Welcome to another edition of our newsletter! You’ll receive practical startup advice straight to your inbox every week.
In this week’s edition, we discuss
- The not-so-glamorous side of freelancing
- The rollercoaster of building products
P.S. If you’re deep in the entrepreneurial trenches and have a story to tell, we’d love to read it (and publish it).
Hard-to-swallow lessons from a year of freelancing
If Carter Kilmann condensed everything he’s learned into an oversimplified lesson, it’s this: don’t glamorize the future. Here are a few potentially hard-to-swallow lessons he’s learned from building a (nearly) six-figure writing business:
- Some problems die, others are born — No matter what issues you solve, new fires will always break out.
- Creating is harder than freelancing — Building an audience, gaining their trust, and then selling them a product or service is much harder than freelancing.
- Happiness isn’t a destination — Learn to enjoy the process. With the stresses and strains of freelancing, you may never be fully happy.
- Expenses dictate success more than revenue — Cut your outgoings and become frugal if you want to be around long enough to experience that sudden hockey stick revenue growth.
- Outsourcing is better than raising rates — It’s easier to increase profits by outsourcing and focusing on implied hourly rates. Your time is your most valuable currency.
- Self-accountability is still a chore — At the end of the day, freelancing will always be the same; if you don’t work, you don’t earn.
- The secret to growth is long-term consistency — Freelancing is a volatile line of work, and it’s hard to feel like you’re progressing. Trust the process.
👉 Go deeper here: 7 Hard-to-Swallow Lessons From My $90,000 Year of Freelancing
Celebrating the highs and the lows of building
At EH, we love founders being vulnerable, sharing their failures and looking for lessons, not losses. Sneha Saigal has been on a rollercoaster journey to build Geeks & Experts, and it’s one hell of a learning process. Her biggest lessons?
- Build in-house — When you are not yet answerable to many investors, mentors and employees, you are the ultimate decision-maker, and can course-correct as and when needed. Speed is an advantage.
- Niche down on an audience — With a niche audience, you can convert users to sign up at a much higher rate and acquire customers much faster.
- Share your journey — Writing online increases your “luck surface area,” and the exposure brings new opportunities.
- Play the long game — Playing the infinite game means a combination of everything from investing in yourself, gaining knowledge, and staying healthy, to finding a goal, achieving certain KPIs, and meeting interesting people along the way.
👉 Go deeper here: The 5 Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned from Building Geeks and Experts