I've given up. I've given up on tons of things... projects... apps... kickstarter ideas... startup ideas...This list goes on and on.
And the #1 reason why I gave up on all of them?
Because I didn't see any results. That makes sense right? I mean if I saw some results, if I actually saw the ROI of my time and money and effort on any of these things, I would have doubled down and kept it going.
I think this is the reason why most people give up on anything. The problem is... I realized this may not be a very good reason at all.
So here's the rub.
It might make sense on first glance, No ROI... Stop doing whatever you're doing. But here's where the issue comes in.
Throwing the baby out with the bath water
I don't know who the hell came up with this saying, it's kind of disturbing to be honest... but it fits perfectly for what I'm trying to convey in this section.
When I first started running ads on Facebook for a squeeze page I created, I was getting terrible conversion rates. Horrendous! This went on for about a month tinkering and editing the copy and images... with no improvement.
Absolutely zero ROI. No sales occurred from the ads. None.
Now if I strictly went with the above reasoning of giving up Facebook ads because I wasn't seeing any return on my investment... ( Facebook ads is the baby, and my sucky campaigns were the bathwater ), then I wouldn't have had a breakthrough a few weeks later where I finally discovered my sweet spot with the audience, ad copy, and squeeze page mixture that finally started getting me results.
This was an important lesson for me. I realized that tools and strategies can't be just dismissed because they don't work for me when I first try... there's a lot of room for user error during the execution, the tough part is knowing when it's bad execution to blame... or that the tool or strategy just won't work for you and your market... ever.
I'm not a very patient person :)
Not a good attribute to have when wanting to be an entrepreneur.
Here's the thing. Some things just take time. Like my above example... it took time for me to figure out what worked for my Facebook Ads... not to mention, it takes time for Facebook ads to mature and get better results for you ( after a few weeks of runing ads, Facebook starts to learn what works and performs better )
It takes time for a blog to get ranked by google.
It takes time for social media efforts to make a difference on traffic or sales.
I know that producing content on my blog and on social media is undeniably a good investment for my business... unfortunately for me they both take a long time for any sort of ROI to be visible.
Which means... if I don't see any ROI after a month... 6 months... or even longer ( ouch! ), this doesn't necessarily mean that it's not worth my time. It just may take more time.
Some of the highest paid youtubers said they had to create over 100 videos before they saw any results. Same with some of the best podcasters!
Comforting... but it still leaves that eerie feeling like you're just wasting your time.. at least until the ROI starts to become visible. And the truth is... the ROI may never come. Which is why it's completely understandable on why people give up after awhile.
Tricking the Brain to Stick With It
For the sake of my impatient mind, I've had to develop a few ways to deal with the fact that
A. Bad execution could be the root cause for no ROI, and tinkering and re-execution may be required
B. Some things require time for huge ROI to be visible
I have two approaches on this, a practical approach and a more mindful approach.
My practical approach is to over compensate to force a visible result faster. So let's take the ads example again.
To over compensate for the fact that bad execution could be the root cause of no results, I will A/B test like crazy by creating 3 or more different ads and ad sets. This way I can parallel run these ads to save time and either:
As for timing... in this case, part of the reason why an ad can take awhile to see results is because of the daily reach of the ad.
If the daily reach of an ad is 100 people, you can't really determine that the ad is unsuccessful after one day because 100 people is too small of a sample size.
10,000 people would be a better sample size to determine if the ad set was successful or not, but that would take 100 days if your daily reach was 100 people.
In this case for me, to overcompensate for the "timing" issue, I'll increase my daily budget like crazy to get a quicker read on if the ad or ad sets will perform at all.
Once I determine that it does, I'll lower the budget back and let time do it's thing, the big difference is... At least I proved to myself that this ad will perform, and I won't feel like I'm wasting my time wondering if the ad will actually get me results.
My mindful approach is to pick projects or run with ideas that I'm passionate about or that genuinely bring me joy by doing them.
The thinking is, is that I won't feel like I'm crazy for doing something over and over gain for an extended period of time with little to no results because... I enjoy doing that thing.
I've been working on producing content for my Instagram account to drive traffic to an ecourse I created. I started this thing called #RemoteOfficeFriday in where I go out and find a cool new place to work for the day.
Past places have included a botanical garden, the beach overlooking the jetties, hammocks, islands, and yes... of course the occasional book store and coffee shop :)
I'm positive that producing Instagram stories and connecting with my audience can only have a good effect for my business, but it will take time for me to see those results skyrocket.
But in the mean time... I'll still be having fun going out every Friday and exploring the next best remote office. This is one thing I'll probably won't give up doing :)