I've spent most of the last two weeks fighting a cold (colds?) and then frantically catching up with work. It's been difficult to keep attention on this project when there are always fires to put out.
At least, that's what I've been telling myself. As it turns out, I've been thinking about it all wrong. Years ago, my dad gave me a book called The Richest Man in Babylon, which was a series of financial lessons wrapped up in a parable. The number one rule is, in effect, "Pay yourself first."
So that's what I've started doing. Instead of trying to squeeze in time after a long day at work, I've started paying myself first. It has required making some drastic (though not unfamiliar) changes to my schedule, but I'm now able to wake up, work out, then spend at least an hour of time on my personal goals before walking to work at 8:30.
An in that time, I've furthered my thinking about what to do next. As I wrote in the last update, people don't buy mindsets; they buy solutions to specific problems. In an ideal world, I could devote my time and energy to coaching software developers, but a coach may practice and promote a singular mindset for success, at the end of the day it still requires bespoke solutions, since every person is different, and has different deficiencies.
So I went back to the drawing board. What skills do I have that people value? I tucked that thought away in the back of my head. A few days ago, I was preparing for my day, and noticed a calendar appointment with a friend of mine who is trying to grow his business.
And that's kind of when it dawned on me. Over the past ten years, dozens of friends have asked me for tech advice in some capacity. Sometimes it's about a specific piece of tech ("What kind of laptop should I buy?") but more often, it's a question about something software development related—some app they want to build, or service they want to provide via some website, but don't know how to start on. They're smart but nontechnical people who want to solve a problem through technology.
That's the product. Do you have an awesome idea for a thing, but don't know what you need to build (app? website? game?), or who you need to potentially hire (artist? copywriter? programmer? marketer?) to build it? Here is the solution. Here's exactly what your solution breaks down into in terms of software, and here's exactly who you need to hire to build it. Moreover, here's what you should interview/look for in people.
The value proposition is simple. Save time (and therefore money) by knowing precisely what to do next.
The other nice aspect of this is it's something I can start as a consulting service, but gradually build into a touch-free information product, which lets me scale it out. It takes advantage of my core skill of software creation, as well as multiple secondary skills I've been slowly improving over the years—research, deconstruction, project planning, project coordination, interviewing.
So... I'm progressing in this direction. And it's a good thing, because I'm about out of time for brainstorming.