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EXECUTION From Nothing To Everything - My Journey

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by rynor, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. rynor
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    rynor Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hey Fastlaners,

    (Apologies in advance - this is going to be a beast of a thread.)

    It's time to be brutally honest with myself so I've decided to make this thread to have accountability regarding my business. This thread will also serve as a rough timeline of my journey.

    Often, I will spend too much time going down the rabbit hole of the Internet, watching videos, and overall working on tasks that don't move the needle. I want to focus more on the 20% of things that bring 80% of the results. I need to make progress, desperation is starting to kick in.

    I also think this will be an awesome way to look back on how far I've come in the days, months, and years to come. More importantly, I hope this can help somebody else along the way and prove to them that if you remain focused and consistent, you can succeed. That's my Why.

    Entrepreneurial Journey So Far
    Like many other entrepreneurs on this forum, my journey didn't start after joining The Fastlane Forum. Also, like many others, I had small gigs here and there since I was a kid: mowing people's lawns, raking leaves, doing chores for people, etc. But up to this point, I've had 3x "serious" businesses (2x e-commerce/dropshipping, and 1x local services business) to date. They all failed because of one reason or another: a personal lack of focus, being all about the money, and not bringing credible solutions to market. Truth be told, I didn't want it bad enough. I only thought I did.

    The first time I ever seriously considered becoming an entrepreneur, it was late May of 2018. I had just turned 26 years old (I know, I'm late to the party ha). A couple years prior and up until that point, I was being worked to the bone by a boss that could care less about my well-being. I would look at how he would take vacations whenever he wanted while the rest of us just had to keep working, likely to pay for those vacations. I always thought to myself that I could be my own boss and would rather delegate tasks than to have them delegated to me. Often, I would look at the decision-makers in my previous companies and think "I could do that." Ultimately, I knew there had to be a better way for me.

    I spent the next 7 months learning about investment vehicles that could foster my "get rich" mentality while also working a full-time job. I stumbled upon Forex trading and dove right in. I took online courses, throwing roughly $300 of my hard-earned cash towards so-called "gurus". I would wake up at 5AM to study a few hours before work, come home, and then study until 7-8PM each night. I started trading with a Demo account ($50,000 fake money) and struggled. It was crushing to my ego to barely ever win a trade, but I persevered. I eventually opened a Live account and funded it with $1,000. I ended up with a net -$36, FAIL. Again, I felt as though I didn't want it bad enough.

    During those 7 months, I would also listen to, read and take in any material I can find on entrepreneurship, success, wealth, you name it. I would listen to podcasts from CEO's, business owners, motivational speakers, etc. I read more books since May of last year than I have in my entire life combined. I was never a reader when I was young. Quite frankly, I still read slowly.

    Skip to Now
    All my previous experiences have led to now - I started my most recent entrepreneurial journey in late January of 2019. After quitting Forex trading, I decided to go back to what I know best: technology. I purchased my current domain (atechnextdoor.com) on January 26th. The gears started turning in my head, I was trying to determine a need in the current market. I decided to revisit an old idea that I never executed on: residential IT services.

    Thus far, my business has 0 clients (yep, you read that correctly) and my website has been live less than a month. I spent a good portion of a month reading into digital marketing strategies, I took a Udemy course and have been trying to learn as much as I can to ensure I'm successful.

    I've learned a lot about what it takes to run a business in the process. Now, I'm just trying to build a customer base and brand awareness.

    Current Statistics
    Newsletter signups: 0
    Customers: 0
    Website sessions: 510
    Users: 461
    Page views: 1,436
    Net income: $0


    Business Goals
    Short-term
    • Customers: 25
    • Recurring revenue: $2,500/mo
    • Help at least one person/day
    Long-term
    • Customers: 2,000
    • Recurring revenue: $100,000/mo
    • Employees: 50+
    • Help 10+ people/day

    My goals will change as progress is made. When growth accelerates, I will change the goals according. Aim high, shoot high.

    To make these goals happen, I will have to do the hard stuff: cold calls, attend meetings, give presentations, and ask for help. I'm painfully introverted, so this is an ultimate test for me. If you're enduring something similar, Godspeed.

    TL;DR - This thread is for me to hold myself accountable in terms of making weekly progress towards my business goals. I will report back weekly or sooner with updates.
     
    RandD, Dameron, Strm and 2 others like this.
  2. rynor
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    rynor Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Update - 03/21/2019

    Providing an update for the sake of holding myself accountable.

    The bad: Woke up late today. I made the mistake of updating my WordPress theme (doh!) without backing up my website first. Luckily, I was able to talk to my hosting provider and have them restore from yesterday's backup. Dealing with that ate up a solid chunk of my time.

    The good: I was able to get my website functionality back 100% after the mishap (above). I reworked my Upwork profile, title and skills, and the results have seemingly paid off already. Additionally, I accomplished a lot of the goals I set for myself.

    Goals:
    • File a DBA via LegalZoom - complete
    • Send 10 proposals on Upwork - complete
    • Send 100 voicemails via SlyBroadcast - complete
    • Send 10 quotes on Thumbtack - incomplete (5/10 sent)
    • Reach out to 3 people on The Fastlane Forums - complete
    Updates:
    • Completed first job on Upwork (ayy!)
    • 3/10 Upwork proposals responded to so far (thanks, Lex DeVille)

    Going to be writing up/refining my weekly goals on Sunday with my girlfriend so we can keep each other accountable as well and ensure we are moving the needle. I'll report back with updates as they come.
     
    Kingmaker, Strm and Lex DeVille like this.
  3. rynor
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    rynor Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Update - 03/25/2019

    Providing an update again for the sake of accountability.

    Since last Friday (03/22), I have found another customer and provided her with some web design help. It first started with a simple task that she requested via Upwork. This turned into a discussion of what other offerings I have.

    It's important to note here that the conversation wouldn't have happened unless I jumped on a Zoom meeting with her. Again, thanks Lex DeVille for stressing the importance of hopping on the phone with clients. For those reading, you will have a way easier time explaining the value you can provide to potential customers by talking to them on the phone rather than resorting to text chat.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I have defined the ultimate goal for this week. This subsequently led to smaller goals being developed to keep me on track.
     
    Lex DeVille likes this.
  4. ErinStephens
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    ErinStephens New Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    this is friggin' awesome. I love putting this out there for all as a means to keep yourself accountable. Good for you. I love it.
     
    rynor likes this.
  5. rynor
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    rynor Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Update - 04/01/2019

    Since last Monday (03/25), I have done the following:
    • Found multiple customers - some freelance (Upwork) and some for my computer services business
    • Updated my Fiverr profile to include more gigs
    • Promoted my services on Thumbtack
    • Hung up some flyers around town
    • Answered a ton of Quora questions related to technology
    • Created a YouTube channel for tech education, recorded one video and uploaded it
    One job that stands out was a computer training job was requested via my local Craigslist. The computer training was 2 hours long. I helped the customer identify inefficiencies and organize herself a bit. In return, she not only paid me, but also provided a review and valuable insights for acquiring customers like her. The service was successful overall.

    My gf and I defined our ultimate goals for this week on Sunday (03/31) and I'm actively working on accomplishing the smaller goals each day.
     
  6. Justin Kuijpers
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    Justin Kuijpers New Contributor

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    How did the 100 voicemails work out for you? Love your thread, keep it going!
     
    rynor likes this.
  7. rynor
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    rynor Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    To be honest, I stopped using it since I felt it was a bit of a waste of time for me.

    I spent roughly an hour curating a message that didn't sound too "salesy" and tried to focus on the benefit of the customer. Then, I recorded my message on the Windows 10 Voice Recorder app with a Samson Q2U mic (and pop filter), and made sure the sound quality was good, my voice was clear, etc.

    Now to the figures...
    I bought 100 voicemails for $10 and got another 100 free by using a referral code for a total of 200 messages. Only successfully delivered messages are deducted from your total, so I sent them in batches of 100 at a time.

    Total messages sent: 487 voicemails - 287 residential, 200 business.

    Out of the 287 residential, only 40 were successfully delivered to a voicemail box. Out of the 200 business, only 30 were successfully delivered. Total: 70 successfully delivered voicemail messages.

    Only one business called me back. None of the people I sent messages to called me back.

    This is likely due to using the wrong message and wrong target audience. Ultimately, I decided to put it on the back burner for now and focus on a more organic strategy of custom acquisition, which has worked a lot better for me.
     
  8. rynor
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    rynor Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Update - 04/07/2019

    Since last Monday (04/01), I have done the following:
    • Found a couple of new customers - both from freelance websites (Upwork and Thumbtack)
    • Created a new Craigslist ad for web design
    • Removed and added Thumbtack services
    • Answered a few Quora questions related to technology
    • Edited YouTube video SEO and closed captioning
    • Created a Bing Places account for my local services business
    • Removed discounts from my website, MailChimp sign up form, etc.
    Both of the customers I acquired this week needed a website designed. I completed the first one yesterday - it only took me roughly 5 hours to complete and paid decently. She also gave me an excellent review, which always helps for freelancing. As for the other customer, he was a bit put off by the price that I quoted him (like all web design customers lol), but we scheduled another call to discuss in-depth this week.

    I have been taking on more web design jobs because they're easy, don't take a lot of my time, and pay handsomely if you negotiate properly. I know what you're thinking - "you're trading time for money", but I'm working on it.

    My gf and I are going to define our large goals for the week today. I'm going to try a new tactic this week of creating a checklist for each day to provide additional accountability.
     
  9. rynor
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    rynor Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Update - 04/14/2019

    Since last Sunday (04/07), I have done the following:
    • Found a couple of new jobs (one for my company, one consulting)
    • Created a new freelance account on Freelancer.com
    • Answered some Quora questions related to technology
    • Created a Bing Ads account for promoting my business
    • Hung flyers for my business around town
    • Recorded a YouTube introductory video
    • Sent out dozens of job proposals for web design, computer repair, and computer training
    • Spoke to a gentleman from an Entrepreneurship Discord server that I'm part of about business strategy
    • Edited my business website for more responsive design on mobile devices and tablets
    • Added another blog post to my website
    • Improved SEO score on my website (used Neil Patel's SEO Analyzer for measuring)
    One customer that was acquired was from word of mouth. An old colleague of mine reached out to me and provided a lead. I reached out to the lady and we agreed upon reconvening in mid-May.

    Another job I have is for Monday on a consulting basis. I will be helping the same colleague (mentioned above) with a client onboarding for my usual onsite rate.

    A big point of these next couple of weeks will be figuring out how to transition from the B2C to B2B space and build partnership agreements with other companies. I need to figure out a way to package my services and then provide the value to other companies so we can work together.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    Plaza Fury likes this.
  10. rynor
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    rynor Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Update - 04/21/2019

    Since last Sunday (04/14), here's what I've been doing:
    • Found a few new gigs (one for my company, one freelancing, one consulting)
    • Discussed a partnership agreement with a digital marketing consultant
    • Answered some Quora questions related to technology
    • Sent out job proposals for web design, computer repair, and computer training
    The customer for my business reached out to me directly. I finished the job relatively quickly (~30 mins) and he paid full price. His roommates were very impressed with my work and asked for my card as well. Overall successful job.

    Working on a potential IT consulting gig one day a week for a company near me.

    I've been working closely with a lady on Upwork who wants to keep me on retainer for recurring work. I may hire a cheaper freelancer to do these jobs for me and still profit since she pays handsomely and the jobs are relatively easy.

    Another old colleague of mine reached out about working closely on some digital marketing consulting for small companies. We developed a pseudo partnership, I will be helping him with some of his client work for consistent cash flow.
     

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