On July 23 2017, it will be exactly 3 years since I started this blog. Three years !
During this time period :
- I finished grad school and became a bonafide Dr.
- Moved to gorgeous San Diego, California.
- My son who was then 11 months is almost 4.
- I started a freelance writing and social media management business I am so grateful for.
- I created a course and wrote an eBook on social media management.
- This blog has been viewed almost 400,000 times ! Most of this happened in the last 12-15 months.
- And I have had opportunities to network and meet with some pretty phenomenal creatives/bloggers/podcasters/solopreneurs and my, are these people intelligent !
If you had told me before I started my blog that I would get here, I would have stared and laughed.
Three years in, I can say this : there is something special to starting an online business. I still run my online business on a part-time basis and while I am not sure (yet) if I will ever go full-time with it, I really get a kick out of the fact that I have created a blog and products that earn me a consistent 4-figure side income each month.
But can I be honest with you for a moment ?
I have wanted to quit at least once a year every year.
In fact, in the first 3 months or so of 2016, I did nothing with my blog. I just sat and watched TV all night long when I would come from work when I knew that getting to work building my blog would serve me well in the long run.
And you know what else is demoralizing ? Watching other people seemingly come out of the woodwork after you and shoot for the skies while you are still in the trenches digging and trying to find your feet.
Maybe that is where you are.
You are watching as other online business owners report amazing gains via their income reports and you are looking at yours that you began around the same time and yet…nothing…zilch…nada.
So should you quit ?
Not so quick, mon ami !
There are a few lessons I have learnt in my 3 years of blogging/freelancing that I would like to share with you about why you SHOULD NOT quit.
#1 : Success is a function of time.
I honestly believe that sometimes this very hard yet true fact is the only thing that separates people who win at anything in life versus people who don’t.
Over and over again, I have heard successful actors, writers, politicians, pastors and business people talk about success being a function of time.
In fact, I remember clearly when fellow online entrepreneur Ron started his business income reports. I remember how his income reports were negative sometimes. These days he nets around $5,000 per month passively from his websites. Reporting negative income for months is discouraging. But sticking with it has paid off for him !
I personally remember when I would check my affiliate networks desperately looking to see if someone had possibly clicked a link I had posted and bought something. These days, I earn hundreds of dollars in affiliate income each month (still working my way to my first $1000 affiliate income month !)
In our super fast and easy 21st century psychology, we want everything right this minute.
The truth however is that those for whom things work quickly are actually in the minority. If success happens for you within a year because you had all your eggs in a row and had amazing strategy, that is GREAT !
However just because someone went of zero to 6 figures online in 12 months does not mean it will happen the same way for you.
Having the perspective that you CAN succeed but in your case it might take a little longer will help you focus on YOUR work and taking all those actions that will eventually help you win.
So seriously, give yourself time !
3 reasons why everyone’s time course to success is different
- Life circumstances are different. If you’re a mom with 3 kids who also juggles community activities and is building this as a side hustle, you simply can’t compare yourself to a single college grad who has more time to invest. I run my blog and freelance business on a part-time basis. Someone who runs theirs full time may be more profitable than me because of this. That is not because they work harder – it’s just because they get to spend more time on their business than I do.
- Learning curves are different. You might learn a concept in business and not truly grasp it until a few months or years later. For instance, it took me 2 years to learn the importance of engaging my e-mail list regularly. I knew I had to build my list. I knew I could make some money from people on my list – I just was not sure how. So I tried and made mistakes and then eventually read DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson and it changed EVERYTHING for me. Everyone has a different learning curve. It might be faster or slower than others’. That is fine. The most important thing is to never stop learning and implementing even if you do make mistakes.
- We all don’t have the same resources. Usually a really great course might help you get on your feet sooner. But what if you are genuinely in a place where you cannot afford that particular course…yet ? Someone who is taking that thousand-dollar course and implementing everything might be able to see results incredibly quicker than you. If you are just starting out and simply have little money to start out, don’t stress it. Do what you can with the free/cheap tools available to you. In time, you will be able to afford more sophisticated ones.
Are these reasons you should complain though ?
My life will always be different from anyone else’s. So will yours. Accepting that and working around and in spite of those circumstances is a much wiser path to travel.
#2 : Even though you don’t see the results of your small efforts now, you will reap the benefits if you don’t quit.
I was recently in a small group that had some pretty successful entrepreneurs.
Someone in the group asked the most successful entrepreneur within the group a question about how long it took him to make his first dollar for a particular website.
His answer : over two years.
So for two years this person had been creating and promoting his content, hustling it out and made nothing.
He is now reaping the benefits of all those seeds he sowed in the early days.
Sowing seeds, waiting for them to germinate, grow and bear fruit so you can harvest that fruit takes an incredible amount of time.
But that’s the thing : you have to keep planting and cultivating those blog posts, videos, audios, relationships and taking all those small steps that build up to a mighty ocean.
All of that can feel mundane and boring but don’t look down on the process.
Rome was built brick by brick. Remember that.
#3 : Evaluate what you might be doing wrong and get help
It is possible that you are doing everything right. If that’s the case, then keep chugging along.
There is wisdom however in occasionally getting an expert opinion on what you might be doing wrong so you can fix it and start seeing growth.
This might mean investing in coaching and courses that will help you reach your goals.
These days, I practice what I call “on-time learning”. I only learn and do deep dives on topics/areas I am currently working on.
For instance, at the beginning of this year, I wanted to start a freelance writing business. In January, I found out about Holly Johnson’s course Earn More Writing (she made over $200,000 writing last year) and I invested in it. I made the money I spent on it back in about a month and since then, I have made over $2300 from freelance writing part time (around 5-8 hours per week).
I don’t know about you but $2300 is some big cha-ching in my world !
I could have tried to figure it out on my own but honestly, I don’t think I would have made half the money if I was just stumbling through the dark on this one.
You see, even though I had been freelancing for over a year, I didn’t have the inside scoop on freelance writing. This course showed me what I needed to avoid and what I needed to do if I wanted to be a successful freelance writer.
So if you have been doing this for a while and have a sense you are doing something wrong (or have no clue what you’re doing), check with a few experts to make sure you’re on the right track. But by all means, don’t just quit.
The biggest lesson I have learned on this entrepreneurial journey is that success looks different for everyone. Comparing and griping because someone is doing better than you is foolishness and keeps you from progressing.
Focusing on consistently doing the seemingly small things, learning from your mistakes, testing, retesting and making up your mind to be in this for the long haul is what will eventually make you a winner.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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