A rather odd week for me. On Monday I got a little shock to the system when I checked my bank account, realised I had -£950, with over £1k of bills coming out in the next few days and no way of paying them. Usually when I’m in this position I’ve got outstanding invoices primed and ready. But not this time.
I tweeted about it partly for some accountability, partly to share that it’s not all big MRR milestones and partly because I hoped I’d get some people reach out to support me. It worked.
A week later, I’ve got 6 new podcast clients, 2 new podcast sponsors, sold £300 of wallets and put a bunch of my stuff up for sale. I’ve more of less got out of the hole I was in, earning about £3,000 in the process.
It’s been the most intense week I’ve had in a very, very long time. I’ve kinda thrived in it and enjoyed the rush of getting so much money so quickly. I just wish it hadn’t come to having -£950 in my bank account with no other options to make it happen.
It doesn’t fix the problem
I say I’m out of the hole- but that’s not really true. I’m out of the bad position I was in on Monday, but it doesn’t fix the bigger problem that is my level of debt and spending habits.
I’ve thought about exploring this further. In a series of blog posts or even as a podcast. I’ve got about £20k in credit card debt, £10k in loans and still outspend what I’m earning.
It almost doesn’t matter how much I earn each month, I’m still always in my overdraft, close to the limit and still spending on stuff I don’t need.
I need to make some fundamental changes in my financial life, without making it miserable. Cancelling excessive subscriptions, selling my motorbikes and then catch myself when I’m buying more stuff.
That would be steps towards fixing the problem. The next would be to put my head down for a few months to out-earn the debt. To get ahead of it.
Fortunately, for the moment, I seem to be feeling productive and ready to do what it takes to get out of this position. That being said I don’t want to put myself in the position I’ve been in the part year of being depressed and burnt out. That is worse than any financial troubles.
Is this level of work sustainable?
The question has been floating around my head that if I can make £3k in one week, why can’t I do that every week?
I’ve enjoyed the adrenaline I’ve had all week, hustling to get invoices paid and thinking of creative ways to earn my way out of this hole. However, I think this a quick-fire route to burnout.
The truth is I’ve barely slept, waking up at 3am and not being able to go back to sleep without finishing that project that has a deadline later that day. I’ve been stressed about how much work I’ve now taken on, which is the opposite of what I’m trying to achieve as an indie hacker - a calmer, more sustainable life.
I’m going to try and strike a balance. A little bit more “hustle” combined with consistently sensible financial decisions.
Should I speak more about my finances as I attempt to pay down this debt? Let me know.
What next for me?
So now I've got out of the hole for this week, let's talk aims and actionable steps. What am I actually going to do to get out of this mess?
- Scale my podcast production service PodPanda
I've already made good strides this week towards this getting the new clients in and finanlly "launching" it to the world. From here I need to work on defining my offering, find freelancers to help carry out the work and build a marketing funnel. I don't think I want to do this long term, but it's certainly the most obvious step for consistent income for me.
- Increase earning potential for Indie Bites
This week I doubled my sponsorship price for Indie Bites, bringing it to £225 per episode, after seeing the success of pod sponsorships for my show No More Mondays. I've now got to ensure that I fill the slots at that price, which might take some more sales. I'm also planning to double the frequency of episodes to 2x per week, giving the earning potential a boost to £450 p/w.
- Other side projects
The top two will be my main focus for now but there are some other revenue generating projects I can start to put more effort into. Firstly, my course, which I feel can be a part of the marketing funnel for PodPanda. I want to improve it and start making content to sell it. The more people with podcasts, the happier I am. You know what else makes me happy? Handmaking leather wallets. So I'm going to do more of that.
- Stop buying and start selling
Another thing I've already started with James' internet bootfair, but getting rid of some of my more expensive things is going to help me both raise some funds, but also clear out some of the mental headspace the physical things are taking up (I feel like just because I own a drone, I need to fly it often. When in fact, I do not.) From here it's going to be an adjustment for me to stop buying the stuff I don't need. We'll see how that goes.