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EXECUTION Freelancing + Web Design = first steps to the fast lane

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p31

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A thread to keep track of my plan.
My end-all financial goal is, based on Millionaire Fastlane 's goal setting calculation,
a business system that gets me $132,000/mo. (I don't know if that is revenue or profit.. gotta re-read that part), in the healthcareIT sector. I'm thinking in the area of health records, blockchain, machine learning.

After asking you guys for a roadmap to get there given my situation, I decided for now I will freelance hard, in general programming, front-end web development, backend/database/web scraping, data engineering.

Reading @Fox's post on web design agency, I see it as a natural progression of the freelance jobs I will do (mostly web dev).

Using 'The One Thing' goal setting, for now my 2-year goal is to pay off 80% of my student loan (I messed up my grad-school career - long story for another time)
Based on my full-time salary, I need to bring in about $10,000 extra per month. Daunting goal for now, but It's audacious and realistic enough. I hope to reach that one year from now.

My plan this month is to earn $1422 from freelancing gigs. Why $1422? That's my 6-month spending on extra stuff (eating out mostly). It's a promise to myself and a confirmation that I can do this. That's about four or five $300 gigs, which I'm assuming is doable. Mostly it's a psychological goal. In that sense I earned money that I'll invest back, instead of just using current cash flow.

Using that money, I can now spend $1422 to reinvest, first to build my mother's family business website properly, and perhaps some small content marketing efforts. That business HAS to go on and be stable for any of my plan to succeed.

Here's my next set of plans according to @Fox's schedule in (GOLD - How to Learn Code, Start a Web Company, $15k+ per month within 9 months):

- wk 0-4: finish UDemy course on web design + Angular2 while taking on Upwork freelancing gigs. I'm gonna plow through @SinisterLex's posts on freelancing and track his new progress thread.

- wk 6-10: create a website for my mother's business, and one more free design work
- wk 10-15: 1 job/wk on upwork for about <= $300/job
- wk 15+: sell to companies @ 2x $2500 jobs/mo
- wk 25-30: Jump to 5-15k jobs at two jobs per month

After two years, and having paid off 80% of my loans,
My gears will shift to what I really want to do.
I really want to set up business in the health data science/machine learning job sector,
so I will desperately look for any need that could be done as service. Or possibly reshape the web agency to gear towards healthcare business.

This is also the point where I reach the age I want to marry and settle down... I have no clue how that would work out since I don't think getting a gf is an option at this point. I'm sure it'll figure itself out.

So here goes the start of my progress. I want to post every day if that isn't too annoying - if it is just ignore this post :D
 

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Xavier X

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Healthcare is a massive industry with lots of potential to offer digital services right now.
High entry barrier, as far as getting your system/platform/software etc accepted and integrated. However, doable.

I'm no expert in the healthcare field, but I know one of the biggest concerns around digital processes is data security.
If this industry is your long term focus, then start learning advanced encryption methods as well.

Rather than creating standard websites for healthcare providers, I would focus on developing something that can be licensed by them.
For instance, a doctor-patient video conferencing platform for remote sessions. AKA telemedicine.
This already exists, but with minimal penetration and a great future outlook.

A few stats about that: Telemedicine to attract 7M patient users by 2018 — 12 statistics on the thriving market

Not all hospitals have the capacity to develop their own such conferencing platform. Which is where you swing in and put them on a monthly plan.

Regardless of what direction you go in the field, your own family doctor, dentist etc would be a good place to start.

All the best.


ps: A daily updated progress thread is futile. Except it's a thread by an over-caffeinated person day-trading stock or something.
 

p31

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Thank you @Fox and @Xavier X for your encouragement!
Yes, that's where I want to be - providing such SaaS products to the Healthcare IT sector.
I work in a genomics startup now and there are some ideas that always are left on the table - there's a lot of SaaS yet to be created.
Telemedicine. I'll look into this one. Thank you.

Short update today.
While listening to @SinisterLex 's video (Notable! - SinisterLex's - I Deleted My Upwork Account...) , I've created my Upwork profile. Waiting to get it verified, and also waiting on getting my bank verified as well.
 
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p31

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- wk 0-4: finish UDemy course on web design + Angular2 while taking on Upwork freelancing gigs.

[Last day of WEEK 0]

So based on this video(Notable! - SinisterLex's - I Deleted My Upwork Account...) of writing proposals, I created my first proposal.

Job was for data-scraping, perhaps to fill job positions in a new job board site. It's something I did often .. but for auto-downloading tv shows.

I tried to follow what @SinisterLex did in writing proposals (which was an eye-opener), minus all the personality type analysis.
The client seemed to be really knowledgeable in programming. I copied the needs the client wrote down, and bullet by bullet I tried to show what I can offer.

Following SinisterLex's proposal, I offered a free sample mini-project just to show my competency in programming.
For rate, I put down a rate lower than my salary/1000*2/3 (which is roughly what they said is industry standard).

My proposal structure was like this:

1. Address client in first time (found out in the review section of the client - tip from SinisterLex's video)
2. Explain I just signed up and therefore have no cred, but explain my experiences.
3. Sweeten the deal with free service that is smaller in scope
4. Explain what my experiences are that matches client's need in the job
5. Explain another point about what to do if web scraper doesn't work
6. Offer to explain more in depth about my ideas on Slack
7. PS part: offer my Github repository where client can check out my code

My Github really needs work.. I don't have any recent code, since what I code nowadays is company code.

There's my first proposal! Goal is to write one everyday.

Something to reflect on:

When I look at Upwork job listing, I really honestly envy them. Somehow they found a business, made it profitable enough to hire from Upwork, because business is growing. Probably not all of them are, but it makes me wonder. I want that. Right now I'm feeding their dreams, but I really want to be the client someday, letting everyone join my dream.

What scares me is that muscle -the muscle to create profitable businesses - might die off in my decision to do freelancing. But again, that's my emotion talking. I go back to the sorted out page where I wrote down my student loan, broken up into how $10000/mo can bring it down 80%. To do that, I need income fast. To do that, I need to do business that has only time as the cost, for now. This month's goal is $1422. Brain and mind, please don't forget that.
Suck it up and show up. Keep showing up.
 

p31

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@p31: What was your major? Computer science related one??
In short, yeah. It was Computer Engineering. But then again what it taught me was broad idea frameworks of what Computer Science can do, and a taste of different types of programming languages.
 

p31

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- wk 0-4: finish UDemy course on web design + Angular2 while taking on Upwork freelancing gigs.
[WEEK 1] Day 2
I received Unscripted , the book today. Can't wait to start reading it.

Yesterday, I messed up. I was dead, dead tired after staring at the monitor all day and coming home, to help with our family business (which never stops - I'm just on standby all day).

I had about 3 hours free time but I just kept reading through imgur.com. I hate typing this and exposing my lack of integrity to everyone, but I don't want to hide it either. I meant to write another proposal but I just didn't. Well then I re-read Rohan Gilke's 'Mental Bitch Slap' to re-affirmed my goal of starting Day 0 revenue businesses. As a developer I'm always prone to think Silicon Valley-style. no no no.

In my job (full stack developer), we are transitioning to Angular 2 JS (web framework currently gaining momentum) for some future projects, but schedule seems like it's gonna get shortened. Every company for hire wants this tech. I am going to get prepared both for my job and for Upwork by finishing both the web design course and the Udemy Angular2 course + book on Angular2 this month.

I think my path to get out of student loan is two-pronged: raising self-worth in the job market + freelancing my way to entrepreneurship.
In that sense, getting up to speed on Angular2 is actually more important.

My spur-of-the-moment priority list shifted a bit:

1. Angular2 : reach intermediate level within this month
2. Finish Udemy course
3. Do 1 proposal a week
4. Blog post about our family business

Lastly, a rant on all the business books I read.
- 10X Rule by Grant Cardone - idea was good. Everyone recommends that book. I liked it too. But then I found out he's a shady character - upper echelon (something level 8?) in Scientology. I even signed up for this $5 booklet he's pandering. I won't be following him.
- 'The One Thing' by Gary Keller - good Idea, focus on the 80/20 and do that one thing that will make the biggest impact. But... the next book..
- 'Decisive' by the Heath brothers (also wrote 'Make it Stick') - going through this but they say best decision come from at least one more options. I love to have them and Gary Keller talk about strategy. I'm so confused!

Gary Keller's idea would mean I'd only focus on Angular2.
Slightly imminent, bigger impact all around, both in Freelancing + current job + job market.

'Decisive' authors state before doing the decision, I need to think about at least one more feasible option/solution. Well that option is to do all 4 things listed in this month. My track record is really bad when it comes to amount of finishing stuff.

Then, maybe do 1 more thing in addition to Angular2? Udemy web dev course?
That would go against my goal of earning $1422 this month.
Was that goal not realistic? It's already Week 1!
Or is all this inner voice just myself trying to self-sabotage myself again into binge watching shows and reading Reddit/imgur.

Final decision: do all four things this month. And stop watching/wasting time.
Goal is 80% loan gone in two years.

This is for my parents, especially for my mom's tired day-to-day.
For my future spouse.
Break from the loser/pessimistic habit.
If I fail, fail doing so, and not fail by giving up.

Man, when I was in school with fixed test/exam schedules I was fairly good at excelling. Life is hard with all of this much freedom. Growing up is hard.

- End rant.
 

p31

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Jun 2, 2016
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- wk 0-4: finish UDemy course on web design + Angular2 while taking on Upwork freelancing gigs.
[WEEK 1] Day 3

Worked on a proposal for data scraping, which is what I did for hobby.

Had too much family work to do.
I recalculated my student loan. Yep, math was correct.
3 years of paying $10000/mo would make me free of my student loans.
I must remember future is pretty dim at this cash flow pace.
Mother is getting older. I got two years left until I set a course and join fastlane.
Must work hard.
 

p31

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You have $360K in student loans?
[emoji51]

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
You have $360K in student loans?
[emoji51]

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

Close to it. Behind me now - I gotta get myself fixed and deal with the huge mess. So thankful I'm on PAYE program so I don't need to pay more than 10% income, and since I earn dirt poor (seriously I suck at negotiation on salary - plus a transitional career made me a junior level app developer), I'm not obligated to pay. I still pay though every month of $400 now.. so I gotta find $9600 elsewhere. :S FML right? But hey this is also an opportunity. Somehow. (nervously laughing)
 

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p31

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Jun 2, 2016
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- wk 0-4: finish UDemy course on web design + Angular2 while taking on Upwork freelancing gigs.
[WEEK 1] Day 5 - Got my first UpWork job!

Okay. He said normally he would award it to more seasoned Upwork freelancers but he was IMPRESSED by my cover letter!!!!
@SinisterLex , thank you for changing my frame of mind.

Granted, this programming ( data scraping task ) is hard. But then again, it's what I do for hobby anyways.
I'm getting paid dirt cheap for what's gonna take about 3 full days.

I think I made the mistake of saying this:
" Yeah.. I'm probably gonna work on this on weekends... so I need two weekends.."
"My job started a new project so during the weekdays I don't have any time.."

why oh why did I relay my life to him? He's not my friend!
I realized I have this feeling, this .. "I won't still stoop all the way down, I won't bend my dignity" thing going on inside me.
I forgot my student loan situation.

So at the end, I said thanks, I addressed him as 'Mr.', and I think we ended the phone call in good terms.

I appreciate him taking a chance on me. He said he'll write a fantastic review once this is a good job done.
He said first timers are always hard.

It is, and it should be. I realize I don't have competitive edge, like there's this undertone of 'ugh I'm gonna fail him so why bother' negative thought going through my head. Interesting. I'm so conditioned to live as a pessimist. But why? Dude I really gonna light up more.

Anyways, here's to some late-night oil burning. Web scrapy scrapy.
 

p31

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- wk 0-4: finish UDemy course on web design + Angular2 while taking on Upwork freelancing gigs.
[WEEK 3] Done with first task! And some recap..

It's been a crazy week.
So I'm done with my first task. It was for $50 and for 6 days of always sleeping at 2AM, because work had to be done after my full-time work, after helping out with my mom's daily chores/business, and dragging myself to code from 10pm - 2am.

It was to scrape leads off of LinkedIn groups. I had to be reallly creative. At the end, I succeeded at about 70% of target number of members to pull.
But, 100% within realms of reality.


I had to put a pause on this.. because my work tasks have ramped up. We are to build an app in 8 days.
Company isn't doing too well, and they put a hold on any salary increase.

Long-term wise, although the industry is something I want to pursue, I have debt repayment obligations.
Which means, I think I should look for other jobs.

I'm fortunate this current project at work is making me learn really important front-end javascript libraries, which can be used
for other gigs in Upwork. Also it can be used to build apps.

--------- starting some personal reflections ---------

I realized that I am happy solving mental puzzles. Naturally, most engineers are like that. We want defined problems and some solitude to work through our minds to solve such problems.

Entrepreneurship, on the other hand, isn't about that. It's more like breaking off of the paradigm of being a consumer. Of breaking out of the status quo. To go deep in the waters, not minding getting dirtied up. Honestly, I'm not that. I shy away from the slightest interpersonal mingling. I try to fix it by making a point to go to the coffee machine to get coffee everyday, but saying hi to people in my church group, but it's hard. Then again, I feel like the change is there. It's almost there.

Hence the issues:

1) The best way to start a business is to find what people needs. Meaning I have to talk to people. I don't like that. That's a pretty big problem.
2) I want to start a business but I have a huge amount of debt. The risk of starting a business is itself large - why risk introducing perhaps me not paying the debt indefinitely?

Another decision paralysis setting in, on a lazy hot Sunday evening.
Maybe I can allow today to reflect and read..
 

p31

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Jun 2, 2016
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- wk 0-4: finish UDemy course on web design + Angular2 while taking on Upwork freelancing gigs.
[WEEK 3] Day 1 - Mulling over finances


Slight twist in my plan. My company is going head-first into one of the hottest tech stacks that kind of envelopes all I was going to learn anyways doing the Udemy courses. After I'm done with this two-week project, I'm probably 90% done with learning this highly sought-after tech skill. The other 10% is doing design, which I'll use the Udemy courses listed by @Fox .

The client in Upwork gave me a 5/5 star

So I had some bad anxiety attack coming up, after looking at my mother's aging face. A sharp tear came through my heart.
I can't help her. She can't continue this business that is taking a toll on her body. Max two years.
After that, the biggest provider of our family is going to be me. And I earn less than $70,000/yr.

So two days ago, I just felt like opening up (anonymously) to the group in Reddit that deals with personal finances.
I told them my situation, trying to get another point of view.

Here's what their harsh yet very helpful advice told me, to sum it up:

0. $10,000/mo debt repayment plan is bull$sh__. It'll never happen. Forget it. (To that I say - can't a man set a goal? I'm not saying I can do it now)
1. Continue to be on the income-base repayment plan (10% of salary).
2. Focus with all your heart, soul, social skills, into getting higher paying jobs.
3. Forget starting a business because that is like lottery.
4. Forget Upwork where everyone will be lowballing you.

They all make sense, and they all showed hard love in teaching me how dreamy I am.
As always, I appreciate them spending time to give advices. I didn't realize getting a better job is the most urgent goal for me now.

On point 3:

People who frequent personal finances probably don't frequent entrepreneurship groups except weird poor crazy guys like me.
But having gone from pre-MF to post-reading the Millionaire Fastlane , I have to say, slowlane is the ceiling if you want to save and plan retirement based on set rules and traditions.

My doubt is.. is it for me, in my financial situation?

On point 4:
Having done one Upwork project, it is wrong.
The client said I have good communication skills. That I have been updating the progress unlike others.
What @SinisterLex talks about was verified. Putting in time and maybe 20% of the heart you can give
fully puts you ahead of the pack.

So, that's my plan.

1. Until this work project ends, stop looking at any other business websites/blogs, etc
2. But do read "Unscripted " and finish off "Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth"
3. Focus in learning the skills using all of my free time.
4. Once the project finishes or reaching a hard set date (June 10th), start looking for jobs, actively applying for jobs, pre interviews, etc.
5. After June 10th, resume web dev Udemy learning + do data scraping gigs in Upwork

PS - I meant to just use this thread for writing my progress, not expecting people to read it. I'm a bit shy that people are liking the posts. Appreciate it, and I'll try to be holding myself accountable at all times for the stuff I write.
 

Everyman

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Yesterday, I messed up. I was dead, dead tired after staring at the monitor all day and coming home, to help with our family business (which never stops - I'm just on standby all day).

I had about 3 hours free time but I just kept reading through imgur.com. I hate typing this and exposing my lack of integrity to everyone, but I don't want to hide it either. I meant to write another proposal but I just didn't. Well then I re-read Rohan Gilke's 'Mental Bitch Slap' to re-affirmed my goal of starting Day 0 revenue businesses. As a developer I'm always prone to think Silicon Valley-style. no no no.

It's impressive that you aren't afraid to admit failures. I have always had this problem. Today I can say 'I shouldn't have done this, I wasted time on watching stupid videos etc...". After a while here you may develop a habit where your remorse is telling 'no, no ,no'. But the first step is to admit to ourselves! Nice read.
 

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