Reflections on my second year as an indie maker

June 09, 2019 • ☕️ 3 min read

Exactly on Feb 2018 I left Trusting Social to follow the indie maker path. Since then, I have been becoming increasingly active in makers communities, from Makers Kitchen to Product Hunt, and have witnessed some amazing people build truly exceptional products. Every day I see people collaborating on projects, discussing the latest in tech, and helping each other achieve their goals. I think now is the time to chronicle exactly what drives my interest in this area, and how it has changed my life.

I wanted to be an indie hacker for multiple reasons but the biggest motivation has always been my passion for building products. I love side-projects because it’s fun and you get to learn a wide range of skills.

I understand that money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness but it can buy freedom and I think it’s a big deal at least for me. Not having enough money is always very stressful and making money is usually more fun.

Not having a co-founder is fine

Being a solo founder is hard, but it has a silver lining. The communication cost of making decisions and shipping something is extremely low. Do not let people tell you that you need a co-founder to build a successful business. I have many examples of solo founders building million-dollar companies. Of course, having a co-worker might make things much easier, but finding someone who is natural fit as your business partner is hard.

Start writing ASAP

Writing about your business and sharing your learnings with your audience is worth your time. Writing helps you to promote your work and expand your network. Regardless of whether your business succeeds or fails, you won’t lose your audience and it’s a great foundation for your next thing.

Writing is also a great exercise for self-discovery. When you write, you become more self-aware and start to better understand your strengths and weaknesses. When you’re more self-aware, you become better at delegating your tasks and it helps your business.

Freedom and Creativity is infinite

I have been able to fully express myself, and have had full creative freedom over the work I have been doing. These skills have transferred over to every aspect of my life, and have made me a better person, as well as allowed me to provide better advice to other people.

I love how low the barrier for being an indie maker is, it has never been easier and cheaper to make a difference. All you need is some free time and a laptop in order to get started with indie making, with no technical knowledge required. The indie maker movement also removes the requirement to quit your job to build something profitable so you can work full-time

Only one solid source of income is dangerous

Dangerous myth of passive income is that you can generate all the money you need with a single source of revenue. This is like putting all your stock market investments into a single company. If that stock does great, you’ll be rich! But, if its prices fall, you could find yourself practically broke.

It’s better to diversify your income sources, especially if you’re planning on having these revenue streams replace your current job.

Passive income is a myth

This is perhaps the most dangerous myth associated with passive income. We all like the idea of not needing to do any additional work after setting up a blog or online store. But, real life is never so simple. Blog visitors expect new content on a consistent basis. People who enroll in an online class expect personalized support when they encounter a problem. The internet itself is constantly changing.

If you aren’t doing your part to stay on top of industry changes, customer expectations and other responsibilities you’d find in any “active” business, your passive income will quickly dry up. Even when you delegate responsibilities, you’ll need to check in with your team to make sure tasks are being performed up to your standards. You’ll also probably need to continually fine-tune your idea to help it stay relevant.

All the people that I know who have a “passive income” from products also work harder than anyone else I know. They put in the time upfront to make valuable and awesome things. They continue to market, create and invest in their products. They spend endless hours a week doing interviews, making connections, putting out feelers and creating tons of epic content.