Living by Doing

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

9. December 2013 21:08
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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How to: never become a failure again.

9. December 2013 21:08 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

As I wrote in my previous post I have done almost all errors known to businessman (and even some unknown ones too), therefore, after I rebooted my life I have been thinking, reading and talking a lot about failure and how to avoid it.

At MicroConf I talked to some of the speakers about failing, how they dealt with the fear of failure and failure itself and what I learned from this was that failure is not avoidable but you can do a lot to keep your failures at a minimum. Then just last week, Adii from Woo Themes wrote his “pause” post, about how he had to take a pause from his latest project and since I talked to him about failure it made me think even more about how to handle failure or even better how to avoid it.

I was thinking if I could do anything to be absolutely sure to never again fail as I have done before, and let me tell you I have had failures that was big (and small). Big when entire NT controller hard drives was accidently deleted during server upgrades or failing to run a company – running it straight into bankruptcy.

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2. December 2013 13:10
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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Level up your business, install an aimbot.

2. December 2013 13:10 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

When I was writing my master thesis, I had to take a break from time to time. Many of these breaks I used to improve my hand/eye coordination skills by playing Quake3.

Sometimes when I got frustrated at my current level or if none of the regulars was playing, I would play a game with an aimbot installed, just to feel 'superior' for 10 minutes (or less if someone spotted you ;) This is of course cheating and never gives the satisfaction of defeating someone because you are just better.

I have been self-employed since 1998 and the first 11 years I wad impressively bad at it - if there is written a book about 1000 things you should never do running a business, I have done 999 of those. The last 4 years I have done better and the last two have been much more fun than ever before.

For the first 11 years, I believed, like many others, that I was not good enough, did not have the skills and that I just needed to work harder to be more successful. Through all 11 years this way of thinking failed me and I did not become more successful or better at running my business.

What I have done differently is that I have installed an aimbot, and contrary to online gaming, this is not cheating, wrong or illegal and it is something that is free to install and use, it has no recurring billing, no learning curve and takes only 1 to 2 hours a week to use.

I am talking about joining other likeminded and talking about what you are doing. We call ours a mastermind group and it is something that is only used by some self-employed, but should be used by everyone.

The amount of inspiration, ideas and accountability/commitment I get out of my two masterminds groups are astounding and I would not have been able to grow my business without them.

Then you might wonder how does attending a mastermind group link to my 10x goals, well I will let you know why, it goes something like this.

A friend asked if I would like to meet once every month with him and two others in a mastermind group, I said yes, then he kept talking about the micropreneur academy and I was like, yeah right but I know better.

My friend went to MicroConf in Vegas last year and loved it, and when they announced MicroConf Europe, he asked if I would join him there, I said yes and the rest is as they say “history” and documented in previous posts.

So without a mastermind group I would never have attended MicroConf, never gotten my eyes opened and never done 4x even less done 10x

Status

Last week
I got my installer/software upgraded to the .NET framework 4.0, released the free version requiring .NET 4 to test the waters and see if anybody complaints (none yet).

I have been running a a/b test on the download page, testing if a “works for windows 7” (if you are running windows 7) works better than the 90 days guarantee, even though it has been running for almost 1000 visitors there are still no clear winner – it shifts from day to day, so I will let it run for 1000 visitors more.

I have also worked some more on link building for TSR Watermark Image and the TSR Photo Manger, getting some high PR inbound links.

The last thing I did was emailing a Black Friday special deal with 60% discount, but instead of selling the TSR Watermark cheap, I sold a TSR Watermark + TSR Photo Manager bundle for 23.95 so I only gave away 6USD pr. Sale, and this led to seven orders of the bundle.

Last week my visitors dropped a bit – perhaps it’s thanksgiving or just a fluke I don’t know, but I do know that my conversion went up 0,13% and this made my total “x” rise to 4.13x, up from 3.95x last week.

This week
I hope I get my confidence up enough to release the .NET 4.0 PRO version; this would enable me to move forward with a higher price point version that lets you upload the watermarked photos to Facebook/Flickr/Twitpic

I do not know why I keep on being scared of the customer’s wrath. I know from my analytics that around 80% of all installs are running .NET 4 or higher. Every time I change something I am afraid the customers will be angry – but in reality the changes I have been most scared of has turned up my revenue, so far by 4x, so if there is a lesson to be learned, I believe it is that everything must be tested and tried once.

The numbers

OrdersRevenueVisitsConversion
147% 181% 109% 135%
212% 275% 111% 190%
141% 185% 105% 135%
206% 254% 113% 182%
171% 215% 107% 159%
229% 285% 104% 220%
247% 313% 109% 226%
300% 395% 106% 283%
312% 413% 96% 323%

24. November 2013 13:14
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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Revenue almost 4x - Documenting my path to 10x (Week 8)

24. November 2013 13:14 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

To document my growth towards 10x I will blog every Monday with my stats for the week gone, what I tested, what did I change and what did/did not work.

I was thinking this Sunday when I woke up (well actually I was woken by my daughter crawling all over me J) why did you post that blog post Saturday. I realized that one reason was for the publicity and validation, but mostly it was because I want this. I want to 10x and I have realized that the best way to get your goals to succeed is to write them down and speak about it. What could then be better than doing both, writing it down and at the same time speaking aloud through this blog?

Another benefit is that my motivation is often erratic and sporadic and I my hope is that by blogging every Monday (or Sunday) will teach me something about keeping a constant push behind the train wagon.

One thing I am currently interested in is motivation. What motivates me and how do I keep motivated. I have a long history of jumping from project to project partly because I did things that was not aligned with the true me, but also because I did not understand “the dip” as Set Godin writes about.

Therefore, this is as much a journey to understand myself, to find out what motivates me, to learn to keep pushing and to get through to the other side, and I hope you will join me and help me if you can!

Before I continue, I will tell you a little about my setup. I am currently CEO of Andromeda IT, a web consultancy company based in Copenhagen Denmark. We are six young people working together trying to create digital web art in our solutions. One of the employee (Philip) are a part time student, and a really clever programmer (he is programming an OS in his spare time :roll: ) and he is primarily working for my “other” business called TSR Software.

TSR Software is the brand that I am using for my time and place independent software and SaaS business that I want to grow to 10x, but from time to time stuff from the consultancy will seep through to the TSR part and the other way.

I have several ideas for getting to 10x, first thing I will do is streamline and improve my watermarking software. The next couple of weeks I am working on the new website and a new GUI for the software, I hope these two items will give me an x more (or twoJ).

On the longer scale I will boost my other TSR products especially our product TSR Photo Manager that I myself love and I believe there is a big potential for it out there (try it out now!)

The last and third leg is that I will create one or more of the SaaS web apps I am dreaming of getting online and flying.

This is as much a journey from doing a hobby “for the clap on the shoulder” piece of software to fully getting value for money as it is a journey about taking control of my life professional and private and getting more out of live by doing the right stuff.

Status

Last week:

I got my Microsoft ISV Competency approved and got listed on Microsoft Pinpoint (PR 7 directory) and I got started on upgrading my software and installer to .NET 4.0

This week:

I will get some Microsoft ISV logo on the website, write about how the software has been approved by Microsoft and work more on the new website and the new GUI. Release a new version that checks/installs .net 4.0

Status

Week

Orders

Revenue

Visits

Conversion

47

300%

395%

106%

283%