We know how it feels. Nothing seems to be working. There is no productivity hack or motivational speech that can make you feel better at a critical moment like this one: The moment where you feel like there is no hope.
Too much time has elapsed with no results. Too much money was spent on useless tasks and acquisitions- such as multiple domain names and web hosting for “coming soon” pages. People are encouraging you to give up, saying things like “it’s OK to quit now.”
Family members are saying thing like “isn’t there a better way…?” or “maybe this is just a phase.”
You hear people talking about hubris, ego, and delusions of grandeur – and for one tiny second of your life, you start believing them. You start believing everything.
You begin to think your idea is too big for you to take on, you begin to doubt your own responsibility in it and you begin to actually- feel a little better letting go.
This is dangerous.
You know deep inside that you were meant to do great things. Why is it so easy to give up sometimes?
Resistance is a b*tch.
Steven Pressfield talks about resistance in this amazing little book called “The War of Art.” In it, he describes resistance as coming up against any endeavor a person might attempt that aims to better oneself, better society, and create something good or amazing for mankind. If you don’t feel resistance, then something is wrong. If you feel resistance- that overwhelming urge to give up- this is a GOOD THING. Take it as a sign from the muses and keep on going.
The more resistance you feel in a project, the more likely your project is a life changing one, or world changing one- benefiting many people. Resistance is like a natural force of nature. If it were easy to change the world, it wouldn’t be a worthwhile goal, don’t you think?
Without going too deeply into science or meta-physics, I would like to mention- if the world is naturally tended toward destruction, or chaos, or expansion- isn’t it obvious that people striving to make positive changes in the opposite direction would feel a lot of resistance?
That said, let’s move on. The best way to beat resistance is with a system. Most artists, writers, and even bloggers use a system. An organized, scheduled, rule filled system that does not leave room for excuses and “bad days.” Just let the resistance pass through you and then sit down and keep going.
You need to have a system.
Hans Fallada had a system. If you don’t know who he is- I’ll tell you- he’s a famous German fiction writer who made a vow to himself to “never write less than the day before.” Wow. He didn’t care if he was not “in the mood” or even inspired. He did not care if he was writing about the same thing each day or not. Perhaps he would write nonsense one day and absolute genius the next. It didn’t matter. What mattered was that he would write more today than he wrote yesterday. So if he had a wonderful day yesterday and wrote 20 pages, he would have to write 21 pages (at least) the next day! Good bye to “bad” days forever!
Do you know what the number one rule for any successful entrepreneur is?
If you really look at all the success stories throughout history- there is always one blindingly clear and simple answer- the one thing that every success story has in common no matter who it was, how famous they were, and in which field of work they succeeded in.
They never gave up. They had an overwhelming tendency to persist.
Giving up is the stupidest thing you could think of doing when you really want something. If you’re excited about your project and committed to your idea, you would think this is a no-brainer. Why would I give up! It’s my project!
When the going gets tough, most people do give up on their projects. Most people do compromise their passions for the easy road. Most people do stop believing in themselves.
Don’t be one of those people. Be one of the success stories.
Martin and I have been working on our start-up idea for a couple of years already. We made all the mistakes you could ever dream of making as a founding team, and we are still making the mistakes every-day…. But the one thing that makes me sure of our success: nothing can EVER EVER EVER stop us, or make us give up on our dream- our Idea.
You absolutely need to adopt this attitude with your start-up. No matter how long it takes, no matter how many casualties, changes, pivots, obstacles, haters, and more… no matter what, you cannot let yourself give up.
Put a system in place for those tough, resistance ridden days.
Put a system in place so you can continually experience those small, quick wins.
Keep on learning about the mistakes others have made so you might avoid some of them.
Don’t be discouraged because you’re too slow, or getting too old, or not techie enough, or anything else for that matter.
Just keep going, put one foot in front of the other. Don’t let naysayers tell you who you are and what you are capable of. Only you know that, deep inside.
You can make it happen!
Have you recently felt like giving up on your grand idea? Did you overcome this, and if so, how?
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