Imagine you're 27, you've read 100 business books and just want to move on to the next step in your career… what do you do? Well, when I was 27, I was lucky enough to participate in a 3-year CEO program with my brother. He spent $35K on a coaching program because he was determined to invest in his development as an entrepreneur. And the best part, I got to join him as his +1!
Imagine this… Your SaaS company lands a massive account almost right out of the gates. They start using it. They have feedback… lots of it… almost too much of it. Your team takes it as gospel. Jotting it all down - committing on the spot - holding meetings about those new feature requests -- making plans to push them forward. Before you know it, they’re pretty much writing your entire roadmap for you. “All good” you say. They are, after
My first two companies FAILED hard. Sure, there were many factors at play. But when I take a sec to assess where things really went off the rails, it all came down to this… I had the wrong people on board. And it’s no criticism to them. As a founder (especially in the early stages), you’re ENTIRELY responsible for making sure that you have the right personnel for each position. Where most founders go wrong is that they hire by
I’ll never forget this one employee I had just hired at clarity.fm His first few hours went super smooth. But then at exactly 4:59pm… the guy BOLTED. Laptop packed. Door shut. Making a beeline straight to the front door. My jaw literally dropped. Here was this guy I had just hired… someone who was still getting onboarded to our team, our clients, and our company…
In over 20 years in business, I’ve never met a single founder who hasn’t had to fire at least one employee. While the thought may create knots in your stomach, letting an employee go is actually a super valuable skill with further reaching implications than you might think. Because done wrong, It could crush team morale, compromise data, and even cost you valuable customer accounts. Breaking up isn’t fun… but it’s a skill that as a founder you need to
Freakin’ typography. Add that to the list of things I never thought I’d learn. Yet I’m proud to say I could now rock the basics like a champ. Did I take a course? Nope. Read a book? Not this time. Instead, I tapped into one of the most underleveraged sources of knowledge capital that EVERY software founder should be capitalizing on:
If you’re in the software game for the long haul, at some point you’re going to have to disrupt yourself. This could mean announcing major price hikes, firing most of your customers, drastically trimming your product line, and even shifting core product functionalities. Scary? Of course. Necessary? You freakin’ bet.
Ever read about those outrageous “rider” demands that touring musicians demand from the concert promoter? … Iggy Pop demands a Bob Hope impersonator. … Mariah Carey insists on gallons of vitamin water to bathe her dogs in. … Van Halen would refuse to take the stage if a brown M&M found its way into the candy jar. Borderline insane right?
I have a little secret. A few years ago when I started coaching growth-minded SaaS founders on how to scale their companies, I created someone named ‘Software Scaling Sam”. Sam was obsessed with growth, had achieved product/market fit, and was ready to take full ownership and responsibility in scaling beyond 10k MRR. If you think that Sam sounds quite a bit like you, that’s because Sam is you.
Chances are you’ve already done some work in defining your “customer avatar”. At the very least, I feel good assuming you don’t think I’m talking about a blue space creature ;-) But when it comes to defining and dialing in your B2B SaaS avatar… … the rules are a bit different.