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EXECUTION September 2017 | Onwards & Upwards

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by mo3, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. mo3
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    mo3 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I finished TMF yesterday. Today I attended my uncle's funeral with the few remaining members of my utterly dysfunctional ancestral family and I am totally, emotionally wiped out.

    Reading TMF has opened up a cobweb-covered box of dreams I shelved a long time ago.

    I am going to re-read TMF, read Unscripted, make a plan and get going.

    But right now I am going to sleep because I've been up two nights with a sick toddler and I've been over far too much old mental ground from the past today, and I need rest. I'll be back with notes and plans, using this thread very selfishly as a public way to make myself accountable.

    Thanks for indulging me. I hope I can provide something interesting to read in the coming months, and if I can't, I'm sure you will all tell me ;)
     
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  2. Qstyle
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    Qstyle Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Sorry for your loss.
    Good luck on executing your plan.
     
    mo3 likes this.
  3. mo3
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    mo3 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    H'okay. I've slept off yesterday.

    I'll update monthly unless there is some serious breaking news in the interim so I don't spam the feed with daily musings.

    Below I've listed the things I'm doing in September 2017.

    It's basically groundwork. I work for myself providing websites and hosting for small businesses and can't just stop mid-project. Also, I am a work-at-home mum of three children (7,6,1) and I have no family or help with the kids, so I also have to do all the gruntwork of running the house, feeding everyone and making sure all school stuff is done. My time is not my own, but that needs fixing. So:

    1. Stop drinking
    I drink because I spend each day in a never-ending hamster wheel of never-ending housework, client work, and child management. Bad choice that needs fixing.

    2. Re-read TMF

    3. Read Unscripted

    4. Live below my means

    My net debt at the start of this month was £5122.53. I struggle so much with reigning in my spending, but TMF made me realise how important this is. If I can't control my spending on my current income, how will I control it when I am earning much more? Needs fixing.

    5. Stop fire-fighting
    Find some way to deal with the fact that I cannot cope with the house/garden/food/clothing/school/kids/email/PTA/freelance work situation and am constantly missing/forgetting things, always stressed, never have time to do anything and am always miserable (and then I drink to ignore it all until the next day). Throw everything away? Set up systems? Make chores lists for everyone? Find money to pay for a cleaner? Fix this.

    6. Remove my lowest cost web package
    It's not worth my time to continue to offer it.

    7. Start saving 1k

    8. Work out my monthly income goal as per TMF

    9. Do the whole "make the dream real" thing
    Find pictures of what I want and plaster them where I will see them daily (on my children's foreheads? in the dishwasher?)

    10. Decide what to do to build a business system
    Start thinking, analysing, and come up with a workable idea.

    That's it for this month. I'll update at the beginning of October. Feeling motivated, although I have no idea yet how I'm going to dig myself out of the absolute grind of my current daily life. It's about time I did though, so here's to being in a better place in 17 days time (er, just realised that's not very long at all. Better get to it).

    Mo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  4. Qstyle
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    Qstyle Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Don't look back, set your goals and keep going forward. One day you will notice how far you have come.
    Good luck.
     
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  5. mo3
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    mo3 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks Qstyle!




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. mo3
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    1 October 2017 Update

    1. Stop drinking - done. Haven't had a drink for 21 days and feel so much better for it.
    2. Re-read TMF - not done. I read unscripted on the back of TMF and I think for the moment I've got it all in my head.
    3. Read Unscripted - finished today :) about to go and post on the thread.
    4. Live below my means - hmm. didn't do so well this month, but net personal debt is down to £4688.57 from £5122.53.
    5. Stop fire-fighting - the kids are back at school and my daughter does 2.5 days at nursery, so things have calmed right down. I need to sort out the meal/food/shopping situation as it's out of control and we eat takeaways a lot.
    6. Remove my lowest cost web package - done. I increased my prices also. I booked three projects this month, which I'd had in the pipeline from before and I'm now telling all potential clients that I am booked until the end of the year, as I want to wind down the amount of time I spend on web design and development.
    7. Start saving 1k - not done, but see 10.
    8. Work out my monthly income goal as per TMF - not done.
    9. Do the whole "make the dream real" thing - aargh, not done.
    10. Decide what to do to build a business system - done. Full update below:

    So, initially I thought I'd build a platform so you could monitor your follower count from all social media channels. A bit of research showed that this had been done and then they stopped trading because they couldn't keep up with the difficult and obstructive api changes that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram kept making.

    Next I thought I'd build a waste management and recycling hub. I love this idea and the industry is very fragmented so it'd be super helpful. It's a big commercial area and nobody can find anything they need in a hurry. I started planning it out, purchased a domain, set up a basic site and was all ready to start gathering data and content for the initial site (I planned to launch with 300 local listings and grow it regionally before nationally), but then...

    I was also browsing businesses for sale (mainly because of MJ talking about having the sale in mind at the end). I looked at hundreds. There were many, many shops, cafes and children's clothing/toy businesses (which in itself tells you something). I wasn't actually looking to buy, but rather to get a feel for what people were selling, when I stumbled across something really similar to my idea above, but in the agricultural industry. To cut a long story short, I sent off an enquiry and after a fair bit of negotiation I purchased an existing website, trademark, and all social media accounts for £6.2k (financed with a personal loan). It was a gut feeling that I could make a go of it. Also, they were looking at £8-£12k from their existing developers to make the site mobile responsive, and I can do that myself.

    The owners have neglected the site for the past year. For the three years prior to that it was bringing in £2.5-£3k per year in listings/advertising. It has over 400 customers on the system and thousands of listings. A thousand-odd followers on social media. We closed the sale on 28 September and I've spent every spare second ploughing through everything since then.

    So: customer attrition has been horrendous over the last year. There are only three (3) paying customers right now. The owners work in agricultural roles and have been too busy with their day jobs to oversee the site (I guess the return wasn't worth the hours they were putting in). So I have a HUGE amount of work to do. The site needs a compete rebuild as it hasn't been updated in 5 years.

    They also did everything manually, from email marketing to invoicing, so there are no systems and no processes for any parts of the business.

    To date: everything has been transferred to me, I've set up an LLP, registered for VAT (had to do that to buy a going concern), I'm waiting for a business bank account to open, I've moved the email over to my own servers, but not the hosting (doesn't expire till January), refreshed the logo design to make it more modern (not released yet), designed the new homepage and set up an empty website.

    Here's this months goals:

    1. Sort out an email marketing account (I'm thinking Constant Contact from my research - happy to hear thoughts on this).
    2. Remove/downgrade all paid listings on the site that haven't been paid for (the site has literally been untouched this year).
    2. Email all existing customers on the database with news and plans + offer future 20% discount for anyone who is actively using the site for adverts/featured listings at the time of the new website launch (early 2018). Hopefully this will bring something in while I am rebuilding the site.
    2. Get the listings data out of the old system and into new one (this is the biggie).

    It has been a WHIRLWIND month, honestly. And on top of that, out of the blue I was offered a contract role, massive hourly rate, school hours, at a local engineering firm from an old colleague. I swear - it's like the universe was testing my commitment. I turned it down.

    Omfg. I have got a lot of work to do, but I am going to turn this website around because it's going to be the *best* place online to find what they are all looking for :)

    Will update next month :)
     
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  7. Qstyle
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    I love the attitude, jumping in with both feet, no hesitation.
    Sounds like you have got a lot of work to do. It probably won't be hurdle free, but you've got some great energy.
    Good luck!
     
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  8. mo3
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    End of October Update

    Okay, so very quickly in October I realised that working on my new business while still freelancing was impossible. Too much context switching, too much conflicting work, too stressful and annoying when clients were asking me for stuff.

    So... I decided that the first thing I need to do is clear out all the freelance work I've currently got lined up.

    This is proving more difficult that I anticipated, and it goes against everything I have been taught to turn work away (which I've done three times this month), but I know that in the long run the freelance work I'm doing is not scalable because it's all me, me, me on hand doing everything for every customer.

    It also occurred to me that if I'd spent the number of hours on my OWN website that I've spent on client websites I'd be miles ahead by now.

    The plan is to first weasel myself OUT of the job that I created for myself (mad, I know), then focus 100% on the new biz.

    I've already publicised that I'm no longer available for booking work. Here's what I have left:

    a. 3 website design and build projects currently running
    b. 1 hosting and email client to migrate
    c. 1 piece of graphic design work booked in
    d. 1 quote left out there that I'm kind of obligated to act on (web design project for a friend's business)
    e. Existing clients on the books that I do hosting, email and maintenance for <- This is just being left to run its course as none of them are especially demanding and all the work can be done in a couple of hours here and there as necessary.

    I've given myself a deadline of Christmas to get all this tied up (I'd do it faster, but waiting on client input means I have less control over timescales that I'd like), except (d) which may not materialise anyway.

    That's it for this month.

    Oh - and I still haven't had a drink :)
     
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  9. mo3
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    Sigh. Just wanted to pop in and say how FRUSTRATING it is trying to close off my old freelance business so I can get started. I am working with a client at the moment who requires a lot of additional work, and getting my last few projects finished seems to be taking forever.

    Don't do web design and development people. Hosting is fine - that part of my business is better, but the web design and dev stuff - I cannot wait to be shot of it. Or, if you do decide to venture into web design and development - stick with corporate clients. The bigger the better. My best clients have been the biggest ones. Easier to deal with, clearer about what they want. Just better.

    Still hoping to clear the decks by the end of the year...
     
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  10. Lex DeVille
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    How long will it take to get those last projects finished? How is there additional work? Can you set a deadline for this additional stuff so you can make the transition into what you want to do?

    Why does freelancing have to stop? Is it because it's taking up too much of your time? Won't you need income to pay your bills? Not sure if I missed that part above somewhere.

    I freelance and build my own websites all the time, but freelancing only takes up a small portion of the day to earn enough to pay bills.

    If you still need freelancing to draw income, how can you cut back the amount of work you do and increase the amount of money you earn per job?
     
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  11. mo3
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    I am aiming to have everything finished by the end of the year - so six weeks from now.

    I work from home 17.5 hours a week and some evenings - I have three children aged 8, 6, and 2, and we pay for childcare for my 2 year old just to get those hours (she is still young enough that she gets sick on a regular basis from nursery so even then I still lose a couple of days each month).

    Freelancing takes up all my time - I design, build, SEO, host and provide email for small businesses. I worked hard to build up the business, but it takes up every minute - and of course, if I'm not working I'm not getting paid (for the most part). My original plan was to build up a digital media agency that I could transition to full time on when my daughter started school.

    Then I read TMF.

    Essentially what I was doing was growing a job - I might be my own boss, which is great, but it's still a job. I don't want to grow personnel or outsource direct client work - too many things I can't control. I take great care of my clients and have a massive referral rate. However, I can clearly see that it will never give me the lifestyle I want to provide for my family.

    I absolutely do not want to continue freelancing while trying to build a fastlane business. It will be a distraction I don't need. I am lucky enough that we can survive for a while without my freelance work (as it doesn't bring in a ton of money anyway because my hours are so limited), so I want to close this off and focus what little time I do have on the new business. Husband on board with my plan.

    Sorry - I am complaining more to get it off my chest. And to procrastinate with the work I'm supposed to be doing right now, lol!

    I know I'll almost certainly be done by Christmas, but it's hard keeping my head down and getting through it until then when I am desperate to get started on something else.
     
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  12. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille The moments that define you have already happened. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Are you working a regular day job too?
     
  13. mo3
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    No - I'm a full time mum of three! :)
     
  14. mo3
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    Nov/Dec update

    I didn’t even add an update last month as I was still lost in a sea of client work I wanted to shift. After some pushing on my part I have now closed off *most* of my freelance work, which means I can finally start working on my fastlane project.

    I still have one website to deliver (done, needs sign-off), and a few outstanding graphics items to do (hopefully a weeks work, no more). Over Christmas I have raised ALL my freelance prices considerably. This is essentially a deterent as I have three longstanding appointments booked in the new year via referral for discussion/quotes and I don’t really want to take all (any of?) the work on, although at higher prices it would help me out.

    So, fastlane time.

    I’m working to quarterly goals because my time is limited (3 young children).

    My business is an industry specific directory. The site isn’t mobile responsive and the data is ancient. My first goal for this quarter is to migrate the entire site and database out of the ancient framework (around 2,000 entries) and make it mobile responsive, add SSL (gotta have that green padlock!), and then begin data integrity checking to make sure the directory is going to provide value to the people that are using it. It currently gets around 2,000 page views a month, but these are mostly bounces. I want to reduce bounce and increase traffic, but I need to begin by having a sound structure and good data.

    I am so excited to finally be working on this, and will be back in a month with an update.

    Happy New Year everyone - may 2018 bring you success for your worthy endeavours x


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  15. mo3
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    Super quick update. Missed last month as well!

    Finally finished ALL my freelance work, hurrah!

    Fastlane business (industry hub):
    I've re-built the entire site to be mobile responsive, including migrating all listings. It has been a HUGE undertaking.

    Next up:

    1. Verify the data (It's a 6 year old site so lots of it is way out date - about 900 listings to get through)
    2. Get the account management area up and running properly so people can pay for listings.

    All going well. Progress slow because time is so limited, but getting there.
     
  16. mo3
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    Mid-month ramble.

    I am really in the pit of despair at the moment. I have all of the work to do and currently no reward for it.

    I've mobile-optimised and secured the site so you get a green padlock when you visit. I'm working my way through the entries to make sure that it's actually providing useful (and not dead) information.

    Huge numbers of companies that were listed have gone bust in the last 6 years. Quite a sobering thing. I also deleted lots of rather dodgy SEO backlinks that other companies probably paid a marketing firm for (ha - will people ever learn?).

    I've got about 300 entries left to verify, and I am SO BORED of checking them. I outsourced some of it on Fiverr as I just couldn't face it, so that has helped. I'm hoping to get to the end soon.

    Then I need to get the accounts area up and running so that people can manage their own entries.

    I felt this week like it was all a waste of time, and I regretted my decision to work on this, but this morning I've had a look around the industry and there are a couple of thriving sites doing what I'm doing, so I know the demand is there. They are far from polished too, so I can see a way forward with this, it's just going to a be a slog and I know I need to be SERIOUSLY organised about my approach to make this work and fit the work in, as I can't afford to hire.

    So, just a check-in to say I'm busy, but it's all behind the scenes work.

    On the plus side, a web agency quoted £13,000 to do all the stuff I'm doing, so at least I'm saving some money there, LOL.

    Keep at it everyone. Off to read some progress threads for inspiration.
     
  17. mo3
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    Quick update.

    It's now July, so in two months it'll be a year since I read the books and joined this forum.

    My entire outlook on working and money has changed permanently, but as far as entrepreneurship goes I am still finding my way. I've pretty much stopped all freelance work (again), after a flurry of small things that came in (and helped pay the bills). I've also parked the directory idea for now. I'm not sure if it was the pit of despair or just a bad idea...

    Either way, I'm thinking about trying something new, but still trying to get my head around what to do.
     

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