Haha – I bet you clicked on the link to get here because you think I actually did work on my site this week. I bet you’re expecting to see all of the specific actions I took to promote my minisite or to be inspired by both my amazing progress and my ability to inspire a team of people to achieve the same. I bet you’re even expecting a video update, because I’ve been super great about posting those over the last four weeks.
I bet what you aren’t expecting me to say is that I did absolutely, fricking nothing on my minisite this week.
I mean, I’m Sarah Russell, right? Affiliate marketing extraordinaire, hard worker and all around awesome girl – right?!
The truth is, I didn’t feel that way this past week. Getting over being sick the week before was a struggle, but there was more to it than that. Not only did I feel unmotivated to the extreme – I was so frustrated with the amount of work it takes to be successful online that I spent most of my time fantasizing about alternate life plans that involved quitting everything IM-related and pursuing a high paid, real world job. Would it be as fulfilling? No, but at least it would be as damn hard as running a business on top of working a full-time job feels some times.
Because here’s another dirty little secret for you – affiliate marketing (or any business, for that matter) isn’t all fun and games. It isn’t all picking pretty pictures for your websites, cashing commission checks and selling off your minisites for five-figure fees. There are days when you’ll absolutely rebel against the thought of writing another article, submitting another link or responding to another comment. And that’s how I spent the past week.
Now, the good news is that I don’t feel that way anymore. Truth be told, I was never seriously thinking about quitting. I know myself well enough to know that I go through these cycles occasionally – and I’d hazard a guess that most of you have experienced the same thing.
It’s natural to have waxing and waning levels of motivation. If you’ve ever tried to build and launch a website, lose weight, quit smoking, or do anything else that requires a major level of commitment, you know that there’s a “honeymoon period” when everything is easy and fun. You’re committed to your goal and to taking whatever steps are necessary to reach it.
But then maybe you get sick. Or maybe you have a rough week at work, and it just feels so much harder to maintain that level of enthusiasm, which makes it that much easier to give up and convince yourself that you don’t need to achieve that goal anyway…
Please don’t feel ashamed if you identify with this post more than you care to admit. We all know that the vision of the effortless internet millionaire that most sales pages and IM gurus put out there is just a myth, and yet we beat ourselves up over the fact that we aren’t living “the dream.” Not cool!
Instead, what you need to figure out is how to get yourself out of your funk. For me, three things are crucial to getting back on track.
1. Time away. Internet businesses would suck up all of our free time if given the chance, but it’s not a weakness to say that you need a few days off. Obviously, taking weeks or months off at a time will slow your progress, but it’s not a weakness to say that you need a few days off to reassess your goals and priorities.
2. Brainstorming sessions. When I get into this super frustrated state, I like to sneak away from my day job and go out to a nice lunch by myself (lately, it’s been the sushi place near my office). Once I’m there, I pull out a pen and notepad and write down all of the projects I’m currently working on, what their current statuses are and what my next steps should be. More than once, this process has allowed me to identify a single project that’s sucking away my time and enthusiasm and figure out a way to remedy the situation.
3. Passion projects. Dan talked about this last week in his CMC update, but sometimes, taking a short break to work on a fun, new project allows me to reclaim that initial excitement and translate it to every project I’m working on.
Because I took this past week off to reevaluate my priorities and to invest some time into a new project (announcement coming Wednesday!), I feel reinvigorated and ready to get back down to business.
I’ve purchased some PLR tutorials that I’m rewriting to add more content to my minisite. And I’m in the process of putting together an email opt-in and autoresponder sequence based on an idea a business partner of mine had for the niche. Once that’s done, I’ll get back to the promotional tasks I was supposed to have finished this past week (including things like Web 2.0 marketing, article marketing and social bookmarking).
So hopefully, when you come back next week at this time, I’ll have a much better update for you to read, full of positive actions and concrete steps forward.
And I hope that you’re able to find your motivation this week to do the same 🙂