The interviews and the content we produce for Ways We Work is about sharing what it means to do the work you love. Whenever possible we want to share our experience of working on this project, and the challenges we have. Next week we launch a new site, with new content that we’ve been working on all summer so we thought it would be a good time to reflect on the last few months, what the highlights were, what’s been difficult and how we’re feeling about everything. What we’ve learned is that it can be hard to want to share when you’re not sure how things are going to turn out, but that’s what Ways We Work is about. So, Matt and I sat down last week over a late lunch and recorded a conversation between the both of us about what we’ve been doing, where we’re at and where we’re going.
On doing Ways We Work full-time
Matt: So what’s going on? What was it like deciding to do Ways We Work full-time? It was a few months ago now, what happened to prompt you to make that decision?
Amandah: This is a tough one to talk about openly [laughs] I still have trouble deciding how freely I want to talk about it. Basically, I left a job that I loved with the Charcoal Group - and that I was really good at - thinking that I would push myself to try and do web development full-time. To learn that skill and be forced to hone that skill because I was working on it every single day in an environment where you have to be producing at a fast pace.
And… that just did not work out, for a lot of different reasons. Relationship-wise the people I was working with, I couldn’t produce at the speed or level they expected. I think there was definitely a mismatch of expectations, that was when it became time to part ways.
So then I had this opportunity to do whatever I wanted and I was questioning “do I get another job?” or is now the time to start looking at doing Ways We Work full-time and giving that a shot and seeing if that could go anywhere. That was basically the decision, you know, I had the option to so I wanted to try. I had some money saved up for a few months runway so I just went for it.
Matt: So how’s it been? Start with the first month.
Amandah: Yeah, the first month was super exciting because that’s when you’re excited about the potential of getting sponsors, you’re figuring out how that’s going to work, and how the project is going to make money. How you’re going to support yourself and the project overall and that’s kind of when there’s endless possibilities. In the first month, you think you can do anything! The hard part is figuring out what you want to do.
The second month, with slightly less cash, you’re starting to think - “okay we don’t have ALL these options what are the options that are going to be the most viable?” So you kind of refine down from there.
Then you get into the third month and now we’re having meetings with sponsors, now we know what we’re looking for and what we need from potential partners. We just have to start getting it and selling it.
Matt: So would you say after that first month that things changed, or did it stay the same? Did it come crashing back to reality?
Amandah: No, I would say the first couple months there was a lot of optimism - and there still is a lot of optimism - but reality starts to kick in after two months, because they flew by. I mean two months has flown by and you run out of money a lot faster than you were expecting to. You look back at how much actual progress you’ve made in terms of the site being able to sustain itself and that’s when reality hits. Now we just have to push and sell and get something OR I need to take on more freelance work so that I can give the project more runway. That’s when there’s a bit more pressure.
Matt: Yeah, I feel that too, a side-project takes over and all you want to do is work on it. Then you have all these other responsibilities to take care of as well. It’s finding that balance between the project and making sure you’re not dropping the ball somewhere else. I didn’t go at Ways We Work full-time, so I have to keep multiple balls in the air at the same time. I could definitely see if I was relying on it to be my sole source of income there would be a different type of pressure.