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Sometimes Survival is Victory
Midnight Marketer Ross Lambert provides some sage advice for those who have "hit the wall" in building their businesses online.
I recently hit my first big wall since I got serious about developing my web business last March. My day job took over my life again. If you're in high tech or know somebody who is, you'll understand. I'm a senior software engineer and a dev lead, hence I really have to set an example and try to do superlative work, or as close to it as I can manage. As you might imagine, progress on my online marketing business stalled quite a bit. This is incredibly frustrating in many respects, but I want to encourage you, gentle readers, as well as myself. In particular, there are a few lessons to learn from a season such as this. 1. Be patient. Patience is a virtue for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is a prerequisite for perseverance. When we are impatient, we get frustrated and start thinking negatively. It doesn't take long to begin to believe that a temporary pause in our business building progress is instead a permanent stoppage. It is not permanent if we don't let it become permanent. Thomas Edison said that, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." You may be closer to your goal than you would ever guess. I've heard Gary Halbert quoted as having said, "You're just one sales letter away from success." 2. Be kind to yourself. This is important. Pat yourself on the back for what you did manage to accomplish, even if you just survived. Because I didn't accomplish what I hoped, I felt like the entire month of May was a loss. But I finally forced myself to really think through all that happened: I weathered some incredible family difficulties, got our house ready to sell, did solid work on my day job, debugged a new service I'm offering for free to build my e-mail list (CB Product Alert), and still sent out a short newsletter. It wasn't like I was a bump on a log, and the chances are when you're most discouraged, it is partly because you're just plain tired. Get a good night's sleep and start fresh tomorrow. But don't give up! Oh, I did one more thing this month: I survived. Did you know that survival counts for something? It may seem obvious, but the simple and yet profound fact remains that nobody ever became successful at something by quitting. Perseverance is a requirement for traveling the road to success. That does not mean that we don't analyze our activities and blindly continue fruitless efforts. On the contrary, I'm focusing even more on working as smart as possible. But I will not be stopped by a bad month. Here's one last little gem: Did you know that, all things being equal, search engines reward older web sites with slightly higher ranking? That being the case, the mere act of surviving means next month will probably be a little bit better, and the one after that better still. I can hardly wait.