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psyguy

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F*ck this I'm done. I have been reading entrepreneurial books for years, action faking while working towards getting into a PhD program in clinical psychology and now halfway through the program, F*ck this.

F*ck working for a looney toon of a boss who is probably a bipolar sadist in their free time, F*ck working 60 hours a week for five years so I can hopefully make $130,000 one day. F*ck pretending that most of what I do has a real impact on the world (therapy yes, most of the research meh).

I am not quitting my program yet because I don't have a better option lined up and that's where I am seeking advice from you. I have carved out 2 hours each day to work on a business in my spare time and am reading every well-recommended entrepreneurial book I can find on audible during every other activity I do that doesn't involve human interaction or work. I know I don't know much in this area, so I ask you for help in improving my gameplan.

Step 1. I wake up at 4 am and write down 20 problems that need to be solved along with solutions and first steps to those problems. I'm guessing there's not a hard and fast rule as to how long to spend on this but when do you move forward/what are your criteria for moving forward to the next step?

Is it when you have the first viable option that you can execute?
Is it where there is the most value to offer?
Is it the easiest to execute and then leverage something better later on?

After I get 20 ideas I highlight the ones that aren't blatantly terrible (e.g., an excuse generator app for when someone asks you to do something with them and you don't want to was a "great one") and then spend the rest of my time reading about what's been done on that topic and the tech behind it.

The thing is a lot of this stuff are in fields vastly different and challenging from my own, which is fine because I love to learn, but I just want to make sure I don't go down an educational, rabbit hole while deluding myself I am taking action.

Any thoughts about how I can improve this strategy would be appreciated.

Last but not least, if you read this MJ thank you, you changed my life, and I hope to impact people at scale one day, the way you impacted me.

PsyGuy
 

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F*ck this I'm done. I have been reading entrepreneurial books for years, action faking while working towards getting into a PhD program in clinical psychology and now halfway through the program, F*ck this.

F*ck working for a looney toon of a boss who is probably a bipolar sadist in their free time, F*ck working 60 hours a week for five years so I can hopefully make $130,000 one day. F*ck pretending that most of what I do has a real impact on the world (therapy yes, most of the research meh).

I am not quitting my program yet because I don't have a better option lined up and that's where I am seeking advice from you. I have carved out 2 hours each day to work on a business in my spare time and am reading every well-recommended entrepreneurial book I can find on audible during every other activity I do that doesn't involve human interaction or work. I know I don't know much in this area, so I ask you for help in improving my gameplan.

Step 1. I wake up at 4 am and write down 20 problems that need to be solved along with solutions and first steps to those problems. I'm guessing there's not a hard and fast rule as to how long to spend on this but when do you move forward/what are your criteria for moving forward to the next step?

Is it when you have the first viable option that you can execute?
Is it where there is the most value to offer?
Is it the easiest to execute and then leverage something better later on?

After I get 20 ideas I highlight the ones that aren't blatantly terrible (e.g., an excuse generator app for when someone asks you to do something with them and you don't want to was a "great one") and then spend the rest of my time reading about what's been done on that topic and the tech behind it.

The thing is a lot of this stuff are in fields vastly different and challenging from my own, which is fine because I love to learn, but I just want to make sure I don't go down an educational, rabbit hole while deluding myself I am taking action.

Any thoughts about how I can improve this strategy would be appreciated.

Last but not least, if you read this MJ thank you, you changed my life, and I hope to impact people at scale one day, the way you impacted me.

PsyGuy
Welcome to the Forum!

Don't forget to share your progress, you can't tell maybe today or tomorrow someone's gonna be going through the same "I've-had-it experience". ;)
 

NMdad

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Many ages ago, I too was a clinical psych PhD student. Many mind games being played by profs, giving grad students random hoops to jump through to complete their theses/dissertations. I get it.

Welcome to the tribe! You're on a path that's far more under your control.
 

Valhalla

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After I get 20 ideas I highlight the ones that aren't blatantly terrible (e.g., an excuse generator app for when someone asks you to do something with them and you don't want to was a "great one")
That's hilarious. I can see the tag line for the app now "For the cowardly liar in all of us."
 
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psyguy

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Apr 3, 2019
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Many ages ago, I too was a clinical psych PhD student. Many mind games being played by profs, giving grad students random hoops to jump through to complete their theses/dissertations. I get it.

Welcome to the tribe! You're on a path that's far more under your control.
Haha small world and you nailed it!
 
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psyguy

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Depending on your actual workload for the psych thing you may have to watch out for burnout, 4AM is pretty early, remember this is a process so you want to keep that in mind.
Great point and figuring out an optimal schedule that is sustainable may take some time. I was actually getting up around 4am to work before this so it may just be seeing how much less work I can do for school without doing poorly and trying to relax in the evenings. Thanks for the advice!
 
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psyguy

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Thiago Machado

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While my previous message may have been simple, there’s a point to it...

Waking up at 4 am every day and brain storming ideas is a form of action faking.

And the truth is...

You shouldn’t come up with ideas.

Just ask the market what their problems are and they’ll give you the “idea”

I’ll give you an example...

There’s a client I sold a website too and the last thing on their mind was getting a website.

I had a casual chat with them and asked:

“What are some of the biggest problems you have right now in your business?”

They told me:

* We get too many manual inquiries

* Alot of that data comes incorrectly

* We can’t keep up with customer support a lot of times.

* And so much more...

Upon analyzing these problems, I knew how to solve them through a website and basic automation.

Suddenly they wanted a website ASAP!

You see... I’m selling a solution to their problem. The website is just a tool.

Try to start thinking about those 3 things:

1 person

1 problem

1 solution

And the funny thing is: I can now reach out to this niche and ask if they experience the same problem (scale)

Take things one step at a time and you should be good.
 

astr0

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I have carved out 2 hours each day to work on a business in my spare time and am reading every well-recommended entrepreneurial book I can find on audible during every other activity I do that doesn't involve human interaction or work. I know I don't know much in this area, so I ask you for help in improving my gameplan.
Sorry to disappoint you, but 2 hours a day may simply not be enough to even have a chance to succeed. Take this serious, decide if it's really important for you. If so you probably can assign it a higher priority and work more, if not then...

Spending a lot of time on books/idea is action faking. Try to focus on getting skills/info in areas that you really need for your current/next step. Do you really have to read every well-recommended entrepreneurial book to start a business?

an excuse generator app for when someone asks you to do something with them and you don't want to was a "great one"
Really interesting one, but does it have a NEED and solves a PROBLEM? Do people really lie that often to install an app for that? Is it ok to lie without a context? Does it that hard to come up with a more convincing excuse? How to monetize it?

Is it when you have the first viable option that you can execute?
Is it where there is the most value to offer?
Is it the easiest to execute and then leverage something better later on?
I've spent really A LOT of time generating ideas in the past. Have thousands of them in google docs. Some are successfully executed by others, some were executed and failed, some are still waiting. But I've started to execute only one of them and stopped in 2 weeks cause my partner thought it was a bad idea and quit. It has some strong competition already, but that's not the point.

Don't try to come with the BEST STARTUP idea. You'll definitely get a better idea later and risk falling into "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome. Startups are very risky, the market is not proven, the audience is not ready.

Finding a business model that works and improving on that is much easier and has a much higher chance of success. Someone has done it already - great idea validation. If you don't think "Billions or die trying" then that's probably the way to go. I think MJ has a topic on Invention vs Innovation in Unscripted.

Welcome to the forum! Hope you're here to stay!
 
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psyguy

Contributor
Apr 3, 2019
16
22
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While my previous message may have been simple, there’s a point to it...

Waking up at 4 am every day and brain storming ideas is a form of action faking.

And the truth is...

You shouldn’t come up with ideas.

Just ask the market what their problems are and they’ll give you the “idea”

I’ll give you an example...

There’s a client I sold a website too and the last thing on their mind was getting a website.

I had a casual chat with them and asked:

“What are some of the biggest problems you have right now in your business?”

They told me:

* We get too many manual inquiries

* Alot of that data comes incorrectly

* We can’t keep up with customer support a lot of times.

* And so much more...

Upon analyzing these problems, I knew how to solve them through a website and basic automation.

Suddenly they wanted a website ASAP!

You see... I’m selling a solution to their problem. The website is just a tool.

Try to start thinking about those 3 things:

1 person

1 problem

1 solution

And the funny thing is: I can now reach out to this niche and ask if they experience the same problem (scale)

Take things one step at a time and you should be good.
Wow, I'm really glad I joined this forum and thank you for elaborating on this! I just went through the 100 or so ideas I came up with, picked one, and registered the domain name. Now I will focus on executing. It will be a website and possibly app that pools and synthesizes information from other websites in order to provide a form of value for the client. It is based on a problem I have had in the past that pissed me off.
 
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psyguy

Contributor
Apr 3, 2019
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Spending a lot of time on books/idea is action faking. Try to focus on getting skills/info in areas that you really need for your current/next step. Do you really have to read every well-recommended entrepreneurial book to start a business?
Point taken, I was mostly just audibling when I am in the car or gym but that makes sense and now that I picked an idea, I will focusing on how to execute.

Really interesting one, but does it have a NEED and solves a PROBLEM? Do people really lie that often to install an app for that? Is it ok to lie without a context? Does it that hard to come up with a more convincing excuse? How to monetize it?
Haha sorry, I was actually being sarcastic on this and meant this was one of my bad ideas that I have no desire to pursue. :)


Don't try to come with the BEST STARTUP idea. You'll definitely get a better idea later and risk falling into "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome. Startups are very risky, the market is not proven, the audience is not ready.
Point well taken again and I appreciate you taking the time to help give me a reality check about this process

Finding a business model that works and improving on that is much easier and has a much higher chance of success. Someone has done it already - great idea validation. If you don't think "Billions or die trying" then that's probably the way to go. I think MJ has a topic on Invention vs Innovation in Unscripted.
I will look for this post, thanks.

Sorry to disappoint you, but 2 hours a day may simply not be enough to even have a chance to succeed. Take this serious, decide if it's really important for you. If so you probably can assign it a higher priority and work more, if not then...
I am and will, I think I can carve out 20 hours a week now. I guess the tricky part for me is when to pull the parachute on grad school...
 
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psyguy

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond, this is EXTREMELY helpful!
 

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I am and will, I think I can carve out 20 hours a week now. I guess the tricky part for me is when to pull the parachute on grad school...
I'm curious why this is a hard decision? Usually the issue is "when do I quit my job". The job being the source of income that keeps food on the table, roof over ones head, etc. This is an understandable concern. But why is pulling the parachute on grad school tricky?
 

Ernman

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PS: welcome to the forum. Lots of great people and even more shared advice in the many threads.
 
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psyguy

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I'm curious why this is a hard decision? Usually the issue is "when do I quit my job". The job being the source of income that keeps food on the table, roof over ones head, etc. This is an understandable concern. But why is pulling the parachute on grad school tricky?
Great question and they actually pay me to attend here (typical in decent PhD programs) so it is my currently my job/only source of income that keeps food on the table and roof over my head.

I am open to hearing more about the merit of leaving now but quitting my only source of income to pursue my first business venture with no experience, seems very risky, if not reckless. However, I do understand the value of "burning the ships" so to speak to catalyze massive action so maybe I'm just being a huge pussy.

Thanks for your response
 

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astr0

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My friend quit chemistry PhD a few years ago to start a software developer career. Now he's my partner and we're starting an IT company.

He was a very good chemist and probably still is, but he didn't saw the future in chemistry path. Also, in less than a year, his software developer salary got bigger than he could imagine getting in chemistry here in Ukraine.

am open to hearing more about the merit of leaving now but quitting my only source of income to pursue my first business venture with no experience, seems very risky, if not reckless.
Sure, think and plan carefully.
 

NMdad

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they actually pay me to attend here (typical in decent PhD programs) so it is my currently my job/only source of income that keeps food on the table and roof over my head.
So, way way back when I was a PhD clinical psych student, we grad students received a stipend of like $5,000 per year. We joked that we should apply for food stamps; I did, was approved, & was on food stamps while I stayed in grad school.

Point is, my hunch is that your PhD stipend is probably pretty paltry, and if it's meager, it'd be easy to replace. I.e., you don't need to replace a $100k salary.

You might want to look at @Andy Black's Who have you helped? thread.
 

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I am open to hearing more about the merit of leaving now but quitting my only source of income to pursue my first business venture with no experience, seems very risky, if not reckless.
I defer to NMdad's note above.
 
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psyguy

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So, way way back when I was a PhD clinical psych student, we grad students received a stipend of like $5,000 per year. We joked that we should apply for food stamps; I did, was approved, & was on food stamps while I stayed in grad school.

Point is, my hunch is that your PhD stipend is probably pretty paltry, and if it's meager, it'd be easy to replace. I.e., you don't need to replace a $100k salary.

You might want to look at @Andy Black's Who have you helped? thread.

I get it and agree that it's meager at 18k and easy to replace. My concern is that 18k is more 18k more than I would have if I quit school.
I do have 20k in crypto that I could tap but I would rather use that for a business venture versus the rent that I would need to spend a lot of that to live.

I say this humbly that I don't understand the logic of leaving a paycheck (however meager) to attempt something that I'm statistically likely to fail at my first go around? I am thinking I could switch labs (my lab works more than others) and could free up 10 hours a week which would allow me to pursue this at around 30 hours a week.

Why not fail under a cushion and leave when I have better odds of succeeding?
 

NMdad

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Agreed. So what can you do to start replacing your current income--while keeping your current job?
 

astr0

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Having 20-30 hours a week to work for your business is something. Definitely, enough can get a lot of things done and get some traction going. Then quit once you feel you have to and laser focus on it.

You probably thinking of business in background a few more hours a day while working on something else too.
 
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psyguy

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Agreed. So what can you do to start replacing your current income--while keeping your current job?
The plan is to launch the website idea I have ASAP and learn valuable skills that will translate to my next venture. Then, either succeed at this first attempt and drop out, or learn from it and try something better on the next run, succeed and drop out.

I just redid the name this morning after discussing it with a close friend last night/how she the name came across to her. It's more concise and I think fairs better for long term branding.

My next plan tomorrow is to outline the tech/functionality the site I would need and then weigh the pros/cons of learning it myself vs hiring a website developer.

The obviously pro in hiring the website developer is speed but the slower track of learning it myself would seem to have more long-term value. Thoughts?
 
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psyguy

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Having 20-30 hours a week to work for your business is something. Definitely, enough can get a lot of things done and get some traction going. Then quit once you feel you have to and laser focus on it.

You probably thinking of business in background a few more hours a day while working on something else too.
Hell yea, that's the plan!
 

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