The emotional rollercoaster

In the past, I’ve written mostly about Cushion progress, but little about the emotional side of building an app. Re-reading a few posts, I realized that I only seem to write when I make considerable progress or when I’m excited about an upcoming feature. I never write about the darker days—when I’m feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.

Bootstrapping shares a similar emotional rollercoaster to freelancing. On an up day, I might have a few dozen signups and, all-of-a-sudden, I feel unstoppable. I start thinking about hiring people and taking on less client work. I look months into the future and make projections on where Cushion will be based on that one good day.

Then, I won’t see a single new signup for an entire week and that impenetrable confidence begins to waver. I start doubting that I’ll ever be able to hire the help I so desperately need. I look to take on new clients because I’m now projecting the future based on this week alone, thinking I’ll be homeless in no time. I feel like no one cares anymore because nobody mentioned Cushion that week.

Like the freelancing rollercoaster, I know these ups and downs don’t go away—I just need to strengthen my ability to handle them. Instead of assuming everything will crumble after a quiet week, I should remind myself about the good things I have going.

For one, Cushion is actually making money and it’s not even out of private beta yet. This is a big deal. It means that people are investing in the app before they can even use it—the idea alone simply resonates with them. I shouldn’t take this lightly. Thanks to their support, I can afford to designate entire weekdays to working on Cushion—not just nights and weekends.

Another positive I often overlook is that I am capable of building Cushion on my own. With 18 years of coding and a design degree under my belt, I know there’s nothing holding me back. It would be nice to have extra help, but there’s no legitimate reason why I couldn’t continue solo until I’m able to bring someone onboard. When the time is right and I can afford a teammate, I can take that next step. Until then, I have nothing blocking me.

Most of all, I need to do this. As soon as I thought up the idea of Cushion and witnessed the overwhelmingly positive reception from others, I knew I had to build it. Not a day goes by where I’m not thinking about Cushion. I shouldn’t take this passion for granted. I should be thankful to even have an idea worth pursuing—let alone one that helps others. I need to remind myself that I’m fortunate to have this opportunity. I can’t wait to see where Cushion takes me.

If it wasn’t obvious, this post was for me. I’ve been feeling down about my work lately and I needed a release. Working alone, it’s easy to keep my thoughts to myself, but that doesn’t help. This did. Thanks for reading.