Building An Audience

How I plan to do what I love for the rest of my life

By Andrew "Waldo" Webster
January 1, 2018

Start of the new year, start of what everyone looks to accomplish during the year. It’s funny as a society we collectively press a reset button at the beginning of the year and all look to be a new person overnight and then become frustrated immediately and return back to our mundane unchanged lives after only a few weeks. This year I have goals, but they weren’t decided today. A few months ago I wrote down my goals on a piece of paper and posted them on my wall. My goals are simple and are geared towards this particular journey and my completion date is for December 2018.

The biggest thing I learned about following my dream of becoming an indie game developer is that I need to build an audience. I can make the perfect game, but if my reach is only my closest friends and family, I won’t ever break 1,000 downloads. I can’t make a career out of this. So besides making awesome games for mobile devices, my goals this year can be summarized into building a following. I kept my goals semi-realistic so that they can be attainable.

  1. $3.1 million in revenue
  2. Website with over 200 unique daily views
  3. Active e-mail list with over 8,000 subscribers
  4. Active YouTube channel with over 1,000 subscribers
  5. 4+ games on the App Store with over 1 million downloads

Nothing crazy, except maybe you noticed the $3.1 million in revenue. Why such a random number?

A few months back I had this dream (like an actual dream while I was sleeping, lol). In my dream I won the lottery – total amount equaling $3.1 million. Now, I can assume most people would take that money and buy a nicer house, a car, the latest in technology devices, etc., but while dreaming I asked myself what am I going to spend this money on. I decided that I wouldn’t. That I would hold on to it.

When I woke up that morning I laid there and thought about that random number that popped up in my subconscious. Why $3.1 million? Why not $300 million or a billion? That random number started to bother me all day and then I started thinking, if I didn’t change the way I lived right now and I didn’t earn another dollar for the rest of my life, how long could I sustain my lifestyle off $3.1 million? The answer: about 50-60 years. Approaching the end of my 20’s, I could almost live the rest of my life off of $3.1 million. Wow.

Now, I’m no bum. If I suddenly won the lottery, I wouldn’t spend the rest of my life sitting on a beach somewhere. I love what I do, but I am trying to start a career off something I love that currently makes me almost no income. It’s a current fear and dilemma of mine. I found something I could do happily until the day I die, but might have to quit because it doesn’t sustain me financially. If only I had $3.1 million I could come to work everyday and decide the projects I want to work on and have total and complete freedom over my life.

What a dream. Now to figure out a way to make that a reality.

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