Sup hacker fam, got a short story for yah.
5 years ago I started a VoIP integration platform call Loup.
Today Loup makes $200k a year.
Yesterday a company offered to purchase Loup for $1 million 🤯.
Here is what I want to tell you...
THAT SHIT WAS HARD!!!
Also... I ain't selling...
Seriously though, the first 2.5 years that business made ZERO dollars and I quit 3 times.
Like I quit... quit...
I was out! Felt like I wasted years of my life and about $15,000 on development.
Not to mention the emotional damage of thinking "Well looks like I get to be an employee for the rest of my life..."
This is not some "I pushed through" success story. I fucking quit and the only reason the business is still alive today because I couldn't bring myself to shutting off the AWS environment.
Let me tell you something, it wasn't like on year 3 there was some huge breakthrough either. NOPE
Year three we (I) made a whopping $12,733.00
Sweet! We are still losing money.
Oh let's talk about year 4. I am sure you killed it in year 4. NOPE
We made $65,400.00. Nice!
Nope! $65k minus expenses is NOT a lot to live on for a family of 4.
But I quit my job anyways.
NOTE: $65k does not look like a lot via a Stripe screen shot, BUT this is a SaaS business.
In December of 2020 we billed $8,900.00.
Assuming ZERO churn and ZERO sales, the ARR of the Biz was 106,800.00
You are telling me I am going to make $100k next year as long as I can keep this bitch alive!!! Haha
Have we made $200k in 2021? HELL NO!!
Did I lie to you? Nope!
Are we billing over $16k a month? 😁 Yup!
Is Loup a success story? It depends.
I would argue No. As you look at the above screen shot you might think this is great, or he is lucky, or whatever.
When I look back at the last 5 years all I see is blood and failure.
For the first 3 years I had ZERO to show, and if you read all these over night success stories like I do, ZERO felt like less than ZERO. So I quit.
If you are at Zero now, this might look great... But if you are at $200k or more you are probably thinking I feel bad for that guy. 5 years!?! Good god!
At $200k I am still an employee. The ONLY employee.
If I stop working the business dies. Period.
According to my Tax returns, Loup is just now paying me the same amount of money I was making 5 years ago as a sales guy.
Unless I sell, there is an easy argument to be made that I would have been better off never getting into SaaS to begin with.
Now here is the curve ball.
Excuse my language, I work for myself! Nobody can tell me nothing! and my Business is worth a 1 million!!
Let me tell you something.
This shit is hard! This shit sucks at times! Building a product is expensive! Finding customers is impossible! Keeping customers is even harder!
The internet tells you, you are failing!
There are ZERO stories like yours for you to relate to.
There is no one to turn to for advice.
Your teeth have been kicked in like 15 times. Metaphorically Speaking.
You should for SURE quit. I did.
Push through! Please push through!
Here is what I have learned.
1.) Everything in your life is an A/B test. You only ever have 2 options, do it or don't do it. The way to win is to do it and learn. Did this work? No? Why not?
If you don't do it then you are a genius (IMO), because only an idiot would do it if they knew what was coming.
That is why (IMO) the richest people in the world are the true idiots. If they knew how bad this shit was going to suck before getting started, they wouldn't have done it. Looking back it's easy for them to say "yup I would do it again". They are rich and it worked out.
The only way it doesn't work out is if you quit. Like me. Don't quit.
Learn as FAST as possible. The best way to learn is to do. Stop reading and start learning.
2.) Sales! Focus on sales as much as possible. The product doesn't actually matter. The more you try selling the more you will learn what the customer needs. Then build that.
PRO TIP: Do not build ANYTHING without getting someone to commit to paying for it before you build it. Those bums will waste your time an money.
Sales and marketing ALWAYS wins. My guy Russell Brunson makes $100 million a year with a WordPress plugin... Are you kidding me!
On paper he might be a Billionaire.
Is ClickFunnels amazing? NOPE.
Could half the people reading this build a better version? YUP.
Would he eat your lunch? Yup!
Focus on sales.
3.) A business owner is an employee until he can hire to replace himself.
This is the stage I am in and I have no advice here. haha.
If you have any, please share it below. I would love to stop working. 😁
I love SaaS and since you are reading this I love you too.
It doesn't take 60 months to be worth $1 Million (on paper). It takes doing. If I didn't quit a bunch of times I could have saved 3 years of my life.
Double down! When I saw what I was going to make for 2021 I knew I wanted more. I started another company company called OnePhone and I went out and bought Median off of MicroAcquire. I know own 3 SaaS companies. Loup, OpenPhone, and Median. OnePhone is going to take down the VoIP industry and Median is going to be a $10 Million dollar biz, or I might quit 😜, who knows. I am flying by the seat of my pants over here.
I know I said this was going to be a short story but I just kept typing.
Hope you enjoyed it.