Discover more from Michael’s Newsletter
puerto rico, fiverr, and a tech services accelerator i’m joining called vixul
a quick life update (july 2023)
I hope you had a great July 4th weekend!
Today’s newsletter will be different from my usual long-form articles.
Instead, it will be a “grab-bag” issue to update you on 3 things going on in my life:
My vacation in Puerto Rico and Las Vegas
A tech services and consulting accelerator I joined
Experiments I’ve been trying on Fiverr
Puerto Rico and Las Vegas
So I just got back from a 10-day vacation to Puerto Rico and then Las Vegas.
Puerto Rico was mostly a vacation with some remote work mixed in.
Then I went on a group trip to Las Vegas for July 4th weekend with a few dozen other entrepreneurs I know.
The trip to Vegas was a nice reminder that creators need time to do nothing as well as that’s when new ideas and connections form.
While in Puerto Rico, I stayed at a place called Outsite.
It’s like a common co-working, private co-living space for digital nomads.
I met a friend there and tested out what a remote digital nomad lifestyle could look like for a week.
They have meeting rooms for work and common areas to relax, but you still have the privacy of your own room when you need it.
I mostly took calls and worked in my own room, but in the evenings I hung out, went to the beach, and got dinner with the other folks there.
I’m a huge fan of this concept as most of the joy of travel comes from meeting people, and the people there were a pleasure to hang with.
Everyone I met at Outsite were working professionals, over 30, and responsible as the common areas were always clean.
This is different from my experience at hostels, where the travelers tend to be younger with different priorities in life.
I also liked Outsite a lot because they have a number of locations throughout the US and the world.
One person I met had stayed at the Nicaragua and the Morocco Outsite locations and loved it.
The folks there got me thinking about trying this remote work lifestyle out myself when my lease ends here in the Bay Area.
So if you were interested in trying this digital nomad, co-working/co-living concept out, I can recommend the following sites:
I heard of these recommendations from the other Outsite folks, so if you try it out and like it, let me know!
Vixul - A Tech Services and Consultancy Accelerator
In other news, I was accepted into a tech services and consultancy accelerator recently.
It’s called Vixul, and they call themselves the “YCombinator for Emerging Technology Services.”
The program itself is structured like many other accelerators.
It’s 3 months long with weekly programming and one-on-one mentorship with other tech consultancy and agency founders.
The aim of the program is to help you grow the valuation of your services business in preparation for an exit a few years down the line.
Just last week, I spoke to a number of Vixul alumni about their experiences, and I was astounded by how much they raved about Vixul and the quality of the people there.
Everyone I talked to were engineers turned founders of tech services businesses like me. And they all seemed very successful.
In Vixul, if your consultancy is only making $1 million/year, you are actually considered “small” among the cohort.
What I also liked about Vixul was that the founders and alumni have already helped me tremendously with growing All-In Consulting.
For example, a few weeks ago the Vixul founders advised me to be more scientific with my sales process and start using a CRM to track my leads.
Before, I was just haphazardly managing things through email and a couple disjointed Notion pages.
However, they said it was important to be diligent when tracking leads by using a CRM tool so I can take measures to improve specific parts of the sales pipeline.
I implemented their advice recently by tracking leads using JIRA, a project management tool used by software teams.
In JIRA, I create a “card” representing every lead and move them across a “scrum” board so I can see where every lead is in my pipeline and start logging why certain deals closed and didn’t.
This exercise alone has already been tremendously useful for me to standardize my sales process across clients and see where my bottlenecks are.
If you’re running a services business like me, I highly recommend using a CRM tool to track leads. I can personally vouch for using JIRA for this purpose.
I’m excited to join the next Vixul cohort, as the folks there seem to understand all the problems I’m dealing with in All-In Consulting.
I’ll be writing more about my learnings from the accelerator when it starts in August.
The last thing that’s been going on in my life right now is that I’ve been developing Fiverr as a lead generation channel for consulting.
I have already finished 6 gigs on the platform and need four more to become a “level 1 seller”.
At that point, it should provide a serious visibility boost for all my gigs and help me win more deals.
Before, I thought Fiverr was a platform for cheap, quick gigs, but the longer I’ve been on the platform, the more powerful I’ve realized it is.
Fiverr is a really good complement with other lead gen channels because on Fiverr, the buyers come to you. Whereas, on places like Upwork, you have to submit bids and go to the buyer.
So one strategy for new consultancies to grow is to start on Fiverr and create gigs.
And when the things are slow on Fiverr, turn to Upwork to supplement your sales pipeline.
Anyways, I’m running a special on Fiverr right now. I’m offering 30-minute software engineering consulting calls for $50.
Over a video call, I’ll answer any engineering questions you have including:
Whether your product idea is feasible or not
Potential bottlenecks and hitches to watch out for
What I would do to speed up development and reduce costs
I have 4.9 stars on Fiverr and my clients there love me.
Anyways, next week I’ll go back to the longer-form article format.
I recently crossed 4k subscribers on this newsletter, so I’ll discuss a tactic I used to get here involving free e-book giveaways.
I’m offering a 10% referral bonus (up to $1,000) if you refer someone who needs a ChatGPT app built to All-In Consulting.
Have them mention your name, and I’ll reach out when the deal closes.
Connect with me on social media here.