Yesterday I asked what you could do with an extra $1,000/month and got a bunch of cool replies. Everything from "Give it to my wife, obviously" to _"You know that $75k average looks pretty damn good in my country ..."_
You're right, it does. Where I'm from – Slovenia – $75k means you make as much as the president.
Where I'm at now – San Francisco – the number is closer to $320k. Global averages are funny like that. ¯(ツ)/¯
Today I wanted to talk about this 👇
So... what do I need to do to make an extra $1,000/month?
Thanks Brad, great question! ❤️
Your best bet is to solve a problem. Doesn't have to be big. It's better, if the problem is small.
Like John Gall once said about systems
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.
Same is true for business. Every good business starts by solving one very specific problem.
Blue Bottle offered a good coffee roast. Google found your website. Netflix sent DVDs. Amazon had every book in stock. Lyft showed how long you'll wait. Tesla had an electric car that's exciting. IBM processed a census in weeks instead of years.
Huge now. Started small.
You don't have to aim that high, my friend. Aiming that high is scary snd difficult no matter what Bruce Lee says.
Solve a small problem, my friend. Don’t worry about how big it gets. You can’t make $10,000 without first making $1,000.
Think about a time you spent $5 on an app. What was it?
I once paid $19 for an app that hides desktop icons. Because my desktop is where temporary files go to die.
The app makes me look good in public.
Or there’s an app with a $5 subscription that tracks business restaurant spending. I could just put receipts in a box.
But when I'm doing taxes, a folder of photos will be soooo much easier.
I even have an app to track my food. $9/month even tho I could use a spreadsheet. Just because the app comes with a food database and a nice form.
Hell, I once bought $10 of cable organizers just because I was tired of digging my phone charger from under the couch every day.
Tiny little annoyances. You might not even think they’re worth solving.
But they go away and it's like a fog lifts off your day. You can breathe, my friend.
How often do you get annoyed by a tiny little thing? Think others do too?
- They’re annoying
- Too small for the big companies to go after
- Everyone feels them
- The internet is a big place
Number 2 is important. Nobody else will solve your problem. You have to do it.
Then charge a small fee.
Because as Pieter Levels once said, there's only so many ways to make a million dollars.
$1,000 is even easier.
What's something that annoys you, my friend, that you'd pay $5 to solve. Do you think there's 200 others in the whole wide world who'd do the same?
I think there are.
PS: Indie Hackers has a cool list of crazy ideas making $1,000/month, check it out
Here's how it works 👇
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. 👌"
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 ❤️