Episode 9 | The 6 biggest mistakes I made running an info product business

In episode 9, Adrian discusses the six biggest mistakes when running his info product business.

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[01:06] Mistake number one is not hiring fast enough. Adrian gives examples of how he was trying to do too much as PyImageSearch was growing.

[02:00] Initially, Adrian doing nearly all business tasks worked in terms of revenue. 

[02:32] “The two areas that I initially needed help in were email support….. and content writing.” – Adrian

[03:06] In hindsight, Adrian realizes he should have hired and delegated much sooner.

[04:09] The rule of thumb is once you’re making $10,000/month, try to bring on someone to get some tasks off your plate. 

[04:41] If you’re the only content creator, it can be really dangerous for the business depending on what is going on with your life. 

[05:24] Mistake number two was incorrectly making the assumption that readers could only learn from Adrian and his writing style. 

[06:19] Our content metrics were way too focused on “will this make Adrian happy”, instead of whether the customers were happy and was the business making money. 

[06:59] “When you’re running your content business, really try to put yourself in your customers mind.” – Adrian

[07:18] Mistake number three. Have realistic expectations of your subordinates.

[08:03] Tie your team’s objectives and compensation to the company’s interests. Adrian describes how he has failed at this in the past.

[08:37] Harsh but true: those you hire will not care as much as you do as the business owner.

[09:09] Focus on the things that move your business forward.

[09:16] Mistake number 4. Getting too upset about plagiarism. Adrian talks about what happened to him and how he responded.

[11:17] If people are copying you it means you are doing something right. It means your work has value.

[12:13] Mistake number 5. Offering too much support for free. It’s hard not to, especially when you are getting started and need feedback.

[13:26] Offering too much free support disincentivizes customers to pay for your products, and could lead to you becoming bitter over the years.

[14:02] Adrian discusses how PyImageSearch went through this and how they were overwhelmed and being taken advantage of trying to support non-customers via email.

[15:27] The content is available for anyone to learn on their own, but someone’s time is their most valuable resource and that is why you need paying customers.

[17:41] It was scary to have to pull back, especially when you have the desire to help people, but ultimately it was necessary to be successful. Sales still kept going, and Adrian was able to move forward in a more happy way personally and professionally. 

[18:05] Mistake number 6. Putting too much emotional connection into the business.

[19:35] What Adrian failed to do initially was make sure his team was aiming to please the customer and not him because he was too emotionally invested. 

[20:06] “A good Project Manager can be a buffer between you and the day to day drama of the business.” – Adrian

[20:39] This is not an exhaustive list. These are just the things that Adrian thinks are the biggest. Also, sometimes you just have to learn for yourself.  

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