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  1. #76
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    This is my biggest problem at the moment. The hours Im putting in are ridiculous. I basically wake up, have a shower make a cuppa then sit in front of the computer all day and well into the night.

    There are times when I dont leave the house for days. I feel as though Im becoming a recluse.

    Anyone else have this issue????

  2. #77
    SitePoint Enthusiast ewin's Avatar
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    I used to. I would stay up into the wee hours, trying to do everything. What changed my work load was really two things: 1) learning to leverage; and 2) understanding that I was more productive when I worked humane hours. With regards to the former, when I mention leverage, I'm referring to anything that created more productivity, given my resources. This would include more efficient processes, hiring staff and strategy. Perhaps hiring staff is out of the question ramone, however you can probably find tasks, like book keeping, for example, where you could hire someone to assist you.

    I look at it like this: let's say your hourly billable rate is $100. If you spend 3 hours working on your books, that's $300 that you've missed out on. Instead, hire someone for $30 an hour to take care of the books, and spend those three hours working with clients... in the end, you'll be $210 richer.
    Josh Ewin, Director of Marketing
    Solar VPS - The Best Price to Performance Ratio In Cloud and VPS Hosting

  3. #78
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Well thats not yet the case Ewin. Im only 3 months into being self employed, and well, as for my websites, I guess Im rather particular about how theyre put together, hence why I do everything myself.

    I think once I start making reasonable money Ill begin to outsource more of my work and spend less hours working.

    But for now Im only just making enough to get by.
    Last edited by ramone_johnny; Aug 8, 2007 at 23:14. Reason: *typo

  4. #79
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    You know it comes back to my original question of "who's making BIG money online?" and.."is it really possible"

    Im asking those questions to ensure that Im not wasting 15 hours a day sitting here doing what Im doing.

  5. #80
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    lol. I take it I'm not the only one who enjoys work so much that I find myself working till 4am on the latest project, then?
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  6. #81
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    lol. I take it I'm not the only one who enjoys work so much that I find myself working till 4am on the latest project, then?
    Working 20 hour days, 7 days a week isn't sustainable in the long term. It may initially seem almost like fun, but add things like relationships, kids, friends and general social and biochemical needs and you soon knock it on the head for a more reasonable 9-5.

    Im asking those questions to ensure that Im not wasting 15 hours a day sitting here doing what Im doing.
    You know the answer - yes you can. Whether those 15 hours a day you are spending are in any way productive towards that aim is another matter. What are you doing in those 15 hours a day? Do you have a specific goal other than 'make $100k' a year? What's the plan?

  7. #82
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    The plan..?

    Im not quite sure I really have one to be completely honest. At this point Im trying to balance, my own projects and service web clients at the same time.

    I spent an hour or so the other night actually trying to break everything down, itemise it and prioritise it. I ended up with a personal to do list, a business to do list and finally a bigger picture AKA goal list.

    It looked something like this...the motivational stuff first

    1. LOVE what youre doing.
    2. Never give up
    3. Think BIG

    (Thanks Donald)

    And lastly...I made this list as a way of perhaps networking, learning and trying to get my goals into perspective somehow.

    1. Attend an ecommerce/internet marketing seminar
    2. Network with successful *web* people
    3. Launch <insert latest project here> by end of August

    Im not quite sure what youd call those lists. I guess its something to work from. I keep thinking, "what are my goals?" ...well Id like to think that I could potentially be making at least $500 a week by the end of the year passively. If this is do-able, I dont know.

    How can I set this out and gauge it better?

    Im sitting here for hours on end working, perhaps I need someone more established to share comments/thoughts and point me in the right direction?

    John

  8. #83
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    Always set specific goals.

    - Set small, achievable short term goals, which will give you positive reinforcement and a sense of achievement!
    - Set medium term goals, maybe for "this time next year", which will give some focus for the future and slightly more distant, but still achievable, goals.
    - Set pie in the sky goals! Why not! - you just need to stay focussed.

    The important thing is to not look at the process as one single mountain, but lots of smaller molehills; the overall process needs to be looked at as a combination of many smaller tasks. Realise that some tasks will take longer than others; some tasks are not best suited to you, and these molehills can be "walked around", maybe by getting someone else's advice/help/time involved.

    If you can learn and understand the key principles of Zen and apply that to everyday life and business too, you'll do well. If. Best summed as quoted by Bruce Lee: "Water can flow, or it can crash. Be like water, my friend."

    Now I must go and start practising some of what I preach, I'm nowhere near where I want to be yet!

  9. #84
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikLP View Post
    Now I must go and start practising some of what I preach, I'm nowhere near where I want to be yet!
    Ha! I know exactly what you mean!

  10. #85
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    Wow. I'm so glad you started this thread.. there's a lot of insights here I wouldn't have even thought to form questions about yet.

    This leads me to an interesting dilemma though..

    I research, analyze, discuss, and study topics I believe will lead me in the right direction on pretty much a daily basis. It tends to seem a bit overwhelming at times... even if I break things down into phases. And then, I start to wonder.. "Do I actually know what I'm doing? Does anyone?"...

    Without fail, someone will mention the word "experience". "You're never going to know for sure until you give it a shot." Which is the exact opposite of what I've been taught all my life. "Stability and security are what you should strive for.".... well that's great, but one certainly doesn't get ahead these days by playing it safe the way my parents did.

    I'm not saying I feel it's necessary to make rash decisions without any forethought... I'm saying I'm never going to get what I want working for someone else for the next 20 flippen years. It's hard to build enough wealth for the golden years when you're supporting a family on $40K a year.

    The flip side of this.. is people who have done remarkably well in a considerably short time. They may know all the answers.. but those are their answers about what worked for them. What fit well with them, may not be a good fit for me. How do I evaluate these options? How much do you have to factor in for just plain old good luck?

    So.. there's a vast difference between the 15 - 20 hour workaholic approach and the typical 9 - 5 "that's just my day job" method. There's a balance in there somewhere.. the place where we feel the most productive and the least like a zombie. A lot of people have already mentioned "doing something you actually enjoy" as the alternative... so if you enjoy doing it.. what's wrong with 15 - 20 hour days? Especially if you'd be doing the same things anyway for fun.

    Gah.. I think I need more action and less second guessing.. and even still.. that scares the bejesus out of me. How do you create that space where it doesn't feel like you could lose your shirt at any moment.. without feeling like your dragging your feet?

  11. #86
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melody muse View Post
    Gah.. I think I need more action and less second guessing.. and even still.. that scares the bejesus out of me. How do you create that space where it doesn't feel like you could lose your shirt at any moment.. without feeling like your dragging your feet?
    A few years back I got quite ill. I wont go into the exact details here but it affected my life dramatically to the point where I thought there was absolutely no hope. At the time it was extremely dibilitating, and just awful, however once I had recovered, in hindsight, it made me realise a lot of things and take on a whole new approach to life.

    Sounds like a terrible cliche but its true.

    Things in the past, such as taking risks or fear of failure that would of have normally prevented me from moving forward I now welcome. I thrive on the challenge. I love taking risks, I love giving things a go. If I fail, I dont care, again as said before, I learn, I move on. I have a new mindset and approach towards everything.

    If theres something you want to give a go - DO IT. Take action. It might fail and go no-where and all your friends will laugh at you, but at the same time it might just work and make you an overnight success.

    Worst case scenario - youve at least learnt something along the way!

    Hope I havent gotten to deep and meaningful - I just like to encourage people to give things a go.

    John

  12. #87
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    I'm all for whatever option seems like it will take me the farthest toward my goals. In fact.. last year, I quit my job in Baltimore pulling in $52K and moved across the country to find something less draining for me emotionally.

    I thought it was the people.. the company... so I moved on.

    Or, I thought I was moving on.

    Now, I'm doing the same work, for the same company basically (contracting this time around).. in a cheaper location.. for less money. BUT... it's ten times better for me here for my own various reasons. I've been able to discover what I want out of life from this change.. and working for others definitely isn't it.

    So right now, I've got each foot in a different pie. One on stable ground that really isn't going to lead to my goals, and one that's really squishy.. that could be the best thing that ever happened to me.

    Which ever way this goes.. I know that I can't keep going on spreading myself this thin. It's detracting value from what I could be accomplishing personally.. and where I could take my established career if I cared to apply myself to the 9 - 5.

    So.. I'll be sticking around to see where you end up in the next month or two.. since you seem to be a few steps ahead of me.

  13. #88
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Well not quite sure If Im *ahead* of you...but my story so far is...

    I quit my government IT job here 3 months ago. Was earning $75K a year, and spent most of my time daydreaming whilst looking out the window wondering If I could make it on my own.

    I got sick and tired of listening to people whinge about how they "hated" their jobs and the usual office gossip so I chucked it in.

    I had no plan, not much money, and a bit of a "I hope this works mindset" but felt it was the right thing to do. I also felt that in need to either "find out" or "make it", it certainly wasnt going to happen if I continued to sit there daydreaming staring out the office window all day.

    3 months later...

    Im now sitting here working on a project that Im hoping to complete by end of month and wondering about when the next web client will come along. Ive done ok, not fantastic, the work comes in slowly, and Ive learn to live on next to nothing but I LOVE IT and feel that Im moving in the right direction. Towards financial freedom.

    Its a big step that Ive made, and hopefully it proves to be the right one, but yeah, I have my moments where, its scares the "bejesus" out of me!

    I guess only time will tell.

    John

  14. #89
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post
    This is my biggest problem at the moment. The hours Im putting in are ridiculous. I basically wake up, have a shower make a cuppa then sit in front of the computer all day and well into the night.

    There are times when I dont leave the house for days. I feel as though Im becoming a recluse.

    Anyone else have this issue????
    We did but we now have a schedule that we stick to. It was becoming much too easy to be a recluse so now we have set work hours, and make sure that we get out and do things. Life is just much too short to just work.

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post
    Well not quite sure If Im *ahead* of you...but my story so far is...

    I quit my government IT job here 3 months ago. Was earning $75K a year, and spent most of my time daydreaming whilst looking out the window wondering If I could make it on my own.

    I got sick and tired of listening to people whinge about how they "hated" their jobs and the usual office gossip so I chucked it in.

    I had no plan, not much money, and a bit of a "I hope this works mindset" but felt it was the right thing to do. I also felt that in need to either "find out" or "make it", it certainly wasnt going to happen if I continued to sit there daydreaming staring out the office window all day.
    rofl.. I could've wrote that myself.. aside from the time frame and salary figure.

    At current.. I'm pulling a contract gig for the government that's getting canceled at the end of this month. However, my boss is telling me they are trying to bring me on permanently. That would be the same pay (or better) than what I was making, in a lower cost of living area.

    It would afford me the opportunity to pursue my own vision with more financial support.. not to mention, a definite paycheck every month. But is that what I really what to do? Do I want to jump right back in just because it's a good plan B?

    If they don't pick me back up right away.. I'd technically be unemployed in between.. not to mention, you can't exactly count on government jobs anymore these days anyway. I've been running the side business kind of half heartedly for two years.. so this just seems like "the right moment".

    That's kind of a passive approach though.. and from what I've been told, that won't get me anywhere in the long run.

  16. #91
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    I worked for a local government organisation last year before moving to state government.

    A lady there resigned after 28 years of service.

    As a farewell gift they gave her a $12 pot plant.

    That was enough for me.

    John

  17. #92
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    Wow.. that's heinous. I'm not doing this another year.. period.

    So, the one question I've yet to find an answer to.. is how does one transition from "on the side" mentality to "this is what I do"?

    I realize there's an element of courage involved.. but there's got to be a more scientific gage of when your best window of opportunity would be. I think the last thing I read was along the lines of "quit your day job when your small business is generating more income than your 9 - 5".. or something close to that.

  18. #93
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Gee youre asking me for advice, thats dangerous.

    I basically said to myself, If I dont do this now, I never will. It really was that simple. Id rather bang on business doors looking for work, and enjoying what I do, even if it means living on next to nothing, rather than trying to stay *awake* during some IT management meeting.

    John

  19. #94
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    I keep thinking, "what are my goals?" ...well Id like to think that I could potentially be making at least $500 a week by the end of the year passively.
    I would say that this isn't a great goal as it gives you no specific direction and no starting point. I think your first 'goal' should be 'how can I make $500 a week passively? What great business ideas do I have?'. Once you can work that out and you set these ideas in motion, then you can start setting financial goals, i.e. 'In 12 months time I want to make $1000 a week from this business, and this is how I propose to do this....'

    From experience, if you want to remain the one-man-entrepreneur then I would advise against the client web design route or any service based model that ultimately relies on being paid for your time (even if you charge fixed fees you are still limited by time eventually). I suggest dropping that completely and instead concentrate 100% on other business ideas - i.e. passive income sources, fully-fledged ecommerce business selling products etc.

    Many web developers love their 'side projects' and love their monthly pocket change, but as their time is sucked dry by third party web work, they never get a chance to dedicate serious time to these projects to discover their true potential. I made the leap from treating my digital product site as a side project (4 hours a week) to going full time on it and in 12 months am making 6 times more profit from the site, while working significantly less hours a week and experiencing 99% less stress. Why spend your days helping other people make money when you can use your skills to build your own highly profitable and enjoyable businesses (assuming your 'skills' extend beyond just web site design)

  20. #95
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    I think your first 'goal' should be 'how can I make $500 a week passively? What great business ideas do I have?'. Once you can work that out and you set these ideas in motion, then you can start setting financial goals, i.e. 'In 12 months time I want to make $1000 a week from this business, and this is how I propose to do this....'
    Im already on this. I plan to have the project Im currently working on completed and in place by the end of this month. Ive been working on this for almost 8 or so months now and I am hopeful that it will do well. So yes, in response to your above comment. "I plan on making at least $500 a week from this particular project, as well as passive income from my other sites" I figure $500 a week a modest amount to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    From experience, if you want to remain the one-man-entrepreneur then I would advise against the client web design route or any service based model that ultimately relies on being paid for your time (even if you charge fixed fees you are still limited by time eventually). I suggest dropping that completely and instead concentrate 100% on other business ideas - i.e. passive income sources, fully-fledged ecommerce business selling products etc.
    I understand what youre saying and agree wholeheartedly, however unfortunately I still have a house and bills to pay for. Unlike projects that *may* do well, web work is gauranteed income. I dont plan on doing this forever, infact hopefully for not too long, but I need the income at the moment to provide me with enough time to develop and implement my projects.

    Hopefully Im headed in the right direction. Thanks for the advice - much appreciated.

    John

  21. #96
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    ...assuming your 'skills' extend beyond just web site design
    Any chance you could elaborate further on this?

  22. #97
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post
    Gee youre asking me for advice, thats dangerous.

    I basically said to myself, If I dont do this now, I never will. It really was that simple. Id rather bang on business doors looking for work, and enjoying what I do, even if it means living on next to nothing, rather than trying to stay *awake* during some IT management meeting.

    John
    Eh.. I was curious to hear what your deciding motivation was to finally make the leap. Which I don't consider advice, more like, food for thought.

    Although the move and job relocation went fairly smooth.. there were a few months of lag time where I was worried. I'd rather not repeat that if at all possible.. lol.

    Not meaning to get into your personal life.. but are there other people you're responsible for providing for right now.. or is it just you? If it was just me, I'd have no issues with going that route.. I'm not certain about asking the significant other how he feels about eating Raman noodles for a few months while I get my bearings.

  23. #98
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    I think you might actually surprise yourself. I know I have, even in the short time Ive been self sufficient. Ive found that its a matter of knowing, when to take necessary actions and how to go about producing results. I think its also about being emotionally intelligent and not panicking. These are only my thoughts, remember Im new at this, so Im probably wrong!

    As for me, Im single 34, not married, no kids or dependants. I do have a cat that annoys me at nights though.

    I think i have this opportunity now because, about 12 months ago I got involved in property. I bought an investment property, renovated it and sold it making $25,000 profit. From there I cleared ALL of my debts, then went about simplifying my lifestyle. I made my best efforts to reduce any financial liabilities I had. In a sense I started over.

    Im in a pretty good position right now. I can basically live in a minimal sense, although I still have another investment property and the usual bills to pay for.

    Wouldnt your partner support you with your decision if thats what you really wanted to do?

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post
    Any chance you could elaborate further on this?
    I mean just because you know how to design and build a web site, it doesn't mean you know how to run, market and grow a successful business. Web dev skills are just one minor attribute required (which in the end can easily be outsourced to someone else). Having the ideas, the ambition, the goals, the business and marketing skills, the drive, the dedication and vision are far more important requirements.

  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post
    Wouldnt your partner support you with your decision if thats what you really wanted to do?
    I think if I went home today and told him that I wanted to quit my job and start working full time on the business, he'd try to talk me out of it. I suppose you make a good point though.. I should just ask him now instead of letting this notion delay my planning any longer.

    We're both still under 30 years old and completely debt free. Our lease is up in Nov though.. and we're looking at houses right now because all I hear is how I'm throwing my money away on rent. And.. it would be nice to have an office I could deduct off my taxes.

    He's just started his own small business building custom computers for gamers and such.. not exactly stable by any means, but it did just kick off last month so we'll see where that goes. My research has proved a help to him already.. and he has some killer ideas for my plan once in a while as well.

    The plan was to continue working the 9-5, and have my current "in the works" project up and running before the first of the year... which to be honest, keeps sounding father and farther off the more time I spend around these forums. I'm really trying to do it right though, instead of jumping the gun and tossing up some crap just to say it's up there.

    The idea of flipping a property to gain some capital for this venture also crossed my mind. That's like.. a huge, huge, huge risk though.. especially with the market issues in our area right now.


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