Since I wrote this blog post in late 2020, I have been striving to leave a mark as an independent software developer. But what is more, I wanted to build my own things once and for all.
A lot has happened in those two and a half years — many great things to be proud of. I published my first book, wrote many articles for this blog, taught my first programming bootcamp, created an online service that customers still find useful enough to pay for, and helped a few small teams get their next products off the ground — all good stuff.
Yet somehow, while doing all that simultaneously, I lost my focus. What I did not anticipate about being my own boss is that you always have to think ten steps in advance and be everywhere at all times. This can be very tiring if you are alone on your journey, walking against the wind. The other crucial factor I underestimated was how important it is to have other people with whom you work towards your goal - someone with whom you help each other to move forward. It ain’t much fun if you are doing it all alone, all the time.
A couple of months ago, I decided it was time slow things down a little to help myself regain my focus. Ironically, what I have noticed works best for me in such situations is to focus on something else - a challenging problem with some solid positive impact and a group of motivated people working on it, which is why in July, I joined forces with a software company of many talented and super-smart individuals.
So, are you back to a regular job? What will happen to your business? #
Here is the deal - while it is technically a job, the agreement is flexible enough for me to work on company stuff four days a week and still have the full power to keep running my sole business. So, I am not closing shop at all - and will probably not do so in the foreseeable future. What happens is that I am simply reducing my attention to it down to 20%. That should be enough for me to finish some of my still ongoing freelancing duties and slowly go back to the product I wanted to launch last year.
Is 20% of your time enough to launch a new product? #
I wrote my book entirely in my free time while still working for my last employer. People vastly underestimate how much you can achieve when you have a clear goal and a set of constraints. Let’s be honest - what some call “peak productivity” is about a third of what people think it is. I achieved most of the above-mentioned things while constantly battling my inner voice and taking long walk/run breaks to refresh my head. I think it will work out.
When are you planning to go back to your things full-time? #
Only time will tell. Given the current economy, it might be sooner than you think 🤷♂️ But let it be known that I am not really going anywhere. I am still here and will keep pushing stuff forward.
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