$1M/Year One-man Design Agency — a Breakdown

Vasil Nedelchev
2 min readMar 19, 2022


Bag of money with context menu open and selected “Copy”

My brain exploded.

I just listened to the latest Indie Hacker podcast with Brett Williams founder and sole operator of DesignJoy.

The dude is making over 1 million dollars a year serving 50+ clients.


Here is what I learned from listening to him talking and digging around his website.

There is no contract

Flat fee monthly subscription — cancel any time. Unlimited revisions. You can pause your subscription if you don’t have work at the moment.

No meetings

There is no “let’s jump on a quick call”. Just Trello. Before subscribing there is an option to have a quick call to check if there is a fit. After that is async communication using Trello and you have the option to record a Loom video.

One task at a time

Every client can have one active task at a time with unlimited revisions. Delivery is typically within two business days.


Brett uses MemberStack to manage subscriptions. On sign up a Trello board is automatically created (I’m guessing Zapier) and is immediately available for the client to add tasks.

All Trello boards feed into a single Airtable where he tracks the status of all clients and tasks.

The issue of scale

He doesn’t look to hire. So the revenue however big is directly connected to the amount of time he is working. So the only way up is to raise the price.


Family guy, 3 kids. Working around 10 hours a day. No nights and weekends. I’m guessing no vacations because of the nature of subscriptions.

What’s next

I guess an online course, teaching his playbook. People on Twitter are asking for it. Not sure how he will be able to pull it off with so much client work, but I’m rooting for the guy.

And definitely stealing some ideas for myself.

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Vasil Nedelchev

Product Designer. Writing about design beyond your day job. Get all my writing at designsolo.co