7 lessons from building 9 startups in 2023

1. Don't marry your idea 2. Ditch free plans 3. Subscriptions headache is real 4. Swap vitamins for painkillers 5. Emotions sell 6.First impressions matter 7. Food + Sleep + Workout = Psychiatrist

I was lucky in 2023 — my income jumped from $1,500 in January, to $65,000 in November.

But the real outcome was the knowledge I acquired. 

Here are 7 lessons I wish I knew when I started the solopreneur journey.

Estimated reading time: 2 min 36 sec

Building in public update

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Less time designing, more time shipping!

1. Don’t marry your idea

Out of the 20+ startups I launched, only 1 made good money and grew. 

It’s the same pattern for most solopreneurs who made life-changing money.

When it’s time to focus on your startup, you’ll know.

2. Ditch free plans

You need 10,000 users to make $3,000 ($10/mo subscription). That’s an insane amount of work for a solopreneur.

“Grow first, monetize later” is for VC-backed startups.

3. Subscriptions headache is real

I killed a startup by swapping one-time payments for recurring ones.

Monthly passive income is good for business owners only. Users are much more reluctant to subscriptions.

Start with one-time payments. Add subscriptions if there’s a demand.

4. Swap vitamins for painkillers 

100,000 visitors on my nice-to-have product website made $6,000.
100,000 visitors on my must-have product website made $100,000.

Unless you have an audience, avoid note-taking apps or habit trackers. People buy solutions to painful problems.

5. Emotions sell

Few care about a NextJS boilerplate. But many care about a shortcut to ship startups faster and reach financial independence.

Rephrase your copy to trigger an emotional reaction.

6. First impressions matter

In our digital world, it’s the headline of your website, the thumbnail of your YouTube video, or the first sentence of your tweet.

That one sentence has more impact on your conversion rate than anything else.

7. Food + Sleep + Workout = Psychiatrist 

As a solopreneur, you’re wearing 10 hats (developer + copywriter + accountant…). Burnout is around the corner.

  • Eat healthy, avoid carbs, quit sugar and alcohol 

  • Exercise daily, even if it’s an easy 15-minute workout

  • Make sleep your #1 priority. Sleep at the same time every day in a dark room at 18°. Don’t drink coffee 10 hours before bed, don’t drink water 3 hours before bed, dim lights 1 hour before bed.

Whenever you're ready, there are 5 ways I can help you:

  1. ShipFast: Ship startups in days, not weeks with the NextJS boilerplate loved by 1,500+ developers.

  2. LaunchViral: Grow your startup with viral launch videos.

  3. IndiePage: Showcase your startups and get more customers. Join 3,000+ solopreneurs!

  4. ByeDispute: Don't let a dispute get you banned from Stripe.

  5. ZenVoice: Stripe invoices without the fee

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