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(Estimated reading time: 3 min)

Hi!

Thanks for letting me into your inbox, I really like your wall art. 🌉

For those of you who don't know me yet, I'm Lena. I'm originally Croatian but I grew up in Asia most of my life before moving to Vancouver, B.C. in 2009.

I've worked as a Product Manager for almost 4 years, mainly on startup-like teams. You can check out my LinkedIn for the details: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lenasesardic/.

In February of this year, I decided to quit my day job and pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. As if I wasn't lost and confused already, the pandemic hit.

But I somehow managed to pull it together and worked on a few small product ideas, self-published a book (The Making of Product Managers - http://themakingofproductmanagers.com/), and learned a lot about entrepreneurship.

What did I learn? Let's jump in!

First...
Execution is REALLY hard, especially when it's your first time. I spent 2 weeks on my first landing page only to never go live with it. However, every landing page after that got breezier and breezier. The takeaway? Keep executing until your nerves slowly go away. Now, landing pages are the least of my worries.

Second...
The more opportunities you pursue, the more you will fail. AND succeed. I spent most of this year feeling like a complete failure until I realized... I keep failing because I'm doing a large number of things. The takeaway? When you feel like a failure, do a quick audit of what you've done. Then keep moving fast and failing fast.

Third...
They say the body that you have this month is the result of all the exercise and healthy eating that you did last month. Well, all the tweeting, posting on LinkedIn, remote networking, testing ideas, joining communities, and helping others wherever I could the past 8 months finally compounded into something for me about a week ago. The takeaway? Persevere. Today's opportunities are the result of months (and sometimes even years) of what seemed like futile efforts.

So like I said, all my seemingly futile efforts finally amounted to something huge for me about a week ago. I'm not quite ready to talk openly about it yet because I'm still processing this information (don't worry, it's a positive thing).

I'll probably share the news in next month's newsletter issue #002 🙃.

That's enough of me and my learnings for now. It's time for the useful links that I promised you:

-I've been learning a lot about marketplaces lately, so I thought I'd share an awesome guide to marketplaces created by Sharetribe: https://www.sharetribe.com/academy/guide/.

-I came across this short and sweet article by Greg Kogan in a newsletter I'm subscribed to, in which he showcases how he increased the reply rate for an onboarding email by 300% by simply writing less: https://www.gkogan.co/blog/increase-reply-rates/. All of his other articles are also gold.

-If you've been following me on Twitter for a while you'll know that I'm in love with Canva (https://www.canva.com/). Because I tweet so much about Canva, someone from Visme (a new Canva alternative for slide decks) emailed me asking me to try Visme out for a change. Good thing they did because Visme has some pretty sweet slide deck templates! Check 'em out: https://www.visme.co/.

-Because I'm such a crazy Canva fan, I of course indulged in the interview with Melanie Perkins (founder/CEO of Canva) on the How I Built This podcast: https://podtail.com/en/podcast/how-i-built-this/canva-melanie-perkins/. She's just amazing and so humble.

Okay, that's all I got for now. 'Til the beginning of November!

In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter (@LenaSesardic) and Instagram (@LenaSesardic) for random snippets of learnings or what I'm up to.

Last but not least... What about you? What's your story? I want to get to know you! Hit reply, introduce yourself, and tell me what you're currently working on. 🤗 Maybe I can help.

Ciao (as we say in Croatian),

Lena

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