Side hustles revisited

In my early twenties I started working full-time in IT. I was saving some money, so I tried starting my own online business. I racked my brain for business ideas, and armed with my IT skills, always tried building a website or online product. It was always a rushed project to start generating income. The quality of the sites degraded with each project. The online products were better quality, because they were small and easier to finish, but I didn’t know how to attract customers so they ultimately failed.

With each project failure I had less and less energy. Even worse, I had a growing voice inside telling me each project would fail. I always gave up, because I ran out of time, money, or motivation.

I would review the website analytics reports each morning and night for any signs of a heartbeat. On one project I was so desperate that I poured money into traffic referral services and online advertising. The analytics reports gave some signs of life, but it was false hope. The numbers died when my advertising budget dried up.

Each dead project piled onto a wall of stress and doubt, which would hit me every time I looked at the analytics. I prayed for a surge in traffic, but was small blips or a flat line.  

The enthusiasm to earn enough to leave my day job kept me going for about 10 years. Each new project started with excitement and late nights of coding. Eventually, exhaustion and frustration at not earning money would hit, and I would launch with whatever I had finished. After a few weeks desperation would set in, and I would scramble to find ideas to jump start traffic flow.

Maybe I always made the same mistakes. My projects were always about what I wanted to build. I never had a specific customer to shape my product, provide income, and be an advocate for my work.

A decade since I packed up my last project had now passed. I had lots of free time and felt ready to start my next project. I had tried to purchase website hosting several times, but always stopped at the checkout, because I didn’t want another failure. I really didn’t know how it would be any different this time, but I felt the need to try.

I retired early, should I get a job?

Joe retired in his mid-thirties to spend more time with his young family. He started this blog to share his story, help others plan their path to retirement, and enjoy retired life.

Please consider sharing this story with your network. Joe relies on referrals to share these stories with readers just like you.

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