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50% growth in a month, how did I do it?

After my last update of breaking $1k MRR, I got a lot of good feedback acknowledging that it was a hard path with a lot of failures to get there, and that people shouldn't get frustrated with taking a little bit longer to get there.

Since then, I have seen a lot more threads on IH about people giving up because they only reached $150 MRR in their first three months, or nobody signed up for their product after their big ProductHunt launch. So, let's sit down for another lesson in learning how to build businesses.

It takes a lot of time, and a lot of patience. This month, 2.5 years into building mentorcruise.com, I have achieved 50% growth for the second consecutive month. How did I do it? I don't really know why it's happening now, and not a year ago. I iterated, I experimented, I talked to a lot of people, and at some point, after 2,500 commits to the codebase, over 100 blogposts and recruiting almost 300 mentors by typing out thousands of emails, I might be a little bit closer to the mysterious Product-Market Fit than a year ago. Close enough that people post about it and tell their friends.

But honestly, MentorCruise is a product that has grown very, very slowly for a long time. It went from $200 MRR to $300 MRR, then to $250 MRR to $350 MRR, back to $200 MRR. Over the years, I learned more about my own business, what works and what doesn't and came to the point where this is actually useful to people.

I understand that it's discouraging to launch your baby on PH, get 10 upvotes, no traffic and no customers. Believe me, been there. But giving up after a few months is no attitude that leads to something. If you believe in the thing, try to nudge it into the right direction.

So, 50% growth this month. How did I do it? I don't know dude. 2.5 years of preparation, patience, disappointments and grit. I'm sure you can get there too.

  1. 3

    Thank you for sharing your story that a lot of us need to hear, including myself. For a lot of things (maybe mostly everything), including building a product, if there are not immediate results we are so likely to give up, because we often see how some products were able to explode in popularity. The problem with this is we are seeing the exception, not the rule. Your story describes what everyone should strive to have more of: patience and perseverance. Keep up the great work!

  2. 1

    Totally agree on this. Lot of people quit too early. Building a sustainable business definitely takes its own time. Got to sweat it out till then.

  3. 1

    Great post, thank you for sharing this!!

  4. 1

    Thanks for sharing! It took me roughly 6 months to hit over $1k MMR and what the early feedback showed me in building my product were blind spots or opportunities to better engage my readers. I constantly have to tell myself, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency, pivots when necessary, and having a good core team of people providing valuable feedback is necessary. Keep going!

    1. 1

      This comment was deleted a year ago.

  5. 1

    Great perspective - thanks for sharing!

  6. 1

    Great work! Keep it going!

    Figure out your target customer- niche down as small as possible. I got one Facebook campaign so tight it had maybe ~10 targets on it and so only reached a few thousand people. A few dozen converted in just a week. That's the power of niche targeting.

    Marketing, marketing, marketing. Once you've got something to sell, business moves to like 75% marketing (with the rest split among product, support, sales, etc.)

  7. 1

    Really happy for you and I’m in the same boat as some IH, willing to give up; its just so tough :/

  8. 1

    Thanks for sharing. And congrats on the $1K milestone. Keep at it 💪

  9. 0

    Sounds like an interesting project! But I browsed your homepage and didn't quite get what exactly I get for the money I pay. 1-1 unlimited chat with a mentor? A group chat? Calls?

    Even when I browsed "become a mentor" page the explanations very very vague.
    [don't get me wrong, I'm not hating, just sharing my thoughts]

    Also, I'm pretty sure I've seen projects like this one. How is https://mentorcruise.com/ different from say https://www.codementor.io/ ?

    1. 1

      Hey Tim,

      Appreciate the thoughts. I think the landing page should cover what you COULD expect from a mentor. What the mentors then provide is up to them. For the money you pay, you receive access to a mentor. That means an unlimited 1-on-1 chat (no limit on # of messages) and the rest can be agreed upon.

      That is sometimes a little bit difficult to quantify and put a price on, but in the end, everyone has different preferences as to how they want help, and our big benefit is that you can have all of it, be it weekly calls or chat-only.

      That's also a big selling point vs. something like codementor. It's very formal and cold: You get a 15 minute call for $30. On MentorCruise, you get access for a full month to a mentor for that money, and you can leverage that mentor in multiple ways.

      Overall, being vague about this is my biggest problem, because it's hard to put an expectation on it upfront. Once people dive in, look at mentors, talk to them it becomes clearer, but the first look is crucial, I agree.

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    This comment was deleted 5 months ago.

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