When I was writing my master thesis, I had to take a break from time to time. Many of these breaks I used to improve my hand/eye coordination skills by playing Quake3.
Sometimes when I got frustrated at my current level or if none of the regulars was playing, I would play a game with an aimbot installed, just to feel 'superior' for 10 minutes (or less if someone spotted you ;) This is of course cheating and never gives the satisfaction of defeating someone because you are just better.
I have been self-employed since 1998 and the first 11 years I wad impressively bad at it - if there is written a book about 1000 things you should never do running a business, I have done 999 of those. The last 4 years I have done better and the last two have been much more fun than ever before.
For the first 11 years, I believed, like many others, that I was not good enough, did not have the skills and that I just needed to work harder to be more successful. Through all 11 years this way of thinking failed me and I did not become more successful or better at running my business.
What I have done differently is that I have installed an aimbot, and contrary to online gaming, this is not cheating, wrong or illegal and it is something that is free to install and use, it has no recurring billing, no learning curve and takes only 1 to 2 hours a week to use.
I am talking about joining other likeminded and talking about what you are doing. We call ours a mastermind group and it is something that is only used by some self-employed, but should be used by everyone.
The amount of inspiration, ideas and accountability/commitment I get out of my two masterminds groups are astounding and I would not have been able to grow my business without them.
Then you might wonder how does attending a mastermind group link to my 10x goals, well I will let you know why, it goes something like this.
A friend asked if I would like to meet once every month with him and two others in a mastermind group, I said yes, then he kept talking about the micropreneur academy and I was like, yeah right but I know better.
My friend went to MicroConf in Vegas last year and loved it, and when they announced MicroConf Europe, he asked if I would join him there, I said yes and the rest is as they say “history” and documented in previous posts.
So without a mastermind group I would never have attended MicroConf, never gotten my eyes opened and never done 4x even less done 10x
I got my installer/software upgraded to the .NET framework 4.0, released the free version requiring .NET 4 to test the waters and see if anybody complaints (none yet).
I have been running a a/b test on the download page, testing if a “works for windows 7” (if you are running windows 7) works better than the 90 days guarantee, even though it has been running for almost 1000 visitors there are still no clear winner – it shifts from day to day, so I will let it run for 1000 visitors more.
I have also worked some more on link building for TSR Watermark Image and the TSR Photo Manger, getting some high PR inbound links.
The last thing I did was emailing a Black Friday special deal with 60% discount, but instead of selling the TSR Watermark cheap, I sold a TSR Watermark + TSR Photo Manager bundle for 23.95 so I only gave away 6USD pr. Sale, and this led to seven orders of the bundle.
Last week my visitors dropped a bit – perhaps it’s thanksgiving or just a fluke I don’t know, but I do know that my conversion went up 0,13% and this made my total “x” rise to 4.13x, up from 3.95x last week.
I hope I get my confidence up enough to release the .NET 4.0 PRO version; this would enable me to move forward with a higher price point version that lets you upload the watermarked photos to Facebook/Flickr/Twitpic
I do not know why I keep on being scared of the customer’s wrath. I know from my analytics that around 80% of all installs are running .NET 4 or higher. Every time I change something I am afraid the customers will be angry – but in reality the changes I have been most scared of has turned up my revenue, so far by 4x, so if there is a lesson to be learned, I believe it is that everything must be tested and tried once.