This is my blog where I share my successes, failures, and lessons learned. It’s been an exciting journey so far but it’s far from over. Hopefully, my writings will inspire you and save you time in your journey.
My Origin Story
It was the Fall of 1999. I had just graduated college and moved to Nashville, TN. I took a job as a web designer at a small start-up on Music Row.
I was living with a friend from college and sleeping on his couch until I could get a place of my own.
I was about a week into my new job and I distinctly remember coming home, eating dinner with my friend and saying to him “Is this all there is?”
You get up, go to work, come home tired, eat dinner, go to bed, and rinse and repeat? He said “Yep”.
I knew from that moment that I would never be satisfied working for someone else and for someone else’s dreams. It was not the life I wanted.
This revelation lead me to start my first business called eArtistManagement.com.
Build and Pray
As I mentioned I was doing web design in my day job in Nashville. Nashville lots of musicians. The web was pretty new at the time but growing fast and these musicians needed websites.
That was my first “ah ha” moment. Since most musician websites are the same I could build a website generator and these musicians could tweak a few things and have their own website.
I knew how to build the product but not so much how to market it. This character flaw is common with software developers.
Despite me knowing nothing about marketing, I released it and got my first few customers from people I knew locally. I had made my first ever dollar online which was and still is an amazing feeling.
It showed me there are other ways to support yourself without working a typically 9-5 and that drove me to continue my pursuit.
Ultimately however that product never allowed me to quit my day job. But it did supply a nice supplemental income. At eArtistManagement.com’s height, it was making around $1500 per month.
The years would go by and I’d continued to learn and try new stuff. I tried to create several other niche site builders with no success.
I knew that I could build anything but I did not know how to market it.
Before “#buildinginpublic” and Indie Hacking was popular, people would post updates and support each other in this community. I really credit this community with getting where I am today and am so thankful to have discovered it.
This would lead me to the first product that I had success with.
My first successful product was a WordPress plugin called Coming Soon Pro. It was released in 2011.
From the Micropreneur Academy, I learned you wanted to test ideas before you invested months or years building something and releasing it to crickets. The idea was to create a landing page, send traffic to it, and see what kind of interest you could generate.
A simple concept but not so easy to execute at the time. I built a simple coming soon plugin for WordPress so I could test my ideas and I released it for free.
I was actually working on a custom WordPress theme for SaaS websites. That was the main idea I was working on and testing.
However, a few months later I discovered my free coming soon plugin had over 10,000 downloads and I was getting requests for other features. This would lead me to my next “ah ha” moment. Let me add a few of the features and sell a Pro version, which is exactly what I did.
I made a sale on the very first day I released it and it would only grow from there.
Things Had Changed
By the time I had my first real success with a product, my life circumstances had changed. I was married, had a 1-year-old daughter, and was no longer able to take the risk I was when I was single.
While I wanted to quit my day job I knew I had a responsibility to provide for my family and security is very high on the list of values. So I worked a day job and worked on my side business.
It was really quite awesome, and I really recommend not quitting your day job until you have some success.
Plus my goals had changed. My goal now that I had a family was to provide a good life.
I would work a day job and run my side business for 8 years. This would allow me to become 100% debt free.
I Finally Quit My Day Job
In 2018 I came to the conclusion I was ready to take the next step and try to grow my business. It had been growing steadily from 2011 to 2018 but I felt I wanted more of a challenge and was getting bored.
I quit my day job in Spring 2018 and took the summer off. My wife was a teacher so she had the summers off as well.
I have zero regrets about this. I had been working so hard for so many years. Now it was time to relax a bit. I spent the entire summer just hanging out with the family, swimming, going to Disney, and staying up late, it was truly awesome.
Time to Grow
The summer was over and I started looking at how I could grow the business. I had several ideas for other products but was a bit scared about hiring and scaling operations. This is something I had no idea how to do.
Syed had just released a Growth Fund to help WordPress businesses grow. I applied and was accepted. I felt this was my opportunity to try and grow SeedProd while learning from some of the best in the business.
That’s where I’m at today. I run several products and have grown a team of awesome individuals.
I feel truly blessed to be having the experience.
That’s the beauty of it, I don’t know. As I get older however my perspective and priorities change. There is one thing I have learned through the years. The acceptance of impermanence.
The only thing certain is uncertainty. Focus on what you can control and accept the rest.