Five Years and Thirty Courses Later

After several years of false starts, I finally finished a project for my business and launched it. Now I’m afraid to tell anyone.

If you have been around a while, you probably know that I’ve set off down several paths of self-employment, but eventually balked, changed my mind, and started over. I have hinted at my work in the last year, as I learned to program again, and spent my time immersed in such things as How to Start a Startup, the Lean Canvas, and all things Seth Godin. I was interviewed by the provincial paper at one point, and admitted that I had just calculated what $1B in revenue looked like, by $/user/month. One. Billion. Dollars.

Meanwhile, back in reality land, I still have trouble selling Girl Guide cookies. This is what we call, in the education field, a “gap”. Somewhere between $5 and $1B, I need to learn to put a price on my work and then let people pay me for it.

To that end, I’ve been taking a second set of training programs alongside the Big High Growth Startup ones, and those are the small business bootstrapping approaches. I haven’t committed to one approach or the other, but I became pretty convinced that if I couldn’t finish and launch a $20 product, I was not going to be able to help lead a company that would need $30 – $40,000 a month to cover expenses.

Finally, today, after three years of writing and setting things aside I finished one and put a buy button on it. (Link to the thing in the footnotes!)

The emotional blocks to entrepreneurship have been much higher and harder to get through than the practical ones.

I admit, I feel a little awkward putting this here, in case you think I’ve just become a big-ol’-pitch cheater… because as I said, it is my living room blog… but if you came for dinner at my house, and I had just published something, I would tell you about it. So I’m telling you about it.

That is also the story of why The Practical Dilettante only has five posts this year, in a nutshell. Somehow I lost track of my living room in all of this working… which, if you saw my house, you would know was not just a metaphor. The emotional blocks to entrepreneurship have been much higher and harder to get through than the practical ones. Even this moment, even excited about having built something, I don’t really want to have to tell you about it. I want it to just happen magically, without ever having to say, “Hey, I made a thing”.

But, hey, guys! I made a thing!

As I mentioned in passing much earlier in the year, I’ve been working on a project called Nerdique. It is a pretty major software undertaking, but for our very first product, (and practice run) we created a mini-course called, Take us to Lunch. This is to get our nerdy folks to start taking their lunch breaks as a practice space for taking more time for their fabulous hobbies and side projects. (If you decide you want to get it, there is a discount code of NERDPEEPS that will give you $7 off until October 31. Because it would be extra silly not for me to tell you that bit, too.)