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NOTABLE! Just stick with it, don't quit. It's a hard journey - $30k in a single month... finally.

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Ravens_Shadow

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If this thread stops one person from quitting, then it's done its job.

I've been on my "fastlane" journey since 2012 and as of the past month I finally hit my goal, which was to make $30k in a single month.. and we actually surpassed this. Our goal now is $60k per month, then $90k, and so on.

Just a few months ago, we were weren't making much at all. I started this company in 2016, and fought tooth and nail to build a team so that we could get everything going. It was painful. I cried at times due to how hard it was to make our products and get our business off the ground. Things just weren't going my way for the majority of my journey. When you come across these barriers of entry, don't let them stop you. Just keep going. It's at points like these when everyone else quits, and it's why you have to keep going.

If I had quit during my hardest times, I wouldn't be here talking about our successes now. Since I'm working on an enterprise instead of a lifestyle business, its taken me years to get to this stage. Now we're ready to scale this thing and become the next leader in our industry. I had to work day jobs during the majority of my journey, and you have to do what you have to do. Don't be ashamed of that.

Any way, I don't really have any other lessons here except to keep going. If you keep inserting quarters into the gumball machine, eventually a gold one will come out.


MODERATOR NOTE
For those wondering how Nick got to this point, his progress thread is on the INSIDE. He's provided pages and pages of material about his struggle, YEARS long, and quite detailed. So if Nick isn't being very forthcoming in this particular thread, it's not that he isn't willing. He's done so on his progress thread which is on the Inside and not indexable by Google.
 

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Andy Black

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Ravens_Shadow

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Process

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What are the biggest obstacles and mistakes you’ve overcome? (Without giving away trade secrets)
 

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What are the biggest obstacles and mistakes you’ve overcome? (Without giving away trade secrets)
Obstacles:
  • Building a good team with vested equity instead of capital.
  • Maxing out my credit cards on this business which forced me to get a job.
  • Making our technology faster/easier/better than our competitors.
  • Gaining traction when our first product was only "ok".
  • Having to balance family life, a job, and the business for years non-stop.
  • Overcoming potential customers skepticism about how much better our tool was. Now that we have a live demo out, it's not an issue to convince them, but during our initial marketing push, it was super hard to convince them without a product in hand.
  • Loneliness when trying to build something. Not having any friends I can relate to in person is painful.

Mistakes:
  • Bringing the wrong people onboard messed up a lot.
  • Not having an operating agreement from the start messed up a lot.
  • Paying legalzoom for things was a waste of money.
  • Starting with the wrong product. We had one product, it did alright and put us on the map, but it was mostly a flop as it didn't provide enough value by itself. We should have started with our current product first. However, a the time we didn't even have the skills or the team to do it, so I don't blame myself.
  • Choosing the wrong licensing/payments platform at the start. Down the road we had to cancel all of our subscribers subscriptions when migrating and most never came back.
  • Not having personal finances and business finances separate for the first two years.
 

luniac

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Obstacles:
  • Building a good team with vested equity instead of capital.
  • Maxing out my credit cards on this business which forced me to get a job.
  • Making our technology faster/easier/better than our competitors.
  • Gaining traction when our first product was only "ok".
  • Having to balance family life, a job, and the business for years non-stop.
  • Overcoming potential customers skepticism about how much better our tool was. Now that we have a live demo out, it's not an issue to convince them, but during our initial marketing push, it was super hard to convince them without a product in hand.
  • Loneliness when trying to build something. Not having any friends I can relate to in person is painful.

Mistakes:
  • Bringing the wrong people onboard messed up a lot.
  • Not having an operating agreement from the start messed up a lot.
  • Paying legalzoom for things was a waste of money.
  • Starting with the wrong product. We had one product, it did alright and put us on the map, but it was mostly a flop as it didn't provide enough value by itself. We should have started with our current product first. However, a the time we didn't even have the skills or the team to do it, so I don't blame myself.
  • Choosing the wrong licensing/payments platform at the start. Down the road we had to cancel all of our subscribers subscriptions when migrating and most never came back.
  • Not having personal finances and business finances separate for the first two years.
whoa what happened with legalzoom?
 
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Ravens_Shadow

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whoa what happened with legalzoom?
You're better off paying an actual lawyer for operating agreements, LLC setup, etc to get your accounts going with them. Legalzoom is just upsell after upsell after upsell. Sure, you might get setup quick with them and real lawyers are more expensive, but the real lawyer will actually make changes that you need, and you can build a meaningful relationship with them.. which you will need on your journey. Atleast if you're going the enterprise route with a team.
 

Raoul Duke

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luniac

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You're better off paying an actual lawyer for operating agreements, LLC setup, etc to get your accounts going with them. Legalzoom is just upsell after upsell after upsell. Sure, you might get setup quick with them and real lawyers are more expensive, but the real lawyer will actually make changes that you need, and you can build a meaningful relationship with them.. which you will need on your journey. Atleast if you're going the enterprise route with a team.
one of my friends used legalzoom for an LLC but he's mostly 1 man team i think, i heard no complaints.
maybe in your case it makes a lot more sense for a real lawyer, cause ur doing next level shit! lol
 

Process

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Obstacles:
  • Building a good team with vested equity instead of capital.
  • Maxing out my credit cards on this business which forced me to get a job.
  • Making our technology faster/easier/better than our competitors.
  • Gaining traction when our first product was only "ok".
  • Having to balance family life, a job, and the business for years non-stop.
  • Overcoming potential customers skepticism about how much better our tool was. Now that we have a live demo out, it's not an issue to convince them, but during our initial marketing push, it was super hard to convince them without a product in hand.
  • Loneliness when trying to build something. Not having any friends I can relate to in person is painful.

Mistakes:
  • Bringing the wrong people onboard messed up a lot.
  • Not having an operating agreement from the start messed up a lot.
  • Paying legalzoom for things was a waste of money.
  • Starting with the wrong product. We had one product, it did alright and put us on the map, but it was mostly a flop as it didn't provide enough value by itself. We should have started with our current product first. However, a the time we didn't even have the skills or the team to do it, so I don't blame myself.
  • Choosing the wrong licensing/payments platform at the start. Down the road we had to cancel all of our subscribers subscriptions when migrating and most never came back.
  • Not having personal finances and business finances separate for the first two years.
Thank you for replying :) Congrats on overcoming so much.
 

Xeon

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It was painful. I cried at times due to how hard it was to make our products and get our business off the ground.
Wow, I'm surprised to read this. I always thought for many of the more capable and successful fastlaners here, they know exactly what to do, where things are going, and have fixes to most of their problems, like how a very experienced top pilot handles an airplane.

Btw, is your software suitable for individual consumers also, or is it for big production houses like Double Negative etc? I remember reading previously that it's a Vfx / Special fx software that simplifies a lot of things and can do special effects a lot easier.
 
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Ravens_Shadow

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Wow, I'm surprised to read this. I always thought for many of the more capable and successful fastlaners here, they know exactly what to do, where things are going, and have fixes to most of their problems, like how a very experienced top pilot handles an airplane.

Btw, is your software suitable for individual consumers also, or is it for big production houses like Double Negative etc? I remember reading previously that it's a Vfx / Special fx software that simplifies a lot of things and can do special effects a lot easier.
Most of us probably don't know what we're doing in a lot of cases. We just keep doing it until we figure it out. For me, I have ideas and a vision of what I accomplish, and then I try to move mountains to figure out how to get it done. Sometimes a boulder comes down and smashes your toes and that's when you cry for a bit. Then you keep on going at it.

As for our product, we target both major studios and individuals. I don't want our company name out in the public thread here.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Congrats Nick, it's been quite a ride for ya.

For those wondering how Nick got to this point, his progress thread is on the INSIDE. He's provided pages and pages of material about his struggle, YEARS long, and quite detailed.

So if Nick isn't being very forthcoming in this particular thread, it's not that he isn't willing. He's done so on his progress thread which is on the Inside and not indexable by Google.
 

Sebastya

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one of my friends used legalzoom for an LLC but he's mostly 1 man team i think, i heard no complaints.
maybe in your case it makes a lot more sense for a real lawyer, cause ur doing next level shit! lol
I used Legalzoom and it was a nightmare.
 

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Champion

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Congrats!

Wow, this thread got me excited. Not that I was thinking of quitting, but I indeed have been going through a rough patch the last 2-3 weeks.

Especially your sentence about the hard times and "thats where the others quit" got me excited. I cant wait to cross the river...!
 

MJ DeMarco

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Especially your sentence about the hard times and "thats where the others quit" got me excited.
Well lets be clear, Nick has created a great product that definitely fits the terms of a productocracy. He's always just been in the stage of trying to get it exposed and into the hands of the right people.
 

RadicalShift

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Obstacles:
  • Choosing the wrong licensing/payments platform at the start. Down the road we had to cancel all of our subscribers subscriptions when migrating and most never came back.
This is a BIG one! If you don't mind sharing, which payment system caused you the big(est) problem(s)?
 
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This is a BIG one! If you don't mind sharing, which payment system caused you the big(est) problem(s)?
We used a platform called Sendowl. It just had very inflexible options when offering subscriptions, and they didn't care to address our concerns, so we dropped them and went to Fastspring. Fastspring is definitely more of an enterprise solution (in my eyes), but we coughed up the bucks and went with them. It's been worth it.
 
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Ravens_Shadow

Ravens_Shadow

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Well lets be clear, Nick has created a great product that definitely fits the terms of a productocracy. He's always just been in the stage of trying to get it exposed and into the hands of the right people.
And get it to a point where it's ready for people to use haha. It's extremely technical and just takes ages to build right. We went ahead and released this latest product far before our MVP. We're embarrassed, but look at how much people want it, even in it's current stage. Definitely a productocracy, and I could see that, which is another reason I kept going forward.
 

Patrick Hughes

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If this thread stops one person from quitting, then it's done its job.

I've been on my "fastlane" journey since 2012 and as of the past month I finally hit my goal, which was to make $30k in a single month.. and we actually surpassed this. Our goal now is $60k per month, then $90k, and so on.

Just a few months ago, we were weren't making much at all. I started this company in 2016, and fought tooth and nail to build a team so that we could get everything going. It was painful. I cried at times due to how hard it was to make our products and get our business off the ground. Things just weren't going my way for the majority of my journey. When you come across these barriers of entry, don't let them stop you. Just keep going. It's at points like these when everyone else quits, and it's why you have to keep going.

If I had quit during my hardest times, I wouldn't be here talking about our successes now. Since I'm working on an enterprise instead of a lifestyle business, its taken me years to get to this stage. Now we're ready to scale this thing and become the next leader in our industry. I had to work day jobs during the majority of my journey, and you have to do what you have to do. Don't be ashamed of that.

Any way, I don't really have any other lessons here except to keep going. If you keep inserting quarters into the gumball machine, eventually a gold one will come out.


MODERATOR NOTE
For those wondering how Nick got to this point, his progress thread is on the INSIDE. He's provided pages and pages of material about his struggle, YEARS long, and quite detailed. So if Nick isn't being very forthcoming in this particular thread, it's not that he isn't willing. He's done so on his progress thread which is on the Inside and not indexable by Google.
Very inspiring. I'm happy to hear you added value and made all those value vouchers.
 

Andy Bell

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Congratulations! Love the advice on the lawyer and legalzoom was considering them myself but now leaning towards the lawyer...legalzoom is super tempting because of the convenience of managing and doing everything online.
 

GonnaBe2020

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Fellow software guy here, it's very inspiring to hear someone succeeding in the same field, congratulations on such an achievement :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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