Month 1 Retrospective

I made the jump into full time solopreneurship. Here's how month 1 went.

Hey there!

Zach here from the “Road to $8k” newsletter.

To be frank, it was far more exciting to start this newsletter a month ago than it is to write this first issue.


Because month 1 of my journey as a solopreneur (or whatever I’m trying to be) was pretty brutal. But before I get into that, I’m introducing a few standard sections that I hope you’ll find interesting each month!

Revenue tracker

Below is my current MRR. Since this is coming from multiple sources, I’m defining MRR as:

  • Income that is “semi-passive” (i.e. I don’t directly trade my time for it). Examples of this in my context:

    • Adsense revenue

    • Affiliate revenue

    • Video sponsorships

  • Income I expect to be relatively stable over the next 12-month period

As of April 2023, this revenue is roughly broken down into the following categories.

Revenue breakdown by source

To reach my $8k MRR goal, I plan to earn money in two primary niches.

Golf niche

In the golf niche, I run a website called The DIY Golfer and more recently, have been working on a new site called Local Golf Spot.

Quick stats

  • Email list - 6,657

  • Organic page views per month - 30,000

Revenue sources

  • Product sales (44% of total) - I sell a video training course on my golf website called Break 90 in 90 Days

  • Adsense (11% of total) - I run Adsense ads on my site, The DIY Golfer

  • Affiliates (9%) - currently, this is 100% coming from Amazon Affiliates through links I have on my website

Software niche

I have a YouTube channel where I teach people how to code and build websites.

Quick stats

  • Current subscriber count: 27,231

Revenue sources

  • Adsense (23%) - income earned directly from ads that run on my YouTube videos

What I shipped

While this section may not be terribly interesting to you, this is ultimately what I’m holding myself accountable to. More specifically, I’m judging myself on my ability to 1) ship often and 2) ship things that actually solve problems and contribute to MRR.

  • Rebuilt my Break 90 Course site (see thread)

  • Migrated The DIY Golfer WordPress site to Next.js (see thread)

  • Rebuilt and rebranded my personal site to attract freelance clients (see tweet)

  • Opened an LLC, business checking account, credit card

  • Built an MVP for Local Golf Spot (see tweet)

  • Bought an Ahrefs subscription, did a ton of keyword research for my golf site, and built out a couple of weeks worth of content to publish

I shipped a lot this month, but almost all of it was “rebranding” and building out the foundation for future months. I’m hoping this will pay off and is not a glorified form of procrastination.

What went well

Just about a month ago, I decided to commit 100% of my time to “solopreneurship” (hence this newsletter).

Making this jump was a huge win. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and going “all-in” was something I was on the verge of never doing. So that’s by far the biggest win for the month.

Outside of that, here are some other “wins” from this month.

  • I put a lot of foundational processes and web assets in place. While most of this was rebuilding existing assets, I feel much more confident moving forward and growing them.

  • I gained a lot more clarity around my strategy for hitting my goal. It’s still a work in progress that isn’t complete enough to share here, but I went from “How on earth will I make $8k MRR” → “I think I might have a path to make it”

What went poorly

This month was a mental battle. A battle that made me lose sleep. A battle that ruined many of my days entirely. A battle that made my head spin fast enough to cause headaches.

It’s crazy to write this—but I felt strong urges to quit even during this first month. I knew this would be challenging, but I did not expect that level of doubt and fear. I did not expect “quitting” to enter the realm of possibilities so early.

I’ve always considered myself “entrepreneurial”. I’ve always worked on side projects. But there’s something entirely different that happens when you go all-in on something and remove any protective barriers between you and a “safe” income. Skin in the game changes things.

Arguably, my personality was a large contributor here. I HATE the feeling of not making a full-time income. Hate it.

Also, I’ve been “trying” to increase MRR for years (on the side) with limited success. I know this is challenging, and therefore I’m not able to jump into this with the blind enthusiasm that many do.

That said, I consider myself an optimist at heart—I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t. In summary, here’s a quote that got me through this month 😅 

“I don’t know how to reach this goal, but I’m going to figure it out somehow”

Me, quoting my brain

Recap, looking forward

It feels like a victory to have made it through month 1. I’m genuinely starting to feel a bit more “acclimated” now and I’m excited to continue shipping what I think will get me to this daunting goal.

Looking forward, I’m going to be spending a lot of my time in month 2 on the following things:

  • Writing content for The DIY Golfer (mostly affiliate posts)

  • Outreach to golf courses for my new golf directory, Local Golf Spot

  • Start a consistent posting schedule to my personal YouTube channel, focused mainly on growth and finding a “niche” for my channel

Content is king right? I hope so, because I’m betting my livelihood on it for the foreseeable future.

So… What are you building?

Finally, since I know a lot of the folks on this list are building things of their own, I’m curious to know what you’re working on! I’d love to get to know more of you here, so reply to this email with the following:

  • Your Twitter handle

  • Where are you in your indie journey?

  • What’s the main thing you’re building right now?

This isn’t a quiz—just trying to make this newsletter feel a bit more community oriented!

See ya in the next issue!


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