WARNING: STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS AHEAD
Ah, officially 101 days (at the time of this writing) has gone by since opening up shop.
That’s right, we’re in the triple digits, baby!
After leaving my dream job in December, I took the next two weeks off to pick up an old habit of mine:
Playing a ton of online video games with my high school buddies.
It was fun spending hours gaming while talking with my friends on Skype like the good old days.
Then the day after New Years hit, it was time to get back into business. Or rather, time to start my first business.
On January 2, 2015, at approximately 6am Arizona time, I popped open my laptop and got to work. I had an idea in mind and a name. A name that’s been on the receiving end of a lot of compliments:
Oh. Yeah. Buddy!
Now, I’m not sure how relevant the finer details of my business is to Self Stairway, but I’ve had some people ask if I was going to talk about it on this website in at least some semi-specific fashion.
I’m in a very stream of consciousness mood and I thought it’d be kind of fun to talk about. So why not?
Some of my entrepreneurial friends take a very transparent approach and publish monthly business reports that details their revenue for the month—which I think is absolutely awesome of them—but I’m not sure I’m going that route, especially not on this site.
But I’m more than happy to share my ups and downs on occasion, only if that means I get to present it in an unstructured mess of a monologue. Today’s such an occasion.
Remember when I said I quit my dream job in December? Justin and Joe, my former bosses, are still good friends and we actually still work together.
Even though I’m no longer their employee, they’ve been my clients since early February. BOOM!
In fact, I’ll be hanging out with them in Southeast Asia early May, along with the many others in our entrepreneurial community in places like Davao, Saigon, and Chiang Mai.
I’ve been in the states for nearly half a year now and it’s about time I get back on a plane that takes me further than 350 miles.
Back to the business:
To date, I have 16 clients and I’m regularly receiving referrals from my network. The majority of my current clients were either people I reached out to who already knew me or came from someone who vouched for me (thanks everyone!)
As for cold emailing and cold calling, it’s been a whole lot rougher. Almost zero progress on that front.
I’ve got a plan in place for when I’m ready for some serious scaling that’ll be much more efficient at finding people who are a good fit.
No cancellations yet, but I’m not going to say things have all been smooth sailing.
With the very unpredictable nature of my industry, things don’t always go your way.
I’d give you more details, but some of it is inside baseball and potentially could draw a target on my back from the hand that feeds (Facebook itself). Though, feel free to shoot me an email if you’re curious.
I’ve turned away a lot of money these past few months by declining clients who I felt I wasn’t a good fit for.
Literally saying no to people–and as a result, money–who want to work with you can be hard, but I’m much more in favor of planning for the long-term and doing good work for those I work with vs. making money on the short-term and failing.
Unfortunately, I had one person take this the wrong way when I suggested we weren’t a good fit for him. I’m almost tempted to publish the contents of the email because of the way he aggressively attacked me–not going to lie, I shared some of it with a few close friends.
As for the revenue side of things, the business is doing better than I had anticipated. I’ve managed to hit 5-figures in Q1 and hoping to make that amount on a monthly basis by the end of the year.
My next big step is to hire my first full-time employee or Virtual Assistant. I’m finding myself constantly turning the (sales) faucet on and off to keep up with demand and setting up for new clients.
Right now, it’s a one-man-show but I’ll have to build a team and replace myself over time if I want to scale this thing to six-figures and beyond.
With the help of some very smart entrepreneurs, I’ve had my eyes opened to what my business could one day become. Something scalable with a large team that automates most of the tasks. That’s not something I had envisioned for it from day one, but it’s where I’m planning to head in the future.
This whole journey really is an emotional rollercoaster and it’s hardly been 101 days.
Some days, I’m on top of the world because everything is going my way. Everyone’s happy, my clients and myself. I feel unstoppable.
Then some things go wrong and fires begin. Some imaginary and some real.
Rinse and repeat.
And although I find myself struggling with subtle feelings of complacency, I’m not going to slow down.
I wouldn’t trade this whole experience for the world.
Besides, I love being on edge just a bit. It keeps me driven and it makes me hungry for improvement.
Here’s to the next 101 days and many more to come.
Feel free to ask me (almost) anything in the comment section!