Living by Doing

I'm a single founder working on improving my business and myself.

8. September 2014 17:24
by Anders Thue Pedersen
0 Comments

As you probably have noticed, I have not blogged for some time.

8. September 2014 17:24 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

First it was because I was on vacation, then I thought it was because I had taken a break, but now I believe it was because I was unsure what the reason for this blog was, why did I write?

If it was to get readers I am doing a lousy job since I get around 1-2 visitors every day, and I have been doing zero to get more, even though some part of me wants to have a million readers the part of me that has to write the blog couldn’t really care.

This made me wonder what the part actually writing got out of this; some of the answer is a place to let thoughts get out of my head. The process of writing and rewriting a blog post helps me get some of my thoughts straight and document where I am and what I am doing.

I have slowly come to the conclusion that I am writing this blog for me, to help me find my way in this strange world, and to document what I am doing. Then you might ask why blog, why not just write a diary, but the accountability of a blog is necessary for me otherwise I skip it too easily.

Since the last blogpost I have gone through some major internal and external changes that has taken some time and energy to getting used to, this has drained me for energy to the extent that blogging was a task that slipped out of my “must do” list. The fine about this is that it made me reconsider blogging and made me realize that I actually got a lot out of blogging that I otherwise might have missed.

I feel like a different person now compared to who I was before the vacation. My motivation is more internalized now and for the first time I have noticed that it really pisses me off that what I have created might not survive. This has made me fight for our survival in a much fiercer way than I have ever done before, but it is taking its toll on me.

The real life panda update had roots going deeper than I initially thought. It was not only a question about money but also a question about the work we do and the way we deliver this work to the end customer. Luckily, everything is something that is fixable, and the fixes are simple, hard but simple.

31. March 2014 22:05
by Anders Thue Pedersen
0 Comments

Who I am and what I love

31. March 2014 22:05 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

As you might have guessed, if you have read more than one post on this website, is that I suffer from the imposter syndrome in conjunction with self-questioning and self-doubt.

I apparently come out online with the vibe that I might be depressed, and even though that might be true. I also told recently that I was the most optimistic person someone had met, go figure.

One of the reasons for my struggles is my insecurity about who I am and what I love doing.

So one of my mentors recently told me to figure out what I am not, so here goes.

 

I am not a programming geek.

I am not an OOP geek.

I am not a gadget geek.

I am not a Linux geek.

I am not a computer hacker nerd.

I am not an App nerd.

I am not a website designer

I am not a website frontend full stack developer

I am not a copywriter

I am not a SQL nerd.

I am not a C++ hero.

 

I am a tinker, inventor and builder of stuff. I also am a human booster and integrator with I high level of rightness and fairness.

This means that I love to read some Hacker News articles, but find many uninteresting, I love solving problems by creating software or building website, although I am not interested in “building fantastic technical website using the latest technology” ™.

So there you go

That is who I am, nothing more and nothing less.

Status

So as promised I did little last week, but my main employee working on the new website got a lot done and I got most of the copy moved over, still a day or two until release, but getting there!

Revenue was up, this was because I got some higher price point sales.

 

24. March 2014 16:04
by Anders Thue Pedersen
0 Comments

Accepting myself

24. March 2014 16:04 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

Between my day job, mastermind, taking care of my daughter and managing my father’s house I have done close to nothing on my TSR business this last week.

It tears at me and stresses me, because I really want to succeed in this field too. I do not even know why, it’s just some inner drive to be better, and do something, more than nothing and something that other will say “that is cool” about.

One thing I did get to use some time on last week was attending a meeting arranged by an advisory board group. I joined the group by invitation from its creator after having had an advisory board arranged by them.

And while eating and talking to those I was assigned in group with I realized that I am an interesting person with an interesting story, and my world view and the way I run my consultancy business is interesting.

So maybe I should work on accepting myself instead of (still) trying to be something I am not.

Status

This week and last

Not much, and probably not much this week either

Status

 Detailed information here

 

7. March 2014 11:10
by Anders Thue Pedersen
0 Comments

Live

7. March 2014 11:10 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

I was writing a post about how bootstrapping a company is like running a marathon.

But it sucked.

The meaning disappeared and the words were all #%¤%.

What I wanted to warn you about is that when you reach your goals, when your dreams comes true; be prepared.

The best way to be prepared is to slow down and live while life is available.

That is more important than winning, than pushing, than reaching goals.

Live.

Status

So looking at my numbers I get a big surprise. I thought everything was going great, but it looks like it is going worse - the conversion rate is really low and the average order value is going down.

Damn.

Last week

I discovered an error in my build script, so i fixed that and made it so the dll's needed for the software is embedded into the software.

This week

Still working on the new share feature and the new website

Status

Week Orders Revenue Visits Conversion
40 147% 181% 109% 135%
41 212% 275% 111% 190%
42 141% 185% 105% 135%
43 206% 254% 113% 182%
44 171% 215% 107% 159%
45 229% 285% 104% 220%
46 247% 313% 109% 226%
47 300% 395% 106% 283%
48 312% 413% 96% 323%
49 300% 423% 96% 312%
50 271% 349% 93% 291%
51 218% 303% 85% 256%
52 171% 209% 75% 228%
1 259% 315% 86% 301%
2 282% 382% 98% 288%
3 247% 333% 93% 266%
4 241% 288% 96% 251%
5 218% 273% 91% 239%
6 247% 311% 91% 271%
7 276% 369% 87% 319%
8 259% 381% 96% 269%
9 271% 371% 85% 318%
10 218% 299% 93% 235%

3. March 2014 20:41
by Anders Thue Pedersen
0 Comments

How to do a reality check when you doubt your abilities.

3. March 2014 20:41 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

When you live in a world comprised of hacker news updates and tweets/articles/podcasts from high profile thinkers and entrepreneurs like James Altucher, @Patio11, Seth Godin and Swiss Miss it is easy to lose some perspective on reality.

You might think that you have nothing to offer to the world. That everything has been made before and that the stuff you are dreaming about is useless and not worth making.

Second reality by Future Crew

I certainly think like that from time to time.

This happened (again) last week after I released the new higher price point versions and after the initial high over my accomplishment, I started to get some mental jitters again.

Small bubbles of worrying started to creep in asking if anyone really needs my product, I worried if anyone needed the new features, and questioned if it really works.

At the same time I have been working on a new upload feature, and since the documentation for the API I am using is [redacted] it has taken and astonishing long time to get it to work(ish).

All in all a lot of doubt and uncertainty has been creeping into my brain.

I believe this is all normal.

Being a single founder and entrepreneur is a hard and bumpy road.

The thing that helps you get through this kind of mental obstruction is

  1. How normal you realize this is
  2. How little you fight it
  3. What tools you have at your disposal to help you work through it.

I am getting pretty confident that it’s totally normal to get these kind if thoughts – and if you don’t take my word for it, go read some of James Altucher post’s – he is the master of “normalizing” the “not normal”

I am still a beginner at not fighting it, but I am (painfully) aware of the importance of this point.

This time I ended up relying on one of the essential mental-realigning tools when being a single founder, my mastermind group!

I went to a mastermind meeting and one of the other attendees said that he thought i was a success and that i had “made it” and that he thought of me as a success.

The thing that really made me realize that my “problem” perhaps was a little off scale was that I actually is looking up to this guy because he has taken the leap and has built a SaaS web app and is making recurring revenue (= the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow)

So I have had my mental energy return to normal levels and started moving forward once again.

Status

Last week

I worked on the new sharing option (and made a little progress) and tweaked the website a little, most notably I added a price slider to see if I could bump up the sales of the Share and SecureShare higher price point versions.

The last thing I did was reaching out to three (3) sites that had articles about windows tools for WordPress, and the result was amazing – I got two (2) responses the same day that they would review my software!

Next week

Work on the new sharing feature, hopefully launch the new website.

The numbers

I had higher hopes for the revenue and even though it is high I had hoped (dreamed) of beating the record.

 

Week Orders Revenue Visits Conversion
40 147% 181% 109% 135%
41 212% 275% 111% 190%
42 141% 185% 105% 135%
43 206% 254% 113% 182%
44 171% 215% 107% 159%
45 229% 285% 104% 220%
46 247% 313% 109% 226%
47 300% 395% 106% 283%
48 312% 413% 96% 323%
49 300% 423% 96% 312%
50 271% 349% 93% 291%
51 218% 303% 85% 256%
52 171% 209% 75% 228%
1 259% 315% 86% 301%
2 282% 382% 98% 288%
3 247% 333% 93% 266%
4 241% 288% 96% 251%
5 218% 273% 91% 239%
6 247% 311% 91% 271%
7 276% 369% 87% 319%
8 259% 381% 96% 269%
9 271% 371% 85% 318%

24. February 2014 15:43
by Anders Thue Pedersen
0 Comments

The sound of crickets

24. February 2014 15:43 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

As an entrepreneur, you have to push changes to your product, homepage or business all the time, and the better you are at adapting changes the more fun you are going to have.

Sometimes the changes are small and easy (or at least trouble free) to push out and sometimes they seem a bit harder.

When I moved my free version away from the most prominent place on the download page, this was a small change that involved a lot of worrying.

Worry because I was afraid what my user would think of the change.

Last week I did a small(ish) change again, and again I worried if it would blow up in my face.

I introduced a higher price point of the TSR Watermark Image software - two new versions with some new features and some new pricing (29/69/139)

The result was absolutely nothing, or actually it was better than that because it was “the sound of crickets” I got zero complains and no hassle only some more revenue!

The lesson is, it is ok to worry, but not more than you still pushes out changes!

Status

Last week

I release the new 3-price point layout of the download page.

I released a new version with support for uploading the watermarked images to WordPress after watermarking.

Added WordPress, Facebook and FTP logo to the download page.

The Conversion did go down some, but the higher price point orders made the revenues go up – three cheers for the higher price points!

Next week

I am working on a version with the option of uploading to eBay that I am having some good progress on and will release this during the week, also the new website design are almost ready – hoping for a release this week.

 

Week Orders Revenue Visits Conversion
40 147% 181% 109% 135%
41 212% 275% 111% 190%
42 141% 185% 105% 135%
43 206% 254% 113% 182%
44 171% 215% 107% 159%
45 229% 285% 104% 220%
46 247% 313% 109% 226%
47 300% 395% 106% 283%
48 312% 413% 96% 323%
49 300% 423% 96% 312%
50 271% 349% 93% 291%
51 218% 303% 85% 256%
52 171% 209% 75% 228%
1 259% 315% 86% 301%
2 282% 382% 98% 288%
3 247% 333% 93% 266%
4 241% 288% 96% 251%
5 218% 273% 91% 239%
6 247% 311% 91% 271%
7 276% 369% 87% 319%
8 259% 381% 96% 269%

30. December 2013 00:01
by Anders Thue Pedersen
0 Comments

Fear and Entrepreneurship.

30. December 2013 00:01 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

I'm afraid all year round, afraid I'll fail, afraid I'll go bankrupt, afraid the users won't like my software, afraid my peers won't like my ideas and afraid that everyone will figure out I am an imposter.

I have fought the fear. I have been running from the fear. I have tried to barricade me away from the fear.

Nothing worked.

This is what i feel like when I am afraid.

This is how I feel like when being afraid!

Then I did the only thing left to do, I started to talk about the fear. I told friends, family and business associates about my fear.

I told my friends how afraid I was of not being a good programmer, employee, and friend. One said, "You are the fastest programmer I know", another said "It sounds like you are an excellent boss".

I talked to my wife about how I was afraid where everything was going and how I had no plan, and she said that in her optic I was good enough and a great employer.

I even talked to an employee and told him how I at least once a week on my way to work thought about if today would be the day they (the employees) called my bluff and figured out I was afraid if what I did was okay. He did not believe me and told me that I was so sure and so confident.

I was much less afraid before my 'success', when my watermark software revenue was 1/4 of now I was very calm about it, but now I am afraid it will go away and never come back. I am afraid I cannot 10x my revenue and I am afraid someone will call my bluff.

See a red thread?

More...