Jay Shirley

I'm building an app to form great habits and achieve your dreams.

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The Daily Practice

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One month of freedom

Published: 18 Aug 2012

I intended to write this last week, but life got in the way. It’s been a month since I made a huge decision, and started working on my own.

I’ve been focusing on building a recurring to-do list called The Daily Practice.

I care very deeply about improvement and achieving new things, and building a tool that helps myself (and others) is very cool. When I see people using TDP to learn Japanese I’m in awe. There are nearly 5,000 people who have registered (though significantly fewer active users). This blows me away.

It’s been an interesting ride, and writing on this helps me reflect. So how has it been?

The Good

I’m really productive. I was actually worried when I started that I would find myself with mental blocks and have diminished performance. I think it’s common for people to think they need to have some manager above them guiding the ship. I certainly felt that I wouldn’t have clear direction. I even enlisted my wife to help me stay true to the course.

Created v. Resolved Chart

I’ve succeeded at it, though. I’ve had some divergences, but they’ve been in response to usage and some new ideas. It’s been really great and I’ve accomplished more than I thought I would. I try to track everything pretty closely, so I can go back and look at how well I’m doing and get immediate visual feedback. This visual feedback is a running theme in my life.

The Bad

It can’t all be good. Though even the bad is ok. TDP still isn’t pulling in revenue, mostly because I don’t have the business application done. I’m close and the framework is laid, but it’s not there yet. This means I have no salary yet!

This has been offset by working with an awesome group of car racers for a few hours a week, and that’s actually been a lot of fun. It’s working on technologies that I find interesting, plus it’s pretty autonomous. They have features they want, I add them in. I wish all consulting was like that!

The other bad part is that I’m isolated. I don’t have any geeks to share my passion with that are part of TDP. When I do something neat, I can’t show it off to someone who has a vested interest in its success. That part is kind of a drag.

I intended to offset this by going to more of the Vegas Tech meetups. Instead, I’m stuck on crutches and a knee brace for another few weeks. Soon I’ll venture out more often.

The Awesome

I can’t leave this on a negative note. Especially when I’m doing something that is so spectacular. This has ruined me. I hope that I can keep this momentum going. I hope I can continue to create useful products.

This independent life? It’s just too awesome to give up. I know that if TDP gets some business traction life will be hectic, but I thrive on this. I love having a product out there with real users.

I can think that I wish I would have made this change earlier, but the time wasn’t right. The best fruit is only good when ripe.