In 2010 I read Dan Miller’s book No More Mondays and it changed everything for me. At the time I was struggling to remain motivated working for a very small pre-money startup.
I was running the operations for this startup which meant I was on call 24 / 7. My phone would buzz at all hours of the night and I’d have to go kick some servers. It wasn’t sustainable.
I was conflicted though because I believed I wanted to be part of the startup world more than anything. I had left my previous job to pursue this dream of working on the ground floor building something I loved, and I was confused that it didn’t feel more awesome.
Dan’s book gave me a glimpse into another side of entrepreneurship I had not yet discovered. He showed me a world where people were starting and running their own businesses on their own terms.
I was hooked.
I started pursuing my own idea immediately. In the years that followed I tried a huge number of businesses and projects all striving for the prize of living and working on my own terms. I did everything from financial coaching to custom websites to consulting.
I tried almost anything I could think of that sounded fun (and some of them actually weren’t fun at all).
But one thing was always “out of bounds” for me.
The Software Business
I pretty much turned my back on anything relating to software. Sure, I had a decade of experience developing, running, coding, debugging, scaling, and testing software, but I wouldn’t consider anything in that space.
I needed to get away after the years of nights, weekends, and late evenings of running operations for a startup. Can you blame me?
Something about software always tugged at me though.
At my very core I’m a problem solver and an optimizer. I love to create repeatable, scalable processes that condense hours of work into minutes. I get tremendous satisfaction from the resources efficiency frees up: time, money, brain power.
My BIG new goal
There’s not a moment I can point to and say, “There, right there is when it clicked.” But in the last year I did some deep diving on myself, and emerged with a new clarity, a new perspective, new beliefs, and one big new goal.
The Goal: To start a software business from scratch.
It’s such an interesting and powerful business model that clicks so well with my personality.
- make something once, get paid over and over
- continually iterate on one thing making it better and better
- create your own solution to a problem that helps hundreds of other people
- limitless ceiling
- the power of being able to create something from nothing
I’ve worked for a number of early stage startups as an employee, and I had tried building my own completely solo in 2013 (I burned out big time). So I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’m getting myself into.
This time around I wanted to set some specific parameters on my project to help me succeed:
- Bootstrapped all the way. Aside from a modest initial investment the business must fund itself. No outside funding. No investors.
- Serves niche businesses. It’s so much easier to sell to well targeted businesses.
- The product idea comes from talking to real businesses first, not just dreaming up the next big thing.
- Development work is contracted out. I don’t have the time or resources to build this myself right now.
- Recurring revenue business model with a target of $99/month/user
If there’s one thing I learned from the Life Stoked Podcast, it’s that I have everything I need to succeed. I have everything I need to pull off a project like this and completely revolutionize my life.
And it’s not because I have a background in software. Sure, that shortens some learning curves for me, but there are tons of people with zero software experience pulling this off all the time (check out The Foundation podcast – LOVE these stories!).
Why not me.
What’s Next for Life Stoked
Historically Life Stoked has been all about how to live an awesome story. I focused a lot on personal development and things like that.
Those years of study are the reason I’m on the journey I’m on right now.
Going forward the focus of Life Stoked will be more specific. Instead of being more generally about living a great story and all the personal development that goes along with it, it will be more targeted to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.
I’m on an incredible adventure right now. It’s way too early to tell whether or not I will succeed or fail on this mission, but that’s part of the adventure!
I’m looking forward to bringing Life Stoked Nation along for the ride.