This is the tale of how Allan Branch and Steven Bristol founded a million- dollar-a-year web consulting firm, LessEverything. For the previous four years, LessEverything has primarily made its revenue from consulting. In the past 12 months, the company’s app revenue has grown to support 90% of its overhead, so LessEverything’s focus is now shifting to refining it’s current product offerings. In this book, You will learn Allan and Steve’s story, and they will share the lessons they have learned as they have trudged the road to success.
Along the way, the book’s text will be rudely interrupted by commentary from Allan or Steve. These timely intrusions are denoted by: “Allan says...” or “Steve says...” Oh, look! Here’s the first one now...
“This ebook contains information we wish we could have told ourselves in 2006 when we first started LessEverything, Inc.”
Allan started freelancing full-time as a print designer in 2005. He slowly took on web projects, and the sizes grew bigger and bigger. Soon, he was contracting his development work out to three full-time developers. In 2006, Steve became one of those developers. Steve and Allan started working together exclusively and formed a new company with a revised focus.
In 2007, LessEverything grossed over 1 million dollars with six full-time employees and started building web apps as a side project. In 2008, LessEverything trimmed down its client base and labor. Allan and Steve refocused company efforts on LessEverything’s apps, and that year, they grossed almost $800,000 with just three full-time employees. In 2010 the company’s apps went from providing 30% of the company’s support to providing 80% of its support. As of 2011, LessEverything is exclusively a web app company spending its time building and refining its products.
“Okay, enough talking about how special we are, because we’re not. We’ve learned a lot over the years. We’ve missed many opportunities and made plenty of mistakes. We want you to benefit from our errors and avoid the stress and loss of revenue these situations created.”
If you’re not willing to change; stop now and give this book to someone who is. You’re wasting your time reading this if you’re not willing to do what it takes. You don’t have to be someone you’re not. You don’t have to change everything. You do, however, have to recognize your weaknesses and be humble enough to fix them.
To take the advice you’re about to read, you have to be good at what you do. Unless you consider yourself to have of above-average talent, don’t take heed to the words of this book, or you will fail. Be prepared to not get every client, and be ready to take a different path than “Company XYZ.” Taking a different path and making yourself stand out will be uncomfortable.
This book was written in the hopes that you would avoid the same mistakes LessEverything has made as the company has grown. Its content should either scare you away from this industry, or ignite some passion. The hope would be that you experience the latter.
Forget about who’s better in town, who won Addy’s, or who has what kind of degree. Disregard the suits and forget the marketing books (except for Seth Godin’s blog, of course). The advice in this book transcends all preconceived notions of marketing. Look at your work. Don’t lie to yourself. By thinking you’re better than you really are, you’re only hurting your potential. You should always see places to improve. If you’re happy with your work, then you’ve lost your passion, and you need to find something else to do.
Don’t think that creating this book has been any kind of walk in the park, either. Some of this stuff is pretty hard to take and even harder to say. It’s been a labor of love, but ultimately, it’s about helping others get where they’re going. Thanks for reading and good luck!
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