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"A thirst for knowledge is a big plus for any entrepreneur, as it's hard to anticipate ahead of time when one piece of knowledge will help you in a previously unanticipated way."

QuietKit is designed for the busy professional. The site is simple and straightforward, it requires no sign-ups or installs, users have access to a quick intro to meditation, a recommended schedule and a series of short guided sessions.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Quietkit all about?

QuietKit is an online platform that provides free guided meditation sessions and tips for beginners. Our website educates users on the basics of meditation and mindfulness, and provides step-by-step guided meditations of differing lengths, from two to 10 minutes. It gives people advice for getting started, and provides a recommended schedule to help users to develop a habitual practice, to help to reduce their stress levels.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?

QuietKit was born through my experiences launching my previous startup UsersThink, a landing page optimization tool that provides user feedback on new websites. Launching a startup can be an incredibly stressful time for an entrepreneur. As I tried to combat this stress I searched for online advice and tools, and found these resources were lacking.

I came across an increasing amount of material explaining the benefits of meditation for reducing stress. However, there was very little practical advice for beginners. I started working on an introduction for beginners and created a number of guided lessons, today available for free on the website. I have used these myself and I found it was exactly what I needed to help me reduce the stress I was feeling, and to think more clearly. I wanted to share my discovery with others who I believe could really benefit through developing a regular meditation practice.

Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?

Right now, I am working on marketing the free platform and developing a larger audience. We are doing this through reaching out to people who are already interested in meditation. I use Twitter, Quora and even Google searches to find those who are talking about meditation and start a dialogue with them. The success of QuietKit has been largely fueled by these conversations, word of mouth and user recommendations.

Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?

Aside from building our audience, we are also building a Pro membership with additional features, including various meditations with specific focuses and a number of longer meditation sessions. In the near future, I also plan to build out a resource to help people with specific questions around meditation and mindfulness.

Q: How do you bring ideas to life?

Iteration and feedback as you build is important. Always starting with the smallest thing you can build and trying to learn from there. It’s hard to know where you might end up, but you’re much more likely to end up somewhere great if you stay connected with your audience and use their feedback.

Q: What’s one trend that really excites you?

Pay as you go internet services and infrastructure. These types of software and service offerings help entrepreneurs to explore side projects for just a few dollars. They also provide the scale to potentially grow to serve millions without having to switch off the things you started with. For example, Cloudflare and AWS allow you to get started for free or at a very low cost, but also offer the ability to allow business to scale.

Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?

  • Not realizing how important it is to focus your efforts. This can be hard because it can mean saying no to some ideas, in favor of the bigger vision.
  • Staying connected with the market. Because this was a passion of mine it was easy for me to get excited and tailor the tool to suit my own tastes. I had to remind myself that the website needs to meet the needs of a variety of users.
  • Keeping quiet until the launch. Testing and feedback is incredibly valuable, however there is always the temptation to keep you product under wraps until you feel it is ready to launch. Leaders shouldn’t be afraid to take that leap.

Q: How do you go about marketing your business, and what has been the most successful form of marketing for you?

Word of mouth has been the most successful way of raising awareness and getting people onto the site. When we launched we listed the site on Product Hunt, and this drove a lot of traffic at the start. This then led to people sharing the site, and I’ve been blown away by the willingness of people to share QuietKit with others, and the large number of people that discovered the site this way.

Q: What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur – and why?

  • Resiliency. You’re going to face a lot of rejection, failure, and disappointments, regardless of whether or not your idea, product, or company will succeed. You have to have the skills to keep going and adjust to any and all issues you face.
  • Eagerness to learn. Not just in terms of your business, but in general. A thirst for knowledge is a big plus for any entrepreneur, as it’s hard to anticipate ahead of time when one piece of knowledge will help you in a previously unanticipated way.
  • Focus. You’re going to get all sorts of feedback, and learn all sorts of things, and have a million ideas that you could act on. But you have a limited amount of time and need to keep your eye on the bigger mission. Learning to discard good ideas that aren’t the ones you should be working on is very hard, but crucial.

Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?

  • Mention – Allows you to see who is talking about your brand from anywhere on the web. This helps you get a sense of real-time traction, as well as allowing you to reach out and thank people for sharing your content, or helping to put out a fire before it grows into a crisis.
  • Google Analytics – Helps to track visitors to your site or app, and allows you to segment data in a variety of ways, so you can learn quicker what works and what doesn’t.
  • CloudFlare – Provides a free CDN and DDoS protection, as well as supercharging the speed of your site or app. Because of the high number of edge locations around the world, as well as their caching setup, CloudFlare ensures that QuietKit will load quickly no matter where in the world you are.

Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?

“Every time you make the hard, correct decision you become a bit more courageous and every time you make the easy, wrong decision you become a bit more cowardly.” – Ben Horowitz

This quote is on the importance of courage, and the ability to do what you think is the right thing, even if it’s hard, controversial, or even painful. Entrepreneurs need courage to follow their dreams in the face of doubt or uncertainty.

Q: How can our community get in touch with you?

Reach out to me via email – john@ usersthink.com – Twitter – @UsabilityGuyPGH – and of course check out QuietKit – http://quietkit.com/