← Work

`git merge life`

Updated 9 months ago

I've had two branches in my life running in production for a while and it's time to git merge.

What's going on 🤔.

The Two Branches

For the past 10 years I've been working in pharmacy. I've been an overnight pharmacist at CVS/Pharmacy, (yes, we exist). The schedule is one week on and one week off.

While incredibly frustrating sometimes, it has been a rewarding career. I've gotten to help thousands of customers on their "path to better health" while working closely with ~100 amazing colleagues.

On my off weeks, I've been doing web-development. There's a winding path that brought me through my Wordpress and PHP days, a false start on Rails, some serious MeteorJS endeavors, and for the past 3-4 years work in React.

Finally, the web-development branch is production-ready and it can't come soon enough.

👉 Here's how I made it possible.

0th step in Stair Step Model

Rob Walling wrote an article back in 2015 called The Stairstep Approach to Bootstrapping. It outlines a pathway to becoming a bootstrapped business. I hadn't heard of Rob Walling back then, but I definitely wanted to bootstrap my way out of pharmacy.

The problem I had was I kept trying to jump up the steps all at once. I was trying to create a SaaS company on Step 3 without having learned marketing, or customer development. It can be done, but the odds of success are incredibly low.

The Stairstep Approach to Bootstrapping
Stairstep Approach / Rob Walling

By this point I had a house and a family and I couldn't find a pathway into my passion for web-development.

Until I heard Rob talk about the 0th step. I forget which podcast he mentions it on, but he weaves the idea of the Stair Step approach throughout Startups for the Rest of Us.

His pathway was contract work as a developer. As I was making no progress towards making a SaaS product, I figured I would give it a try.

Last year I started looking for contracting gigs on local forums and on Upwork. My first contract was with Duke Health, and then I was off to the races on Upwork.

Covid as an Accelerant

I hate to bring Covid into it, but how has it not affected literally everything. It's affected me on several particular levels.

It crystallized the ideas that we may not be able to always see my wife's family 🇬🇧, that I might be at increased risk working in pharmacy 😷, and that my passion for development was the solution 💻.

I got serious about finding contracts and now those are rolling into a business 👔.


Another podcast I listen to is Money for the Rest of Us. David Stein hosts a weekly podcast about investing but it is really so much more than that.

His 127th episode, Investing Is Wayfinding, covers the idea that when you're looking to the future, the path is not very clear. And that's OK.

The trick is to make the best investing decision you can given the information you have at that particular moment. I can't help but think of development in the sense of investing. There's a certain synergy that brings in my passion for development

That's what I'm doing now. I'm wayfinding my way into tech. And now that I think of it, I think many people are.