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Progress Thread From theory to process

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by daru, Feb 26, 2017.

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  1. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Figured it would be a good idea to start logging the process. But first a recap to what have happened so far in my quest for financial freedom.

    Being a software developer I have worked as such pretty much since I graduated. During those seven years I've had a couple of different employers but also my own small company. That company has been used to do projects outside my employment as a consulting business. Unfortunately a money chasing type of consulting and the enjoyment of working that way was about zero in the long run. Not a good road to travel for freedom.

    So the initial plan was to work as employed, build a rental apartment in our too big house and also save and invest money like crazy. You know what I mean if you read Early Retirement Extreme or the Mr Money Mustache blog. This road to freedom works as there are several examples out there. But it requires that you give up a lot of luxury to be free and you really need to somewhat enjoy your employment for another 10 years to build up the necessary capital to fund your (early) retirement. And as things were I didn't enjoy my work that much because there were not enough to do as the company struggled to find new customers. So this road to freedom is not for me.

    As I read a couple of books on startup such as The Millionaire Fastlane, Zero to One, Rework and Blue Ocean Strategy I realized that a money chasing consulting business is actually worse than being employed. But, on the other hand, I read books like Antifragile, Mastery and 50th Law which really helped me to see the downside of being employed. That combined with the book Mindset by Carol Dweck made me comfortable to go for my own business with the goal of financial freedom.

    This realization to start my own real business has been a slow process over the last 2 years. I think that The Millionaire Fastlane book which I read a year ago, the Mindset book and Antifragile was those two which mostly changed my life. But reading all those books (60-70 non-fiction) is very valuable for my process as they help me with my self image and self-reliance. It's like I have all these great teachers and mentors right there on the book shelf to ask. But it's very easy to fall into the trap of doing nothing with all that knowledge and inspiration books can give so one needs to implement and take action also. I struggle with this.

    Now we are getting closer to today. I quit my old day job two months ago, was scared and confused for a 6 weeks and finally 2 weeks ago registered to The Fastlane Forum. There I started read the GOLD threads and finally I learned how to get started finding my business idea. And it's really simple. Solve someones problem or just help people.

    So that's what I did. I have a carpenter friend for which I built his web site back in 2011. It was horrible, not responsive, no contact details on landing page etc. So I updated it and then called him to come by to check it out. I did not ask for any money but he said that he absolutely wanted to pay for it. I just told him to pay whatever he think it's worth. Will see how that plays out.
    Then I remembered that a business partner to my former employer had asked me a couple of months ago if I could build her simple business page as she just started her own company. Remember that I told her that it was a bit to simple for my talent to do that, or some similar moronic thing to say. Reached out to her again and asked if she still needs help with that web site. And sure enough she did. Plan to show her the first draft of it tomorrow. Once again, did not ask for any money to solve this problem for her. But as you may guess she wants to pay me.
    Then I registered for a business network locally where I live where they throw a Friday breakfast meet-up every week. There I talked to a guy that I know since before about some sort of web portal to help local companies export internationally (mining industry).

    And here we are now.
     
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  2. Analyticz
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    Analyticz Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thats awesome. Congrats on the progress. Keep us posted.
    Im excited for you. There are lots of opportunity for developers in today's software-driven world.
     
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  3. Argue
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    Argue Silver Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    So you're just building websites for friends?

    I hope you don't mind me asking, but why aren't you utilizing your software credentials to make your own saas product? For example, something like box, etc.

    Like you said, solving a need. Find where there's a software lacking and make it better. Improve it and sell it. Grow it. Become it.

    Maybe I misread your words. I'm just curious because I'm currently interested in saas.
     
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  4. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I don't mind. Good questions!

    Yes, currently I just build web sites, inspired by Fox's thread about making money building web sites. Why?
    First of all, I have to pay the damn bills. Secondly, I have trouble finding a need or problem to solve that is NECTS compatible. The plan was to use the web site building to start talking to people and business and then find that real need or problem to solve. It's also a way for me to get outside my comfort zone and start talk to people (bit introverted) and build a business network.

    SaaS product is what I'm aiming for since I have the skills. But one should also be open to completely different ways to build that NECTS business if the need comes along?
     
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  5. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    The process to switch from hourly rate to value provided was not as easy as I thought. A client asks me to charge for whatever hours I've spent to build the web site. But this is exactly the type of thing I want to avoid.

    I also noticed that I easily fall into old habits of thinking of the time I spend on the project and starting to calculate what that will add up to with my hourly rate. Had to slap myself several times to get out of that mindset.

    So will try to ask the client what she thinks the site is worth. But I guess she will have no idea. The site is just a simple contact page basically with some bootstrap cover design with a background image. What possible value can that generate for her? One new client for her business in a year? No, it's basically just a convenience for her customers to look up contact details.

    Maybe this project was to simple and I should just give it away for the price of hours spent, give a discount and ask for the right to add my link at the bottom of the page and add it to my portfolio. Since this person is a "networking-guru" I'll ask if she's got any other business that she knows about that may need a new website. Or wait, I'll ask her to keep me in mind if there's any talk with her clients about a problem or inconvenience that could be solved with software!
     
  6. Argue
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    Argue Silver Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I agree it's a good way of practice if you may to break out your shell and talk to clients. Break the comfort zone.

    I would also look up books about selling, marketing, and as a bonus some communication. I think the best skill is to have those selling abilities to to get the customer.

    Definitely needs first, the money comes second.
     
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  7. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Cashvertizing, The Go-Giver and Magical Words that Sell are heading my way in a day or two. Just about to finish re-reading Influence by Cialdini. Read Breaking the Time barrier recently too. Have read How to Win Friends and Influence People a while ago.
    Any other book recommendations for those skills?
     
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  8. Argue
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    Argue Silver Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Add:

    • The Secret Of Selling Anything, by Harry Browne

    • Spin Sucks: Communicatin And Reputation Management In The Digital Age, by Gino Dietrich

    • Just Listen: Discover The Secret To Getting Through To Absolutely Anyone, by Mark Goulston
     
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  9. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Today I pretty much finished a website. Some smaller changes left, client comes back A LOT for changes.

    Talked to my former boss and he was very happy because the Adwords campaign we started have already generated 2 new potential customers. This is for very big and expensive mining systems. Potential ROI is enormous. So providing a shit load of value but gets paid by the hour. Darn it!

    Unfortunately I have an old, pre-TMF, project to rebuild our house to two apartments. Halfway through that project so have to finish that somehow. Spent some time today to work on that project. It is fun, most of the time at least, but it's not Fastlane (hard to scale), needs capital and steal time from a Fastlane business.

    To get the Saas thing going I will start collecting contacts for companies in the area I'm interested in. Then contact them and talk about their web site, if they are not interested I can back off trying to sell them a website to get them to talk about headaches/needs/wants that may provide an idea.
     
  10. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Sent a email to client trying to get value based payment instead of hourly rate. Tried to follow advice from Breaking the Time Barrier e-book. Will be interesting to see how the client responds.

    Put 10 company contacts and information into a spread sheet. This in the industry that I will try to find a need/want and then build a SaaS for.

    Also got some stuff done on the construction project for an extra apartment to make some money out of.
     
  11. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Got paid by client by value instead of hourly rate. To bad my hourly rate would have been higher haha. Anyway, learned a lot. Next client I will negotiate the deal before starting project.

    Called a old friend who works within my target industry for a SaaS. Had a good talk and I found one potential headache that could be made easier with software. He promised to start taking notice when he starts cursing. Will hopefully meet him soon when I travel to the city he lives in.

    Read Dane Maxwell AMA thread here a year ago or so and figured that idea extraction was a neat concept. Today I searched the forum for other threads about idea extraction and was a bit put off. I sort of did a idea extraction today but that was with a friend which made it pretty smooth. I imagine that it is a lot harder to do when cold calling. Maybe not even worth it according to this forum? No one seems to have any good results?

    Back to @Andy Black and his recommendation to just "help people out"!
     
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  12. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Managed to contact 3 potential customers for fixing their web sites today. Two local companies that I actually cold called (did not think I had it in me). First call went pretty bad, nervous and unsteady on my voice. Did not matter to much because that company had just declared bankruptcy anyway.
    Second call went better and I got an email address and they wanted me to explain a bit more of what I offered (tried to keep it about them and not about me me me me..). Their website had been "under construction" with just a Logo for quite a while according to the guy a talked to.
    Third company was my accountant which I just e-mailed and mentioned some problems with their current website that could be fixed.

    Just finished reading and taking notes of Influence by Cialdini. Re-read it slow and thoroughly to really get to understand. Also quickly read The Go-Giver, Magical Words that Sell and currently reads Ca$hvertizing. Traveled by car a lot this weekend and listened once again to the audio book 50th Law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent. I constantly need to work on becoming more fearless and that book helps a lot.
     
  13. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Struggling. Damn hard to just pick up the phone and start calling. Find all sorts or excuses, can't focus. Then I got a call for a job I applied for over a month ago. That made me rethink this whole entrepreneur thing: need the money, comfort, social pressure, self doubt and so on. :humph:
    Made a WADM that clearly showed that entrepreneur is the right choice long term. But I'm weak and scared now. This is hard!

    Guess that's a rant (or just boring self-pity nobody cares about haha). Yeah, I know I know. You won't and can't make any big decisions for me.

    Anyway, made some progress with collecting potential companies for costumer development (idea extraction) and made similar discovery as many others have made. Smaller local companies have web sites that suck or don't have one at all. Opportunity! Also got my ass to local business meet-ups and just tried to be helpful and listen for needs and complaints. That without the money-chasing mentality.

    Thanks for reading.
     
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  14. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Small but important update.
    As I read the forum it seems most people have no problem finding an idea but having trouble with execution. Me, and at least some others, have trouble even finding an idea (need).
    But since yesterday I have an idea I feel good about and it was right in front of me the whole time!
    Now, I have something to execute on. I know the need is out there, there is of course competition and it will be hard. But it feels awesome to beat this first obstacle that I had, much with the help of this forum! Thanks to all of you who post and discuss here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  15. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Practicing being a giver. Currently read Give and Take by Adam Grant. Also read The Go-Giver. It's really a relief to read that it works because everywhere else in my life it's been about taking, getting paid and so on. It's how I've been educated. But it does not fit in with my personality. I don't have to feel bad that I helped someone without getting something in return. It feels right! I enjoy life. Granted, I live on saved money but can do that for a year if needed.
    It's like a switch happened in my brain last couple of days and I started giving without expecting anything in return. Although I have not retrained myself completely.
    And you know what? Lots of great things have already started to happen. Could be coincidence but I doubt it.

    Big thanks to @Andy Black because his contributions here on the forum made my life better. Rep++.
     
  16. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Turned down another job offer, this for COBOL programming. Lucrative but not something I find particularly interesting. But still, I live of hard earned saved money that won't last forever so had a minor struggle within.
    Keep grinding with research for a book and (re)becoming a giver.
     
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  17. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Started writing a book and looking into self publishing. Exciting to actually start executing! Hope it lasts for a while at least before it becomes hard to keep going.

    I use a editor called Vim as a programmer and found this Vimroom plugin that makes it a good editor for writing text also. Just a tips for other programmers who likes Vim and thinking of writing long texts.
     
  18. AdamMaxum
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    AdamMaxum Tick Tock Read The Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey Daru...props! Keep going! Figure out a way to make money that won't tie up all your free time and then focus on fast lane business models in the free time you have so that you're not stuck spending savings. As a developer you should be able to find easy freelance work to pay bills and still have time to focus on a bigger fast lane project.
     
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  19. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Was handed a project from where I used to work. It is a SaaS project to simplify orders between product owners and manufacturing companies. I was given the code. Code I wrote when working there and he even agreed to let me charge his company monthly. I guess that make my first customer and I have a proof of concept SaaS solution already working. Needs lots of improvements of course to test on the real market. Perhaps I was just handed an opportunity to create a Fastlane business? At least one customer finds great use of it. Maybe others do too.

    Book project may be more of an Blog project because of this. Is it common to constantly change ones mind?? Can work on both projects but of course it's harder and read to much about "The One Thing" and "Essentialism". Oh holy Fastlane Forum, What should I do? :oops:;)
     
  20. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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  21. NeverTooLate
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    I also develop software, so perhaps it's something in our DNA, but this is a problem I have too. Everyone's path is different and there are plenty of progress threads on here that are full of weaving and pivots, but if there is anything I've picked up from these forums and the people that have had success, it's that you need to commit to something if you actually want to succeed at it. In other words, you need to commit to committing to something. Otherwise, this is thread is going to become the graveyard of business ideas that you started and never fully executed on.

    Read through this thread from the beginning. It's long, but worth it and is one of the best examples of pushing yourself and persevering.
     
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  22. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks. Did not read the whole thread but I know all this, in theory.

    At this point I will just go on with this SaaS project. Worst case I fail. But ut will get me out there start talking to customers. And more importantly dont get stuck in the idea stage. One customer is way better than none.

    My days will look like this:
    05:00-07:30 Morning routine: The Happy Body exercise, cold shower, meditation, reading, affirmations, negative visualization, read my "giver manifesto" and then 10 ideas (Altucher style),

    07:30-08:30 Kid to daycare, walking dog.

    08:30-11:00 Deep work. Saas business or finishing my construction project (not much left, couple of weeks). When run out of saved money I have to put some paid work here when I can.

    11:00-12:00 Lunch, dog walk and perhaps napping.

    12:00-15:00 Deep work.

    15:00-17:00 Reading/writing.

    17:00-20:00 Family stuff. Then off to bed.

    I actually got the morning routine going for the last 2 weeks and it feels awesome. Five and a half hour of deep work next habit to get going. That is what get results as we all know. But only the few successful manage to do? I will be one of those.

    Thanks for reading and helping me. Much appreciated.
     
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  23. Imgal
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    Imgal Gold Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Love how committed you have been to this thread, that in itself shows a level of commitment that many people in the forum don't have. I love your focus on giving and the amount of education you're doing to get yourself moving onwards and upwards is inspirational.

    You seem to be growing with every post. One thing that I noticed in the earlier posts (and you may have moved away from this so excuse me if you have) is that you talk a lot about web design being creating pages for people. This reminded me a lot of myself when I've worked in the industry and it's why I struggled with it a lot. Seeing websites as websites that are just pages on a site... that makes it very hard for you and your client to really value the work.

    Creating a website for a hotel is a hard sell. Creating an experience for potential guests that allows them to immerse themselves in the experience of being there through a journey that takes them from the front lobby to the restaurant and into their bedrooms, that is something that boosts conversions. Having a FAQ section that answers the questions that staff currently spend 5 hours a week answering by email or phone, that's a huge saving over the year in terms of time they now have to do something else.

    Now you have a valuable product that people are willing to pay a lot more money for.
     
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  24. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks!

    Great explanation of creating value web sites with that hotel example.
     
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  25. daru
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    daru Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Doing the coding part of the SaaS now. That's the easy part. Marketing and Selling will be the hard part for me. But I'm taking action. Got a plan and calculated what my first goal regarding profit should be. Set up some deadlines to help get shit done after talking with a local entrepreneur. My daily habits are still intact. Wake up really early. May be the season here that makes it possible but hoping to stick with it. Springtime and much light here in the arctic circle now. Come and stay here for a couple of months if you want to work around the clock =).
    Feels like I'm no longer stuck on coming up with an idea. I'm actually taking action!

    Back to coding..