If you can’t beat fear, just do it scared

Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

I recently heard this quote on TikTok and it really got me thinking about what I’m doing with my life after quitting my job. I’ve mentioned it before, but I am beyond scared right now. I first quit a job that I couldn’t get fired from to go work at a startup where I could literally get fired at any second. Then, after 1 year of working for that startup, I decided it was time to chase after my own demons. I’ve received a lot of support over the last few days and quitting my job was something I’ve been planning for a very long time. But, for the past 8 years, I’ve been super scared to do it. I have two mortgages, a family, a lot of other responsibilities that just made it very difficult to pull the plug. Every time I would think about quitting my job to go pursue my dreams, I always convinced myself that it wasn’t worth it. There were too many what-if scenarios that basically convinced me to just stay the course and play it safe.

So here I am, on my first week without having to clock in and things are going okay. I know this is going to be a slow, but steady process. I know I’m not going to achieve instant success and I know it is going to take a few months before I am able to make some serious money. But, I have a plan. I want to share a little of that plan with you because I really do think it is a good plan. I will not be able to get every part of my plan in motion right away, but some parts have been rolling since September. For those parts, I am going to double down on those efforts since they already have some momentum. For the others, I will need to develop a more detailed plan get them going. I wont be sharing all the details of my holistic plan now, but rest assured you’ll be getting the complete picture over the next couple weeks.

The Plan

The overall plan that I’ve been developing in my mind consists of at least 18 components. Each component will help introduce a stream of income into my life. There is a good mix of active incomes, those which I only earn money while I’m awake and some passive incomes, those which I earn money at any point in the day. To get started, I am going to have to put in a lot of work to get both my passive and active incomes going. There is no silver bullet here and I will have to put in the work to get the results I’m looking for. I think that’s okay because nothing in life is free and I want to go through the emotional roller coaster that I just boarded because whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’m dividing up my 18 sources of income into a couple of phases. Let’s talk about the first phase in more detail.

Phase 1

The first phase involves doubling down on the efforts that I’ve been nurturing for the past 8 months. These efforts have been a bit lackluster and since I was working full-time, they didn’t get the love and care that I needed to give them to be successful.

First up is freelancing. I built out apetech.me to serve as a landing page where I could offer my services to small businesses that need some sort of software or IT service. Since launching the website (and really my LLC), I’ve had five successful customers. These customers were mostly free customers where my wife and I built websites for their businesses. But, free customers are not going to pay bills and I have big plans for my website. After the first three customers, I did manage to get my first two paying customers! I built a couple of websites for them and I must admit, it feels good to be paid for my services! I refrained from promoting my website too much mainly because most of my time was consumed working my full-time job. I didn’t want to commit to complete strangers and then not be able to deliver because I was short on time. In February of this year, I decided to give Fiverr a try. I had heard mixed things about the service, but I’ve been able to secure two paying clients and have started making money on there.

My next phase, which is already in motion is to add additional services on Fiverr and also fold in other freelancing services such as Upwork and Contra. I also plan to start cold emailing/calling small businesses in my community to see if I can help them out with their digital needs. This last part scares me the most because I’ve never been much of a sales person, but I guess there’s no better time to learn how to do something than the present. Feel free to check out my website and let me know if there’s anything I can help you with!

If you’ve been reading my monthly income reports, then you know I’ve been building out a YouTube channel for a little over a year now. My efforts there have been lackluster as well since growing a successful channel requires A LOT of time and effort. Now that I have time, I am going to be doing two big things in this space. First, I’m going to push out two videos a week. Second, I’m going to create how-to written tutorials for each existing Scratch video and I’m going to be posting those tutorials in both English and Spanish. The existing videos are also going to be translated and then posted in Spanish. I have a lot of plans for YouTube, but this is something I believe will be lower effort and will get my momentum going. If you aren’t subscribed yet, I would greatly appreciate the support! Check out my channel and smash that subscribe button!

Similar to YouTube, I’ve also been spending a good portion of my time nurturing a podcast on cyber security. This podcast is very special to me because aside from my freelancing work, the podcast is the only other effort to have made money. Technically my blogs have earned money as well, but those earnings are 10x smaller. I just rebranded my podcast so that it is easier to find when searching for cyber security podcasts. I’m hoping to really grow this thing into something that many all around the world can benefit from. Depending on how things go, I might also make a Spanish version. If you aren’t listening to my podcast yet, I encourage you to listen to a couple episodes. I’m trying to make the podcast geared towards every day folks that need to be aware of the dangers out there. Most cyber security podcasts are geared towards IT professionals, but I explain technical topics in terms that anyone can understand. Check it out and subscribe to it as well!

And finally, writing is something that I’ve been doing for a long time and I have over 100 blog posts here on Medium. I really want to go deeper into my writing and start earning a lot more for my writing. My first hurdle, however, is learning how to write well. I was never a good writer and now that I really want to write, I find myself struggling a bit. I’m currently taking a course on technical writing from Google so hopefully my writing improves. I’m hoping that if I can get my writing up to par, I can then start writing for bigger publications and maybe even charge a good amount of money for my writing. Nonetheless, I’ll be focusing on writing technical blog posts on my apetech.blog site and more thought provoking blog posts here on Medium.

And that’s it. I have a lot more that I plan on doing, but I do not want to overwhelm myself. I will be sharing the other phases of my plan over the next couple days since I think it will be good to get it on paper and shared with you all. I welcome any feedback you may have as well.

Thanks for reading and I hope you join me on this journey. I am beyond scared, but it just feels like the right thing. Worst case, I go back and get another job in 2022. But at least I’ll be able to tell my children and grand children that I tried.



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Alex Ortiz

I talk about Atlassian tools (Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket). Follow me on other platforms for all your Atlassian needs: https://linktr.ee/apetech