It's been a little nuts not having a normal day job lately. The unemployment checks are now steadily flowing in and it's great that I have enough coming in to keep afloat, but it's definitely tight. I've really tried to keep a good schedule of applying to jobs in the morning and then doing iPhone app development and/or web development in the afternoon and evenings. I'm working on my app as well as an app for a new start-up.
Most of everything I'm doing for the iPhone is completely new to me. I can be pretty hard on myself when it takes me longer than I expect to figure something out, but I think I'm doing well overall. I'm upset that I didn't meet my 30 day iPhone app deadline for instance, but in the end I know that it's better to spend extra time to make it work well. I'd rather spend extra time and release something I like rather than rushing just to finish by my made up deadline. There's no need for just another fart app... I might do silly apps in the future, but I guess I just have slightly higher standards for my first creation.
The following is what I've learned to be important for me to keep in mind as I work on various projects:
- Schedule everything and stick to it. If you don't think you'll finish something, just make sure it's not because you're making excuses for yourself and there is some real reasoning behind it.
- Market yourself. I mostly think just joining in on the conversation and trying to share what your doing is the best way to market yourself. I never want to come across as if I'm just a spammer.
- Network. The two minute elevator pitch goes hand in hand with marketing yourself, but is more about finding the next big thing.
- Link up with a trustworthy partner. If you have people in your circle that are like minded, meet up and partner. Going in alone is okay, but you're not going to be an expert in everything and having someone to fill in those gaps is extremely helpful. If you can't find a business partner, then you'll need a friend or a loved one that is supportive of your goals. I know I talk my girlfriend's ears off with my ideas, but she's a great source of support and encouragement for me. Couldn't do it without her.
- Network more... There's no need to really expand your workforce unless you're doing something that requires more than a few hands, but it never hurts to let people know what you're doing and meet people that like what you're doing... I think there's also a good balance between keeping secrets about your projects and letting everyone in on it too. I love sites that do the whole "sign up for the beta" thing... Half the time, even if I really don't know that I'll care about what the product is, I get hooked because I want to be one of the exclusive ones with access to it. Sigh.
- Work from home and don't buy stuff unless you absolutely need it. I think I'm as frugal as they come, but it is easy to get tempted to spend money on some expensive hardware even though the inexpensive version will most likely do things just fine. Until you can legitimately justify the cost, don't spend the money.
- Don't sell yourself short. It's tough to know your value, but it's not all about money either. I believe that when you're doing something you're passionate about, that will show through in your work and could lead to bigger and better things.
Wish me luck.