A Slow Burn - The Frustration of FIRE and Slow Progress

In the last few months, a side-hustle of mine had a surge of revenue. The site made over $1,200 in a month. In the last 2 months it has made over $2,000. I know that isn't that impressive and it probably won't last, but it was more than where it had been trending and it gave me a taste of what an income-generating side-hustle feels like. It felt good... But now I want success to come faster. I want the markets to go up, I want my projects to take off, and I want to quit my job. I am getting restless and frustrated. I want to live the life that I hear and read about everyday in the FIRE community.

I have been building websites and apps for the last 10 years. Excluding the last two side-projects, the ideas are mediocre. I don't market them at all so no surprise, they aren't making money or gaining traffic, but at least the skills and experience are improving my odds of success. Now I can build things faster and avoid mistakes that have slowed me down in the past. I am still motivated to build ideas out, but I am getting more impatient. If I could have a few sites be as successful as the latest one I could be on to something. Once you have expectations, failure and lack of success hurts a bit more.

This latest project was created by myself and one other person two years ago. Traffic has been increasing steadily and has huge potential. But at the same time, traffic and revenue need to grow at least 10x before I could even consider quitting my job. But, I must admit, I fantasize about it. At first, we talked about how we wanted to build a site that generated enough income to pay for some small expenses like beer, hobbies, and other quilty pleasures. We did it. Now, we are talking about enough generated income to pay our mortgages or at least extra principle towards it. We are not there. The plan is to just keep building out our ideas and hopefully the combined income of all of them will be lucrative. That is the dream.

Am I crazy? I don't want a full-time job. I want to work 20-30 hours a week on around 5 different side-hustles. I want to work when I want and where I want. I love web and app development and I don't want to quit doing it. I just want more freedom. I want to be outside in the afternoon. I want to go for a walk. Mow the yard. Cook some BBQ. Play music. Go to my kid's baseball game. I don't want my universe to be limited by the location of my desk. I want to see and feel the sun at 2pm on a Tuesday.

I don't want my universe to be limited by the location of my desk.

The recent correction in the markets, hasn't helped with my fustration either. Last January, stocks were dangerously overvalued (and still are), but anyone checking their networth at that time was probably blindly excited about it, including myself. My FIRE date seemed to be approaching sooner than expected. We all knew that a correction was coming and we are still waiting for this whole recession to happen, but it didn't really matter then. I was watching the estimated 4% of my investments creep closer to my annual expenses.

So combine a previous artificial confidence in the stock market, its upcoming inevitable recession, a semi-profitable side-hustle, and over-exposure to FIRE success stories and you end with restlessness and frustration. I just keep telling myself to enjoy the journey, but damn it is hard sometimes.