Last year I made a big step towards making my side business into a full time business. This year I plan to finally take the plunge, quit my job and go full time. There were many things (excuses?) that prevented me from taking this step and I’ve delayed it for many years but I have no doubt that I’m now willing to take this chance now and do what I can to make it work.
Goal: Quit my day job and focus 100% on my business.
A problem that I have with my business is that it is very dependent on me. In a way it is another job for me and not an actual business. It will stay this way until I’ll be able to hire, train and delegate to employees. My plan is to write down detailed descriptions of all the secondary tasks I need to do and hire people online to do them so I can spend my time on the tasks which are critical to the business. I’m also working on a recruitment process that I can reuse to find and filter employees. This is a challenge because I don’t feel comfortable giving someone else access and spending money on paying someone to do things I can do myself. But I know that it is a critical step and without it my business growth will directly depend on me and my availability and that is not something I want. To ease myself into it I plan to start delegating only the tasks that are small and well defined and don’t require access to anything besides the portion of the business that needs to be exposed to perform the task. I know I won’t be efficient with the process at first but I hope to learn quickly and improve based on conclusions I make.
Goal: Hire one person to perform at least one task.
Build more sources of income
Even though there are entire companies that live off of one app on a single platform, it scares me to be so dependent on one major source of income. I want to add more channels of distribution to the same project and then add more, similar projects to my portfolio. Besides the obvious split between the Apple Store and Google Play Store, I want to also start generating revenue from the web and rely on Google’s search engine for new users. Now that I saw what is possible with the app stores and after reading other people’s experiences with building their projects around traffic from google I would like to do the same. My plan is to choose a small subset of search engine marketing and focus only on it until I see results. I know that the biggest mistake I can make is try too many things at once. From past experience it doesn’t work and just makes me abandon everything. This step is also critical because unless I’ll be able to take a hit and loose one platform but still be able to generate income, my business won’t be stable and I’ll have to go back to being employee.
Goal: Choose one aspect of search engine marketing (such as content marketing, adwords + landing pages, youtube videos, etc) and only focus on that until I see some results.
Try to raise money
Raising money and giving away part of my company is not my first choice, but when I see the amounts of money my competitors raised and use to hire employees and on marketing it makes me think that maybe I should at least try to see what my options are and get familiar with the requirements and process of pitching a product to investors. I plan to invest the minimal amount of time to prepare the materials and to research the process. Since I happen to have access to a few people that are looking to invest and know others who do, I’ll try to pitch my product and see what my options are.
Goal: Pitch a product to a potential investor to learn about the process and check what my options are.
Keep writing every day
I plan to keep writing for a few minutes every morning like I did in 2015. I also would like to submit the posts I write to communities where others can see it and find my blog. In the future I hope to write more words each day and maybe set a goal of 1K words per day, but since for now I’m busy with other goals, I’ll stick to my maintainable little goal. It’s nothing significant and I don’t see any progress in terms of blog readers but I think it’s better than nothing and will allow me to get results in the future when I’ll have more time to focus on writing.
Goal: Write for a few minutes every morning. Submit all the posts I write to HN or reddit.
Interact with more like minded people
Since most of the work I do is alone in front of the computer, it can be a challenge to make new connections and interact with new people outside of my existing social circle. I would like to invest more time into going to conferences and meeting new like minded people that are interested in the same things as I am: Programming, Online business and Entrepreneurship, and Travel. It would be nice to expand my network of people that work in the same field as I am. I feel like I need to make a better use of living in NYC and go to some of the many events and conferences that are being held here on a daily basis. However I also know that I don’t always enjoy these events and they can also feel as a waste of time so I’ll try to not overdo it and focus on the ones I do like.
Goal: Go to at least one event every month.
I would like to go to at least one country outside of the U.S this year. However, it might not happen because I’ll try to save money and cut expenses as much as possible since I’m going to quit my full time job to work on my business.
Running and Reading
These are both activities that I enjoy a lot but it seems that they are not always my first choice of how to spend my time. I would like to keep trying to push myself to do them as much as I can.
One of the main things I’ve realized in the last few years is how many different things in life and the daily routine are connected to each other. Things such as nutrition and exercise are connected to the ability to focus and to productivity. I hope to be more self disciplined and be aware of my daily routine.