If you asked yourself whether you should quit your job and go all in on Indie Hacking, you should read this. These are my lessons.
Mid 2021 I decided it was time to go all in on my sidebusinesses.
I have been building projects for quite some time, even working part time for the first half of 2021.
It still felt like I didn't have enough time. Not enough headspace to concentrate on my own projects.
Luckily I planned to move to New Zealand, so I had to quit my job anyway. This was a godsend reason to focus on my own startups full time.
Roughly 6 months later I ran out of money and started freelancing.
Here are my learnings.
I went full time with vague ideas on what to build. Nothing was validated. None of the projects made any money.
In retrospect this was a mistake.
If I could do it again, I would do/make sure of the following:
- Have a good idea of what project I'd be working on, who the ideal customer is and how I'm going to market the product
- Have enough runway for 2 years living expenses
If possible I would go one step further and have some revenue from my personal project.
This means you have at the very least a small indicator that you have something people want.
Running out of money sucks.
Making no money 6 months in sucks even more. This is a problem for many of the startup founders out there.
I'd wager most make no money at all, or so little that it wouldn't be enough to support themselves.
This can create a ton of stress. Try to avoid it if you can.
When I went full time, I wasn't really a part of the Indie Hacker community. I didn't engage with anyone and this can get lonely very quickly.
This is one more thing I would do differently.
I would engage with likeminded people much earlier.
There are many benefits to engaging with a community, but the biggest ones for me were:
- Learning from others
- Making great contacts with people
- Getting inspiration
- Potential to build your own brand (this depends on you though)
I can highly recommend going on Twitter and looking at the #buildinpublic community.
This is where you will find many others who are working on building a startup and sharing their journey.
To summarize my lessons/what to do before going all in:
- Prepare a plan of action for your startup
- Prepare enough runway for 2 years. This is a reasonable runway, 6 months is not.
- Optimally: Have some revenue
- Engage in the Indie Hacker community
I hope this article was helpful.
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