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EXECUTION Mon_fi's progress thread

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mon_fi

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Hey,

Here's my progress thread. I had been looking forward to writing it for a long time now. I will journal here about my journey from graduation to fastlane business, applying the principles outlined in TMF. In order to take pressures off my own shoulders, I will only talk about what I have done, and the next step I need to take.

Context
I graduated in June 2020. In September 2020, I came to Poland for holidays, loved it, found a job and decided to stay. I will start my very first "real job" (I have been working student jobs since I was 16) in October in an international company here in Poland. My salary is slightly above Polish average, but nowhere near what I would make in Belgium (about 900€ /month). This is the bottom of the bottom, a job that will enable me to pay for rent, food and the gym, which is, comparably to the rest of the world, actually quite good!

Is it idiotic to go work in the former Communist block while everyone is moving west for "better living conditions"?
I know it is weird, but I'm actually much happier to be making so little money (about 5.75€/hour) compared to what I would have made in my home country. At least here, if I do something wrong, embarrass myself, make a big mistake or even get fired (that happened before), I will not feel stressed or pressured because I can always go home. Had I been handed a very big job with a very big salary, I would have been much more stressed about the idea of potentially losing it. This therefore takes all the pressure off my shoulders, and I feel freer.

The other thing is that I have much more value in Poland than I did in my home country, because literally no one makes the conscious decision to choose to make a 900€ salary instead of 1500€ . Belgium being a country with very good living conditions, everyone wants to go there, which increases competition: while I had to compete with the French, German, Dutch, Greeks, Spanish, Polish, Lithuanians, Bulgarians and well, other Belgians for unpaid internships and slowlane jobs in Brussels, I compete with legit no one in Poland. My skills and background are rare, and I can offer that to people. Even one of these big accounting firms which wouldn't dare consider my resume for an internship in Brussels, offered me an interview for a job in Poland. It's nice to feel desired (btw, if you really really really want to work for a company in your home country but you can't, go to a country where people make less money and where that company is also established. It will suddenly be much easier.)

While my sister called my moving here idiotic, here's what I believe: if you want to build a fastlane business, whether you make 900€ or 1500€ now does not matter because the slowlane will not make you rich anyway. A slowlane job's function is to pay for food, health and shelter. I guess time will tell whether this statement is right or not.

The first step: the foundational job

The first step on a fastlane road is the foundational job. Checked. Now, I need to develop specialized labor to increase my worth/hour. I intend to teach the languages that I know, for about 10€ /hour, which will be significantly better than my hourly wage at my job. The more students I can get at once, the more money I can make (until I teach an entire class?). That money will pay for the next step, the development of a specialized skill. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Once I find my first student, I will write it here.

Best,

M.
 

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Rabby

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Is it idiotic to go work in the former Communist block while everyone is moving west for "better living conditions"?

No, it's not idiotic. The need is higher in places where quality of life can rise to meet neighboring countries. Need is the basis of opportunity.

if you want to build a fastlane business, whether you make 900€ or 1500€ now does not matter because the slowlane will not make you rich anyway. A slowlane job's function is to pay for food, health and shelter.

And to learn skills and gain experience that you can use for a fastlane business.

Now, I need to develop specialized labor to increase my worth/hour.

And eventually, the value of problems you'll solve for people without being tied 1:1 to your hourly labor.
 

mon_fi

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I have placed ads on the local Craiglist to find students to teach to. I have read a couple of threads on copywriting before writing the add, focusing on students' problems and telling them how I can help them.

Also, my parents are building an airbnb, so I watched videos to learn how to build a landing page with Elementor and got to work. I am very proud of the result, I can now build landing pages, footer and header in Wordpress without too much efforts. Web design is a lot of fun. I think I might use my new skills to build another website and try to sell the tinder course I had put on Udemy. I'm thinking about giving the course for free, but hiding behind a paywall the 40+ practical examples. I may also offer live coaching sessions for X euros/hour.
 

mon_fi

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In random order because I wouldn't know where to start, here's what I have been up to:

- I never found any students to teach French to so I went straight to building my Tinder website. I rewrote the entire course, made new videos and built the website entirely with wordpress elementor, which took me at least 6 hours of YT tutorial to learn.

Building the website took me 7 days. The content is good but the copy needs to be revised, so I am reading cashvertising, which I almost finished.

The next step will be to learn digital marketing to see how I can increase traffic on my website.

Looking forward to it!

- I have now written 78 articles on my blog and plan on reaching a hundred by the end of this year.

-I read on this very forum of someone that republished their articles on Medium so I tried to as well.
I had never been on the site before. It actually taught me quite a lot about freelance writing.
Anyway, I signed up for the partner program and republished 29 of my articles there. Reading on Medium also taught me content marketing, and I began to understand what makes an article go viral.

- I did an experiment and went a week without consuming content.

Holy sh*t!!!
That improved my mood, my creativity, my sleep but above all...that decreased my tinnitus!!!!

The consequence is that I'll probably never read the news ever again unless it is written from a positive mindset.

This media blackout led me to find out about the protests in Warsaw only when I got out of my apartment to investigate why there was a helicopter circling above my building.

- I found out how you can get Spotify Premium for 4 euros a month.

Step 1: go to Poland
Step 2: open a bank account
Step 3: sign up for Spotify in Poland

You're welcome : ) (I suspect Spotify Ukraine or Bulgaria will be even cheaper).

- I've found out that when I am tired to produce content, all I need is to shift and consume a tiny bit of it and that is enough to stimulate me back into production again.

- I guess most of what has changed is my mindset. Quitting the news was great, no one ever influences me negatively now. I found myself to be a positive person...to my own surprise. It also drastically improved my productivity (probably gained 2-3 hours a day) and decreased attention spam.
The only thing I use my phone for is whatsapp, messenger, mail, tinder and revolut.

I am thinking about downgrading actually.
 

Raja

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@mon_fi what's the end goal. (talking about value creation not being rich)
 

mon_fi

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@mon_fi what's the end goal. (talking about value creation not being rich)

The end goal is to shift my mindset and prove myself I am capable of bringing value outside of a slowlane job by making money independently as a "freelancer".

I am not there yet, haha.
 

mon_fi

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I have just published my 100th article on my blog. Overall, I have written 160 000 words since February 2020. If we take into account the two theses I have written, that is 200 000 words in one year. I think I could triple that if I were to write full time.

Now, the number of people that read me is impressive: 0. Lol.

I have learned the hard way that "build it and they will come" is not true.

I have further learned that if you want to promote your writing, you have to spend 80% of the time doing so - and 20% of the time actually writing.

Ok.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Tinder website is almost done. I have revised the copy, made it mobile-friendly, and corrected the many mistakes since I have discovered Grammarly.

I have also changed the business model and decided to sell the practical examples section as a one-time payment. I don't think many people would have bought a subscription anyway. I wouldn't have.

Now, I have no clue how I am going to promote it. That's my next challenge. Traffic.

-------------------------------------------------------

When I was googling some French stuff, I found out about an unfulfilled blog niche. I bought the URL 5 minutes later, but I really wonder if it is reasonable to be having my normal blog, my tinder website, my third project, and a 4th one.

It's not that I don't have time, but I want to focus to offer people quality. And I suck at multitasking.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have never had as much fun building my own products. This is great. I actually feel guilty because it doesn't feel like work. It is not always easy, but still much easier than the slowlane.

Speaking of which...I quit my slowlane job. At least, I told the company I wouldn't prolong past the 3 months trial period.

I have applied to paid internships in Belgium and estimate my chances to get in at 70%.

If I miss it, I don't know what I will do. I guess I'll have to double down on writing and start making money this way.

I plan to have a look soon at the 15 days freedom copywriting thread from Lex. I suspect I could apply some knowledge to the French-speaking market and make it work this way.

English-speaking sales and marketing material is very effective. I think knowing it gives me an edge over the rest of the writing competition in the French-speaking market.

I have also read a couple of blog posts in French. There were many mistakes - and not great to read, to say the least.

Knowing what I know, I seriously think I could deliver honest value to French companies doing marketing content and copywriting.

There is only one way to find out...
 

mon_fi

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I quit my job in Poland end of December 2020 promising myself to never ever have an office job again. I came back to Belgium on Christmas Eve.

At 26, I ended up jobless, broke, and with absolutely zero will or wish to do anything.

I wasn't depressed, nor lost. I was just blocked. Not to give myself excuses, but the loneliness I experienced in Poland hit me hard. I didn't really understand what the hell I was doing there in the end. I couldn't remember why I had come to Warsaw. All I knew was that I wanted to go home.

I spent the last two weeks of 2020 and the first two weeks of 2021 agonizing on the couch of the house I was staying at, looking for energy, discipline, motivation, and the ONE thing that was going to enable all of the other things.

They were nowhere to be found.

I had to make a change somehow. So I updated my diet, felt better, started a morning and gratitude journal, bought an air fryer, and used the energy it gave me to get myself back on track.

After a lot of hesitation and thinking, I decided to learn copywriting very well for my Tinder website on one hand and to monetize the skill on the other.

I spent the last two weeks of January and early February reading copywriting books, summarizing them, and built myself a copywriting structure made out of three parts: research, where I answer questions regarding the product; writing, where I write the 13 parts of a sales letter; verification, where I answer other questions to make sure the copy is good.

I then translated the structure into French so that I could get jobs in French.

Today I signed up on thee websites to get paid French writing jobs. We will see how it goes. To be honest, I am not so sure about this copywriting thing because I do not see where it will lead. I will earn a bit of money...and then what? It's not a business. It's not fastlane either. Maybe I should better focus on my Tinder website, since it is the most advanced money-making project I have at the moment. Then I could focus on the next step, like building an actual fastlane business instead of wasting time learning how to earn freelance money.

With that thought in mind, I decided to quit my blog today. After 200 000 words and 120 articles, it's time to reflect and make a decision.

Here's why I am stopping it:

I did it all wrong
I never chose a niche, never tried to look if what I was writing was already being written anywhere, my SEO sucked and overall, my ideas were probably too weird and abstract to be read. I started the blog writing for myself, then I shifted writing for other people. At the end of the day, the articles I wrote for myself did better than the ones I was writing for others.

I still do not understand why, nor how. I just know results in general always go the opposite of my expectations.

Where is this leading?
Likely nowhere. I was writing because I enjoyed it and needed to communicate my ideas somehow. But it was taking time, no one liked my stuff but for me, and besides entertainment and mere mental masturbation, it didn't fulfill any purpose. I am still glad I did it because I learned sooooooo much and had to figure out a bunch of other stuff, but it has now become a black hole for time and mental resources.

Yesterday I bought a new URL because I had a new idea for a blog I wanted to write, with a niche this time: freedom.

I was going to write about freedom. I thought I'd divide the blog into three core principles

- Lifestyle and philosophy
- Business and money
- Health and relationships

I was going to sign up for hosting, but somehow, had some doubts before hitting "pay now". I decided to wait a bit and think about it.

Then, 10 minutes ago, I understood why I was hesitant: I have no f*cking clue what the hell I am talking about. I am at the moment as dependent as a newborn, own no business, been struggling to build muscles for years, and have no real friends. I would be the worse one to write and give advice on freedom. I first need to attain the lifestyle before even pretending I could teach it.

I follow a couple of people on Medium giving cool advice about freelance work, money hacks, etc. The reason why they have readers is that they know their shit. I don't. I am someone who writes about business but who has never built a profitable one (except that time when I got paid to create PP presentations my classmates didn't want to make).

All I know about business is what I read in books. I could tell you how Warren Buffett got rich, but no one would give a f*ck about it because I am just vomiting what I have read somewhere else. And I can't prove I know what I talking about since my bank account is as empty as a black hole.

I know I have action-faked a lot lately. Thinking about it, it's not so much failure that I fear. Failure is easy to deal with because nothing changes. Success though, isn't.

One of my biggest fears, besides lacking money, is not to be up to the task.

What if my Tinder website works and people start asking me questions I can't answer? What if I give wrong advice? I am paralyzed at the idea to produce work which is not valuable to anyone, and for which I shouldn't get paid as a result.

So, that's something I need to work on.

Maybe doing a couple of paid jobs on freelance platforms would help me out deal with that limiting belief.

In the meantime, I'll start an internship at the EU next week so that I can earn something. The internship will last 5 months. So I better find some way to earn cash by the end of July, or I ll have to find a slowlane job. And I really don't want to.

I have a couple of plans and ideas up my sleeve. I just need to choose one and focus on it like my life depended on it. I need to make it the sole purpose of my life, and stop being afraid to succeed at it.

I need to cut loose the projects that I like but that are not leading anywhere. This is not serious, and I need to get serious now. I need to start believing I can earn money and be financially independent.

Tomorrow, I am going back into SEO because the ranking of my tinder website sucks. I need to figure out google analytics. And do keyword research and this type of thing. I guess focusing on my tinder website is the best I can do at the moment since it is my most advanced project. Once the website ranks high and got great copy, I'll be able to run ad campaigns, which will be a good occasion to learn how it is done and test the website. Then I guess I'll have to tweak the thing around until it works.

Once that works, well...guess I'll have to start a real fastlane business. It's time to do it now or I'll never see the end of it.

I have been writing about the book Personality isn't permanent for 8 days now. And the reason I am stuck is because I do not know where I am going. I have many goals, but hesitate every day about the one I should focus on.

So Tinder website it is. The quicker it is done, the quicker I can focus on the next purpose, and the quicker I'll be able to build something sustainable.

It's a marathon, not a sprint. And yet, in both cases, if you stop, you lose.
 

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