Well, its been 9 Months since my ‘last confession’ when I published my initial article, The Modern-Day AppExchange Entrepreneur.
Floored is what comes to mind when I consider that a ‘little part of me’ has been spread so many places, in such a short amount of time.
What started as a life long goal, has taken on so many new directions. 150 Leads a month, and a presence in 50+ countries is still mind boggling to me. After all, I just wanted to build an app.
As I started 2020, I want to take time to share my experiences more often. I’ve come to realize that so many of us have a spark of hope or desire for something different. Some need more guidance, while others are blocked by a tall wall of fear.
So what have I experienced over the last 1 year? Below are some of those highlights—
- Your vision, or plan, for success won’t always turn out the way you think. I had high hopes for one my apps, especially the one that drove my passion. Yet, it hasn’t been downloaded once. Forcing me to rethink the strategy for 2020. I’ve taken time to seek advice, and revisit its simplicity. There will be a 90+ day trial to get feedback from friendly customers and help solidify a roadmap. (By the way if you want to try a cool Order Fulfillment app for Salesforce, let me know)
- Do NOT overlook the importance of Marketing and Business Development. I slacked at dedicating time and effort into marketing, and am finally coming up with a plan. Before you build, determine how you will reach your target customers. Being listed on the AppExchange alone is not enough. Consider teaming up with someone who can help you. I know I need it.
- Find friendly customers and get feedback and Success Stories ASAP. Salesforce and almost every company in this space have a ton of Customer Stories — highlighting use cases, or amazing benefits they have encountered. You WILL need these ASAP. There has been a precedent set in this space. ‘Successful’ apps have reviews and testimonials. Work your network, and get them quickly!
- Consider partnering up with someone or a company. Being a solo entrepreneur is exhausting and WILL burn you out QUICKLY. This will force you to cut corners, worse loose focus. I’m now working with a great team at CommerceCX, helping both companies execute on a shared vision.
Below are highlights of the positive things that I never imagined would occur when I set out to build an app. Proof that just by taking a leap of faith, can and will lead you onto other paths along your journey.
- My daughter, Mackenzie Stall won the Student Challenge at Dreamforce! Over a year ago she was helping me with Taveza, and fell in love with the platform. From there, she set her sights on getting into the ecosystem while still in college. Competing against 100+ colleges and winning! This part alone has made this journey worth it!
- I’m now a ‘goto’ person for App Ideas. There are so many people out there with ideas and dreams. Not just with the prospect of money, but often to help others. They just need a little guidance and encouragement. Next up will a book and supporting framework that the average person can follow.
- We need to encourage more students to get involved. In the coming months, I’d love to create a non-profit organization that conducts quarterly challenges open to students and those changing careers. Providing inspiration and grants to winning teams. Recognition shouldn’t just come once a year. The labor market in this ecosystem is going to get tighter, and we need to get in front of the next generation now!
Just remember when you were a child, and nothing could stop you. Grab hold of that feeling and take the leap!