Day 27/365 of my 5k USD monthly side income goal

This is part of the ongoing documentary of my journey to reach my ~5k USD monthly side income goal to be completed by 2019/7/22. Click here for why.

It’s been a while.

Maybe more than a while, lol. It’s 24 days since my last post.

So what’ve I done during these 24 days?

Last time I’ve talked about the virtue of “being lazy”, and during this period it’s a mixture of laziness, wildness of idea conceptions and just dealing with life matters. To summarize what has happened:

  • I’ve got myself a new job, finally! With a 30% pay raise. (Not that I have a high base) And I’ve resigned from my current job a few days ago. I should be able to work in my next job sometime during October. The new role seems a lot more exciting because I’m gonna be involved in developing a B2C virtual banking app.
  • All sorts of excuses kicked in whenever I try to work on this 5k project. I didn’t even feel motivated to write a blog post. It was too tiring for me somehow. And yes, what I’ve just said is an excuse too.
  • On my habit app –
    • So I’ve been researching for how best to scientifically change habits. And I saw there were researches which showed that most current habit apps are not based on science, but simply just fancy habit trackers. Thus, when you try to change a habit with a habit app, it works as long as you keep using it. Once you stop using the app, the habits may cease to exist since the “trigger”, which is the app, is not there anymore. This is an interesting finding, but I still don’t have an exact clue on how to scientifically help people to change their habits using apps.
    • I’ve thought of developing a facebook messenger habit chatbot instead. But then I realized the value may be limited, and it can become messy when there’re multiple habits to track.
    • I’m not sure now what to develop. I might even abandon the app for now. We’ll see. Because one thing I realized is that I do want to put my development time to good use. After releasing an app, especially if it’s a paid one, then I’m obliged to provide maintenance and bug fixes consistently. Therefore, I would want my app/website/whatever to be something I can enjoy working with for a long time.
  • On this blog –
    • There was a comment on Reddit back then, saying “you’re trying to become a blogger, not an entrepreneur” – And I laughed off denying so. But after thinking through it, I realized that it’s in fact a valid concern. At the first few days, I was obsessed with writing posts in an engaging way, to the extent that I was spending 1~2 hours per day on blogging and promoting it on reddit, facebook, etc. I was seeking for attention. I have to confess now that I did flirt with the thought of “what if it goes viral and I can get enough ad money just from people reading it”
    • 1 ~ 2 hours spent per day on blogging is 1 ~ 2 hours not spent on creating my side business. This time is highly valuable since I’ve a full time job. And so I’ve decided not to actively promote this blog for now. And I’ll only post updates when there’s actual progress made that is relevant to this journey, instead of just squeezing out random thoughts to hide the fact that I didn’t do anything during that day.
    • I was also thinking of what extent of my development progress should I share, because I’m genuinely afraid of my spoken ideas would be copied by other product makers who happen to read this blog. Yes I’m selfish, and I would like my development to go in stealth mode for some time before popping up. At least in that case, if you are to copy, it’ll still take some time and I’ll have the first mover advantage. So no, I’m not gonna lie to you now and say that I’ll share everything I’ve on my mind. I’ll only share those that I’m not afraid of you copying. I’m pretty sure people will criticize on this view point and think I’m naive, haha, but that’s just me for now. I might be different if I at least have one successful product in the future, which shall make me much more generous I presume.

So moving forward, you’ll NOT receive regular updates, unless I feel like enough progress has been made and I’m comfortable of sharing. LOL, well, I’m just trying to focus on being an entrepreneur rather than just a blogger. But since my mind can change quite quickly, 80% of what I’ve just said in today’s post could become invalid by tomorrow. We’ll see ; )

I just want to show you my true far from perfect self as much as possible, and it’ll be fun to read all these journals when I get old. And hey, it’s super liberating now to not needing to consider my reader’s feelings or interests, lol. And by not promoting it on reddit, I don’t have to deal with the emotional burden of “fuck you you piece of shit” type of comments.

“How can I follow or get in touch?”

I’ll be posting updates as much as possible on this site. To get notifications, here’re several channels you may also follow:

Email Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2JKP1Fy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/somemakerguy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/somemaker

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2JKnHr8

Day 3/365 of my 5k USD monthly side income goal

This is part of the ongoing documentary of my journey to reach my ~5k USD monthly side income goal to be completed by 2019/7/22. Click here for why.

It’s day 3 and I’ve found that there’s a serious problem – I just can’t make significant progress every single day in the next 362 days. Some days I’ll just need a break. For example, today.

So yes, I’ve a lazy side too, just like most of you out there. I’m still in a full time job and that’s half of my day already. And I ain’t gonna quit due to obvious financial reasons. I feel like it’s too risky for me.

It’s unfortunate that I’m not in a movie, if so I can skip through the boring, painful and uninspiring parts and get to the conclusions of things. Cest La Vie.

But laziness can be good

Well, we all suffer from laziness and procrastination. It’s how our brains are engineered, to take the path of least resistance whenever possible, so that we can conserve energy for survival.

I think it’s brilliant, because it fundamentally drives some of us to create more efficient or “lazier” ways of doing things. If all of us were engineered to be hard workers 24/7, we would probably still be living in the caves and tirelessly hunting beasts.

However, one problem with laziness, is the regret we might have afterwards. At least that’s the problem for me, I feel guilty many times when setting out to complete certain tasks but then soon surrendering to laziness.

And so what has always intrigued me is how to help people like me to get things done effectively, even when we don’t feel like it, so that we won’t be regretful afterwards and hate ourselves.

Thus the habit app I’ve mentioned in my last post shall be attempt #1 in helping to make an impact.

See you guys tomorrow, I won’t be sharing this post everywhere because there’s nothing productive to write about today. I’m not as shameless as you think, lol.

“How can I follow or get in touch?”

I’ll be posting updates as much as possible on this site. To get notifications, here’re several channels you may also follow:

Email Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2JKP1Fy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/somemakerguy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/somemaker

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2JKnHr8

Day 2/365 of my 5k USD monthly side income goal

This is part of the ongoing documentary of my journey to reach my ~5k USD monthly side income goal to be completed by 2019/7/22. Click here for why.

Some ranting

I’m in zombie mode now. I’ve just pulled an all-nighter to finish up a code test for interview which is due today.

Why? Because I’ve been seeking for a new job.

Why? Because I’m not satisfied with my current job.

Why? Because I’m not working on stuff that excites me and brings me the growth I want.

Why? Well… it’s a job, that’s why. You’re getting paid to help build somebody else’s dream. How often does somebody else’s dream align perfectly with yours? Even if you think you’ve found the perfect job, would they hire you?

And that’s why I’ve always been looking into starting something on my own. How much time do we have in our lives to wait for the perfect thing to happen? Why don’t we just try to create the perfect opportunity by ourselves?

Okay, enough of ranting and I shall turn on my optimistic self, lol

The main topic – what to build?

Back to the main topic (finally) – What first app/website to build in my journey? (Notice that I’m using the word “first”, because I’m going for the fail-99-times-and-succeed-once approach)

Since I’m personally a big fan of personal motivation and productivity, a lot of ideas that I’ve already thought of are habit apps, todo apps, calendar apps, motivation apps, etc.

But of course, I’m not gonna limit myself on just these realms. In fact, there’s this super interesting idea in a reply on reddit by Twice_Knightley on creating a 99U Design + Fiverr for T-Shirts, so users pay to get designers design T-Shirts for them.

For now though, I’ve decided to build a habit tracking app (yes, another habit app) to break my virginity in the App Store. I realize that the more I think the less likely I’ll act. So I’ll be using React Native (which is used in my day job as well) to build my app. In fact, I’ve already coded some prototype screens quite a while ago, but looking at it now I’m not satisfied, thus I’ll probably start from scratch.

Extras

So I’ve shared my day 1 post on Reddit/Facebook and the responses were even more polarized than the day 0 post. Some were literally “fuck you you piece of shit” style of responses. Others were really encouraging, inspiring and positive, thank you!

What I really love about Reddit is that people won’t sugar coat their thoughts (Partially due to anonymity?), and you get to see raw responses on whatever you put out there.

How to come up with ideas?

And to answer @KTakatsuji ‘s question on twitter: How do you go about thinking of ideas to start?

For me, I’ve been consciously training my ability to see what’s possible in the world, and I write down whatever idea that floats up in my mind. Overtime, it became a nice mental habit which helps me to get ideas coming in everyday.

And here’re several ways for me to come up with ideas

1. Solve your own problems, as mentioned in Pieter Levels’ makebook.io

2. Bring business models from other industries into the one you’re interested in – Very interesting approach as I’ve read up in The Business Model Navigator: 55 Models That Will Revolutionise Your Business

3. Come up with 10 ideas per day – The aforementioned approach, not exactly 10 but it definitely helps. This concept is actually from Become an Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are the Currency of the 21st Century

4. Be attentive to what others are doing – Say there’s a great idea working well in Spain, but it’s non-existent in your hometown yet, well that could be a good idea.

So this is it, see you tomorrow!

 

“How can I follow or get in touch?”

I’ll be posting updates as much as possible on this site. To get notifications, here’re several channels you may also follow:

Email Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2JKP1Fy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/somemakerguy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/somemaker

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2JKnHr8

 

 

Day 1/365 of my 5k USD monthly side income goal

This is part of the ongoing documentary of my journey to reach my ~5k USD monthly side income goal to be completed by 2019/7/22. Click here for why.

TLDR: For now, I’ll try to make subscription based small apps/websites

Just like how many great dramas start, it starts with an obstacle facing the protagonists.

For me, it’s coming up with that killer idea in order to succeed. It’s always exciting to start something big and imagine you’ll achieve it. In reality it’s more difficult, just like New Year’s Resolution.

But I’m an optimist by nature. And I do have plenty of ideas already that I can experiment on. I’m a firm believer in the fail-to-win strategy. Heck, Angry Birds is only made after 51 failures.

What’s your plan?

Inspired by the “how to earn a million” graphic from the internet:

I’ve created a “how to earn 5k per month” version.

The idea is notto live forever,but to createsomethingthat will.

And for now I’m tempting to go for creating small but valuable niche apps/websites which enables a subscription-based model for a very small monthly fee.

Let’s say the conversion rate is 1%. To get 1000 subscribers paying 5 usd per month, I’d need 200000 monthly active users.

And woah, it may seem like a lot, but that’s just assuming I’ll make only one product for this year. If I can have multiple products, each with some success, then it doesn’t seem too bad. (I apologize if my optimism or naivety bugs you)

But my optimism isn’t fully rooted in nothing. I’ve created a local job site before with 20~30k Monthly active user in a small city, but which was bad as a full-time startup and we failed hard in trying to monetize it. That’s another story though.

Anyways, so in the following days I’ll try to release my first app/website ASAP, and see how it goes from there.

Extra: What I’ve learnt from promoting my first blog post

After publishing my first blog post in a few years, and actively sharing it on reddit and Facebook groups, what happens after interests me.

The Bad

So I’ve included an Amazon affiliate link to Gary Vee’s book (Exactly this link, lol) in my first blog post, and the post was described as an “empty vessel shoved with an affiliate link” in a comment with 20 upvotes on a subreddit.

Frankly, it sucks to see such negative responses, but I’d still have to thank the guy and many with their honest reactions. They could’ve just thought it sucked and ignored it, and I can never improve it.

The Good

There were also quite a few encouraging people from reddit and facebook groups giving positive responses. Heck, some of them are like-minded people who had reached out to me, who could even possibly become my cofounders in the coming days!

After all, this is life in motion. I’m just an imperfect human being, but I seek to learn from mistakes and grow to become a better person. And I shall try hard to remain genuine.

Here’s an inspiring image for free (which doesn’t have an affiliate link, yet)

CUUp3g_UsAAYpKF.jpg

Anyways, thank you for your attention if you’ve read it until here!

Feel free to reach out to me anytime, be it negative/positive responses. I’ll (try to) take it!

“How can I follow or get in touch?”

I’ll be posting updates as much as possible on this site. To get notifications, here’re several channels you may also follow:

Email Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2JKP1Fy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/somemakerguy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/somemaker

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2JKnHr8

Day 0/365 of my 5k USD monthly side income goal

Hi guys, I’m a 25 y/o web/app developer working in Hong Kong who’s also a passionate startup/product person.

I’ll be documenting my journey to reach my ~5k USD monthly side income goal to be completed by 2019/7/22.

And I’ll be doing this by creating loads of digital products, until one or more succeeds.

But… why?

To help financially support my family

My dad has been the sole income source for our entire family since my birth. I truly admire my dad for that he’s still working in his 70s now to support our family. He’s a small business owner who manufactures and sells some very niche traditional F&B machinery in China. It’s getting tough now to thrive with all the market copycats due to the relatively low tech barrier.

Doing what I love – To create great products

I’ve always dreamed of creating one or two successful products which shall also bring social good to the society, and to live off that, just like what my dad did.

Since grad I’ve already failed hard once with a startup attempt of a local job site, which I’ve learnt a lot from it.

Inspired by Pieter Levels’ makebook.io – I’ve realized that it’s possible to generate a great amount of income (50k usd for Pieters each month) just by creating great products that solve real pain points, without getting money from investors.

Eventually, I hope with enough side income, I can focus full time working on my own products, and possibly expand to full blown startups, etc.

Why 5K USD?

5k * 12 = 60k USD per year, which may not seem like a lot, especially in US where software engineers have sky high salaries and taxes. But in HK, taxes are relatively low and 60k USD per year is what senior developers earn.

Most importantly, I’m talking about 5k monthly income ONLY from side income, which means I’ll have to come up with some pretty creative websites/apps, as freelancing afterwork is definitely not enough and sustainable.

Why document this?

Inspired by Gary Vee’s “document your journey no matter what” approach, I wanted to try documenting my own journey too. I guess it’ll also help to keep myself committed. And who knows, this may inspire some of you out there to start creating products to better this world too.

“Why should I follow or care?”

It’s your call. I’m not a successful person yet by conventional societal standards. The products I’ll be creating may or may not be inspiring to you.

I’m just a passionate young dude who wants to seize my own destiny by doing what I love – creating awesome products, just like what my dad did.

However, I’ll be sharing my learnings and thoughts along the way. If this works out, this documentary may help guide you to reach a similar goal as mines. If this doesn’t, it’ll also provide lessons for failures to avoid.

“How can I follow?”

I’ll be posting daily updates as much as possible on this site. To get notifications, here’re several channels you may also follow:

Email Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2JKP1Fy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/somemakerguy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/somemaker

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2JKnHr8