How To Create An 8 Figure SaaS With No Technical Background With Aurelien Amacker, CEO of Systeme.io

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About The Guest

Aurelien Amacker is the founder of systeme.Io, a tool that helps entrepreneurs to launch their online business. Systeme.Io has over 6,000 users and collectively helped online business owners to generate $11 million. Aurelien makes money online since 2010 when he started running his own blog.

He then began teaching online marketing to his french audience. His first launch generated $500,000. Unfortunately, his launches made less and less money as time went on. So he decided to get into the software business.

Talking Points

  • 07:09 — Solving your own problem as an entrepreneur.
  • 11:27 — How to succeed as a non-technical founder.
  • 13:45 — Finding your first technical team.
  • 20:27 — The various ways you can make money online.
  • 23:22 — How to set up an affiliate program.
  • 35:33 — Making your first dollar online.
  • 38:52 — Don’t overcomplicate entrepreneurship.

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What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

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Machine Generated Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, HubSpot, customers, business, launch, developers, euros, revenue, money, product, software, blog, courses, month, easy, working, building, affiliate commissions, French, sell

SPEAKERS

Aurelien, Scott, Scott D Clary

 

Scott D Clary  00:00

Welcome to success story the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary. The success story podcast is part of the HubSpot Podcast Network HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to start and grow a business. HubSpot Podcast Network hosts act as on demand mentors through practical tips and inspirational stories listen, learn and grow with the HubSpot Podcast Network at hubspot.com/podcast. Network Today, my guest is Aurelien Amacker, Aurelien Amacker is the founder of system.io, a tool that helps entrepreneurs to launch their online business to stem.io has over 6000 users and collectively has helped online business owners generate over $11 million in revenue. relient started making money online when he first started running his own blog. He then began teaching online courses to his audience which generated roughly $500,000 Not bad as he launched more courses, he realized that he was making less and less money as time went on the market was more saturated. So he pivoted and actually using some of the lessons that he was teaching got into software went through a lot of trials, tribulations he bootstrapped, he struggled but eventually got system.io to over $200,000 a month in revenue entirely funded by himself. So he has gone through every iteration of making money online and eventually ended up being a SAS founder. So this is what we spoke about how he built system.io from zero to 1000 customers the growth strategy that he used without any funding, how he obtained $4 million now in ARR, and how he’s going to scale that to 6 million arr. In the next year, how he built 100% remote company of over 60 people in 11 different countries, how we manage that, how we hired how he on boarded and how he was able to basically hire and manage this team originally just on his own, and also how he has built an affiliate program that has driven traffic for his SAS product that generates over $300,000 in sales for him every single month, he’s going to break down how you can build something similar for your business. So this is a Aurelien Amacker, the founder of system.io.

 

Aurelien  02:22

Hi, Scott, thank you for having me on the show. So yeah, that’s, that’s right. I mean, I started just like anybody else, like I was actually following bloggers online, in a met a couple of them. And they gave me some advice. And I had this blog that nobody was reading about, like personal development, you know, and I started working full time on it. I actually said no to a really good job offer in Paris at the time, and I started working full time on my blog traveling. And I started making a bit of money. I mean, it’s it’s exactly the story that you say, you know, so I started making money with my blog, I studied building following. I know that you are big on social media. So you you understand what I’m talking about. I build an email list. And then when I want it to go to the next step, which is creating and selling a course, I surveyed my least found out that they wanted to do the same, which is you know, just making money blogging. So I created a course about that. And I hired marketing consultants that knew you know how to launch product because I really didn’t know about that. And we were we he helped me create the course launch sheet through webinars. We made 10,000 euros, which for me was like absolutely huge. And we worked together remotely for a year. And then we did this launch that may so it made exactly 550,000 euros in sales in two weeks, which is crazy. Yeah. And it’s actually we close the launch. We were at the airports. And we took the plans. We went to Phoenix, Arizona to attend Jeff Walker, Jeff Walker’s comprehends, you know, when I sign up for his mastermind, where I stayed for three years, I learned a lot of things but I wasn’t I never embraced the launch model, you know. And so I just lead the group and I went on my own in 2015 Trying to to find by myself what was working and I mean, I was about to make like 20,000 euros per month in revenue, just relying on my email list, you know, on my own courses are my own content, but I kind of disappear of the, you know, of the market. And, yeah, I had this idea of Creating software because I was following people building software and Ty was great business model. And I was listening to podcasts, I was like, Oh, this is a very exciting business, you know, you have recurring revenue. These companies are a lot more valuable than your company, when you just sell courses, you know, sounds like this is great. In 2015, I took the decision to do it. And I felt at the beginning of 2016, because I couldn’t find the right developers. But then early 2017, I found the right team, the right developers, we started building the product we launched in March 2018. And today, so your, your numbers are not totally accurate. So today, it’s old. So we have 8000 paying customers, we do close to 400,000 US dollars in revenue per month. And yeah, it’s great.

 

Scott D Clary  05:57

So I guess that was my mistake. I guess I pulled this off an old site or an old an old interviews, and I tried to Don’t,

 

Aurelien  06:03

don’t, don’t worry, I mean, the numbers are changing fast, you know. So it’s totally fine.

 

Scott D Clary  06:11

So it’s something that I just, it’s interesting to me, because, you know, you’ve you’ve always done this, you’ve built out, you’ve built a your name, and you’ve built a almost a community around whatever you’re working on now. And then you commoditize the pain point that the person that you’ve been, you know, building this community around, it’s feeling because you know, you had a blog, and then you realize a lot of people would need to figure out how to start a blog, and then you sold the course on it. And then now you’re creating a tool like, like, what I say system, not like system system, because there’s a sy Sde me.io I don’t know if that’s the correct pronunciation, I just, it defaults to like my French system that I

 

Aurelien  06:57

totally fine. I mean, system that’s IO, E with the English spelling without the E at the end wasn’t available. So I just went to the French spelling. So and yeah, it’s not perfect, but you know, like, you

 

Scott D Clary  07:09

know, it’s good and good. But it’s still solving the problem. Right? It’s it’s a, it’s another SAS, it’s to help people build on build their business online. So what So walk me through your, your mindset, because not everybody starts a product are tries to solve a problem with a community they’ve already built. Sometimes they try and you know, they try and sell something or build a product before they even have a community. So why did you or what, what? What allowed you to realize that building this product was a good fit for, you know, the Martin potentially some of the problems that you’ve had to solve as an entrepreneur?

 

Aurelien  07:47

Yeah, no, it’s a great question. So what happens is that since I’ve been in this game forever, you know, like, when we started, it was actually so my marketing consultant, he knew how to code a little bit. So he gave me some pages. And I wasn’t integrate, it was integrated with a French payment processor. That was absolutely horrible. I mean, I’ve seen it all, you know, when Clickfunnels launched in 2014. Actually, right away, and at that time, there were some things that you couldn’t translate on the payment page. So for me, you know, it was it wasn’t a solution. I tried. I remember using Lead Pages in 2013. And like, on a Sunday, I was working on a sales page, and I was struggling. And after, like half an hour, I found out that I couldn’t add more than like, three items in a bullet list. I was like, wow, this is crazy. Like, I just cannot use this tool, you know, so I wasn’t I wasn’t satisfied with the existing tools. And then Clickfunnels was, became very popular in the French market and in the English market, of course. And I was like, Yeah, this is, this is a good product, but you know, it’s, it’s kind of expensive. So I thought that there was like, like, my customers, I knew them because I was selling courses. You know, I was hosting, like some live seminars, sometimes stuff like that. So I knew them really well. And I mean, some of them, they were making minimum wage. I mean, when you’re making 1200 euros per month, you don’t want to spend like, you know, $100 per month on on just your, like marketing tool, right? It’s like 8% of your income. So I was like, let’s make a tool that’s more affordable. And also at the same time, I was like, okay, like, everybody says, oh, you should get the best landing page builder and the best autoresponder and the best Membership Site Builder, you know, and I was like, what if you could have all the main features under one roof, so you don’t have to pay for X different tools. And more important, you don’t have to actually set these tools together. So they work together, you know, because that’s a lot of work. So

 

Scott D Clary  10:02

that was that was sort of the mindset behind behind building this out.

 

Aurelien  10:06

Yeah, but I was like all but I mean, maybe it’s, it’s impossible, you know, it’s too many things. And we just started building it anyway. And I had the right team, and we were actually building the features in 2017, I started moving my own business on our own software. So first my email list, then all our landing pages, opt in forms, then all our courses, you know what I was like, Oh, that works. You know, that’s what I use. So we launched it. And the thing is, because we have, so our customers that tell us Oh, this is so much easier to use, you know, it’s easier to use, it’s faster, and it’s a lot cheaper. And it’s funny, because it’s, it’s so affordable. When people first hear about it, they’re like, Okay, it’s like, more affordable. So it’s less good, you know, because people think, Oh, more expensive, better, you know? And actually, when you ask our customers, they barely never say, oh, it’s more affordable. They say, Oh, it’s easier to use. It’s faster, you know. So yeah, I mean, I’m very happy with the outcome. You know, it’s very exciting. We’re growing fast. So now it’s about like, how, like, how far and how fast? Can we go?

 

Scott D Clary  11:27

So so this is another interesting point, because you’re a non technical founder. So that was something that’s, that’s a big inhibitor for a lot of people. So pivoting from blogging, obviously, you don’t need to be technical for that. Selling courses. Yeah, you have to have a landing page. But like you said that you can, you can figure it out. So whatever, walk me through, you want to start a SaaS product, you don’t have a coding background? What do you do? How do you find a good Dev? How do you find a good engineer that you can work with that you know, is going to deliver? What was your process like for that?

 

Aurelien  11:58

Oh, it’s very easy, you fail, you fail a few times. So that’s, I’m telling you because, you know, like, the idea I got wasn’t like, revolutionary, you know, because there were some existing tools like this already. And actually, just in the French market, I’ve seen, like, maybe, I don’t know, I’d say at least half a dozen people trying to do the same and failing. Because software is so hot. Like I’ve seen people really like struggling for years, you know, and you can sell that, you know, they don’t have the right people to to build a good software, you know, so what happened is that, I mean, it’s a, it’s a silly story, like first I was like, because I had at least half about, like, 30,000 people, I was like, Hey, I’m looking euros for someone to help me develop this. And I had a customer so a French guy living in Morocco. And he told me, Look, I have a, like software development company, we can do it for seven grand. I was like seven grand, you know, just take the money, you know? And

 

Scott D Clary  12:59

yeah, that’s cheap, compared to Oh, like, it’s mostly just gonna cost you a lot and cost you 40 50,000 100,000 For a good application.

 

Aurelien  13:07

Yeah, exactly. I was like, you know, take take seven grand, you know, I don’t care. I see what he does. And it’s, it was so stupid, because I actually put the finger you know, in a machine, and I lost a nom, you know, because, yeah, so so he said, Yeah, it’s gonna take like, two or three months. And after two or three months, they were basically nothing. And it was like, okay, so it’s actually a lot of features. And now we need to keep working on it. So I need to pay my engineers. So I was like, Okay, so I’m gonna pay monthly, you know. And these guys, they were so bad. Like, they didn’t even know they were bad, which is even worse. Yeah, I mean, it was so bad that actually with my wife, we flew to Morocco to meet them. And I remember we were in the meeting room. And they were so good at telling me oh, everything is going to be fine. Don’t worry. And I one point, I was like, Hey, guys, you know, I made some research and people keep talking about the scrum method. So I’m sure you’ve heard that, right. Yeah. Yeah. And these guys, they were like Scrum. Oh, that’s interesting. And he asked his developer, Could you look into it? Could you could you Google it, you know, I was like, Oh, this is not good. So it took me some time to realize that they were bad. In the braking part was like November 2016, I was actually in my shower. And I was like, Oh, I send an email to these guys to tell them that security is super important. It’s been two week, two weeks, they haven’t replied, What image should I ride? So that replied to the email that I sent them and then I was like, That’s it. You know, if you ask yourself this question, that means that you know, it’s, it’s to be like, you’re not working with the right people. So I told the guy Hey, thank you. But you know, this is not working. I’m gonna pay you till the end of the month. And we don’t you know, and then I was just afraid I was looking for developers actually, I spent two Because I was also working with a developer from Bangladesh that was doing like some stripe integration. And he was like, Oh, I’m going to take over the whole project, you know, and it’s going to work. And I’m going to hire some chip developers up work, it’s gonna work. And so he worked on it for two months. And then we we plug the solution, and everything stopped working. And, yeah, so it wasn’t working. So then I tried a few different more. And one day, I found this guy. And this guy, this guy who was reliable, he was unlike the other ones, he was like, Oh, this, this is going to take two hours and two hours later, it was done. And yeah, that’s the to be and that’s something

 

Scott D Clary  15:42

that’s something that every like, you know, I just wanted to bring that out. And I wasn’t sure if you had a good or a bad experience. But I’m actually I’m glad that, you know, in hindsight, you know, obviously, now you can laugh about it. But during during the time probably wasn’t that funny. But I’m glad that you had a bad experience that you could talk about, because that’s what a lot of people end up going through when they’re when they’re trying to build out a software product. And they’re not a developer themselves. It’s just it’s a minefield out there. And this is pretty cool. I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode, HubSpot. HubSpot is a CRM platform that is easy to implement, and is even easier to get your team to adopt and ask anybody that’s implemented new technology in a company, the biggest issue is not finding it or buying it, it’s getting your team and your company to actually use it and adopt it. And when it’s a piece, like a CRM, one of the most critical pieces of your business infrastructure and your tech stack, if people don’t adopt it and use it, that means you’re getting incomplete data, you’re getting missing data, you’re getting garbage data, it could impact quite literally everybody in your company as well as it could negatively impact your customers and your revenue. So how does HubSpot solve for this with their CRM platform, there’s two components that they focus on that allow for organizational wide adoption. This is the contact timeline as well as the mobile app. So the contact timeline gives a historical context for all of the data that is associated with a certain contact in the CRM. That means that anybody across the organization can see all the actions and all the interactions that have taken place against that particular contact. You can also use that timeline to make calls to these contacts, enroll them in sequences, put them into marketing or sales campaigns, schedule a meeting open tickets historical timeline makes it easy to take action as well as to track the action that’s been taken against all of your contacts. And it’s not a pain to enter the information, which means that it doesn’t take somebody a long time to put in great data, which can again positively impact your whole company. The second piece is the access from anywhere meaning if I have a phone and I’m on the road, the world’s opening up a little bit more now people are traveling again, I can use the HubSpot app to access my CRM anywhere on the go on the fly doesn’t matter. So I have complete access to the CRM, I have access to my spreadsheets, my calendars, my notebooks, all of my contacts, I can send messages across my team with the HubSpot keyboard. I can access my contacts, call them through the HubSpot app, I can take quick notes, I can take contact information. I can all log it into my HubSpot app so that I can pull it up later on my desktop when I’m back at home. It’s simple. It’s intuitive, it’s meant to make it easy, frictionless, so that your team sees the value in properly using the CRM to the fullest of its capabilities and gives them the tools and the tack to allow them to do it without spending too much time and causing them more headaches. The best thing about HubSpot is that it can be set up for any size of business. And it will scale with you. If you’re just starting out, you can take advantage of certain features. And then as you scale your business, you’ll notice that HubSpot will support almost anything you need as you grow. So if you do want to learn how to scale your business without scaling complexity, go to hubspot.com.

 

Aurelien  18:59

Yeah, exactly like, like just last week, like I saw someone commenting on Facebook, beware of non technical founders getting scammed by developers and somewhere blind and say, That’s not scamming. It’s just you know, the way the world operates, I was like, This is so true. You know, it’s not that they want to scam you. It’s just that they’re bad developers, and that’s how it is. And but you know, like, so we’re 100% remote company. And I understood something, it’s that you have two type of people, you have the people who find problems, or excuses and people who find solutions. And you know, like, all I was trying, I was trying out different developers and one guy was like, so he was a developer from Portugal. And he was like, oh, but you know, like the developing the deployment process is complicated. I was like, Yeah, I hear you. But you know what, there is this guy. He’s working the same environment. And he says two hours and two hours later it’s done. So at the end of the day, I just need people who can deliver solutions and find, you know, yeah, ways in that seat, you know?

 

Scott D Clary  20:06

So it’s okay, so now you found a great developer. This is great. This is like walking through the lifecycle of a bootstrap Sass company. So you found a great developer, you started to finish your product. How do you take it to market? And what makes you choose to, to not look for outside capital and just bootstrap it?

 

Aurelien  20:27

Yeah. So because I was actually selling, I mean, I had my own online business, you know, so I was making like, you know, still courses. Yeah, setting courses, exactly. Actually a bit of coaching as well. So I was doing about 2020 to 30,000 euros per month in revenue. So I was about just to fund the whole thing. I mean, I think in 2016, we did, like, I don’t know, like, very to profits, like 10 or 15,000 euros, you know, and I remember I was, I was having lunch with my wife once I was like, you know, that’s, it sucks. But, you know, we have to, to, to, to, you know, to keep trying. And in 2017, because we build a team to three developers, I actually made a loss of about, like, 10 grand, you know, so it wasn’t like, I mean, that’s, that’s what,

 

Scott D Clary  21:21

the full time they’re full time developers now. You’re making good money, but that year, they’re costing a lot.

 

Aurelien  21:27

Yeah, I was able to pay myself a salary. You know, I was like, getting that or whatever. But you know, that’s, that’s what it is. So we launched in March of 2018. So I launched on my list. And I just promoted the software for two weeks. I mean, I mean, I’m an email marketing guy. I’ve been living off email marketing since without $2.10. So, you know, I just promoted, made an offer to my list. And once the launch work was done, we had, was it like, 400? Or 600? I think, maybe just 400 customers?

 

Scott D Clary  22:06

Yeah, that’s what it is. 400 customers off your first launch? 400?

 

Aurelien  22:09

Yeah, exactly. 400 customers out. Mostly 27 euros per month. So that’s like, is it like 10? Grand?

 

Scott D Clary  22:19

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

 

Aurelien  22:22

It’s 10 grand. But, I mean, I was still losing money, because you have to remove the 80. Then, you know, salaries then affiliate commissions, because I had my own affiliate affiliate program that I had started in 2017, using our own tool. So I mean, yeah, it was. And then as I kept, I don’t know, because the offer was so good. We started getting some users. And I mean, yeah, it was increasing all the time.

 

Scott D Clary  22:56

So couple, a couple really good points. So you did you built an incredible product? You advice, but simultaneously, you’re also being very competitive on price, take the market strategy was hitting your email list. And then but also the affiliate program. So these are all just so these are all making sense. Walk me through the affiliate program, and how that was set up? To encourage people to, I guess, refer business?

 

Aurelien  23:22

Yeah, sure. So I love the affiliate program, business model, I think it is just great. I remember, back when I was selling courses, I could hear stories about people having so people having just products, like in fitness or in another industry. So just having products and an affiliate program and not not focusing on traffic generation, because it was completely relying on the affiliates. I was like, this is a great business model. You know, I wish I could do that someday. So with our tool, we launched our own affiliate program in 2017. So I told people, I told my lace look, I’m gonna pay you 40% on all the sales you generate on our courses and on the software. And this also studied attracting affiliates, you know, little by little, I mean, it’s really a combination of the product is good. The offer is good. I mean, you know, like the price and, and the affiliate commission is good. And today we paying our affiliates, close to 100,000 euros per month in affiliate commissions.

 

Scott D Clary  24:34

And so you set it up so that you get affiliate commissions for lifetime or is it for a year and it’s a percentage of all the recurring monthly payments as well?

 

Aurelien  24:42

No, no, it’s 40% As long as the customers pays. You know, that’s the thing. It’s funny when you discuss about affiliate programs with many business owners very often it’s the same story that I’m going to try to you know, like, I’m going to try to you know, I am going to pay you That’s for one year, or, you know, I’m gonna try to game the system, you know, and I’m like this is to be like, I want to being an entrepreneur, we all know it’s about building value, right? So I want to build value for my customers, for my affiliates and for my team members, right? So, I mean, it would be a very short, short term sided to try to, you know, like, flow, my my affiliates, like, I want them to make as much money as possible. So they keep promoting yours, they keep working hard. And I’m telling you, that’s what, that’s what’s happening, because I can see some people who, you know, are trying to make money online, but you know, they don’t really succeed. And then they promote our affiliate program, and they start making money and it’s great.

 

Scott D Clary  25:54

And now you have grown the business to your updated numbers, 4 million annual recurring revenue. This year, I thought that a point here that you that you sent over five to 6 million in ARR, still bootstrapped. No plans to raise money. You’re just keeping it going as is for now. Correct?

 

Aurelien  26:12

Yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah, it’s it’s a very simple playbook. I mean, I’m already make, I mean, we’re profitable. I’m already making. I mean, yeah, I mean, I’m making the money I’d like to make, which is a lot more money than I need, you know, so I can we bought our dream house with my wife. So we’re gonna pay off our mortgage in I don’t know, two or three years. We’re investing, you know, I mean, we’re doing great. And I’m reinvesting everything that comes on top of that.

 

Scott D Clary  26:45

Very nice. And the one other point that I thought was interesting, that you are 100% remote, and I know that a lot of companies have done this, but you you weren’t 100% remote from the start. So how do you how do you manage? How many staff do you have now? How do you manage them? How do you be remote effectively,

 

Scott D Clary   27:03

I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode, quantum metrics. So what quantum metric is going to do is it’s going to allow you to develop a single source of customer centric truth that can help you understand how to position your products, how to sell to your customers, because anyone is a digital leader who wants to understand your customers better, it should be 100% of you, you should want to understand the customer experience when they hit your website. And then you also want to understand not just your customers, but who else in the world is having similar experiences. And how can you use that information to make informed decisions about how your business moves forward, we are gearing up for an unprecedented 2021 ecommerce season, ecommerce sales are expected to exceed 2020 benchmarks Even though COVID is lightening up consumer behavior has changed forever. And with quantum metric, you can prepare yourself to capture every single customer revenue opportunity. So their unique approach to the digital experience that the customer has while engaging with your brand helps top retailers e commerce outlets quickly identify and prioritize large and small revenue opportunities and they keep customers coming back. So everything from page hits, mouse movements, scrolling, typing out of the box interactions that you couldn’t even think of various events, API calls literally everything. They quantify that data, and they present it to you so that you can use that data to make informed decisions about how customers interact with your brand online. So if you want to reduce customer friction if you want to increase conversions, drive more revenue, optimize user experience, personalize the shopping experience for all of your customers. Go visit quantum metric.com/pod offer that’s quantum metric comm slash pot offer and go see if you qualify for the 12 days of insights offer using the code success. The 12 days of insight offer gives you 12 days of access to the quantum metric platform with a bespoke insight report that will help you identify where customers are struggling and engaging with your online experience and your digital product. Some restrictions apply but for the majority of people go to quantum metrics comm slash pot offer, enter the code success and you will be able to receive their 12 days of insights offer get ready to understand your customers with intimate detail that can optimize experience and revenue and give your customers an overall much more pleasant experience when they hit your site. Alright, let’s

 

Scott D Clary  29:37

get back to the show.

 

Aurelien  29:38

Yeah, so I think it’s one of the one of our strength in in my company is the ability to like hire people and train them and make them grow. So today we have 65 people on the team in about 10 different countries. So friends Speaking wants English speaking wants Spanish speaking ones because we’re expanding to different markets. And I don’t know, it’s funny, you know? Because I think that’s I mean, I mean, it’s the future, you know, you have a book by the founders of Basecamp, you know, 37 hours, they wrote a book actually about it. That’s called Remote. And it’s great, because they explained to you, what are the benefits? Why it’s better? And, yeah, we’ve been doing it since day one, and it works fine. But you have to, I mean, everyone uses Time Doctor, a software to track their time, and he takes some screenshots, so I don’t spend my time, you know, like, still looking at the screen, obviously. But like, when you have someone who’s slacking or, you know, you’re not really sure you can check out what he’s doing. And sometimes, unfortunately, I mean, happen, you know, people doing like, watching series or whatever, but it doesn’t happen much. I mean, you spot these people very easily, right. So, I mean, I think this is the future. I mean, you don’t have any expense for the office space for you know, computers, whatever. I mean, this is so much better. I mean, the best, the best benefit that people don’t think about is that I don’t have to go to an office, you know, and show up and show that I’m there and leave late so that the employees, I mean, I can do whatever I want. I just take my, my phone, I have the slack app. And it’s easy. Like, I can go to the gym, I can go to the shopping center, whatever. And yeah, reply to my team members if I need to.

 

Scott D Clary  31:40

Yeah. So. So you set it up? And? And are you you’re not personally managing the 60 people? Have you like introduced layers of, of virtual management? For most like managers? Yeah,

 

Aurelien  31:53

yeah, of course, we had, we had to, I mean, so the way it works, so me, I’m in the company, I’m like the CEO, the marketing director, or manager, I don’t know how you all I should call it. And I’m also the product manager, I’m the one supervising the product, you know, making sure it’s great and taking decisions and discussing with customers and developers and team members and stuff. So I mean, the customer support, we have the manager, we have like 15 people in total. In our customer support, we answer our customers seven days a week, usually under two hours. So people, our customers love our customer, our customer support, you know, because it’s very, very effective. So I have someone managing that. Then then the developers, it’s mostly our lead developer, which is our first developer. I mean, I have a lot of different small teams, you know, and I manage them. I mean, I have one assistant that manages that supervises different teams. Okay. Yeah, we have a lot of different teams. I

 

Scott D Clary  33:06

mean, obviously, so you set this up this entire, this entire corporate structure has been set up remote, and that’s how it’s managed. Not very impressive. I think that you’re right, it is 100%, the future of, of how organizations can work and it saves you a lot of money very

 

Aurelien  33:19

effective. Like, I remember, I was working in an office, you know, like, 15 years ago, and I was like, sometimes I was like, on dating websites, you know, I mean, you know, it’s not because you’re at the office that you’re effectively working, you know, so yeah,

 

Scott D Clary  33:36

yeah. Yeah, no, that’s true. It’s true. And quite, you know, question for for you. And also some advice for people that are looking to start their own thing. So like you said, you started a blog, you went to courses you went to, you went to software, you turned down a job, if you are going to do it again. Would you do it the same way? Would you go all in? Or would you do it? Maybe less risky? what’s your what’s your take on that for somebody wanting to start?

 

Aurelien  34:01

No, I mean, no, I would do the same, obviously, you know, like, there is this question in podcasts. Like, if you could talk to your 20 year old?

 

Scott D Clary  34:09

That’s my, that’s my other question. I asked at the end.

 

Aurelien  34:12

Yeah, I’m like, you know, like, what could I say? Maybe I would tell, I would tell me Look, buddy, don’t, you know, don’t stress out, it’s gonna be alright. Enjoy the ride, because I was yummy. I mean, there were some tough years. I’m not gonna lie. You know, it’s easy afterwards to say hi, everything is great. You know? No, it was like, I was actually feeling like a failure after I left Jeff Walker’s mastermind group because I had my buddies making, you know, million euro launches. And I was just on my own making. Yeah, making making actually a good income. And I was feeling even worse, because I was like, Dude, you’re living in Portugal. The minimum salary is 600 euros per month, and you’re making 20 1000 euros and you feel like, s you know? And yeah. And I read the book, you know, the subtle art of not giving your F. Yeah. And the main idea of this book is it’s okay not to feel okay. And I was like, Oh, that helps, you know. So yeah,

 

Scott D Clary  35:17

it is true. And it’s also, you know, for people that are high performing individuals, people that always are entrepreneurial mindset, and they want to do things and they want to build things. You measure yourself at a different level, which for a lot of people doesn’t, it may not make sense, like it may sound pretentious, but it’s you do measure yourself at a different level, and you compete, and you’re pushing yourself and you’re like, if I made 20k, this month, the average was the Holy shit, you made 20k. In one month, you’re like, Well, I made 25k Last month, so I failed this month. And it’s, you know, I think that even even adopting that mindset at a smaller level, like if you, if you constantly strive to push yourself to have wins month over month over month, that’s a positive thing. Because the end result of having that mindset will be you in a better spot. Always, even if it’s not, you know, if you’re in a job, and you want to make $100 on the internet, if you want to make $100 yourself, and you do that, make 150 Next month, make 200 Next month, and then that that’s what gets you to because that’s probably how your blog started. I can’t imagine assuming it was just AdSense. There was I don’t know how you made money in your blog if you have to get affiliate commissions or whatnot. But it wasn’t making a lot of money when it first started. Because that’s where people usually start.

 

Aurelien  36:33

Yeah, absolutely. And I was so happy the first month, I made 82 euros, and I was so happy because I was like, Oh, if I went from zero to 82 euros, maybe next month, you know, I’m gonna make over 100 years. And after six months, I made 1000 euros. So you know, but what happens is that, you know, that once you reach like, you know, they say 5000 euros in revenue per month, like your level of happiness doesn’t increase that much. So, now, you know, I’m getting to a different, like, different fields, you know, I’m like, Okay, no, I’ve kind of reached my goals in terms of, you know, revenue. Yeah, in business, what do I want to do? So, you know, I try, because it’s not all about like, so first, I love what I do. You know, people tell me Oh, do you have an exit plan? I’m like, What? What do you mean? Like, yeah, are you? Do you want to sign up?

 

Scott D Clary  37:25

You’re gonna sell? Yeah.

 

Aurelien  37:27

Like, why would I sell my company? Like, what am I? What am I going to do with the money? Am I going to invest, you know, in the stocks and make seven 7% per year, like in the long run with high volatility when I can make, you know, I don’t know, 20 to 60%, year over year return with my own business, you know, it just doesn’t make sense. And I just, I love what I do. Like, I wake up in the morning, I’m like, oh, I want to get a coffee. And get started. I just love it. And Mike’s it means that as long as I add value, as as long as I feel that I’m making a difference, and I’m having fun, you know, then I’m gonna keep going, you know, I mean, why would I do anything different?

 

Scott D Clary  38:06

I love that. And I think he I think you I think the biggest lesson here is you don’t have to, you don’t have to end up where you’re at. Or you don’t have to, you don’t have to start your your entrepreneurial life, your entrepreneurial venture, your side hustle doesn’t have to go right into building a multi million dollar software company. I love the steps, the steps that you took are so smart. That’s I think that’s the way to do it. Thank you, everybody, John, everybody jumps into the big thing, right? Everybody feels like they have to create the next Facebook. But it doesn’t really have to be that complicated to start your own business. If people overcomplicate the shipment of it, like it doesn’t have to be that, you know, time consuming, or even all may be time consuming, but not that complicated.

 

Aurelien  38:52

No, I would rather go with something a lot more simple. You know, like, for example, so I mean, I launched a passive amino side business that was like a blog about how to learn English, you know, where I was sharing how I learned English by myself, you know, because at school I was like, terrible. And so that was like to 2012 and I had a friend who was like, super smart guy. Lebanese, Lebanese guy living in Paris, with a good job like speaking different languages, and he wanted to launch a startup in like, how to learn languages. I was like, hey, you know, I know I’m ranking with my blog on how to learn English easily in the French market. I know I can build a blog around it and make money do you want to join me? And I was like, no, no, I’m gonna I’m gonna keep doing my thing. And I was like, That was super ambitious project with you know, all around the world in every possible language with funding and stuff. So he quit his job, make three different business plans, made a markup for website and made absolutely zero sale and went back to the corporate work. Why I launched a blog that, you know, I took to it was a man she was doing like over 3000 euros per month. But you know, like passive revenue. And I mean, you know, that’s what you say like you shouldn’t try maybe to launch the, you know, the next Facebook just do something more simple, you know. And that’s less risky because I knew that it would work because I was already getting traffic. And I knew that there was a market, obviously, with people buying courses and you know, books about learning English, I was like, I know, it’s going to work. And it worked. And you know, the funny story, I was I had a team of three virtual assistants, one was working on this project. And he left a letter, he built a blog about the same ID and today’s making, like 50,000 euros in revenue per month.

 

Scott D Clary  41:01

Doesn’t doesn’t have to be Yeah, it’s just interesting how people view on it versus what it can actually see.

 

Aurelien  41:06

It’s it’s organic traffic, it’s mostly profits, you know, and these guys, it was my virtual assistant in. Yeah. And I sold my blog for 12,000 euros last year, because I was like, Oh, I’m doing I’m not doing anything with this, you know, I want to focus on my main business. So I just sold it.

 

Scott D Clary  41:25

Very smart. Alright, I want to do a few rapid fire. Questions from you. Was there anything else that? Yeah, no, it was very good. This is like, this is the perfect, the perfect interview perfect discussion on on, if you want to start something, this is, in my opinion, an easy way to do it. And I have a lot of entrepreneurs on here that build very technical, complicated things. This is something that people can learn from, and I hopefully take inspiration from, they just do something simple and do something to start and to honestly, future proof themselves from their job so that if they do get laid off, or let go, or furloughed, they have something that’s making 1000 bucks, 2000 bucks, passive. And I think that’s amazing. And not enough people just not enough people show the progression of what entrepreneurship can be and how it can come in different flavors in different forms. And I think you’ve, you’ve done all that. And now you actually are SAS as software CEO. So yeah, that’s that that can be the end result as well. Okay, so a couple career questions. You already answered one of them. That what would you tell your 20 year old self? Was there any other advice that you would tell maybe just a younger, a younger entrepreneur, if it’s not yourself somebody else?

 

Aurelien  42:41

Just to you know, like, favor execution, like, just just do it, you know, do whatever, fail fast, learn fast? And, you know, that’s, that’s how it works.

 

Scott D Clary  42:53

What was the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in building a business? And how do you overcome it?

 

Aurelien  42:59

Oh, wow, that was definitely building the building the product or getting the product built. Finding the right developers. And this is so hard. And I’m like, Oh, if I had not found these guys, you know, where would I be today? And it’s crazy. Like, we work together. Like, we just love working together. Like these guys. They’re having fun. You know, they love their job. I went, we met already a few times, you know, and it’s great. Yeah.

 

Scott D Clary  43:29

Good. So that finding the right people is that’s that’s the sort of the moral of that story. Especially if you’re not a technical person.

 

Aurelien  43:36

Yeah, absolutely. Any it is very hard. Honestly. Yeah.

 

Scott D Clary  43:42

One person that had a major impact on your life, what did they teach you? And also who is who is that person?

 

Aurelien  43:50

Um, that’s yeah,

 

Scott D Clary  44:00

it could be a family member. It can be a it could be a mentor anybody?

 

Aurelien  44:05

Know, I mean, I learned a lot with the marketing consultant that I hired Sebastian, so he’s like, Sebastian, so that’s Sebastian, the French marketer, that’s like his nickname in the English market. He’s still in the Jeff Walker’s mastermind group is a great guy. I really love this guy. I learned a lot with him. So he taught me copywriting how to, you know, launch products and we have different view. But yeah, I learned a lot working with him the first year when we were working on you know, this, this launch that that were great because mostly because of his copywriting and his work, you know,

 

Scott D Clary  44:47

very good. And how important copywriting is that the whole other conversation? What, what is one source or book or podcast that you recommend people go At checkout.

 

Aurelien  45:04

Oh, I mean, it really depends on you know where you’re at. I mean, you did there is, of course, like your podcast, you know, with a lot of interviews of successful entrepreneurs, books you have so many. I mean, I don’t read a ton of books like five or six per year, you know, I don’t think it’s that much. But

 

Scott D Clary  45:21

do you have any, any, any ones in particular that that you that you’ve liked that people would go, go read?

 

Aurelien  45:29

I mean, I’m, I’m a big fan of Jeff Bezos, you know, like, I think these guys he’s such like the Uber entrepreneur, you know what he did what he proved. So I read The Everything Store. I was great. I think The Everything Store, it’s really a great book. If when you want to learn about Amazon about the success story, I just finished reading working backwards by two former Amazon executives. And I was huge. I’m having like my tough team members reading it, because it’s going to help us a lot structure and the company, you know, and yeah, I mean, these are great.

 

Scott D Clary  46:07

Those are two good ones. Um, and then one question, I like to ask everybody, what does success mean to you?

 

Aurelien  46:17

Yeah, it’s a great question. Because, you know, as I said, like, No, I’m getting like, some rich, rich people’s problems, you know. So, I’m like, Hey, you can make a ton of money and still feel like as So some days, you know, and it’s fine. So I think that success, you know, it’s, of course, it’s reaching your goals, you know, I love I love what I do. I want to keep doing it. But then it’s about like, you know, making sure that you’re not having some blind spots, and not taking care of important things in your life, like your your family, your friends. So, you know, I’m trying to, you know, spend time on this. Make sure everyone is happy. And you know, I’m doing a good job at not only my business

 

Scott D Clary  47:02

going, Oh, yeah. Very good. And then where do people connect with you go checkout you on social, your website, your newsletter, all of that?

 

Aurelien  47:13

Yeah, so um, I’m actually so I’m on LinkedIn already in Amaker. You can go sign up for a system that I do. So it’s sys T. M. e.io. We have a free plan. Actually, you can. It’s pretty amazing. We launched it two months ago. We have so actually, it’s funny because we have we have over 100,000 free users, you know, it’s a lot. And then there is the Facebook group where I’m very active. Because I don’t know I just like it, you know, I’m getting some feedback. You know, I’m replying to the questions. So it’s like systems.io launch your online business, something like that. It’s pretty easy to find. Very good.

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