The Beginning of My Journey

Trading cash and comfort for creative freedom and happiness

By Andrew "Waldo" Webster
May 17, 2017

Today starts my year and half long journey to creative freedom and ultimate happiness.

I am currently a website designer at a business I started called Impressive Click. I have owned Impressive Click for over 9 years and I have grown it into a very successful company. A company that gives me a pretty comfortable life financially.

The problem?

I don’t love what I do.

You might be asking yourself already, well why did you start a business if you don’t love what you do? Well, the answer is quite complicated.

Growing up I wanted to make games. I was so fascinated with the idea of creating and being able to take imagination and make it an interactive experience for anyone to enjoy.

When I was 9 years old I would walk my neighbors dogs and do odd jobs to save up to buy my first computer. It took me two years to save up for a $700 computer. Every birthday and Christmas when my brothers and friends would ask for toys as gifts, I would ask my parents for large textbooks on programming.

Within years I taught myself how to build simple flash games. When I built my first game, I would just sit back and watch the animations for hours. I was hooked and I was ready to show the world. So I learned basic HTML and CSS and built a website to house my games.

I became so good at building and managing this website and community by the age of 15 that I started getting freelance work from people asking me to build them websites. Working at my local grocery store at the time, I realized I had a lot more interest doing things on the computer than bagging groceries, so I built up enough website accounts to quit my job.

I figured making websites was may more fun than working for anyone else. I was able to do my most favorite thing in the world which was to create and I got paid to do it.

Fast forward 12 years later I’ve realized it’s not as glamourous as I once hoped.

I may not have a boss, but I work for my clients. I will come up with some very creative ideas, just to have them constantly shot down so that a more conservative approach can be taken. So much infact that I’ve become deflated at the idea of trying anything new.

Not to mention, website programming has become so cookie cutter that I am basically on auto pilot, with no real challenges. I feel like I use about 10% of skill and it’s just not fulfilling anymore.

I became so fed up with dealing with clients that, I took some time off last summer and thought about how I got myself into such a mess. I realized that I don’t love what I do and started to ask myself the last time I was happy doing work and I immediately thought about my 15 year old self spending 6 hours a day after school learning and making games. I remember not being able to do or think about anything else.

And that’s when I realized I needed to get back into that. I took a week off and taught myself how to program in Swift for iOS. I built my first game for mobile three weeks later and holy crap I felt myself become alive again. Once again I couldn’t sleep, eat or do anything. I found myself at the office for 18 hours a day addicted to my screen, addicted to learning, addicting to creating. I knew I was on to something.

The problem was after I released my first game, I barely got over a few hundred downloads. This was no overnight success and with Impressive Click, I found myself answering calls and e-mails all day as well as constantly having to put out fires to make my clients happy. Leaving me with very little time to focus on gaming.

So, after about 8 months of getting buried in website work, I decided I needed change. The problem was that Impressive Click pays all my bills and a lot of clients rely on me and my services to run their businesses. It would be nearly impossible to just quit.

So, I created a plan to save up so that I could take off 8 months off work. I would then keep two of my biggest clients and do their work at night and on weekends and I would make it my fulltime job to replace my income with Impressive Click within 8 months.

I know that I am fully focused on one thing, I can be successful at anything.

So here is the first day of my journey. I am giving myself until the end of 2018 to replace my current income. I have until the rest of the year to prepare and plan and close out any old accounts and to save up enough money so that by April 2017 I can start focusing fulltime on games.

I don’t expect anyone to ever watch these videos, but it’s important to me to stick to this plan, so this video series is a way to hold my feet to the fire and complete something I started.

I’ll be posting at least once a week and along the way I’ll share my experiences of both success and failure, tips I’ve learned as well things I may find interesting.

So stay tuned for my developing story As Told by Me, Waldo.

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