Week 54 Retrospective

Back to the basics

March was a tumultuous month for me professionally. I was unmotivated—borderline depressed—about my personal projects. Place Card Me’s stalled growth looked less like an anomaly and more like a trend. Working on Build With Django felt like standing at the bottom of a giant hill with a boulder and knowing I had to push it to the top. Not a good state to make proactive progress on things.

Sisyphus

Starting a new project can feel a lot like pushing a boulder up a mountain.

So I gave up.

I decided to basically abandon the personal goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and just went heads down working for other people.

And it was actually great. The work has been—for the most part—super interesting and enjoyable. I’m doing interesting technical work, learning, and working with good people—something that’s been missing in all of my solo-projects.

I also managed to bank $8k in consulting revenue for the month—which, among other things—means I could basically take the entire month of April off and still be on track for my annual income targets.

More importantly, somewhere along the way, I think I found my motivation again!

Today I feel a strong sense of clarity about my direction and motivation, and am hoping that will carry through my April.

My conclusions:

  • In my personal projects, I am much more motivated by fun than by money
  • I have much more fun building and testing products than I do building and testing content
  • Starting part of the way up a mountain is much easier than starting at the bottom

The last point is of course an analogy for my side-projects.

It took more than half a year to get Place Card Me to the point where it was getting thousands of users and making a few hundred dollars in revenue every month. Why would I stop working on it now and start something else when I’ve already gone through the effort of getting the boulder that far? And when I still have so much to learn from it.

Likewise, I spent a fair amount of time and energy building Chat Stats, only to drop it like a Snoop Dogg lyric.

So my goal for April is to get back to the basics. I’m going to—for the most part—put Build With Django on pause and return to my budding little products.

Specifically I would like to:

  • Come up with a plan for extracting some new revenue out of Place Card Me
  • Set up a test of whether I can extract any revenue out of Chat Stats

Let’s build us some products!

(Oh and I’m also gonna keep doing a fair amount of freelance/consulting work cause it’s been really fun, motivating, and helps pay the bills for my terrible product/learning investments)

Did I enjoy the week?

Yep!

Am I happy with how I spent my time?

Yep!

Week 54 time breakdown

Week 54 time breakdown

Once again, the overwhelming majority of my professional time went towards Dimagi and freelancing. But I’m still happy with that.

What’s up next?

I’ve attempted to allocate 30% of my time back on my personal projects, and my goal is to split it evenly between Place Card Me and Chat Stats.

Hoping to actually do some real product work again!

cheers,

—Cory

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