Ryan Irelan

is building Mijingo and doing limited consulting.

60 Days Mijingo Check-in

It’s been a bit more than two full calendar months since I left my position at Happy Cog and went out on my own to focus on Mijingo and see where I can take the world.

Most days over the last two months I’ve filled with two martini business lunches (three would be excessive), single origin espressos to fuel the afternoon grind, and late night caviar dinners followed by a single barrel nightcap.

Lift Off

Nothing like that all.

Working for myself has been almost exactly what I thought it would be. Long days, some nights, and a lot of simple, hard work.

Going indie was described to me by one person as a freefall; you don’t really know what will work when you first start, so you just try stuff and see how it goes (hoping to land on your feet). Someone else instructed me to not freak out if the money takes some time to catch up with the effort.

Both are true.

It’s Work

Most of what I’ve done isn’t even public yet. I’ve revamped a couple courses, created a brand new course (JavaScript Task Runners), worked on some marketing videos (here’s one), did some consulting (with more to come), and quite a bit of back-end work on Mijingo.com.

I fixed the account page where you access your course library. It’s now much easier to see what you purchased (but far from perfect), and the code behind it makes more sense and doesn’t have quick-fix conditionals with hardcoded values.

There is now more robust support for course bundles. I have already published two of those: CMS Learning Pack and ExpressionEngine Mastery. Bundles are just products that are collections of other products. Not very difficult to do within ExpressionEngine but, like most things, I just needed the time to do it right.

I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about ways of giving my students more with each course. For example, there are some free additional resources that I’m adding to the courses. I’m also experimenting with taking my research and notes from the course prep and turning it into an ebook for students. I just did that for my JavaScript Task Runners course.

I do this because I want the experience with Mijingo courses to be so good that it’s the first place web designer and developers go when it’s time to learn something new. For me, this means over-delivering and making it easy to learn again with Mijingo.

Choosing What to Do

Finally, the ever-present, nagging, dull pain of the two months has been the constant worry that I’m working on the wrong thing at that time.

These thoughts run through my head:

I should be spending my time creating that course instead of improving my email marketing.

I should spend more time fixing the website design instead of take an hour to just sit and think.

I should be spending my time editing that course instead of recording a podcast episode.

A clear idea of what my short term goals are has helped a lot. I work only on stuff that brings me closer to meeting the goals. Obvious stuff when I think about it.

I have two goals right now and each is written on an index card. The cards are taped to my desk. I look at them every day and now I’m better about knowing whether what I’m doing is the right thing, right now.

Want to share your thoughts? @Reply to me on Twitter.

There’s more to read in the archive.