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revenga

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Hello everyone,

Feels good to be back here.

I wanted to post here to share a bit of my story and the struggles I am facing now, hoping someone can undestand me as I have no entrepreneur friends.

I built a SAAS company (not entirely automated) on my own (coding, marketing, design, everything..). This is my first real business. Scaled it up from $90 August to $1000 MRR in September with 90% profit margin.
My next milestone is $9000 MRR by the end of October. I believe the market is big enough to grow to $40K MRR by next year (March '18)

The market is good, the current growth of my business is good. But there's a slight problem...

I have no one to confide to, or talk about the frustrations I have with clients. Sometimes I can't seem to be patient enough and start losing clients. I get angry. I get tons of people trying my product for a few days, and ask for a cancelation but my product has given them results... Sometimes people are really disrespectful too.
I take it far too personally and it hurts my stomach sometimes. I'm raw and I'm scared of being stuck at $1000 MRR. Scared of failure and having to go back to a job.

It's like there's a transformation that is needed right now. But I can't seem to make the mental switch.

I went from employee to entrepreneur. Then from $0 entrepreneur to $1000/mo entrepreneur. Now I have the beginning of something. But my feelings are holding me back right now.

I know that "it's nothing personal, it's always business".

I know there's no way for me to get to 10K-40K-100K MRR in my current state.

I wish I was a colder business man and it wouldn't hurt me so much to lose clients after their free trials. I wish I was stronger mentally.

I feel a lot of pressure on my shoulders, and I am the only one on the ship. The employer and the employee. I am a solopreneur.

Does anyone know what I mean or have gone through what I'm going through ?

Thank you.
 
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NewYorkCity

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Yeah I sell enterprise SaaS at a startup currently. Deal with everything you're talking about daily. Maybe I can help?
 

revenga

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Yeah I sell enterprise SaaS at a startup currently. Deal with everything you're talking about daily. Maybe I can help?
Thanks, my question is how do you keep your cool under customers pressure and abstract yourself from the complaints of the clients to focus on the company. I take things far too personally.
 

NewYorkCity

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Thanks, my question is how do you keep your cool under customers pressure and abstract yourself from the complaints of the clients to focus on the company. I take things far too personally.

When they don't want to renew first ask why.

"What would you like to see in the product?"
"Why do you think it can't help you?"

If they want to cancel let them cancel but make the product better,

You don't take it personally. Try to figure out how you can make them want the product. In the end it is a numbers game (sales skills can increase conversion rate) but if it is a good product some people should want you should get some paying customers out of it.

If no one wants to buy the product might not be a good fit.

In the end there is no magic bullet. Just talk to as many people as possible and try to make them paying customers.
 
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rogue synthetic

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It's like there's a transformation that is needed right now. But I can't seem to make the mental switch.

I wish I was a colder business man and it wouldn't hurt me so much to lose clients after their free trials. I wish I was stronger mentally.

I feel a lot of pressure on my shoulders, and I am the only one on the ship. The employer and the employee. I am a solopreneur.

Does anyone know what I mean or have gone through what I'm going through ?

Thank you.

Although I've never been in exactly your position I completely relate to what you're experiencing.

When I was a teenager and even well into my 20s, I took everything personally. Any rejection, people disagreeing with me, I took it as a slight. Even cases where people probably didn't mean anything by it, it would get up my craw.

Sometimes I'd get mad about it. Sometimes I'd internalize it and spend the energy beating myself up.

It took a lot of work and reflection to even start the work of realizing that not everything was about me.

I say "start the work" because unfortunately there's no simple quick fix here. I can't give you a list of things to do to change this; nobody can. It's a process that you have to throw yourself into.

What has to change is your entire outlook. The way you see yourself, the way you relate to the things that happen to you.

If you are like most of us, you are focused on your own ego. Your own wants and desires. Your need to think of yourself as a successful person who doesn't make mistakes. When things happen, you take them personally. They are your fault, or something you should have prevented. The first step is learning how to let go of this -- to learn that you aren't the center of the world, that your feelings and desires are your problems and you are ultimately responsible for them.

This is hard work, make no mistake about it. But there are a lot of resources that can help you in this. If you're a visual or auditory learner, search on Youtube for Jon Kabat-Zinn's videos on mindfulness meditation.

If you prefer to read, his books Wherever You Go, There You Are and Full Catastrophe Living were game-changers for me when I started facing down these issues.

Maxwell Maltz's Psycho-Cybernetics is also highly recommended.

None of this is easy, but it can be done. Good luck!
 

TheOwl8

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Not to get too philosophical but...

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

The reality is you can do everything right and a client may not appreciate it. They may take advantage of you. They may take their business elsewhere. It will happen, and sometimes it will be completely out of your control.

Ask yourself why you're having a problem with a client. Is there something you can do to change it? And if it is out of your hands, forget about it. Let it go. Focus on what you control, and let the rest take its course.

If you try to control the things that you cannot control, you'll be anxious, uptight, angry, and eventually burned out.
 

I Am I Said

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I can relate - I work with a lot of highly-achieving, highly-demanding people. I have learned a few things:
  1. If they don't like what you're doing there are two approaches:
    1. Learn, change and grow, or;
    2. Filter them out and be glad they help you focus on the people you can help.
  2. Two major questions that change conversations (thanks, Michael Bungay Steiner)
    1. What's on your mind?
    2. What's the real challenge here for you?
  3. Take control of feedback: choose people to ask, and always ask for "two things you appreciate about me and two things you think I could, and should, do better". Then:
    1. Do not agree or disagree
    2. Write down the feedback verbatim
    3. Thank them sincerely
    4. Use it to improve
 
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mikey3times

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If they don't like what you're doing there are two approaches:
  1. Learn, change and grow, or;
  2. Filter them out and be glad they help you focus on the people you can help.

This.

Not everyone is a good fit for your service. Accept that and then take all your negative energy and apply it positively to the customers that are a good fit.

Have you ever tried a product or service and thought, this isn’t quite right for me? It might be a great product, but isn’t perfect for your current needs. So you moved on, right? It happens to all of us. Why would you get mad that someone isn’t a good match?

Think about it: they are doing you a favor by leaving so you don’t have to spend any more time or money on them. If they stay then they will end up being an even bigger pain than it is worth. Be thankful that they leave so you can focus more energy on your paying customers.
 

I Am I Said

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Yeah, if you focus on that aspect, it's a classic case of Michael Port's "Red Velvet Rope" policy (google it).
 

NewYorkCity

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This.

Not everyone is a good fit for your service. Accept that and then take all your negative energy and apply it positively to the customers that are a good fit.

Have you ever tried a product or service and thought, this isn’t quite right for me? It might be a great product, but isn’t perfect for your current needs. So you moved on, right? It happens to all of us. Why would you get mad that someone isn’t a good match?

Think about it: they are doing you a favor by leaving so you don’t have to spend any more time or money on them. If they stay then they will end up being an even bigger pain than it is worth. Be thankful that they leave so you can focus more energy on your paying customers.

Part of sales is disqualifying customers -- this is good advice.
 
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revenga

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Thank you everyone for your advice and feedback, I really needed it.

I am seeing more and more similar types of people as I am dealing with so many customers/trials etc so I am starting to notice patterns in people now.

I can see much faster who is able to pay or not. Who's going to be a pain, or not a fit. I guess I needed a bit more experience. Still evolving.

I am on track to $2K MRR in few days. I will come back to this thread to re-read the advices again and apply them.

Bless
 

NewYorkCity

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Thank you everyone for your advice and feedback, I really needed it.

I am seeing more and more similar types of people as I am dealing with so many customers/trials etc so I am starting to notice patterns in people now.

I can see much faster who is able to pay or not. Who's going to be a pain, or not a fit. I guess I needed a bit more experience. Still evolving.

I am on track to $2K MRR in few days. I will come back to this thread to re-read the advices again and apply them.

Bless

nice.... if you can go after bigger clients too.

Where I work it's just as easy to close and deliver for a 5k deal as a 100k deal in SaaS at least.
 
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focusedlife

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A few of the folks that I admire, one of the similarities that they all share is that they all are very focused on the 20% that matter.

If you follow the 80/20 rule, if you dig in, I bet you'll kind of know this instinctively, but, within that 80/20 you have 10% that are hyper ready to do business with you, you have the 10% that will hate you regardless of a useful "why" (they're just miserable) and then you have the mediocre iddle of the road folk.

They're not raving fans, and they're not high heat haters.

They just are and if they're satisfied then so be it, they'll do something with you, but don't expect much from them.

In my opinion, as long as you're focusing on delivering KICK a$$ value, as long as you are committed to delivering the uber BEST experience then the filtration process will commence.

You think Disney doesn't have to deal with assholes?

Of course they do...which is why they created the express pass.

You think nightclubs don't have to deal with these folks?

Of course...they created the VIP line and the VIP room.

You can have a "premium" version of whatever you have to separate the special from the mediocre masses.

Don't focus on those that won't like you.

Focus on those that LOVE you.

Make your experience geared towards them and, over time, more will follow suit.

Hope that was helpful.

Also...read stoic books like anything Tim Ferris and Ryan Holiday has a few as well.

Read stuff on happiness, buddha, and Joseph Campbell.

So hope that was helpful.
 
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GoodluckChuck

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Maybe this will help:

My girlfriend suffers from taking things too personally at her job. It's definitely a fault. If her boss tells her to tell her before she leaves early, it ruins her night. She says she "hates being in trouble."

Me being the helpful boyfriend I am, was doing some Google Academy research one night and discovered an article about meditation's effect on the brain. I'm sure you can find some writing on this but to sum it up, basically your brain has multiple areas. It has an area for self thought and it has an area for survival mechanisms. The links between the different areas are strengthened and weakened based on how you use your brain on a daily basis. In someone that takes things too personally, the survival part and the area of self share a link that is much too strong for the organism's own good. The basis of the paper was that meditation has been shown to weaken this link and make it easier for people to see themselves and others from a broader perspective and not take things so personally.

Since you are at the beginning of your journey and obviously need to nip this issue in the bud before it hampers your growth, I recommend meditation. If you're like me and you want to understand the mechanism before you do it, then study up on it. Either way, meditation seems like a very good option for you to try.

Hope it helps!
 

revenga

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Hi everyone,

It's funny to see how one can evolve in just 2 weeks. I guess entrepreneurship and "just doing it" is the best learning experience one can have. It's much better than just reading about it.

I guess I'm just going to use this thread as a "progress thread"

Now at $5.6K MRR. On track to $7.5K this week.

Now I have no emotions whatsoever when I'm canceling trials. I guess entrepreneurs have to go through that in the beginning (nobody never told me this before!).

The problem is at least 50% of payments are not going through because of insufficient funds. It makes me lose a lot of money.

My question is what you guys do with broke people ? And how to filter them out in the beginning ?
 

NewYorkCity

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Hi everyone,

It's funny to see how one can evolve in just 2 weeks. I guess entrepreneurship and "just doing it" is the best learning experience one can have. It's much better than just reading about it.

I guess I'm just going to use this thread as a "progress thread"

Now at $5.6K MRR. On track to $7.5K this week.

Now I have no emotions whatsoever when I'm canceling trials. I guess entrepreneurs have to go through that in the beginning (nobody never told me this before!).

The problem is at least 50% of payments are not going through because of insufficient funds. It makes me lose a lot of money.

My question is what you guys do with broke people ? And how to filter them out in the beginning ?

i dont want to know your niche but who are you selling to? mom and pop? single entrepreneurs? and how are you prospecting here

businesses normally have money idk what happened here. most companies have cash
 
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revenga

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Hey everyone,

I want to thank you all for the messages you left on this thread, I wanted to give everyone an update on how it went, what lessons I learned etc.

It's funny looking back on my journey, and see what I had to go through.

This was a hell of a ride for sure.

As you can see from my previous post, in september I was at around 1K MRR, but it litterally blew up by October and november, it got up to $12K gross, $8K/mo after refunds, costs etc.

I automated most of it with Zapier, but the problem is I couldn't handle the growth and I didn't hire people to support my business.

The stress ate me up. Constant stomach ache, worked from 6am to 11pm, sometimes up to 1am in the morning, everyday 7 days a week.

It kept running until May, I blew 70% of the money I made on stupid stuff.

I litterally come from 0, so when you start making money suddenly, you start buying stupid sh*t and riding luxury uber everywhere.
I traveled to different continents and live well in awesome airbnbs.

In May I tried to sell the business, but it didn't go through, I was tired of running it, so I just shut it down around June 2018. By the time I shut it down, the growth had slowed and the churn was getting higher, I was making about $1.2-2.5K per month in subscription.

I lived off my savings for a few months and tried to makea new business, but couldn't.

Finally before, I blew all the money I made, I decided to take on a job, and build a new business part time. I started working 2 months ago at a startup and make a nice stable income affording me an appartmenent, and basic expenses.

I learned a lot from this experience.
If I could start again, I would :
- Hire people when needed.
- Have less ego
- Saving more money
- Manage my health and stress better

With that said, I don't have a family or big responsibilities yet, I just need to afford rent and food.

I still have big dreams of becoming a millionaire.

I'm thinking about which industry I should go to.

What I am making as an employee now is like 1/5th of what I was making few months prior, but you live and you learn.

The real question is what am I going to do now ?

What direction can my life take ?

Am I going to be a successful, rich entrepreneur ?

I'll be here to answer questions or just chat if you need me.
 

revenga

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Hi guys,

Here's an update.

I finally decided to quit my job, gave my notice and will be out of the company in end of May.

I managed to save a bit from my paycheck, and hired 3 of my friends part time to help me code my website.

I definitely think it can go well, the only problem is I only have 2 months of runway.

The product is going to be ready in 1 month.

Do you guys have any idea how I can solve this? Should I take a personal loan?
 

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