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EXECUTION From 0 to Freedom in 3 Months

Kid

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Congratulations on progress :)
 

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Chapas

Chapas

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Day 94 - Witnessing Slowlane at its Worst

The last 10 days I have had a first row ticket to watch how the slowlane and lack of ambitions are degenerating people. It has really been sad to witness, and unfortunately I will still have to witness it for the next week.

Long story short is that our apartment is undergoing some maintanence at this moment, so I had to move in with a childhood friend for 2 weeks with our cats. He really saved our asses, but it has been so tough to live here and witness how he and the rest of our friends live.

Slowlane can be good for some people, but for some it is slowly degenerating them. For 10 days in a row I have been surrounded by people who finishes work and then just sits around on the couch, watching stupid tv-shows and smoking weed (a lot of successful people smoke weed as well, so no hate on that in general, just in this situation) every evening because they do not know what else to do. It has been so demotivating to be in this environment. I love my friend, but it is impossible for me to change him unfortunately. With that in mind it has been impossible to get anything done in the evenings under these circumstances.

Maybe it is just excuses from my side, but it is really hard to get anything done in such an environment. Just need to hustle harder when I am alone in the house.

Some small updates:

  • I have 2 paid clients. They live in a totally different part of the country, and randomly they both were in my city last week. So I finally got to meet them both over a coffee and the meetings went really great. Really awesome people. It was especially interesting to meet my second client as he used to ride Tour de France with some of my big childhood heroes. Hope that I will keep them on as clients for a long time.

  • I launched a campaign for a trial client I have been talking with since January. She is most probably going to participate in the Olympics as a weigh-lifter. She is starting to transition her services from Personal Training to Remote Personal Training. So we made a 2 week free training program that people could sign up to in order for her to convert them to montly members afterwards. So far the results have been absolutely brilliant:

    - Campaign run: 5 days
    - Ad spend: 30 USD
    - Sign Ups: 76
    - Ad spend per sign up: 0,39 USD

    With her pricepoints she basically just need to convert 1 out of the 76 people in order to be profitable. I promised to run her campaigns for 2 weeks, and after that I am very optimistic that I will land her as my 3rd paid client.

  • My friend has an outdoor fitness concept as well (like my first client) and I promised him some time ago to run a campaign for him. He has a huge network in the industry and will talk with him on Thursday and probably launch his campaign this week. Plan is to get him on as my 4th paid client and get him to refer as many people as possible.

  • The slowlane job hunting is also going on. I have a job interview today and on Monday. The job I am interviewing for today is much more interesting, however, I have a feeling that it will take up more of my time than the one on Monday. I do not have the option to be picky though as I need to find a good paying job ASAP while I keep working on gaining my freedom.
I really want to post more often, however, the last 10 days were so demotivating that I did not even know what to post. I will try to stay focused on my goal and post when I have something interesting. Thank you for tuning in guys!
 

ChristianS

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Loved to read your thread as I started to reach out for my first Google Ads local lead gen costumers too. As other said, it's very motivating.

I really hope you manage to stay on track. You will be able to live from your business within a few months for sure.

When it's difficult and motivation starts to fade always remember, there are two kinds of pain. One is through discipline and getting things done when it starts getting hard. Happiness will follow after. The other one is lifelong regret! You have to choose.
 
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Chapas

Chapas

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Loved to read your thread as I started to reach out for my first Google Ads local lead gen costumers too. As other said, it's very motivating.

I really hope you manage to stay on track. You will be able to live from your business within a few months for sure.

When it's difficult and motivation starts to fade always remember, there are two kinds of pain. One is through discipline and getting things done when it starts getting hard. Happiness will follow after. The other one is lifelong regret! You have to choose.

Thank you for the kind words Christian. Really means a lot that it motivates you and other people!

Sorry for the late reply. How is your Google Ads journey coming along? I hope you already have gotten your first clients in the last months time! That would be amazing :-D

I am slowly staying on track, though there have been so many more things to focus on the last month. However, we do not want lifelong regret. That is the worst pain we can ever imagine. Thanks for the encouragement. I will try to do an update later today! :)
 
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InfinityStones

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Apr 6, 2019
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Hello. Interesting thread. But You still selling time though buddy. Because your new business has replaced your previous job. I would focus on creating a social media following by giving away good content online for free. I would do this for 3-6 months. Build a healthy following. THEN use my posts to target these customers. Also I would arrange more face to face meetings - show them the paid client and the your rep online. Personally I prefer selling products versus services. Good luck!
 

Danczyk

Contributor
Feb 20, 2019
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Belarus
Hello. Interesting thread. But You still selling time though buddy. Because your new business has replaced your previous job. I would focus on creating a social media following by giving away good content online for free. I would do this for 3-6 months. Build a healthy following. THEN use my posts to target these customers. Also I would arrange more face to face meetings - show them the paid client and the your rep online. Personally I prefer selling products versus services. Good luck!
Are you selling physical or digital products?
 
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Chapas

Chapas

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Nov 23, 2014
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Day 139 - What A Hectic Month

Current Revenue Per Month: 800 USD

Yesterday I bought a bottle of redwine, and sat on the balcony reading through this whole thread. I was proud and dissappointed in the same way. Proud that I actually started something and made progress, and dissappointed that I have not reached my goals so far.

The last month have been really hectic with current client work, legalizing my business and getting a business-bank account (what a tough process!!), job-searching, apartment-hunting, spending time with friends and family I havent seen for a long time and a lot of other various things.

So this Monday I was finally offered a slowlane job and actually already started working there this Wednesday. This process of finding jobs was absolutely hell! I applied for around 60 jobs within marketing, sales and service during the last month. It was a real catch 22 experience. For the marketing jobs I lacked experience on my CV and for the sales and service jobs I was over qualified due to my Masters degree in International Marketing. So it has been much more tough finding a slowlane job, than I ever imagined. This only fuels my motivation for keep working on growing my own business, while I will work at this slowlane job. This WILL be the last slowlane job I will ever have, and I will make my best to make sure that I will not have to stay there for a very long time.

Some boring updates:

- Finally got my slowlane job. Working for a huge company with sales and service within the B2B market. The pay is actually not that bad and I believe that I can actually learn a lot from especially selling to B2B businesses. Skills that I can later transition to my own business. This job is on a 4-month long contract with good opportunities to extend the contract - however, I am happy it is only on a 4-month contract as it fuels my motivation to be able to live of my own business in 4 months. Starting tomorrow - lets see how it goes!

- Had a tough time with all these legal issues the last month. Finally managed to legalize my business and create a business bank account. Especially the latter was really really tough! My bank has a very small business section and all other banks either wanted huge money to let me have a business account or wanted me to move my personal accounts there as well (I love my current bank, so that was not an option). Finally managed to find an option that suited me, so now I have a legal company and a business bank account!

- NO MORE FLYING UNDER THE RADAR! Looking for a slowlane job I quickly realized that whenever I talked about I was freelancing and doing online marketing for clients, people did not want to hire me as they believed I would quit the job eventually. Also a lot of the contracts I got offered had clauses about you could not work for yourself or any other companies that theirs. So I realized I could not mention anything about my own business while looking for jobs. Now I can FINALLY update my LinkedIn with my own business and start to find clients in there. Finally I have nothing to hide and everything legalized. Such a burden of my shoulders and such a huge step forward!

Some more interesting updates:

- Finally send out my first invoices - and received my first payments! Now I have a legalized business and a business bank account and the feeling of sending out those invoices and receiving money on my account is PRICELESS!

- I am still on 2 paying clients. They are both really satisfied with my work and I can see that the results are coming in. So that is amazing! I expect both of these to stay on for a long long time.

- My third trial client actually had great results as well. I made a proposal to her to become a paid client 3-4 days ago - however, I still havent heard anything back from her. She is building up her client base from scratch, so I suspect that she maybe cannot afford my services at this moment. I will not work for free anymore though and gave her a really great offer - so hopefully she will reply and accept the offer at some point.

- Running a campaign for an old friend for a little less than 2 weeks now. His concept is almost the same as my first paid client (although higher price points) So far the results have been really great and he is beyond happy!

The results for his campaign:

Campaign run-time: 11 days
Ad spend: 159 USD
LP views: 312
Cost per LP view: 0,5 USD
Sign Ups: 20
Conversion Rate (LP views/sign ups): 6,4 %
Cost per Sign Up: 7,93 USD

Basically we are offering 1 week of free training. Keep in mind that 1 month of training on his teams costs around 135 USD - so if we spend 8 USD per sign up we only need to convert 1 out of 16 in order to be profitable. This is not even accounting for his CLV. Looking forward to see how many of these sign ups actually turns up to their 1 free week and how many converts to become paying members.

My goal is to convert him to become a paying members in May and feed me with referrals! Also plan to ask him to make 2 referral videos for me I can use for marketing and add to my site. This should be good!

Plans for May:

Most of my time will of course be spent on my slowlane job, and I will also be busy with finding a new apartment ASAP. However, I have still calculated my time and I have big plans for the next month.

- Launch a Danish version of my website.
- Send out around 400 cold emails to US clients
- Test Lumpy Mail campaign to around 10-20 prospects
- Send connection requests to around 600 people on LinkedIn within my sphere
- Create 2 videos - one I will send out through Dubb to LinkedIn prospects and another I will use to retarget LinkedIn prospects and people who have viewed my site.
- Create an Instagram account for my business and target personal trainers there.

I just really need to hustle. I can see that I am creating value for people, so I just need to find more and more clients. I SHOULD be able to replace my slowlane income within 4 months. If I do not do that, it just means that I didnt hustle enough!
 

ChristianS

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Thank you for the kind words Christian. Really means a lot that it motivates you and other people!

Sorry for the late reply. How is your Google Ads journey coming along? I hope you already have gotten your first clients in the last months time! That would be amazing :-D
And now it's me who is late... Cool that you are on track. Did you reach your goals for may?

I got good feedback from people I reached out to. But to be honest no one was interested in Google Ads instead I was asked for SEO services as this is where I have most experience. Before the lead gen idea I was building affiliate websites. Perhaps not really fastlane, but I'm not very far to support my living with that. Will continue with that and than decide what to do next :)
 
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Chapas

Chapas

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DAY 0 - Back To Scratch

I have to announce some sad news. I am now left with 0 clients. Long story short. I lost my main client a little more than a month ago, as he decided to hire an in-house marketing girl/assistant. Not much I could do about that. Yesterday, I went totally back to 0, as I lost my first ever client. Her campaigns were doing really well, unfortunately though, she is just inches from closing down her business with a huge debt, so she has to cut almost all expenses. Her business model does not seem viable enough to generate a good revenue, and even if my campaigns were even better, it is hard for me to imagine that it would save her business.

So here I am. Starting from zero again!

It has been some very tough months. Physically, mentally and financially. I have moved to a new country (while working a slowlane job in my former country). This means that I have around 3 ½ - 4 hours commute each single day. Two different busses and two different trains across country borders. This is necessary though, as without this option I could not be able to live with my wife. What you do for love, huh!

Always look at the bright side of life.

My slowlane job is actually not that bad at all. They pay me well. They feed me even better. Colleagues and bosses are nice and casual. Atmosphere is good and the job not exhausting at all. It has nothing to do with my passion or profession, but I do work with sales and service with SME´s.

I actually do have a lot of spare time in between the calls. I cannot really justify to sit on the computer and do business stuff for myself, but I can do whatever I want on my own phone (without talking of course haha). So basically right now I am just reading and getting smarter, but I want to spend that time more productive.

I need those systems.

I need to create systems. So I spend my time wisely outside of work. Basically I can spend 2 hours in the train everyday, 3 hours at home on weekdays and a combined 12 hours on Sunday to do some work (want to keep Saturday free for my wife and I). That actually ads up to 37 hours a week, which is a normal work week. Of course I have a lot of random practical stuff I also have to do (SO MUCH actually), but I believe it should be feasible for me to work between 25-35 hours a week on my sidehustle. At least for 6 months without burning out.

Any feedback on how to systimatize my schedule? I can basically spend most of the day communicating with clients through text and emails on my own phone. So that is not included into the 25-35 hours.

Should I change something with my business?

Honestly, I believe that I have had great results with FB ads so far - so this is what I still want to have as my main product and skill. I want to add a service or two though. Was thinking about Web Design, as I already know the basics of it, and it could maybe be easier to upsell FB ads to a Web Design client. Any thoughts about that business model?

Right now I know that what I do works very well with my niche - the fitness industry. Issue is that there is not a lot of money in this niche! So I still want to focus on my niche, but I still want to broaden it a bit. Still considering how I can broaden it, without going to broad.

Plans for this upcoming week:

- Finish my Danish website and update my English one.
- Finish my lumpy mail campaign
- Set up systems and follow them strictly
- Re-think or stick to my business model

Honestly, just missed you guys!

That´s actually true. The first 2-3 months when I had this thread and wrote every day in here, is probably the happiest I felt this year. My motivation was sky rocketing and you guys inspired me every day. I still keep reading in here almost every day - but now it is finally time to contribute again!

Any feedback and advice is welcomed, and I will try to start progressing again and update this thread as much as possible, when I have anything interesting to tell.

Have an amazing day and great to see you again my friends!
 
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Chapas

Chapas

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Day 16 - First "New" Client

Some small updates on the past 2 weeks. Having my wife's sister visiting and apartment hunting as our lease runs out 1st of September, means that a lot of time is spend on showing around the city and find a new place to live. I made some small progress steps still.

1. After reading through the whole of @Fox thread I decided to give web design a small chance. Especially as it can lead to upselling my marketing services later on. Found a small 8 person accounting firm and cold emailed them about a free website. They instantly agreed and love my ideas, so now I am working on a small Mockup. Decided to do the site in WordPress.

I promised myself earlier this year that I will never work for free again. However, I see this as time spent on marketing and not working for free. This firm has an annual profit of around 1 million USD before tax, so this basically means that they have at least 100 B2B businesses they work with each year. The owner suggested himself that he would recommend me to his clients if they liked my work, so I see a great opportunity here.

2. Been running some ads for my friends outdoor fitness bootcamps the last couple of months. Plenty of signups, but many people bailing out on the first training in the end.

Nevertheless, we just agreed on a commission based deal. Basically I will get 33 % of each new customer after ad expenses. This is fine as it keeps my motivation high in order to keep the CPC as low as possible.

His concept has a lot of potential and in 3 months they have gone from 1 location and 2 teams, to having 2 locations and 7 teams. I can imagine in 6 months time they will have at least 3 locations and 15 teams.

Their price point is around 150 USD a month and the average CLTV is 2 months due to it being a Bootcamp. This churn rate works in favor of me as I only get paid for new customers.

Now they have between 70-100 people on their teams and the way they are expanding makes me expect them to have at least the double of that in 6 months. Heck if I can help acquire one new customer for 30 USD a month and get 25 of them, that is already 1000 USD in the bank for me.

I believe this is a great opportunity and once we find the winning formula for one location, then we can basically just copy/paste it for the rest of the locations. Never did a commission based deal before, but if this one works out for me I might be doing some more in the future.

This was just some small updates from my side. Have an amazing day friends!
 

Danczyk

Contributor
Feb 20, 2019
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Belarus
I promised myself earlier this year that I will never work for free again.
I better work for free then for peanuts because when people pay, they think they own you and demand everything. In my case if I do something for free people just shut up and take what I give.
 

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Chapas

Chapas

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Nov 23, 2014
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How is it going for you @Chapas ?

Hi buddy. Thanks for the interest.


Basically the business has been put on hold. It has been a real chaotic 6 months. Have been commuting 4 hours a day between two different countries for a full time job that wears me out and gives me no motivation every single day. This needed to be done though in order for my wife to get a residency permit in the country we are staying at.


This has been the reason I couldn't keep up with the business. Usually the 4 hour commute could be good in order to do some work, however, when you have to change between 2 different trains and 2 different busses each way, then it is hard to get any structured done. Whenever I came back home I was just absolutely smashed from the work and commute, and most of the evenings I have spent on different kind of paperwork stuff in order to get our life on track in our new country.


Looking at the bright side, my wife just recently got her 5 years residency permit in our new country. So that has freed up a lot of stress in our lives. We were kind of living in a limbo, without knowing if we suddenly had to change up all of our plans, pack our stuff and move to a whole other country.


Furthermore, I just got headhunted a couple of weeks ago. So last week I quit my job from the end of November and will start a new job 1st of December. It might still be slowlane, but for a slowlane job, the new job might be the best one for my further development.


Basically the last 6 months I have worked in 1st line customer support and sales for a payment processor, and it has been really hectic. We are so understaffed, so we are stressing with an insane amount of incoming phone calls from businesses. Combined with the micro management and the long commute, I am so happy that I was headhunted for the new job, as I could feel on my physical and mental health, that I would be able to take it anymore at my current job.


My new job I honestly do not view as a job, but a well payed education in business and sales. Salary is higher than my current job and the responsibility and freedom I was missing is finally there.


I was actually headhunted for a part time position (I was the only candidate). I had to refuse the part-time position and they instead offered me a full time job.


Basically this is a sales/marketing/business development position in a company that works with SaaS products in the SAP industry. My job would be to generate leads and book meetings for the directors both inbound and outbound. I will be their first in-house employee and I kind of have to build up the whole marketing and sales department from scratch. So a whole lot of responsibility and freedom to develop my own role.


I think I will learn a lot from this position as I have to work right next to the 2 directors aswell as the sales director. The sales are huge and take around 6-9 months. Their last sale was a deal around 20 million USD. So really excited, but also a little scared, as these amounts are so much beyond my imagination haha. Furthermore, I get a lot more of flexibility, and I am allowed to work 1-2 days a week from home. This saves me around 20 hours in transport EACH month!


My plan is still to have a business on the side and I am sure that I can implement a lot from what I learn in this position into my own business.


I have 9 days in between these two jobs and I plan to reevaluate my own business and start to take action again in this time period
 

diogoatmelo

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Oct 30, 2019
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Just read through the whole thread. I'm rooting for you.
It's very easy to relate to your struggle.

I do have one question though. You mention:

- Also a lot of the contracts I got offered had clauses about you could not work for yourself or any other companies that theirs. So I realized I could not mention anything about my own business while looking for jobs.
This is a clause in my contract. Mine goes even further and states that I can't have any other remunerated activities!
How did you deal with this? Did you set up your company anyway even with this clause in your contract?

Good luck and keep going!
 

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