Personal Growth Record

Since 2015, I’ve been doing an annual review of my business vision and goals, sharing it with my entire contacts list. As a solo entrepreneur, this allows me to have an objective feedback on my own work, make me accountable to my network, and provide my friends, partners, clients and contacts, a better and crystal clear understanding of who I am and what I do. 

In January 2018, I’ve decided to share these wins, fails and learned lessons each month on both my blog and on LinkedIn.

Feel free to let me know what you have in mind while reading this in the comments section. I’m very interested in everyone’s feedback and questions. May this inspire you and help you in your own business.

october 2018

Another month has just gone by, and I hope you had some great achievements in October.

Right now I’m flying back from the Youpreneur Summit London, an amazing event dedicated to personal branding. It’s difficult to describe how helpful this event was, and how smart and caring the people were.

My biggest takeaway from the event is, again, to FOCUS on what works and what I like. It reinforced the idea that my coaching program is the best way for me to help people—be it followers, long-term clients, etc. All successful online entrepreneurs do some coaching at some point, and it’s very useful to share our methodologies with each other.

Another thing that was a revelation is to focus 90% of our effort on what really works and the 10% left on testing. I would say that so far, I was more on a ratio of 70%-30% which ends up to not providing me the financial capacity to invest as much as I should in the growth of my business. So, I’m going to correct that by being laser-focused on what works best for my clients, and declining any other proposition or offer that does not fit my coaching method.

I’m also proud to announce that at the end of the month, I will be launching a free coaching program for startups which I’ve never done before. Throughout the three weeks, I will help people clarify their project, build their roadmap, and prepare all the technical plan work to get funded or get subsidies.

Obviously, I will not be able to work with everyone, and I will have to choose only a handful of the best projects in this program. So if you’ve been following me for a while but we’ve never had the chance to work together, you can apply herehttps://myctofriend.co/ctoprogramapplication

If you know of any startup that needs CTO guidance, feel free to share this link with them too. They will thank you for it, for sure.

In the meantime, remember that I’m here to help my non-technical founder community, answer your questions and help you succeed. I produce weekly videos on the most common questions founders ask as they build their startup. I also recently launched a Facebook group for the myCTOfriend community. I suggest you join, share your story, and ask any type of questions you might have: myCTOfriend.co/fbgroup

Until the next time, I wish you a great day and I’m looking forward to seeing you and your project succeed.

Goals results

 

LESSONS LEARNED

 

income results

 

september 2018

While I slowed down in August, I felt like September was a crazy month.

Understanding what worked, systematizing and focusing on the format that serves startups the best, and at the same time allows me to be in my most valuable role, was just great.

The news is that I’m done with offering consultations and mentoring outside of incubators and accelerators without a real coaching program.

My main focus now is this new coaching program that I’ve divided into two formats: one for early-stage startups, and another for fast-growing startups. (If you’re interested and want to find out more, just go here: https://myctofriend.co/1yearcto-requestacall/.)

My other focus remains in teaching. I believe that in order to make a startup I work with succeed, I need to be great at teaching. In addition to teaching in accelerators like Marseille Innovation or The Bridge in Avignon, I’m now accepting teaching opportunities from MBA schools like the most recent one at IAE Montpellier. It allows me to understand, at a higher level, the innovation concepts I apply on a daily basis as well as the constraints corporate managers face—and this is exactly the role that has the capability to innovate in tomorrow’s world.

So in a few words, my goals for the next month are: to keep doing what I’m best at (coaching and teaching), and turn down opportunities that are not compatible with my coaching and teaching and goals.

Goals results

Lessons learned

 

income results

 

AUGUST 2018

August was a great month. I would summarize it as: “Slowing down to speed up.”

I was able to take some time off for the summer holiday, and during that time, let my brain slow down a bit which helped me to rethink, improve and plan the next six months, as well as acknowledge some recent achievements.

As I mentioned in my previous retrospective, July was an eye-opening month for me. So, August was the pilot phase of this new working format: an entire year of CTO coaching for a select few startups.

Starting my first coaching group in the beginning of August allowed me to fine-tune the format—reviewing the content as well as structuring the worksheet templates to help me and the startups collaborate better.

There is one more realization that I had last month. My role isn’t operational anymore, despite deeply knowing how things work and having the skills to develop or configure infrastructures myself. My biggest value is in analyzing the situation using my experience of working with almost a hundred startups—providing CEOs an action plan, giving clear instructions through video tutorials, and then coming back few days later to review how their team implemented things.

In other words, I already have more than enough knowledge to do things myself. I’m pretty good at teaching things, but most of all, I’m great at knowing what to do and when to do it. And that’s where I’m laser-focused right now: guiding the CEOs, training them and their team to do things right, and providing them feedback and helping them evaluate their own work to help them improve their tech management skills while building a highly successful company.

It’s been two years since I started creating video courses for startups. This allows me to provide an even better level of value—combining my one-on-one time and my teaching materials. I know you will be seeing great results from these startups who will be part of my 1-year CTO program.

If you want to know more and have a call with me to see if it fits your project, just go to: https://myctofriend.co/1yearcto-requestacall/

I’m looking forward to sharing with you how it goes (how the new group is going) by the end of September. 

Goals results

 

LESSONS LEARNED

 

Pure online income results

 

July 2018

I was wrong.

  • I was wrong when I gave startup clients the freedom to call me anytime they needed me.
  • I was wrong when I thought people would consider learning technical management without knowing what was waiting for them around the corner.
  • I was wrong… because startup founders never saw the problems coming.

It’s been more than four years since I started working with startups as an external CTO. Working with 80-plus startups—helping them create roadmaps, audit source code, manage developers, and build reliable apps with scalable IT infrastructure.

Last month, I realized that the “CTO à la carte” format is outdated and I’m going to tell you why.

Recently, some clients who I’ve worked with for a few hours, six months to a year ago, came back to me, struggling with managing their developers and providers. These were clients I’ve shared lots of best practices with during the time we worked together. But without regular hands-on check-ups, they didn’t see these problems coming. They were just not used to detecting technical issues, and because startup founders have so much things to do at the same time.

This made me think up of an exclusive one-year CTO program where I can personally mentor, coach and teach a limited number of startups how to manage their own software development from an idea to a functioning product.

It’s going to be a well-defined program where founders will not feel alone anymore, knowing that they have a CTO-on-demand who can answer their questions quickly and easily online, and can jump on an important call with their developers to analyze what was produced or review developer proposals—protecting the startup’s interest like any lawyer would, but in terms of software development.

Goals results

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

Mid-year 2018 (June)

It’s not always easy to build a business when you’re willing to do everything for the good of your clients. Everything I do—video course production, speaking and recorded one-on-one consulting sessions—are dramatically improving the value I give to startups. And while it allows me to work with much more clients throughout this transition, it has also made it more challenging for me to get enough clients to reach my financial goals.

If before, having three to four projects in parallel were enough for me to earn a living, I now need to have at least 10 projects in parallel just to pay the bills. And while it’s great because now I have more use cases and a broader network, I have also found it more challenging to get more clients and offer them a few hours of my time while a Web agency of developers get thousands from a single client.

But I believe in this type model, and the feedback I get from my current clients help me to stick with this setup.

For myCTOfriend, I have to say that the business model hasn’t been found so far, but I will keep producing content until I find it. It has helped me create a high-level of value for my one-on-one clients though and it has also enabled me to see what works and what doesn’t on social media.

My goal for this summer is definitely to step back, do some reflection, and improve both my one-on-one consulting and online course offers for September. Regarding what I have in the pipe, I expect to be more and more active in teaching, which is something I really love doing.

By the way, I’d like to ask for 2 minutes of your time to answer a few questions here: https://outoftech.com/myctofriendform

It will help me a lot in providing more valuable content to help startups overcome tech management challenges and build their product. 

Goals results

 

LESSONS LEARNED

 

Pure online income results

 

may 2018

Here it is—May is over and summer is about to come here in Europe. The past month has not been as productive as the previous one for severals reasons—several holidays, an almost week-long startup boot camp, etc…

But I’ve still made some progress, especially in publication and social media.

My biggest realization this month is that I thrive thanks to my ecosystem, the local incubators, accelerators and through word-of-mouth of startups I’ve worked with.

But what if I had to restart from scratch?  

Thinking about this was exactly what I needed. My current network is mostly based in France, even though I offer online courses to the entire world.

So this month, I go international with my speed one-on-one meetings, setting up my profile on a worldwide freelance marketplace. I’m excited and scared at the same time to see how people will respond to my profile and my personality, even without having previous “online” recommendations.

By the way, you’ll also find at the end of the post the introduction video I created just for that which includes a few testimonials (thanks to Alexandre, Vincent and Deborah who appeared in it)… more coming soon.

Goals results

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

April 2018

April just ended a few days ago, and it has been a very productive and focused month for me. What about you? What did you achieve last month that you are the most proud of?

For me it’s simple. I’ve created the best course I’ve ever done: a course that summarizes everything I’ve been doing for startups since 2014. This will be one of the best help for any founder without a strong technical background (although someone with a tech background might learn a lot from it too).

So if there is one news to take from this email, it is to take advantage of this course. And did I mention it’s currently free too:
https://myctofriend.co/zerotomillionusers

With regards to the other projects: I’m moving forward on public speaking. I will also be mentoring at a startup boot camp with 800 students in Montpellier Business School in less than 10 days. It will be an exciting event, and I’m looking forward to hearing all the great ideas for sure.

And in terms of my online business, I now have three (amazing) paid courses and a new free one. Next stop is to improve my funnel, email communications, and social media.

Goals results

 

LESSONS LEARNED

 

Pure online income results

 

march 2018

The great conference in Malta — which you can watch at the end of the post — led me to add a new focus on public speaking (who knows, soon I might be doing an English TED talk!).

My online sales are still very low, but the interest I got at the event overseas reassured me that my topic is a worldwide problem that people need solved. I’m also on my way to improving my communication skills, especially on social media where I am just starting to get a feel for (at last).

Holding off on book writing led me to review my plan for my next course — it will be a general introduction for early-stage startup founders. It will be called Startup tech challenges: From 0 to millions. Look out for that at the end of this month.

To read more details about this month’s retrospective and watch the recording of my Malta presentation, click the button below.

Goals results

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

February 2018

In the beginning of 2018, I’ve decided to share my monthly goals, results and doubts, so that I can get objective feedback on my own work. Working as a solo entrepreneur, this makes me accountable to my network and provides my friends, partners, clients and community a better and crystal clear understanding of who I am and what I do.

I have been doing well in terms of creating my online courses. 

This past month, several unexpected things happened. Some good—like being invited to teach in the startup program of Montpellier Business School. Others, more difficult—like my ghostwriter is no longer available to help me in writing my first book for startups.

If you want to read more about my February goal retrospective and as well as my goals for March, click below.

Goals results

 

LESSONS LEARNED

 

Pure online income results

 

january 2018

This 2018 is the year that I focus on creating online courses. This past month, I’ve been streamlining many of the processes I’ve been doing, putting systems in place to automate them. Unfortunately, I did not reach the goal I set few months ago, which was to earn my first $1,000 from my online courses before January 31st. 

On the other hand, I learned a lot, and things are getting clearer when it comes to my value proposition and may organization. Lastly, I got some great feedback from partners and clients that went through my online courses. The value is there, and I’m now gathering testimonials videos to share with other people the results of my advice.

Goals results

 

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

goal setting 2018

In 2017, I recorded an increase of 30% in my turnover.

This 2018, I want to reach an 80% increase! Sounds insane, doesn’t it?

I’ve worked hard to put a system in place to reach those goals, and sometimes I feel that it would be a reward for all the preparation and the work that I’m about to do in 2018. No matter which way it goes, I’ll be as transparent as I’ve always been with you and will let you know throughout the year how things turn out.

DECEMBER 2017

I set two main goals at the beginning of the year. The first has been achieved, but not the second one.

GOAL 1: Get leads and prospective clients automatically and convert them into paying clients easily

DONE: This one has definitely been achieved! I’m very happy to record a 30% increase in revenues compared to 2016, getting more interested prospects than I can actually handle.

GOAL 2: Sell digital products instead of only trading my time

FAIL: I consider this one as not achieved as the online course revenues are still very low. However, I actually wasn’t consistent in video production until the end of the year where I started producing two courses on the roadmap definition and on selecting a provider for a startup. I will definitely catch up on this in 2018!

Goals results

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

Goal setting 2017

So, here is how I define my entire strategy for 2017…

“Think BIG!”
Life is too short to keep it small! So, let’s dream big. We are limitless! Our only limit is our mindset and our ability to learn.

Imagine what your perfect life would look like five years from now. 

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Marc Anthony

Personally, building startups is not the only passion that I have — I also love adventure, travelling and martial arts. Travelling is exactly like building a startup. We start with an idea, we make some plans, we imagine and expect many things along the way, but there are always some unpredictables things that happen. Some good, some bad, but the experience always makes us come back with a new skill set and often a new perspective of the world and of ourself.

DECEMBER 2016

Investing too much time in one project. I had a bigger project than usual this year, and being too involved in a project for two to three days a week for months at a time removed the objectivity that I should have when I help startups. Even though it would have been easier for me to make money from only a select number of clients per year, I wouldn’t have been able to learn as much as I had by working with just a few.

Reaching the maximum productivity that a consultant can handle. In June this year, I was truly overwhelmed and wasn’t able to do anything else than other than work for my clients’ projects.
Meeting many young entrepreneurs that cannot afford my services who need some help. This is one of the reasons why I built the new online training platform for startups.

Goals results

 

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

September 2016

It’s September, which means we have about three months left to achieve our annual goals.

I’m working hard to reach mine, and as a fellow startup founder and CTO—help you reach yours too.

Let me share with you what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks, and hopefully, everything will be ready to hit those goals for November 2nd!

Goals results

 

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

MAY 2016

 A few days ago, I shared with you I was traveling to London for two events, the FinTech startupWeekend and the youpreneur webmarketing community event.

I’m currently on board a plane flying back home. Since it was a very busy and intense weekend, I’m wondering what my takeaways from it are.

Goals results

 

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

Goal Settings 2016

To begin this new year, I want to share with you all my goals and challenges I will face in 2016. This is more than a simple “Happy New Year” message to all my contacts and readers. I want to share with you in the same manner as I did in 2015 results post. You will find below that I am sharing with you many details about my business and my personal roadmap for 2016.

DECEMBER 2015

 

I want to conclude this amazing year by sharing with you what I have accomplished and how much I’ve learned during 2015. After shutting down my startup in 2014, 2015 has been the perfect year for my transition from one startup project to more than 15 projects from other startups that are all paying clients.

Lessons learned

 

Lessons learned

 

Pure online income results

 

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