Cracking The Code: From Software Testing To Business Success with Jonas Breisel

Apr 7, 2024

The Back-Story

In this episode, Tim interviews Jonas Breisel, a software tester trainer and entrepreneur from Explorer for a Test. Jonas shares his journey from obscurity to success in the field of software testing. He recounts the challenges he faced in initially gaining attention on LinkedIn, the pivotal role of education in his growth, and the evolution of his content strategy to engage and provide value to his audience. Despite initial setbacks and financial struggles due to overinvestment in education, Jonas persevered and eventually landed a significant deal with a major company, solidifying his position as a thought leader.

Who is Jonas Breisel?

Jonas Breisel, the visionary CEO and founder of Xplorafory Test, is on a mission. With his extensive experience and IT certifications, he leads a successful software testing and training venture. His dedication is to empower individuals to build rewarding careers in software testing, offering a balance of higher income and fewer work hours. By 2028, Jonas aims to help 10,000 people transition into a career they’re proud of, leaving a lasting impact on the industry.

Show Notes

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In This Episode:
(0:00) Intro
(0:26) The good note
(4:37) Mistakes that he learned from
(7:14) Practices to stay sharp at work
(8:47) How to convert audience to real customers
(13:23) Why wouldn’t people ask for help
(16:41) What’s exciting in his business right now
(20:06) Why did he decide to work for himself
(22:19) How to find Jonas
(23:50) Outro


Read Transcript (generated: may contain errors)

Tim Melanson: Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the work at home rock star podcast.

today’s guest, we have a software tester trainer from Explorer for a Test, full name. And what he does is he helps people to start a new career by training them to be software testers. So I’m super excited to be rocking out today with Jonas Breissel. Hey, Jonas, are you ready to rock?

Jonas Breisel: Yes. I’m ready to rock.

Tim Melanson: Right on. Good. So tell me a story of success in your business that we can be excited by.

Jonas Breisel: Yes, sure. I will go into one of my biggest success stories. To give you a bit of a background there, it is about how things can be achieved when you put a lot of effort into it.

So I started with this for like almost five years ago, especially with like marketing myself on especially LinkedIn. And I got almost no attention at all when put out a post, maybe a few reviews, some maybe one or two likes. [00:01:00] After, Continuing with this, yeah, I started to get a few more likes, and people started to view it a little bit more, but it was still not much.

But I bought an education in how to use LinkedIn for social selling. And then I was able to grow my network and started to get more likes, but I didn’t still not sell anything. So it was, yeah, what should I do with likes and views when you don’t sell anything? But then I went into another community about social selling for LinkedIn and helped me to develop my content.

So it became more engaging and, yeah, also gave more value for the reader. I could say that I’ve been focusing a lot more about talking about me and how I started to share my knowledge and give people some value, actually. And still, the views and likes went [00:02:00] up, and people were writing to me and started asking questions, and they started to see me as a thought leader, but I did still not sell anything.

But I will keep going with this, and last December, A really huge company here in Sweden, consultant company, reached out to me and asked if we could have a meeting. Yeah, I thought they wanted to cooperate with consulting and something like that. But we have almost not started a meeting until he asked, or say, that he want to buy education from me.

And he wanted to do it rapidly. And the reason for it was because he had seen me posting so much on LinkedIn. So he had already trust in me. So that was the biggest deal I’ve been able to close so far.

Tim Melanson: Good job. Well done. So, I mean, this right here, it’s, I think one of the things that people don’t necessarily get out of it really is when things don’t work, they tend to try something else, but you [00:03:00] actually kept moving forward.

And not only that, but you reached out and looked for some help. How did you, like, where did you go and find, let’s start at the beginning. You said you found a, some sort of. Program that would help you to build your LinkedIn. Where’d you find that?

Jonas Breisel: Yeah, I found it on LinkedIn.

Tim Melanson: Awesome.

Jonas Breisel: I don’t remember if he reached to me or if I just saw him posting, but at least he convinced me that you need to be this thought leader as I talked about. So people see you as the expert.

Tim Melanson: Yeah.

Jonas Breisel: And another important thing you mentioned was that there was a few people that are posting on LinkedIn.

So. It doesn’t matter how strange your topic is. You can be a font leader because that’s a few people that actually post.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, it’s true. Like one thing though, is that you’re right. There’s a lot of people that are posting the wrong type of content. So even though there’s a lot of people out there posting stuff, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a lot of competition because you [00:04:00] are really only competing with people that are doing it right.

And then the other thing that you mentioned is that it’s funny that you actually hired somebody to teach you what they did in order for you to mark them in the first place. So that’s awesome that you were able to do that. And then of course it leads to, you know, the thing that’s most important is the sales, right?

So you just kept on going and trying to figure out how you’re going to convert that to sales, which is awesome. It’s good to hear. Now, sometimes things don’t go as planned, so there’s some bad notes there too, right? You know, it sounds like there was some struggles along the way, but is there something that maybe was a big mistake that you’ve made so far that you learned from and something that we can avoid?

Jonas Breisel: Yes, and it goes a bit hand in hand with the success story. I’m a really curious person, so I like to learn new things. And when I started my own company, all of a sudden I got a lot more money to buy education for. So I started to invest, yeah, like this education we mentioned here, but [00:05:00] I’ve kept investing in a lot of other things to learn marketing and sales and it becomes too much.

So, I did this, and it went well, and I started to do some calculations, and I can buy this one also. But, when you come to a certain point, it became too much, and the lesson out of this was I could not pay myself a salary, but I’ll pay myself. it was not going, it went steer on the last line, but the big learning from this was that you need to look at your cashflow.

So you know that I can invest in this one and still be able to pay my bills and things like this.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Well, it’s not even your only your cashflow. It’s also your time. Yes. I mean, each of these programs that you buy, you have to. And time on them, you know, if you’re spending time on all these different programs, then that’s time taken away from the business that you’re actually doing, that’s bringing in the income that’s supposed to pay for these programs.

Jonas Breisel: At the same time, I would not have [00:06:00] been able to do this selling and marketing I have done. So. if I don’t have taken the educations, I wouldn’t have been where I am today anyhow, so it was expensive lesson, but it had been a good lesson.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, well, and that tends to be the case, you know, the things that people say are their bad notes, their mistakes and not getting them to where they are today anyway, right?

So it’s just a matter of kind of keeping on pushing forward and try to solve the problems as they come up, right? Yeah. So now let’s talk a little bit about the, about our practicing and about getting good at what you do. Cause I mean, you sounds to me like you’ve got. you’ve got to get good at the actual work of what you do, the testing stuff, right?

And, and having all this expertise to give other people and probably staying up to date on that. But then you also have to be good at building your business and marketing and promoting and all that stuff. So what is it like? I know that you’ve got [00:07:00] courses and all that stuff, but is there anything else that you do to stay sharp on your work?

Jonas Breisel: Yes. Okay. Since I have, doing consulting services as well, but then you are out in the real world as well, so to say, so I’m just started one now for a couple of weeks ago, and we are doing the most advanced test automation I ever have done before, and it’s been good since then. And then I realized, okay, these tools are popular.

This could be things I should bring in and have education on. Or at least do a LinkedIn post about things, like I am still on the top of the, of the latest trumps. Wow. And another thing I do also is that I am a facilitator of some meetup we do, where we meet outside working hours and just share knowledge for free.

And that made me like, almost everyone that works with testing in this town I live knows who I am.

Tim Melanson: Wow, [00:08:00] okay. And were these ideas that you came up with on your own, or you saw some other people doing them and you decided to do them too?

Jonas Breisel: The meetup group, the person that started that one, he had been like my biggest mentor.

So, and he didn’t want to do it anymore, so he asked if someone could do it, no one was stepping up, and then I felt Yeah, I could do it.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. It’s funny that not many people want to volunteer for something like that, but it’s very, very valuable. So now how about getting fans? So, you know, you kind of touched on this a little bit before, but as you discovered the audience is out there, you can get likes all you want.

But when it gets to the point where they’re actually converting to being a fan, I think part of that has been, you know, really showing that, you know, what you’re talking about, that you’re a subscriber expert, and then people start to trust you a little bit more.

How was it that you How do I like make a separation between, you know, people that are just wanting to take from you versus, you know, people that you can actually bring on as a customer. [00:09:00]

Jonas Breisel: That have been a hard struggle. Since in the beginning, you felt that, no, I can’t give this.

But then more and more people told me that you should share your knowledge. And the more you share, the more people will come to

you. And it’s one thing to also have the knowledge and it’s another thing to actually be able to use it. Usually you need someone to lead you.

Tim Melanson: Hey, you’re right about that. That’s something that I’ve seen in my business as well, is that you may be given that information out.

But you know what? It’s the same thing as you. Imagine you’re surfing the internet, you’re trying to figure something out. You go and you find this document, this web page that tells you how to do it, and you still can’t figure it out. Right? The answer is right there, if you knew how to use it. You know, that’s the thing, is that most people don’t know how to use it.

Not only that, but have you noticed as well that They don’t even want to. They’re trying to actually find somebody to solve the problem. They just want to know somebody that knows what they’re talking about, right? Right. [00:10:00]

Marc Mawhinney: Hi, it’s Mark Muinne from Natural Born Coaches, and I want to give two very big thumbs up to Tim Melanson and his Creative Crew Agency.

I have been using them for a long time, and I am 100 percent happy with them. They get the job done right. They’re fast, and they let me focus on my business. I don’t have to worry about anything. I have no problem recommending them. I don’t give testimonials for everyone because my name is attached to it, but I gladly do so for Tim and the Creative Crew Agency.

So use them, you won’t regret it and good luck.

Tim Melanson: So the way you would suggest it is, you know, you give them, you sort of define the parts that you’re going to tell them for free versus the parts that they’re going to have to pay for.

Jonas Breisel: Yeah. The biggest struggle I think for me is like you are in for your first question, but people started sending questions to me on LinkedIn and just wanted us to have the advice for free.[00:11:00]

And that was a little bit, okay, should I really do this? But. At the same time, I realized that I could take this question, answer that one, and then I write a LinkedIn post about it and post it and show that I am able to answer this type of question. So I have this knowledge.

Tim Melanson: There we go. That’s good idea.

So what you’re saying then is that you have one person asking the question. So instead of answering that one person, you actually put it into an article, put it out there for everybody. Okay. Now, basically, you’ve taken that one question that I’m sure somebody else is asking too, and you’re covering a whole bunch of people with the same question.

So now let’s talk about the last topic, which is learning from the best. So now we’ve cut touched on this already too. You’ve mentioned courses, you have mentors, you have meetup groups.

Yeah. You know, it seems like there’s, you have no problem with going out there and finding help. Why would you think that people would not want to go and [00:12:00] seek help from other people and ask for help?

Jonas Breisel: I think one part is that maybe it feels frightening or embarrassing to need to ask for help.

Tim Melanson: Yes,

Jonas Breisel: I have gotten no’s, but I have gotten many yes’s as well.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. So, why do you think someone would say no versus someone would say yes?

Jonas Breisel: If a person says no, it could be that they are really, really busy all the time. But on the other hand, maybe they don’t trust that you get help from anyhow.

Since a person that is willing to give you help, they usually know how to be a good mentor or coach.

Tim Melanson: Love it. I love that perspective. That’s great. And I think you’re right. if someone says no to you, they may not actually know what they’re doing. So they might be just sort of posing as an expert,

But the other thing that you just said is pretty good. Sometimes you might know exactly what to do, but you’re not necessarily a very good teacher. So it would take them a lot of thought, [00:13:00] a lot of work to try to figure out how to teach it to you, even though they do know it, right?

And like you said, that’s not really a good mentor. You’re going to waste a lot of time trying to pull stuff out of that person. Whereas if you just keep on looking, you’ll find somebody who’s going to say yes, right? And I mean, we discussed this in this interview, like you’re telling me that the way that you do it is by providing value that is helpful to other people.

And you also hire people who provide value for other people too. So you know that there are people out there that that’s what they’re doing. They’re trying to provide value to other people. So you can get people to help you. And you could probably get a portion of that for free to give you an idea of what they know and how they can help you.

And then, if you feel comfortable with that, then you can go ahead and create a, paid relationship with them. Right?

Jonas Breisel: Yeah. And that’s something I learned also, even if that’s I said I bought too many courses and programs, but still that program that you can, that you pay for, like a private [00:14:00] person or that have like maybe a similar company to mine, they are usually really good experts and you learn so much.

Tim Melanson: I guess really the only thing that, I mean, I don’t even know if it’s a dissonant, I’m thinking that maybe it’s an area that you don’t really need to know. Maybe, you know, maybe you’re sort of just going, I just want to learn stuff for the sake of learning stuff, which is never a bad thing anyway, right?

Maybe it’s not the focus right now in your business, but. The more you learn, the more rounded you become, and anything can be helpful in your business, right?

Jonas Breisel: Yes. And I really needed to learn how to sell and how to do marketing, since I didn’t know how to do that.

Tim Melanson: Okay. So when it comes to that, do you do most of your selling online or do you have Zoom calls?

Jonas Breisel: you do that? Yeah, I mostly do it online through LinkedIn is my most important channel, but I also use other social media. And the main [00:15:00] thing I have done is, doing webinars. And what I want to get out of the webinar is that they book a free 30 minute meeting with me that I just call. How to get a great career call, I named it too.

So it’s completely free with no obligations. And there, I tried to sell them my course.

Tim Melanson: Well, let’s move on to your guest solo then. So I want to get into that a little bit first, but before that, why don’t you tell me what’s exciting in your business right now?

Jonas Breisel: Yes, it is. what is my vision and that is to help other people to discover the power of software testing so they can build a lifestyle out of problems.

Tim Melanson: so when you help people, are you helping people to find jobs or to start businesses?

Jonas Breisel: to find a job. So I give them the knowledge to be able to do the job and then I also help them with finding a job. Since many education is just here, I have the knowledge, now I don’t care.

Tim Melanson: So someone whose baby has gone to [00:16:00] university or gone to college or taken a, some sort of course, and now they’re having a hard time finding a job. That’s your main client. This is someone you get them from where they are now with the knowledge to the actual position, to the job.

Jonas Breisel: Yeah, most people that come to me want to switch career, have been working for a couple of years and then they want to switch career.

And I have a nine week program where you become a software tester. And then when, I also help you with updating your CV, LinkedIn profile. And also train you for the interviews and also help you come in contact with companies that can hire you.

Tim Melanson: Okay. So do you actually tell them which companies to contact or you show them how to find the companies to contact?

Jonas Breisel: Both. Since I use my contact as much as I can. They also need to go search for ourselves. I used to say that I will give you all knowledge you need and I will give you all tools you need [00:17:00] to perform on an interview and things like this, but you still need to put in the work by yourself.

How did you come up with this idea? Actually it was when I started my company and this person that had the meetup group I took over, was my mentor. He was teaching at the vocational studies. And that education is like one and a half year long. And he wanted me to take over that. So I did that, and I became so popular, so they started reaching out to me from all different schools, so I had to say no.

When I’d done that for a while, I realized that this education sucks. they put in wrong things and they are so unnecessary long. So then I created my own form and I thought it’s only nine weeks instead of one and a half year. I’m putting in the right content. Wow. Really?

Tim Melanson: And obviously, you know, you, people that are getting successful at that, they’re actually getting the right, the right information out of it.

Jonas Breisel: next few years? I see it going, but it will also be able to actually stand on [00:18:00] its leg on only the education part and then the consulting part will just be for fun.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, I think that’s probably it. Because I mean, those are two very different businesses that you’re doing at the same time.

So I imagine at some point it’s going to get too busy.

Jonas Breisel: Yeah. I also have one employee at the moment that I plan to get more that is working as a consultant. And the plan is to bring them in, in the teaching part as well, and then they will get more salary. They will get a part of what I get for the educations.

So that will motivate them to help out with the educations.

Tim Melanson: Wow. Right on. So one more question. Why did you decide to work for yourself rather than just go get a job? I would say it

Jonas Breisel: was three things that since I’ve been working as a consultant for my career, I would say that I had a good job and good managers as well, but I still wanted to get more money since you get more money when you have your own business.

And I wanted [00:19:00] to be able to choose which education I. invested in myself. And I also wanted to do more of educations to teach others. As I did that a little bit, but as I just said, I didn’t get any extra money to educate people, but they earned a lot more than I on the educations.

Tim Melanson: Okay. Yeah. And that’s funny how that works is we kind of go, Oh, I want to make more money.

So I want to start my own business and it takes a little bit of time. Yes. But you get to the point where you could be making more money and you might not even ever get there. Right. So there’s gotta be some other reasons behind that too. Right. But other than just the money, right. And for you, it was more or less, you want it to be a little more controlled your path, right?

Yeah. Right on.

Jonas Breisel: We’ve, she was what I want to do.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, the same thing with me. It was more of a freedom thing. I think for most people, it’s the money’s good. You know, once you get there, but it’d be, they could take. Decade before you’re making more money than you are at your job, especially [00:20:00] if you leave a job where you’ve got pretty far in that job, right.

Starting all over again, you know, but the big benefit, I think for most of us is the freedom to be able to choose what you do, how you do it, who you do it for. When you do it.

Jonas Breisel: Yeah. And I had an interesting discussion about, or with some other people that also have their own company that said that when they’re afraid to start in their company sells.

It feels like, Oh, if I don’t get an assignment or can’t sell anything, then that’s money. But it’s, at least you will not get fired.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. I had that same conversation when I started my business, Was in the IT, I’m actually an IT person too, I have a degree in science.

So I, worked as a programmer for a long time for a company here in Canada and they were laying off the entire time. I was there for eight years and it was right from 2000 to 2008. And that was like layoff time. And so, you know, I didn’t consider it to be safe and secure at all. I was [00:21:00] like, if I lose this job, I lose all my income.

If I go out there and find 10 clients, if I lose a client, I lose one client. But Ted, I’ve got nine more. Right? So for me, I felt the same way. I was like, you know, if I lose, there’s risk everywhere nowadays, right? There’s no such thing as, you know, go work for a company and, you know, you’ve got security for 30 years, 40 years, it just doesn’t happen anymore.

Jonas Breisel: Yeah, and you got a good, the other point that is one of the reasons that I’m doing education and consulting, that is that I have two different income streams. Diversify a little bit, right? So tell me, how do we find more information about you?

My LinkedIn, I would say is most likely the best place, but I also have a page that is my company name. com, ExploratoryTest. com.

Tim Melanson: ExploratoryTest. And I’ll put that in the show notes so people can see what that website actually is and your LinkedIn page. What’s that? You’re just your name. Yes.

Jonas Breisel: the numbers, so it’s just my name.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. Thank you so [00:22:00] much for rocking out with me today. Yeah. Thanks for having us, No sweat. Awesome. And just for the listeners, make sure you subscribe, rate, and comment. We’ll see you next time on the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

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