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Incoming entrepreneur, switching to the fastlane

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StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
Hi there and thanks for having me :)

I've first read TMF in late 2019 (and Unscripted just after that) and came here because @MJ DeMarco mentioned this forum in his books. Partly because I've seen many people who teach "get rich by doing ..." luring folks in onto their sites to sell them additional content (and because I'm a very shy and cautious guy), I kept quiet for the most time and just read through the content mentioned in the emails. But the stories got me interested more and more and last month I decided to make this the year where I switch to the fastlane with the help of this forum.

Both books are now my top favorites when it comes to getting the right mindset to become an entrepreneur. Primarily because the logic is indisputable and math is always right. And although I have to admit that my journey started in 2019 with a search for a yet undiscovered "get rich quick" scheme, it quickly transformed to a journey of finding a way to help other people, because these two books put together all the little things I knew were right and formed them to a greater understanding of the world.

But now finally a little about me: I'm a 35 year old programmer / mathematician, interested in programming, self development and now entrepreneurship. I live in northern Germany, near the city of Rostock, with my loving wife and my two children (3 and 6 y/o). I like working in my current job, mostly because of my colleagues, but the last years I became aware that there has to be more to life than a 9-5 and two days bought by the five other. I wish I had learned the things I know now earlier in my life, since now I have a house and my two wonderful boys to pay for, which restrict me in the risks I am willing to take to get out of the rat race.
The last month or so I consumed a good portion of the content @Fox has put on his youtube channel and will apply his advice the best I can to slowly earn some money to switch from slowlane to fastlane.

So all I have to say for now is thanks to all of you, who wrote about their stories and thereby inspired me and others.
 
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Last edited:

StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
Because it provides great benefit (or so it's said) and hopefully inspires others later on, I will use this thread to write about my progress.

Currently I am making it official by doing all the paperwork for the tax authority. Simultaneously I tell friends about my new business to find my first client. Since cold calling and cold emailing are mostly forbidden here (except for a few exceptions, which I don't wanna risk yet), I'll have to stick to those direct contacts, a little bit of advertising and word of mouth, if a friend tells someone else. :)

My goal is to have my first paying client within these first three months of 2021.
 

DukeArcher

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jan 18, 2021
14
12
Because it provides great benefit (or so it's said) and hopefully inspires others later on, I will use this thread to write about my progress.
Currently I am making it official by doing all the paperwork for the tax authority. Simultaneously I tell friends about my new business to find my first client. Since cold calling and cold emailing are mostly forbidden here (except for a few exceptions, which I don't wanna risk yet), I'll have to stick to those direct contacts, a little bit of advertising and word of mouth, if a friend tells someone else. :)

My goal is to have my first paying client within these first three months of 2021.
What is it that you’ll be doing?
 
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StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
What is it that you’ll be doing?

Thanks for the interest :)
I started following the youtube channel of @Fox some time ago. I already have some experience in web development (but none in entrepreneurial thinking :) ) and I know I can provide the most value there.

This would be my first step to get the skills needed for a business. The next steps are yet to be discovered. From there I'd like to build some wealth to fund my next steps, building some other internet tech related thing to provide even more value.
 

DukeArcher

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jan 18, 2021
14
12
Thanks for the interest :)
I started following the youtube channel of @Fox some time ago. I already have some experience in web development (but none in entrepreneurial thinking :) ) and I know I can provide the most value there.

This would be my first step to get the skills needed for a business. The next steps are yet to be discovered. From there I'd like to build some wealth to fund my next steps, building some other internet tech related thing to provide even more value.
I love it!

My goals are similar.

Before joining the forum I dove into web development courses on one of the big "learn code" sites and flew through the JavaScript, HTML, and CSS sections. While I was doing that, I listened to Unscripted once again and decided it was time that I took action.

I had never seen any of @Fox's content until I joined and immediately saw his Web Design Guide post in the Toolbox at the bottom of the forum. I have a foundational understanding of the code, and have worked on the functional side of software engineering for a large ERP implementation for most of my career, but I've never pieced together the How of taking the steps from Specialized Skill to $$$. The testimonials scream success from his course, so I'm strongly considering it.

I've only been lurking on the forum for a few days, so I'm not speaking from authority, but my biggest take aways thus far have been to stop overcomplicating things and do whatever it takes today to move me closer to making the first dollars...then step from there.

I can't wait to hear more of your story, and best wishes!
 

StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
I love it!

My goals are similar.

Before joining the forum I dove into web development courses on one of the big "learn code" sites and flew through the JavaScript, HTML, and CSS sections. While I was doing that, I listened to Unscripted once again and decided it was time that I took action.

I had never seen any of @Fox's content until I joined and immediately saw his Web Design Guide post in the Toolbox at the bottom of the forum. I have a foundational understanding of the code, and have worked on the functional side of software engineering for a large ERP implementation for most of my career, but I've never pieced together the How of taking the steps from Specialized Skill to $$$. The testimonials scream success from his course, so I'm strongly considering it.

I've only been lurking on the forum for a few days, so I'm not speaking from authority, but my biggest take aways thus far have been to stop overcomplicating things and do whatever it takes today to move me closer to making the first dollars...then step from there.

I can't wait to hear more of your story, and best wishes!
Yeah, I was even reluctant saying I've had a specialized skill, despite working as a software developer for over 20 years now.

And my biggest weakness is clearly the "taking action" part. I've used to last months to develop my planning and time management capabilities, since procastination has slowly become more and more a part of my dayly routine, which I seek now to reverse step by step (only leaving planned slack time with my wife and children). But I know I'll still have to go a long way on this end. But every step helps to get more time I can invest into taking action. And the What do you need? thread of @Andy Black shall be my mantra for this.

Just yesterday I was jogging with a friend of mine and his friend, who works at a company probably in need of a new website in the near future. I don't wanna seem pushy, nor do I want to miss out for the opportunity, but it's a first proof that I can make my first sales only through people I already know.
 
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Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
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Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
13,225
51,155
Ireland
Yeah, I was even reluctant saying I've had a specialized skill, despite working as a software developer for over 20 years now.

And my biggest weakness is clearly the "taking action" part. I've used to last months to develop my planning and time management capabilities, since procastination has slowly become more and more a part of my dayly routine, which I seek now to reverse step by step (only leaving planned slack time with my wife and children). But I know I'll still have to go a long way on this end. But every step helps to get more time I can invest into taking action. And the What do you need? thread of @Andy Black shall be my mantra for this.

Just yesterday I was jogging with a friend of mine and his friend, who works at a company probably in need of a new website in the near future. I don't wanna seem pushy, nor do I want to miss out for the opportunity, but it's a first proof that I can make my first sales only through people I already know.
This might help you too. You’re trained as a developer to think of and solve many problems that aren’t directly in front of you.
  • https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/community/threads/overthinking-is-the-art-of-solving-problems-you-don’t-have.86288/
 

StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
This might help you too. You’re trained as a developer to think of and solve many problems that aren’t directly in front of you.
  • https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/community/threads/overthinking-is-the-art-of-solving-problems-you-don’t-have.86288/
You're definitely right, overthinking and preparing for things that probably won't come is one of my problems to overcome (right after taking action). So thanks for the link :)

On this topic I also read books like "The One Thing", "80/20 Sales and Marketing" (which both made me a very big fan of the Pareto principle) and try to always ask myself: What is the one best thing I should do next - and then do it or learn how to do it and do it afterwards.
 

StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
To give a little update:

Last week was a little troubling, since my 6 y/o fell down the stairs and I had to take him to the hospital. Made my whole week feel a little off. Luckily nothing happened that will be permanent.

But on the plus side: I still managed to get an interview for tuesday morning and got really nervous to get it right. I'm learning everything I can on the subject of selling a website and start to get more calm towards this meeting. Still think my chances are not so good, knowing how much I still don't know, but whatever the outcome I will either learn something from it or I'll be getting my first sale in my life.

The main thing is that I will focus on the value I can bring. I'll be searching for their pain points and show them how a website can help them. Since it will be my first sale, I try not do be too demanding when it comes to price, but I see this as another way to cast a value to my service and wouldn't want it to be considered way too cheap. Sorry to write these obvious things down, but it shall help me focus on the main points.

So fingers crossed ;-)
 
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Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
13,225
51,155
Ireland
To give a little update:

Last week was a little troubling, since my 6 y/o fell down the stairs and I had to take him to the hospital. Made my whole week feel a little off. Luckily nothing happened that will be permanent.

But on the plus side: I still managed to get an interview for tuesday morning and got really nervous to get it right. I'm learning everything I can on the subject of selling a website and start to get more calm towards this meeting. Still think my chances are not so good, knowing how much I still don't know, but whatever the outcome I will either learn something from it or I'll be getting my first sale in my life.

The main thing is that I will focus on the value I can bring. I'll be searching for their pain points and show them how a website can help them. Since it will be my first sale, I try not do be too demanding when it comes to price, but I see this as another way to cast a value to my service and wouldn't want it to be considered way too cheap. Sorry to write these obvious things down, but it shall help me focus on the main points.

So fingers crossed ;-)
Oh no! I hope your 6 yo is ok. Stairs are scary.

Good luck with your call. I find that going in with a genuine desire to help rather than “close” helps.

I think I mention it in this:
 

StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
Thanks, my son is quite well again. Hard to not let fear take over when he or my 3 y/o run up- or downstairs these days :)
And yeah, since I came across the concept of win-wins I want them to be my only goal.
Thank you, @Andy Black , I'll definitely go through your "podcasts" (your "All chats" topic) again :)

The call this morning was okayish. The client wants a project where he has to do as little as possible. He needs very low maintenance. He couldn't say what he wanted (besides having a "new" website) and what that website should specifically accomplish for him. But I think I got everything out of him that I'll need.

It is a little larger as hoped for my first project, but he seemed satisfied and seemingly believed I could deliver what he wants. And I know I could rock this thing if I get the chance. And now it is up to me to send him an offer. His cousin (knows something about webdesign, I think it's primarily technical skills) then looks over it and hopefully gives his approval.
The biggest problem / opportunity ( ;-) ) I have is, that he wants a redesign of his branding. Besides thinking that would be a good decision, this is a little bit out of my comfort zone. So a great opportuniy to learn (and get paid for it).
 

StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
I sent my offer last friday, no answer yet. But I use the time to improve:

I finally set up the legal documents for working as a freelancer (and got news a few minutes ago that all went as intended) and now am working through the book "The 1-page marketing plan". And last but not least I search for new prospects. :)
 
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StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
Since my last post I got an appointment with my prospect. It didn't work well, because I hadn't prepared enough visuals to accompany my offer. But I will get another shot, probably this week, to show him what I have prepared for him.

But I have a question for those of you reading this and selling stuff where design matters:
How do you show your first clients, what you have in mind for them, when you have no portfolio of past work to show them? Do you show them others peoples work saying "I have something like this in mind" or do you create mockups / styletiles?
My approach is primarily the last one, though I have some links prepared to show them websites of the same visual kind I was thinking of...
 

fmpgetnrich

New Contributor
Aug 25, 2017
12
13
27
Berlin
Hey Stephan,

welcome to the forum.
Following your thread from Berlin!
I am originally from the north too. Nordsee though! ;)

Liebe Grüße!
 

StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
Danke, @fmpgetnrich :)

The last week was a little bit disappointing: My potential customer delayed our next meeting to the end of this week or maybe even later. It will be the final one (with him as a prospect that is), because he will either sign or I'll consider him to hard to work for, because it means I haven't gotten the correct impression what he wants after several phone calls and an in-person meeting. I think that means communication is to complicated with him because we seem to not be on the same page about this project (expectations, etc.)

The main issue is trust here (as with all new businesses) and I tried to compensate for this by price. But since he still wants more proof what I can deliver, I now choose to make some small proposal websites for him, to show him what he may expect and what I am capable of.
Additionally I'm trying to make a website for a person I know from a local networking group. This I'll do for free, to get something for my portfolio. Though she's not my target market and only has a very small business (coaching executives) it may help me for my next proposals.

My only next lead is for a local carpenter, but he is someone who doesn't seem to find the time coming back to me on my offer I made.

My main problem seems to be finding the right type of customer. And since I'm new (and haven't been really active on social media to use these to find customers) it's a little bit disappointing. But to keep my spirits high I am constantly trying to find the mistakes I am making, celebrate when I found them, and then try to do something that will help me prevent these mistakes in the future and make it easier.
 
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StephanBg

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 1, 2019
30
29
Northern Germany
Since it has been a while since I last posted, I must confess that I did get the sale, but it turned out to be not a good fit. Though I tried to make it clear what he can expect and what not, he always didn't like what I delivered (he expected more) and constantly changed the things he wanted. Should have listened to those small red flags earlier. Was a bit shocked that I actually tried business with him when I reviewed my thread here and found that I had this bad gut feeling even before the project already started...
So we quit business just before finish, meaning I did get a compensation (50% upfront) but no final payment. And a really bad feeling about me being in business. But I am no quitter and stick with my decision to be a webdesigner.
I managed to save some money to get into Fox's Legends program when it was on a discount so now I have currently the following things on my schedule:
  • Lurking this forum, youtube and other sites for things that would mentally help me taking action
  • Learning how to do things from the program
  • Taking action
Currently it is any action I try to take, mainly cold calling, since I only have some warm leads who delayed further action until their businesses are ready to get to webdesign-things, they are working on other things atm.

My mind constantly wanders off, trying to lure me to other ventures like writing a novel, writing a song, singing, youtube coach (I regularly help some friends dealing with their traumata, and I liked this kind of helping since I was a kid) but this year I stick to my decision of becoming a webdesigner and help people with theses abilities.
 

Gtp

New Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jan 8, 2022
11
8
Hi there and thanks for having me :)

I've first read TMF in late 2019 (and Unscripted just after that) and came here because @MJ DeMarco mentioned this forum in his books. Partly because I've seen many people who teach "get rich by doing ..." luring folks in onto their sites to sell them additional content (and because I'm a very shy and cautious guy), I kept quiet for the most time and just read through the content mentioned in the emails. But the stories got me interested more and more and last month I decided to make this the year where I switch to the fastlane with the help of this forum.

Both books are now my top favorites when it comes to getting the right mindset to become an entrepreneur. Primarily because the logic is indisputable and math is always right. And although I have to admit that my journey started in 2019 with a search for a yet undiscovered "get rich quick" scheme, it quickly transformed to a journey of finding a way to help other people, because these two books put together all the little things I knew were right and formed them to a greater understanding of the world.

But now finally a little about me: I'm a 35 year old programmer / mathematician, interested in programming, self development and now entrepreneurship. I live in northern Germany, near the city of Rostock, with my loving wife and my two children (3 and 6 y/o). I like working in my current job, mostly because of my colleagues, but the last years I became aware that there has to be more to life than a 9-5 and two days bought by the five other. I wish I had learned the things I know now earlier in my life, since now I have a house and my two wonderful boys to pay for, which restrict me in the risks I am willing to take to get out of the rat race.
The last month or so I consumed a good portion of the content @Fox has put on his youtube channel and will apply his advice the best I can to slowly earn some money to switch from slowlane to fastlane.

So all I have to say for now is thanks to all of you, who wrote about their stories and thereby inspired me and others.
Welcome Stephan!
 

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