Month #7 | Bulletproof ($1.9K MRR)

What. A. Month. I’m pinching myself.

I made more money with Cyberleads than I did at my day job this month.

Six months ago I had nearly 20 failed products under my belt and making almost nothing. I wouldn't have believed you if you told me this would happen.

MRR is very close to $2k. That’s still less than my salary, but net revenue was higher because I got a couple of annual subscribers.

For anyone looking for some secret ingredient as to how I grew so much this month, I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you.

Once again, my mantra was to focus on inputs, not outputs.

Of course I did make some minor improvements. Like niching down to digital agencies instead of B2B sales in general. Introducing a very generous annual plan.

But other than that, I did EXACTLY the same things I did the previous month. And the month before that. And the month before that.

Some times you grow a lot, some other not so much. You have to learn to let go and trust the process.

So, I kept improving Cyberleads. Kept sharing my learnings openly. Kept sharing my journey truthfully.

Then I just waited. I have seen the above aproach work for me personally before, so I knew it was a matter of time until I hit the internet's nerve again.

No marketing is the best marketing. No one likes to be sold anything. People love stories and authenticity.

Last month, nothing happened. I kept going. This month, nothing was happening. I kept going. Then, at the end of the month, the 27th of July to be precise, things went completely nuts!

A tweet of mine blew up.

"Wow.. my side business made more $$$ than my day job this month!"
(https://twitter.com/alexwestco/status/1287812335491584008)

I wasn't expecting it.

Nearly 7k visitors. Many new subscribers. Loads of positive comments. Over 1.000 new followers. More than 200.000 impressions. That’s a fifth of a million people, that saw my little tweet.

I can’t take credit for all of this though. There are many things that went right, and many factors I have absolutely no idea about.

For example:

- My Twitter account is punching way above it’s weight.

These numbers, for the amount of followers I have, are not normal.

There are accounts with 10k, or even 20k followers that don’t get this kind of traction or engagement.

Could it be that I have momentum and people remember me?
Could it be plain luck?
Could it be that I have a daily blog so the few people that follow me support me a bit more because they know me on a deeper and more personal level?
Could it be that people resonate with my journey, mainly, the road to financial freedom?

Who knows, but I’m blessed to have people help me and support me on the way.

- Doubled pricing

I had also decided to double prices for Cyberleads, to keep the lists exclusive and attract higher quality customers. I had announced it a week prior to this tweet and the new prices would take effect on the 1st of August.

So that ended up becoming a scarcity tactic, completely by accident. I'm not a huge fan of that kind of marketing to be honest.

So, yeah.. It was the perfect storm.

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What next?

Now that the dust has settled, I’m expecting a new wave of competitors. Coming angry and hungry to make a quick buck. In fact, I've found one already.

But that's ok. There were people selling leads before me, and there will be people selling leads after me. Most of them give up anyway.

Competition is another part of this game I’ve improved so much in. I’m not gonna lie, I am very proud of myself.

I came from a martial arts background, so my perception of what competition is, was way different. It was literally life or death.

When preparing for a fight, I knew that my opponent was preparing as well. Screaming in agony, pushing his body to the absolute limits. Getting ready for war. Visualizing destroying me.

I did the same. It’s how it goes.

One person wins. One person falls. By design.

I thought it was the same in business, so I used to be terrified of competition.

Then, everything that I was afraid of happened to me.

- People copied my website word for word.
- People copied my distribution channels and strategies.
- People read my blog and started talking like me and using my expressions to promote their similar product.
- Competitors ran ads against my name.
- Others were inspired, put a twist to it, and tried to be better than me.
- I was skinned alive on HackerNews and called every name under the sun for running a lead generation company.
- I’ve even had the worst scenario of them all. One list was leaked and uploaded on the internet for free. It was taken down after a few hours.

Of course for the last one I had to take action and have it taken down.

But you get the point.

In my mind all of the above were game over, but guess what happened..

NOTHING.

The sun still rose the next day. New customers still kept coming in. I continued growing slowly. My customers kept being happy. They continued giving me feedback, and I continued improving the product for them.

You have to understand. You are bulletproof. No one can stop you. No one can put you out of business.

Especially if your costs are low and are profitable, aka have unlimited runway. Especially if you are not in a “winner take all” market. Especially if you plan to be a humble little millionaire and not the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. There is room for many players.

In fact, every time one of the above happened, it lit a fire under my ass. I became more creative and worked harder. At the end of it, when they eventually gave up after a few weeks, as they do, I was better off than I was at the start.

Maybe I should thank them.

Startups don’t fail due to competition. They fail due to lack of market need. They fail due to limited runway. They fail due to lack of traction. Founders getting burnt out. Finding a better and more viable idea to work on. And a million other things that we can’t predict.

You can't just copy an idea and call it a day. Many things have to fall in place.

So, this is my mentality right now.

I used to be terrified of competition. Now I feel bulletproof.

Number one, because I know my success is not in the hands of anyone else, but my own.

Number two, because I’m not afraid to fail.

I’m gonna ride this thing till the wheels fall off. Offer the best service I can for my customers. Keep improving the product. Keep growing. And of course, document everything along the way.

You have to remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

So, buckle up and grab some popcorn. We have a long way to go yet.

@alexwestco