What even is my goal?
That’s an important question. If I can’t answer that, I’ve got no business trying to adjust the course of my life. I can’t do that without a vison or a goal in mind. It needs to be tangible, out of reach yet attainable over time.
I think my ultimate goal is to be a lead developer on at least one (if not many) major open source project that is used by thousands of developers daily. That’s the “if money didn’t matter” dream.
Since money actually matters an incredible amount, I also have other goals. I want my family to be completely debt free in 5 years or less. That’s essentially 5 years of $2500 a month thrown at debt. As of right now, with my day job, I can contribute about $1600 a month towards my debt. It meets the minimum payments, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
I also have a goal of working for myself, and eventually starting my own business. I have been working a corporate lifestyle for the past 3 years and it has been torture. Not from a cushy paycheck every two weeks perspective, but rather from a growth, value and lifestyle perspective. I want to grow faster, make money based on my actual worth and how hard I work for it, and I want to have the flexibility to work from anywhere and have work be much more integrated with my family.
Having a side business is good practice, extra income is awesome and it is a good thing all around. But, what I can’t decide is whether or not I want to create a product or service to sell, or if I want to do client work.
You see, I need the money. That’s the killer here. My day job income is enough to get us by, but if I don’t figure out something soon, my goal of being debt free in 5 years or less will fade quickly.
I know that client work would be the quickest way to make some cash, but it also is the least attractive to me. I don’t know how to reach out to people and sell to them. I also don’t really want to. So trying to do that the last month or so has been quite the experience.
I think that ultimately, client work doesn’t really contribute to my goal of being a lead developer on an open source project. It’s not my cup of tea, and it’s something that would suck the life out of my passion for web development.
Am I complaining? Maybe. I can’t really be picky about how I get my money, since I actually need it sooner rather than later.
What I actually would like to do with my time is work on a project that I can eventually monetize. It works towards my goal of being a lead developer on a project, and it also works towards my goal of being debt free. Will it take longer? Maybe. Will it be more fulfilling? Definitely.
So that’s where I am at. I am deciding that projects are more important at this point. I have done a few other things in our lifestyle that will give us a money buffer, so that’s not as crucial. But I still need to work hard and crank some projects out quickly.
My first project is going to be a debt snowball calculator. I want to make it highly interactive and informative about how long it will take you to get debt free. I also want to gamify it somewhat. I can make it so it’s your goal to get out of debt faster than what the debt snowball originally says you will.
I need to think of some other services that I can build that other developers can use in their projects. That’s how I can work towards my ultimate goal.
This is only the beginning.