Valentin Wallyn

Founder of Findymail

Valentin Wallyn is the founder and CEO of Findymail, a SaaS platform helping salespeople build email lead lists for their outreach. Findymail does that by focusing on high quality email data and leveraging automation layers designed to save time during prospecting. Prior to that, he built several other companies in the lead generation, marketing automation and SEO spaces.

Where did the idea for Findymail come from?

Before starting Findymail, I started another company in a similar space called Scrapybird, a tool to scrape B2B email addresses for Twitter. It got a lot of interest in the lead generation space but I quickly realized that it was somewhat a niche product. I wanted something bigger and figured that I had the capacity and ideas to build an innovative product in the broader market that is the email finder space. That’s how Findymail initially started and the positive feedback at launch made me pursue the idea further.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I have a somewhat atypical work schedule. I usually wake up around 9am, go to the gym in the morning and only start working after lunch around 2pm. I’m doing deep work in the afternoon with a small break walking outside in the middle. I typically stop working around 6-7pm.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The first thing to note is that I don’t bring all my ideas to life. A good filter I use whenever I get a new idea, is to let it settle for some time before acting on it. More often than not, I realized the idea is not so good and not worth executing. Then if it is worth it, it’s just a matter of drafting a plan on what to do and actually putting the work to do it.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I think the blockchain is a wonderful technology. Although it will take time to separate the wheat from the chaff, I do think we’ll end up with lots of new ways of doing things better in various industries with the opportunities offered by blockchain technology.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’m not a productivity guru by any means but having the habit of doing sport every day definitely keeps my mind & body clear and ready to do the work of the day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Believe in yourself and focus on what matters. We get so often distracted by things that don’t really matter when we have goals to achieve. And believe in yourself because most of the things that people say are “hard” are actually not that hard. If you want something, you’re very likely to get it given you’re actually putting the work in the right direction.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

It’s possible to ‘have it all’ in life. Just don’t sacrifice things based on delusional beliefs eg. sacrificing your health to work a few more hours won’t make you richer.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Go to the gym.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Cold outreach has been working great for me. Once you pass the awkward stage of figuring out a messaging copy that resonates with your prospects, it’s a very interesting growth channel. The setup to scale is cheap which makes it very easy to achieve positive ROI compared to other growth strategies like PPC or SEO.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One of my SaaS never reached product-market fit. No matter how hard I tried to sell & market it, it never really took off. I had to drop the idea and work on something completely different. Although that was a difficult decision to take because I had spent a lot of time building that product, it was the best decision to take and I regret not taking it earlier. Persisting is great, but it’s also good to notice when to give up.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Had the idea of building a cold outreach tool for social media. Currently I’m not aware there’s any tool specifically for that, yet I know a lot of people doing cold outreach on social that would be happy to automate it. You could start with one social (eg. Twitter) to begin then expand later.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently bought a new set of kitchen knives and it makes cooking much more enjoyable (I love cooking). Highly recommend.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I use Todoist as my task manager. It helps me organize both my personal and professional life. It’s like my second brain where I can take notes and set reminders of what to do. I use it every day.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

$100M Offers from Alex Hormozi. I wish this book was published & known to me much earlier in my journey.

What is your favorite quote?

“Mondays are fine. It’s your life that sucks.” – Ricky Gervais

Key Learnings:

  • Don’t be afraid to give up an idea that is not working
  • Go to the gym. Don’t sacrifice your health for work.
  • Cold outreach is a great way to get immediate feedback on your idea. It also scales well once you find a winner.