I occasionally get asked what my secret sauce, hack-to-success, or magic pill is that I used to get to the point I am right now in my Indiehacker career (Is this a thing? Let's call it like that).
While I would love to tell you that super special secret, I have to disappoint you, unfortunately. However, there's one thing, one big thing, that has contributed to my success so far.
I recently stumbled on this Reddit thread where the OP was wondering if he's doing the whole digital nomad thing in the wrong way. Why? Well, even though he gets to spend his time in the most beautiful places on earth, his daily work routine still consists of waking up, getting a coffee, heading to a coworking space, working 8 hours and then going home and having dinner.
Eat, sleep, repeat.
He's worried as he always imagined spending his time exploring these unique places, yet even though he's there, he's still working 8 hours of the day. He's doing his routine. Maybe taking the weekend off to do some exploring but generally, it is the same routine - every day.
Well, let me tell you this. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past two years. Every day the same routine.
I might have switched location to a cooler place (in my situation Lisbon) but in the end, it's still a consistent routine and perseverance that I was aiming for—waking up, learning about coding and trying to implement it as best as possible. For the past two years, besides working out in the gym, I have spent 10-12 hours a day learning about coding and building side projects to strengthen my skills. Now, this sounds mundane, doesn't it?
It might but there's a reason for all of this. You see, my biggest goal is to make a living while also being fully independent, working from wherever I want and whenever I want. Have I made sacrifices in my journey so far?
A ton. For example, I significantly reduced my social interactions (including dating). I also had quite an unhealthy diet in the beginning. Do I regret it? No, not at all.
This topic is very important to me because I believe that without some sort of grind, you won't be able to be a good entrepreneur. Even though you should not see pain as an unit of effort, all the entrepreneurs I have talked to seem to share the same sentiment regarding suffering being part of building businesses. There's some sort of beauty I see in suffering and failing (imagine only seeing red error codes for a straight week while you are way behind your set deadlines) and I feel like you should do too. Now, I don't want you to grind 24/7h 365d. Doing this will safely guide you into a burnout. I have almost been there. It's not fun.
That being said, if you want to see success and improvement, you need to be consistent with your work. Pieter talks about 95% of everything he ever built failed. Being an Indiehacker is a numbers game. The more you do it, the better you get, the more skills you will acquire. Now, if you don't want to put in some of that "grind," that's fine; perhaps it will work for you without it.
But I want to address those of you who feel "guilty" for making social sacrifices to pursue their dream goal and might get blended by startup twitter on how easy it is to build a business. It's not and you should embrace the fact that it is hard. Create your routine, acknowledge some temporary sacrifices and stick to it and I am sure you will succeed.