What I'm Doing Now

I'm (usually) in Perth, Australia, and investing my time into:

What I'm Working On

Travelling

I'd forgotten how much I miss travelling & airport / hotel life. I just got back from a week in Sydney, visiting family that I haven't seen in years & catching up with friends (some who flew into Sydney for the day). Looks like I'm off to Melbourne soon, and maybe more trips soon. I think I needed the reset, but it's also completely thrown my work routine.

Learning German, Swedish & French

I've completed the German Duolingo tree, reached Level 25 and 60% fluency, but I'm determined to keep my 260+ day streak on DuoLingo going. So I added Swedish & French as languages that I'm also learning. Learning multiple languages simultaneously is difficult, confusing and I wouldn't recommend it. It is so weird to feel your brain slurring words between multiple languages.

Completing the Duolingo tree doesn't mean I know the language. I'm still terrible at listening to a TV show or trying to speak or write in German. I need to practice speaking with iTalki or another website, but I'm still shy or something.

Writing Europop Music

This is such a bad idea. It has no revenue potential and requires so much time. But whenever an idea starts with "wouldn't it be hilarious if...", it's usually turned out well. My friend Mark was joking about how hilarious it would be to write a song for Eurovision, and the joke keeps spiralling out of control and into reality. (Especially once we realized we actually know lyricists and singers who have performed in Eurovision.) At the moment, the bar is set at "can we write a song better than Jemini, Dustin The Turkey or My Lovely Horse", and the answer is "no, which makes it even more hilarious". I doubt we'll actually submit it to Eurovision, but who knows. I mean, Switzerland usually let just anyone enter...

Writing. (Like, words & stuff.)

Earlier this year, I spent time looking at websites of successful indie developers, especially Cliffski's first blog posts. I noticed they all had thousands of pages on their sites (10,000+), and doing some conversion math I saw how that translated to the approximate earnings numbers they post. That is, assuming we have similar conversion rates, they're earning more because they've written a TON more. Write more = more earnings, basically.

So just as I was researching how often my competitors were writing, Annie Mueller launched Write More Words, Faster: A Course In Prolific Non-Fiction Writing. I'm not usually a fan of online courses *rolls-eyes* but this has been fantastic. Lots of focus on building routines & workflows (Scott Adams might call it building a system), with the occasional productivity hack that is actually a huge benefit. She's written for Entrepreneur, Investopedia, Yahoo! Finance and American Express Open Forum, so her style of writing is right on my wavelength. I mean, not once has she recommended singing Kumbaya into a mirror or 10 Reasons You Need A Writing Beret.

Alas: then I flew to Sydney, ruined my work routine (despite visiting Starbucks twice a day to work), and my backlog of work tasks built-up. So I am possibly the worst example of prolific writing - or prolific anything, except maybe tweets about Europop and selfies with toy koalas. But I'm trying to get back on track and put the time in again.

Exercise

I lost 5kg earlier this year and was doing extremely well at getting my body fat down. (I'm already a thin guy, but I could still lose some fat and gain muscle.) Then the winter rains started, I caught the flu, and it torched my fitness routine. Then I went to Sydney & started averaging 16000 steps a day again. I'm trying to keep the 10000 steps a day streak going - probably not enough to keep burning fat, but probably enough to maintain my weight. Definitely looking forward to warmer Spring weather soon!

Tracking conferences for Indie Conference

I'm still working on Indie Conference, my website and email newsletter that tracks conferences for people who make & sell their own products. (Whether that's software, music, crafts, whatever.)

I'm struggling at finding & choosing my audience though. Seems a lot of people want to be startups with venture capital funding... and that's not really what it is. I'm more interested in bootstrapping, self funded, and actually making something that isn't just "selling eyeballs".

So I'm still working on this one, but I'll admit to feeling stuck here. My reader/ subscriber acquisition strategy is practically non-existent (which doesn't help) and there's no "monetization strategy" either for my time.

Making & selling software

The thing that actually earns me money, and yet I feel completely stuck! I was really enthusiastic about my software in May, released a new update, and made changes to the website that nearly doubled downloads... but it also tanked sales. I'm still debugging what went wrong. It's hard to be enthusiastic about a downward sales slope! It's just part of the rollercoaster of being an indie developer, and things will roll around, but it isn't fun feeling stuck.

Anyway, now Softener 2.20 has been released, here's my projects still in progress for namesuppressed:

Things I'm Not Doing

Facebook and Instagram: I’ve deactivated my accounts and have no plans to return. (I've been off Facebook over 2 years now.) LinkedIn might be next to go. You can still reach me on Twitter and email.

When my activities or priorities change, I’ll update this page.

What I'm Listening To Now

Lots of Europop / EDM / House music while I do music research:

This page was inspired by Derek Sivers' Now page idea.

Last Updated: 2 August 2017.

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© Kohan Ikin.