No matter who you are, where you live or what you do, it’s pretty safe to say that we all want to be happy in our lives. And while it may indeed be the case that money cannot buy you happiness, it is a fundamental requirement in order to provide yourself with basic human needs and to survive in modern society. A great meal, a new toy or a nice vacation every now and then certainly don’t hurt either. There’s no shame in liking nice things.
You Want to Live the Dream
And so you choose to pursue the dream of living the dot com lifestyle, a life that can provide with both time and location freedom. This way, you can live your life on your own terms, uninhibited and unrestricted by the conventional confines of a 9-to-5 job for the man. That’s admirable.
In your efforts to achieve the kind of freedom that only the dot com lifestyle (or a massive inheritance) can provide, maybe you decide to start blogging. Or freelancing. Or Internet marketing. The actual vehicle of your ambitious endeavor isn’t especially relevant in this context. What is relevant is your motivation to change your life for the better.
When you first start out, you might come blazing out of the gate with all sorts of unbridled enthusiasm, like a race horse that has been cooped up in the stable for far too long. You just want to take that positive energy and run with it. Your fingers go flying across the keyboard at a breakneck pace, busting out multiple blog posts a day and you couldn’t be happier with the progress you are making.
On the Hamster Wheel?
A few days go by. You log into your publisher account at your affiliate network of choice. Zero clicks. Zero conversions. You log into your AdSense account. Maybe a couple of clicks. Less than a buck in revenue. You log into your Analytics account or check your stats through Jetpack. Whoa. Those numbers are awfully disappointing.
You feel deflated. Defeated. Like you want to throw in the towel and give up. The blog goes without new content for long stretches of time. Maybe you bring in a conversion or two, or you come across a new strategy for promoting your site. You can little burst of enthusiasm for a couple days, but that quickly fizzles away. This is not the path to success. This is not how you stay in the game.
Do you know what it really takes to make money online? Staying the game even when the odds look like they’re stacked against you, even when the results aren’t where you want them to be. You need to stay in the game and endure the failures and shortcomings, learning from them so you can keep moving forward.
But how do you do that?
A Positive Perspective
You need to keep your morale high so you can persevere through the tough times and to do that, you also need to keep your motivation high. When you feel motivated, you’ll feel compelled to keep going. When you’re feeling unmotivated, not a heck of a lot is going to get done.
A trick that you can try is something called an “accomplishment list.” I’ve also seen this referenced as a “reverse to-do list” or a “done list.” Use whatever term you want. The thinking is that while a to-do list is a constant reminder of all the things you haven’t done, an accomplishment list is a constant reminder of all the things you have done.
When you’ve accomplished something that puts a smile on your face and a feather on your cap, put this on your accomplishment list. Some people like to do this daily, but I think that’s unnecessarily time-consuming (and too much of an obligation) and it’ll lose its potency when you turn to it so frequently. I say create a list each month and contribute to it once or twice a week.
At the end of the month, you can look back at all the things you’ve accomplished, all the things you’ve worked on that moving you closer to achieving your dreams. This encourages you not to compare yourself to others, but rather to compare yourself today to who you were one month ago. Are you in a better position? Then you are moving in the right direction.
I don’t know about you, but that’s awfully motivating for me.