Finding my Financial Balance as an Indie Maker

I've made more money in the first two months of 2020 than in the entirety of 2019, working the same amount of time.

More importantly, my one-man business has become ramen profitable: for the first time since I started in January 2018, I can cover my living expenses without picking from my savings.

90% of my revenues in 2020 come from freelancing as a technical writer, and the remaining 10% originate from my patrons at The Co-Writers. That's not what I originally planned as a tech entrepreneur, but it turns out I actually love working with different companies.

I think I reached a new crossroads in my life. I can either double down on freelancing and work on improving my hourly rate, or I can keep moving toward a pure product-oriented business model.

My hourly rate is already good—$90 an hour on average—but I don't spend much time freelancing. Developing my portfolio while spending more time writing and acquiring new customers would get me a hefty yearly salary. Big enough to "retire" before I reach my 30's—at my current yearly costs—to do whatever I want with my time.

The second option is as exciting to me. Making a digital product has the potential to help more people in less time. It's a long-term game I'm ready to keep playing, but it's a bet I have to take on the future.

Of course, I'm also free to divide my efforts between both options. It's a taboo subject in most entrepreneurial circles: if you don't have an all-in mentality, you're not taken seriously. 37signals/Basecamp is the classic example of companies startup incubators love to thrash. That's probably the first thing I learned joining a French YC-unicorn-minded incubator for a brief two months.

I also learned that being an outlier is the norm: no matter what society tells you, no matter what successful people say, it's okay to go against their advice and try things, as long as you learn from the experience and avoid repeating your mistakes. There is no unique path to create successful businesses in 2020.

Till June, my plan is to release Bouquin's MVP before April and resume my work at The Co-Writers to make it a sustainable business, while freelancing a few hours a week to pay the bills. After that, I'll have the necessary data to choose between the three aforementioned options.

I constantly have new business ideas, so I'm not afraid of what the future holds. One way or another, I'll keep thriving. One way or another, I won't let my people down.