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Discussion in 'Forum Introductions (Who are you!?)' started by justacar, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. justacar
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    justacar Contributor

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    Hey, I just read both books in a week after having my FTE. I was fired 6 months ago shortly before getting married (at least I had time for my honeymoon). After 63 applications, I was just about to sign for a job I thought to be really great when they made a "strategy change" and got rid of the position altogether. Just after that, a recruiter approached me on linkedin with something I would have thought to be a great opportunity in the past. I told her that I'd rather slowly castrate myself with a butter knife than to ever be employed again... and also quit all other ongoing applications.

    I'm now working out regularly, changed my eating habits and lost 15 pounds. To support my family (instead of watching my accounts head towards zero), I've taken up a freelance consulting gig 1 day of the week (which is enough to cover all costs) and I'm working the remaining 6 days of the week on ideas. Currently, I'm somewhere between 8-10h / day. I'm guessing that'll go up to 12-16h once I know what I'll be working on. My problem is not finding an idea, it's deciding on / finding out which of the ideas can deliver the most value and impact the most people. So, polygamy - I need to pick one (carefully) and then stick with it. I'm ok on execution (need to improve, get organized better and be more disciplined).

    Here's my why:
    - I want to be able to care for my parents in their old age.
    - I want to give my wife the house she's dreaming of.
    - I want to spend time with my kids as they grow up.
    - I want to never - ever - worry about money again. Or ever work for anyone else again but my customers.

    Anyway, not quite sure why I'm signing up and what I'm expecting here. I guess it's a way to not feel lonely, since my peers & family probably think I'm crazy. My background is in computer science and I've done projects for big names in the past, so I could just go and find employment. But just the thought of that makes me want to jump out the window. So it's either succeed or die trying.

    edit: oh, and also - although i'm free of debt and can grind it for a year without doing any side work, i'm scared sh*tless. no one in my family & friends circle owns a business and in germany, we're indoctrinated to be good little employees.
     
  2. G-Man
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    G-Man Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Welcome. I also lost my job shortly before getting married a few years ago. Because I was scared, I took the first job that came along, which I regret. Stay calm and good to have you here.
     
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  3. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Welcome.

    An IT contract finished just before my wedding nine years ago (aged 38). I told my wife I wasn’t doing IT anymore and was going to have a go at this AdWords stuff I’d stumbled across. She cried, bless her.

    I’m *delighted* I turned my back on a decent daily rate and took the plunge. Your safety net is that you can get a job if needs be. When you find your path you may well take a job or freelance as an IT dude to just keep the money coming in. I actually took a couple of jobs to reskill and even another IT contract to get some funds.

    Good luck. Good to have you on board.

    EDIT: I like your Why’s. They’re exactly the same as mine. I also have an itch I can’t scratch - and lots of things I want to do and people to help.
     
  4. George Appiah
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    George Appiah Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for introducing your self, @justacar, and welcome to the Fastlane community forums!

    I'm never able to comprehend it when people say they cannot come up with any ideas at all. Every single day that I engage a business, I experience big flaws in their execution and I want to build a better mousetrap!

    Just add "I want to emigrate to Canada" to this bucket list, and you have my WHY :)
     
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  5. justacar
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    justacar Contributor

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    :-D Thanks for the support. My wife is actually in the foreign office of Germany & would like her next stay to be Canada. We loved it in Toronto. With the earth warming up, guess it'll be a good place to be.
     
  6. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Welcome to the forum! How do you balance work with having kids? I've got a 3 month old and he's a huge "distraction".
     
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  7. justacar
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    justacar Contributor

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    Balance... not sure I know how to do that or whether that's possible. Mine is 16 months old, he's going to preschool now, so he's away from 8:30 to 15:00. My wife picks him up and spends the afternoon with him. Short answer: I dropped everything except work and family from my life.

    I don't watch news (or anything else). I don't read unless it's related to sth I need to know / solve. I don't play games, listen to music, go out, visit friends etc. So my schedule roughly looks like this every day:

    4:30ish get up, start working
    7:30ish prep breakfast for the family
    7:45 get ready (shower etc)
    8:00 feed the kid, get him to preschool
    9:00 workout
    9:45 work
    17:00 prep dinner
    18:00 dinner with family, time with wife
    19:30 plan tomorrow
    20:00 work
    22:00 sleep

    this gets me to roughly 12h of work. I only work 4h on sundays (morning & night). So in total, it's 70-78h / week. unless I have a week with a one day consulting gig, in which case I can only do 60-68h / week. So far, I'm slowly able to keep that rythm and improve.

    My 3 biggest learnings:
    1) don't sacrifice sleep, health or family time. I see this as a marathon & need to pace myself.
    2) preparing ahead. When I do dinner, I also put some oat in water to prep breakfast. I lay out clothes for the next day. I try to be better organized in general.
    3) Use the little slots of time. I usually have an audiobook or my kindle handy while I'm waiting / going somewhere. Or jot down notes with my moleskin in my backpocket at all times.

    So it's the little things really. Once all the stupid time drains are gone, the days actually feel relaxed. I used to be a big gamer, I love comics, sci-fi etc basically anything geeky and nerdy. But when I had my FTE, I put that identity on hold.

    The best support is my wife. I told her that the next 4-5 years will be hell but if I can stick to butting my head against the wall and provide some real value to people out there, it'd be worth it. She's a tough cookie and is standing by me. If I had to fight her on this, it wouldn't work.

    So, yeah, no balance, but I don't feel distracted. Thinking back, it'd be tougher if one of us had to take care of him the whole day. Then again, babies sleep a lot.
     
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  8. Sadik
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    Sadik Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I love this post. This is something I so really really want to do. Have a schedule, organize myself. I can keep to a schedule for a few days but then I get distracted with Sci Fi or meetups with friends and it ends up messing everything up again for a few days... Thanks for the motivation man and ALL the best! You will make it, there's no doubt about it!
     
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  9. justacar
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    justacar Contributor

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    what helped / helps for me is to schedule my friends in as well (right now, it's every two weeks for a few hours). i was sick a few days ago and had difficulties to sticking to my schedule & concentrating at work. I fired up amazon prime as an old habit...
    but: nothing seemed appealing although there were a few shows and movies i didn't know. it just felt like a waste of time, so i got back on reading about influencer marketing.
    i think the "why" is the biggest motivator for me, plus I - literally - have nightmares about being back in a job or not making it. and i'm super angry at myself for having wasted 20+ years to wake up. if it's difficult to discipline, you're not pissed off enough. or as palpatine said:
    "i can feel your anger. it makes you stronger. gives you focus!"
     
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  10. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    100%. We’re no good to our family if we’re too tired, I’ll, or distracted when with them.
     
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  11. justacar
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    justacar Contributor

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    *** UPDATE ***
    So here is where I am after 1 month. First off, the schedule is tough to keep. I'll be taking a step back from moving the company forward and focus more on getting the schedule in & the habits down to be successful in the long run. As I see it, this is a marathon and I need to be able to keep going regardless of circumstances. Old habits still keep creeping back in & I need to make it more effortless.

    To the company: I've almost set up my consulting system. The consulting is just step 1 of the plan. The idea is to generate enough income with 1-2 days / week of consulting to keep investing into the real business. I now have 2 clients and I've generated about 10K this month, but haven't billed them yet (thanks to german tax bureaucracy). Those 10K are enough to pay all hosting, hardware, software, online platforms and content for the next year. Next year, I'll probably get another 30-50K of consulting business in.

    I will use my savings to cover cost of living (calculated around 25K for next year). Any revenue I'll make with the business (not counting the consulting) will be put right back to it to grow it like crazy, so I won't be taking any money out of the business in the first year (assuming it generates some).

    As to the business, I am down to 3 ideas, already started testing bits of them. I think it'll be a corporate training tool & program that I'll go with, simply because I know the demand and need is there, current competition exists (but sucks) and barrier to entry is quite high (lots and lots of work to get it right). Also, I think it can scale way further than the German and North American markets (lots of demand in Africa and Asia that is unanswered... but that's like step... 100?).

    Right now, I'm buying / building / setting up parts of the system that I want to put in place & automate. So, I'm learning about online marketing and sales funnels, community building, b2b sales etc. Lots of balls in the air. Got activecampaign to automate marketing, hootsuite and mention to build an audience, drift to engage customers, zapier for further automation. Just 4 weeks ago, i didn't know about any of those tools and why they'd be necessary for what I'm building in the first place. Lots of learning happening.

    Also, first three crash & burns:

    1) I gave a workshop at a very high profile conference. People loved it. I gave handouts & free content pointing to my website & signup page. People went at it... and the signup didn't work because I screwed up at connecting wordpress with the mailing program. I had a few people contacting me on linkedin about it. So, I succeeded in identifying demand (people running after me to buy) and I f***d up it actually selling anything because my process isn't working (yet). All in all, I invested about 40h and 60€, making 500€ total. Ah well, live and learn.

    2) I cooperated with another company to set up another workshop. Same principle as 1 - I'm using those events to identify and test customer needs, create and improve the product and to build an audience before I launch. Unfortunately, I was naive enough to leave the marketing of the event to the other company. A total of 7 signups (they were expecting 50ish). We postponed the whole thing and I'm taking over the marketing side. Burned about 300€ there.

    3) Sold my current client the (non-existent) training product. Got them on mural.co as a test environment / prototype of what is to come. They loved the presentation, but couldn't access any of it due to internal IT restrictions. I spent close to 500€ for the demo and the accounts and they can't use it. Should have checked with their IT first. Won't make that mistake again.

    So current status: very energized, loads of stuff on the wall to work through, a little worried that it won't create any revenue before the end of next year (which would force me to search & take more consulting contracts).

    Right now, I'm also thinking about pricing a lot. Most competitors offer something similar at around 300-400€. My offer will be around 200€ and I'm aiming for a total of 50K individual customers or 60-70 corporate customers in 4 years. That would get me to 10 million € which is my goal by the end of 2023. Writing this to strangers sounds pretty crazy, but it has become my morning mantra. But what's more, the financial goal is somehow becoming less important as I think about the value I could give to people. I'm curious to see whether I can create enough trust to have that many people invest their hard earned money into something I built. Don't get me wrong, I really really want to hit that goal and have started to work my a$$ off for it. But I'd also love to build sth that really helps people; sth they grow to love to become long-term customers of mine.

    I could do with a little more sleep though (any tips for a teething toddler? if you solve that one, you'll definitely become a millionaire - guaranteed!).
     
    George Appiah likes this.
  12. George Appiah
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    George Appiah Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for the update, @justacar.

    Totally awesome progress!
     

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