The Part Time Creator Manifesto ∊ swyx.io
Why we need more people creating Part Time and how you can do it too.
Yes, I'm a believer of this.
I did this whilst working at Indie Hackers, starting Rosie.land, getting my newsletter to $20k ARR, then also a course ($15k).
And I accepted a job 🙈 where my side gig is allowed. I wouldn't have accepted it if it wasn't.
Definitely. I think a lot of people could avoid mental anguish by ensuring that when they accept a new job they negotiate so they are allowed to work on their own stuff outside of working hours. Usually this means removing a few boilerplate clauses from the contract. I've done it and have seen others do it too.
You can either be straight about it (recommended) or I've seen some use the excuse of having significant open-source projects which they don't want an IP conflict on. Obviously only works if your projects aren't
competitors to the employer!
hi! I'm the author and wrote this after I reached a major milestone with my product: https://www.indiehackers.com/product/cracking-the-coding-career/crossed-100k-in-sales-7-months-after-launch--MVmmQmH3PegWHYg0cNW
happy to take any questions!
Thanks for sharing this. This resonates well as I am currently setting up digital products that I hope will generate some revenue down the road. The part you mention
"I want to clearly acknowledge that this path requires privilege and is not for everyone. The cards are stacked against you from the beginning"
Curious, what are you thoughts on the timeline, how long should a person should work on a gumroad project before seeing any meaningful result? For example, how long did you take to reach your meaningful result as a creator? Thanks 🙏
personally i had success right off the bat. you can read about my launch lessons and revenue trajectory here https://dev.to/swyx/lessons-and-regrets-from-my-25000-launch-3aaa but TLDR i sold an empty pdf for $4k on my announcement day... because i had done 3 years of blogging for free prior to that
So I quit my job thinking that it'd be the best thing for getting my project off of the ground and while it means I've been able to get a huge amount done, the other stresses add up fast. I'm a solo founder and sitting at home with my dwindling savings in the back of my mind 24/7 takes its toll!
Having spent 2 months building the hardcore bits, I'm now considering taking either another full-time job to replenish my supplies while I figure out my sales, distribution and product strategy. I'm lucky being a software engineer as work is quite easy to come by at the moment but I think it's a sensible strategy.
Nice write-up. I tend to agree with most points, but I have been there and done that, and know the pitfalls.
First, you have to have the requisite skill level before you can do anything. Most developers are not ready to actually build something real until they have some actual FAANG experience. Many developers will never work at a FAANG, so they will take more time to get the requisite skills to build a competitive product. Add a full-time job to the mix, an it can feel extremely daunting to simply LEARN! If you are self-taught (like me), it can take even longer!
Honestly, I grew my skills (rate of learning new techniques, technologies, etc.) more in the couple of years since leaving Amazon/AWS than in my 5.5 years working for Amazon/AWS. What I did learn from Amazon was mostly about business process, automation, and scaling. I still use many of the leadership principles in my businesses today. So, there really is no substitute for working at a FAANG. Again, most developers will not have this opportunity.
"Independent creation has far less health, safety, diversity, accessibility, or other forms of protection offered by traditional employment."
I tend to disagree with the above-statement. Since unlocking the "golden handcuffs" I find my everyday work far more satisfying.
Health: I make enough money every month to purchase a premium health-insurance plan for my wife and me.
Safety: I never go into an office, neither does my wife. This became especially important with COVID. We live in the country. We have complete freedom to work wherever we want.
Diversity: We work with customers, mentees, students from around the world (across all our business lines). I have daily conversations with folks from India, Nigeria, and many of the 50 United States.
Accessibility: To what? Again, I can explore whatever I want now that I work for myself. EVERY technology I am interested in is accessible, because I have TIME and FREEDOM.
Check milestones for one of my companies here on IH: https://www.indiehackers.com/product/lend-a-hand-accounting
There really is not as much comfort and security in traditional employment as you might think. You are stuck at a specific salary, and you need to jockey and compete with peers to get ahead. With your own business, you determine how much your monthly check will be. If you bust your butt, you will make a killing. If you are lazy and play XBox all day, you'll be looking for a "real" job in no time.
Furthermore, once you leave a traditional job, you don't have much to show for it, except the fact you had a job where you did "xyz". There is no loyalty amongst employers nowadays. Sure, they make you feel like you are indispensable (especially in tech), but EVERYONE is replaceable.
Good one @swyx , can't agree more.
Loving this manifesto. Thank you for sharing. I'm definitely in the $0 phase, but I've already discovered some of the things you write about in your manifesto. This definitely helps reaffirm my feelings as a part time creator and gives me hope for when I can have revenue and keeping my full time job (which is enjoyable).
Honestly, I don't think you should worry if the project doesn't take 100 percent of the time. Because sometimes, it only hurts. I'm not a super-specialist. But it seems to me that the first project needs to be loved. When I was doing my first project, I went to see him after work, and it was my vacation. And he treated him with great love. Correct me if this is not the case.
Amazing, thanks for writing this.
Thank you for sharing!
A lot of insightful and useful information in there. Your concluding paragraph really nails the point in. The previous generation didn't have it the same as us. Also, the options we have for remote/part time work were never there. As per most things, its all about balance!
Couldn't agree more with this. Thanks for writing!