Every entrepreneur and every business will hit this point.
Facing something that hits you like a punch to the heart.
It could be getting your websites indexed, go dark, invisible off the face of Google.
It could be seeing your Bing PPC quality scores drop to 1/10 for your keywords.
It could be Facebook suspending your Facebook Ads or Facebook profile (also cutting off access to your ads account).
Recently I was following developments in the Kindling forum, seeing a writer who had shut off most of her successful online business to focus on writing.
The sad reality is that the amount of effort is not always awarded a proportional amount of reward.
So I could understand the woman’s range of emotions – frustration, anger, disappointment – coming through her posts.
I could empathize seeing as how I’ve spent almost a year and about $60,000 worth of capital and lost opportunity developing a social game, which failed to launch.
I don’t think it’s easy to come out of the experience feeling positive, but I’ve taken lessons from the experience in project management and planning which I’ve then used in future projects.
The thing with the wall is that it’s often an invisible obstacles. Possibly existing in cyberspace, it could be a string of formulas in a ranking or pricing algorithm that seems to be pushing you to the wall and making your life an agony.
But here’s the thing. The wall doesn’t care.
It doesn’t care if you’re sad or depressed or experiencing any other emotion.
The market works according to its own formula, so you can choose to either deny or ignore the problem, or you can deal with it.
The wall exists in every business, and is present in every business model.
So some of the strategies I’ve seen – switching from affiliate marketing to domaining to writing kindle ebooks to adsense publishing – these are not productive ways of dealing with the situation.
Even if you push the wall away momentarily, it is going to come back and hit you in the stomach when you’re gaining some traction in the other niche.
If you feel the situation is unsalvageable, then sure, exit it and do something else, but also go in with both eyes open. Watch out for the walls and prepare to deal with them.
Here’s what the late Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon professor, known for his “Last Lecture” has to say about walls:
So the question is do you want something badly enough to work through it and break through the wall?
Here’s some steps to work your way past the wall:
- Gather Intel: If you don’t know what’s going on, then you won’t be able to deal with it. Understand what’s happening around you. Use Google to find out more. Talk to peers in the same situation and the same industry. However special you’re feeling, you’re probably not the first person that this is happening to. Learning from others’ experience is just as good as messing up yourself.
- Figure out a plan of action: You may or may not be able to reverse the consequences of the situation you’re in. Look at the outcome you’re trying to achieve. Then work out the steps you need to do to overcome the problem, or the steps you need to move on. Have a specific action plan, detail out the steps you need to work through. Set a deadline and schedule to get everything done. And, no, procrastination and wallowing in pity don’t count as actions.
- Get it done: The best plans are useless. Unless they are acted on. Life is a series of ups and downs. The faster you work your way through the “downs”, the faster you can get on an up. Everyone will be pumped and happy when things are looking up, it’s what happens when the chips are down that a person’s true character shows itself. Want to know why people succeed? Look at professional athletes.
So there you have it.
3 simple steps.
The magic is in the execution.
Now, go get it done!