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26 min read

Taking A Side-Hustle From Zero To Multi-Millions

Taking A Side-Hustle From Zero To Multi-Millions

kevin fremonKevin is a serial entrepreneur with a true passion for customer experience, good design, and problem-solving. Over the past 20 years he's founded a web design agency, a venture-backed tech startup, and more recently took a side-hustle from zero to multi-millions as a solopreneur.  Kevin's a creative at heart with a love for photography, making videos for YouTube, and is a self-proclaimed big Star Wars nerd.  He currently lives in Austin TX with his wife and two puppies, Luke & Leia. 

What you'll learn in this episode

  • Tips for finding success as a one-person business owner
  • How to position yourself from the competition
  • The value of being yourself
  • How to support a great business by yourself (why fanatical support and trust are so important)
  • How to get customers
  • The value of finding your niche
  • Why surrounding yourself with like-minded people and people in your industry is so important
  • The ups and downs of solopreneur life
  • How to separate your work life and personal life
  • Tips for staying focused
  • Advice for managing business processes

And so much more!

Connect with Kevin Fremon

Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Want to share your experiences and learn from other one-person businesses? Be sure to join our community! It's free :)

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on Apple Podcasts Thanks!


Full Podcast Transcript:

Kevin Fremon (00:00):

That was kind of my aha moment really moving into this business that I just have continued to double down on. And it's ultimately paid dividends.

Intro (00:11):

Bigger doesn't always mean better. Welcome to the One-Person Business podcast where people who are flying solo in business come first. Specific tips and advice to find success as a company of one. Here are your hosts, Joe Rando and Carly Ries.

Joe Rando (00:30):

Hello and welcome to the One-Person Business podcast. I'm one of your hosts, Joe Rando.

Carly Ries (00:36):

And I'm Carly Ries.

Joe Rando (00:37):

And today I'm very excited to introduce you to Kevin Fremon. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who's currently a solopreneur and has a true passion for customer experience, good design and problem solving that I can personally attest to. Over the past 20 years, he's founded a web design agency, a venture backed tech startup, and more recently took a side hustle from zero to a multimillion dollar enterprise as a solopreneur. Kevin's a creative at heart with a love of photography, making videos for YouTube, and is a self-proclaimed big Star Wars nerd. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and his two puppies, Luke and Leia. Very cool to meet my dog, Obi wan

Kevin Fremon (01:23):

<laugh>. I'm really excited to be here with both of you, Joe and Carly. Thanks for having me.

Joe Rando (01:27):

Absolutely. I'm gonna dig in a little bit here and learn about what you've done and maybe you can just walk people through what you're currently doing, this side hustle that turned into a multimillion dollar enterprise. I know what it is and I think it's just totally awesome. So why don't you explain it to our listeners?

Kevin Fremon (01:46):

Yeah, absolutely. The short answer is that I've created a web theme for the HubSpot platform that is largely based on design principles that come down to creating an exceptional user experience for all of us entrepreneurs out there who are well at this point, especially living on the web and creating products and service offerings that ultimately serve whoever our individual target market is. Funny enough, created this product out of kind of purely solving my own problem. Actually, my marketing team's problem back at my last company where they wanted the ability to have great looking landing pages, great looking site to host content for our company and as a side hustle, literally a side hustle, I ended up creating this little product for my marketing team at the time. And then just to try it out, I added this theme or template at the time into the HubSpot marketplace just to earn a little extra side cash, maybe some money to go on a vacation with my wife. And slowly that just turned into a few thousand bucks to a pretty hefty monthly recurring passive income to the point where it's now generated over a few million dollars. And I'm just excited because it's literally just me. It's me and a pretty stellar part-time assistant, Ms. Miriam Rose, I have to give her a little credit too, but

Joe Rando (03:24):

and don't forget Luke and Leia.

Carly Ries (03:25):

Yes. Luke and Leia.

Joe Rando (03:30):

That is just an amazing story. And I will say, the reason that we're speaking is that I found your Clean Theme on HubSpot and we purchased it here and was just blown away, but we'll dig into that a little more later. So, you've got this situation, you've done startups and you've worked at agencies, but now you're a one person business. I mean, I assume Miriam is a kind of a virtual assistant type of thing, not an employee.

(03:54):

Kevin Fremon

(03:54):

Yeah.

(03:55):

Joe Rando

(03:55):

So what is your why, for staying small? Why are you focused on being a one person business at this point?

Kevin Fremon (04:04):

You know, ultimately what I've learned of myself, especially as an entrepreneurial minded person, is that one of my core values at the end of the day is freedom. And that can mean a variety of things, but ultimately to me it means having the ability to take my laptop and go to our family cabin up in Montana, which we try to do every year. Work when I want to, as hard as I want to or not work when I want to. Not necessarily have the overhead. That could be just having a team or having employees or just the mental bandwidth overhead that comes along with having a larger organization. I've experienced that all firsthand. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm optimizing for freedom, lifestyle and ultimately my happiness at the end of the day.

Joe Rando (05:07):

It's a great answer and one that is not that unusual in the community that we deal with here at Lifestarr. You've done something that I think a fair amount of people or companies have done, which is produced templates either, in this case the HubSpot ecosystem or, the WordPress ecosystem. And yet in some ways you've managed to distinguish yourself obviously, or you wouldn't be doing the kind of business you're doing. How do you position yourself? How do you distinguish yourself from all the other providers of these things out there?

Kevin Fremon (05:39):

It's really funny because when I first started positioning myself, I literally had nothing to lose. So because I was coming from a place of, don't have a death grip on the outcome. I'm not trying to necessarily use this side hustle or whatever it is to pay my bills. I was able to relax into it. Ultimately what that meant for me is I was able to position it from a place of true authenticity and really let me as the person behind the product, behind the service, shine through and create a really personal, real connection with. I mean, people like you, Joe, who probably saw one of my videos and were like, Hey, I like this guy. Well, hopefully you thought that <laugh>

Joe Rando (06:34):

Exactly. Yeah, no, I had a really good feeling that you cared about what you were doing.

Kevin Fremon (06:41):

I definitely appreciate that. It's funny because the more that I continue to lean into my Star Wars nerd humor or these little areas where I can inject "me, Kevin" into my marketing language, into videos that represented the product, the more people grew a connection to me. Which at the end of the day equals trust. We're all looking for product services and people that we trust that we want to do business with. So that was kind of my aha moment, really moving into this business that I just have continued to double down on an. And it's ultimately paid dividends.

Joe Rando (07:28):

Yeah, that makes so much sense. Authenticity equals or builds trust, and then once people trust you, they give you a shot. There is the fact that you've also got a great product. So it's that next step after you build that trust and I click on the link. I could just as easily have downloaded your template and said, oh, this is terrible and I hate this guy, but I didn't. Right. So one of my questions for you is, you've done an amazing job of creating a great product and supporting it with help videos that honestly put a lot of large companies to shame. This is kind of a broad, maybe a stupid question, but how do you do it? I mean, how is it that you are able to support this thing at a level that many venture funded companies with tons of employees don't seem to be able to pull off? Is there an answer to that question or is it just you?

Kevin Fremon (08:25):

Ultimately it's, yes, just me. I'm the dude that is answering those sorts of emails. A lot of people, and part of my own journey as an entrepreneur in building products and companies in the past, would normally separate themselves from that high touch of working with their own customers, especially in the realm of building a product. It's so easy to be like, all right, we're just gonna hire some support. Maybe they're an outside agency or just someone that they bring in-house and they don't have those touchpoints with their customers. Ultimately, I've found that those touchpoints really do two huge things. One, they help facilitate constant feedback that is super tangible and actionable that can go directly into the product. And then it can actually put that cherry on top in terms of that connection and trust that someone, again, like you who might have seen a video or read some funny little paragraph on my website had felt, but then they're validated that the trust was worth given because it's followed up with whatever, an immediate fund email back from a support request.

(09:44):

I've always prided myself on kind of what I call fanatical support. And it's because you and I and everyone have probably emailed in because we've had an issue or a problem and have waited a day or two or however long and been frustrated and only to receive a cold response back. But if we can turn those kind of crap experiences into something that is more in line with a delightful human experience, the better off we all are, as far as I'm concerned. It's ultimately what I strive for when thinking about how I support the product and work with customers on this ongoing basis.

Joe Rando (10:28):

Great answer. It shows.

Carly Ries (10:34):

I was just gonna say, Kevin, this is the first time we're meeting and what you just said is kind of how Joe talks about you. So just know that from a customer and client standpoint, that is how you are being perceived and how you're trying to portray for people. So just want to give you a shout out there, <laugh>,

Kevin Fremon (10:50):

I appreciate the validation there. Thank you, Carly, and thank you, Joe.

Joe Rando (10:58):

Hopefully you were having a bad day and we just made it way better.

Kevin Fremon (11:02):

I've fooled them. One more!

Joe Rando (11:04):

We understand now how you think about pleasing and delighting your customers. How do you go about getting them

Kevin Fremon (11:14):

That's a really good question. And to be a hundred percent transparent with you, because ultimately I love transparency and I'm all about it. The primary way in which I have done this today is by leveraging the marketplace dynamics within HubSpot. One of the things that I do as a consumer, especially someone who's always on Amazon buying whatever thing that I don't need, is to look at the reviews. Joe, Carly, correct me if I'm wrong, but is that how you also base some of your decisions?

Joe Rando (11:52):

Yes,

Carly Ries (11:53):

Absolutely.

Joe Rando (11:53):

Well, but that's how I found you. I found you based on the reviews, so, yeah.

Kevin Fremon (11:59):

When I recognize that in myself, and it's pretty common behavior. I mean, this is nothing earth shattering, but I really made a true effort knowing that I was so diligent with providing this fanatical support that I would follow up and I would actually either request a review or someone to actually be honest and leave me a super candid and honest review. So really since I've doubled down so much on the experience that customers are having, it has allowed me to one, collect a ton of amazing reviews, some of which are unprompted, some of which are prompted. But it has allowed yet another element of trust in the way of social proof to elevate my product high within the HubSpot ecosystem.

(12:57):

That's one area. And then the other area is really thinking about how I could create valuable content. Whether that's on my Helpful Hero YouTube channel, or whether that's on my blog that's very specific to marketing and the HubSpot platform. Like, how can I continue to offer up free valuable content that one positions me as an authority. Two, over time starts to rank in all of the organic search engines that will allow people to discover me. It's really been those two primary things along with just general word of mouth and referrals. There has literally been zero paid marketing, no advertising costs of really any kind. It's just those three pillars mainly.

Joe Rando (13:48):

That's a fantastic way to do it. I just want to point out that this notion of what you've done here in terms of latching onto the HubSpot ecosystem and focusing on that as a way to get traction and find clients. That's a really great strategy for a lot of people and anybody contemplating a one person business. Thinking about an ecosystem that you can attach to with your offering can make a huge difference than just trying to go out there and shout your value proposition into the void of the internet.

Kevin Fremon (14:24):

Absolutely, one of my mentors, Pat Flynn, he would always say "the riches are in the niches", and I just couldn't agree more. I've literally found that to be ultimately 110% true.

Joe Rando (14:40):

I like that "the riches are in the niches.".You should have saved that for your quote on success, but we'll have to come up with another one at the end.

Carly Ries (14:48):

Yeah, well, that's not my quote, so I can't quite claim that one

Joe Rando (14:51):

You don't have to make up the quote. It doesn't have to be your original quote. Mark Twain is fair game too. Anyway, do you ever feel lonely as a solopreneur? And if so, what do you do to combat the isolation?

Kevin Fremon (15:08):

Yes. I do sometimes feel lonely. Honestly, though, I'm an introvert ultimately, so I actually do pretty well as a solopreneur and left to my own devices. If I was on more of the extroverted side of the spectrum, I probably would feel a little more internal struggle. I do miss some of the camaraderie that comes along with working with a small or even large team. Ultimately what I've done is try to put myself around other like-minded entrepreneurs, because I've found that it's not necessarily about whether or not I'm connecting and collaborating with people on my team who are all striving towards the same goal or objectives for the quarter or whatever it might be. But if I can find people that are of the same mindset and are out there doing what it takes to bring their own vision to life, no matter what that actually is, then I have that same kind of sensation of camaraderie that I would get from a team.

(16:24):

Honestly, Joe, that's one of the reasons that when we first connected before the new year, I felt that same kind of twinge from you. A guy that's just been doing it and is trying to bring something new to life. And that's one of the reasons I said yes to being here on your podcast. I appreciate people like you, who are going out there and actually risking it, putting their life and/or their financial life, if that's as it is, on the line.

Joe Rando (16:57):

Well, Thank you. Yeah, it's tons of fun though,

Kevin Fremon (17:03):

Let me ask you. I don't wanna take over the interview here, but with the both of you, how do you approach that? What are some of the tips you give me in terms of not feeling that isolation?

Joe Rando (17:17):

I've been a solopreneur. This is not a solopreneur venture at this point. We've got a team, although it is partially remote team. We have an office, but only four people in the office, and then everybody else is remote. But one of the things, a shameless plug time, that we've done here is built a community for one-person businesses and it's called community.lifestarr.com, and it's a place where you can just have conversations and market yourself or just ask questions, get advice from other people, chit chat, the whole nine yards. It's all right there, just for people like you're talking about, these other people that are trying to put a dent in the world that are doing the journey alone. We do spend some time in there, even though, as I said, it's not technically a one -person business, but it's kind of fun. It's fun to have those other people around that are doing this kind of thing.

Carly Ries (18:08):

And I am one of the people that is remote. I'm out in Colorado away from the Boston office, and I'm an extreme extrovert. So what I was gonna say, just to piggyback back off of that, was finding the community, finding like-minded people is key to not only socialize with, but to learn from when you're a solopreneur.

Kevin Fremon (18:29):

I can totally recognize that. It's huge. It's funny you mentioned remote work because remote work itself has a lot of similarities to being a solopreneur these days. Granted, you have your Zoom meetings and your calls with your team or your management or whomever it might be, but still it's very different nowadays when you're at home, sitting in the office. Maybe the dogs are in the other room and you're just left with your laptop. Much like people like me that are just solopreneurs and a one-man show.

Joe Rando (19:07):

It is very similar. We struggled with it at first, even with the group that was together. Then when Covid hit, getting everybody working from home and not going into the office. There was a lot to it. But, conversation for another day. I wonder when you started this journey of being a solopreneur. It sounds like it was a little bit of, I don't want to say accident, but kind of just happened to you. What was something that you wish you might have known ahead of time before you started the one-person business? Is there anything in particular that comes to mind?

Kevin Fremon (19:41):

The thing that comes to mind right off the bat to me that I wasn't quite aware of, is some of the business logistics that follow suit whenever you come out of this, call it side hustle, call it side project, call it the seed stages of any new business. That is all of the inner workings, especially on the financial side, the tax side. There is a lot of that in the background which for me was always either handled by a business partner or some other person that we either hired or whatnot. So, as I ventured off on this one-person business, it's largely been remembering all of the nuance and all of the fine details that exist surrounding, keeping the business alive and healthy and, fiscally responsible, we'll say.

(20:53):

So probably that is the biggest thing that comes to mind in terms of, cool, I built this good product and it's starting to sell and cool, here's a few extra bucks. And, oh, now it's really starting to sell and I'm bringing on contractors and I'm managing an affiliate program and I have a lot more moving parts to systematize the business that needs some sort of organizational structure. So it's probably that side of the thing that was a little bit like, oh yeah, I can't forget about that <laugh>.

Joe Rando (21:30):

So Kevin, what is your favorite and least favorite thing about being in a one person business?

Kevin Fremon (21:38):

My favorite is relatively easy. Again, being a laptop warrior and being able to work from wherever I want is ultimately my absolute favorite thing. The thing I feel that we are all so fortunate about, even those that are remote working these days, is the mere fact that we can ultimately be anywhere. That was probably one of the deciding factors when my wife and I decided to move to Austin in late 2020. I was finally unshackled from this idea that I had this office building with employees and I had to be there. It's not like I can move away and remote work wasn't necessarily as accepted as it is today. To finally be, wow, I don't have that tether to a specific area or region, I can literally be anywhere.

(22:41):

That's my absolute favorite part. Even though we're here in Austin, we could easily pick up and move wherever we want next, should we want to. Probably don't, cuz Austin's pretty rad. We just bought our new home. That was a pretty wild adventure of its own. But that's probably my most favorite thing. My least favorite thing. That's really a hard one cuz I've been an entrepreneur for so long. I think the hardest thing ultimately is the aspect of when I've been working with a team and we're all aligned in this vision and, someone on my team, whether it's a co-founder or one of the employees, some employee or just anyone on the team, I get a lot of inspiration when I see other people on my own team pushing hard in whatever role they might have.

(23:48):

So I push harder. I found that a little more difficult as a on- person business where I'm left to a little bit of my own devices and my own challenges. My own ability to motivate myself because there's not necessarily anyone sitting next to me, slapping me high five or talking about whatever it is that they did. And so it's that little piece of extra motivation that's probably a little bit of the harder part for me, largely based on past experiences and having that as an option to push me further and make me grow.

Joe Rando (24:35):

Well, that makes total sense. Except I hate to see you fully motivated. I'm not sure the world will be ready for that. It is hard. We were talking about that today actually. Sometimes when you have other people around you, they can poke you in directions that you don't really want to go, but you should. And by having those people around you, they can kind of move you in that direction without you having to finally come to the conclusion that if you don't do it, the world's gonna end. Putting stuff off that isn't fun or whatever.

Carly Ries (25:10):

He's talking about me procrastinating on a task for the past six weeks.

Joe Rando (25:14):

Well, I was talking about myself too, though. I have the same thing. Do you have any tips for people for separating work life and personal life? Is there anything that you do to do that? Or do you do that?

Kevin Fremon (25:30):

Yeah, For so much of my life, to be honest with you, I have been business, business, business. I think any young entrepreneur,  young in age and or just young as an entrepreneur, either relate. It's this go, go, go, go, go mode. And literallyI have plenty of gray hair from being in that go, go, go, go mode.

Joe Rando (26:02):

I can beat you

(26:05):

Kevin Fremon

(26:10):

The thing that I've recently done is I have in my office, what I call my magic whiteboard. I have a full video on one of my personal YouTube channels that breaks down my "magic whiteboard", but it's basically my productivity board. I would have things up there like my quarterly objectives, my monthly goals, my habit tracker, my little tasks with all my little yellow sticky notes. It was always business. I'd come into my office day in and day out and I'd stare at this thing. My mind was like, what do I gotta do? What do I gotta get done? What do I have to achieve? And this year I actually completely reformatted it. I have within this magic whiteboard, three main sections, which are, what do I have to do for my business or my professional life this week? What do I have to do for myself this week? And what do I need to focus on and do in my relationship or my marriage this week? And literally as I'm staring at this, right now, in my self column, I have go to the gym four times a week. In my relationship, my marriage column, I have make anniversary plans for my wife and I. Today's our eighth anniversary.

Carly Ries (27:40):

And you just have it on for today to make the plans?

Kevin Fremon (27:43):

No, this is from earlier this week.

Joe Rando (27:49):

Awesome. You didn't forget it. That's step one. That's the most important thing.

Kevin Fremon (27:53):

Correct, so it's just really bringing those sorts of actions to the forefronts of my brain and my conscious and subconscious on a daily basis. It's helped me really find that balance. Seriously, it's still skewed. I still do a lot more on the business stuff, but it's just a good way to make sure that I remember to give myself the time and the grace and my marriage, the time respect that it deserves.

Joe Rando (28:30):

Awesome. That's great. I gotta watch that video on the whiteboard.

(28:37):

Top advice for staying focused. What do you do?

Kevin Fremon (28:43):

I love this question cuz I'm kind of a nutball with it. My wife makes fun of me all the time because I'm the king of yellow sticky notes. But what helps me stay focused are three main areas. One, every week on Monday mornings, I'm an early riser, my wife and I are up at 5:00 AM. We also go to bed earlier than most grandparents so there's that, but literally Monday morning I'm up at five,  and I spend an hour and do my weekly planning. I basically go fill up my whiteboard for the week. I have this little analog system for my daily planning where I have this thing from a company called Ugmonk. It's Ugmonk analog, it's this little note card that sits on my desk where I write down all of the high level things that I want to take care of for that day.

(29:42):

then I'll go in and I block major events in my calendar throughout the week. Then I focus on calendaring specific for that day. I really do my best to give myself breathing room in my calendar, but I know exactly what I'm working on when I'm working on it. That in itself, especially being a more action oriented, go, go, go do, do, do sort of personality, has calmed my anxiety first and foremost. And then, it's maybe amped up my neurosis a little bit, but I'm willing to sacrifice a little neurosis for my peace of mind.

Joe Rando (30:28):

So the idea thoug , if I understand you, basically time blocking. You plan the day and block out times to do certain tasks. Is that what you're saying?

Carly Ries (30:36):

Yes, time blocking's huge. Then having right in front of my face, here's what I'm trying to accomplish each day with my little check boxes. There's a self-satisfaction that I get when I write everything I gotta do. And then as I knock things out, I'm just checking 'em off. And it's just little micro interactions that make me feel good. I'm like, all right. I'm getting down my list.

Joe Rando (31:04):

To me,  tell me if you agree, you don't want to make the list too big because if you can't get it all done, it feels bad at the end of the day.

Kevin Fremon (31:12):

Exactly. And that took me a while to actually learn.

Joe Rando (31:16):

Yeah, you sit there and you say, I'll make this big list. And then halfway down the list and it's 6:30 and you're like, oh, I'm terrible. If you made half the list, you'd be feeling like a king. I learned that the hard way as well. What portion of your day do you plan? If you're working eight hours that day, how much time do you try to block off to actually work? Leaving room for the other stuff?

(31:43):

Kevin Fremon

(31:50):

Usually when I'm doing any sort of time blocking largely, I try to batch different things into designated blocks during the week. For example, a lot of my Zoom calls or meetings or anything like that, I literally have blocked off of my calendar knowing that on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, those are my chunks of times for meetings. And sometimes there are gonna be a few zooms that make their way in other times. But then I know, okay, great, like that's blocked for those and I'm not gonna move away from there. So then I'm left with looking at other days. For an example, Wednesday I always keep relatively free. It's perfect in the middle of the week. It's usually when I'm recording a lot of video contents and that'll just be my completely empty column.

(32:51):

So largely when I go into my week, I'm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, let's create my blocks within these windows. I usually separate those blocks into what do I want to get accomplished prior to lunch? Which ultimately I usually try to do things that are gonna involve my creative brain. Stuff that's gonna take a little more of my juices. I usually do those upfront in my day. I found out, I'm just much better after lunch. It's usually when I'll go into email where I can go on autopilot for a little while. Then after my lunch haze falls off, then I can get in more into my logic side of the brain and that's more of my afternoon. I really look at it as creativity up front to the best of my ability, logic on the backend. I feel like I'm rambling, kind of going off topic.

(33:54):

Yeah. But it's really interesting and I think it's a great way to think about what you're doing. Matching your tasks to your mindset and frame of mind, whatever you wanna call it. But that's a great strategy for being more productive. That leads us to the next question. You've got a business, you've got these business processes you talked about, invoicing and paying bills and taxes. How do you manage your business processes now?

Kevin Fremon (34:22):

So largely I'm using a variety of tools for any tax purposes or anything on the financial side. I'm fortunate enough to finally be at the state where I have a bookkeeping meeting team and an accountant. So a lot of that is handled by an outside team, thank God.

(34:46):

But for all their processes, typically as we've been working with them today, they're managed on Trello with a Kanban Board. That's largely the way, at least right now, my assistant Miriam Rose and I are able to prioritize work to be done. It's where I'm able to organize different thoughts, whether that's customer or customer projects or updates and/or feature requests that I receive for my CLEAN Theme product. I have a variety of these sorts of KanBan boards that allow me to see what's in my backlog? What am I prioritizing? What's being worked on and what's being done? I wish I could say that it was the perfect system. It can get a little nightmare-ish at times.

(35:49):

but I do my best to create standards so that I know, okay, when I create this new project or call it a card, I know what I need to fill in for that card and I do it every single time so that I can create that autopilot consistency and I know exactly where I have either left off or if I'm adding something new, I know exactly what I need to do in more of like a checklist format to make sure that I can remove that piece from my mental bandwidth and know that it's safe and I can revisit it at any time. That's largely the tool that I use the most at this moment in time, albeit not perfect.

Joe Rando (36:37):

Yeah, I guess there's nothing perfect out there. Well, that brings us to the beginning of the lightning round section of the One-Person Business podcast. Okay. We're gonna ask you some questions that you can just spout off and answer to. The first one is, biggest mistake is a one-person business.

Kevin Fremon (36:56):

Oh, God, easy. Not validating my assumptions for early business ideas or concepts in a way that allowed me to actually prove that the problem I'm solving is a real problem. We could go into a whole other podcast, but this was probably my biggest failure as an entrepreneur leading me to bankruptcy and a real dark place in my life by resting all of my assumptions with zero validation, into an idea. I've learned that lesson and will never repeat it, validate your ideas as early and as often and as cheaply as possible.

Joe Rando (37:42):

Very good advice. Next, biggest aha moment as a one-person business,

Kevin Fremon (37:48):

This is a little repetitive, but the biggest aha moment is what I mentioned earlier about leaning more into me behind the brand. My biggest aha moment was realizing that as I'm crafting marketing messages. The tendency I always would have would be, "oh God, I gotta make this sound professional and polished and it's just not human." So my aha moment was, The more that I relay the human behind my product or my service, the more I will become successful. People don't always want to buy products or services from a brand or a shiny web lingo. They buy products from people that they like and trust at the end of the day.

Joe Rando (38:38):

Definitely worth repeating. What was your biggest, I got this moment as a one-person business.

Kevin Fremon (38:44):

That was probably when I really started to lean into the video side of my business. You'd be shocked to know that I was so camera shy. I hated the sound of my own voice. It would make me cringe. I would freeze up as soon as that little red light on my camera would go on. It wasn't until I got into doing video and had people say "wow, these are great. man, you're so natural" that I felt like, okay, I got this, I see where this is going, and I just clicked.

Joe Rando (39:25):

You mean there is hope for me?

Kevin Fremon (39:27):

the joke, "there's hope for you yet, man," <laugh>.

Joe Rando (39:30):

Well, we always like to say, I have a face made for podcasts. Next, the best advice you've received that helped your career as a company of one

Kevin Fremon (39:38):

Hire for your weaknesses and lean into your strengths. That has been for me, huge because I'm the type of guy that's, I can do it. And you know, there are little elements of my need for control that has existed there, but I like to reframe it as, I'm just cool and I can do it. But it was more so identify your weaknesses or what you don't enjoy doing and hire for it. And I'll tell you. Thank goodness that I did and that's why I am so thankful for Miriam Rose.

Joe Rando (40:16):

Cool. I built a tool to help people decide which things to offload. So maybe Carly, if you can put that in the show notes again because I agree with you. You'll play to your strengths and outsource your weaknesses and if you hate doing it and somebody else can do it as good or better, outsource that too.

Kevin Fremon (40:37):

That's, wow, I gotta hear more about this.

Joe Rando (40:41):

It's just a spreadsheet basically. It's coded up my opinions about these things. But I've been doing this a long time and I think it gives a little validation to people like you and like me say, I can do it.  And, no, you probably shouldn't. You should do what you're really good at.

Carly Ries (40:59):

Yep. It'll be in the show notes.

Joe Rando (41:02):

Okay. Favorite resource to help people in their solo journey?

Kevin Fremon (41:06):

Podcasts are probably the biggest one. The podcast that helped me initially Pat Flynn's, Smart Passive Income podcast. Certainly podcasts like what you're doing with the one-person business. The more you can seek content that speaks directly to you as an entrepreneur and identifies our struggles as solopreneurs or one-person businesses, the better because there is a lot of content out there that can speak to enterprise or small-medium size business entrepreneurs. I've found that while there are some gold nuggets there, the real value is identifying those podcasts or YouTube videos that speak directly to us.

Joe Rando (42:02):

Thanks for the validation. That was awesome because that's what we're trying to do. Make something for people that are doing just that. Next, favorite movie that always puts you in a good mood

Kevin Fremon (42:15):

Only because the holidays just passed. Elf. Absolutely. One of my favorites.

Joe Rando (42:22):

Elf. Yes.

(42:28):

My favorite is when he goes in and congratulates the restaurant for having the world's best Coffee,

Kevin Fremon (42:36):

That's just one of those that will always repeat once every year at least.

Joe Rando (42:41):

So favorite song to pump you up?

Kevin Fremon (42:44):

Oh man, I'm a retired club dj, so that's a really hard one to answer.

Carly Ries (42:51):

Lemme get this straight. An introverted retired club dj.

Kevin Fremon (42:56):

Yes, exactly. Behind those turntables is a nice little safe zone where I don't have to be around too many people.

(43:08):

I am a conundrum. Carly. Okay, this is gonna date me a little bit, but the song that always makes me super happy and will get me busting a move is "it takes two" by DJ EZ Rock and Rob Bass

Joe Rando (43:28):

It's not dating you at all because I have Not a clue. You could have told me that was the latest hit and I would believe you. But I'm dating myself by telling you that, so that's alright. Lastly, how do you define success?

Kevin Fremon (43:47):

This answer would've been way different in my twenties. It would've even been different in my thirties where a lot of that was probably more driven by my ego and my desire not to fail. How I determine success now is am I waking up every day and coming into my home office here? Am I finding joy in what I'm doing? And if I can say yes and have that be probably not every day, cuz that's likely a little unrealistic, but a majority of the time, I'm feeling a sense of joy or a sense of accomplishments, mostly joy. I'm now in my forties as a one-person business, optimizing for in terms of what success looks like.

Joe Rando (44:42):

What a great answer. So we're gonna wrap up with you sharing the best way that people can connect with you.

Kevin Fremon (44:50):

Absolutely. You can find me@helpfulhero.com. That's where I have my CLEAN Theme for the HubSpot platform for sale if you are on the HubSpot platform. Otherwise, if you're into productivity mindset stuff and everything that helps us as individual entrepreneurial driven people. You can also find me on YouTube and my personal channel is just YouTube and it's Kevin Fremon. There I'm talking about how we can create time wealth in our lives through productivity, focus, clarity, fun little experiments, cool magic whiteboard systems and, everything in between. So between those two places, that's where you can get ahold of me the quickest. I love engaging and responding and creating connection with new people that come into my orbit.

Joe Rando (45:49):

Awesome. Thanks for sharing that.

Carly Ries (45:51):

Just to clarify, for those wanting to look for you on YouTube, Kevin Fremon is spelled FREMON

Joe Rando (46:02):

We'll put a link to it in the show notes, but if you're driving and listening, it's F R E M O N.

(46:11):

Well, Kevin, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show. We really appreciate it. This was really interesting and fun. I can't tell you how I'm glad you were able to do this with us.

Kevin Fremon (46:23):

It was a real pleasure. thank you both, Joe and Carly. I appreciate what you're doing for this community and how you're helping so many people out who are building their own businesses, hoping to create a better life for their own family. You know, do it in stride. So kudos to both of you.

Carly Ries (46:41):

Thank you.

Joe Rando (46:45):

All right, we've reached the end of another one-person business podcast. If you like this, please be sure to subscribe. We're available on Apple Podcasts. And now where else? Carly?

Carly Ries (46:57):

All the places. Just visit Lifestar.com/podcast. Click on the episode of your choosing and you will see a full list of places you can subscribe.

Speaker 5 (47:06):

You may be going solo in business, but that doesn't mean you're alone. In fact, millions of people are in your shoes running a one-person business and figuring it out as they go. So why not connect with them and learn from each other's successes and failures. At Lifestarr, we're creating a one-person business community where you can go to meet and get advice from other solopreneurs. Be sure to join in on the conversation at community.lifestarr.com