How to earn remotely fast to survive and win time to develop your own thing?

Hi lovely people,

I come from the corporate world, thus have typical corporate world IT skills, e.g., project management, information management, knowledge management, process management, technical customer support.

My ultimate goal is to become location-independent, initially by freelancing, in the long-run by running my own business. However, it’s easier on paper than it is in real life.

I realized that I need

  • some remote income to survive and win time and reduce the pressure to quickly get my own thing up and running
  • to have additional time to work on my own project(s), i.e. that the remote earning should not take all my time/energy

I thought freelance gigs are the way to go for a year or two to have some kind of regular income. Meanwhile, start a blog, get my message out to the world, develop more skills from there, and ultimately come up with a great idea for a specific target group, may it be a service or a product.

Freelancing requires very specific expertise to compete with others - as a generalist and corporate world guy this seems specifically challenging to me.

Do you have any helpful ideas on how to start?

Short info about my background if helpful

studies: business informatics + communication, knowledge, media

knowledge: project management, information management, knowledge management, internal communication, customer support processes, customer support, recruiting processes, WordPress, Shopify basics, Atlassian Confluence + Jira Service Desk, academic writing and academic research, stock photography.

interests: remote work, new work, frugalism, financial investments, audio/video production, webdesign, if I gain enough expertise, experience, and confidence teaching others how to get out of the rat race

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Hi Markus,

I am sorry to burst your bubble, but working on your own project, or having a great idea – both of these have very little to do with earning lots of money, nevertheless doing that quickly. It’s not that you missed your opportunity for success only for having a day job.

Start-up failure rate is about 99%! It’s not because any of these start-up had a pretty crappy idea.

The way to overcome this crazy failure rate is finding a problem which is painful enough for early adopters to offer payment for a viable solution for it. The solution does not have to be scalable at first, or profitable but a validation you have a true business to develop, and your job will be to make it profitable and then make it grow.

You cannot do that by avoiding the practice of customer development. That means talking to people and not just via a blog. It means listening to the pains, taking notes, forming relationship with those who can be the ones to help you push your product forward in the market. You must get out of the building. again and again, then again. Staying at home, working on your freelance projects and hoping for that great idea to make you rich will just be wasting time.

Read (but you have to put it into practice, it’s not just the knowledge that matters) about Customer Development. It’s your best chance to avoid a 99% failure rate.

The best book about lean customer development:

The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
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Thanks a lot for your comprehensive answer and input. Also for pointing immediately to the danger of working on something or investing in something that nobody might need in the end. I actually know all of this, but true, I for sure forgot to actively think about it - the most important fact is that there must be people who face a pain point in something, looking for a solution that solves their problems.

Before I consider doing “my own thing” I would anyway first need some jobs or gigs (ideally remotely), as I understand it takes a lot of time to develop the right product/service for the right target group and that the failure rate is very high.

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