As soon as you reach TH9, upgrade the following: (in this order)
1) Lab, SF (you can start getting storages here)
2) Clan castle
3) Army camps
4) Dark Elixir drills and storages
5) New buildings (do not add XBow unless you don’t war)
5) Walls and heroes
Troops would be: Barbs lvl 6/Giant lvl6, Archers lvl 6, Giants lvl6/Barbs lvl6 (unless you dont use giants), Balloons lvl6 and Lava hounds lvl6. Everything is free game after that.
Always always keep enough DE to upgrade your AQ until she is lvl15.
If you kept her asleep long enough, she will reach lvl 15 by the time the TH8 maxer even gets lvl1 AQ.
Always try to farm more resources than you need.
This would negate any pain when you are raided and allows you to start doing walls early in your TH9 journal.
Ideally if you’re a half serious farmer, you would complete legos before your defenses caught up.