January was a pretty interesting month for me. One of my two startups started to gain traction, while the other started to show some signs of life.
In addition, I’ve been doing a lot of writing. My book is about 95% complete, which I have been saying for awhile, so I need to just wrap it up versus continuing to tweak things.
I’m now writing for this blog, as well as my two startups. It’s a good thing I started a daily writing habit of 750 words!
Some of the highlights from January include:
- MicroConf was announced and I immediately bought my tickets. The conference takes place in April in Las Vegas and will be a room filled with bootstrapped entrepreneurs. My kind of conference!
- I ended up hiring a new virtual assistant from Pepper. The person assigned to me can write and communicate well, but I’m realizing I probably wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. Most tasks require a thorough walk through, so I’ve been reluctant to really take advantage of the person.
- Met fellow Dynamite Circle members for a dinner on teh 15th. These are called “Junto’s” in the community and was a good discussion amongst a few entrepreneurs who are all in different stages.
- I had a handful of other in-person meetings that were primarily sales meetings for LeadFuze. I am taking most meetings as of now while I try and have as many conversations as I can regarding LeadFuze, since it is still a startup.
Getting Up Earlier
Another key change I made in January was that I started getting up earlier. Started off at 5:30, then 5:00, then 4:30, but I settled on 5:45am. When getting up at 4:30 I just needed to fall asleep too soon, which I couldn’t maintain.
I’m a morning person, so overall this change from 7:30 to 8am to 5:45am wasn’t too difficult. I had to talk with the wife though as she’s a night owl, so we’re trying to find the right balance.
I wanted to get up earlier in order to be more productive. I get two to three hours early in the morning that are pretty much completely uninterrupted, so mission accomplished.
My RescueTime productivity score is usually in the 90’s until about 9am and then it gradually goes down from there as I start spending more of my time doing various communications (email, Skype, etc).
The first week of January, I came across this post on how Mattan Griffel developed a daily writing habit.
He used 750words.com, and so I checked it out. I couldn’t get into that particular platform, but it did provide the inspiration behind my daily writing goal of 750 words. I have done it every day since. I usually try writing first thing when I wake up. I’ve found that it’s easier for me to stay focused.
Some days I’ve written blog posts, other days it has been email campaigns, for a week I worked on technical documentation, and then of course making updates and edits to my book.
Here is a list of the blog posts that were published in January:
- My December Month in Review
- My Smartphone Apps and Home Screen
- 25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me
- 11 Reasons Why Your Cold Email Outreach Will Fail
- The Complete Guide to Cold Email Outreach Best Practices
- From Idea to $1,100/mo Revenue in 30 Days
- Cold Email Outreach Isn’t SPAM, Here’s Why
- I Hated Cold Calling So I Used Cold Email Outreach to Grow a 7 Figure Business
- Our Journey from 7 Figure Agency to Marketing Tool Provider
- How Our Frustrations with SEO Campaign Management Led to the Development of Workado
- How to Build an Unbeatable Content Marketing Plan – on HubSpot
The HubSpot blog was a biggy in terms of credibility. It’s helped me potentially land a guest blog on Buffer, and will aid me in my search for more high end options.
I was too busy writing, that I didn’t end up reading any new books. I did purchase two of them though:
SaaS Marketing Essentials – Excited to read this one by Ryan Battles.
Coffee Shop Entrepreneur – My goal isn’t to travel and work, but I can appreciate the mindset. This is by Richard Patey and it’s free on his blog.
Excited to dig into these in the coming week.
January was a good month finally for Workado. This is primarily because we rolled out a major update to task handling.
In addition, I launched a whole new website. This highlights some of the newest features as well as some things that are still on deck which are marked as “coming soon” on the Features page.
On the 31st of January, I changed the site to invite only. Meaning, people can’t just sign up. They need to be an agency and need to request access. This will allow me to help manually onboard more of the initial users and have discussions with them.
I started a cold email campaign that I’m using LeadFuze (my other startup) to power and it’s been going pretty well. I tweaked the initial message to let them know they’ll need to request access.
Next month I’ll share some results with the invitation request test.
Wow – what can I say? LeadFuze has really started to gain traction. This is now where I’m spending almost 90% of my time. My goal was to hit $1k in revenue and get 4 signups in the first 30 days. I managed to do that and so I decided to really look into where it can go.
I set a goal to hit $2.5k in recurring monthly revenue by day 60, and I’m happy to announce that I’ve already hitting that number. A full break down will be coming in a couple of weeks (when I hit day 60) on the LeadFuze blog.
I’ve officially moved from CEO to Advisor for Upswing. I basically am available for questions, but my team pretty much runs the show.
I’m going to take this section out of future blog posts unless I actually do something worth noting.
No major updates to announce for the blog. I do have a guide coming for standard operating procedures though next month that should be helpful to those who are interested in creating processes for others to follow.
Self Made Marketer
This is my first book and it’s getting close! A few different days I blocked out 3 to 4 hour chunks where I did nothing, but work on the book.
I was hoping to have it in the hands of editors by now, but I haven’t been able to put my finishing touches on things just yet.
I have a pretty massive marketing strategy mapped out, but I haven’t yet done anything with the pre-launch process yet. I’ve had a couple of people sign up as affiliates for the book though.
Hoping to have it done and edited in February and a March launch thereafter.
My original developer Co-founder had to back out, but I did find another. However, I decided to put this on hold for the foreseeable future due to LeadFuze’s early success. I am planning on integrating this functionality into Workado at a later date now instead of it being a separate product.
MicroConf ticket – $700
TheTweetRocket – trying this out to help get the LeadFuze brand established. Started it with 21 followers and it went up to 200 in a couple of weeks. However, my # of people I was following was almost 800 and so I decided I didn’t want to keep building my following in this format. From what I was told though, they are planning a more balanced approach in the future.
SumoMe – Brand Removal $10
For the new LeadFuze backend software I purchased this theme for $18.
Drip – Awesome email marketing software that more and more big players are using and now I know why. Rob Walling knocked it out of the park with this platform.
No poker sessions in January. I think I might go this Wednesday or Thursday though. It’s been too long.
My wife and I decided to create a meal plan every Sunday evening. I heard Rob Walling’s wife Sherry Walling discuss this on a Boostrapped with Kids podcast and I thought it was a good idea. Helps not having to answer the question, “What are we going to eat?” We would ask ourselves this three times a day!
I managed to get in a 7 minute workout, or a few days I just did push-ups and crunches, every single day this month. So far so good on my new years resolution.
In February, I’ll be looking to really get into a groove with LeadFuze. I’m hoping to line up some legitimate partnerships starting in February. I’m also hoping to get my book done.
Football season is officially over, so I have my full weekends back. Planning on doing some more family things on Sunday’s now.
Until next month!
It seems that you are consistent with your monthly activities. that’s great! I wish I could do that.
it’s a good habit- writing 750 words daily and waking up at 5.45 am. I usally wake up 5.30 am.
Glad to know that you are doing well with LeadFuze. Hope you will have all your goals accomplished in the days ahead.
Hi Justin. Awesome report. You are a machine of productivity.
I probably can’t afford LeadFuze, but if you need a beta tester, I’ll be glad to try it out. See you in MicroConf in April.
Thanks Jeff – see you at MicroConf!