Why you should make things for fun
How I made $1K doing a Sunday project
Welcome back, explorer!
Did I tell you about the Sunday afternoon I designed Magic cards for fun and earned $1k from one of my free products?
Yes, money from a free product, in a totally unrelated way.
I sold a commercial license of the Database of Tweet Prompts without doing any outreach or pitch.
Was I lucky?
The right offer at the right time.
June 19, the first Sunday at home after 40 days abroad.
It was scorching hot outside, and I didn't plan to see anyone until the evening but to stay home and work. Even my thoughts sweated.
I felt uninspired, so I tried Figma to kill time.
The first turning point was when I stumbled upon a stunning Magic The Gathering library file. It has all the elements to compose and design your cards.
The second is when I decided to have fun and create customized cards of my favorite creators.
After a while, I packed and shared them on Twitter, then went out for dinner.
What happened next astonished me.
I expected some laughs in the comments; instead, the tweet amassed impressive stats. I had to fuel it immediately with more cards to push things further.
Eventually, it got:
929 detail expands
189 profile visits
Not bad, huh? It's my second-best tweet of all time, and I've never hit such a reach again since then.
Little did I know there was a spectator in the shadows.
Third turning point.
A few days later, I received a cold DM from a creator I admire: one of my products suited their platform.
They asked for a deal, and the rest is history.
(Now I know what it means to have the right offer at the right time.)
The opportunity didn't make me rich, but I've learned some engaging lessons.
Make things for fun
Not everything you do should move the needle. While most see them as distractions from their business plans, sometimes playing around is what we need.
My best bets so far came out of trying new things just for the sake of it.
Stay on the fence for opportunities
Sometimes the least expected projects are what drive more results. This is especially true for side-side projects intentionally made to drive traffic to the main one.
For example, Fabrizio and Francesco created the first version of Typefully to expand Mailbrew's visibility. Eventually, it outgrew their main gig.
Twitter is a traffic channel
Despite being a social media where interactions and relationships are the first rules, it's a great medium to drive traffic and showcase what you can offer.
Refrain from chasing virality. If it happens, be ready to follow up.
Randomness has its share
I usually say that luck is random, but it should find us working. Think about it as stacking the odds in your favor.
Please mind it's not a predictable road tho—what worked for some can be difficult to repeat for others.
You never know…
Fifth but not least, let's close these lessons with a quote.
"You never know what is waiting for you around the corner."
— P.G. Wodehouse
Build in Public Bites
Two updates to share with you.
Self-awareness is dope.
I worried a lot about my direction in the last few months, but working and thinking 24/7 is the opposite of building a sustainable business.
Going ahead with my original plans would lead to severe burnout, all because of arbitrary deadlines.
So last week, I decided to take a step back and lower the pressure.
I’m running an experiment.
Sometimes we are too focused on growing the big tree to forget the low-hanging fruits.
I silently tweaked a few things and changed the Database of Tweet Prompts into a paid product. It’s helpful, and I want to work on a v2, but I don’t know if people would pay for it to justify the efforts.
I’m now waiting to gather some data and understand the next steps.
Jakob Greenfeld wrote a great article about (not) offering free products.
The Brain Storm
Where is The Maker Journey going?
I started wondering about it after two people unsubscribed from the last issue. One guy told me he was looking for shorter emails.
So I'm here asking you if this format is the best way I can help you on your journey.
What do you prefer to read?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
And that’s everything for today!
Now I’m going to make the Xmas tree as per our tradition on December 8th.
Have a joyful day,