November 25, 2022 · 4 min read

To be or not to be

Every once in a while, I doubt if I can reach ramen profitability of $$5K in monthly revenue and question myself if I should return to a regular job.

I am mostly year in my journey working full time on my project, which makes only $$141 in MRR. And the project is not profitable. I spend more on it than I earn. It is far, far away from covering our family expenses.

My current MRR

The growth is slow, and I might spend all our family savings in one year at the current rate. So, I have a few options that I want to consider. I might have other choices, but that’s what I see from my perspective:

  1. Go all-in on one project—ScreenshotOne.
  2. Go all-in, but try to build more projects, including with partners.
  3. Go to work part-time or contracting if possible and build slowly on the side.
  4. If possible, go to work full-time and build even more slowly on the side.
  5. Find investments for the current project or new idea.
  6. Ask for a loan from financial structures or friends.
  7. Build quickly new project that makes money.

I will continue to grow and improve ScreenshotOne in any of these options.

All-in on one project is risky

I can’t go all-in with one project because I am not sure there is a good enough market for it to make $$5K MRR. But I am sure that complete focus on the project will make to grow it faster. How fast? I don’t know. But it is a serious bet.

Had the project grown faster? I would go all-in on it. I know that I am the reason why it grows slowly. But I don’t know how to improve velocity.

Continue the journey, but build more projects

One of the ways to hedge single-project risk is to build more projects to see what gets more traction. That is the hard one because I need to launch constantly many projects and see what gets traction. I can’t go deeper and give all the needed time to the project..

What if the project requires more time to grow? I can handle this by shutting down the project—letting it grow slowly.

Contracting for the rescue

That’s one of the options that I seriously consider. It still allows me to have more free time than a full-time job, but it will move focus away from projects, so my full financial liberation might happen later than sooner.

It is also a hedge bet against having a bad CV for recruiters. But should I really care? I write code daily, and I build complex production systems from scratch.

So, contracting will prolong our savings, but at the cost of losing momentum and focus on what I do. It also prolongs the period in which I get to my financial liberation.

A full-time job

The full-time job looks like a capitulation. I am fine with it. But I doubt that I will have time to do new projects or make big features.

I will have time only to support the current project and periodically write content for it. How do I know that? Because I already worked at a full-time job. And my mental focus was always on it. I couldn’t move any of my side projects. Zero progress.

Get investments or take loans

I don’t believe that ScreenshotOne is eligible for investments at the current stage. While the project makes money, the growth is slow and might not be that attractive. Build a new project solely to take investments? I can’t because I don’t know the results, and I don’t want to owe money in case of failure. I know that investors take the risk. But even mentally, I will feel that I owe them.

It might be an excellent option to force me to make it happen. But it also might be a colossal failure. It might be a good option later, once ScreenshotOne or other projects kicks off.

Loans are in the same category as investments for me.

Build quickly a new project that makes money

It is a random option that I added. Here, I think of building a straightforward SaaS with one feature in the profitable niche but starting from a life-time deal to fund the endeavor and validate assumptions. This one is a good combination and also can be done while contracting. I contemplate it.

Resume and the final decision

It is too risky for me to bet everything on one project and even on many projects. Knowing what I know now, I know there is no guarantee that I can do it in a year, two, three, or even ten. So, I will try to find an excellent contracting opportunity, and if not, I will return to a regular job. And I will work on the side for my projects. If needed, I will hire people. My biggest fear is to end up without savings at the end of the following year in the middle of the upcoming recession. And without the possibility of finding a job.

But having less time might force me to choose the right priorities and even progress more on my projects. I am tired of this stress of burning our savings, so let it be.

It is too risky for me to bet everything on one project and even on many projects. Knowing what I know now, I know that there is no guarantee that I can do it in a year, two, three, or even ten.