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SIDE HUSTLE WEB DESIGN Exiting the cubicle farm and taking Web-Design full time

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Read Rat-Race Escape!
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May 9, 2021
Hey all!

This is it! My first progress thread!
I'm a FWS student, having joined back in may, and I'm on the cusp of going from portfolio work to full-time client work this month.
It's sort of been hell, I was struggling with overtime at my dayjob, so I started waking up at 4:30am everyday to try and get work out the door before the dayjob hit.

As of this writing, I'm working with a 12m+ /yr Services company, and a small-business financial advisor (Both of whom are friends) as my two portfolio projects.
I also have an upstart product business that wants to partner with me, but they won't be ready to go until next year.
Both of the main sites are almost ready to go out the door. From there, I can start on maintenance, lead gen negotiations, and SEO to get a better handle for things.

How is it working out at the moment?
At the moment, I'm just using wordpress and flexing some of my old graphic design skills and copywriting experience to create compelling work.
I'm starting to notice a couple issues though:
- I don't know as much about SEO optimization as I should
- I don't have steady processes for repeatedly building deliverables yet
- I'm really nice and don't ask for money in trade for time or service when I need to
- I don't have a solid prospecting strategy yet, and a lot of coastal agencies are plundering my area for webdesign now

I have things in mind or how to deal with each of these, and they're things I'm facing as I reach them during my work.
I want to focus on answering all of these questions NOW, but I realized I'm probably getting ahead of myself and spinning into action faking.
At the moment, I'm just focusing on getting the websites out and building a common theme I can deploy and edit, and also learn about quickly designing unique, engaging websites for clients.
Once this is out of the way, I can focus on simpler jobs and work my way up over time.

What do my next 3-months look like?
Both of my sites will be roughly finished this week, I'll present both of them to the clients and ask for feedback and changes. If I play my cards right, I aim to get them to agree to maintenance packages (MRR, anyone?) and also ask for referrals.
I can't rely on the referrals alone though, and I've started to build up a list of businesses that look like they may need help.
Starting this week, I'll be e-mailing target companies in the morning, and since I've sent off an e-mail that morning, call them around lunch to ask "Hey did you get my e-mail?", I'm hoping this strategy can get me over some humps and allow me to have some good prospect conversations.

Over the next month, I'll also put my complete workflow process onto paper. I have pretty bad ADHD but when I can codify something into a list, it gets easier and more rewarding to work through.
There's also a TON of research into things like site analytics and how to send invoices and charge clients to be done, but for now I just want to focus on getting sales in so I can finally slam down my two weeks notice without worry about what could happen to me.

For now:
Pretty psyched about the whole thing. Compared to my past ventures, this is a lot farther towards self-employment than I've ever been, and I'm in a group with others who are seeing similar success or better that helps keep fuel in the engine. Got all of my medical stuff checked out and cleared early this year, and I am ready to quit once I start getting more market echoes and money into my bank account.
At this point, it's just up to me to keep at bat, and take it home.

Shout out to @Fox @GuitarManDan for leading the way and letting me into FWS and starting into a new phase of my life, thanks lads.
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Read Fastlane!
Jun 5, 2019
Well done for all the things you've put into motion and also for starting this thread!
I'm looking forward to following your journey and seeing great things out of this. You got this man!
Last edited:


Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
May 9, 2021
This hasn't been a good last month and a half for me.

When I wrote the intro post, I had decent momentum, but I hit the desert of desertion with some tedious project work and lost sight of my why. In addition, I chose not to quit for some strange reason, and I'm still getting my energy sucked dry by my dayjob.
About 3 weeks ago, I got a surprise bill for $$$$ I had to pay out of pocket, and I spent that week drinking and doing absolutely jacksh** and feeling bad about myself and my future prospects. -/excuses-

Thankfully, that week showed me I had hit a low point, and I was able to cut the drinking out and hop back onto my discipline wagon with fasting and curating my time.

Here's where I'm out, and how I'm changing myself to build positive momentum-
- I have not reached out to either client yet as their sites still need work.
- I have a list of 70 local prospects I've gathered during my lunch breaks, but don't feel I can interact with them until these two portfolio projects are completed.
- I cut my BS and have taken action to work on their projects everyday, I can afford to get SEMrush this next paycheck so I can overdeliver a bit.

Personal discipline:
- I've managed to cut out about an hour of screentime everyday and shut off all devices by 8pm so I can get 8ish hours of sleep and still wake early.
- I still end up browsing BS when I wake up early and can burn through 2 hours and immediately hate myself for it as I get dressed and drive in for my 8 of hate (dayjob).
- I'm making more of a conscious effort of double-checking short vs long term pain with any action I do now (Look up days 2 and 3 of personal power II on soundcloud) and I'm making much more of an effort
e,g. "I'm feeling tired, I could open up youtube and "relax" for a bit... but is a small dopamine hit now worth dragging out this task I'm working on? If I spend 5 hours watching youtube, am I not inflicting pain on myself in the future?"
- Managed to revive my meditation habit with a good 25 or so minutes a day

- Find positive action I can take during downtime at work to further my web agency path
- Cut out 80% of internet browsing, convert time into positive work and drawing (end goal is to not need the internet in free time)
- Get the stones to quit so I can focus 100% of my energy into the agency and not have to spend hours in traffic every week

I'm not out of the wage cage yet, I feel my veins bulging at the thought of being stuffed back into it tomorrow, but I haven't given up and I'm working on forward progress once again. This would be a lot easier without the self-distractions but what is life without challenge?
Wish me luck as I work for forward progress.

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