The Realistic Startup Journey

Over the last six months, my team and I (well… mostly my team) built a business that is already generating $1,000,000 in annual revenue and growing. We grew 50% in the last 30 days, and we’re on track to improve by 50% again.

The thing is, we managed to do this by ignoring a lot of the traditional things we thought a start-up had to go through.

There were no eureka moments. No investors. No crazy media attention. No Richard Branson nakedness. No crazy founder coverage or invites to major underground parties. Most of my friends still don’t even know I run this company!

And when I started, I had a hard time finding content on what it was like to launch a company without raising money, so my goal here is to share this journey and hopefully inspire you too!

This guide probably won’t make you the next Mark Zuckerberg, but it will show you exactly how we built something that we feel is succeeding, we’re proud of and we’re having an awesome time growing it. 🎉

We’re no start-up unicorn. We are what we’re calling a realistic startup (who still rides unicorns that breath fire).

Over the next month, my team and I are going to share exactly how we built a $1 million annual revenue company in 6 months. 🙌

From how to start a website, to hiring a kick-ass team, to getting someone who isn’t your mum to buy your product/service, we’ll be sharing it all.

From there, stick around because we’ll continue to share our story and absolutely everything we learn on the way! We’re nowhere as cool as we want to be but we’re on the journey, and we want to share every step of it!

So, who even are we?

We are Authentically! We’re on the journey to help 10,000 Instagrammers earn a living doing what they love.

Whether it’s coin collecting, marketing, photography or skydiving, we’re here to help people leverage Instagram to make a living from their passion.

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We want to help 10,000 people build their following, share a massive amount of value, connect with companies, and land the jobs they’re after.

And like I said before, we’re a pretty healthy company built by doing a lot of things that we learned start-ups shouldn’t do.

Here are a few myths we ignored:

Myth: You need to raise money, or have a lot of capital to start a company.

  • We started this with roughly $200 in total out of pocket. This got us to a point where we made our first sale, and from this point onward, the sales covered the advertising & dev cost to grow.

Myth: You need a partner to build the company with.

  • I started this by myself, so although working with a teammate is fantastic, it’s not necessary. That said, it was way harder as a partner offers a ton of support. Be on the lookout for a partner but don’t let that stop you from launching in the first place. Maybe a month down the line you’ll find someone or a team to bring on as equity partners. I know I have.
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Myth: You need to know how to code.

  • I don’t know how to code. Although a lot of startups need a dev team to go from an MVP to product and continue growing (we have one now), you don’t need to be a dev to start.

Myth: You need to live in a startup hub like San Francisco to succeed

  • I live in New Zealand, a pretty isolated part of the world. We’re still cut off from most maps. There’s even a subreddit dedicated to it. You don’t need to be in the heart of New York on San Francisco to be a success.

Excuse: There’s not enough talent around me.

  • If this is a problem (usually it isn’t), then look elsewhere! Our team is 100% remote. Authentically is based in Portugal, the USA, New Zealand, and the Philippines. Talent is easier to find if you’re not forcing people to sit beside you 😋

And that’s it! Stick around and enjoy the journey. Feel free to bookmark this page too since I’ll be adding a link to each new blog post as they are launched.

Finally, I’m here to help. Please ask questions in the comments, and I’ll do my best to help you on your journey!

PSST: I'm currently documenting the journey of opening a cosy plant store, helping the online world become more accessible through Hello Access & the growing as the marketing director at Sunobi.
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Steven Male

Written by Steven Male

Hey I'm Steven, and I'm the Marketing Director at Sunobi. ✌︎

I have 10 years experience in growth marketing and currently helping the digital world become more accessible through my passion project, Hello Access! We've worked with teams at Stripe, Meta, and more.


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