Sell your sawdust. Turn your waste into profits
Founder's Momentum #4
Time equals money.
How much time are you wasting per day?
How much of your spent energy doesn’t yield any results?
Achieving optimal ROI (Return On Investment) on our time and energy is impossible.
Effort compounds over time and tracing back every minute spent on tasks to its return is not feasible.
But that doesn’t mean it cannot be optimized.
And believe it or not, modern founder, there is a key learning to be extracted from the old craft of wood chopping and selling 🪵💰
The wood industry’s main product is of course wood.
However, the different processes required to shape wood and get it ready for commercialization produce a lot of sawdust.
Originally considered waste, sawdust was burned or dumped into landfills.
But somewhere in the early to mid-20th century, the wood industry realized it wasn’t waste but a useful byproduct.
And they started using to make a plethora of products like concrete, synthetic fireplace logs or pet bedding.
Sawdust became so profitable that they invented a formula to know exactly how much sawdust would be produced by each cutting kerf (the width of a cut) 🤯
Now, chances are you don’t chop wood for a living.
But in your day-to-day activities you surely produce a lot of metaphorical sawdust.
As a founder, you’re constantly juggling between tasks and wearing multiple hats at once.
That’s A LOT of potential sawdust.
And you have to capitalize on it.
You have to turn your waste into a profitable byproduct.
Document and share what you do and how you do it
Documenting and sharing publicly everything you do has many benefits.
The main one?
You solve problems every single day.
Because you face problems every single day.
However, no matter how clever your solutions might be, you often ignore whatever efficiencies you’ve achieved if they do not relate directly to the product or service you are currently building.
That’s normal. We all do it.
We do it subconsciously because our mind is chasing a different goal.
But taking a step back and looking at your own workflow and processes with the goal to document and share it, might be the key to your biggest business idea.
The new sharing mindset allows for a new perspective on your own work.
And because you’re openly sharing with the world what you do and how you do it you start attracting the people that will eventually pay for your product or services.
These people will have opinions about how much they like or dislike your approach to solving a problem.
And that is invaluable.
Because you get real-life, objective, and unfiltered feedback that can be used to steer your roadmap into the right direction.
I’ve talked about it before, but there’s no better success indicator for a Startup than having a good Founder-Market Fit.
You will be a much better founder if you experience the problem you’re trying to solve.
And you will have a much higher chance to succeed if you are growing an audience that’s interested in your solution while you are building it.
Selling your sawdust, does both.
My own sawdust story
When I first started my founder journey I set out to build gushing.io.
And I started sharing everything I was doing with the #buildinpublic community.
When I say everything I mean everything.
I was talking about the ideation process, about how I wanted to market the product, how I was designing the website, and how I was designing my own personal brand to be a recognizable asset that I could leverage to increase my awareness among many other things.
But people started to really resonate with my personal branding and specifically about how consistent it was across my publications.
And they started asking questions.
It took me a bit to realize it but I suddenly saw that I had a new product in the making.
A product my audience was proactively asking me about.
I execute my brand identity with a design system that makes content production fast, efficient, and scalable.
The idea of productizing those efficiencies for people without design skills was how I came up with easybranding.io, which is what I’m working on right now.
If I hadn’t documented my process as publicly, people wouldn’t have caught on as quickly as they did and I might have not realized that this was a problem worth solving.
If I had been building my product in silence and tried to build a disconnected audience I wouldn’t have found the merged solution of a product that resonates so deeply with my target audience.
Find your sawdust
Look at your workflow and processes.
Document and share what you do and how you do it.
Find your own sawdust.
What do you do everyday that you might deem them unremarkable but that could be of value to your target audience?
Are there any particular solutions you’ve applied to the problems you face yourself that might be products in and on themselves?
Your biggest idea might have already happened without you even realizing it.