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solyom

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From this month I've made a change in my monthly schedule: I'm dedicating the first workday of every month to strategy and administration.

This will be the day from now on when I don't do anything else than evaluating the previous month and doing the important-but-not-urgent administration things that I tend to postpone for months if I am not forced to do them...

Why I started this thread?
  • I want a place where I can follow my own progress. I am planning to post here once a month and check back where am I compared to the previous month.
  • Why publicly? It will give me less space for excuses (as I don't have a boss to report to, I tend not to take my own deadlines seriously enough).
Where am I now?

Currently doing 3 things:
  1. Freelancing: this is how I make 90% of my income. My monthly income is not too big (cca. $2K/mo), but where I live it's enough for a middle-class family. I don't really plan to increase this kind of income significantly - as this is mainly for paying my monthly costs.
  2. Writing a book about my profession: started writing it in late 2017. It is 90% ready now, however, I didn't really have time to progress with it in the past month due to the 3. point below.
  3. Writing a software: the target audience of it is 50-70% the same as the book's, so I am planning to sell them on the same website, using the same mailing list, etc.
I have about 2-3 hours daily altogether for points 2.+3. (my fastlane-style business), while spending the rest (4-7 hours) on 1. (freelancing).

My goals for 2019:

1. Freelancing

Now I have 5 clients, but want to reduce this number to 3 by the end of the year. 2 of these 3 are fastlane businesses, and not only they are the easier to make them pay me, but also I can learn a lot from them while working on their systems.

The rest has to go by the end of the year. I'll finish my project with one of them soon, so it will be no problem and am on the way to convince the other one to choose another freelancer.

2. Book

The goal for this part is to finish it and set up everything that's needed for selling it.

I don't care if I won't sell a single copy of it this year - I just want it to be 100% ready.

3. Software

The idea for it came from a client of mine earlier this year. I developed an early version of it for him as a freelancing project.

Then I told about it to another friend of mine. She said: "wow, it sounds great, I need it, too".

Then I occasionally read in professional forums that people are looking for the functionality my software does and started to think it would be a good idea to make it more universal and sell it with yearly licenses.

The only problem is that it still needs some work to make it market-friendly. I started the work and am closer and closer every day to publish it...

Now I am working on some features my friend requested (which will be useful for others as well). Once these are ready, I'll invoice her (so the second sale is on its way).

While I wrote in this thread that I'd like 20 licenses sold by the end of the year, now I can see that it would be a too big chunk for this year. However, 5 licenses can be a doable goal (as I am expecting lot of customization / dev works in the first times).

Why I want to go fastlane?

I don't want big toys like a Lamborghini (sorry MJ :)), living in a castle or travelling around the world. My main motivation is TIME. To have time (and energy!) for all the things and people I love: my hobbies, my family, my friends - without worrying how I'll pay my bills.

To get out of the current situation where I make most of my money by selling my precious hours.

In other words, to become FREE.

I can see that with projects 2.+3. I can achieve it - by automating and later maybe delegating things.

Action plan for August:
  • Freelancing:
    • I am finishing the project with one of the clients whom I don't want to work with any longer.
    • Also, sent today a message to the other one that I won't have time to work with him in the foreseeable future and I'll help him with the transition to another developer.
    • I have plenty to do on Fastalane Client A's project that will launch publicly later this year
    • Also have smaller tasks for Fastalane Client B - so lot of things are going on...
  • Book:
    • Finalize my lead magnet
    • Have some final illustrations to add to it
    • 4th (and last) check: to make sure all the info in it is consistent
  • Software:
    • Finish the current development sprint that makes it suitable for my friend
    • Invoice my friend once it's ready
    • If have some time after finalizing the book, add some functions to it that will help selling my book (just to have some synergy)
I'll add an update about my progress early next month.
 

NMdad

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What's your biggest challenge, and how can we help you?
 

solyom

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Thanks for asking.

My biggest challenge at the moment is product development. I always find that things need more time to complete than previously estimated.

Don't really know how you could help me, as it's up to me to find some more time to make things happen faster. I'm taking measures to optimize my resources - but it's often difficult when you want to keep balance between your family life, your job (freelancing) and your entreprenurial side-projects (with family being the no.1 thing on my preference list).
 

solyom

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Update:

I have accomplished the following things in 2019 August:

Freelancing:
  • Wasn't my strongest month in freelancing. But I definitely needed some rest from it as I felt signs of burnout on myself. At least I had enough time to work on my fastlane projects + recover somewhat.
  • Dumped all my weaker clients. Kept only the 2 best ones.
Book:
  • The Lead Magnet is online
  • Added the remaining illustrations to the book
  • Did the 4th check and read-thru. Need to finish the appendix and the whole thing can be sent to the designer.
Software:
  • The sprint mentioned in my previous post was completed
  • I didn't invoice her finally, because I want to make it sure first that she makes more money with it than how much it costs. She actually is a great social connector, so can be a good affiliate partner in the future. I decided to postpone this financial transaction a bit. Especially that the software still needs some important parts to be implemented before becomes marketable.

Plans for 2019 September

Freelancing:
  • For Client A I have a list of tasks worth of $7-8K until the launch in October. It will keep me engaged in the next 2 months.
  • Also some smaller tasks for Client B. Not planning to look for new projects in the next month.
Book:
  • Finish the Appendix
  • When it's ready, send the book to a pre-selected group of pre-readers
  • Also send it to the designer, so she can plan its look and the covers while the pre-reading happens
  • Read some books on content marketing and set up an action plan for publishing the book (only an e-book version first)
Software:
  • Add some UX improvements to it
  • Some minor improvements (the book has the #1 focus this month)
---

Anyway, I'm happy to see that most of the items from previous month's list are now completed :)
 

solyom

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Update:

Accomplishments in 2019 September

Freelancing
  • Another weak month, due to a 10-day family vacation. But at least I had a chance to read some books on content marketing, which will hopefully help a lot in getting more visitors to my site.
  • Made a partnership with a local web development studio. I am going to outsource part of my projects. I am hoping a lot from this model because what I really enjoy about my freelancing job is consultancy and selling.
Book
  • It had my main focus this month. Finished the appendix, so its content is 100% ready
  • Sent it to pre-readers. Now they are reading it. Actually one of them already ordered a consultation based on the raw copy :)
  • The designer is working on it
  • Read books on content marketing, but didn't set up yet the plan for introducing the book
Software
  • Added some minor improvements. No big changes this month.
Plans for 2019 October

Freelancing
  • For my existing 2 clients I am still doing the projects myself.
  • I am planning to get 3 new clients in October with the new outsourced model. If it works well with my new partners, I may outsource my existing 2 projects to them. The goal here is to reduce my time involved in the execution of projects, while make it more scalable in the long term (if succeeds, I can look for other partners, too).
Book
  • Collect the opinions / reports from the pre-readers. Incorporate them into the book if needed.
  • Finish the designs of the book
  • Create a sales page for the book on my website
  • Plan the intro campaign (not sure if I'll publish it this month, but the goal is to have everything in place for it this month)
Software
  • Will add some modifications to it to make it able to support the sales of the book.
 

solyom

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Update:

Accomplishments in 2019 October

Freelancing
  • Got a new client with good budget to spend in October
  • I know I was planning to onboard 3, so this is only 1/3 achievement. I started negotiating with another client, but they are waiting for their previous developer to finish the project the next one relies on. Didn't have time to look for a 3rd new client.
  • So now I have 3 returning clients, one of them partly outsourced. Seems like this shift to operate as an agency will need a bit more time than expected.
Book
  • 3 out of 5 pre-readers have sent me their reports. Need to collect the remaining 2 (I'm in touch with them, they are near to finish it).
  • Talked to a book marketing specialist this month. He gave me great ideas for the launch.
  • Designing and text wrapping phase is still ongoing
  • Sales page is 80% ready
  • Collected ideas for the launch
Software
  • The requested modifications were added to it
  • Got a comment from a beta user that she likes it very much and would definitely recommend it to others. Great news, it assures it in me that I'll have to give more focus to this software in the near future (once the book is out).
I am not 100% satisfied with the results of this month, I didn't reach all the goals I planned. However, still had some progress in all fields.

Plans for 2019 November

Freelancing
  • Keep the 3 existing clients
  • Get a new one that orders at least a $5K+ project. 3 new clients / month seems to be a too big chunk at the moment - so focusing instead on finding a quality one that spends bigger amount of money on our work.
  • There is a chance that I'll lose my outsourcing partner in the near future. Our relationship is excellent, just they are becoming better at their marketing, so maybe at a point they'll be able to fill up all their gaps in their capacity by themselves. So need to keep an eye on other possible partners as well.
Book
  • Collect and add all the recommendations by pre-readers to the book
  • Finish the Design & Wrapping phase (50% ready)
  • Finish the Sales page (80% ready)
  • Get an ISBN number for it
  • Proof-read the book once again (with all the designs and layout in place)
  • Launch it
Software
  • Create a callout page for beta testers. The goal is to collect cca. 20 beta testers who can give me valuable feedback about the software. In exchange, they will get a free 1-year license for it, so eventually they can become the first buyers.
 

solyom

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Update:

Accomplishments in 2019 November

Freelancing
  • Unfortunately, the new client I got in October moved back as they wanted to re-think their plans.
  • While I had discussions with other prospects, none of them resulted in new projects yet. This month wasn't the best one in terms of freelancing. Still having the 2 existing clients.
  • About to sign a new contract next week, so there is a very probable new project starting in Dec.
Book
  • All the recommendations collected
  • Design and Wrapping ready
  • Sales page is 98% ready, just need to change 1-2 images and we can launch
  • Got my ISBN number
  • Did the proof-reading and found a page that needs some re-working. However, it won't take longer than 1 hour
  • Started writing a sales page for consultations - that will be the next level offer for those who read the book
Software
  • Added some features that were necessary for the book launch + some quick bugfix
  • Unfortunately didn't have time yet to create the beta callout page. Its copy is partially done, but still needs a lot of work until it can be published
Generally, I am satisfied with what I've achieved with the book in November, but should have better results with freelancing and software dev.

Fortunately from now on I'll have less work to do around the book. That will give me extra time for other fields + I expect to spend less time on looking for new clients once the book starts to convert them into consultation clients.

Plans for 2019 December

Freelancing
  • Looks like I'll have 3 active clients in Dec
  • Get a new one that orders at least a $5K+ project
Book
  • Make the last corrections based on the proofreading
  • Launch the sales page with the ebook versions
  • Write at least 2 guest blog posts for popular blogs in the topic (already agreed on with the blog owners)
  • Start creating the printable versions
  • Finish the consultation sales page
Software
  • Create a callout page for beta testers. The goal is to collect cca. 20 beta testers who can give me valuable feedback about the software. In exchange, they will get a free 1-year license for it, so eventually they can become the first buyers.
 

solyom

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Way to go! Talking the talk and walking the walk. Good luck and crush it
Thanks, Lu.
However, I always wish I could move forward a bit faster...
(it's so hard to recognize if I'm just too slow, too perfectionist or just creating too many expectations for myself)
 

solyom

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Breaking news!

Last week I published the ebook's sales page and made my first sale today!
 

solyom

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2019 is over. 2 things that I had to realize after it:
- Things were progressing much slower than it was expected originally.
- People I talked to were really enthusiastic about the products I've been developing. So even if things were moving forward slower than expected, I have more and more certainty that I am moving in the right direction (which was not really true for my previous entrepreneurial attempt in 2016-17).

Accomplishments in 2019 December

Freelancing
  • Now I have 4 active clients. More than it was expected last month. One of them is outsourced, and another one is half-outsourced.
Book
  • Sales page for the book was launched on 10th December
  • Had my first 2 sales! One of them was for a guy who I don't know at all.
  • Added a very generic page for consultations on my website. Not the sales page yet, however, had some progress with it at least.
  • The design and wrapping of the print version is 50% ready.
Software
  • Made a lot of progress this month, however, still not there to be ready for the public beta (but getting closer and closer to it)
  • Got a prospect who is interested in using it via word of mouth. Will have a call with her next Monday.

Plans for 2020 January

Freelancing
  • I am happy with the amount of booked freelance jobs for the next 2-3 months, so no specific sales plans at the moment. I am doing it anyway only to buy bread and butter until my other 2 ventures take off. So don't want to put more energy into it than necessary.
Book
  • Finish the design & wrapping phase for the print version
  • Start looking for a press office
  • Write at least 2 guest blog posts for popular blogs in the topic (didn't have time for it yet)
  • Finish the consultation sales page
Software
  • Create the callout page for the public beta.
  • Be ready with the first public beta version.
---

At the end of each year I make some evaluations about what I managed to achieve in the old year and what I am expecting from the new one.

2019 was a bit tough year. The first one in a row for 4 years when I made less amount of money than in the year before. However, I had so big progress with fastlane projects that I am absolutely confident that the next few years will have some great possibilities for me.

I've made some calculations - and am happy about them - as it seems that the worst-case scenario is that I'll make as much money in 2020 as in 2019. On the other side, the best-case scenario is a realistically 50% increase in income compared to last year. Not a huge one, but it also contains increasing fastlane-type income to over 50% in my portfolio until the end of the year.

If I manage to make it, then 2021 will really be my year! Exciting times...
 

solyom

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I've started to read Unscripted . The part that really made me think was the one about the FTE. I really had to roll back my memories what made me decide: doesn't matter what the price is, I'll break out of mediocricity. And I found this memory...

It happened back in 2005 (I was 22 then) that marketing became my no. 1 field of interest. I've read everything, started to follow all the gurus in the field. I thought I found something that I would love to do as my job. 1.5 years later I got my first job as a marketing trainee at a local consulting firm.

The pay was very low, but I was happy as hell that finally I can work what I love to do!

I had this feeling for about 3 months... Then my work started to feel like a line of everyday routines. And I didn't understand why it was happening. Until then marketing (and the creativity and the data-driven decisions around it) was my passion, and now I started to feel that I didn't like it so much any more...

(TO BE CONTINUED)

---

Accomplishments in 2020 January

Freelancing
  • Doing it 2-3 hours/day. Taking on just enough projects to feed my family until my fastlane projects take off.
Book
  • Had another 2 sales ($26 income)
  • The print version's PDF is in front of me (I outsourced its design work to my wife). I need to review it when I find a bit of time for it. However, I don't want to wait too long with it...
Software
  • The public beta version is under inner testing. Will deploy it to my site this week, then to my friend's site next week.
  • Got 3 new enquiries from people who want to join the beta program. I'd like to have 20 active beta testers by May, so it sounds like a good start.

Plans for 2020 February

Freelancing
  • About to create a quote for a client
  • Another big project is in progress
  • Doing monthly maintenance for another one
Book
  • Need to review the printable PDF
  • Start looking for a press office
  • Write at least 2 guest blog posts for popular blogs in the topic (didn't have time for it yet)
  • Finish the consultation sales page
Software
  • Publish the public beta version
  • Create the callout page for the public beta
  • Grow the number of active users from 2 to 5
 

solyom

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... so after 3 months, my job became boring. And it took a few more months for me to understand why:

If you have an entrepreneur's mind, you won't feel good for a long time at any workplace. You'll crave for the limits to be removed from over your head.

So after 8 months I left my "dream job" and started my first business (it happened in 2007)...

(TO BE CONTINUED)

---

Accomplishments in 2020 February

Freelancing
  • Doing it 2-3 hours/day. Taking on just enough projects to feed my family until my fastlane projects take off.
Book
  • Had only 1 sale ($13 income)
  • Still in the process of reviewing the printable version. After a goal-setting workshop at the beginning of the year, I found out that my top priority for this year should be to have 50 regular users of my software. So I am dealing with the book only when I have some gap between freelance projects.
Software
  • The beta test went public
  • I've created a documentation site for the software where people can also sign up for the beta test
  • Number of users is 4, which is lower than the planned 5, so I have to push its marketing a bit harder
Other
  • We have started a mastermind group with some like-minded local entrepreneurs. We are discussing our challenges and help each other. It was one of my dreams for a long time to become a member of such a group and now it's happening! Wow, yes!

Plans for 2020 March

Freelancing
  • My schedule is already full for March
  • Another prospect came with a well-paying project, but I had to turn it down due to too tight deadline / too overstuffed schedule
Book
  • Need to review the printable PDF
  • Start looking for a press office
  • Write at least 2 guest blog posts for popular blogs in the topic (didn't have time for it yet)
  • Finish the consultation sales page
Software
  • Finish the next major version. Will be tough, because there are a lot of feature requests...
  • Increase the number of beta-testers from 4 to 10 by the end of the month. I've joined a few FB groups where my target audience can be found.
 
Last edited:

Kid

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Congrats on your progress.

Another prospect came with a well-paying project, but I had to turn it down due to too tight deadline / too overstuffed schedule
Should you consider finding first employee?
 

solyom

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Congrats on your progress.

Should you consider finding first employee?

Thanks.

I don't really want an employee in the near future. I had a sub-contractor until recently, who now has a job and doesn't take on freelance projects any more.

On the other hand, I no longer want to move in the agency direction. After rounds of considerations, I found that it would take too much focus away from the software's development.
 

Kid

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On the other hand, I no longer want to move in the agency direction. After rounds of considerations, I found that it would take too much focus away from the software's development.
So you have something better in pipeline. Then that's clear.
 

solyom

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Accomplishments in 2020 March

Freelancing
  • Doing it 2-3 hours/day. Taking on just enough projects to feed my family until my fastlane projects take off.
Book
  • No sales this month. I really need to start advertising it.
  • Still in the process of reviewing the printable version... (slow progress due to other priorities)
Software
  • Version 0.7 (the major version I wrote about last time) is done.
  • Created a demo site for it, so visitors can see how it works.
  • The coronavirus has nearly nullified the software's target audience. However, I am not giving up on its development - it will be good once the markets are back. Now giving it for free to all users until the crisis is over.
  • Unfortunately no increase in the number of users. I really need to improve its marketing.
Plans for 2020 April

Freelancing
  • Schedule already full until June.
Book
  • Reviewing the printable PDF
  • Start looking for a press office postponed until the coronavirus crisis is over
  • Write at least 2 guest blog posts for popular blogs in the topic (didn't have time for it yet)
  • Finish the consultation sales page
Software
  • Fix the bugs I've recently found (v0.7.1)
  • Add a bunch of smaller improvements until mid-April (0.7.2)
  • Add the next major feature until the end of the month (0.8). I am planning to reach v1.0 by the end of June, then will slow down with its development in order to concentrate more on marketing.
  • Create a case study article with my first user.
  • Improve the design of the software's site's front page.
 

solyom

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Accomplishments in 2020 April

No big progress this month. The reason is that my daughter was born, so I concentrated more on my family.

Freelancing
  • Didn't spend too much time on it. I did only bugfixes / finished ongoing projects from March.
Book
  • 1 sale of the ebook version
  • Still in the process of reviewing the printable version... 50% ready with it.
Software
  • Version 0.7.2 is out.
  • Created a demo site for it, so visitors can see how it works.
  • Improved its documentation
  • Unfortunately no increase in the number of users. However, I postponed advertising it until I made sure that all the requirements of existing users / prospects are met. The reason why I decided like this is that I've just read the chapter about Need in the Unscripted book and it helped me prioritize: add value first, then sell.
Plans for 2020 May

Freelancing
  • I am expecting to get slowly back on track in May. I have enough projects to work on.
Book
  • Reviewing the printable PDF. Spending at least 5x30 minutes / week with it now, so it has better progress now.
  • Start looking for a press office postponed until the coronavirus crisis is over
  • Write at least 2 guest blog posts for popular blogs in the topic (didn't have time for it yet)
  • Finish the consultation sales page
Software
  • Add the next major feature until the end of the month (v0.8). Postponed reaching v1.0 until September - as I can assure its good quality only with a slower schedule.
  • Create a case study article with my first user (at least this is now scheduled for next Thursday).
  • Improve the design of the software's site's front page.
 

solyom

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I am approaching the final chapters of reading Unscripted . How liberating it was to read about the exact process of how I should launch my ventures (soft proof » prototype » hard proof » productocracy » promoting)!!!

I've been in some marketing groups for a while and I always had a refraining feeling when other members advised me to start pushing $ into ads.

I was feeling that my product was simply not strong enough to start pushing it. What will happen if - as the effect of advertising - people try my software and don't like it? Or they just stop using it after a month? Then I'll spend a lot of money on short-term users, which is not my goal.

My goal is to make them use it for years and pay me the license fees every month. It's better to have 1 loyal user than having 10 users who will leave me after 2 months.

I was also thinking about in which phase my products are and found out:
- Software is in the beta (prototype) phase. Few people are using it, they are using it for free at the moment, but I also know that many members of my target audience didn't try it yet because it lacks some important features. It needs about 2-3 months to build these in, then I will step forward towards hard proof.
- My Book, on the other hand, is in the Hard Proof stage. Once it gets printed, I can send out promo copies to influencers and then check if it can grow into a productocracy.

Question

I've been thinking a lot about how I could monetize my book further. My options are:

A) The common way how others are doing it is selling consultations / implementations on top of the book (using the book as an entry-level product). While it's good money, while I am hesitant about this model is that it still takes my time and its scalability is low.

B) Keep the book as THE Product and don't offer services on top of that. In that case, the book has to prove to be profitable by itself. In this case - if it proves its viability on my country's market, I'll get it translated to other languages, too - and that can add some scale to it.

---

Accomplishments in 2020 May

Freelancing
  • Had a strong month. The 3rd all-time best one.
Book
  • 2 new sales
  • 85% ready with reviewing the paper version's PDF.
  • Finally sent one of the 2 guest posts
Software
  • I've started rewriting the basic of the software based on a fantastic book for coders (Robert C. Martin: Clean Code). It made me push the next release a bit further in time, but it was a necessary step. When I started writing its code, I just added new features on top of each other, which made it a bit difficult to maintain after a while. So it was a necessary step and I am generally happy about it as I can see how easier it will be to add new features in the future.
  • Created the case study video with my user (however, not published yet)
Plans for 2020 June

Freelancing
  • No special plans. Projects are flowing in, I have enough work.
Book
  • Finish the review
  • Final touches (back cover content, a new block of text into a chapter, etc.)
  • Write the other guest blog posts for a popular blog in the topic
  • Finish the consultation sales page Not sure if this is my way to go (see the question above)
Software
  • Finish the refactoring (a few points left from the list)
  • Add the new features for 0.8 (there is a bunch of them on my list, my current users are waiting for them)
 

solyom

Contributor
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Accomplishments in 2020 June

Freelancing
  • Had progress with some onging projects.
  • Outsourced another project. It is in launch phase at the moment.
Book
  • 1 new ebook sale.
  • 100% ready with reviewing the printable PDF. Now the ball is on my designer's court.
  • Back cover content added.
  • Decided to go the B) way (see my previous post). It may mean less money for this project, but that income will be disconnected from my time.
Software
  • Refactoring finished.
  • Started adding new features for v0.8.
Plans for 2020 July

Freelancing
  • No special plans. I am doing / finishing ongoing projects. In the next 2 months I want to concentrate on my fastlane businesses.
Book
  • Write 2 blog posts (I reactivate my blog in order to make some traffic once the paper book is released)
  • Write the other guest blog posts for a popular blog in the topic (don't send yet, I want to schedule it after the release of the book)
  • Manage the designer's work.
Software
  • Finish and release v0.8 (not a small one, I have a long list of feature requests / bugfixes)
  • If I manage to do that, it is likely that I can release v1.0 by September (for money!)
 

MachineEarning

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Well done for being so consistent with this thread.

From this month I've made a change in my monthly schedule: I'm dedicating the first workday of every month to strategy and administration.

And from reading the dates of your posts I see that you've been posting here every month since.

What platform are you using for freelancing? Do you have your own website or do you use Upwork/Fiverr?

You keep posting accomplishments. What about failures? What hasn't worked and why? I imagine that you keep these internally but posting here can help other people as well as give your more insight into why the failure might have occured.
 

solyom

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What platform are you using for freelancing? Do you have your own website or do you use Upwork/Fiverr?

You keep posting accomplishments. What about failures? What hasn't worked and why? I imagine that you keep these internally but posting here can help other people as well as give your more insight into why the failure might have occured.

Thanks for your questions.

Freelancing: I have a website, but most of my projects come from a freelancer site (no, not Upwork or Fiverr - another one, that's a more closed club that has some entry barriers).

Failures: good question. I didn't really think about including them in my monthly reports yet, but it's definitely a good idea to think about why something has occured / not occured.

If I had to name some, I would say that during the last months my so-called failures were:
- I initially wanted to push my software live until April-May, and it seems like the real launch date will be September.
- The same thing with the book. According to the original plans it should have been on the market for a year now. However, it's still not ready.

Maybe I am tending to underestimate the time needed for my projects. Or just can't allocate enough time for them (this is a good question, too: to allocate more time to work I would have to take away time from my family - something that I don't really want now).
 

solyom

Contributor
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2020 July report

There was a huge change in the circumstances in the past weeks. The taxation of the type of projects I am doing (big invoices to small number of clients) will be a lot worse from next year in my country.

So I decided to concentrate a bit more on freelancing until the end of the year to gather some money with lower taxes. Then next year I'll shift towards book/software sales as those are less affected by the tax changes.

Freelancing
  • Got a new good client with fastlane-type business and enough capital
  • Doing ongoing projects for old clients
Book
  • Unfortunately no new sales
  • 1 new blog post written (2 were planned)
  • Unfortunately no much progress with the design (my wife is doing this part and she's very occupied with our 2 little kids at the moment. She will have a bit more time from September when the kindergarten starts)
Software
  • v0.8 finished and published, now writing its documentation
Plans for 2020 August

Freelancing
  • Make at least $4K in August from freelancing
Book
  • One new blog post
  • Manage the designer's work (if she'll have some time)
Software
  • Finish the v0.8 documantation
  • Re-design the software's website (the current site is a very generic one that I created just to serve the beta test)
  • Release v0.8.1 with some minor changes (requested by users)
 

solyom

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2020 August report

Freelancing
  • Reached the $4K goal, but not really how I planned it: about $3.2K came from freelancing, while $800 came from a tax return for a job I did before. I know, it's not a pure $4K, so I was a bit short this month... However, not a bad month
  • Signed a 4 months contract for a project that will make cca. $2K-$3K / month (with about 2-3 hours work / day)
  • Found a way to ease next year's tax burdens, so I have less pressure on me now than last month.
Book
  • No news
  • Failed to write a new blog post (I found it more interesting to develop my software, so wasn't in the mood to allocate time for it)
Software
  • v0.8 documentation finished
  • v0.8.1 minor version released
  • Created the wireframes for the new website, sent them to the web designer who will create it
  • Created a list of cca. 80-90 possible clients for whom my software could be a great value. I am planning to approach them one-by-one once the new website is up. The goal is to make the first real sale.
  • Started coding v0.9, which will become v1.0 once the new website is up (and will be available for money only)
Plans for 2020 September

Freelancing
  • Only $1K is planned for this month. The reason is that the big project mentioned above is going to start this week and I will be paid after each month.
Book
  • One new blog post. Actually someone has approached me recently and wants to write a guest post. So hopefully I will have it without actually writing it.
Software
  • Managing the website's design project
  • Developing v0.9-v1.0. As I think the software already knows enough to be commercially sold, I feel no big pressure about it at the moment. Once the new site is up, I'll release v1.0 with the feature set it momentarily has.
 

solyom

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2020 September report

Last month I reorganized my workflows a bit. The new rule is: I can do only 1 project in 1 day.

It means that freelancing clients have their own dedicated days, book/marketing has its own day, the software has its own day. We will see how it works out, but I can already feel some productivity improvements as I don't have to switch between projects so often.

Freelancing
  • $2K. Actually higher than expected.
  • New projects flowing in.
Book
  • We have some progress with the design
  • Guest post published
  • Written a guest post to the guest poster lady's blog
  • Started writing another post for my own blog
  • Created some banners that are injected into different blog posts and direct the visitors towards the book sales page. Now measuring what effect it has on the sales page visitor number.
  • Wifey has started a Facebook ads course, she will manage the book's ads once we launch with the print version.
Software
  • The software's website design is in progress
  • Developing the v0.9-1.0 line.
Plans for 2020 October

Freelancing
  • Full with projects, working on them
Book
  • A new blog post
  • Further progress with the print version
Software
  • Have the new website ready by the end of the month
  • Create the v1.0 release once the new website is ready
 

solyom

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2020 October report

I love my new work method. Only 1 project/day. It helps focusing on what I do, I can avoid multitasking, etc.

Due to the tax changes mentioned in the July report I took on a bit too much freelancing work. Normally I would have enough time to do everything comfortably, but with 2 little kids, I have very limited time resources.

When I sit down to work, I really have to work. As fast as I can. No Facebook, no Youtube videos, no reading ebooks, blogs, etc. Just sit & work before someone yells for help from my family.

And the best of all - I can never know when will a kid need me urgently (or my wife if she happens to need 3-4 hands for dealing with everything).

Pomodoro method? Ha-ha-ha.

Work/life balance? LOL!!!

Work 5 minutes. Pause. Continue after 37 minutes. Work 57.5 minutes. Pause. Help the kiddo with the toilet. 2 minutes work. Help with cooking while wife feeds the baby. And watch the bigger kid, too.

Anyway, I love my family, and they are the first thing on my importance list (before entrepreneurship / family). And I am really lucky that I can see my kids how they do their first steps, how they learn their first words, how they grow up - compared to the guy who leaves home before the kids get up and gets home just before dinner...

So, here's the monthly update:

Freelancing
  • $2.7K. Not the best, but not bad at all.
  • Told some clients that I'll raise some of my fees from '21.
Book
  • Blog post written
  • 1 ebook sale
  • Still not there with the print version. Looks like it takes forever...
Software
  • The software's website is about 50-60% ready
  • Developing the v0.9-1.0 line (still in progress).
Plans for 2020 November

Freelancing
  • Full with projects, working on them (can't wait till January when I can take a bit of rest from them).
Book
  • A new blog post
  • Hopefully the print version will be ready this month (we are really close)
Software
  • Have the new website ready by the end of the month (we didn't get there last month, but we had good progress)
  • As the website is going to be ready soon, I am finalizing the v1.0 package. Hopefully it will be ready this month, but my freelancing workload is currenly very high, so I'm not sure...
 

solyom

Contributor
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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May 26, 2019
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Europe
2020 November report

Well, in November I caught the covid. It made me 1.5 weeks out of work and still not recovered perfectly. I hope I get back my energy soon. While most of the symptoms are gone, I get tired just too quickly...

My monthly update:

Freelancing
  • $1.8K. Could've been over 2K without the covid.
Book
  • Progress with the print version. Some final touches to be done.
  • Strange, but I feel less and less motivated about this book. First, it already took just too much time to create it. Second, I'm feeling that the expected income from it is just too low - compared to freelancing or the software. However, it can have secondary effects - like strengthening my status as an expert. However, if the software succeeds, I think I will have even less motivation to improve my expertise in freelancing / consultant. The biggest pro for finishing the book is that I am so close to it. And why should I give up after putting so much work in it? I just don't think it's good to give up just before the finish line...
Software
  • The software's new website is about 70-80% ready
  • Finalized the feature set to be put into v1.0. Started to implement the last feature on the list.
  • Unfortunately had little time to work on it, but still had progress, because I managed to outsource much of the work around the new website.
Plans for 2020 December

Freelancing
  • Finishing a bigger ongoing project in December. Then, I can dedicate January releasing my software and taking some rest.
Book
  • A new blog post
  • Hopefully, the print version will be ready this month (we are really close)
Software
  • Website: no serious plans for December. I'll dedicate the whole January 2021 to the software release, so will finalize everything then.
  • Very close to finishing v1.0. Planning to be ready with it this month.

I big recognition: I should really work on less number of projects in the future. I have very limited time, so should focus a lot better. What I also realized is that this level of fragmentation is the result of my past decisions - and it takes time to roll out / finish everything.
It's shocking to realize how a not optimal decision can slow down other (most promising) projects in the future. As project often need months or even years to finish.
I have a friend who does only 1-2 projects each year, has usually 2-3 months without work, yet he earns about 2-2.5x the money I do. I think the key is taking only those projects that pay the best...
 

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