Jelani Abdus-Salaam is the founder of Cartfuel - Sell Your Digital Products In Less Than 10-Minutes
 

Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?

I used to work with a client who needed a similar solution to Cartfuel. I was able to build it for that client using their cash, but they never did anything with it. While I was searching the Webflow forums, it seemed people had a similar problem as the client.
 
So I decided I would bootstrap on my own. In 2020 I found a developer from upwork and built an MVP. The idea was an embedaddble payment form that works on any website.  Now we have people all over the world using Cartfuel to sell their digital items.
 

How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?

We currently have 41 active customers. But, that number fluctuates month over month. 
 
I would say it took us a good 18 months before we got a constant stream of customers. Mainly users find us from Google, our blog, and YouTube.
 

Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?

I'm a non-technical founder. However, we use Laravel for backend and VueJS for the frontend.
 

What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?

Slack
Zapier
AirTable
Placid
Intercom
Driftly 
Plausible
Stripe 
Clickup
 

What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?

I've learned many things, but here are a few that stand out:
 
If I were to start over, I would pick 1 niche, 1 traffic channel, and do 1 thing really well. If you pick 1 niche, you can easily target people with a specific problem. When you pick 1 traffic channel, you can focus, double down, and let time compound for results. When you pick 1 thing, your mission and vision are clearer, allowing you to keep going when things get hard.
 
I would also say make sure you have a CPR --- Clear Process To Revenue. It should be crystal clear how you will make money to live + how your customers will make money or save time from your service/business.
 
Newsletters:
Demand Curve
Marketing Brew
Morning Brew
theHUSTLE
SwipeFiles 
 
Books:
Gods Debris
Zero to One
Pyscho Cybernetics 
100M Offers
 
Podcasts:
My first million