In Only Fools and Horses Del Boy was a successful businessman with a cashflow problem. Always up to some scheme or another, always on the verge of "This time next year, we'll be millionaires!"
That's how I feel at the start of 2018. Many irons in the fire, not much happening.
Sidehustle is down to half a month's runway. About $900 in the bank.
Thanks to some luck in timing, it's going to last a month. Already paid everything for this month.
Book sales are tanking, mind is preoccupied with other projects, day job startup is growing in needs. It's starting to take off and I gotta keep things running on my end. Stressful.
I think the sidehustle made around $1800 in sales for January. Haven't had time to count. Thank god for marketing automation.
People don't usually write articles about this point in their business. That's why I am. It's a roller coaster, ups followed by downs.
Did you know cashflow kills 25% of small businesses? This stuff gets real tricky real fast.
So here I am, a month of money in the bank, a few huge expenses coming down the pipe[^1], and enough outstanding-but-not-yet-cash things to make your eyes water.
Oh yeah, I didn't mention those before did I?
You know how I did that workshop in December? Still no cash. Corporations are hard. After 50 days the invoice has entered processing. Now what happens I don't know, I'm not even the point person on this. I just wait.
I get royalties for all of that.
Except I don't because Packt has had the wrong bank details and that money never reached me. I didn't notice for 2 years! 2 years!
Packt sent royalty statements. "We will pay you thiiiiiis much". Packt sent money. Money bounced and went back to them. They didn't tell me. 2 fucking years and not a word.
It's a few thousand dollars and they assure me it's coming February 15th for sure.
Then there's the Big Deal I alluded to in a recent vlog. I don't wanna jinx it before money hits account but, damn.
There's a word to describe this situation. It's called stressful.
It's a roller coaster. Things go up. Things go down. Observers don't notice because ups get likes, downs do not.
Algorithms then hide the downs because of low engagement and everyone thinks everyone is always crushing it. We're not. Nobody is always crushing it.
No matter what GaryVee wants you to think.
I did write about having a damn good year. But I got excited with my accounting and I'm still waiting to get some $10,000 of that. Oops.
As my first ever freelancing client used to say: "I don't believe in money until it's in my bank account"
He was right. Don't count your money before it's yours.
On top of that, the sidehustle was living large in December. Got a nice new monitor, spotted the girlfriend some cash for a new laptop, gave my freelancers nice Christmas bonuses, prepaid a bunch of stuff for 2018, paid some taxes in advance ... it adds up.
You might think that was stupid, but it wasn't. Just aggressive.
You see, spending "excess" money in one tax year on things that benefit you in the next year is a cashflow management strategy. You invest in the business and it lowers your taxes for this year and lowers your operating expenses for next year.
Spend the money when you have it, not when you don't.
If you keep it, then next year you're going to both pay a lot to the IRS and still have to pay for the things you need. Double whammy.
Wouldn't you rather just have the things you need? I would.
Well, there's two ways a product business makes more money.
- Get more leads.
- Build new products.
Time to clean up the distractions and focus on those two. The money will come. Follow the process. 🙏🏻
Not much I can do about the money that's already on the way. I can wait, maybe send some emails. Good thing I put some money away when times were good so I can cover the cashflow hole while I wait.
Ever heard of the grasshopper and the ant? Save for a rainy day. It will come.
[^1] Maybe not huge for you but huge for me, a few thousand dollars are gonna go poof for some important things. I'll talk about it when that story concludes.
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️