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Anything considered a "hustle" and not necessarily a CENTS-based Fastlane

Oso

Contributor
Jan 18, 2022
20
23
What's good everyone.

I'm a web developer out of Chicago, IL furthering my dig into the entrepreneurial world. While I've yet officially introduce myself, I'm creating this with the dual-purpose of both an avenue to hold myself accountable, as well as a way to share my experience(s) with those interested.

Current Situation: I started a part-time, full stack web development bootcamp September of 2021 and graduated with my certification March of 2022. During my bootcamp, I lost my then job, and fell behind on some bills before landing my first developer gig (while still in my bootcamp, nonetheless). Unfortunately, I got the gig with a small business and it turns out, my boss is a psycho narcissist that consistently commits felonies. But that's another story.

Anyway, my car was repossessed a few days ago, and without adequate transportation, I'm more or less being fired (boss refuses to allow me to work remotely). My girlfriend and I need to find our own place ASAP. So, I'm currently jobless with about 30k in debt (6k being school debt). I refuse to declare bankruptcy, so near immediate success (to some degree) is my only feasible solution. So, having said that, let's make a checklist. A solid foundation is key and time is of the essence.

Resources I'll Have Day 1


* My final check (approximately $900 US; -$417 for a school payment; -$140 for a loan payment).

* A few pre-purchased domains (1 for my company, a few others as investments/project sites).

* Full stack web developer experience (specifically utilizing the MERN stack).

* A few developer friends I can lean on for developer help, job searches, recommendations, etc. Most of them have 10+ years experience and freelance.

* Access to a professional graphic designer (cash payments only, doesn't seem interested in partnerships/etc. but their work is phenomenal for what they charge).

Experience/Skills/Etc.

* Have a current life coach certification.

* Full stack developer certification (node.js, MySQL, React, express, HTML, CSS, jQuery, MongoDB, webpack, minor PHP).

* Former co-owner of a gaming shop.

* Content Writing.

* Small business consulting.

* Small business coaching.

* Beyond sharpened communication and people skills (comfortable with all people, often told I'd be a great sales person/motivational speaker/etc; improvement is always needed, however).

* Excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Ideas/Starting Points

While I need to figure out my personal financial situation ASAP, I have to actually add value and/or provide an excellent service. Making money to me is irrelevant if I have to screw people over to get it, lie to get it, etc. Long story short, it simply isn't in me to be a shitty person.

Gaming Industry


I have something monstrous for a specific sector of the gaming industry. Unfortunately, I currently lack the capital and developer experience to handle it myself. Furthermore, due to the nature of the industry, I doubt it would produce income quick enough to avoid my entire operation sinking. So for now, it is being temporarily shelved.

Domain Flipping:

I had originally considered purchasing a domain and running a private domain sales website. Domain flipping is insanely lucrative, usually comes with low startup costs, and it isn't overly time-consuming (your biggest time sink being research, however this can eventually be outsourced). I have a tremendous amount to add to this, that I genuinely believe could blowup quickly, however once again it comes down to the simple fact: I don't have enough startup capital to make a dedicated domain worth it. Having said that, I have a few domains listed on Flippa, as any income right now will help. Moving forward, as I continue to generate new domain ideas, I will purchase domains here and there to flip. However, since I'm not doing it to the degree I'm aiming for, I only commit a few hours per week to this.

Business/Life Coaching/Consulting

As stated above, I have experience running a business, and have semi-recent experience having 2 business coaching clients. It went well, I overperformed and overdelivered, however there was definitely potential there and I had received nothing but positive feedback. While I loved being a business/life coach, the fact is it takes up entirely too much time, and small business owners can often times be insanely difficult to deal with. I'm ultimately aiming for something with a little less human interaction.

Course Selling and/or Community Forming

This is an area I constantly bounce back and forth on, as I love the idea of this. I can grow a community for gaming, developers, freelancers, entrepreneurs, etc. Unfortunately it all goes back to the same problems as before: I want to limit human interaction, and content creation is an area I'm unfamiliar with, thus the startup time would be significantly increased, I have no current presence, etc.

When I am more financially stable and have the free time, however, I will be aiming to grow 3 different communities.

At the end of the day, had I decided to go with consulting/coaching, I would've inevitably began creating some form of audience/content.

Travel Industry: This leads me to the idea I've decided to run with. While I cannot give you the idea itself, I have no problem giving you, at least, the industry. Having said that, this project is wonderful for me, for the following reasons:

* Has the potential to immediately generate value to clients while simultaneously generating income.

* Market is seemingly open. The competition is fierce and plentiful, however 99% of what they're doing is outdated and/or poorly executed.

* Has the potential to generate passive income, regardless of season.

* Can utilize both Google Ads and Affiliate links.

* Has near unlimited different ways to both provide value and generate income.

* Business itself is 100% expandable/scalable.

* Operation costs are rather low, so having a small team (1-3 people, max) operate the business within ~6 months is entirely feasible (at which point, I'll be expanding on the business via replicating the process in other markets). Global release is, once again, entirely feasible, though that's a future goal.

* From the developer standpoint, there's enough intricate pieces that I need to relearn/practice/research, however it isn't overly complicated to the point of requiring months of development time. I'll also be putting my business on my developer portfolio (2 birds, 1 stone; cause landing an 80k/yr job would definitely give me capital to start other business things) so there's that.

Current State/Immediate To Do List

* Since I'll potentially be hiring people within the first month or so, I have to have an LLC. So, once I've closed out on 1-3 sales, I'll be immediately turning my company into an LLC. I've found who I'll be doing this through (for those interested: Zenbusiness). They offer nearly everything I need, and they seem to be the most adequately priced.

* Additional Node/Express practice: While I've worked with back-ends before, Node and Express seem to be my biggest weaknesses in regards to my developer skills.

* Begin researching sales scripts, lead generation, etc.

* Begin putting together employee resources (dropbox, pay system, etc.).

That's where I'm at. Once I have my schedule corrected, I will be finding time to consistently post updates here, approximately 1-3 times/week, depending on progress. Always open to answers questions as I move along.

Thank you!
 
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Oso

Contributor
Jan 18, 2022
20
23
Hey everyone! I've had back-to-back 15 hour days. Figured I'd post an update before crashing for the night.

Today marks my second full day of freelancing web design/development, as well as overloading a side business. I'm still figuring out how to structure these updates, so we'll consider this iteration 1.

Web Design/Development

With my first 48 hours down, I've accomplished the following:


5x People interested in sales/marketing positions (that are also interested business mentoring, which I'll be offering for free)
3x Client meeting this week
1x Client meeting next week
4x Potential clients (outside of the above meetings, so a total of 8 potential clients)

Web Design/Development To-Do

* Finalize employee resources (one-drive, intake forms, etc.)
* Finalize portfolio
* Finish technical course (about 10 hours left)
* Finalize employee/client payment method (thinking PayPal may be my easiest option, for now)

Web Design/Dev Notes

Once I've landed/finalized ~10 clients, I have a connect that's going to discuss the possibility of content to help other developers/people to earn side cash. Truth be told, I'm not really a fan of this idea, for the time being, as there's already a ton of resources on how to do this, and what I'm currently doing is no different than the information that's readily available. Having said that, I do believe there may be potential here, if nothing more than based on the tech stack I'm currently utilizing.

Side Business (Travel industry)

* Finish initial website layout

Side Business Notes

After discussing this idea with my current roster of sales people, we established they're going to double-dip (e.g. find me clients for both web design and what I'm doing with this, for the same contract percentage). This enables me to grow two businesses, with the same team, while allowing them to double their pay, while learning the business that much faster. Win/win/win. If you aren't willing to help your team grow, you aren't a real leader (imo).

Other Notes


Otherwise I'm doing well. Beyond stressed and I swear my "to do" list grows more and more each day. However, for the first time in my life, I'm working for myself (and my team) and holy shit it feels wonderful. THE STRESS IS WORTH IT!

That's all I've got for this update! As always, please feel free to post/dm any questions.

P.S. I sold 1 domain for a profit of 800$. I almost shed a tear, ngl.

Have a groovy night!
 

Martinisawe

New Contributor
Dec 1, 2020
29
17
California
Hey everyone! I've had back-to-back 15 hour days. Figured I'd post an update before crashing for the night.

Today marks my second full day of freelancing web design/development, as well as overloading a side business. I'm still figuring out how to structure these updates, so we'll consider this iteration 1.

Web Design/Development

With my first 48 hours down, I've accomplished the following:


5x People interested in sales/marketing positions (that are also interested business mentoring, which I'll be offering for free)
3x Client meeting this week
1x Client meeting next week
4x Potential clients (outside of the above meetings, so a total of 8 potential clients)

Web Design/Development To-Do

* Finalize employee resources (one-drive, intake forms, etc.)
* Finalize portfolio
* Finish technical course (about 10 hours left)
* Finalize employee/client payment method (thinking PayPal may be my easiest option, for now)

Web Design/Dev Notes

Once I've landed/finalized ~10 clients, I have a connect that's going to discuss the possibility of content to help other developers/people to earn side cash. Truth be told, I'm not really a fan of this idea, for the time being, as there's already a ton of resources on how to do this, and what I'm currently doing is no different than the information that's readily available. Having said that, I do believe there may be potential here, if nothing more than based on the tech stack I'm currently utilizing.

Side Business (Travel industry)

* Finish initial website layout

Side Business Notes

After discussing this idea with my current roster of sales people, we established they're going to double-dip (e.g. find me clients for both web design and what I'm doing with this, for the same contract percentage). This enables me to grow two businesses, with the same team, while allowing them to double their pay, while learning the business that much faster. Win/win/win. If you aren't willing to help your team grow, you aren't a real leader (imo).

Other Notes


Otherwise I'm doing well. Beyond stressed and I swear my "to do" list grows more and more each day. However, for the first time in my life, I'm working for myself (and my team) and holy shit it feels wonderful. THE STRESS IS WORTH IT!

That's all I've got for this update! As always, please feel free to post/dm any questions.

P.S. I sold 1 domain for a profit of 800$. I almost shed a tear, ngl.

Have a groovy night!
Hey man congrats for the $800. And hell yeah
 

Oso

Contributor
Jan 18, 2022
20
23
Hey man congrats for the $800. And hell yeah
Thank you! To be honest, if I had ~5k worth of capital to put up, I'd scrap every idea I (currently) have and focus on domain flipping. I can't even begin to express how much I enjoy it and how lucrative it is.
 
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Oso

Contributor
Jan 18, 2022
20
23
Hey, I've finally figured out how I want to handle this thread with everything going on. Moving forward, I'll have my weekly update day be every Sunday.

Immediate Goals

Course Work


At this point in time, my biggest hurdle is needing to finish this YouTube course. I've had to put it off once or twice, thus leaving me approximately 10 hours behind. I cannot begin finalizing my freelance process and hire my sales people until I finish the course. I've given myself the deadline of having both of my courses completed by tomorrow night (5/23). I have a total of approximately 14 hours worth of videos to consume.

Freelance Business

Niche:
React Developer

Once my course work has been completed, I'll be finalizing the following processes:

* Finishing my portfolio
* Client intake forms
* Employee pay
* Employee training material

Personal Weekly Goals

* Research a simple foundation for a workout routine and diet
* Research local Muay Thai/Boxing gyms to join
* Complete a few minor, portfolio projects and launch them
* Commit to growing skills via focused practice (copywriting, technical, sales, marketing, etc.)
** Send out a few resumes/portfolio links to industry connects for potential employment

** Demand for competent React developers is seemingly endless. Most of these positions are full remote, and countless companies are starting junior developers at 90k or more per year. If I fail to find a developer job, I will freelance until I'm financially stable enough to focus on my company. If I succeed and find a developer job, I will be dropping all of my ideas to immediately pursue my company and primary industry, while working.

Projects

* My first travel website is nearing completed, and I am planning on launching it next Monday (5/30). I have a couple of local marketing/sales people that have spent all weekend generating leads. I will be touching base with them tomorrow (5/23).

Believe that's about it. I need to transform my company into an actual LLC. I also need to begin finding clients immediately.

Take care and have a groovy week everyone.
 

Oso

Contributor
Jan 18, 2022
20
23
Hey everyone,

Figured I'd create an early post as everything is moving rather quickly, and I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to post an update this weekend.

I was on a call with an associate of mine. While discussing freelancing/business/etc. he abruptly blurted out "why aren't you doing your assistant gig while doing dev work on the side?" Simply put: it was a moment of clarity and magic. I immediately began seeing the opportunity. This happened Monday morning (5/23).

In the last few days, I've accomplished the following:

* Finished both courses I was aiming to finish
* Began working on both my travel website and my industry website
* Secured 2 marketing people for my travel website
* Landed 3 virtual assistant clients

I've ultimately decided I will be plowing ahead with my virtual assistant freelance gig, while simultaneously evolving my personal web developer skills to create apps/websites, as well as grow my personal company.

Furthermore, I've realized I can teach people how to make incredibly money with virtual assistant work, thus I've decided to create content.

Content Plans

* Website dedicated to freelancing
* Udemy Course
* Podcast
* Newsletter

I have countless ideas for how to capitalize on content creation. That in mind, I was hoping @MJ DeMarco would give me permission to recommend/reference both his books and this forum to send people to. I'm aiming to eventually get to the point of having successful freelancers on the podcast.

Final thought(s): with everything going on, time management is my number 1 priority. I will continue aiming for my weekly update day to be Sundays. I've also realized I need to split my day into 2 parts.

Morning-afternoon: virtual assistant gig
Evening-late night: content creation, research, project building, etc.

That's all I've got for now. I hope everyone is well.
 

MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
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That in mind, I was hoping @MJ DeMarco would give me permission to recommend/reference both his books and this forum to send people to. I'm aiming to eventually get to the point of having successful freelancers on the podcast.

Of course it's ok, thank you for spreading the Fastlane message of freedom and autonomy.
 
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