Go Beyond

Only read if you don't mind being offended.

The Things You Own End Up Owning You

Henry David Thoreau talks about being a day laborer in his book, Walden. He could work for a couple months a year and live off of that if he lived frugally enough. Partly because he built his own cabin and grew much of his own food.

As a day laborer, you find work that begins and ends within that day. It doesn't come home with you. Perhaps some will find work for a week, then it lasts a week. But once it's done, it's done.

Day labor isn't the only job like it. With many salaried jobs, the job ends when you leave. Unfortunately, much of the work I have done has been operations focused. On call and always responsible. Maybe not the person responsible at that moment, but owning enough of the infrastructure that it could fall on my shoulders. There's this looming doubt about going off the grid for a while, unable to be reached. So work never completely ends until you quit the job.

I seem to have out done myself, however. I thought it would be wonderful working for myself. In many ways it is. But SporeStack, while not a huge consumer of my time, lives and dies by me and me alone. I always have to worry about it. This online thing that needs to always be working. I can't take off to the woods for a week. I can't go with a friend on a long roadtrip without connectivity. I try to get online every 24 hours at the very least. I keep paying for an unlimited data hotspot that I hardly ever use just because I might need it. There's a lot of unlikely but possible things that could go wrong at any moment.

And while I completely control SporeStack, now it controls me. If I don't want to have to be tethered to it, I have two options.

  1. I grow SporeStack to the point that I can hire at least one person to help run it. Seeing as SporeStack barely makes enough to pay for my existence, I'm not sure if this is going to happen any time soon.
  2. I sell it.

I like SporeStack a lot and I have some amazing customers. I am just trying to see out into the horizon of where this will eventually end up. I don't want to be on the hook for it for the rest of my life. How long I will let myself be tied down to it, I don't know.

The reality I now see is that hosting businesses need to be big enough that people can take breaks as normally it's a 24/7/365 business. And one person is just too small for that.

So, I don't really know what to do. At this point I would consider selling it to the right buyer, someone who would take excellent care of my customers.

Ideally, it would grow to the point where I could hire someone to run it. But that takes almost as much trust and a lot of money that I'm not making with it. For the amount I'm making from SporeStack it's becoming obvious that it really isn't worth the time I've put into it. That might change, but realistically it also might not.

Thank you for reading.

Update: Someone offered to help me run SporeStack, quite generously. This is someone I know and trust. I think he is perfect for the role and I'm very grateful. I'm slowly starting to transition support and later operations over to him.