Week 10 of 52 to Indie Hacking





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Week 10 of 52 to Indie Hacking
By Jim Zarkadas • Issue #10 • View online
In case you missed it here is what happened on my previous weeks.

Μy first micro-product
It was Monday. The whole day was full of video calls with new IndieHackers. I had already planned five of them from the previous week, leaving only a few spare hours to focus on other tasks. At some point I received this notification from Twitter. Charlotte followed me. I had no clue who she was, so I started researching her profile. I saw that she is a co-founder of AvidFM an upcoming startup that focuses on audio lessons. “That’s interesting” I thought. Audio is a powerful medium to share information and it’s also a big hype at this moment.
The week before I wrote about my strategic decision to find and hire mentors. The decision was still fresh and floating in my mind. Once I was done with my research I was about to close my browser tab and move on to the next task. “Wait a second” I thought. I was feeling I was about to miss out on a business opportunity if I just close the tab and forget about Charlotte and AvidFM. So I took some time to think about it. “I have decided I want to hire mentors. I have also decided I want to follow the stairstep approach and build micro-products that are easy to market and sell.” “That’s it. That’s my chance. AvidFM is starting now and I am sure they are looking for new creators. I have seen that I enjoy coaching IndieHackers and teaching them about design. What I could do is to use AvidFM team as my mentors and ask them to help me create a successful course. It’s a win-win deal. They want me to be successful as a creator in their platform and I won’t even have to pay for a mentorship fee in this case.”
Without hesitating I sent a DM to Charlotte on Twitter and explained her that I want to create online courses about UX design for IndieHackers. I highlighted that I needed some guidance and mentorship to move on faster and smarter. I also asked her to make a video call to get to know each other and learn more about her startup, AvidFM. A few hours later she got back to me and she was very possitive with my idea. We scheduled a call for the same day and we got to know each other. She explained me in detail why audio lessons could be the next big thing in the online education industry. She is pretty experienced with this topic since she also learnt English and coding by doing audio lessons and she highlighted some remarkable benefits of them. “With audio lessons, creators can be more original (no camera to look at and pretend), and spend less time on editing and creating content. Also the absence of video means that their audience have to use their imagination and interpret the course content in a more creative with less distraction.”
“Damn that’s cool.” I thought. It’s weird to teach design without video. But feels like a very interesting experiment. In the end what I want to teach is the mindset and the mental frameworks that people should use. I don’t want to teach how to use a design tool or how to draw shapes. UX design is more about strategy, copywriting and other non visual-heavy stuff. Once we were done with our call I was super excited. Charlotte was very straightforward and told me they will help with the course outline, course promotion and my overall strategy. They know the industry of online courses very well and they will mentor and push me to publish something as soon as possible.
“That’s it. I have no excuses now. Charlotte already acts like my mentor and our call felt like our first session. I made a great achievement today. I found a mentor, I defined my first micro-product and I took the decision to move on without overanalyzing it. It feels super inspiring. I have an audience, a valuable validated product, a mentor and marketing channels I know how to use. I am really curious to see how this experiment will turn out.”
It’s time for holidays
The next two days I focused on researching my UX course content and on Thursday it was time to fly to Greece. A few weeks ago I decided to take some time off and booked my air tickets. I struggled a lot mentally to go for it. I don’t have any stable income yet. How can I take time off? It sounds crazy. But I know deep inside me it’s not. As I’ve mentioned in my previous issues, what matters to me is the journey and not the destination. I love the process of pursuing my dreams. I love IndieHacking cause it’s a fun way of working. My dream in this case is to be able to financially support myself at the end of these 12 months by not going back to fully employed.
I know my dream is feasible and there is always time to take off. Thinking that “I don’t have time for that” was a trap I fell into many times in the past. If I want to do something, I have to create time for it. The time is there I just need to adjust my schedule, shift priorities and go for it. In this case my priorities are not only becoming an IndieHacker but also spending time with the people I love. My friends and my family.
That’s why I decided to pause my work for August and start fresh on September to kickstart my first micro-product. For now I will focus on celebrating everything that I’ve achieved all these years and will spend as much quality time as I can with my loved ones. Because one thing I realized the last years is that no-one will be here forever. Sometimes “next year” never comes. So if I can do something today or this year, it’s better to do it and not wait. ❤️
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Jim Zarkadas

On the 1st of June 2020, I quit my job and started pursuing a career as a digital solo entrepreneur (aka indie-hacker).

For the next 12 months , every week I'll be sharing all of my learnings as well as the behind the scenes of coming up with an idea and making it happen. I've no clue what kind of products I am going to build, and figuring this out is also part of my journey.

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