Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    After a year, my first business diary retires

    This week last year, I started a business diary. Spurred on by the success of React+d3js, it was time to get serious.

    i6gmKrF

    Every week, I would write down some numbers, take stock of how I pushed my side-hustle forward, and brainstorm some ideas on what to do next. Here’s what that first page said:

    Sales this week - Aug 9th, 2015 - Aug 15th, 2015:

    10 Student packages -> $87

    1 Engineer package -> $59

    Audience:

    Udemy course -> 112 students1

    Reactd3 email subscribers -> 160

    Blog subscribers -> 78

    Marketing

    React page views: 380

    Adwords: $70, 11k views, 30 clicks

    FB ads: $1, 5 actions, 4 clicks

    Things

    • published promo blogpost, this one
    • adjusted Drip campaign timing
    • researched email performance
    • started working on React+d3js update

    Result

    $75 profit


    i6gmKrF

    This Sunday, I wrote the last page that would fit in this notebook. Most entries were about a week apart, but some had an entire month between them. Life gets busy, and transcribing stats from charts you find online into a notebook is never a priority.

    Here’s what the last page says:

    Sales this week

    7 student packages -> $117

    4 Why programmers work at night -> $0

    53 ES6 cheatsheet -> $8

    Subscribers

    Reactd3 -> 4,341

    Why programmers work at night -> 736

    Blog -> 944

    Live coding -> 194

    Medium -> 427

    Marketing

    FBads: $46, 29 leads, decent reach

    Result

    $201 loss ?

    Things

    • paid my editor
    • I should move this to a spreadsheet

    I probably should move my diary into a spreadsheet, but I’m on the fence about this. A spreadsheet makes it easier to look at trends and draw pretty graphs. A notebook makes it easier to appreciate life.

    And yes, the last week in this diary is a $201 loss while the first week was a $75 profit. What a colossal failure! But not really. It fluctuates. Unlike a year ago, I have an editor now. I pay somebody to look at every single thing I publish.

    I started looking for one right after that first week in the diary. A few weeks later, I had an editor. My side-hustle usually has a loss on the weeks that his monthly invoice comes through.

    Such is life.


    Here’s what happened in this year of side-hustling:

    React Indie Bundle - 6 authors, 1 sale, $30k in a week

    React+d3js ES6 - book rewrite, relaunch, $9k in first month

    Weekly livecoding - pure fun, excuse to do cool shit

    React+D3 workshops - 3 iterations, about $9k

    ES6 cheatsheet - 1,184 emails, $314

    Daily blogging experiment - ongoing, stay tuned

    $27k in my share of sales2; 4 products launched; 2 things started to encourage doing cool shit; $4k spent on advertising; $2k on consultants; and some $2k on education materials.

    That’s an overall profit of about $19k.

    Which means I’m not investing enough in growth.


    1. This was my Mastering d3.js video course published through Packt. It has since died a whimpering death and has gone from Udemy. I don’t know if it’s still making sales somewhere else. We never even broke through the advance amount. ↩︎

    4) React Indie Bundle and the Workshops are a collaboration so I don’t get the whole pie. ↩︎

    5)

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on August 26th, 2016 in Business, Learning, Personal, side business, Side Projects

    Learned something new?
    Want to become an expert?

    Here's how it works 👇

    Leave your email and I'll send you thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

    Join Swizec's Newsletter

    And get thoughtful letters 💌 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. 👌"

    ~ Ashish Kumar

    Join over 10,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. ✌️

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

    Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own?  Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

    Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️

    Created bySwizecwith ❤️