Hitting $2M ARR, podcasting, & being a “Girl Dad”
Before I look forward to 2022 and start planning, I like to reflect on 2021.
Last week, we recorded a podcast on the highs and lows from this past year.
You can listen to it right here.
My year involved launching a podcast, doubling revenue, and “girl dad-ing” like a boss.
1) Hit $2 Million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)
I’m bad at celebrating milestones and wins.
It feels weird and I feel like a tool doing it. Then I realize it’s important to pause and reflect because business is freaking hard. Like the time I lost $400k in 48 hours.
I’m proud that we doubled revenue this year. How did we do it?
TLDR: Amazing team, finding the right clients, and we invested in our process.
For more on that story, here is a podcast episode where we breakdown how we got to $2M ARR.
2) 17 People at Our Remote-First Company
South Korea, NYC, Ethiopia, Dallas, Seattle, LA, Toronto.
This is where we have team members for GrowthHit. It’s amazing where you can find A+ people when all that matters is culture and skills.
And I have met less than half our team in person.
It’s energizing what you can build with a laptop and an internet connection. Here is a pic of Yoni (biz partner) and myself reuniting after 19 months apart at an (overpriced) coffeehouse in Seattle.
3) Launched a Podcast “If I Was Starting Today”
My reasons for launching a podcast are 100% selfish. It’s my way of networking, learning, and getting in some free therapy sessions with my partner. We’re 50 episodes in and I am already blown away by the doors it has opened for me.
Here are the most popular episodes to date
- Nathan Barry: How to Bootstrap a Company to $30M in a Crowded Market (#41)
- Startup Ideas by Paul Graham (#45)
- Announcement: The $3M Challenge by GrowthHit
- How I Met My Biz Partner and Less Learned Hitting $2M ARR (#44)
- Ryan Hamilton on his Netflix special, touring with Jerry Seinfeld, & how to write a joke (#10)
- How to Take Over the World with Ben Wilson (#43)
- The Ladders of Wealth Creation: A Step-by-Step Roadmap to Building Wealth (#42)
4) Launched a Startup Studio (and 1 New Company)
If we’re such a good growth team then why can’t we grow our own brands? That’s the question we’ve been asking ourselves for years. Our growth marketing agency has been lucky to be part of some insane growth stories.
- Brands featured on Shark Tank
- Startups that raised $65M, $85M, and $100M in funding
- Companies backed by A16z, Y-combinator, Techstars, etc.
But, we want to be more involved in the growth success.
Finally, we launched our startup studio, Hit Lab Ventures, with the goal of owning our own companies that we can grow ourselves. To start, here is our first brand that’s in beta.
Which leads to the next bullet . . .
5) We’re Working in Public with “The $3M Challenge”
We announced the $3M Challenge. With our startup studio, we’re going to launch and grow 3 companies to $1M in sales. Specifically, an agency, a D2C brand and a SaaS Company. And we’re going to document every step of the way.
It’s scary to expose your numbers but the response has been energizing. Let’s just keep the numbers going up and to the right!
Here is our update from December 2021.
6) Joining a Community of CEOs Doing 7 Figures
When I look back at my career the biggest inflection points were around doors that other people were kind enough to help open for me. But, I never invested in connecting with more “door openers” or people.
So, I decided to investment in relationships.
How do you investing in professional relationships? I started by joining EO (Entrepreneurship Organization). This is a community of founders that own business doing over 7 figures.
I’m only 3 months in and I’m blown away by the impact of connecting with other founders. We meet once a month for 4 hours in a forum setting with 10 other founders. The meeting is all about “experience sharing” and it’s amazing what happens when you cut through the BS and get to the core of what’s going on with your business and your own psychology.
7) Angel Investing – Worth it or Not?
To date, I have equity in 9 startups. I’m an advisor to 3 and then I invested my own money in 6. My goal is to invest in 30 startups with 1-2 hitting home runs (a 10x plus exit). What have I learned about the process?
- You need to have an investment thesis.
- Saying no to great founders sucks.
- Angel investing is anticlimactic.
On that last one: You write a check and then you wait. Honestly, it makes me more excited to invest in myself and my team.
Below is a podcast I did with Ben Yoskovitz on Angel Investing.
8) Featured On My Favorite Site, Trends
I made an effort to do a few big tweet storms in 2021 and two of them went viral. The most notable was the one I did around “How to Grow a D2C Brand (A 22 Step Process)” – I turned it into a blog post right here.
It got picked up on Trends and then emailed out to a list of 1 million people. The inbound from that was pretty insane.
9) Lifestyle Design (No travel, wine nights, & journaling)
I did zero work trips this year.
And I loved it.
While I am sick of Zoom and Webinars, I love being home every night to tuck my kids into bed. Plus, the bi-weekly date night I have with my wife never gets old.
No work travel allows me to have a constant morning routine that involves: a morning jog, journaling, 15 minutes of reading, & my morning coffee.
And nothing better than that first sip of ☕!
Want more info on daily routines? Check out this episode where my partner and I breakdown our systems for productivity.
10) Year 4 as a “Girl Dad”
I’m in year 4 as a girl dad of two young ladies (2 and 4). It’s the hardest job but the best job.
They say every age gets better and I agree. My oldest is 4 and her little personality is shining through. I’m the most excited about her wit and our inside jokes.
Nothing makes me laugh harder than my 4 year old doing her Buddy the Elf impersonation:
“Bye Buddy! Hope you find your dad.”In the voice of a 4 year old
Honorable mention is my 2 year old streaking around our house yelling ‘I want to be Nakey.” Who needs Netflix when you have kids under the age of 5?
Hope you have some time to reflect as well.