Living by Doing

I'm a single founder working on improving my business and myself.

23. June 2014 21:55
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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How it feels like being hit by a panda in real life.

23. June 2014 21:55 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

I do not call myself a SEO expert and I do not make most of my income from SEO consultancy. On the other hand, I have been online since 1991 when i got my first email address and I have been interested in SEO before the acronym was invented.

Until now I have only been hit once by a google update, back when they introduced duplicate content penalty. I had a site the look a lot like another site that was penalized and I stopped doing any other SEO than pure white hat.

The reason was mainly that it was too risky trying to make a living dodging google.

Last week I got hit by something that felt like a 40 feet panda, and not online but in real life.

My revenue stream from consultancy was cut by around 50% because some customer’s simultaneously scaled down their engagement.

If it was just me it would be ok, but since I have five employees, it is some beating.

The hardest is not losing they revenue, the hard part is like in the virtual SEO world that I do not know when it will change, if I will find new customers or if this is the new normal.

On the other hand, I can influence the real world more than I can influence google, so I am currently doing a lot to get new customers for my consultancy business.

I also decided to use this panda to pivot my consultancy and move us into a higher gear and really focusing on shipping our solutions to the customers. This will mean that we all will work on one customer project until it is done and then move on to the next.

Status

The conversion roller coaster is currently on the fun part of the course and my stats are once again looking like I would love them to be all the time.

On the other hand I am pouring a lot of energy into the consultancy at the moment, so I will settle for anything.

 

19. May 2014 21:45
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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This weekend I was in a bad mood, apparently for no reasons.

19. May 2014 21:45 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

I realized Sunday that it might be connected to the state of the watermarking software and the general feel and quality of the product and the code I ship.

I made the connection because I booted up my machine to work on a new feature, and from the time my IDE was ready until my mood dropped radically there only went a few minutes.

You see, even though the software is working as people expect, there are many aspects of it that I am unsatisfied with. The UI is not intuitive, it is way too cluttered and the code is messy and hard to maintain, slow at some point and amateurish at others.

The messy code makes it hard to get anything done on the UI because everything takes a long time to fix and at the same time it is so unsatisfying to work on something that has a quality that is lower than what I believe I can write that it almost hurts me physically to start writing on it.

Working on the software is like looking into a time traveling machine, the code that is 4 years old has clearly been written by a person (me) that did not have the same energy and overview when programming.

This makes it even harder working on the software, because I have to look at my younger and more uncertain self and forgive myself for all the things I did wrong could have done better.

The nice thing is that when you succeed in forgiving yourself, it is often simpler and quicker to fix past mistakes than you would ever have believed – and when you re-release the software with the new code you might even feel a new feeling – pride, of what you have done and your accomplishments!

It is all about small steps, moving one foot in front of the other. It do not matter how small the steps are as long as they are completed and another one is taken, this way you will eventually get to a better place.

So I will turn on my IDE now and improve the software a bit more today, and a bit more tomorrow and the day after and the day after until I am proud and satisfied with every part of the program.

Of course, this do not mean that it will be “perfect” and that there are no parts where I could improve. What it means is that every part of the software will be as good as I can make it now, and that I will probably have to improve it in the future again.

Since I am trying to play the game to have fun and to be happy (as opposed to win and get others to be losers) I will enjoy working on it while I am and enjoy doing other stuff while I am not.

What I am working on and playing with at the moment is what level of code and UI I am proud of, because I believe that when I am proud of what I do it will shine through to the user and potential buyer.

Status

The numbers are down again, had some rough google days, and my position on many secondary keywords has dropped.

But the conversion is down too and honestly I have no clue to why that is, but perhaps my UI really needs improving to turn up the conversion?

 

12. May 2014 19:15
by Anders Thue Pedersen
0 Comments

How I stopped being a master procrastinator and started being motivated

12. May 2014 19:15 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

Being motivated (enough) to beat procrastination has been a goal for me the last 6 months.

I have been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember, sometimes I procrastinated most of the day and sometimes I only did it a little every day. My procrastination has been driving me nuts lately because I really wanted to use my time doing good stuff and move forward.

I have been reading a lot of books and blogs about motivation, procrastination and how to get things done.

For a long time this did nothing, I did not understand how to translate what I read into actual doing something different.

When I started this blog it was mostly to stay accountable and keep me moving forward after MicroConf and it did help me do just that, at the same time it has done so much more because it made me understand that beating procrastination and staying motivated isn’t something that you do as much as something you believe in.

I know that a lot of motivational coaches and positive thinkers would say that you just have to think positive thoughts or look into the mirror and say something positive aloud – and it is not that doing stuff like that don’t help you move to another place, it’s just that it’s not the only thing you need.

What I have discovered is that what you need mostly to stay motivated and stop procrastinating is to stop trying to win the fight against procrastination and not trying to beat your lack of motivation.

It is not a fight and it is not something that you can win over or loose to!

My procrastinating is much less now and I have stayed more motivated for some time.

I believe that it is because of at least these reasons:

  • Writing this blog, this way I have been able to go back and see what I did last week and previously and thereby not forgetting what I have achieved and the progress I got
  • Plotting my revenue, conversion, visitors and number of orders, this visualized the progress and I can extrapolate into the future
  • Asking customers about my software, even though I have been getting some really hard to read emails (think horrendous, horrible, cheating, thief, bastard) I have also been getting some really nice emails from users thanking me for solving their problems making me more aware of the value I add to their lives and that it is a valid piece of software I make.
  • Being in two mastermind groups with people I look up to and respect and being told (again and again, as I am a bit slow) that what I do matters and is a good thing.
  • Reading and talking about motivation until I understood that it is not a game you win or lose, but a way of living where you play and have fun every day understanding that it is not about winning now but about getting up and doing a little more a little better every new day.

The nice thing is that if I can beat procrastination and be more motivated, everybody can – when I had it worst, I worked for around 30 minutes a day.

The downside is that it hard, hard work, mentally hard and every time you believe you have beaten it you will be pushed back into the arena until the moment where you give up and stop fighting and start having fun.

Status

I believe I have found the error that made my conversion jump up and down - I had configured my webserver to tell browsers that they should cache everything for 7 days, so every time I changed something on the website users would see a strange website for 7 days.

I hope it is fixed now and my conversion/revenue will be more staple in the future.

I have written 4 articles and has gotten my first visitor on one of those, and as always I am working on new features for the software and improvements to the website.