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Progress Thread September 2017 | Onwards & Upwards

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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    Thanks Qstyle!




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. mo3
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    mo3 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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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!
     
    mo3 likes this.
  8. mo3
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    mo3 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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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 :)
     
    ejames likes this.