What does your dream life look like as an Indie Hacker?

I'm a big fan of self-help books, and one of the pieces of advice I see a lot is 'to create your dream life you need to vividly picture what your dream life looks like'. Because to create what we want we have to know exactly what that looks like. I've asked a lot of my friends and family what their ideal life looks like and you'd be surprised how many people don't know.

I think Indie Hackers by nature are better at imagining their best future life as we are creative and imaginative by nature, and we take our destiny into our own hands. So, what does your dream life look like as an Indie Hacker?

I'll tell you mine. . .

-Working max. 4-5 hours per day with weekends and evenings free to spend time with my family plus have time for hobbies/exercise etc. Pretty much already achieving this.
-Flexibility with my work that I can drop everything if friends/family need me - for example, my kid is sick, or a friend has an accident. This means my work is automated enough to run without me around or I have staff that can pick up the work for me. Again, pretty much already achieving this.
-Enough money to not have to worry about money. For me, that's 6k pm. Not even halfway there yet but I'm on track to achieve it within the next 5 years.
-Bought my house by the time I'm 40. This ties in with my previous money aim.
-Mentoring others / passing on my knowledge / giving back to the community. I'm already on forums/websites where I do this but at some point down the line, I'd like to have 1-2 people I regularly mentor.

  1. 4

    It's funny how similar my dream life is to what you've described. I'm sure it's the same for you, but working long hours is not a problem for me as long as I enjoy what I'm doing. Having time or flexibility to drop everything and just go out or spend time with the family is very important to me, as well as travelling for as much as I want.

    The last few years I've focused mostly on backend development and created a framework that allows me to build APIs extremely fast (as in working 8-24 hours per 2-weeks sprints). This kinda solves both my time problem as well as the money problem, as I'm able to work on multiple projects at the same time.

    1. 1

      Your setup sounds exactly like mine, down to the backend development bit. I agree the freedom and flexibility is the most valuable thing to me too, I actually don't mind working.

  2. 4

    I want to save my family home. This is my dream. I need min $1K MRR to do that. Sounds easy but I started just a few weeks ago. And my hustle is a small portfolio of "small bets", - self-publishing books, plus online courses. My MRR is currently just a little bit above zero; a few bucks to be precise. A long way to go from here to my "dream life"... Maybe I'll add more "bets" to my portfolio in the future; I'll see. So far I mostly keep learning by doing :-)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. 2

      I believe in you! A few bucks can compound into thousands very quickly!

  3. 2

    Interesting. I think my dream life actually consists of me spending a lot of time working on interesting problems. I heard in a book not to long ago that, "Happiness is not the goal of life, being Excited every day is", and that resonates with me.

    My goal has always been to be able to work from home. And that I have achived now that I'm a developer. The next part is being my own boss by having my own SaaS.

    Moneywise I want something like 200k$ MRR, why? Because I want to build generational wealth for me and my family. I want a house close to the beach in some warm country and a summer house to go to vaccation in.

    My ideal day would be something like:
    Wake up at 5am, Workout for 1-1.5h.
    Do 20 min meditation
    Speedread for 1H
    Do 6-7H of Deep Work.
    Spend the rest of my day outdoors in the woods, or by the beach with my family.

  4. 2

    So... I think I've achieved what most people want. Financially comfortable.

    Yet, most of time, I am not happy. Not unhappy either.

    I had an interesting career span from PC, Embedded, Smartphone; from bios, device drivers, operating systems, middleware, mobile/web apps/games; from engineering to product management to corporate strategy; 1-man shop to big tech.

    What I want:
    -have good time with family (which is difficult to achieve with parents in another country, wife occupied with her work due to her sense of responsibility). The only control I have is the time with kids
    -Time to do interesting projects (I do them to keep me sane, but difficult to justify the time to execute to make money due to "need time for family"
    -Leisure: time to exercise; times to play games (ex-pro gamer)
    -Grow passive income (mostly stocks)
    -Have friends (we moved to new city a year ago...)

    One big issue is that... people's expectation is that "we need to work, full time". outside IH, it's difficult to explain to people. Even my wife didn't get it until she knows how much I lose on stock market on daily basis...lol

    1. 2

      The only control I have is the time with kids

      That's a big one, most people don't even have that.

      So congrats.

      1. 1

        taking care of kids is seriously one of the hardest job I find.

  5. 2

    For me it's about leaving something that helps people.

    I want to aid people with my creativity. I've recently worked on projects which helps people with receiving feedback on their ideas and another intended for local amenities like butchers to compete against major companies like hello fresh.

    None have seen the light of day but when one does I know I'm helping people!

  6. 2

    Living off-grid in the country somewhere and just focusing on my own projects. To me, working limited hours isn't important. If I love what I do then I want to spend all my time doing it. I need peace and quiet to concentrate - that's why I'd want to be off-grid.

    1. 1

      Yeah, I think the goal is to get paid to spend time building the things you enjoy building, then the amount of hours you work doesn't really matter as it doesn't feel like work :)

      The only thing I'd say, having spent the past 8 months working completely on my own project, is that you actually have to spend quite a lot of time doing the stuff you don't want to do: marketing, sales, business and financial admin etc 😭

  7. 1

    Might have a more refined answer after more in depth thought (just starting out my indie hacker journey!), but initially these things come to mind:

    1. Work + career: I just can't see myself working 9-5 for the rest of my life for someone else's vision / company. I want to be able to tinker / build and eventually have ~50k MRR. I don't know exactly why this number, but I would like to be able to accumulate wealth and still live comfortably.
    2. Family: I want to be able to travel to see family at least every other month (I work in the US but family is in Hong Kong). I also want a stable core family unit (wife + kids)
    3. Friends: Not much to say here. Without friends, what's the point?
  8. 1

    Very similar list to my own. For me it is:

    • Financial independence
    • Flexible work schedule. I don't mind grinding out 60 hour weeks, but I would like the ability to step away without fear that things will fall apart
    • Providing authentic value to those I employ. I've worked at my share of awful places. I would want those who work for me to view it positively
    • Learning is my passion. I know there's a bunch of people that view themselves resting on their "laurels" when they make it - but I have this avid thirst to learn .. and I'd feel empty the moment I stopped. So wherever I go as an Indie Hacker.. I'll be at my happiest if I'm challenging myself and learning some new concept or skill
  9. 1

    Being able to drop everything and dive deep into something that I find fascinating until I'm satisfied and repeat

  10. 1

    Thanks for sharing your dream life and for asking that exciting question.

    I know what my dream life looks like for sure because I quit my job a year ago and lived it, but in credit from future me.

    My kids and my wife are my priority, I spent a lot of time with them, and I want that to continue.
    And I want to have time for hiking and trailing because it frees my mind and recharges it to create more.
    I would love to have time for reading books and playing with math and coding.
    And I would work anyway on my projects for 30-40 hours per week.

    But today, I realized that it is not simple. My SaaS growth is slow, and I probably need to return to a regular job.

    But anyway, I will continue and work for my dream.

  11. 1

    Thanks for sharing your vision. I also prize flexibility. The bare minimum is financial security. But more than that, I want to be working for myself, inspired by what im doing and by who im working with. Id also love to have enough money to finally have a family, probably fostering kids no one wants ( usually older kids). Mentoring/ giving back for sure because I’ve always loved teaching. Thanks for getting me to think about this!

  12. 1

    First, thanks for sharing this, @ryanthemaker - I'm all about community in how I live my life in general, so this speaks to me!

    Mine would be...

    • Work up to 8 hours per day, 5 days per week.
    • Flexibility to decrease to maintenance mode to take long vacations/travel.
    • Earn a sufficient amount of money to cover day-to-day costs, travel and sufficient savings for pension, immediately available emergency fund and, down the line, home purchase.
    • Cultivate community through work or volunteering in whatever way possible.

    Definitely making the right steps to move towards the above, but the tricky thing is deciding whether focusing on one business is sufficient or whether it's better to split attention between different startup ideas (making it harder to minimise work hours).

  13. 1

    For me it's becoming financially free. That doesn't mean mega money, but it means around $10k a month, cause Canada - especially Vancouver - is bloody expensive. And when I get there the point is to work on sustaining it only part time so I can focus the majority of my time on writing. I love writing. But the pay is pathetic, like any art, unless you're a super star. So money = time to work on passion project with the energy it deserves. Oh, yeah, and travelling. Lots of travelling.

  14. 1

    Very good question to be asking yourself. Here is what's in for me:

    • Freedom to work from anywhere. Being able to spend 4 to 5 months in Europe with my family and the rest of the year home in Australia.
    • 3 to 4 days work week. I don’t mind working long hours on interesting problems, but I strongly believe longer weekends to disconnect from work drastically improve the quality of life.
    • Working on interesting and meaningful problems. To me, that means mixing creativity and technology to create products that solve real-world issues and can improve people's life.
    • And of course, financial freedom. Enough not to have to worry about the 12+ months ahead. Which would unlock the ability to experiment more and focus on solving bigger problems.
  15. 1

    Thanks for sharing. Viktor Frankl (a famous 20th-century psychologist from Vienna, successor of Freud and Adler) says we are all motivated by purpose and can create our future in discussions with others. All we need is our language and our words. Ideally, our purpose is worthwhile and goes beyond our selfish needs. So your self-motivation book is rooted in science, and your intention to pass your knowledge by mentoring proves his point about aspiring for a higher good.
    Yet you can improve. What else would you like to achieve? What is the very best future you can imagine? Instead of just a sketch with black & white lines, try to visualize a more vivid picture. Stay there for a moment and observe tiny details. Maybe write down what you see and discuss it with friends and/or Indie Hackers. Once you see an inspiring future, you're already closer to it. And you are greatly improving your chances of getting there.
    And what's the best about achieving our purpose - it can change. There is always space to go for something new. Best of luck on your journey!

  16. 1

    Working max. 4-5 hours per day with weekends and evenings free to spend time with my family plus have time for hobbies/exercise etc.

    Pretty much already achieving this.

    How can you build any kind of startup part-time?

    I work 40+ hours/week, and I feel like there's not enough hours.

  17. 1

    It is funny how everyone wants just to have a house near nature and wouldn't mind to continue working (without toxic boss of course).

    It is funny, because that's how the normal middle class life looked like in the past. If we were carpenters a 50 years ago, we would get exactly this.

    1. 2

      I am here in Portland, OR and we are like 5-8 minutes from downtown and I literary live in a forest.

  18. 1

    I have done the same things for web development and get the same result

  19. 1

    What's the product/service that makes you ~$3K pm these days?

  20. 1

    I'd say my dream life mirrors yours. Time to spend with family, enough money to cover all my expenses plus more for savings and property and holidays etc. I'd also add community work to the list.

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