Side Hustle

Inspired by the wonderful Indie Hackers community, as well as a great series of posts from Vincent Ritter a fellow micro blogger, I’m documenting my “side hustle” here.

I’m happily employed as a project manager at a great experience design consultancy. I’ve cofounded an online school that teaches the technical aspects of character animation. I’ve worked hard to get here, and am beginning to understand how fortunate and privileged I am.

However, I’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit, turns out. So, I’ve been wanting to ship a project, on my own, for a while now.

I’ve been tinkering with some ideas, for products and services. All of which, ultimately, have too much effort for the amount of energy and personal goals I have.

I’m 45, and still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up

I’ve struggled as an individual contributor; art, animation, design, and code. I’m OK with all those things, but best at teaching and coordinating.

Someone once said that I work best by helping people do their best work.

I find the most satisfaction by helping creative people (including developers) learn, and pass the things that are blocking them. So, I’m trying to make a service that does just that.

Instead of selling a product/tutorial I figured I’d just make the time to get on a call (video chat / screen share). It’s much more personal, and memorable. I have a ton of tutorials I’ve bought, and half watched or otherwise abandoned. By committing the the face to face, I get to help people, one on one, and hopefully they get a real value.

Zero code, zero dollars*

I built this entire service without a line of code and without spending a dime. OK, real talk: some time ago I spent about 50$ for the wonderful Carrd. Carrd promises “Simple, free, fully responsive one-page sites for pretty much anything” and does it ever deliver. I’ve been using it to prototype and build sites for a while, and I just can’t stop raving about it. In fact, one of my other Side Hustle projects is built on carrd itself. More on that some other time, perhaps.

But, other than that 50$, I’ve spent no other money. That may change when I need to point this thing at a domain name, but that should be 25$ or less. So, for less than 100$ I’m up and running.

While I can code a bit, I really wanted to challenge myself to get something out quickly and without learning a new language(s), or spending months to get it up and running.

I could hire a partner, but I don’t have a lot of money to hire folks, and I won’t ask someone to work for free. See F*ck you, pay me for the reasons why.

So I spent time researching good, cheap, and easy options. They are out there.

Tech Stack

  • Carrd for the website
  • Hover for when I eventually need to register a domain name
  • Unsplash free, high quality images
  • Mail Chimp to capture emails and send the “freebie” for registering. Permission marketing, if you will
  • Calendy for the scheduling
  • Stripe for payments
  • Typora to write this article
  • Micro.blog to post this article
  • 2011 MacBook Air. You don’t need to most expensive, latest and greatest. Use what you have.

MacJam

So I took all the above into consideration, and devised a service to help creative professionals utilize there Mac better.

My tagline is Book a 20 minute call with me to learn the secrets that accelerate productivity of Creative Professionals using a Mac.

This service is live, but needs a couple things. I’ll be finishing them up and “shipping” before the end of the year.

  • Create the content for the FlyCut freebie
  • Figure out discount codes on Stripe, or just skip payments for now to get some beta testers
  • Collect video from some upcoming sessions for the Examples on the front page
  • Gather some more testimonials

You can check it out at MacJam. I’ll move it to a proper domain, if and when the time is right.

Many Thanks

James Christie a colleague and friend gave me some great pointers on the previous incarnation of this idea. I owe him many tacos.

Josh Rose gave me some development advice, which led me to make the zero code decisions.

Brad Clark and Josh Carey, co-founders at Rigging Dojo for their constant support

Vikas Navani for letting me test out the idea.

The Indie Hackers community for being awesome.

Vincent Ritter who inspired me to get this all out of my head, and write it down here.