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Entrepreneurship

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

1 day ago

Bills are paid by your 9 to 5. 6 through 12 help you build money.

40 years pass. After 14 years of retirement, you die. Am I the only one who sees the problem?

Photo by H.F.E & Co Studio on Unsplash

I’m the Jedi master of escaping the rat race.

Not to impress. I know this works since I've tried it. Quitting a job to make money online is worse than Kim Kardashian's internet-burning advice.

Let me help you rethink the move from a career to online income to f*ck you money.

To understand why a job is a joke, do some life math.

Without a solid why, nothing makes sense.

The retirement age is 65. Our processed food consumption could shorten our 79-year average lifespan.

You spend 40 years working.

After 14 years of retirement, you die.

Am I alone in seeing the problem?

Life is too short to work a job forever, especially since most people hate theirs. After-hours skills are vital.

Money equals unrestricted power, f*ck you.

F*ck you money is the answer.

Jack Raines said it first. He says we can do anything with the money. Jack, a young rebel straight out of college, can travel and try new foods.

F*ck you money signifies not checking your bank account before buying.

F*ck you” money is pure, unadulterated freedom with no strings attached.

Jack claims you're rich when you rarely think about money.

Avoid confusion.

This doesn't imply you can buy a Lamborghini. It indicates your costs, income, lifestyle, and bank account are balanced.

Jack established an online portfolio while working for UPS in Atlanta, Georgia. So he gained boundless power.

The portion that many erroneously believe

Yes, you need internet abilities to make money, but they're not different from 9-5 talents.

Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad's creator, explains.

A job is a way to get paid to learn.

Mistreat your boss 9-5. Drain his skills. Defuse him. Love and leave him (eventually).

Find another employment if yours is hazardous. Pick an easy job. Make sure nothing sneaks into your 6-12 time slot.

The dumb game that makes you a sheep

A 9-5 job requires many job interviews throughout life.

You email your résumé to employers and apply for jobs through advertisements. This game makes you a sheep.

You're competing globally. Work-from-home makes the competition tougher. If you're not the cheapest, employers won't hire you.

After-hours online talents (say, 6 pm-12 pm) change the game. This graphic explains it better:

Image Credit: Moina Abdul via Twitter

Online talents boost after-hours opportunities.

You go from wanting to be picked to picking yourself. More chances equal more money. Your f*ck you fund gets the extra cash.

A novel method of learning is essential.

College costs six figures and takes a lifetime to repay.

Informal learning is distinct. 6-12pm:

  • Observe the carefully controlled Twitter newsfeed.

  • Make use of Teachable and Gumroad's online courses.

  • Watch instructional YouTube videos

  • Look through the top Substack newsletters.

Informal learning is more effective because it's not obvious. It's fun to follow your curiosity and hobbies.

Image Credit: Jeff Kortenbosch via Twitter

The majority of people lack one attitude. It's simple to learn.

One big impediment stands in the way of f*ck you money and time independence. So often.

Too many people plan after 6-12 hours. Dreaming. Big-thinkers. Strategically. They fill their calendar with meetings.

This is after-hours masturb*tion.

Sahil Bloom reminded me that a bias towards action will determine if this approach works for you.

The key isn't knowing what to do from 6-12 a.m. Trust yourself and develop abilities as you go. It's for building the parachute after you jump.

Sounds risky. We've eliminated the risk by finishing this process after hours while you work 9-5.

With no risk, you can have an I-don't-care attitude and still be successful.

When you choose to move forward, this occurs.

Once you try 9-5/6-12, you'll tell someone.

It's bad.

Few of us hang out with problem-solvers.

It's how much of society operates. So they make reasons so they can feel better about not giving you money.

Matthew Kobach told me chasing f*ck you money is easier with like-minded folks.

Without f*ck you money friends, loneliness will take over and you'll think you've messed up when you just need to keep going.

Steal this easy guideline

Let's act. No more fluffing and caressing.

1. Learn

If you detest your 9-5 talents or don't think they'll work online, get new ones. If you're skilled enough, continue.

Easlo recommends these skills:

  • Designer for Figma

  • Designer Canva

  • bubble creators

  • editor in Photoshop

  • Automation consultant for Zapier

  • Designer of Webflow

  • video editor Adobe

  • Ghostwriter for Twitter

  • Idea consultant

  • Artist in Blender Studio

2. Develop the ability

Every night from 6-12, apply the skill.

Practicing ghostwriting? Write someone's tweets for free. Do someone's website copy to learn copywriting. Get a website to the top of Google for a keyword to understand SEO.

Free practice is crucial. Your 9-5 pays the money, so work for free.

3. Take off stealthily like a badass

Another mistake. Sell to few. Don't be the best. Don't claim expertise.

Sell your new expertise to others behind you.

Two ways:

  • Using a digital good

  • By providing a service,

Point 1 also includes digital service examples. Digital products include eBooks, communities, courses, ad-supported podcasts, and templates. It's easy. Your 9-5 job involves one of these.

Take ideas from work.

Why? They'll steal your time for profit.

4. Iterate while feeling awful

First-time launches always fail. You'll feel terrible. Okay. Remember your 9-5?

Find improvements. Ask free and paying consumers what worked.

Multiple relaunches, each 1% better.

5. Discover more

Never stop learning. Improve your skill. Add a relevant skill. Learn copywriting if you write online.

After-hours students earn the most.

6. Continue

Repetition is key.

7. Make this one small change.

Consistently. The 6-12 momentum won't make you rich in 30 days; that's success p*rn.

Consistency helps wage slaves become f*ck you money. Most people can't switch between the two.

Putting everything together

It's easy. You're probably already doing some.

This formula explains why, how, and what to do. It's a 5th-grade-friendly blueprint. Good.

Reduce financial risk with your 9-to-5. Replace Netflix with 6-12 money-making talents.

Life is short; do whatever you want. Today.

Aaron Dinin, PhD

Aaron Dinin, PhD

3 days ago

I'll Never Forget the Day a Venture Capitalist Made Me Feel Like a Dunce

Are you an idiot at fundraising?

Image courtesy Inzmam Khan via Pexels

Humans undervalue what they don't grasp. Consider NASCAR. How is that a sport? ask uneducated observers. Circular traffic. Driving near a car's physical limits is different from daily driving. When driving at 200 mph, seemingly simple things like changing gas weight or asphalt temperature might be life-or-death.

Venture investors do something similar in entrepreneurship. Most entrepreneurs don't realize how complex venture finance is.

In my early startup days, I didn't comprehend venture capital's intricacy. I thought VCs were rich folks looking for the next Mark Zuckerberg. I was meant to be a sleek, enthusiastic young entrepreneur who could razzle-dazzle investors.

Finally, one of the VCs I was trying to woo set me straight. He insulted me.

How I learned that I was approaching the wrong investor

I was constructing a consumer-facing, pre-revenue marketplace firm. I looked for investors in my old university's alumni database. My city had one. After some research, I learned he was a partner at a growth-stage, energy-focused VC company with billions under management.

Billions? I thought. Surely he can write a million-dollar cheque. He'd hardly notice.

I emailed the VC about our shared alumni status, explaining that I was building a startup in the area and wanted advice. When he agreed to meet the next week, I prepared my pitch deck.

First error.

The meeting seemed like a funding request. Imagine the awkwardness.

His assistant walked me to the firm's conference room and told me her boss was running late. While waiting, I prepared my pitch. I connected my computer to the projector, queued up my PowerPoint slides, and waited for the VC.

He didn't say hello or apologize when he entered a few minutes later. What are you doing?

Hi! I said, Confused but confident. Dinin Aaron. My startup's pitch.

Who? Suspicious, he replied. Your email says otherwise. You wanted help.

I said, "Isn't that a euphemism for contacting investors?" Fundraising I figured I should pitch you.

As he sat down, he smiled and said, "Put away your computer." You need to study venture capital.

Recognizing the business aspects of venture capital

The VC taught me venture capital in an hour. Young entrepreneur me needed this lesson. I assume you need it, so I'm sharing it.

Most people view venture money from an entrepreneur's perspective, he said. They envision a world where venture capital serves entrepreneurs and startups.

As my VC indicated, VCs perceive their work differently. Venture investors don't serve entrepreneurs. Instead, they run businesses. Their product doesn't look like most products. Instead, the VCs you're proposing have recognized an undervalued market segment. By investing in undervalued companies, they hope to profit. It's their investment thesis.

Your company doesn't fit my investment thesis, the venture capitalist told me. Your pitch won't beat my investing theory. I invest in multimillion-dollar clean energy companies. Asking me to invest in you is like ordering a breakfast burrito at a fancy steakhouse. They could, but why? They don't do that.

Yeah, I’m not a fine steak yet, I laughed, feeling like a fool for pitching a growth-stage VC used to looking at energy businesses with millions in revenues on my pre-revenue, consumer startup.

He stressed that it's not necessary. There are investors targeting your company. Not me. Find investors and pitch them.

Remember this when fundraising. Your investors aren't philanthropists who want to help entrepreneurs realize their company goals. Venture capital is a sophisticated investment strategy, and VC firm managers are industry experts. They're looking for companies that meet their investment criteria. As a young entrepreneur, I didn't grasp this, which is why I struggled to raise money. In retrospect, I probably seemed like an idiot. Hopefully, you won't after reading this.

Jim Siwek

Jim Siwek

4 days ago

In 2022, can a lone developer be able to successfully establish a SaaS product?

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

In the early 2000s, I began developing SaaS. I helped launch an internet fax service that delivered faxes to email inboxes. Back then, it saved consumers money and made the procedure easier.

Google AdWords was young then. Anyone might establish a new website, spend a few hundred dollars on keywords, and see dozens of new paying clients every day. That's how we launched our new SaaS, and these clients stayed for years. Our early ROI was sky-high.

Changing times

The situation changed dramatically after 15 years. Our paid advertising cost $200-$300 for every new customer. Paid advertising takes three to four years to repay.

Fortunately, we still had tens of thousands of loyal clients. Good organic rankings gave us new business. We needed less sponsored traffic to run a profitable SaaS firm.

Is it still possible?

Since selling our internet fax firm, I've dreamed about starting a SaaS company. One I could construct as a lone developer and progressively grow a dedicated customer base, as I did before in a small team.

It seemed impossible to me. Solo startups couldn't afford paid advertising. SEO was tough. Even the worst SaaS startup ideas attracted VC funding. How could I compete with startups that could hire great talent and didn't need to make money for years (or ever)?

The One and Only Way to Learn

After years of talking myself out of SaaS startup ideas, I decided to develop and launch one. I needed to know if a solitary developer may create a SaaS app in 2022.

Thus, I did. I invented webwriter.ai, an AI-powered writing tool for website content, from hero section headlines to blog posts, this year. I soft-launched an MVP in July.

Considering the Issue

Now that I've developed my own fully capable SaaS app for site builders and developers, I wonder if it's still possible. Can webwriter.ai be successful?

I know webwriter.ai's proposal is viable because Jasper.ai and Grammarly are also AI-powered writing tools. With competition comes validation.

To Win, Differentiate

To compete with well-funded established brands, distinguish to stand out to a portion of the market. So I can speak directly to a target user, unlike larger competition.

I created webwriter.ai to help web builders and designers produce web content rapidly. This may be enough differentiation for now.

Budget-Friendly Promotion

When paid search isn't an option, we get inventive. There are more tools than ever to promote a new website.

  • Organic Results

  • on social media (Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn)

  • Marketing with content that is compelling

  • Link Creation

  • Listings in directories

  • references made in blog articles and on other websites

  • Forum entries

The Beginning of the Journey

As I've labored to construct my software, I've pondered a new mantra. Not sure where that originated from, but I like it. I'll live by it and teach my kids:

“Do the work.”

Sammy Abdullah

Sammy Abdullah

4 days ago

SaaS payback period data

It's ok and even desired to be unprofitable if you're gaining revenue at a reasonable cost and have 100%+ net dollar retention, meaning you never lose customers and expand them. To estimate the acceptable cost of new SaaS revenue, we compare new revenue to operating loss and payback period. If you pay back the customer acquisition cost in 1.5 years and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're doing well.

To evaluate payback period, we compared new revenue to net operating loss for the last 73 SaaS companies to IPO since October 2017. (55 out of 73). Here's the data. 1/(new revenue/operating loss) equals payback period. New revenue/operating loss equals cost of new revenue.

Payback averages a year. 55 SaaS companies that weren't profitable at IPO got a 1-year payback. Outstanding. If you pay for a customer in a year and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're establishing a valuable business. The average was 1.3 years, which is within the 1.5-year range.

New revenue costs $0.96 on average. These SaaS companies lost $0.96 every $1 of new revenue last year. Again, impressive. Average new revenue per operating loss was $1.59.

Loss-in-operations definition. Operating loss revenue COGS S&M R&D G&A (technical point: be sure to use the absolute value of operating loss). It's wrong to only consider S&M costs and ignore other business costs. Operating loss and new revenue are measured over one year to eliminate seasonality.

Operating losses are desirable if you never lose a customer and have a quick payback period, especially when SaaS enterprises are valued on ARR. The payback period should be under 1.5 years, the cost of new income < $1, and net dollar retention 100%.

Nick Nolan

Nick Nolan

5 days ago

In five years, starting a business won't be hip.

Photo by Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

People are slowly recognizing entrepreneurship's downside.

Growing up, entrepreneurship wasn't common. High school class of 2012 had no entrepreneurs.

Businesses were different.

They had staff and a lengthy history of achievement.

I never wanted a business. It felt unattainable. My friends didn't care.

Weird.

People desired degrees to attain good jobs at big companies.

When graduated high school:

  • 9 out of 10 people attend college

  • Earn minimum wage (7%) working in a restaurant or retail establishment

  • Or join the military (3%)

Later, entrepreneurship became a thing.

2014-ish

I was in the military and most of my high school friends were in college, so I didn't hear anything.

Entrepreneurship soared in 2015, according to Google Trends.

Screenshot from Google Trends

Then more individuals were interested. Entrepreneurship went from unusual to cool.

In 2015, it was easier than ever to build a website, run Facebook advertisements, and achieve organic social media reach.

There were several online business tools.

You didn't need to spend years or money figuring it out. Most entry barriers were gone.

Everyone wanted a side gig to escape the 95.

Small company applications have increased during the previous 10 years.

Screenshot from Oberlo

2011-2014 trend continues.

2015 adds 150,000 applications. 2016 adds 200,000. Plus 300,000 in 2017.

The graph makes it look little, but that's a considerable annual spike with no indications of stopping.

By 2021, new business apps had doubled.

Entrepreneurship will return to its early 2010s level.

I think we'll go backward in 5 years.

Entrepreneurship is half as popular as it was in 2015.

In the late 2020s and 30s, entrepreneurship will again be obscure.

Entrepreneurship's decade-long splendor is fading. People will cease escaping 9-5 and launch fewer companies.

That’s not a bad thing.

I think people have a rose-colored vision of entrepreneurship. It's fashionable. People feel that they're missing out if they're not entrepreneurial.

Reality is showing up.

People say on social media, "I knew starting a business would be hard, but not this hard."

More negative posts on entrepreneurship:

Screenshot from LinkedIn

Luke adds:

Is being an entrepreneur ‘healthy’? I don’t really think so. Many like Gary V, are not role models for a well-balanced life. Despite what feel-good LinkedIn tells you the odds are against you as an entrepreneur. You have to work your face off. It’s a tough but rewarding lifestyle. So maybe let’s stop glorifying it because it takes a lot of (bleepin) work to survive a pandemic, mental health battles, and a competitive market.

Entrepreneurship is no longer a pipe dream.

It’s hard.

I went full-time in March 2020. I was done by April 2021. I had a good-paying job with perks.

When that fell through (on my start date), I had to continue my entrepreneurial path. I needed money by May 1 to pay rent.

Entrepreneurship isn't as great as many think.

Entrepreneurship is a serious business.

If you have a 9-5, the grass isn't greener here. Most people aren't telling the whole story when they post on social media or quote successful entrepreneurs.

People prefer to communicate their victories than their defeats.

Is this a bad thing?

I don’t think so.

Over the previous decade, entrepreneurship went from impossible to the finest thing ever.

It peaked in 2020-21 and is returning to reality.

Startups aren't for everyone.

If you like your job, don't quit.

Entrepreneurship won't amaze people if you quit your job.

It's irrelevant.

You're doomed.

And you'll probably make less money.

If you hate your job, quit. Change jobs and bosses. Changing jobs could net you a greater pay or better perks.

When you go solo, your paycheck and perks vanish. Did I mention you'll fail, sleep less, and stress more?

Nobody will stop you from pursuing entrepreneurship. You'll face several challenges.

Possibly.

Entrepreneurship may be romanticized for years.

Based on what I see from entrepreneurs on social media and trends, entrepreneurship is challenging and few will succeed.