Hey, I'm Leo. I've been working in tech for 20+ years.
I'm very active on Twitter where I share my thoughts
Founded and sold a B2B company to chase my dreamed....meaningless life?
I also told how I spent 10 months coding before selling and how a complicated product ruined the pricing decision
My mission is to help founders not make the same mistakes I did
The boring stuff
10+ years as Java Sofware Engineer and Project Manager.
I co-founded a IT outsourcing company in 2008 and sold in 2013.
I created a company (real-time Business Intelligence software) from scratch in 2008 and sold in 2017 (built the first version/Project managed/led a team of engineers/worked with the sales team on proposals and pitches/responsible for the cash flow)
I've been working as Technical Project Manager/Product Owner since 2018
I sold my B2B business and achieved my dreamed...meaningless life?
My lessons learned?
Look for a meaningful life, alwaysbut health firstTime is preciousChallenges make me aliveBe happyHave savingsMoney is temporary, spend wiselyB2B business is hard. Relationships help a lot
2007. I’d been working for 10 years in Brazil, mainly as a software engineer and tech lead for a few different software development agencies.
Hectic environment was the norm. 250+ hours/month for 4 months, no weekends, no exercises. I was like: “I’m young, I can do all of it”.
Then, all of the sudden, I felt an irregular heart rate. I felt my heart beating faster for 2 days. This situation led me to a hospital visit. Burnt out detected. I was told to reduce workload. At least, my heart and everything else was completely fine.
This problem would change my mindset forever.
Worrying about my life, I left the company and planned to spend 1 year taking care of myself, no work at all. (At the time I was living at home, no kids, 2 years of savings, which facilitated my decision)
My new mindset
I will never work as many hours as beforeI will not worry about work as much as I will about my health
What did I do next?
2 months into my “forced sabbatical”. Got a call from a former colleague: a job proposal. “NO, I’ll stay 1 year off work”. “How about doing a contract, working from home, at your own time?” I sent my proposal, considering 8hrs/day, higher rates and extended delivery dates. “Ok, agreed”.
Fast forwarding some years, I co-created a B2B product (similar to QlikView and GeckoBoard) at my own pace (10 months), without pressures (working normal hours). Took us 10 months to strike the first sale!
My Company of One
I ran the company for 9 years:
3 co-founders, I was the only one - working full time4 clients only4 employeesAll projects had realistic deadlines. We wouldn't allow pressure from clients to deliver earlierNo extra hoursFlexible time, we mostly could work whenever and wherever we wanted to, following the deliverables
All of it also allowed me to work less hours and enjoy the chased freedom. We were thriving.
Finally, the dreamed life
Everything was running accordingly. No long hours. Holidays abroad. Time to exercise. Low 7 figures revenue. Great profit. Highly efficient employees. The dreamed life had arrived! To make it even better, I received an offer and sold my company for something in the north of 7 times my yearly earnings.
With money on hand was time for us (my wife and I) to take the biggest decision of our lives: to move abroad, from the hot and sunny Brazil to London (I’ll write another post with the reasons we decided to move).
I’m on top of the world
Now, I have all the time I wished for. I can travel a lot. I don’t need to work. I’m successful, anything I launch will be profitable. I know how to make money.
Then I travelled. I didn’t look for a new job at all. I invested my time in side-projects as diverse as a list of transport options from airports to city centres. List of UK beers. List of videogame’s musics.
Is everything going according to the plan?
Well, my new lifestyle was not bringing me real happiness. Having anything I dreamed of without any clear purpose was meaningless.
Adding to this, my side-projects were not helping anyone. This made me realise I wasn't as invincible as I arrogantly had thought.
The meaning of my life
One of the purposes of our moving abroad, was to raise kids in a safer country, with less problematic politics. Then, sticking to the original plan, it was time to have a baby. He was born 2 years after I started my dreamed, empty life.
Since then, I've been one of the most important people in the world, at least for him. My life now has the most clear objectives, most difficult challenges and the best rewards ever:
to make him as happy as possible. If he’s happy, I’m more than happy
to raise him without any preconceived views
and many, many more
Now, I’m on top of the world.
My today’s world
Since 2018 I'm working as a Project Manager/Product Owner after 12 years as an employer.
Why? My mind needs to be active (empty mind sucks). It makes me feel alive. I need the income.
There are loads of positive points now, like 25 days of holidays, clear direction, having a boss to learn from, working in an industry I’m passionate about (sports), career progression, etc.
I’m chasing the dream, once again, of launching something that helps people. Why?
to see the real joy of helping people solve their problemsto spend quality time with my family. This time will never come backto have the freedom to work whenever and wherever I’m the most productiveTo feel the rush when a new client buys my product
Now, I’m 100% sure I’m using my time and money way more wisely than before.
I write about life, tech, business...burnout, sleep deprivation. The life as it is.
Sign up to my newsletter if this article helped you somehow.