Do you ever feel like hustling is just too much work and getting a job at one of the Big 5 or similar?

For me hustling is currently a better source of income than I could otherwise achieve. I'm pretty convinced that the Big 5 wouldn't even take me in.

I also think that Big 5 wouldn't consider taking me :(

Don't sell yourself short my man.

Yes! Lately, I realized being an indie maker is fucking hard and why to build a small tool (scope/growth/money) if it's going to take an insane amount of hours anyway. I somehow thought making less money with a very niche down idea would be comparatively easier, which I am realizing might not be the case (I haven't done any paid product launches yet though). Shooting for the biggest hunt that I can, is better.

Also, if I was paid hourly (that I was in consulting) for all the work I have done on my products, I would have been sitting at a lot of money right now. So, a part-time remote job / consulting sounds better, considering freedom is all that I want. I do want to call myself as a serial maker but when does too much hustle and less gains make it not worth it anymore?

This reminds me of the Lion hunting mice metaphor

"A lion is fully capable of capturing, killing, and eating a field mouse. But it turns out that the energy required to do so exceeds the caloric content of the mouse itself. So a lion that spent its day hunting and eating field mice would slowly starve to death. A lion can't live on field mice. A lion needs antelope. Antelope are big animals. They take more speed and strength to capture and kill, and once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride. ... So ask yourself at the end of the day, 'Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?'"

One thing products have over consulting work and job work is that they [can] scale nonlinearly. Once you figure out the right formula you can get disproportionate results for the same amount of work. That can't happen if you're selling time.

At least that's what keeps me going, but hot damn does it often feel like it would be easy to just say fuck it and live a normie life.

Perfectly put 👏

Products can scale nonlinearly. I agree, however for me, I have just been wanting to figure out a recurring source of income which doesn't require work from me on a continuous basis. And I just wanna make $3.5K a month. Don't really want to make more. Hence why I focussed on very niche down and ideas that can be completely automated.

But if making less money is equally hard, might as well make more, I am just going to shoot for the stars (antelope) & have a feast. I enjoy working & learning like this, so it's not a poor decision at all, but definitely, a question that pops up in my head from time to time.

Consultancy = 70hrs every month * $50/hr = $3500
Products = Tons of work before something takes off -> First cents and then dollars & then dollllaaaars.

Consultancy = 70hrs every month * $50/hr = $3500

Don't sell yourself short my man.

Yes, this was 2017 figures. Since then, I have learnt from you :D

Haven't done any consultancy work this year. When I do, I will be sure to notify you of putting your teaching into practice :)

And I have actually bought & read that ebook as well, but it didn't hit me that hard until you talked about your $100K gigs. I never would have thought 1 person can pull that off without a team.

"gigs" from your mouth to god's ears. It's 1 gig so far :P

But think about it this way: A salaried job is also a gig. I'm in SF. Salaried for 3 years now. That's a $340k gig right there.

You sir, are a source of gaining new perspectives 🙏

Thanks @swizec & @Ashfame! Great thread, great answers. It's so good to see we all kind of sit in the same boat and have the similar thoughts.

I feel like it's too much hassle a lot lately - especially when I have to focus hard on selling / marketing instead of creating / coding. I guess it's because there is hardly any instant gratification in it. I know that "making stuff" is what I really like but apparently marketing is not my most preferred part of it (even though this is what I studied)

Whenever I feel like it's too much hustle though I try to put myself back to the reason(s) why I started this in the first place: being independent, working on something that matters (to me). Also it's nice to focus on the alternative for a while: do I really want to do code for clients? Or sell other peoples shit(dreams)? Hell no! I'm sure I would start to hate coding after about 1 month and get totally bored after about two....

Also, I think that the "it's just too much" thought crawls in when you don't have enough success inputs to weigh out the pain. If this continues for a longtime it might be worth re evaluating your current project and maybe start something new...

Well, last Friday was my last day at Uber, so I'm in the opposite position right now and am just starting as a Indie Hacker. But I think I can provide some interesting views.

I just spent 4 years at Uber. I joined early 2014 as the 99th engineer, when there were like 400 employees. Coming from a 10 people startup (Exec) it felt huge, but compare to today's Uber, it was pretty small.
Despite the size difference, the work at Uber then was pretty similar than the work at Exec, while we had only 2-4 engineers at a time. You still end up hustling, working your ass off and wearing a lot of hats. It's great.
It's hard work, both because you work a lot of hours, and the work is actually pretty hard and stressful, but it's also very rewarding. I don't think I've been happier in my life then my years at Exec/early Uber. Working very hard, late nights, weekends, BUT having a big sense of ownership. Not feeling like I was working for someone else, but really driving our own destiny. Being part of something and owning it. Knowing that if I screw up, it won't only be a small dent, but can have a huge negative impact. Just like if I succeed at something, it would have a great positive impact on the business.

So yes, very hard work, but very rewarding.
I never created my own business but I do believe how I felt then is comparable than when it's your own business.

If I compare that to the past 2 years at Uber, while we've reached huge valuations, over 10k employees (close to 20k now I think) and thousands of engineers - well, I don't really matter anymore. My contributions are smaller, less noticeable, even to myself, because impact is smaller. Early days I felt bad about taking vacations, because I knew finishing my projects earlier would mean a substantial increase in an important metric. Now, well I see plenty of people taking 3-4 months sabbatical and it's totally fine. I just quit. The project I worked on is going to be delayed by a few weeks until someone else finishes their own project and takes over, and it's totally fine. Nothing will change.

It's great in a sense. At that point I was even working remotely, so waking up and doing a good 3-4hrs of productive work in the morning was more than enough. No late work, no weekends. Ample vacation time. 0 stress. Good money.

But, I'm here now :) I quit. Why? Oh boy it becomes boring really fast.
This would work well for a lot of people (I guess most people just want to do the bare minimum and are happy), but chances are, if you are here, asking this question or reading those answers, you're not like that, and you are not interested in doing an uneventful, unimpactful 9-5. Just like, most of us here will not retire ever. Building, doing something, is part of us and what makes us feel good.

I just listened to Indie Hacker podcast #47, where Joel Runyon says "I'm 1 or 2 phone calls away from a job". He doesn't want that job. None of us want that job, but I think it's great to know that by being Indie Hackers, building experience, reputation and relationships, we are a phone call away of a job, in case anything goes wrong. But we don't really want that job :)

Getting a job at Big 5 is also a lot of work. I remember I worked for Google CodeJam learning a lot of DataStructures & Algorithms & all those things in CS. But despite all that work, I came in last in all world rankings, LOL 😂

I was pretty bad I admit but I worked 2 months for it & other people worked every year to pass in the CodeJam. The people who make it must've already worked 2 years on learning just DS & AOA & they get paid not as much as you'd like.

Launching 5 different business will make me more money than joining a big firm.

Also, the entry point is too hard. Sometimes inverting a binary tree is not at all related to work they do at Google & they still ask those stupid questions.

In short, I'd like to be my own boss even if it takes too long. Bill Gates had to put 5 years to make Microsoft work & many more years before that. So, I think it's worth a shot. We only get one life 😉

Life is Short

Agreed with Akshay, anything meaningful takes time and effort, even if you work at Big 5 or similar. Google, Amazon, etc. became those who they are because of hardworking talented people.

x incomes > 1 income. That's what drives me.

A couple of years ago the media were calling for Roger Federer to retire. He was on an bad run of and slipping down the rankings. When asked in an interview about retiring he said this:

"Sometimes you're just happy playing. Some people, some media, unfortunately, don't understand that it's okay just to play tennis and enjoy it. They always think you have to win everything, it always needs to be a success story, and if it's not, obviously, what is the point? Maybe you have to go back and think, Why have I started playing tennis? Because I just like it. It's actually sort of a dream hobby that became somewhat of a job. Some people just don't get that, ever."

This summarises me my mindset. Replace the words "play tennis" with "make stuff" and reread Federer's answer.

No because I don't morally believe in the idea selling people's time. Fuck managers, meetings, offices, performance reviews, stake holders.

If I'll ever become desperate that I can't make money selling products/subscriptions, I'd rather be a contractor with my own company. But hell no, the idea of a fixed salary gives me anxiety.