Today I slept through a disaster. At 4:35 a.m. I got a text message saying that one of my crucial servers was down. The reason? Trivial. No funds on a connected credit card. Did I miss some notifications beforehand? No. I turn them all off by default. This is because I consciously opt-out of any things that may distract my work and life. And with over 50 subscription services that my business handles I would be notified every millisecond.
But shouldn’t notifications that come before the blackout be at least the ones that I opt-in for? Not necessarily. Because I have robots to deal with them.
At 4:35 one of them got woken up. It checked the balance on a different disposable credit cards, took the first one with sufficient funds and plugged it in via hosting service billing API. At 4:36 I got another text message. Server Status: up.
I spotted the messages after I went cycling, had a shower and morning coffee, around 8. Good ol’ bots — I thought.
The first time the idea crossed my mind was while reading about nomadlist ran by Pieter Levels, who hired over 1000 bots on his site, including those calculating beer prices. I picked up the idea and started learning about cron, automation, AWS Lambda, web scrapers and writing first small pieces of software.
I have learned to code when I was a kid, but then switched to web design. Although I could code anything I didn’t find it too exciting. It was taking too long and I kind of missed the instant gratification you get from graphic and motion design.
When I discovered bots and automation it instantly felt like the missing piece of the puzzle in my life just got in place.
The results are quick and powerful and no or little code is required to make software that actually works.
As I was exploring more tools and techniques I discovered that almost every daunting part of my work can be replaced with smart automation. Starting from organising my schedule and sending invoices to my accountant, to running an entire online business on autopilot, with bots taking care of purchases and returns, invoicing, customer service and marketing. Today I run multiple online projects including the one with over 100.000 clients and only four people on board, thanks to bots and automation.
The best thing is that everyone, even with no coding skills, can make software and automate most of his online business and life. There’s just a bit of a learning curve but it’s certainly worth the time and effort and will pay back with smarter work and more free time in the future.
The problem I faced, though, was the lack of well organised, high-quality learning materials explaining how it all works. I spent countless hours trying to understand the API docs and learn from random tutorials. Many times I got stuck. For example, I was excited when I found how Zapier works but then I was left alone to create my first automation… and I had no idea, what to automate!
The tutorials are there, but all they say is “Connect X to Y”, for example, “Connect Asana to Trello”. This is not descriptive at all especially when you don’t know all the tools. The second approach I found was more towards makers and solo entrepreneurs with tutorials such as “Create Airbnb clone without code” but I don’t want an Airbnb clone. Plus it doesn’t even sound reasonable to make a platform like this without code.
I am a huge proponent of the no-code movement and a true believer, that everyone can and will make software in the future. I also know that not everyone was born to be a software engineer while the best opportunities out there are in the IT industry. There has never been a better time to launch your own online business and using no-code and lo-code platforms as well to run the existing business on autopilot with different automation tools.
No-code tools are reducing the amount of time and coding expertise required to translate an idea into something people can use. You no longer need to become a programmer to build things on the internet, empowering a new wave of makers from different backgrounds and perspectives.
This is why I decided to create a resource that will teach you different automation software as well as its implementation for online business. I wanted it to be task-oriented and easy to follow so that it can immediately drive results and save you time. You will learn from multiple scenarios such as automating appointments with a chatbot or launching online webinars. I wanted the explanations to be clear and easy to follow by people without a coding background. If it existed when I first started learning automation — it would save me a ton of time, effort and money. I hope it will be just as helpful for you and your online business.
This article was made possible by MakerPad, the platform to learn how to build powerful applications without code.