“If you can start building a revenue-generating thing and make money while you sleep, it will give you freedom and independence.” – Sam Feller
In this episode, I interviewed Sam Feller, a mechanical engineer and founder of Awkward Engineer, and we talked about how he turned a $500 initial investment into a 5-figure income, and how his obsession with pressing red buttons led him to start his own business.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How This Engineer Turned $500 Into a 5 Figure Income:
- Sam enjoyed pushing red buttons, so he made red panic button light switches that were bought out by thinkgeek.com. He enjoyed the experience and looked for other ways to make things, so he started Awkward Engineer.
- Sam always liked making things. He liked playing with Lego when he was younger and later attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, where he enjoyed making things in the prototyping lab. He studied to become a mechanical engineer because the things you make are physical and tangible. His interests grew to include different kinds of software development and designing organizations.
- Designing and making the red button and then deciding to make a business out of it came from Sam wanting to control his destiny. If you can start building a revenue-generating thing and make money while you sleep, it will give you freedom and independence. It is a rewarding feeling when someone pays you for something you make. Make every project you work on a platform for learning new things.
- When managing your projects, always remember that there is no substitute for learning by doing, and do not be afraid to do the next thing. Have a systems mentality where you break everything down into pieces. Keeping your eyes on your goal will keep you from being distracted by every tiny detail. Remembering that other people have already done what you are trying to do will encourage you to carry on.
- When working on large projects, instead of running around getting information from everyone, you must design a system where the information flows to you. The system must ensure that everyone distills the information for you, and you only need to ask what you will get and when you will get it. Look at which collaborative software the team is using and try to implement your system on that software.
- Giving feedback can be difficult to do and awkward, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Feedback must always be given if someone is doing something wrong, but do not neglect giving positive feedback for the things that people do correctly. Taking the initiative to tell people where they stand and excel creates an environment of trust.
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