaay too much free time on your hands. Not sure what you should do about that? Maybe get a full time job, move out, and work on the business on the side?

3) Are you depressed? Pursuing entrepreneurship for 8 years with the results you've gotten would lead me to think you're depressed. If you have insurance, go get yourself checked out for depression. If not, at least take an online test to see what's up: Self tests
 

Black_Dragon43

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1) Your clients are taking advantage of you. Start charging $50/hr for every hour you work for a client.
Honestly man, that is too much for basic web development which is where I think he’s at. Nobody will pay him. He needs to level up his skills first.

Senior software developers (not low hanging fruit web dev) would get paid an average of 120K/year, which is like $60/hr. Maybe highly specialized freelancers who are paid on a per project basis could lift that to $80-90/hr... but $100/hr makes little sense. He’d have to be a lot more than a coder for that.

But your advice with regards to depression is spot on!
 

Jon L

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Honestly man, that is too much for basic web development which is where I think he’s at. Nobody will pay him. He needs to level up his skills first.

Senior software developers (not low hanging fruit web dev) would get paid an average of 120K/year, which is like $60/hr. Maybe highly specialized freelancers who are paid on a per project basis could lift that to $80-90/hr... but $100/hr makes little sense. He’d have to be a lot more than a coder for that.

But your advice with regards to depression is spot on!
Yeah, but this is consulting work. 120k/year with full benefits, guaranteed if you do your work is VERY different from charging $60/hr for a few hours to a few days at a time where you also have to cover your down time, payroll taxes, marketing, accounting, etc etc etc.

If you can make $30k/year at a job, you should be charging something like 4x your salaried hourly rate as a consultant. That's $60/hr. In other words, if you charge $60/hr, you'll probably make $30-$40k/year net as a consultant if you're putting in 40 hours a week. Beyond that - when someone hires you as a consultant, they're passing the risk to you. They don't have to hire you, risk various legal issues, get a computer and a office space for you, train you, etc.

Charging $50/hr also makes you think differently about yourself vs $10/hr or whatever. You start performing better so that you'll measure up.
 

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Jon L

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I had a guy working for me for a bit that charged $20/hr, US-based. He was an absolute pain in the butt to work with. His entire way of thinking was rubbish. He was a gifted developer in some respects, but had no clue about how to deliver a finished product. Reading between the lines, here's how he thought:

1) I'm an incredibly gifted developer. Look at how beautiful my code is.
2) I can't charge more than $20/hr because business owners don't understand my value. They have no idea how to value a developer
3) I will develop a product how I think it should be made - planning for future contingencies that normal people don't have the capability of thinking about. If it takes 50 more hours than the 10 I promised to deliver it in, that's ok. I'd rather deliver a 'good' product than something that I don't feel good about. I don't mind doing the extra 40 hours of work for free if I feel good about what I'm doing.
4) Etc.

What he was missing was that developing something for someone else means providing VALUE to that someone else. Value here means 'what this person would perceive as valuable.'

Providing value completely changes your mindset. It did for me. It took me from a self-centered person who was scared of his own shadow into someone that people actually listen to. Why do people listen to someone? They're getting value out of the interaction.

When you focus on giving to the other person, everything you do changes. The result of that process is that you can charge a whole bunch more than someone that 'just codes.'

I vote for charging $50/hr and then figuring out how to deliver that value.
 

Harbourmaster

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Can you define the ‘big money dream’ you have? I’m confused. Is one client going to pay you $1,000,000 to build them a website one day?

Also, go to the gym. You said you have so much free time on your hands. Take an hour and blow off some steam already.
 

Mainstream7

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8 years ago, I decided to give entrepreneurship my everything.

And it worked out: 3 years ago I finally chose one business model (web design), and made around 15K total from that.

However, it's really not that much after all, not nearly as much for the sacrifices that I made:

For the past 8 years, I've stopped meeting new people, going to the gym, forgot about my hobbies... all just to have the time and focus for business.

And it makes sense to me: It's not clever to go to the gym, when I seriously need to make money right now, to support myself. Even if I try to go and work out, the guilt of not working on my business kills me every time.

My plan is that when I start making enough to support myself (and move out from my parent's apartment), I can start focusing on other areas of my life.

It makes sense to me! I shouldn't focus on more areas of life at once. But the thing is, I've been going all-in for 8 years now... no new friends, no excercise... I even started neglecting my health, hygiene, and other stuff.

The worst thing is, for the first time in my 3 years as a web designer, I lost my direction.

I have decided on my niche, and get to land a new client on average every 3 months. I have no idea how to land more clients.

I found a few problems in the niche, but everything would take another 2-3 years to make me any significant income.

I am in so much stress every day... But I should be! According to my plan, I was supposed to move out 4 years ago, and make that 15K I made in 3 years every month.

The most stressful thing is, I have so much free time. I could be working 18 hours every day. But I have no idea what to work on.

Have you ever reached this phase? I'll be grateful for any thoughts.

You need to find a full-time job asap imo.
We all start with goals and think we have the path figured out. But it´s hard.
You need security now. Take care of your health, your friends, your family.
You can keep improving and working on your business even with a job.

It´s logical. With a job you have 1-2k in cash flow minimum a month SECURED.
This allows you to do many things including the freedom to work on what you want to work on and investing the way you like without TIME PRESSURE.

Get secure cash flow through a job and then work on your business until the cash flow from your business is at least 2x from you job(only then can you quit).

1.The key to to think more realistic and practical.
2. Live in the NOW and don´t put off everything you want to do for later.
You can work out now. You can have friends now. You can have fun now. Just don´t go overboard(I think 80/20 is pretty good here, google counterbalance work-life)


That´s the conclusion I made after failing for many years like you.
 

Black_Dragon43

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Yeah, but this is consulting work. 120k/year with full benefits, guaranteed if you do your work is VERY different from charging $60/hr for a few hours to a few days at a time where you also have to cover your down time, payroll taxes, marketing, accounting, etc etc etc.

If you can make $30k/year at a job, you should be charging something like 4x your salaried hourly rate as a consultant. That's $60/hr. In other words, if you charge $60/hr, you'll probably make $30-$40k/year net as a consultant if you're putting in 40 hours a week. Beyond that - when someone hires you as a consultant, they're passing the risk to you. They don't have to hire you, risk various legal issues, get a computer and a office space for you, train you, etc.

Charging $50/hr also makes you think differently about yourself vs $10/hr or whatever. You start performing better so that you'll measure up.
Okay for consulting work I can see how that makes sense. I charge $200/hr and would not work for someone personally under that.

However, I still believe you need to be very good technically and build a solid understanding before you do that. I hire other people, I’ve hired copywriters for example who charge $100/hr. The saddest thing is when I hire someone for that money only to discover along the way that they’re merely trying to play the part and actually have no clue what they’re doing... but they’re trying to provide value... they’re trying to be helpful.

This makes little sense to me, and unfortuantely these hires don’t end up in a good way. I’ve become quite good at spotting this

The other issue here is that I think our gentlemen here needs to work a lot, in terms of time. He doesn’t need to work a little, and make his $400/mo by working 2 hours, and then slacking.

I think his biggest issue atm is lack of discipline, and the only way to fix that is by grinding. I think that’s important. And knowing you need to work a lot to make your monthly goal helps with that. The discipline you develop will pay off hugely.

Anyway, that’s my view but thank you for putting yours forward, I appreciate and respect it, I can certainly see where you’re cominng from.
 

Jon L

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Okay for consulting work I can see how that makes sense. I charge $200/hr and would not work for someone personally under that.

However, I still believe you need to be very good technically and build a solid understanding before you do that. I hire other people, I’ve hired copywriters for example who charge $100/hr. The saddest thing is when I hire someone for that money only to discover along the way that they’re merely trying to play the part and actually have no clue what they’re doing... but they’re trying to provide value... they’re trying to be helpful.

This makes little sense to me, and unfortuantely these hires don’t end up in a good way. I’ve become quite good at spotting this

The other issue here is that I think our gentlemen here needs to work a lot, in terms of time. He doesn’t need to work a little, and make his $400/mo by working 2 hours, and then slacking.

I think his biggest issue atm is lack of discipline, and the only way to fix that is by grinding. I think that’s important. And knowing you need to work a lot to make your monthly goal helps with that. The discipline you develop will pay off hugely.

Anyway, that’s my view but thank you for putting yours forward, I appreciate and respect it, I can certainly see where you’re cominng from.
yeah I agree with you. I was hoping to provide him with a way to understand consulting incoming that he probably isn't right now.

I do know that my previous experience in jobs has helped me a lot in what I do now - even if i didn't realize it at the time. I was a particularly poor product manager when I worked for someone else, but being around people who were good at what they did rubbed off on me. Now, for example, I can go to a business owner, look over their reports and immediately recognize what they're missing. I had this one guy last week eating out of my hands as I was describing what he needs to be looking at. Its pretty hard to get that kind of experience without working for other people.
 

Raja

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One tactic you could use is take notes.
@Kid
of what?
daily actions, daily effectiveness, daily achievements, daily ideas, daily measurements from goal setting metrics.

it would help if you were more clear.
 
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Raja

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Its pretty hard to get that kind of experience without working for other people.
@Jon L I did an internship(got treatment almost like an employee) and didn't like the experience, not concluding all jobs are the same but the thing is, I hated the most is lack of freedom.

I don't want to do the job so I am first building myself a job(this year) then move to Fastlane business.

how can I get this kind of experience?

sorry for hijacking your thread @Tuvo Apps
 
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Black_Dragon43

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yeah I agree with you. I was hoping to provide him with a way to understand consulting incoming that he probably isn't right now.

I do know that my previous experience in jobs has helped me a lot in what I do now - even if i didn't realize it at the time. I was a particularly poor product manager when I worked for someone else, but being around people who were good at what they did rubbed off on me. Now, for example, I can go to a business owner, look over their reports and immediately recognize what they're missing. I had this one guy last week eating out of my hands as I was describing what he needs to be looking at. Its pretty hard to get that kind of experience without working for other people.
That's great! Yes, I think that the best thing is for one to get an overview and solid understanding of the skill/profession first. Otherwise, you are limited as a consultant... even though you don't have to be able to execute the job (since you can hire others to implement), you still need to know WHAT has to be done, and that requires experience. The fastest way to do that? Take a lot of jobs, and it's much faster to do that cheaply, then expensively.

Having said that, he will have a hard time on Upwork finding the consultant type clients. It's possible, but it's hard. I think I only took 1 client from Upwork in the past 1 year. The rest were referrals or out of the network I built or direct outreach via LI/email.

I've got a few clients from forums (like this one), but generally these are not ideal clients in my experience. They either expect things too cheaply or don't know what they want and aren't quick at taking decisions. Forums do have the tendency to be filled by the less successful people from my observation. I would hazard a guess that most people of TFL are people who don't yet have a business, or if they do, they're just getting started and pretty much have little cash for anything. Of course, there are some successful ones, but much fewer.

One big problem I have personally seen is what I mentioned before... a lot of people who are not really qualified, are being encouraged to go out there and try to close big sales. That is what all the gurus are doing... people for example who own copywriting schools. The result is not good, at least when they try it on someone who understands their job better than they do - like I do with copywriters. I get these people who have completed this and that school, and were mentored by X Y Z, but actually their skills and understanding is terrible. They've just been told go out there, stick your price at $100/hr, and start selling.
 

Kid

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Basically note your thinking. Its different from journal b/c journal is log of things you did.
And notes are what you think.

There are no rules to follow. Try writing this, then that, and see what works for you. You might find that writing something that is specific to you will help, while someone's else way would be of no benefit to you.

Hope it makes sense.

@Kid
of what?
daily actions, daily effectiveness, daily achievements, daily ideas, daily measurements from goal setting metrics.

it would help if you were more clear .
 

Raja

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Sorry, still I don't get it.

The thoughts have to be specific to invoke thinking, thats my opinion.
 

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Jon L

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That's great! Yes, I think that the best thing is for one to get an overview and solid understanding of the skill/profession first. Otherwise, you are limited as a consultant... even though you don't have to be able to execute the job (since you can hire others to implement), you still need to know WHAT has to be done, and that requires experience. The fastest way to do that? Take a lot of jobs, and it's much faster to do that cheaply, then expensively.

Having said that, he will have a hard time on Upwork finding the consultant type clients. It's possible, but it's hard. I think I only took 1 client from Upwork in the past 1 year. The rest were referrals or out of the network I built or direct outreach via LI/email.

I've got a few clients from forums (like this one), but generally these are not ideal clients in my experience. They either expect things too cheaply or don't know what they want and aren't quick at taking decisions. Forums do have the tendency to be filled by the less successful people from my observation. I would hazard a guess that most people of TFL are people who don't yet have a business, or if they do, they're just getting started and pretty much have little cash for anything. Of course, there are some successful ones, but much fewer.

One big problem I have personally seen is what I mentioned before... a lot of people who are not really qualified, are being encouraged to go out there and try to close big sales. That is what all the gurus are doing... people for example who own copywriting schools. The result is not good, at least when they try it on someone who understands their job better than they do - like I do with copywriters. I get these people who have completed this and that school, and were mentored by X Y Z, but actually their skills and understanding is terrible. They've just been told go out there, stick your price at $100/hr, and start selling.
Its interesting on here because the things we write, we probably write to/for ourselves more than we realize. The reason why I'm hung up on the 'raise your price' thing is that I have needed to raise my price for years. I've had previous clients include more in their invoice payment because they felt bad. I do agree that if you're just starting out, you shouldn't be charging $100/hr for anything. But how do you know you're not good at something and should be charging $300/hr for it? If you're like me, you have a serious case of impostor syndrome and feel like you shouldn't charge for anything. I need to be told 'Charge more!'

I think I'm talking myself into your point of view ... charge less at first, get lots of experience, then increase your price.

People's perception of price and what they think they can pay/can actually pay is also interesting. Employees often think of money in terms of their own bank account. "$2000 for that? That's crazy expensive." Whereas a business owner will think, "$200k? I need to consider this carefully because that is a lot of money, but I stand to gain many times that if I make this investment."
 

Kid

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Sorry, still I don't get it.

The thoughts have to be specific to invoke thinking, thats my opinion.
I would put your ideas, predictions, opinions and problems/solutions into it.

Some people like writing todos/done lists.
I tried to write todos but it didn't work for me .
 

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Its interesting on here because the things we write, we probably write to/for ourselves more than we realize.
Good point, I think so. For me it makes sense as well... since i often hire people per hour, but rarely charge per hour.

But how do you know you're not good at something and should be charging $300/hr for it?
For me, (working in marketing), it's based on the results delivered, which are immediately monetary. If I see my client printing money with no end due to my work, then probably I need to charge more lol.

In your place for software... it's hard to say. I'd say the easiest to quantify are cost savings. So if you can save them $100K/year, it seems fair to take a 15-20K cut for yourself one time. Earnings due to software alone are harder to quantify, though it does depend on what exactly you're developing. What do you think?
 

Johnny boy

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Show me your marketing/advertising/sales strategy and I'm 90% sure that's why you are sucking.

Bro, I paid for some craigslist ads, learned basic wordpress and got to $4,000 a month while vacationing in Thailand last winter. (It turned out to be very difficult to actually get the work done since I was on vacation but that's a different story).

Don't mistake the "desert of desertion" with just wasting your time not taking efficient action.

1. Get a real sales strategy. If your strategy is "word of mouth" and "family and friends" then go join a pyramid scheme. Pay for ads, call 100 businesses a day, etc. Just do something better than whatever you're doing now.

2. Stop charging hourly. You can charge $3,000 for a website that takes you a week to do working a couple hours a day. Hourly wages are for hourly slaves. The company my best friend works for paid $20,000+ for a wordpress site. I could've built their site but I just didn't know the decision maker that works there that was looking for a web design agency.

Not changing your strategies is not "persistence", it's laziness. You burned up many years of your life not because you are focused, but because you didn't change or use your goddamn brain.

Don't waste the next few years. Change your shit this weekend!
 

Black_Dragon43

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Show me your marketing/advertising/sales strategy and I'm 90% sure that's why you are sucking.

Bro, I paid for some craigslist ads, learned basic wordpress and got to $4,000 a month while vacationing in Thailand last winter. (It turned out to be very difficult to actually get the work done since I was on vacation but that's a different story).

Don't mistake the "desert of desertion" with just wasting your time not taking efficient action.

1. Get a real sales strategy. If your strategy is "word of mouth" and "family and friends" then go join a pyramid scheme. Pay for ads, call 100 businesses a day, etc. Just do something better than whatever you're doing now.

2. Stop charging hourly. You can charge $3,000 for a website that takes you a week to do working a couple hours a day. Hourly wages are for hourly slaves. The company my best friend works for paid $20,000+ for a wordpress site. I could've built their site but I just didn't know the decision maker that works there that was looking for a web design agency.

Not changing your strategies is not "persistence", it's laziness. You burned up many years of your life not because you are focused, but because you didn't change or use your goddamn brain.

Don't waste the next few years. Change your shit this weekend!
Curious, what was your offer/pitch to them?
 

Johnny boy

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Curious, what was your offer/pitch to them?
I posted in 5 different major cities on Craigslist each day and repeated those same cities after 10 days (50 cities per 10 day period)

I had a simple post that said the services we offered, a link to my site which was built in one day using a template I downloaded.

They would fill out a form, I’d give them a call and give them a quote for what they wanted. Usually at least $500 for the most basic of websites and then it just went up from there. Wordpress only, no real coding required.

That’s it. They would ask for references and I’d show them a couple sites I built. They were for my own businesses though. Use a friend of family member at first. Build a fake site for a made up construction company or something if you don’t have any references or previous companies.
 
Last edited:

Black_Dragon43

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I posted in 5 different major cities on Craigslist each day and repeated those same cities after 10 days (50 cities per 10 day period)

I had a simple post that said the services we offered, a link to my site which was built in one day using a template I downloaded.

They would fill out a form, I’d give them a call and give them a quote for what they wanted. Usually at least $500 for the most basic of websites and then it just went up from there. Wordpress only, no real coding required.

That’s it. They would ask for references and I’d show them a couple sites I built. They were for my own businesses though. Use a friend of family member at first. Build a fake site for a made up construction company or something if you don’t have any references or previous companies.
I see, I was asking because I run a direct response agency, so was interested in your sales process.

Did you offer general "Wordpress website dev" services, or was it more specific?

For my own clients, I have found that direct outreach to strategic prospects is the most effective, especially after COVID. Basically, find someone who is already spending money on marketing, but you've determined is most likely not getting good results, and reach out. In some cases, I'm even willing to fix their issue for free, provided they get me on retainer after (we set up a contract with these terms).

I have found that the more targetted/specific your offer is, your chances of getting a response are much better. And it works really well for those 10-25K projects.

I tried a general approach long ago (2 years back I think), with FB ads -> homepage with contact form, with no significant results, just people wanting cheap stuff. However, it may have been that implementation wasn't great.

Anyway, this sales approach is really important to get right. And it's not easy necessarily, sometimes you have to test different approaches, and identify bottlenecks. Basically where customers pull out and refuse to go forward most often. Then you have to think and try to decipher why they're behaving like that. Because if you don't do that, you can't ever figure out what's wrong.
 

Johnny boy

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I see, I was asking because I run a direct response agency, so was interested in your sales process.

Did you offer general "Wordpress website dev" services, or was it more specific?

For my own clients, I have found that direct outreach to strategic prospects is the most effective, especially after COVID. Basically, find someone who is already spending money on marketing, but you've determined is most likely not getting good results, and reach out. In some cases, I'm even willing to fix their issue for free, provided they get me on retainer after (we set up a contract with these terms).

I have found that the more targetted/specific your offer is, your chances of getting a response are much better. And it works really well for those 10-25K projects.

I tried a general approach long ago (2 years back I think), with FB ads -> homepage with contact form, with no significant results, just people wanting cheap stuff. However, it may have been that implementation wasn't great.

Anyway, this sales approach is really important to get right. And it's not easy necessarily, sometimes you have to test different approaches, and identify bottlenecks. Basically where customers pull out and refuse to go forward most often. Then you have to think and try to decipher why they're behaving like that. Because if you don't do that, you can't ever figure out what's wrong.
It just would read “professional website for your business”.

It was much more passive than spending hours a day looking for bad advertising and then cold calling them.
 

Fox

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Show me your marketing/advertising/sales strategy and I'm 90% sure that's why you are sucking.

Bro, I paid for some craigslist ads, learned basic wordpress and got to $4,000 a month while vacationing in Thailand last winter. (It turned out to be very difficult to actually get the work done since I was on vacation but that's a different story).

Don't mistake the "desert of desertion" with just wasting your time not taking efficient action.

1. Get a real sales strategy. If your strategy is "word of mouth" and "family and friends" then go join a pyramid scheme. Pay for ads, call 100 businesses a day, etc. Just do something better than whatever you're doing now.

2. Stop charging hourly. You can charge $3,000 for a website that takes you a week to do working a couple hours a day. Hourly wages are for hourly slaves. The company my best friend works for paid $20,000+ for a wordpress site. I could've built their site but I just didn't know the decision maker that works there that was looking for a web design agency.

Not changing your strategies is not "persistence", it's laziness. You burned up many years of your life not because you are focused, but because you didn't change or use your goddamn brain.

Don't waste the next few years. Change your shit this weekend!

Great advice.

Slow down and always think what is smart/working rather than just focusing on taking tons of action for actions sake.
 

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