Edition #6: 3 bootstrapping ideas, 2 interesting makers, 1 surprise.

Introducing a new format for Young Makers. More value-packed and digestible. It's 1 week's worth of research on Bootstrapping businesses condensed into a 8 minute read.

Let’s take a pause

There is so much happening in the world right now. I’m not from the United States – I’m from Singapore. But it is clear to me what is happening now with #BlackLivesMatter. We have to take action. Veni Kunche shared in a group I’m in on a list of links that I read through. It really opened my eyes and I highly recommend giving them a read. It’s going to be uncomfortable but change starts there.

Read Veni's post here

I don’t know what’s the best thing to do now. But I know I could do from where I am now is to:

  • Amplify Black voices through my newsletter – interviews, shout outs, etc. Want an interview or know someone I should interview? Reply to this email.

  • Listening and educating myself about anti-racism. And sharing what I’ve read with my friends; get them to understand what’s going on and how they can help.

I don’t know what’s the best way to help, but I’m always here to try. To my audience, if there’s better ways I can help, let me know – just reply to this email.

If you’re supportive of anti-racism, or feel that this conversation doesn’t belong here, please unsubscribe. I run this newsletter primarily to serve my community and to help people start & run businesses that make the world a better place.

Some Newsletter Changes

I figured it’s really hard to have 1 good interview consistently every week. Instead of constraining myself and feeling stressed about it weekly, I’m changing the format. I’ll share the following:

  • 3 ideas on getting to your first $10K MRR

  • 2 interesting makers you should check out

  • 1 surprise or more– an interview, a celebration, or something else.

It’s a week’s worth of research condensed into a quick 8 minute read. Have it together with your morning coffee on Saturdays/Sundays. Use the weekend to synthesize and apply what you’ve read through your side hustles.


3 Ideas

Idea 1: Build an Audience

Learn from Nikhil. He ran his newsletter for 3 years. Built an audience of 1000+ subscribers. 100+ attend each event he hosts. He then converts his idea into a product/app. Now he uses a tipping business model to retain strong community elements. The money helps him to keep working on his product. And btw, he has an amazing idea he named GetReal.club that I like a lot. It’s private now, but he tweeted about it.

Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt’s founder wrote 150 essays before starting his website. He advises founders to build an audience first. As a founder, you’ll be able to tap into your audience to find talents more easily. You will also de-risk your idea by acquiring users earlier. It serves well as a form of customer development “tool” to better understand who you’re building for.

Even if you failed to successfully take off with an idea, your audience is still there. Come up with another idea and tap into your audience. It’s easier to have 100 signups through your audience at $0 cost. Why pay hundreds to Google Ads to get 100 signups when you can get it for free?

Idea 2: Persistence; Keep Trying

Josh Pigford runs Baremetrics which makes $120K monthly. What few people know is that he had 50+ ideas before it. It took over 15 years of trial and error. Persistence really pays off. He shared his google spreadsheets of projects and story in this twitter thread.

Nathan Barry runs ConvertKit, a SaaS that makes $1.8M monthly. He shared his journey on how he got there in a post aptly titled, “The ladders of wealth creation” It’s not an easy path but if you keep trying, like climbing a ladder… you’ll eventually get there. Start with a service business by providing consulting if you have to. You’ll build an audience and get paid while doing so. Over time, build products for the same audience and sell it to them. I’m personally somewhere in between the middle 2 ladders.

Idea 3: Follow the Money

One of the advice I wished I heed earlier was to monetize early. Charge as early as you can, and play around with the right price. If you don’t get a habit of doing this now, you’ll learn this the hard way. When you’re burning away at your savings, or racking up debts, you’ll start to doubt if things will work out. I have seen this happen with friends.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Start charging early on and use the revenue to grow your product further. I did exactly this with Young Makers, with the help of mentors. Mentors have been there and done that. They tend to be more experienced in sniffing out the money trails. Learn the fundamentals from them, then you can afford to create your own “style”.

PS: Thanks Andrew Kamphey for teaching me what I know about newsletters!

2 Interesting Makers

They say you are the average of your 5 closest friends. Because you learn by osmosis. Through their words, thoughts and actions. By following interesting makers who are climbing their way up, you could learn how they’re doing it. Emulate them. Here’s 2 such people you can follow.

Jordan O’Connor

Alex West

1 Surprise or more

One of the Young Makers in my newsletter workshop’s 2nd cohort made her first internet sale. Check out her newsletter if you’re interested in ways to improve your health. She gives really good reports about nutrition that I’m trying to integrate into my lifestyle now.

PS: The past few days, I fell ill with a really swollen neck/throat and runny nose. I thought I had COVID and was really frightened for my life. After seeing the doctor and taking some meds with plenty of rest, I’ve since felt better. I am resolved to what Ellen says, “your health is your wealth.” It’s time to start following her newsletter’s tips.


Young Makers Classifieds

If you want to build your side project or startup without writing any code, you can accelerate your no-code learning journey by joining the #100daysofnocode challenge.

Want to find other interesting online communities? Check out Community Finder.

A complementary newsletter to Young Makers is JessPicks’ newsletter. Too busy with your blog, side hustle, or passion project to search for the tools, tips, and resources you need? Don't worry, she’s got you. Check out her #JessPicks newsletter.

Being a maker can be mentally exhausting. It doesn’t have to make you go crazy. Journal your thoughts with Mindwave, an All-in-one journal for work and life. Learn from your past. Be present. Improve your future.

List your startup here for $10 for an edition. Get in front of 250+ makers and entrepreneurs. This helps me to keep the lights on and support the community.


Launch a Newsletter in 2 Weeks

Want to launch your own newsletter? I’m personally offering a workshop where I’ll guide you on how to:

• Launch and grow your newsletter to 50+ subscribers in 2 weeks

• Get video recorded feedback of your newsletter setup

• Growth and monetization tips

If you’re interested, there’s only 4 slots at $50 per slot. If you try your best and do everything we go through in the mastermind group but don’t get results, I’ll refund you. The price is going up to $75 soon.

Join the workshop


I wake up on mornings and brew my coffee either using a Moka Pot or a Nespresso machine. I heat up some milk and mix them into a latte, yum. Like a sort of ritual, I look forward to moments like these every morning. Buy me a coffee so I’ll have the energy to work on this newsletter below. Or support me by creating a Buy Me A Coffee account with link.

Buy me a Coffee ❤️