Does giving up ever cross your mind?
Maybe you’re trying to write a book, or you’re trying to get your YouTube channel off the ground, or you’re selling handmade products on Etsy. Maybe you’re in direct sales, or you’re starting a coaching business…whatever it is that you’re trying to do, at some point you’re going to want to give up.
At some point, you’re going to look at all you’ve done and think, “I’m getting nowhere!”
You’re going to think you haven’t made any progress. You’re going to think that you might not ever succeed. You’re going to think you’ve had no WINS at all, and instead you’ve only been wasting your time.
At some point other people are going to question your dedication. What if you’re not making any money yet? What if you work and work everyday on this dream, and not only are you not making money, but you’re spending so much time on this goal that it’s getting in the way of other life activities?
Can you keep going even then? Are you going to give up?
I’m here to tell you that these things are going to cross your mind, and I bet they have already! I’m here to tell you that at some point, you’re going to have to decide if you’re going to give up or keep going.
I’ve been blogging for four years, and let me tell you, most of the time I feel like I’m getting nowhere at all. I self-published a book last year, and I’ve sold less than 200 copies, and in the month of March I sold ONE book. I get more unsubscribes than I do subscribes on my email list. My Instagram and Facebook page have stayed steady, without growing, for over three years.
It’s easy to look at these stats and think – wow I should totally give up.
But instead, I’ve had to make a tough decision – work even harder!
I’ve had to dig deep to stick with my goals, and I want to share with you the things I focus on that keep me going.
I’ve had to make Not Giving Up into a practice that I make myself work on everyday.
These are the ideas that keep me going and I hope they help you too!
You’re in training:
Did you know that Michael Jordan was told he wasn’t good enough to play basketball. We laugh about that now considering how he became one of the greatest players in the sport of all time, but did you ever stop and think that maybe he really wasn’t that good back then?
Michel Jordan was known for his incredible work ethic. He would stay late and show up early to practice more and more.
When I look back at my blogging career since 2015, I can see that I’ve learned so much! I’ve come so far since my first blog posts. My first book took me two years to write because I had no idea how to write a book. I had to practice over and over, throw away manuscript after manuscript, to figure it out.
Have you seen my first YouTube video? I’ve only done a handful, but my last one is so much better than my first.
If I look at my audience numbers, I don’t get discouraged. What I realize is this – Thank goodness I don’t have a large audience right now!
I’m still trying to figure all this out. I’m still trying to find my voice, and learn how to post on social media, and learn how to make videos. I’m still learning how to create emails.
But more important than learning these skills – I’m learning how to show up consistently. I’m learning how to do the work, rain or shine, and make this dream a priority.
When my audience does show up (and I know it will!) I am going to be SPOT ON and READY.
It won’t overwhelm me because my skills will be perfected, my schedule will be consistent, and I will be able to take care of my audience in the way it deserves.
So keep training – just like Michael Jordan, and keep showing up and getting better. Realize you’re growing, if nothing else, and that’s exactly where you need to be in this part of your journey.
Stay Consistent – Consistency Compounds
Consistency is extremely important.
I know it may seem like no one is watching you, or no one is paying attention to your business – but that isn’t true! People ARE watching.
I can’t tell you how many times I think no one is paying attention to my work, and then I’ll get a random email from someone that I’ve helped or inspired. Or how many times I hear that people are inspired by my willingness to stay with it. My willingness to keep going.
The more you’re consistent with your social media, your blog posts, your podcasts, your videos – the more people will pay attention, the more people will remember you when its time to buy, and the more people will want to support you.
In John C. Maxwell’s new book, Leadershift, he points out that people don’t congratulate the student for studying late at night, or putting in extra credit to get a passing grade. No, people congratulate the student for graduating, at the end of their journey.
They congratulate the student when they walk across the stage. They congratulate the student for staying with it and for being consistent!
Stay consistent now, for the long journey, and your WINS WILL COME. Just keep going!
Know your Why
Do you remember WHY you started this journey to begin with? Sometimes when we get down the road, into the thick of it, we forget WHY we started in the first place.
It’s important to remember your WHY. I did a lengthy blog post on this and you can read it here. But basically, knowing your WHY is going to keep you motivated when you think about quitting.
Did you start this business to save up money for a family vacation?
Did you write this book to share a story that has been on your heart for years?
Did you start this business to have more time with your family?
Whatever your WHY is, it matters!
Write it down, pin it to your wall, and remind yourself of it EVERY DAY.
Count Your Wins
I know its so easy to look at your social media numbers, or your sales, and think – wow I’ve gotten nowhere.
But that isn’t true!
Think about where you were when you first started! I bet you can look at a million things that you’ve done since then. These are all wins!
Its a win to get ONE follower on Instagram. Its a win to get ONE view on YouTube. Its a win to get ONE listener on your podcast. Its a win you made ONE sale.
Its a win that you learned how to do a YouTube video. Its a win that you learned how to create a Podcast, or a blog post.
Don’t focus on numbers as a negative. Instead, focus on the skills that you’ve learned. Focus on the audience that you DO have.
The very best way to grow an audience is this: Take care of your audience that is already there. Take care of them SO WELL, that they start telling their friends. Take care of them SO WELL, that they share your posts. Create such great content that people can’t help but talk about you.
Stay positive and count every lesson, every wrong turn, every lost sale, as a WIN.
Look at how far you’ve come and congratulate yourself!
Be in for the long game:
Look, success doesn’t happen over night. The people you are seeing that have become successful have worked for years and years at this!
As Rachel Hollis says, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”
Are you prepared to work at this no matter how long it takes?
Even if you’re not making money yet?
For me personally, this is how I think of this…I’m 38, and my youngest daughter is 8, so I have ten more years before my last kid is out of the house. If my dream and my goals take me ten more years to get where I want to be – than at least when my daughter leaves the house, I’ll have put in the time now to get where I want to go.
I would love to look up in ten years and be somewhere closer to my dream, so I might as well work on it now.
Giving up isn’t going to get me anywhere.
Are you in for the long game? Are you in this business for five, eight, ten years? Do you want to be fifty with three books under your belt, and then write your best seller? Do you want to be forty-five and have a strong business that is thriving and bringing in a good extra income for your family?
Do you want to work on this everyday with the dream that in ten years you’ll be where you want to be?
Success takes consistent work, for a very very long time.
Decide now if you are in for the long game or not. Hopefully you are!
Don’t give merit to other people’s opinions:
Is your Mom telling you that you’re wasting your time? Does your spouse think you should spend your time working on other, more valuable, things? Do your friends think starting a business is a lost cause? Did a stranger on the Internet tell you that your ideas suck?
There are going to be SO MANY opinions about what you’re doing…and let me tell you this…none of them matter except YOUR OPINION.
These other people don’t share the same dream that you have, otherwise it would be their dream.
You were given this tug at your heart for a reason. This is YOUR life.
Please don’t give up because other people don’t understand the dream in your heart.
This is your life and you don’t need to ask for permission to make it what you want.
When I start to give value to other people’s opinions of my work I always stop and think this one thing: On MY death bed, do I want to say, “well I could’ve done that but my cousin didn’t understand it and I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable.” Or do I want to say this, “I lived MY life the way I wanted, and made all of MY dreams come true.”
I’ll take the latter!
I’ve had family members who have lived their lives as other people wanted them to, and do you know that on their death bed they said, “I wish I would have done life differently.”
You get ONE life friends. ONE. And its way too short to let other people tell you how to live it.
So what if you’re not making any money yet. So what if its taking all your time to write a book. So what if you believe in your skin care products with all your heart.
This is YOUR life. Don’t give up because someone else doesn’t understand it.
Don’t give up!
Friends, I know it is tough out there, believe me I’ve been there.
I am there!
Do you think I should quit writing? Scrap my next novel and do something else with my life? Do you think I should stop writing this blog post right now because no one is paying me any money?
I don’t think I should quit! I think I’m learning and helping people and it sets my soul on fire.
I encourage you to keep going, even when things are stacked against you. Even when it feels like you are getting nowhere.
The idea of giving up is never going to go away. It always seems to slip back in, but great things are not possible if you give up. Next time you have these thoughts, read back over this blog post, and get back on track!
I’m with you! I won’t give up if you don’t. I know we can do this!
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