Story

The Emotional Rollercoaster

Apr 18, 2015

In the past, I’ve written mostly about Cushion progress, but little about the emotional side of building an app. Re-reading a few posts, I realized that I only seem to write when I make considerable progress or when I’m excited about an upcoming feature. I never write about the darker days—when I’m feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.

Bootstrapping shares a similar emotional rollercoaster to freelancing. On an up day, I might have a few dozen signups and, all-of-a-sudden, I feel unstoppable. I start thinking about hiring people and taking on less client work. I look months into the future and make projections on where Cushion will be based on that one good day.

Then, I won’t see a single new signup for an entire week and that impenetrable confidence begins to waver. I start doubting that I’ll ever be able to hire the help I so desperately need. I look to take on new clients because I’m now projecting the future based on this week alone, thinking I’ll be homeless in no time. I feel like no one cares anymore because nobody mentioned Cushion that week.

Like the freelancing rollercoaster, I know these ups and downs don’t go away—I just need to strengthen my ability to handle them. Instead of assuming everything will crumble after a quiet week, I should remind myself about the good things I have going.

For one, Cushion is actually making money and it’s not even out of private beta yet. This is a big deal. It means that people are investing in the app before they can even use it—the idea alone simply resonates with them. I shouldn’t take this lightly. Thanks to their support, I can afford to designate entire weekdays to working on Cushion—not just nights and weekends.

Another positive I often overlook is that I am capable of building Cushion on my own. With 18 years of coding and a design degree under my belt, I know there’s nothing holding me back. It would be nice to have extra help, but there’s no legitimate reason why I couldn’t continue solo until I’m able to bring someone onboard. When the time is right and I can afford a teammate, I can take that next step. Until then, I have nothing blocking me.

Most of all, I need to do this. As soon as I thought up the idea of Cushion and witnessed the overwhelmingly positive reception from others, I knew I had to build it. Not a day goes by where I’m not thinking about Cushion. I shouldn’t take this passion for granted. I should be thankful to even have an idea worth pursuing—let alone one that helps others. I need to remind myself that I’m fortunate to have this opportunity. I can’t wait to see where Cushion takes me.

If it wasn’t obvious, this post was for me. I’ve been feeling down about my work lately and I needed a release. Working alone, it’s easy to keep my thoughts to myself, but that doesn’t help. This did. Thanks for reading.

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Archive

  1. My Typical Week as a Startup Founder
    Story
  2. Building Components in a Sandbox
    Dev
  3. Reactive Time with Vue.js
    Dev
  4. Visualizing Daylight Saving Time
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  5. Recording Screencast GIFs
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  6. Writing a Job Listing
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  7. Using Feature Flags to Run Betas
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  8. Our First Company Lunch
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  9. How to embed Vue.js & Vuex inside an AngularJS app... wait what?
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  10. Funding Cushion
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  11. Hiring a Team of Freelancers
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  12. Taking a Real Break From Work
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  13. Slack as a Notification Center
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  14. Document Your Features
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  15. 300
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  16. Vacations
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  17. Offering Discounts
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  18. Waves of Traffic
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  19. Less Blogging, More Journaling
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  20. Retention Through Useful Features
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  21. The Onboarding Checklist
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  22. Spreading the Word
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  23. From Beta to Launch - The Subdomain
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  24. From Beta to Launch - Sign up
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  25. From Beta to Launch - Messaging
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  26. Launch
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  27. Authenticating with 3rd Party Services
    Dev
  28. Intro to Integrations
    Design
  29. Inspiration vs Imitation
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  30. The Emotional Rollercoaster
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  31. Designing Project Blocks
    Design
  32. Everything in Increments
    Story
  33. Deleting Your Account
    Design
  34. Designing the Subscription Page
    Design
  35. Rewriting the Timeline
    Dev
  36. Restructuring the Individual Project Page
    Design
  37. Project Blocks
    Story
  38. Redesigning the Homepage
    Design
  39. Multiple Timelines
    Design
  40. Archiving and Estimate Differences
    Design
  41. Multiple Financial Goals
    Design
  42. Zooming in on the Timeline
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  43. Currency
    Dev
  44. Preferences, Accounts, and a Typeface Change
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  45. Sending Out the First Email
    Story
  46. Currency Inputs, Notifications, and Invoice Nets
    Design
  47. Dots and Lines
    Design
  48. Calculating in the Database and Revealing Tendencies
    Dev
  49. Improved Form UX
    Design
  50. Cushion is Online
    Story
  51. Schedule Timeline Patterns
    Design
  52. A Slimmer Schedule Timeline
    Design
  53. The Schedule Timeline
    Design
  54. Plugging in Real Data for the First Time
    Design
  55. Transitions and Project Lists
    Design
  56. Death to Modals
    Design
  57. The Individual Project Page
    Design
  58. Estimated Incomes and Talks with Other Freelancers
    Story
  59. Statuses to Lists and the Paid Beta
    Story
  60. The Timeline
    Story
  61. Invoice Terminology
    Dev
  62. Modal Forms
    Dev
  63. Wiring the Backend to the Frontend
    Dev
  64. Balancing Design and Dev
    Story
  65. Timecop, Monocle, and Vagrant
    Dev
  66. Going with Ruby and Sinatra
    Dev
  67. Ditching local-first and trying out Node.js
    Dev
  68. Switching to AngularJS
    Dev
  69. Building the Table with Vue.js
    Dev
  70. Clients, Projects, and Invoices
    Dev
  71. Introduction
    Story

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