Low hanging fruit

Published on Oct 14, 2020

@dvassallo on Twitter was talking about low hanging fruits as a means to create a portfolio of many small bets. So spot on to how my month of Opportune October is turning out. 

But first, here's what he had to say (pasting it verbatim here as note to self):

How to build a portfolio of small bets (without hating your life): Remember that to thrive, you must first survive. The order matters. Instead of trying to succeed, try not to fail. Make sure your self-employment arrangement becomes sustainable quickly by going for the low hanging fruit. Low hanging fruit are opportunities that require very little cost, time, and effort — even if it means they're not the most enjoyable and have limited upside. Try as many of these "small bets" as you can, and run them in parallel — no need to wait for a failure to do the next. What you consider low hanging fruit depends a lot on your circumstances. Explore your strengths and opportunities, and try to imagine some quick wins you can pursue. Once survival stops being a pressing concern, you can go for more ambitious opportunities. Keep all bets safe-to-fail, and ideally cannot-fail. Mix different types of bets to tame the uncertainty of each bet. As some start to work, eliminate those that are least enjoyable. As soon as you can afford it, optimize for enjoyment. Otherwise, this arrangement won't last!

It resonated because when I set out to have an Opportune October, I wanted to go with the flow. Follow where my energy brings me, follow my nose for opportunity. And there's been quite some low hanging fruits indeed. 

Keto List

Keto List continues to take up more of my time and attention, even when I didn't plan for nor expect it. It's strange how the pandemic seem to have catalysed a whole groundswell of keto businesses.And now they have ad dollars to spend to catch their target customers. So naturally some of them come to me, all without buying ads myself. All organic referrals. Last month was the best month in terms of revenue - over $500 generated. Will be interesting to see how much more this demand can go! Who knows!

Custom Carrd Co

A custom code business for Carrd seems to be on the horizon. I got great reviews for my first ever pro bono customer, and he's eager to see my business go live. It's another sign of opportunity popping out of nowhere, all from just being helpful and helping a stranger with some custom code. I'm still harbouring some uncertainty but what the hell, I decided that I will hack out a quick Carrd site, and try it out. Who knows? Small bets, small bets.

Social impact patronage

I also recently got my first ever monthly subscriber patron on Buy Me A Coffee, for my social impact work. It's been encouraging, and the comment from my friend who paid was just the right nudge to get this truly rolling. Since I'm going to be doing all those social impact projects anyway, perhaps I can just ask people if they are interested, and have zero expectations. Who knows, maybe like my friend said, people want to be involved but just don't know how or have no time, so buying the equivalent of a coffee isn't all that much.

Remote conferences

Besides that, I just completed my first ever paid speaking event at a video conference. Now that's been an interesting experience! I speak rarely and when I do it's usually for the consultancy projects that I do. And though I can do it, I don't think I ever enjoyed it (because introvert). But remote conferences are a different feel altogether. Yes there's still the initial adrenaline and anxiety of speaking, but much more manageable without being face-to-face with a live audience! And For the first time, I actually wrote and used my presentation notes, because I can actually look at it on the same screen. Not bad for a few days work. Who knows if this can be a thing?!

Yep, so October had been opportune indeed. A few low hanging fruits to try, but so little time!