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8 failures and still learning...

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trustTheProcess

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Nov 1, 2017
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Hi guys, signed up today after reading both of MJ's books.

MJ's principle are amazing and i wish i found out about the fast lane right at the beginning.

I am on my 9th business idea since 2003 and still learning. Feels like maximum effort, minimal results so far. I have a first class degree in software engineering but instead of getting a job like my class mates i have worked small passive adventures to pay the bills so i have time to work on business ideas. Sacrificed missing out on having a family and a social life in the name of a better future...which as yet to show itself. If you want to learn from failure then just ask me. Hopefully i can share my learnings to speed up your journey. As i have no like minded friends from working all the time so it would be great to meet others on the same path.

List of my business attempts - perhaps most failed due to lack of resourcefulness.
1 - Adult dvd site - turned out it is illegal to put in UK post system
2 - 360 Panoramic tours of property - I had no idea what i was doing and was selling time for money. There was not enough interest , too early for the market? (2004)
3 - Sheffield Property newspaper - lasted 3 editions until the main property paper told our advertisers they would not be able to advertise with them if they stayed with us.
4 - Selling information DVDs on ebay - limited profit but paid the bills
5 - Developed software to automate drop shipping stock for shopping carts - latest 10 years and just paid the bills. Was a joint venture with a warehouse that sold the ecommerce sites..
6 - Energy certificate business for the UK. Google slapped us off position 1 forcing us to use PPC which destroyed margins as competition grew fierce - 2 year venture.
7 - A social app that allows companies to exchange social likes / posts for beers, pizza or whatever they want to give in return. Failed because i couldn't sell it on the phone. Also it turned out that the staff in the shops didn't like to ask customers to install the app (which was our main marketing plan)
8 - Drop shipping business- selling turn key ecommerce solutions based on my previously build stock control software. Paused 95% towards the end to do shiny object #8...
8 - Lead generation software - shows you which companies have visited your site so you can call them back as a warm lead. Failed after 1 year as ended up needing over £1,000,000 and 2 years to gather the same database of IP addresses which the market leader had built over previous 5 years. Could have kept going with this one - perhaps found investors or just worked on one industry at a time. It still tickles my interest...was then talked in to a new shiny object for someone who needed custom software for an accountancy business #9...
9 - Booksfix - SAAS based accountancy software for finding and fixing errors for bookkeepers. Took 10 months of painful nights coding the beta version which is now being used by over 30 companies. Cold calling and getting more clients on board before hitting road shows and marketing - it has all of MJ's commandments apart from some control being lost to the accountancy packages it works with, but it's not a big threat. The grind continues....

I hope to learn a lot on this forum and not die trying.

trustTheProcess
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Keep chugging away. Your failures are mere learning experiences.

As your name implies, "Trust the process", and you are.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for the excellent intro.
 

trustTheProcess

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Keep chugging away. Your failures are mere learning experiences.

As your name implies, "Trust the process", and you are.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for the excellent intro.

Wow, a reply from the man himself! I feel honored. Thank you for taking the time to welcome me to the forum, i really appreciate it. I do hope the previous efforts don't end up being in vain. I'll try to document my progress on here with the aim to help others.

Here are two recent changes (over the last 2 months) i have made which have really helped me:
1 - In the morning as soon as i wake up i drink a pint of water placed by my bed. Then if i lay in and day dream (my achille's heel) it speeds up my waking process and gets my a$$ in to gear.
2 - A phone alarm goes off three times a day to remind me to read a focus list (notes on my phone). This list has all the most important factors i need to stay focused on to become the person i need to be to reach the unscripted , "f*ck you" life style . When i find great advice (usually from audio books) i may add it to the list which gets read 3 times a day. It also stops me from action faking by realigning my efforts to the current goal. This little practice really surprised me on how much i must have been forgetting things in the past.
 
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Pacha9716

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Aug 21, 2017
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Hey man, you have a really inspiring past, respect for not giving up after so many swings!
I'm currently studying computer science and working on an app myself, so I'd imagine me and younger you have some things in common.
Reading your post I have two questions:
1. You mentioned you didn't get jobs so you can focus on your business ventures instead. How did that decision impact your skills as an engineer? Do you feel like you know more/less than people who have been working this entire time for another company? Having a software engineer career, you would probably specialize in something and be exceptional at that so you are valuable in the job market, but if you do your own things you are probably a Jack of all trades, master of none. (This is what I'm assuming, is it true?)
2. Having been through a dozen of business ventures that didn't lead to major success, what common pitfalls have you encountered that you'd like younger you to be aware of? Was each failure a cause of a new unforseen problem?
Thanks for the introduction, keep up the hustle!
 

trustTheProcess

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  1. 1. You mentioned you didn't get jobs so you can focus on your business ventures instead. How did that decision impact your skills as an engineer?

    I have not focused on any language to the point where I know how everything works like my friends from uni have, who are now on $160,000 a year contracting. Hard to know how I compare to my friends as software engineering is a very broad topic. My scope is wide but not so deep, I don't know any frame work really well. What I do know though is that I get shit done and I feel confident to accomplish any task - though it may take me a little longer if I have to learn something new. Focusing on business instead of my developer skills did mean that my coding skills were shit for quite some time. My programming skills didn't really improve until few years ago when a very generous friend (Hungarian as it happens) taught me to code properly , I also read the book 'Code Complete'. It was then I realised my dev skills were shit before, really shit. I was always optimising for getting a prototype done rather than optimising for well written code. I would read Code Complete if you have not already, with help from my mentor it turned me from an shitty developer to a pretty decent one.

    2. Do you feel like you know more/less than people who have been working this entire time for another company?
    It is hard to say as I have not been in a situation to compare myself to top engineers. I did however get my first job last year for a 4 month window (yea I know, it almost killed me :p - trying to save a girl friend ). It was only the second job I applied for. I ended up sitting next to this contractor who literally had no idea what was going on. I remember asking him how long it took for him to also understand this spaghetti code I was instructed to learn – he replied “it was me who wrote it!” - ha ha. My career driven friends also say that many contractors are very bad - leaving a big shit on the desk for them to clean up with post-it notes. As it happens I didn't know the framework I was working on well at all, so I paid ($10ph) an Indian based freelancer (connecting remotely to my PC) to look over my shoulder and sneakily teach me on the job. That is how you wing it! I never got caught, but sometimes it was close. Your question also depends on the context. The ability to see projects from a business point of view first, then as an engineer second has its advantages. I noticed on my job that the devs were really blind to the bigger picture and liked to over-engineer things. My approach to solving problems for the company was very different which actually let to two of the developers being replaced with overseas developers...whoops! I could see thousands of savings for the company by using more specialised and cheaper developers .

    If I wanted to catch up and be a well paid contractor I could do but the issue is that I would want to spend 4 – 6 weeks schooling up on the job specific skills and preparing for the interview, from learning a framework to revising SQL. Remember that when you go for a job they only care if you can do the task they need you for, they don't care about anything else. So if you have never done multi threaded programming but you do have 15 years Java they don't give a shit. They would take someone who has 5 years experience who has only focused on multi threading projects. This is why I don't feel left out as I can easily get a job. But 'job' is a swear word in my house! It also stands for Just Over Broke! - “Brian Tracy”

  1. 3.“Having a software engineer career, you would probably specialize in something and be exceptional at that so you are valuable in the job market, but if you do your own things you are probably a Jack of all trades, master of none. (This is what I'm assuming, is it true?) “

    - This is true to some degree. I don't believe I am not a master at anything, - perhaps data parsing and back end APIs but it's hard to know how I compare to the best. “The magnitude of difference between the average developer and the best developer is 50 maybe more” - Steve Jobs. This massive spectrum of ability is probably the reason why I sat next to a contractor who could pick his nose better than write any readable code. The demand for developers is high, so if you are asking this question with job security in mind, don't worry. Most of the projects I have worked on have required me to do lots of programming, mainly php and golang – giving me the ability to progress as a developer. I believe the path I chosen has not left me without value to give the market place – possibly the opposite.
    The ventures have provided me with a wide scope of knowledge but I would say that they have dominated in; backend work – mainly API's, data parsing and internet automation (imacros) a very useful free tool. I remember IP cloaking adverts on ebay enabling me to sell adult toys which were prohibited at the time, tricks like this helped with getting traffic – an example of using tech in gorilla marketing. Experience like this is fun and not available at any kind of job and yes it makes me more of a 'Jack of all trades' but at the same time increases my top level knowledge which increases my engineering skills. If I took a java job I would be learning the spring framework and I would be paid because I know where everything is, does this make me a better engineer? - Only for Java based jobs I think.

    As my projects are fun I believe I learn more and retain important information which I can use in future projects. Also I work way more hours than my friends. It could be that I am a better engineer for taking my path (depending on the task given) because as an engineer you have to solve the problem given to you using the best tools for the job – which may not be the ones you know.
    Some of my dev friends have said that coding sucks when you have to do it for someone who wants it done differently than you. I get to taste the “f*ck you” flavor in my projects as all I have to do is “get the shit done”. No one is telling me to do crap like writing tests which you believe are not necessary (something a friend the other say was bitching to me about). I do write tests by the way, they are a great practice, but some companies require for over 80% test coverage which would piss on my fire of motivation and kill my love for coding.



4. “Having been through a dozen of business ventures that didn't lead to major success, what common pitfalls have you encountered that you'd like younger you to be aware of? Was each failure a cause of a new unforseen problem? “

Each failure was not from an unforeseen problem, some were from boredom and a high expectation for fast results. The truth is I wish I knew everything in MJ's book Unscripted . EVERYTHING is in there. It's unlike any other book. It has all you need. If you follow it you will be on the best track, I promise. Read / listen to it constantly until it is in your subconscious. If I had all this book's info 17 years ago I would very likely be successful already. You are lucky you are young and you have been given the answers :) . The paradox is that only my experience allows me to see that this is true. You can not see the value - and for all you know this book is just another self help book because ( I guess from your age) you can not resonate with all the messages within it.

Like MJ says in Unscripted you don't know what you have got to do until you go and do it – similarly with software, you don't know what challenges you are going to face until you try to write it at least once. The pitfalls are not visible until you dive in. With hindsight aside, here are some general pitfalls I wish I knew...

- “not taking responsibility for everything”, I think this is the most profound learning curve I have had. The pitfall of not realising I could choose how to respond to anything. When I sold information DVDs on ebay I would get angry with silly buyers and vent my frustration at them only for them to give bad feedback. This is a small illustration but learning to be responsible for everything gave me more control and less stress. I recommend 7 habits of highly effective people which also details this point.

- “Most people don't know shit.” Those who sound like they do are usually bullshitting. It's not on my list but after uni I tried to turn my dissertation in to a business. It was software to help people with autism organise their day – the senior lecture of autism promised me the software would be a success but he was full of shit. He hyped it up and gave me hope only to never show up to meetings and not mention the software at events he said he could promote it at. I took out a £10,000 loan to pay for my way as I developed it, but it turned out that the software, in practice, was no good (lack of attention from the users) and his judgment was way off point. I wasted lots of time and money on living expenses. This taught me not to trust people even when they appear like the ones to listen to. Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see. Critical thinking ,which MJ mentions in his books, is good for smelling the bullshitters.

- “Marketing is almost everything” - Wish I knew this earlier on. If you can't market a product it doesn't matter how good the product/service is. - Become a master at marketing, ideas don't mean shit without it. I often say to people who tell me business ideas... “what happens when you hit the 90% marketing wall?”

- “Scalability is imperative” the 'S' of C.E.N.T.S in unscripted . I could not have scaled the virtual tours photography company for many reasons :- There was not really enough profit to pay for a team of photographers, the photographers would likely steal business, the demand was not there and the number of tours I could do was limited. Even if I got lucky with this venture it would have just created me a job in disguise selling time for money.

- “Not being fickle jumping from one idea to another”. I used to be like this all the time, I was an opportunity seeker when I should have been a strategic long term business thinker. (MJ calls this business monogamy). Exhaust all options before quitting on a business, it's real temping to jump to a shiny object when the business starts to get boring. I heard Richard Branson refused £1 million (+ any higher offers) to talk for only one hour at an entrepreneur convention because it was not in his plan of focus.

- “Play the long game” When I was your age one year seemed a long time and I would want results fast but it takes time (it appears to me it takes at least 2-10 years and that is if you are lucky) – shit and I am on year 17!! Long game always wins, Tony Robbins (I know MJ isn't too keen on him) says that we over estimate what we can do in 2 years and underestimate what we can do in 10 years. With a clearer understanding on the long game I would have likely kept going with an idea avoiding the pitfall of quitting too soon.

- “Thinking that all I need is an idea” I remember at your age reading Napoleon Hill's think and grow rich and at the end of the book it tells you to guess what this book is supposed to give you once you have read it. I thought the result was that one idea to get me rich but instead it was supposed to be a “burning desire”. The point is I believed that all I had to do is find that one idea that will make me rich and bingo I am home dry – ha! the naivety. You know that there was a company before Uber called something like “Magic Cab”? But It sucked a$$. Incidentally even I had the same idea in 2012 (as I am sure many others did) and called it RealTimeTaxi.com. After starting a prototype I was side tracked, it would have failed anyway due to lack of execution and funding (money for the 90% marketing wall).

- “Pitfall of not being skeptical” It's good to be optimistic but be skeptical to try and pre-empt your failure. It is fine to fail and you will have to, I like how MJ says that failure is the sweat of success :) I still tell myself that success is a failure's game. It does however hurt to fail from something that you saw coming. Like with the IP business - I saw that shit coming but I felt like the industry fitted me so well that if my concern turned out to be true I would be able to smash through the adversity. Truth was that I loved that project cause it was really fun to develop.

- “Pitfall of action faking“
Prod the market with the least amount of effort to see if you get an echo. If I knew this sooner I would have skipped adding features to the autistic software that were not needed (I spent a week or two on a pretty print feature) I had not even validated the concept – I thought “hey the senior lecture of autism says it will work” therefore it must be right, right?! MJ mentions this prod technique in unscripted . Don't spend ages on this app you are making if you have not proved 100% that the market wants it. As a developer it is soooooooooo tempting to get down to the binary and start seeing your idea come to life on the screen, when you maybe flying the plane in to the mountain. I would say watch out for the “fun bias” which will make you just do “action faking” - as MJ describes it. It's too easy to justify coding as “working hard and getting shit done” when you are really action faking. This is working hard but not smart. I'm a hypocrite right now though as writing this post response is totally action faking :p

- “Don't go in to debt to justify working”
Would be best for you to save money first to buy your future time instead of getting in to debt to buy your self time now.
I have taken out 3 loans in the last 17 years only to pay for my living expenses (still very low out goings) while I develop the next idea. This is f*cking scary and really stressful. Get a relevant job (MJ says this is the best place to be to find (and more importantly deeply understand) a need in the market place) before saving up money to buy your time. I know that in Hungary they don't have credit cards so you will be ok :) !

- “spend time to become a decent developer"
the dropship software that earned me “passive” income did actually eat up my time on support due to poorly written code. It was not until I learned to code well (only taking 6 months) from the Hungarian mentor and reading Code Complete that I was able to write robust code. I would have saved a lot of pain with support if I learned this from the start. No, University didn't teach us how to construct good code!

- “don't invest your ego in to your code”
Not sure if I was ever like this, but it's important pitfall to mention as it is a common thread among programmers to be personally attached to their code. f*ck that noise, just look at it from a business point of view and your ticket to the good life.

- “lack of knowledge”
If I had factored time to constantly read and learn I would have missed out on some pitfalls – after Unscripted , read the book “How to win friends and influence people” it's an absolute must read – teaching you important psychology of human behaviour. I've now listened to this book 5 times in the hope it goes in to subconscious. I would have also perhaps seen my untrusted business partners before they bent me over.

- “don't get a business partner”
I was too trusting with my business partner in the energy certificate business and he took around £10,000 more (that i'm aware of ) – doing side deals and taking money for work himself. I couldn't believe that someone would have the face to do that to me. Also we could not agree on the direction of the business. When you get in to that situation failure is certain as there is no energy left to push through those late nights.

- “not having a mentor”
A mentor, if I was lucky, would have probably told me what to look out for to save me wasting years on shitty projects. I have a mentor now and he is really good sieving out the shit ideas. Get the right mentor asap.


Other thoughts
If your people skills are weak and you venture alone , then you may have issues getting a job because team work is important. If you need to improve them I recommend following the simple programmer on youtube, he has good info for developers and improving soft skills.

Sorry for the long winded answers, I got a little carried away there. My writing is terrible as i'm dyslexic and prefer audio books so please excuse the mistakes.

Message me if you have any other questions, i'd be keen to see what you app is about.
Gavin
 

BrooklynHustle

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Keep on grinding and learning... welcome!

Hi guys, signed up today after reading both of MJ's books.

MJ's principle are amazing and i wish i found out about the fast lane right at the beginning.

I am on my 9th business idea since 2003 and still learning. Feels like maximum effort, minimal results so far. I have a first class degree in software engineering but instead of getting a job like my class mates i have worked small passive adventures to pay the bills so i have time to work on business ideas. Sacrificed missing out on having a family and a social life in the name of a better future...which as yet to show itself. If you want to learn from failure then just ask me. Hopefully i can share my learnings to speed up your journey. As i have no like minded friends from working all the time so it would be great to meet others on the same path.

List of my business attempts - perhaps most failed due to lack of resourcefulness.
1 - Adult dvd site - turned out it is illegal to put in UK post system
2 - 360 Panoramic tours of property - I had no idea what i was doing and was selling time for money. There was not enough interest , too early for the market? (2004)
3 - Sheffield Property newspaper - lasted 3 editions until the main property paper told our advertisers they would not be able to advertise with them if they stayed with us.
4 - Selling information DVDs on ebay - limited profit but paid the bills
5 - Developed software to automate drop shipping stock for shopping carts - latest 10 years and just paid the bills. Was a joint venture with a warehouse that sold the ecommerce sites..
6 - Energy certificate business for the UK. Google slapped us off position 1 forcing us to use PPC which destroyed margins as competition grew fierce - 2 year venture.
7 - A social app that allows companies to exchange social likes / posts for beers, pizza or whatever they want to give in return. Failed because i couldn't sell it on the phone. Also it turned out that the staff in the shops didn't like to ask customers to install the app (which was our main marketing plan)
8 - Drop shipping business- selling turn key ecommerce solutions based on my previously build stock control software. Paused 95% towards the end to do shiny object #8...
8 - Lead generation software - shows you which companies have visited your site so you can call them back as a warm lead. Failed after 1 year as ended up needing over £1,000,000 and 2 years to gather the same database of IP addresses which the market leader had built over previous 5 years. Could have kept going with this one - perhaps found investors or just worked on one industry at a time. It still tickles my interest...was then talked in to a new shiny object for someone who needed custom software for an accountancy business #9...
9 - Booksfix - SAAS based accountancy software for finding and fixing errors for bookkeepers. Took 10 months of painful nights coding the beta version which is now being used by over 30 companies. Cold calling and getting more clients on board before hitting road shows and marketing - it has all of MJ's commandments apart from some control being lost to the accountancy packages it works with, but it's not a big threat. The grind continues....

I hope to learn a lot on this forum and not die trying.

trustTheProcess
 
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Pacha9716

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Aug 21, 2017
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Each failure was not from an unforeseen problem, some were from boredom and a high expectation for fast results

Lost motivation in the desert-of-desertion? (this phrase sounds so weird to say, like some place in Middle Earth) High expectation for fast results is an interesting one. I'd imagine this was more of an issue in your earlier ventures, I notice this is a common problem with young adults, me included. I believe being process oriented is one of the key traits to have if you want to achieve success (whatever it means to you), but if you're young, the closest personal experience you can have about this is what, good grades? Doing sports?

The truth is I wish I knew everything in MJ's book Unscripted . EVERYTHING is in there. It's unlike any other book.

It's an incredible eye opener for sure.

- “not taking responsibility for everything”, I think this is the most profound learning curve I have had. The pitfall of not realising I could choose how to respond to anything. When I sold information DVDs on ebay I would get angry with silly buyers and vent my frustration at them only for them to give bad feedback. This is a small illustration but learning to be responsible for everything gave me more control and less stress.

That's a great one. Was it a one time realization for you, or do you need reality checks from time to time? I'm constantly trying to do this too, but it's so easy to put the blame on literally anything when something doesn't go as planned.

- “Marketing is almost everything” - Wish I knew this earlier on. If you can't market a product it doesn't matter how good the product/service is. - Become a master at marketing, ideas don't mean shit without it.

I hear this so often from so many different sources, it's definitely something I'm going to have to master at some point. It's so convenient to think that your ingenious idea will be sought for the minute you created it...

- “Scalability is imperative” the 'S' of C.E.N.T.S in unscripted . I could not have scaled the virtual tours photography company for many reasons :- There was not really enough profit to pay for a team of photographers, the photographers would likely steal business, the demand was not there and the number of tours I could do was limited. Even if I got lucky with this venture it would have just created me a job in disguise selling time for money.

This sounds like you had this amazing idea which was very cool, and later learned that a cool idea does not necessarily grants the basis of a profitable business. I'm actually a little paranoid about this as I see myself justifying something because I want it to work, and not because others want it.

- “Not being fickle jumping from one idea to another”. I used to be like this all the time, I was an opportunity seeker when I should have been a strategic long term business thinker. (MJ calls this business monogamy). Exhaust all options before quitting on a business, it's real temping to jump to a shiny object when the business starts to get boring.

I actually watch Simple Programmer, and John Sonmez (the guy who runs it) often talks about the importance of being a finisher. It's not a good idea to hang onto a doomed project, but moving on looking for the "ultimate idea" is no good either. I already see myself struggling with this lol, but the desert-of-desertion is part of the process I guess. :D

- “Play the long game” When I was your age one year seemed a long time and I would want results fast but it takes time (it appears to me it takes at least 2-10 years and that is if you are lucky) – shit and I am on year 17!!

Of all the great advices you gave, this is the one that resonates the most. It encapsulates everything about being process oriented, being determined and having a path that you trust.

Don't spend ages on this app you are making if you have not proved 100% that the market wants it.

Truth is it isn't validated, and it's likely to fail. There are however reasons that make creating it worthwhile.
- The app would be used by my friends either way, that's where the idea came from in the first place
- The learning experience of creating a product and trying to sell it will hopefully be valuable no matter what
- I'm 20 and currently have no degree or work experience and I need to be able to get a job so I can afford my own damn existence lol, also finally being able to help my family financially would be huge as well. Creating my own portfolio is the only way I can increase my chances of getting a job right now. I also only wanna work in software development, no point getting a job that I can't learn from.

I'm a hypocrite right now though as writing this post response is totally action faking :p

I don't think helping someone is action-faking, or if it is, then it's the best kind... :D And I truly appreciate the fact that you've taken your time to answer my questions in such detail.

after Unscripted , read the book “How to win friends and influence people” it's an absolute must read

I have, I honestly don't know what to think about that book. The information is great, but a great deal of it seemed so obvious to me. Of course it's impossible to actively do all the things that were listed in that book, so I guess it's good to refresh these things from time to time.

Sorry for the long winded answers, I got a little carried away there. My writing is terrible as i'm dyslexic and prefer audio books so please excuse the mistakes.

Obligatory apology after a perfectly written post, I thought only non-native people did that, lol.

Again, thank you for all the advices!
Pacha
 

MJ DeMarco

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  1. 1. You mentioned you didn't get jobs so you can focus on your business ventures instead. How did that decision impact your skills as an engineer?

    I have not focused on any language to the point where I know how everything works like my friends from uni have, who are now on $160,000 a year contracting. Hard to know how I compare to my friends as software engineering is a very broad topic. My scope is wide but not so deep, I don't know any frame work really well. What I do know though is that I get shit done and I feel confident to accomplish any task - though it may take me a little longer if I have to learn something new. Focusing on business instead of my developer skills did mean that my coding skills were shit for quite some time. My programming skills didn't really improve until few years ago when a very generous friend (Hungarian as it happens) taught me to code properly , I also read the book 'Code Complete'. It was then I realised my dev skills were shit before, really shit. I was always optimising for getting a prototype done rather than optimising for well written code. I would read Code Complete if you have not already, with help from my mentor it turned me from an shitty developer to a pretty decent one.

    2. Do you feel like you know more/less than people who have been working this entire time for another company?
    It is hard to say as I have not been in a situation to compare myself to top engineers. I did however get my first job last year for a 4 month window (yea I know, it almost killed me :p - trying to save a girl friend ). It was only the second job I applied for. I ended up sitting next to this contractor who literally had no idea what was going on. I remember asking him how long it took for him to also understand this spaghetti code I was instructed to learn – he replied “it was me who wrote it!” - ha ha. My career driven friends also say that many contractors are very bad - leaving a big shit on the desk for them to clean up with post-it notes. As it happens I didn't know the framework I was working on well at all, so I paid ($10ph) an Indian based freelancer (connecting remotely to my PC) to look over my shoulder and sneakily teach me on the job. That is how you wing it! I never got caught, but sometimes it was close. Your question also depends on the context. The ability to see projects from a business point of view first, then as an engineer second has its advantages. I noticed on my job that the devs were really blind to the bigger picture and liked to over-engineer things. My approach to solving problems for the company was very different which actually let to two of the developers being replaced with overseas developers...whoops! I could see thousands of savings for the company by using more specialised and cheaper developers .

    If I wanted to catch up and be a well paid contractor I could do but the issue is that I would want to spend 4 – 6 weeks schooling up on the job specific skills and preparing for the interview, from learning a framework to revising SQL. Remember that when you go for a job they only care if you can do the task they need you for, they don't care about anything else. So if you have never done multi threaded programming but you do have 15 years Java they don't give a shit. They would take someone who has 5 years experience who has only focused on multi threading projects. This is why I don't feel left out as I can easily get a job. But 'job' is a swear word in my house! It also stands for Just Over Broke! - “Brian Tracy”

  1. 3.“Having a software engineer career, you would probably specialize in something and be exceptional at that so you are valuable in the job market, but if you do your own things you are probably a Jack of all trades, master of none. (This is what I'm assuming, is it true?) “

    - This is true to some degree. I don't believe I am not a master at anything, - perhaps data parsing and back end APIs but it's hard to know how I compare to the best. “The magnitude of difference between the average developer and the best developer is 50 maybe more” - Steve Jobs. This massive spectrum of ability is probably the reason why I sat next to a contractor who could pick his nose better than write any readable code. The demand for developers is high, so if you are asking this question with job security in mind, don't worry. Most of the projects I have worked on have required me to do lots of programming, mainly php and golang – giving me the ability to progress as a developer. I believe the path I chosen has not left me without value to give the market place – possibly the opposite.
    The ventures have provided me with a wide scope of knowledge but I would say that they have dominated in; backend work – mainly API's, data parsing and internet automation (imacros) a very useful free tool. I remember IP cloaking adverts on ebay enabling me to sell adult toys which were prohibited at the time, tricks like this helped with getting traffic – an example of using tech in gorilla marketing. Experience like this is fun and not available at any kind of job and yes it makes me more of a 'Jack of all trades' but at the same time increases my top level knowledge which increases my engineering skills. If I took a java job I would be learning the spring framework and I would be paid because I know where everything is, does this make me a better engineer? - Only for Java based jobs I think.

    As my projects are fun I believe I learn more and retain important information which I can use in future projects. Also I work way more hours than my friends. It could be that I am a better engineer for taking my path (depending on the task given) because as an engineer you have to solve the problem given to you using the best tools for the job – which may not be the ones you know.
    Some of my dev friends have said that coding sucks when you have to do it for someone who wants it done differently than you. I get to taste the “f*ck you” flavor in my projects as all I have to do is “get the shit done”. No one is telling me to do crap like writing tests which you believe are not necessary (something a friend the other say was bitching to me about). I do write tests by the way, they are a great practice, but some companies require for over 80% test coverage which would piss on my fire of motivation and kill my love for coding.


4. “Having been through a dozen of business ventures that didn't lead to major success, what common pitfalls have you encountered that you'd like younger you to be aware of? Was each failure a cause of a new unforseen problem? “

Each failure was not from an unforeseen problem, some were from boredom and a high expectation for fast results. The truth is I wish I knew everything in MJ's book Unscripted . EVERYTHING is in there. It's unlike any other book. It has all you need. If you follow it you will be on the best track, I promise. Read / listen to it constantly until it is in your subconscious. If I had all this book's info 17 years ago I would very likely be successful already. You are lucky you are young and you have been given the answers :) . The paradox is that only my experience allows me to see that this is true. You can not see the value - and for all you know this book is just another self help book because ( I guess from your age) you can not resonate with all the messages within it.

Like MJ says in Unscripted you don't know what you have got to do until you go and do it – similarly with software, you don't know what challenges you are going to face until you try to write it at least once. The pitfalls are not visible until you dive in. With hindsight aside, here are some general pitfalls I wish I knew...

- “not taking responsibility for everything”, I think this is the most profound learning curve I have had. The pitfall of not realising I could choose how to respond to anything. When I sold information DVDs on ebay I would get angry with silly buyers and vent my frustration at them only for them to give bad feedback. This is a small illustration but learning to be responsible for everything gave me more control and less stress. I recommend 7 habits of highly effective people which also details this point.

- “Most people don't know shit.” Those who sound like they do are usually bullshitting. It's not on my list but after uni I tried to turn my dissertation in to a business. It was software to help people with autism organise their day – the senior lecture of autism promised me the software would be a success but he was full of shit. He hyped it up and gave me hope only to never show up to meetings and not mention the software at events he said he could promote it at. I took out a £10,000 loan to pay for my way as I developed it, but it turned out that the software, in practice, was no good (lack of attention from the users) and his judgment was way off point. I wasted lots of time and money on living expenses. This taught me not to trust people even when they appear like the ones to listen to. Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see. Critical thinking ,which MJ mentions in his books, is good for smelling the bullshitters.

- “Marketing is almost everything” - Wish I knew this earlier on. If you can't market a product it doesn't matter how good the product/service is. - Become a master at marketing, ideas don't mean shit without it. I often say to people who tell me business ideas... “what happens when you hit the 90% marketing wall?”

- “Scalability is imperative” the 'S' of C.E.N.T.S in unscripted . I could not have scaled the virtual tours photography company for many reasons :- There was not really enough profit to pay for a team of photographers, the photographers would likely steal business, the demand was not there and the number of tours I could do was limited. Even if I got lucky with this venture it would have just created me a job in disguise selling time for money.

- “Not being fickle jumping from one idea to another”. I used to be like this all the time, I was an opportunity seeker when I should have been a strategic long term business thinker. (MJ calls this business monogamy). Exhaust all options before quitting on a business, it's real temping to jump to a shiny object when the business starts to get boring. I heard Richard Branson refused £1 million (+ any higher offers) to talk for only one hour at an entrepreneur convention because it was not in his plan of focus.

- “Play the long game” When I was your age one year seemed a long time and I would want results fast but it takes time (it appears to me it takes at least 2-10 years and that is if you are lucky) – shit and I am on year 17!! Long game always wins, Tony Robbins (I know MJ isn't too keen on him) says that we over estimate what we can do in 2 years and underestimate what we can do in 10 years. With a clearer understanding on the long game I would have likely kept going with an idea avoiding the pitfall of quitting too soon.

- “Thinking that all I need is an idea” I remember at your age reading Napoleon Hill's think and grow rich and at the end of the book it tells you to guess what this book is supposed to give you once you have read it. I thought the result was that one idea to get me rich but instead it was supposed to be a “burning desire”. The point is I believed that all I had to do is find that one idea that will make me rich and bingo I am home dry – ha! the naivety. You know that there was a company before Uber called something like “Magic Cab”? But It sucked a$$. Incidentally even I had the same idea in 2012 (as I am sure many others did) and called it RealTimeTaxi.com. After starting a prototype I was side tracked, it would have failed anyway due to lack of execution and funding (money for the 90% marketing wall).

- “Pitfall of not being skeptical” It's good to be optimistic but be skeptical to try and pre-empt your failure. It is fine to fail and you will have to, I like how MJ says that failure is the sweat of success :) I still tell myself that success is a failure's game. It does however hurt to fail from something that you saw coming. Like with the IP business - I saw that shit coming but I felt like the industry fitted me so well that if my concern turned out to be true I would be able to smash through the adversity. Truth was that I loved that project cause it was really fun to develop.

- “Pitfall of action faking“
Prod the market with the least amount of effort to see if you get an echo. If I knew this sooner I would have skipped adding features to the autistic software that were not needed (I spent a week or two on a pretty print feature) I had not even validated the concept – I thought “hey the senior lecture of autism says it will work” therefore it must be right, right?! MJ mentions this prod technique in unscripted . Don't spend ages on this app you are making if you have not proved 100% that the market wants it. As a developer it is soooooooooo tempting to get down to the binary and start seeing your idea come to life on the screen, when you maybe flying the plane in to the mountain. I would say watch out for the “fun bias” which will make you just do “action faking” - as MJ describes it. It's too easy to justify coding as “working hard and getting shit done” when you are really action faking. This is working hard but not smart. I'm a hypocrite right now though as writing this post response is totally action faking :p

- “Don't go in to debt to justify working”
Would be best for you to save money first to buy your future time instead of getting in to debt to buy your self time now.
I have taken out 3 loans in the last 17 years only to pay for my living expenses (still very low out goings) while I develop the next idea. This is f*cking scary and really stressful. Get a relevant job (MJ says this is the best place to be to find (and more importantly deeply understand) a need in the market place) before saving up money to buy your time. I know that in Hungary they don't have credit cards so you will be ok :) !

- “spend time to become a decent developer"
the dropship software that earned me “passive” income did actually eat up my time on support due to poorly written code. It was not until I learned to code well (only taking 6 months) from the Hungarian mentor and reading Code Complete that I was able to write robust code. I would have saved a lot of pain with support if I learned this from the start. No, University didn't teach us how to construct good code!

- “don't invest your ego in to your code”
Not sure if I was ever like this, but it's important pitfall to mention as it is a common thread among programmers to be personally attached to their code. f*ck that noise, just look at it from a business point of view and your ticket to the good life.

- “lack of knowledge”
If I had factored time to constantly read and learn I would have missed out on some pitfalls – after Unscripted , read the book “How to win friends and influence people” it's an absolute must read – teaching you important psychology of human behaviour. I've now listened to this book 5 times in the hope it goes in to subconscious. I would have also perhaps seen my untrusted business partners before they bent me over.

- “don't get a business partner”
I was too trusting with my business partner in the energy certificate business and he took around £10,000 more (that i'm aware of ) – doing side deals and taking money for work himself. I couldn't believe that someone would have the face to do that to me. Also we could not agree on the direction of the business. When you get in to that situation failure is certain as there is no energy left to push through those late nights.

- “not having a mentor”
A mentor, if I was lucky, would have probably told me what to look out for to save me wasting years on shitty projects. I have a mentor now and he is really good sieving out the shit ideas. Get the right mentor asap.


Other thoughts
If your people skills are weak and you venture alone , then you may have issues getting a job because team work is important. If you need to improve them I recommend following the simple programmer on youtube, he has good info for developers and improving soft skills.

Sorry for the long winded answers, I got a little carried away there. My writing is terrible as i'm dyslexic and prefer audio books so please excuse the mistakes.

Message me if you have any other questions, i'd be keen to see what you app is about.
Gavin

Some knowledge bombs in here, gonna move to the failure/success forum and mark NOTABLE.
 

trustTheProcess

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That's a great one. Was it a one time realization for you, or do you need reality checks from time to time? I'm constantly trying to do this too, but it's so easy to put the blame on literally anything when something doesn't go as planned.

Check out the book "The Chimp Paradox" if you haven't already read it. I remember that helping with this issue, it explains why our monkey brain does what it does. Catching yourself before you vent your anger is a life long challenge/practice i think, i'm always working on it. However there was an epiphany when i finally swallowed that bitter pill.

I'm actually a little paranoid about this as I see myself justifying something because I want it to work, and not because others want it.
- It is a tough tussle between fun and getting to your end goal. Like in Unscripted make sure there is a real 'N'eed. Still, if you need to get experience developing an app then it makes sense to write something. The dropshipping software came about by me calling the warehouse and saying "yo, i'm a coder, do you have anything that needs doing? I'll develop it, they market it to their clients and we share the profits". You could take similar approach to increase the odds of finding something people will actually pay for.

I'm pleased my reply had some value for you, man i wish i was 20 again! Good luck getting financially free, if you make it out of the hole before me please throw me a rope :) ! Just kidding, that would really take the fun out of it.
 
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100k

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Me reading your thread....
heart-attack.jpg


I feel your pain bro. One day.... we'll get there.

Welcome to the forum.
 
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trustTheProcess

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Mini update... I have decided to walk away from the accountancy software. It will still be used by the clients and i may revisit it, but i am not going to pursue it right now. It hurts me really bad because those never ending late nights of coding were so painful. The reason i'm moving is because it's not generating enough cash. I can't get people to pay for it fast enough. People like the software , but getting them to use it is REALLY tough. One super important thing i have learned from this venture is that - even if a product gives a better solution and really helps, if it requires any friction to move to it then integrating new software in to daily practice is really really hard. I guess it is because people don't like change, and they are too lazy to learn to use new software. If they can do it the normal way (even if it takes a lot longer) they will. I guess it is being short sighted. Also the people who would use it are selling their time for money and they don't care about optimising for the company.

I urgently need to pay the bills (aka credit card debt from previous ventures) and i'm in my mid 30's living at momma's house :eek: !
Also this accountancy SAAS business is not a CENTS business as the control is in the hands of the accountancy platform (Xero in this case). They could easily copy the proven features and i would be in sticky situation.

So i thought, "what shall i do?" Get a job - i mean my friends are raking it in as developers. Or stay at home, eat rice and beans and do another venture. The answer was easy for me as i'm way too far down this rabbit hole now.
So now i am working on another project #10 which unfortunately i can not detail due to very unusual business model which yet is legal would be best kept under the radar. If it fails i will explain it all in detail in case others are trying to do the same. Good news is that it is already making money and all i have to do is scale it. This involves lots of more late nights coding, i am actually fully nocturnal right now and working everyday. I have an SAD lamp to see me through. It's getting tough and most of all super lonely . This new pie is 100% CENTS business and the barrier to entry is crazy high :D . Being a developer really helps when you have no cash - i mean i am scraping the bottom of my overdraft each month but i can still trade sweat equity to be in for a chance of an unscripted life.

Right, back to the hole for me, i will pop my head back up in a few months to give an update if there is anything of interest.
 

AdamMaxum

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Mini update... I have decided to walk away from the accountancy software. It will still be used by the clients and i may revisit it, but i am not going to pursue it right now. It hurts me really bad because those never ending late nights of coding were so painful. The reason i'm moving is because it's not generating enough cash. I can't get people to pay for it fast enough. People like the software , but getting them to use it is REALLY tough. One super important thing i have learned from this venture is that - even if a product gives a better solution and really helps, if it requires any friction to move to it then integrating new software in to daily practice is really really hard. I guess it is because people don't like change, and they are too lazy to learn to use new software. If they can do it the normal way (even if it takes a lot longer) they will. I guess it is being short sighted. Also the people who would use it are selling their time for money and they don't care about optimising for the company.

I urgently need to pay the bills (aka credit card debt from previous ventures) and i'm in my mid 30's living at momma's house :eek: !
Also this accountancy SAAS business is not a CENTS business as the control is in the hands of the accountancy platform (Xero in this case). They could easily copy the proven features and i would be in sticky situation.

So i thought, "what shall i do?" Get a job - i mean my friends are raking it in as developers. Or stay at home, eat rice and beans and do another venture. The answer was easy for me as i'm way too far down this rabbit hole now.
So now i am working on another project #10 which unfortunately i can not detail due to very unusual business model which yet is legal would be best kept under the radar. If it fails i will explain it all in detail in case others are trying to do the same. Good news is that it is already making money and all i have to do is scale it. This involves lots of more late nights coding, i am actually fully nocturnal right now and working everyday. I have an SAD lamp to see me through. It's getting tough and most of all super lonely . This new pie is 100% CENTS business and the barrier to entry is crazy high :D . Being a developer really helps when you have no cash - i mean i am scraping the bottom of my overdraft each month but i can still trade sweat equity to be in for a chance of an unscripted life.

Right, back to the hole for me, i will pop my head back up in a few months to give an update if there is anything of interest.

Sounds like you need to create a cash flow business. A service based around you with recurring $ clients if possible...random example: SEO business where you sell your services (time) for recurring monthly cash flow.

Once you build up this cash flow business, then start funding the high investment scalable business (the big goal CENTS biz) once your making enough money to survive and thrive.

That's the best advice I can give you.
 
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GuestMeApp

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Mini update... I have decided to walk away from the accountancy software. It will still be used by the clients and i may revisit it, but i am not going to pursue it right now. It hurts me really bad because those never ending late nights of coding were so painful. The reason i'm moving is because it's not generating enough cash. I can't get people to pay for it fast enough. People like the software , but getting them to use it is REALLY tough. One super important thing i have learned from this venture is that - even if a product gives a better solution and really helps, if it requires any friction to move to it then integrating new software in to daily practice is really really hard. I guess it is because people don't like change, and they are too lazy to learn to use new software. If they can do it the normal way (even if it takes a lot longer) they will. I guess it is being short sighted. Also the people who would use it are selling their time for money and they don't care about optimising for the company.

I urgently need to pay the bills (aka credit card debt from previous ventures) and i'm in my mid 30's living at momma's house :eek: !
Also this accountancy SAAS business is not a CENTS business as the control is in the hands of the accountancy platform (Xero in this case). They could easily copy the proven features and i would be in sticky situation.

So i thought, "what shall i do?" Get a job - i mean my friends are raking it in as developers. Or stay at home, eat rice and beans and do another venture. The answer was easy for me as i'm way too far down this rabbit hole now.
So now i am working on another project #10 which unfortunately i can not detail due to very unusual business model which yet is legal would be best kept under the radar. If it fails i will explain it all in detail in case others are trying to do the same. Good news is that it is already making money and all i have to do is scale it. This involves lots of more late nights coding, i am actually fully nocturnal right now and working everyday. I have an SAD lamp to see me through. It's getting tough and most of all super lonely . This new pie is 100% CENTS business and the barrier to entry is crazy high :D . Being a developer really helps when you have no cash - i mean i am scraping the bottom of my overdraft each month but i can still trade sweat equity to be in for a chance of an unscripted life.

Right, back to the hole for me, i will pop my head back up in a few months to give an update if there is anything of interest.
Mini update... I have decided to walk away from the accountancy software. It will still be used by the clients and i may revisit it, but i am not going to pursue it right now. It hurts me really bad because those never ending late nights of coding were so painful. The reason i'm moving is because it's not generating enough cash. I can't get people to pay for it fast enough. People like the software , but getting them to use it is REALLY tough. One super important thing i have learned from this venture is that - even if a product gives a better solution and really helps, if it requires any friction to move to it then integrating new software in to daily practice is really really hard. I guess it is because people don't like change, and they are too lazy to learn to use new software. If they can do it the normal way (even if it takes a lot longer) they will. I guess it is being short sighted. Also the people who would use it are selling their time for money and they don't care about optimising for the company.

I urgently need to pay the bills (aka credit card debt from previous ventures) and i'm in my mid 30's living at momma's house :eek: !
Also this accountancy SAAS business is not a CENTS business as the control is in the hands of the accountancy platform (Xero in this case). They could easily copy the proven features and i would be in sticky situation.

So i thought, "what shall i do?" Get a job - i mean my friends are raking it in as developers. Or stay at home, eat rice and beans and do another venture. The answer was easy for me as i'm way too far down this rabbit hole now.
So now i am working on another project #10 which unfortunately i can not detail due to very unusual business model which yet is legal would be best kept under the radar. If it fails i will explain it all in detail in case others are trying to do the same. Good news is that it is already making money and all i have to do is scale it. This involves lots of more late nights coding, i am actually fully nocturnal right now and working everyday. I have an SAD lamp to see me through. It's getting tough and most of all super lonely . This new pie is 100% CENTS business and the barrier to entry is crazy high :D . Being a developer really helps when you have no cash - i mean i am scraping the bottom of my overdraft each month but i can still trade sweat equity to be in for a chance of an unscripted life.

Right, back to the hole for me, i will pop my head back up in a few months to give an update if there is anything of interest.

Hey! I’m super keen to find out more about how you get on. I’m launching my own media platform in the coming weeks, I think we could learn from and support each other :). Don’t tend to see many brits on this forum! I’m from London, feel free to email me; guestmeapp@hotmail.com
 

trustTheProcess

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Feels like a good time for an update, if not for anything other than recording a step on the journey. Stress levels are off the scale, i have had to sell some stocks to buy an extra month of runway because i ran out of cash and must make credit card payments. I am now eating pot noodles (posh UK version of ramen) and stressing like a whining school girl. Not going to lie, times are hard yo! The two week carrot of "just about to cash in big time" moves back every time i get close to it like a mirage. I want to 'trust the process' but didn't know the emotional roller coaster involved would be this hard. I am days away from deciding if to defer credit card payments (aka financially ruin myself and be almost impossible to buy a house anytime soon) or to bail on the project and get a job. I'm 37 and still rolling with the ride-or-die approach at an attempt to live the unscripted 'f*ck you' lifestyle. It's one thing saying "i'll do whatever it takes" then there is actually doing it in the face to relentless rejection and the true realization that if it doesn't work there is a pinstripe slave suit waiting for you in a deep financial hole. How far should you take it? The physical stress vibrations and numbness to life is getting unbearable.

The Golden 2 week carrot
The good news is that once the next release of my software is pushed live (always 2 weeks away) i will hire staff and things should turn around. If that happens within the next 4 weeks it will save my credit rating and will save me, otherwise i'm truly f*cked. For those of you saying "hey why don't you just get a job and do the biz on the side" - Ha ha!! yea, what??.. and keep doing 14 hour days? I'm working round the clock in my pants eating pot noddles, mumbling to myself while trying to focus on the next important step. And yea, still in momma's basement! If i do make this at all it will be by a few days or weeks at most. The next few weeks will be very interesting....
 

trustTheProcess

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Wow, its been 17 months already. Thought i would log in to add an update, if not only for me, so when i look back i have some milestones to read like a diary.
That was some scary time in the last post, this is how it all panned out...

I never hired anyone, the software just kept on growing and growing as new needed features were added. I used my credit cards to the max to pay for living expenses. When the credit ran out i used my overdraft. I was minus £700 with a £900 overdraft and no credit cards or loans available. So i had £200 to my name. I shit you not.

Then the most amazing thing happened which i still quite don't believe...
I saw an email about a contract job in london (Linkedin spam) for the language i am using (Golang). The day rate was £500-£600 so i thought i would at least apply as i could feel it was time to get j.o.b. :(
Golang is a new language and i was in a rare position to have been using it for over 3 years. I had not had a job since 2002 since my placement year at uni (bar a 3 month job in london in 2016) but i was in a situation where i really need the cash. I was £18k in debt without adding my student loan (another ~£17k).
I had a telephone interview and blagged it with my silver tongue, then got the train to london for three back-to-back interviews. Somehow they liked me and i got the job. I couldn't f**cking believe it. I didn't have to do any coding tests and they didn't even want to look at ANY of my code ever!?? wtf??

A week later i am sitting in an office at this 200+ person company in central london on £10,000 a month. It was so bizarre - i felt like such a fraud.

I was really nervous because i was so shit:
This is how shit i was
- i had not even used an IDE for my language
- i could not even debug the code in realtime as i had only worked on a live server before! no local set up!
- my coding practices were for me only as i had not worked in a team before
- i had rarely used a terminal
- everyone was on a mac and i was on a windows laptop with cello-tape keeping it together.


The first week was a nightmare. I was sure i would get fired... my mindset was " if i can last 2 weeks that will be £5k - which will give me another 5 months of business run-way"
I was so shit and slow but luckily the guy who hired me liked me enough and shielded me from being fired (perhaps because it was better for him as i would not step on his toes), he was so fast at coding it was ridiculous, he would do the work i couldn't do. He was on less than half of my salary and was doing 90% of the work :/
He had written all the software which only him and myself were now supporting/contributing to. I worked my a$$ off and did overtime each night while calling friends to help me with the tasks i had. I would spend the day trying to work out what i had to do, then spend the evening on the phone with my geeky friends trying to do it. I sometimes slept in the office which was hard because of the air con flicking on and off every 30 seconds.

Long story short i managed to last the whole 6 months of the contract and i cleared 12k of debt (living in london is expensive). And i was also paying my business partner cash to keep the business going (£1k a month) so he had funds to live off.

After the contract i got back to coding the software knowing i had a massive runway. The best bit is that i learned so much at the job that now i feel like an actual developer and my business software is so much more robust and being developed a lot faster. I know for sure that i would not be able to solve the complex challenges this business has without the skills and tools i learned in London. It pays to learn at least some skills from the pros.

So now i am back to cutting the tree with a sharper saw. I have just taken out another cheap loan so i can continue for another 6 months, which after that point i will be able to start taking regular profit from the business.
As a side note i also just maxed out two credit cards to fund the business for cash flow :eek: . So i am actually in more debt than before - £22k+ (without student loan) but i am confident the business will yield cash in the next 6 months as its already making profits. It's a roller coaster , but i'm willing to do whatever it f**cking takes to be free.
No J.O.B. for me - f**k that noise!

Still smashing the gym 3 -5 times a week. 15 body parts a week ~ 6 hours a week.

Getting a job to learn how to code in the real world was really undervalued, i highly recommend it , even if it's just 3-6 months (so you can see all the tools used to make coding easier) like IDE's logging software, testing packages, git tools, workflow tools e.t.c..

- i think i got the job because i didn't realise how much i didn't know (didn't realise how much i was blagging)- and as they were slack on vetting me i slipped through the net. Also i was in really good shape, so i looked like the kind of guy who gets shit done, i really think that it says a lot. It's taken 20 years of going to gym to get there but it really has paid off big time, i strongly recommend it if you are a guy. I also think that no matter what happens (people leave you, you get financially crippled) if you are in good shape you can bounce back easier.

So next challenge is to start taking monthly profits to live off before my loan runs out....then it will be time to scale.
 

Ess

New Contributor
Jan 22, 2020
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Have you considered raising your prices and implementing an affiliate/reseller program to help you scale?

Ie, I sell your software to a business, I get some kind of kick back. Could be monthly revenue share, one time fee, etc. This way you can basically hire comp only sales people.
 

BellaPippin

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This is weird and sorry if I'm making it about me a little but I needed to read something like this today. Insurance politely let me know that I'm about to get hit with a 20k bill because they deemed my hospital stay innecessary. If I'm not successful at appealing idk how this is gonna affect my planned house-hack and my plans of being able to at least work less hours with some tenant income. I've also never been that much in debt. It's good to know you've come back. You worked super hard, I take off my hat. Good things await for you.
 

trustTheProcess

Contributor
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Nov 1, 2017
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Have you considered raising your prices and implementing an affiliate/reseller program to help you scale?
I sell your software to a business, I get some kind of kick back. Could be monthly revenue share, one time fee, etc. This way you can basically hire comp only sales people.
We have implemented referral program but we don't sell software so can't increase the price.
We don't have anything to sell, the software is free. The software is free a.i betting software which technically doesn't gamble, instead it converts the free promotion bets given by bookmakers and turn them in to real cash. We then all share the profits. The software makes each of our users at least £50 a month - three years we have been doing this successfully and paid out over £70k so far. If you are in the UK you can join for a passive £50 per month, but i guess it's not worth it for most people on this forum. I have been reaching out to blog owners to do a strategic partnership, so far its going pretty well with a 10% response rate from the cold emails.

Will do a big update soon , still grinding it out coding and getting new users for the software. We will be hiring in August, which will be a massive exciting milestone after three years of being in business.
 
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trustTheProcess

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Nov 1, 2017
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UK
This is weird and sorry if I'm making it about me a little but I needed to read something like this today. Insurance politely let me know that I'm about to get hit with a 20k bill because they deemed my hospital stay innecessary. If I'm not successful at appealing idk how this is gonna affect my planned house-hack and my plans of being able to at least work less hours with some tenant income. I've also never been that much in debt. It's good to know you've come back. You worked super hard, I take off my hat. Good things await for you.

Hope you are climbing out of debt, make's me apprecirate our UK free health care. I just got super lucky to be fair, roll of the dice with that contract job. I am now back at home at Momma's for free while launching the business that has taken three years to develop. Living at home with your Momma at 39 is not ideal, but stops me climbing more in to debt. Hope you are debt free soon!
 

trustTheProcess

Contributor
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Nov 1, 2017
15
89
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UK
Mini update:
Knowing it takes time to build any decent business i've waited 4 years on the current project.
The software we have created is really sweet (free lottery software that guarantees £25 per month for UK residents) and know we are rolling it out to the masses. Something tells me i should have proven the demand 4 years ago but i was convinced everyone likes free money so no need to market research! i never learn....we will see how it unravels.

A cool marketing trick i found : -
Post on facebook "Free amazon voucher for X mins of your time for a survey"
Then you get time with people, face to face through messenger to get their true feedback about your product, and perhaps they also may like to become a customer (its a soft, sneaky way to sell if you don't like selling). £10 may seem a lot but for my model its perfect and really worth it. I worked it out after facebook declined me placing adverts - so this is a small hack which in fact turns out to be better than just advertising because face to face time with people is great for seeing your business through their fresh eyes and getting new ideas.

Im still ploughing on, it's hard to stay fully motivated from social deprivation. Fantasising about suicide is regular occurrence for me, perhaps that is a signal to move on, but 4 years in i can't stop now....trusting the process.

One annoying thing is that i'm now 40 and still grinding it out from momma's house to save rent. I would love to have my own place, but why waste the rent when i'm just working anyway? No time for a girlfriend while smashing the business so no point in paying for my own space. Anyone have a take on this? Perhaps my own place would energise me more, but would cost me business funds otherwise spent on marketing.

"Trusting the process" is HARD

holla if you hear me!
 

Mathuin

Provide Relative-Value or Die Trying
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Fantasising about suicide is regular occurrence for me.
Hi man, maybe think about speaking to the Samaritans on 116 123.

I would love to have my own place, but why waste the rent when i'm just working anyway? No time for a girlfriend while smashing the business so no point in paying for my own space. Anyone have a take on this? Perhaps my own place would energise me more, but would cost me business funds otherwise spent on marketing.
There is certainly pros and cons to both. If you really need the capital for your business, then staying at home may be best if I doesn't have too much of a negative impact on your mental health.
 
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