Making Progress With Freeing Up Time For My Other Business Unit Development

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This month marks the start of my resolution to dedicate 10 days a month to building the software product side of my business. I have successfully exited the consulting business. I am now also scaling back on the training business. It initially looked scary and a little foolish to deliberately switch off one of the main sources of my income. But when I compare this with when I was just starting out two years ago, I think this is a lot easier and will definitely pay off.

I am basically trying to manage my energy. I have, in unforgettable ways, realised that I have just same 24-hour day like other people and there is a limit to how much I can, without running mad, cram into each day continuously. And consulting biz is a very inefficient biz. It involves a lot of waste -- energy, time, resources and relationship. Some people are well suited for it; I am not. I hate having to rebuild the same thing over and over again because the client wants some non-ending updates. Yes, I should charge for every change request. But that's not the point. The point is I hate that type of work. I also hate meetings that waste my time. Consulting is 70% meetings. I also hate having to negotiate payments. And if you want to thrive in the consulting world, you need to love and be an expert at negotiation.

I am basically shifting to where I have comparative advantages. I love to be at the back-end, making things work. I am not greedy nor crazy about money. I want to build useful solutions/products that I will give a fixed price and put out there for everyone. Some people will think it is overpriced like they think our training is, some will say they can get it for free somewhere else and some will say they don't need it. But there will always be some who will think we are godsend -- answer to their prayers. They will pay for the products, thank us and still go the extra mile of getting us referrals. That is the type of business I want to build. Not some jaw-jaw consulting biz.

I have slowly been learning all I need to be the chief product officer and chief technical officer (lead programmer). Like I did with my training business arm, I started everything from scratch myself and then slowly got in people to help with some aspects. But they all know that I can do it myself or get someone else. Most importantly, vital leading/directions come from me. So everything is very coherent. We achieve higher efficiency than the competition and go farther.

It is always good to start small and grow slowly. I am very open-minded. I try everything, even the things that I am not naturally inclined to try. I stick to what works and let go of what doesn't. I also delegate. I have a team of about 8 people. Mostly freelancers but they get the job done reliably, faster and cheaper than full-time employees. And that is what matters at this stage. One day we will be too big to keep going that way and then we will hire full-time employees. And I am trying to lay the foundation on which I want that future to be on -- software products.

Am I making progress? I think, yes.


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