Just a few days ago I stumbled upon the article about antidepressant usage in the USA. The facts are jaw dropping. I had no idea that it was that bad. Over 30 million people in the USA are currently on antidepressants! At this point, nearly 70% of all Americans are on at least one prescription drugs! 1 out of every 4 women in their 40s and 50s is taking antidepressants. Almost unbelievable, right?
Let’s come to Internet Marketing. It is not much better here. We read that whopping 97% of those who try to succeed online, fail. The reasons for this are different, of course. But It’s like people cracking under the pressure. So in this post I want to share with you how to build a stress-free online campaign. Also, how not to crack under pressure.
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Pressure to Perform
Think about this. Depression in the western world is such a tremendous problem. Why are so many people depressed? Contemporary lifestyle revolves faster and faster and people cannot handle their lives anymore. The pressure is too high and they crack under it.
I feel that pressure too. There are things you want to do (your hobbies, your blog, etc.) and things you feel you must do (help your kids with homework, etc.) Then there are also things that you cannot avoid or escape. You simply have to do them (broken pipe, leaking roof, sick child, no job, etc.) Over time, all these problems accumulate and finally the pressure becomes too strong to handle. First stress and then depression takes over and we have another victim.
Life’s hard. That’s why so many Americans are currently on antidepressants. The numbers talk for themselves.
Now why I write about this and how is it connected with Internet Marketing?
People are losing their jobs. Or their wages are not enough to make both ends meet. So they hope to make money online. Millions enter into Internet Marketing World but 97% of those millions fail. Why?
1.1. Things that discourage us
As in other areas of life, there’s a tremendous pressure to perform online too. Expectations are high but when things don’t go that way, it’s highly discouraging.
Often you are under pressure to perform. And perform fast. Your family has its needs and you don’t have unlimited time resources to learn and practice.
Also, when you see all other top blogs and professional websites, you tend to see your inability to perform on their level. It discourages you even further. When you see how many things you have to do with so limited resources, you get more and more discouraged.
At least this is how I tend to see things sometimes. And I can tell you, it de-motivates me. If the task were somehow reachable I would try to work to grasp it. But if it is clearly out of my reach, there’s no meaning even to try. Then the thoughts of giving up begin to press in.
And I think that this is exactly why majority of those 97% of all internet marketers fail. They feel the pressure to perform, yet they don’t have enough resources to press through. For some time, they try and then they give up, discouraged.
Should I Give Up?
Failures discourage and demotivate people. Sure, there are folks who don’t care about failures. They are stubborn enough to stand up and press on. They try and try and try until they win. Yet most people don’t behave like that. They lose confidence and begin to feel inferior to themselves: „Yeah… This stuff is not for me. I am not able to succeed in it.“
I have felt exactly like this. Many times and in different occasions. Many times I have felt that I am not able to succeed online. Maybe I should give up and do something else.
But if think about my situation then in fact I enjoy blogging and building my online campaign. I am not a professional yet but then… Nobody started as an expert. Somebody has said: “The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground.” Similarly, every successful blogger has once started off as a complete newbie.
The problem is not really my present situation but the way how I see it. Sometimes I wake in the morning and I don’t want to get out of my bed. I am afraid reluctant to pick it up and start working online because the task in front of me is too big. I feel I am not able to accomplish it. It’s like a mountain. How to remove it?
How to Remove a Mountain?
The solution is well described in the next Chinese proverb: “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
As long as you focus on the whole mountain, it frightens you. It’s too big task for you. You rather tend to give up. Yet if you focus on small stones in front of you, you are able to carry them away, right? Dividing that mountainous task into front of you into many smaller, bite-size tasks, you take the pressure off from you. Day by day and task by task you are able to accomplish them. And at the end of the day the mountain will be removed too.
3.1. Make Small Improvements Every Day
This morning I talked with my friend who runs a small, private elementary school here in SE-Sulawesi. He has told me quite a few times already that from time to time he felt discouraged. Exactly like I describe above. He too felt that his venture to run that school seemed too big to handle. Too many problems, too big challenges.
But I learned a great lesson from him. He said: „Every day I want to make at least some small improvements to my school.“ And this is exactly what that Chinese Proverb tells. Try to accomplish small tasks every day. Make small improvements every day. And the key is – do it EVERY day.
3.2. Divide Your Huge Task into multiple, bite-size tasks
When my family and I moved into our rental house in Kendari, SE-Sulawesi, I found 3 huge bunches of garbage on the waste land in front of our home. The truth is, Kendari city lacks trucks to serve and clean all its districts. As a result, hundreds (if not thousands) of households are left to figure out what to do with their garbage.
Terrible, isn’t it?
So what do these poor citizens do?
Simple. They dump their garbage few meters from their homes. Then, from time to time they burn it. The problem is, smoke from the burning garbage is highly toxic. It fills our home and there’s no place we could hide. Even worse, we have three little kids and I don’t want them to breath in that toxic smoke.
So I went to the city officials and asked if they could send a truck to collect the garbage. They were happy to come but told me to prepare the garbage first. I bought a pair of rubber boots and work gloves and started to work.
Our neighbors never bothered to dump their garbage into those 3 bunches only. They had thrown it all over the wasteland. If I wanted to clean the land I had to collect the garbage into few big bunches. Otherwise, they wouldn’t take it away.
3.3. A Problem – Too Big to Handle…?
Just 5 minutes after starting I was ready to give up. When looking the old garbage on the ground and the size of the polluted area I felt very discouraged. The task that I wanted to accomplish was too big for me. I felt like: „No… I am not able to do that.“ I tried to take the garbage from here and there, but nothing changed. The land looked the same as before. I was ready to give up and return home, defeated.
3.4. …Or Small Enough to Tackle Successfully?
Yet I did not want to give up: „If I cannot handle the whole area, at least I do some damage limitation. With each plastic bag that I remove from the land I save my kids’ lungs. I am going to clean as much as I am able to.“
So I looked on the 1 square meter of land in front of my legs and thought: „If I am not able to clean the whole area, am I able to clean this 1 square meter of land?“
Yes, I was. So I set a goal to clean just that 1 square meter of land.
It did not took long until it was cleaned. That accomplished task (even though only a small one) made me happy and built my confidence. Then I cleaned the second square meter of land. And then the 3rd one and 4th one. When the truck arrived, I had already cleaned the whole waste land.
Right Approach to Succeed Online
The same way I have learned to approach online marketing. If I watch the big picture, it frightens me. I feel small, weak and inferior. I don’t even want to get out from bed to tackle it.
But then I think: „The same way as my friend makes small improvements to his school every day, I can do small improvements to my blog every day. What small tasks are there that I am able to accomplish today? Am I able to write a 1000 word blog post? If yes, do it. If not, am I able to write 400 words blog post? If Yes, do it.“
As soon as I start accomplishing small tasks, I start to see progress and it builds my confidence. It encourages me to take on with next tasks. This way I am able to build my campaign day by day and stress-free.
Maybe I don’t see big changes or big results right away. But a year from now I will have progressed a lot. This is certain. Also, I have peace in mind and I don’t have to carry the pressure to perform in a high level. I can live without antidepressants.
4.1. Another Key for a Stress-free Lifestyle
There is another thing that I do to keep stress and depression away from me. As I am a believer, I read the Bible – God’s Word. I like to read Psalms. Especially those of King David. The psalms help to build my confidence.
Also, from time to time I need something to encourage and motivate myself. Then I read motivational quotes. For this I have collected some of my most favourite quotes into different blog posts. I have collected quotes about perseverance, about overcoming obstacles and adversities, making mistakes, etc. I have not written those posts only for the case of writing posts. These blog posts with motivational quotes are for me in the first place. When I feel myself demotivated or discouraged, I go to my website and read those quotes from others. Try it out. It helps you.
The numbers speak for themselves. Over 30 million of Americans are currently on antidepressants. 97% of those who want to succeed online, fail. It tells you that the problem is serious. Our contemporary world is built up the way that people have increasingly high pressure to perform. You are under the pressure. I am under the pressure.
Many crack under it. Big majority (whopping 97%) quit Internet Marketing, defeated.
Yet there are ways to handle the pressure and come out stress-free, winning.
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Why not give a whirl right now? You’re certainly not committed to anything.
What About You?
I have honestly shared with you might struggles and fears. So how do you fight discouragement? Are you sometimes afraid to fail? How do you overcome it?