The real power of a job for an indie maker comes from limiting the time you spend on it to the MED (minimum effective dose). The objective is to have the most amount of time and mental energy to dedicate to your business.
1. Reducing recurring expenses
For this to work, you need to do a prerequisite step, which fortunately for me, I had been working on for the last couple of years: limiting your recurring expenses. For me, that meant downgrading my car and not upgrading my lifestyle. I’m not advocating being frugal and reducing your quality of life. If I wanted to be frugal I’d sell my car and use public transportation. There are luxuries in your life that cost 10x for a mere 1.5x increase in quality of life. Get rid of those. You can easily find many other creative ways of reducing your expenses, such as moving abroad where the cost of living is much cheaper.
2. Calculate your Job MED
Once your monthly expenses are under control, calculate how many hours you need to work at your job (monthly expenses / hourly rate) and decide to work no more than that.
3. Optimize for mental energy
I could keep freelancing as a blockchain dev and make $155 per hour. But I won’t. Why? It might seem like I’m contradicting myself because I’d be working less if I did. See, I’ve been a web developer for more than a decade before I even knew what blockchain was. Web development is easy for me. I don’t need to have massive bouts of learning. It takes no effort. I don’t have to worry about my performance. I already have all the clients I need. I can get in, do my job and do it well so that I can get out and focus on my business without expending too much mental energy.
My favorite part of the day is when I get to build. This is when I express my creativity and passion for life. It’s when I get to taste the exciting future that I’m building. What a gift you are making to yourself by doing what you truly want to be doing, instead of deferring that moment into the future.
It’s also when the doubts start creeping in, and when I begin to question myself.
“Am I really doing this to live the life I want, or am I just being lazy?”
“Am I using ‘being an Indie App Maker’ as an excuse to escape the real world?”
The entrepreneurial journey is definitely hard. The rollercoaster of emotions you experience is like no other.
“When is the easy route ever the route to take?” - Dana White
It’s all worth it.