You’ve managed to overcome the biggest initial hurdle of taking action on your idea and now your new website is finally online. It’s not perfect, but it’s online and you’re damned proud of it. You text your friends a link, post on Facebook and eagerly tell everyone that you come in contact with all of the great things you’re working on.
You likely have some massive numbers in your head as to what traffic and revenue your project will soon bring in and you’re all gung-ho to work on building the whole thing up. You’re probably already daydreaming about what you’re going to do with all of your newfound extra income; not the least of which is the look on everyone’s face as you give an impressively detailed ‘fuck you’ speech on your final day of working at XYZ Corporation.
You’re now a week or two into your new website. Even though you’ve not actually made any money or had any major wins with it just yet, you’re able to sustain excitement based on the praise from friends and newness of it all. You post a few more times on Facebook, text a few more friends links and tell a few more people what you’re working on. Then, without fail, a nasty and unforgiving reality hits your project down to its core. You’ve barely got any traffic, your mom is about the only person who has bought anything and you’d probably need binoculars to find yourself on Google.
The honeymoon? It’s over.
If your website’s lifespan was an adventurous journey, this is the shitty part where you’ve got to get through the long and unforgiving desert of faith. You’ll have to trudge through it alone and rely only on the foolish belief that you’ll eventually get where you want to be. Worse, you’re going to be smacked in the face with a seemingly endless amount of embarrassing disappointments before you start seeing any results.
We’ve all been there, trust me. It happens to the best of us. The Internet is absolutely littered end-to-end with the skeletons of young websites who met an untimely death when their formerly eager owners couldn’t power through working long hours while seeing no real results.
Fortunately for your project, you know ahead of time what you’re getting yourself into and you’re going to be armed with the mental fortitude to do what it takes to succeed!
For starters, let’s truly accept the fact that you’re going to be working on this for about a year before you start seeing much in the way of success. It may happen quicker — and hopefully it does, but the magic number is often around 13 months of consistent effort before any new website truly becomes something to write home about. In those 13 months, you’re going to need to make daily improvements to your project and it’s going to take a lot of tedious elbow grease before you even get a glimpse of triumph.
In Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect, he gives the very fitting example of someone feverishly pumping the handle of a deep water well. They pump and pump and pump and pump away without seeing any water. Eventually their efforts start to pay off, but only in the form of a slow drip that bruises their resolve and makes them question whether or not it’s even worth it to keep going. As far as water wells go, this is the moment of truth. It’s what separates the thirsty from the refreshed. If they quit pumping now, all of their efforts will have been for nothing and they’ll have to start all over if they want any water. Keep going just a little longer and it’ll be flowing like a fire hydrant. Consistency and faith in the process are the keys to success.
“I ain’t going to say everything I touch turns to gold or camouflage. I’ve got to work hard to keep what I’ve got. Nothing comes easy to me. It never has.”
– Boo Weekley
One of my ways of getting through the most desolate parts of a new project is to try and genuinely have a profound respect for every single visitor to my sites. Appreciating the fact that at least one person took time out of their day to check out something that I’ve done. There are a lot of options out there and they chose mine.
At the end of the day, you’ll need to find what works best for you in how to stay motivated. Pin your goals on the wall, find a mentor, hire a (reputable) life coach, make your friends stay on top of you about it or even just replay in your mind the feeling you’ll have when you’ve finally conquered your goals. If you’re competitive, let the fear of defeat power you through. Maybe do all of the above. Whatever it takes. But no matter what, remember that if you stay consistent and trust in your process, your bucket will eventually be overflowing. – JC