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Juggling a Developer Job, Part-Time SaaS and Conference Speaking

Posted on:July 9, 2024 at 11:00 AM

Launching a side business is no small thing, especially when you’re juggling a job and a personal life. I’ve recently started with this challenging journey with my blogging SaaS, Blog Recorder. It’s been a couple of weeks since the launch, and I’m proud to say it’s been quite successful for a small, part-time business.

The early success

I’ve managed to secure six paying customers, with four opting for annual subscriptions and two on a monthly basis. This has brought me to a modest $75 in monthly recurring revenue, and I’ve attracted over 120 users in total. To me that is a huge win, and every new customer and piece of feedback is a cause for celebration.

The grind of part-time entrepreneurship

I work 32 hours a week at my day job as a software developer, and I dedicate my other time to my business. That’s nights, weekends, and a full dedicated day off. It’s a grind, but it’s really fulfilling. I’m also passionate about conference speaking, which I’ve been trying to maintain alongside my SaaS.

Balancing work, speaking, and personal life

The balance is tough. Preparing for a conference talk while running a business and working part-time is taxing. I’m flying to Wisconsin for THAT Conference, an event I’m excited about, but it has required a lot of legwork to find a sponsor to help cover travel costs.

Thankfully, the conference organizers have been supportive, offering a good deal on my hotel stay. And surprisingly, I’ve also been given the opportunity to be on the list of sponsors for the conference, which includes a table to promote Blog Recorder. They really didn’t need to do that, and I’m really thankful for this chance. It will be the first time I’m sponsoring an event and promoting something myself, so I’m curious how it will go.

The reality of overcommitment

Despite the excitement, I’ve come to realize that I may have underestimated the amount of work I can handle over an extended period. From launching the product to learning how to handle international sales tax with my accountant has been a lot to manage. I’m learning that in the long term I need to cut back and focus on fewer tasks to maintain a sustainable pace if I keep doing this outside of my developer job.

The importance of self-care

One crucial lesson I’ve learned is the importance of self-care. Ensuring I get a full eight hours of sleep and not slipping into hermit mode are top priorities. I’m no longer skipping the gym to get a few extra hours of work in, which is something I intentionally did to work on my launch.

Socializing is also key. I want to make sure I stay in contact with friends and family.

Preparing for the conference

As for the conference, I am creating an outline for my talk, creating a demo application for a small product, and polishing my slides. I’m not too worried about giving the talk itself as I’m confident in my speaking abilities, but the preparation is key and is still a lot of work for the upcoming weeks.

Intentionality and focus

In the end, it’s about being intentional with my time and energy. Saying no to many good things to focus on the right things is hard but necessary. As a part-time entrepreneur, conference speaker, partner, and individual, focusing on what truly matters is the key to success and a long-term sustainable work-life balance.

In conclusion, managing part-time SaaS, conference speaking and a developer job is really challenging sometimes, but it is also something that makes me happy. It requires a good balance of work, passion projects, and personal life. With intentionality, focus, and taking care of yourself, it is definitely possible. But choosing these things means saying no to a lot of other things.