September 2023

Not sure if these will eventually turn into formal income reports, but for now, I want to have a place where I can review what I did during the previous month.

I launched this site and new overall direction of my life in August of 2023 (8/30/23).

The plan is simple. Create a new SaaS, write about how it is going. I even came up with a cute hashtag, #SaaStember.

Man plans…

I was making great progress with my plans on 8/30, but then I had to take my wife to the emergency room the evening of 8/31.

So far, everything is ok, but the first week of September was pretty much out the window. Kids, dogs, and responsibilities at home take priority.

Everything was settled by 9/11, but I was upset by my lack of progress. I need to start bringing in cash right away. I started thinking about potential courses or ebooks that I could sell.

Classic Shiny Object Syndrome

Funny how quickly you can divert yourself from your stated goals.

I need something quick and easy. So I thought about how and what I have learned recently. I settled on copy work. It’s a way of learning that I have used a few times over the past 10 or so years.

I read about it first in Benjamin Franklin’s biography. More recently Sam Parr of the hustle has popularized it and has his own course about it. I thought it would be easy to share how I had used it to get back into SaaS.

A few months ago when I started playing around with the idea of getting back into building SaaS products I wanted to get familiar with building again. I started following indie creators to see what and how they were doing it.

Pieter Levels resonated with me because he was doing what he knew and using tools that worked for him, not chasing the latest tech. I looked through all of the websites he mentioned on his twitter bio.

I settled on rebase, which was a lead-gen site for people interested in immigrating to Portugal.

I opened up the browser, then the devtools and started copying the site. I started first with HTML only. Then I added the CSS and finally the javascript. This is not copy and paste work. This is copy work. You have to copy each line yourself.

I knew how to use all of these technologies, but I had not done it in quite a while. It was a great refresher, but I also learned a ton.

It is really cool to watch the bland HTML transform into something beautiful by layering on CSS. Then watch the pretty site become functional by adding on javascript. Nerdy, yes, but still cool.

When copying someone else’s work you also notice nuance behind some of their choices, you can see them going down a certain path and then reversing course later. Changes in naming convention, commented out code, it’s like reading tea leaves.

I highly encourage everyone to leave comments and changes in your code. It was really interesting for the guy (me) reading every line of of HTML.

More importantly, this copy work process, really helped me get started working on my own SaaS app. I stopped worrying about what technology to choose and instead started by just using the tools I knew.

If this exercise worked for me, I figured it could work for everyone. This is what I was going to sell.

I didn’t want to dedicate too much time, so I had AI create a few images and create a landing page based off of the Sam Parr course I mentioned previously.

Then I went to twitter, got my account verified and started running traffic to the course landing page. I wanted to move quickly and I did. I got everything up and running within 2 hours.

In all it was 2 super simple HTML pages with a convert kit optin and stripe checkout.

I wanted to publish and then iterate. If anyone opted in, I would work on the landing and squeeze page. If I couldn’t get anyone to opt in, I would not put anymore effort into it.

The wrong people opted in.

Mainly, the previously mentioned Sam Parr. He also tweeted at me to stop ripping off his landing page, which I totally did.

Fair enough.

But how did I get here?

The exchange woke me up from my panic. I wanted to build and release SaaS products, not half-baked course ideas. I knew what I had to do. I immediately took down the landing page and apologized via tweet.

Back to Work

Show me your calendar and I’ll show you your priorities…

Tons of productivity gurus

It’s really easy to work on the wrong things. As an entrepreneur you are often in command of your own time, which is not always a good thing.

Again, my stated goal is to release SaaS apps, but I was not working hard enough towards that goal. Any time wasted on building a landing page, signing up for convertkit, etc, was time not used hacking away on the app that I wanted to build.

This is part of the reason I wanted to build this application. I am going to be the first user. Time blocking (time boxing) are popular time management techniques. We all have more than enough technology on us at any time to start using them. A piece of paper and pen will work just fine.

Basically, you create blocks of time in your day. Then you plan ahead of time what you are going to do during that time. It takes you out of a reactive mode, or just reacting to whatever presents itself in front of you, to a more proactive approach.

If you’ve never tried the technique, I really think it is worth a try.

If you think it would never work for you, you probably need it more than anyone else.

If you think an endorsement from a random guy on the internet isn’t good enough to make you consider, you should also know that this is a technique used by Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Cal Newport and my boy Ben Franklin. These are all exceptionally productive people.

I have found the technique to be a forcing function to get me working on the right things.

For example, getting completely out of my inbox. I always had my email open on my computer. Why? I had no idea. But I would see a notification of a new email and like a well trained dog I would tab into the email and clear it out. Completely ruining my concentration on what I was working on.

I like being responsive. So this is just how I have always worked. However, there are costs to context switching. Going from writing to my email, or from reading to my email, or coding to my email. It would often lead me down a path to then checking my twitter feed, or a news site. 10 or 20 minutes later and completely lost I try to redirect myself to working.

Here is the thing. You don’t have to sacrifice being responsive to incorporate time boxing into your work routine. Instead, you plan the inbox time into your schedule.

If you feel an hour is too long to go without responding to any emails, or this the policy in your office. Go ahead and schedule 10, 15 or 30 minutes every hour to go through your inbox. Once time is up, close up your inbox and return to whatever work you have scheduled.

I promise, if you make just this change, you will become 5 times more productive. I don’t have the stats yet, but I will soon!

I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I’m going to…

It feels like we have been conditioned to constantly check notifications. To stop doing whatever we are doing, our work, to check on some random social media notification. Why? Does this help us get to our goals?

No. It does not. I am not making the argument that social media is the devil. I’ll let other people handle that.

What I am saying is that if you want to get stuff done, you have to make sure that you are using your time the way that you want to use it. Another case in point. I plan on using my twitter account as a marketing channel for all of my SaaS apps. So it makes sense to tweet about my journey building.

But after about a week or two of building, I noticed that I had tweeted (posted on X) on one day and had not posted again. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t using twitter, if I check my screen time, I’d notice that plenty of time daily.

That’s what happens when you aren’t intentional with your time. You consume endlessly at the never ending trough of nonsense on your preferred social media site.

Once I blocked time daily for usage to post on X. I started routinely posting on the app and the time I used the app daily went down. I was getting more done using less time, by simply setting the intention beforehand.

That example might seem silly, but apply it to every hour of your day.

This is exactly what I am building with It’s an easy way to review and reflect upon how you are using your time.

Here is how I envision it working. You sign up and connect your calendar, only gcal for now. Then daily it will sync all of the events from your calendar and give you an opportunity to rank each one and write a few comments about it.

There are a few people on the internet that are tracking every waking minute. They schedule 10 minute blocks for the entire day. That is advanced stuff. While my app can do the same, it think the most important takeaway is the review of how you are using your time.

Over time you will see how you are rating similar events. You will start to notice events that you don’t like or that are draining and you will start to wonder why you do them. Which is the point.

I noticed that I was always ranking time with my kids the same. I give it a 5, which is right down the middle. Why? This is some of the most valuable time I have. Why is it so blah?

Routine is ok, but if it is important to me that the time that I spend with my kids is spent well, what am I doing about it? Now I know. I want to jack those numbers up to a 7 or 8.

Instead of going through the motions, I now try and do something special whenever I can. Why? Because it is important to me.

Income Stuff and Metrics

September 2023 Income$0
September 2023 X Followers6






One response to “September 2023”

  1. […] Time is flying. Two months ago I started writing down my thoughts regularly. September & […]

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