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Paying It Forward with Kindness to Build a $1.2MM Community with Rosie Sherry of Ministry of Testing

Episode #097

Despite being an introvert, Rosie Sherry (@rosiesherry) knew that she needed to build a community that software testers deserve: the Ministry of Testing. In this episode, we discuss how Rosie created a community so tight-knit that people have its logo tattoo'd on their bodies, how she grew it to $1.2M in revenue without relying on ads, and how she did it all while raising and homeschooling 5 kids.

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    My Main Takeaways:

    • Fun Fact: Ever since getting acquired, Indie Hackers doesn’t make money anymore.

    • It takes time: Rosie’s primary source of income is from events, her first event was in 2012, and in 2019 her business did $1.2 Million in annual revenue.

    • Identify gaps in the market: Rosie saw that there were no conferences tailored to software testers, so she started “Ministry of Testing”.

    • Ads usually take away from the user experience.

    • Sometimes things don’t go to your plan… for the better: Rosie didn’t plan for her business to evolve into what it currently is, she just listened to the community.

    • Leverage what you know: Rosie’s business is a community for software testers. And she had experience both in being a software tester, and running communities.

    • Being a mother and working isn’t so easy: When Rosie was pregnant with her first child her boss began to devalue her. And after having her child there were more hurdles to deal with, such as getting ghosted by recruiters after she mentioned that she had kids.

    • Leverage your network: When launching her software tester community, Rosie knew a few well-known software tester bloggers, and she shared her community with them.

    • Leverage other people’s ideas: If you see something that inspires you and makes you want to try it out, give it a shot.

    • Pay it forward: Do random acts of kindness, especially to the people that you believe really need it.

    • Sherry is an introvert and solo-founder: So is Courtland.

    • Sherry wants to leave Ministry of Testing to focus more on family: Working in Ministry of Testing requires a lot of her time and energy, but she now has a family that she wants to focus on more.

    • Use time-boxing: Rosie has a lot of responsibilities, so she leverages time-boxing. She also spends time not being “busy”.

    • Advice for beginners: Be a “Master Puppeteer”, make things happen, not for yourself but for others, keep yourself hidden behind the scenes. Leave your ego at the door.

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    Thanks for having me on the podcast...happy to answer any questions!

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      Great interview, Rosie!