Update: 1 month of self-employment

It’s been a month since I left my job and started working for myself. It feels like much longer because I have been busy and did a lot of stuff. So it’s time for a brief update of my activities and mental state.

Blog

I’ve mainly stuck to my goal of publishing a post every week. Last week was an exception, as I put too much pressure on myself and wasn’t able to finish on Saturday, so publication was delayed until Monday. I realized that spending this much time and effort on the blog is not sustainable, so going forward I will try less hard to make my posts polished mini-masterpieces. There may come a time when I want to publish a serious, long-form piece of writing that will warrant proper editing, but at this stage, it’s more important that I keep up the habit of writing in a sustainable way.

I’ve been procrastinating on adding more book notes. I’m in the process of editing notes from Design Your Life and I hope to put them up soon. They will be an important part of driving traffic to this site via SEO, so it’s good to put them up sooner rather than later.

I have a pipeline of varied ideas for future posts. I honestly have no idea what this site will look like at the end of 2021. I have 20 email subscribers at the moment, mostly friends and family, but some emails I don’t recognize, so they could be strangers, which is very encouraging 🙂. As a personal blog, the promise to readers is not quality content on a specific topic, but writing on whatever I’m personally interested in, as well as updates on my self-employment/entrepreneurship/lifestyle design journey. So subscribe if you’d like to be updated.

I have a few cool ideas for how to redesign the blog and add some new features. I came across this blog that I quite like and I’ll shamelessly steal some ideas from there 😬.

YouTube

Going strong on JurekWie with Juro. Have 7 videos so far, with 22 subscribers, 864 views, and 579 unique viewers. About a third of that came from ads and another third from my social media sharing, but we’re already seeing some organic traffic and engagement. The small wins, like comments from people I don’t know, are very motivating and need to be celebrated. It’s taking me about a day a week, but I’m realizing that apart from making videos, promotion is equally important. So it’s ended up taking up more time than I originally thought. Nonetheless, YouTube (like everything) is a long game, so we just need to work consistently, keep improving, and have faith in eventual success.

Business

I’m working with Chris on an app for Microsoft Teams. I’ll probably write a post at some point about how we brainstormed and discriminated ideas and settled on this one, and on the progress and process in general.

So I’m still coding. In fact, I’ve been rediscovering my enjoyment of programming. Turns out I enjoy it much more when I’m working on something I care about.

At the moment I’m familiarizing myself with the MS Teams platform, Office 365, and Azure, which is a rather painful experience. Hoping that the development pain on MS platforms is a barrier to entry we can take advantage of. AKA less competition because few people are willing to go through it 😉.

Already seeing that it will be far more challenging than any software jobs I’ve had in the past. Not only will the code be used by potentially thousands of real people, which brings a lot of challenges with testing, reliability, accessibility, etc., but also we need to think about marketing, pricing, managing payments and subscriptions, customer support, product design, user interviews… And there’s only two of us. It’s very hard in a good way, as it lets me do the business and product stuff that I’d been craving. Unfortunately, there’s some stuff in there that I’m not so excited about, but that’s necessary, so I just need to suck it up. The sheer volume of activities and tasks is a bit overwhelming, but I’m sure we can figure it out over time.

Personal

I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself and it’s making me feel stressed and overworked. I need to change my thought patterns and habits because this is exactly what I left my job to avoid. But it’s fine — it’s only been a month, and it may take a few more to find a way of working that’s enjoyable and sustainable. Keep iterating and correcting course. I may write a post about this in a couple of weeks too. Some quick insights based on a recent chat with my coach Jasmine:

  • I need to internalize the fact that taking breaks and days off lets me recharge and be productive in the long term.
  • Life is not just about being productive. Need to find balance. That’s actually one of my goals for this year.

So I’ll be trying to take it easy going forward. My girlfriend has been great because she already made cookies three times this week. 🍪👩🏻‍🍳

So here’s this week’s update. I purposely didn’t spend too much time and effort on this post. Would appreciate feedback about your reception 🙂 (you can give it in comments below, on social media or here). 👋

1320cookie-checkUpdate: 1 month of self-employment

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