Hi dear reader! I normally don’t write this kind of blog posts in my pretty technical blog, but I think that today deserves an exception.
As you may (or may not) know, for more than 4 years now, I’ve been working for Plex full time doing awesome (sometimes seemed that impossible) things on the Android Apps. It’s been a thrilling time, I’ve learned a lot, made really good friends, and never felt so warm in a company before.
Accidentally becoming an entrepreneur
But during all this time also, I wrote a book about Kotlin for Android when the language was still EAP, with almost no content to follow (apart from the awesome Kotlin reference), which meant hours and hours of investigation, trial and error and lots of work.
I decided to self-publish the book (probably nobody would have accepted to publish it at that point), but I can’t be more happy about it. All the effort was extremely paid off, as the Android community helped it grow and become a success. This has encouraged me to keep updating it (6 updated editions already!) to what it is today.
The book led to the online course, and also live workshops in companies.
— Raúl Hernández López (@RaulHernandezL) March 8, 2018
I must admit that predicting that Kotlin would be a success in Android (was just probably a matter of luck 😅) changed my life. So I had to make another important decision: becoming an entrepreneur.
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At least in Spain, you can’t have recurring income (even from a book) without becoming a freelance.
But you remember, right? I was working as an employee. So for 2 years and a half now, I’ve been both an employee and a freelance. All good! I enjoyed both positions and, thanks to my remote work, I could easily adapt and keep performing in my job while grasping some time to devote to my side business.
However, things changed some months ago. My wife got pregnant, and while all the pregnancy was quite good, for some technical reasons she couldn’t do any efforts. That meant that all the housework was on my side, apart from the job and my project.
So I had to choose, and at that point, I decided to stop dedicating time to my personal project. That’s why you probably haven’t seen me very active these months.
A couple of months ago, our little Vera was born, and as you can imagine things didn’t change for better (in terms of free time I mean 😄).
However, during the paternity leave, I had some time to think and look at everything from the distance. It was always clear to me that my family is my top priority, but I was still tied to two different projects. And now it was time to make that important decision: should I continue working for a company (which by the way is probably the best company I’ll ever work for), or should I dedicate full-time to my project?
For this kind of decisions, I always use a trick. I try to project myself into the future and think: in a few years now, when I remember this moment, what choice would make me feel more proud of myself? What would I regret not having done? And the answer was pretty clear to me.
I should run my own business. I’ve been working really hard these years to create lots of helpful content so that other Android Devs can learn Kotlin, and I couldn’t just throw everything out of the window.
So that’s what I did!
Today (21st of September) is my last day at Plex (I’ll miss you guys 😢) and my first day as a full-time entrepreneur. It’s really exciting and scary at the same time 😱
So what’s your plan now, Antonio?
Well, that’s a good question! For now, the book still generates some revenue each month, though numbers are decreasing fast (I guess that most people that wanted to buy it already have it), so I have other means:
- The online course: It’s been around for some time, but not so many people know about it. So it’s time to give it some credit.
- 1:1 mentoring: for a very reduced number of people, I’ll offer to accompany them through their own professional process.
- Live training for companies: I’ve done this before, and I’ll continue doing it because I love it!
- Consulting: It won’t be my main focus, but I’ll be happy to help companies in different ways to do the language transition.
And that’s it! I’m planning lots of new things, but for now, I hope these services cover our expenses for the next few months. I’ve asked the people in my community about several ideas I have in mind, and I’ll make some decisions based on the results.
And what can I expect from this change?
Well, apart from that, I’ll have much more time to study and write new content, that I plan to start delivering in several different ways apart from the articles. I’ve always loved sharing my knowledge, but it’s been difficult in the last few months. So I’m very excited to be able to find time again 🙂
Having regular income reduces the stress a lot, and it’s my first time without it, so I hope to deal with it well. Honestly, I don’t plan to become rich, just to enjoy what I do while having time for my family. That doesn’t mean I’m not ambitious, I have pretty aggressive goals for 2019. But if I don’t reach them, it doesn’t matter. I’ll be happy just by enjoying the journey.
Luckily, this decision will also help Android and Kotlin communities grow! I’ll do my best to make it happen.
Author: Antonio Leiva
I’m in love with Kotlin. I’ve been learning about it for a couple of years, applying it to Android and digesting all this knowledge so that you can learn it with no effort.