Three Months In

At the end of last year I wrote about how I was going to reduce my 2012 client work by one day per week per quarter. This was an attempt to get myself to finally make the switch from client work to product creation.

I’m supposed to drop to three days of client work a week today, so I thought I would fill you in on how the past three months have gone. Not everything has been according to plan.

First, we launched Lose It or Lose It “Feats”, which is another way to browse all the weigh-ins on the site. I wanted a new way to look at all the data on the site, and this addition does it swimmingly. The only downside is that we need to find a way to link to it from the main site.

Second, we finally launched the “Keep It Off” part of Lose It or Lose It. This has been around unofficially for quite a while but it was never before visible to the public. Now it is.

Third, I’ve worked on yet another project that I think can have both personal and wide-ranging appeal. It’s called Dossí (as in dossier, formerly called memoi). Dossí is a personal relationship manager. It acts like a customer relationship manager, but it focuses on personal – not business – relationships. I have a desktop browser version that I am using on a daily basis. This version only needs a few more features before I can start work on the mobile version.

I completed all of this because I took one day a week to work exclusively on my own products. I would say that most things have gone pretty well, but I’m still concerned about this whole plan. There are a couple of elements that made things a little more stressful than I thought they were going to be. For example, I saw the “company savings” plateau, then start to drop, and that’s the first time I watched that happen. It made me nervous, which makes me realize that I am more risk-averse than I had thought. Also, the first quarter happened to be tax season, and I faced a steep tax bill. This has totally scared me back into client work and I haven’t taken one day off the past few weeks.

This backtracking saddens me, but I think I am going to abandon the schedule I laid out at the end of last year. I just think it is too stressful to tackle alone. The better way (for me) would be to take 3–4 weeks off at a time to work on my products, so that I have a better sense about fixed costs. This approach worked really well when I launched Lose It or Lose It in late 2009. I had the site designed, and, when it was finished, I took three consecutive weeks off from client work, banged out the first version, and launched it.

Another option could be to sell Lose It or Lose It and use the money to pay myself as I work on Dossí. This is somewhat enticing because I’ve used Lose It or Lose It to lose a lot of weight and craft a healthier lifestyle, but I am almost ready to move on.

All in all, it has been a good experience. I got a lot done and it pushed me past being comfortable. Now I just have to try taking a month off and see how that goes.