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Congrats Amy! Vlog Boss Studios will be a huge success!
2 years ago on It’s official. I’m a boss.
My experience (personal and studying countless successful startups and companies) is that "going it alone" or "doing it all" ultimately is not the best way to Bootstrap. Bootstrapping (what I did with my company from the very beginning, and now employs 75 people) is actually not doing it all yourself at all -- it merely means that the funding for the business comes from CUSTOMERS rather than outside (equity investments or loans). So even though I bootstrapped my business from Day 1, I never went it alone. I initially started with a partner (so I never was alone) and then within about a year and a half we began hiring employees -- and the bootstrapping continued because everything was funded by the customers / cashflow of the business. I highly recommend finding and hiring great people. There is no skill more important in business than finding good people to work on your team. I think what social media consultants (and other consultants or marketing firms) struggle with is that they are not selling a product, but rather a service, and thus this boils down essentially to their "time", which makes it more difficult to expand and hire in the early years. The key is finding a set of clients/customers that pay the business on a recurring basis. I prefer products that REQUIRE the purchase of the SERVICING of that product, rather than JUST a service (a la pure consulting or marketing services). This is of course easier said than done because to create the product it takes funding and that can be difficult to generate from customers. But to the extent that there are some products that can be created to offer your customers, and you can build/create them or get them created, and they can bring you recurring revenues, then the business not only has a much higher chance for success, it also offers the founder/owner (you) much more flexibility, opportunity, choices, and ways to grow the business. And that brings me back to hiring. When done wrong, it is a disaster (as you described with the task that you ended up re-doing, better), or hiring can be the very best thing a company can do -- and usually is if done right. While this may sound odd to new business entrepreneurs, but if you have the right product/service and the customers recognize this and are willing to pay for it and continue paying for it, EMPLOYEES ARE "FREE" -- every dollar they cost you in payroll comes right back to you from the cusotmers -- and then some. And then A LOT some as you continue to build your business...
2 years ago on Doing It All
While what you say is all true, what I have found is that a good nanny and a maid make all of this stuff so much easier. Make money by creating value, and then use that money to pay people to help you out at home. And then get on with enjoying life with your wife and family -- at home and on vacation. Life's too short to worry about how you can keep the nagging to a minimum.
3 years ago on Book Excerpt: How to fix your nag of a wife
I guess I'm lucky. I started my software company 19+ years ago, around 1992. I worked 16+ hours a day, every day including weekends, with my partner, building the software and marketing it, selling it, training it, supporting it, improving it. There was no Twitter, Facebook, or "Pinterest"(??) back then... HECK, there WAS NO INTERNET back then!!!! Period. There was not even Microsoft Windows. The last thing in the world I needed was a program called "FREEDOM" that blocked out any online distractions -- building our software and our business was our ONLY FOCUS, and it was constant and neverending... hour after hour, YEAR after YEAR. Today, we have 70+ employees, gross $12M in revenue, and I earn well over $2M per year in personal income (about a million of that goes to Uncle Sam) -- all while ENJOYING all of the online distractions -- mainly articles about leadership and success that I enjoy reading or seeing links on Twitter from other successful people like Andy Traub, Andy Andrews, etc. And I enjoy all of the new technologies like smartphones and tablets as I spend time at my kids' activities, travel, take countless vacations, etc. I personally don't "ship", but my partner and I lead our 70 employees to do so. They do a great job, have limited access to distractions during work hours, and we have a great company building and shipping software.
3 years ago on You'll never do real work
If someone feels like they're "on the hook", then they feel like they're on the hook. Not sure what this accomplishes other than a few less messages here and there. Email and other "messaging" can be handled in batch, and hitting delete a few extra times is really no big deal.
3 years, 1 month ago on No reply necessary