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INTRO From the slums of Poland to one of the best paid software engineers in the world

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New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 5, 2017
Las Vegas, NV
So excited to finally join this community. I've read The Millionaire Fastlane last year which has become my go-to guide for recognizing real business opportunities from bs. Recently, I revisited MJ's work with Unscripted . This time around it pushed me to start reading the Fastlane Forum.

I learned to code when I was 10 years old thanks to my mom. She was building a computer program as her thesis project in chemical engineering. Around 2000 I saw for the first time how to make a computer do knowledge work for you and got absolutely fascinated. The most thrilling part was building something out of nothing - kind of like Legos. Shortly after I've built my first computer program: a catalog of special moves for videogame Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3.

I'm not sure when I transitioned into learning web development and Search Engine Optimization, but by 16 I was building websites for local customers and optimizing Google search results. It was good pocket money. However, I was young and was more interested in everything else than working. This was the first big mistake in my life. Eventually, I lost all my drive and customers. I was too lazy to put in the work.

At 18 I graduated high school and got a job in the tech industry as a junior developer and SEO specialist for a small web development company in Warsaw, Poland. In six months I more than doubled my pay by becoming the loudest technical person in the business. Back then my ego was huge. I thought I knew everything about my field and that I'm the best person that happened to this business. Unfortunately, I didn't. I didn't know anything about sales, marketing or even making solid technical decisions. The management of the company wasn't great either. The company eventually bankrupted with me being the last standing employee before they closed the shop.

I then worked as a software engineer for a range of companies in London, UK and San Francisco, CA. In the process, I learned my craft much better. For the first time, I met people who were better engineers than me. I was able to recognize that and open myself up to learning from them.

In 2015 I moved to Las Vegas, NV and worked as a Lead Developer of one of the major sportsbooking companies out here. Deep inside I always knew that having a job is a life of modern slavery. Looking back at my first attempts at entrepreneurship when I was a 16-year-old kid, I was embarrassed I failed at it. For a long time, I was telling myself that working a software engineering job is my dream come true and I'm a badass for doing it. Especially with no college education. However, it's only when I experienced the lifestyle of Vegas, I realized I was not. A lot of new connections with people who hustle and create outstanding businesses showed me that I could do better. Much better. I opened myself up to listening to them and seeing that I am equally capable of building a business of my own. At 26 I started experimenting with learning how to make money myself again, rather than rely on a job.

I went through a series of attempts at "make money online" type businesses - e-commerce, coaching (other fields unrelated to this forum), but nothing stuck. I gave each of them a 3 months trial run to judge the demand for my product or service. Nothing was really going off.

About two years ago, I quit my fulltime job at the sportsbook as I received a much more attractive opportunity as a contractor for one of the big startups in the tech industry. I didn't hesitate. The new contract was fully remote, better paid than my job at a time and working on Open Source software. Plus, I couldn't stand how stuck in the past the company I was working for was.

Around that time I also came across a business mentorship mastermind very much in line with the work of a software developer. It took me six months to research it and realize it's not some bs scam. Eventually, I joined and started using what I was learning to build out a software development house of my own. In 6 months I went from nothing to hitting my best month of around $20,000 of revenue at around 80% profit margins. Half of it was from the contract I already had, but I did sign a couple of more customers. I was working long hours, building out a sales team and a development team. It was going amazing and if I would've kept it up that way I'm sure the company would be bringing $100,000 / month revenues.

Unfortunately, in May 2018 I messed up. My drive vanished. I had a hard time finding developers who would take the workload off of me. I was the CEO, the CTO, the CFO, and the only salesperson at the same time. Additionally, my business and I got unexpectedly attacked in somewhat of a media smear. In my personal life, I broke up with my girlfriend and focused much more on dating again. All this put together has resulted in me working less and less. I was losing my customers, losing my team, losing my business. The only thing I could think of is running away. So I did - I went to travel for six months, doing barely enough work to survive for the last customer I had left. I've built up more and more debt and set myself up for negative net worth. It's not crazy amounts, but enough that will require me to save every penny for the next three to four months to pay it off.

Now, I'm back in Vegas. Working on saving up capital to pay off my debts, ready to learn from my mistakes and take another attempt at building my software house.

I've known about the Fastlane forum ever since I read The Millionaire Fastlane but reading and participating has been on my to-do list forever. Going through Unscripted reminded me I need a community around me. I'm still a part of the other mastermind, but I believe the Fastlane forum will give me a different perspective as well.

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