#017 - Julien Nahum (@JhumanJ) - When you almost sell your SaaS but grow it to $47,000 ARR in 6 mo instead
Today's Maker: Julien Nahum (@JhumanJ) - When you almost sell your SaaS but grow it to $47,000 ARR in 6 mo instead
WHY HE'S FEATURED:
Left great Software Engineering job at Amazon Web Services to try his hand in entrepreneurship and build his own SaaS
Building and growing Notion Forms which recently hit $47,000 ARR (which is more than 2x his revenue in 2 months 😱)
Ever wanted one of those cool MRR trackers in your Twitter Bio? Julien built a free tool for that 👉 TweetSync
This guy is non-stop shipping
I'm not sure I've ever seen growth on a new product like this before. Let me break down this timeline so you can see it for yourself:
May 21st - Shared first version on Reddit, Facebook Groups + Twitter
May 23rd - Someone else hunted it on Product Hunt 😂
May 27th - 100th user tries it
Jun 24th - Almost sold on TinyAcquisition
Jul 23rd - Launched Pro Plans
Sept 1 - $474 MRR
Oct 1 - $1011 MRR
Nov 1 - $1700 MRR
Dec 1 - $2468 MRR
Jan 1 - $3212 MRR
What are Julien's secrets? Well, after scrolling all the way back in his Twitter, I see a lot of creative marketing, constant shipping of new features, and celebration of milestones. Julien says he's also growing his product by writing SEO articles, creating product guides and posting in Facebook groups.
Julien is a software engineer by training, but he's not lost in feature development. It's clear that Julien also has a natural instinct for marketing and makes sure to balance that with any product development he's working on. Took some of us years (ahem, me) to learn that.
But besides his engineering and marketing talent, what are the baseline habits that are supporting this epic growth? Well, Julien did some introspection and shared 3 habits with me that changed his trajectory. (And of course, he sent them to me via Notion 😂)👇
3 Habits that changed Julien's trajectory:
🛠 Build in Public - I started to be “active” on Twitter at the end of May 2021, pretty much when I started to work on NotionForms. Even though I still consider myself a twitter beginner, it’s been really helpful to share what I’m building publicly. I met awesome and inspiring people, I got great feedback, people shared my work etc. And that’s also how I got to be featured in this really cool newsletter!
🎲 Taking (thoughtful) risks - I left a good job at AWS to focus full time on entrepreneurship. I didn’t even have a project in mind yet, but I knew that this was what I wanted to do. It may sound like a crazy decision to leave without a plan (hi mom), but I don’t think it was. I knew I could easily live off freelancing if I had to, and I had some decent savings from a previous company exit. Not everything is gonna work out but that’s ok. Take the risks you can take!
🧘♂️ Maintain a health work-life balance - Working alone is hard, especially when you are working on more than 1 thing (SAAS + freelance in my case). It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and to feel guilt when you’re not working. Building a company is a marathon not a sprint, so keeping a good work-life balance is super important. When I left my job I was working from my living room, and my computer was pretty much always on, waiting for me to deploy this last feature, or to reply to this customer support request. It quickly became stressful and was taking over my personal life. Here’s what I did:
🗓 Plan my work with a precise schedule - I know what I’m going to do everyday. And when I’m off, I’m off. Although of course I’m always available in case of emergency. I was lucky enough to be able to setup an office in a small studio located 10 minutes away from my flat. It is now my workplace, and my home is now my home. I leave my computer there every night, so that even if feel the urge to work, I can’t!
Did Julien just call Maker of Habit a "really cool newsletter"!? I'm going to have to print that out and frame it. Thanks for sharing with us, Julien! It's really fun to follow this rocket ship trajectory and we appreciate you taking us along for the ride!
Don't miss out on watching this rising star in real-time. Follow Julien on Twitter here 👉 @JhumanJ
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