I’ve had a few conversations with one my collaborators recently. He’s been a bit discouraged about how things have turned out with one of the projects we’ve been working on.
I’m not going to get into the specifics here, but it’s fair to say that we all become discouraged from time to time. Things don’t always go as planned and gaining traction with an idea can sometimes take longer and require more work than initially imagined. At times, it’s also necessary to adjust our approach and even our expectations.
I can barely count the number of projects I’ve started hoping to find some traction. Most of them have been left in the dust. Of the many websites, blogs, YouTube channels and businesses I’ve started, I’m only active with a couple today.
I’m glad I stuck with the process, however, because I would not be in the position I’m in today if I had given up. Now I get to spend most of my time working on projects I care about. When I was first getting started on this journey, I thought I would never be able to work from home and create the kind of freedom I wanted in my life. Now that I’m here, I couldn’t be happier or more fulfilled.
But I can’t remember starting anything that gained a lot of traction out of the gate. I know there are people out there who’ve done it, but even now I find I need to work hard for the kinds or results I want to see in my business. It’s fair to say I haven’t “arrived” but I am enjoying the journey.
But I digress.
I think it’s altogether too easy to look at the projects we’re working on that aren’t gaining traction and say, “oh, I guess what I’m doing doesn’t matter.”
If you measure everything by the numbers, you might come to that conclusion all too easily.
I have a lot of friends trying to do big things in their respective fields. Many of them are falling short of their goals. Some are becoming discouraged. Others are just pushing ahead.
But when things aren’t coming together as expected, we often begin asking a lot of questions. Am I meant to be doing this? Did I begin this journey in error? Does anybody care? Does God even care?
Ultimately, there are no easy answers.
But just because people aren’t resonating with your idea doesn’t mean your purpose doesn’t matter. And, it doesn’t mean you haven’t impacted others either.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to quit and start over. For whatever reason, what you’re doing now isn’t connecting with your audience, and no matter how hard you push, you’re not going to see any growth. I have a friend who’s in this position, though I don’t think he’s come to accept this fact just yet. He could be perfectly happy and even successful using his skills in another industry but insists that there must be a way to break through in his chosen field.
At times, you’ll need to take a different approach. Your message might not be resonating with your audience. That’s okay. You can try playing with your messaging a bit and see if it connects. If you know there are others in your industry who are succeeding and you’re doing everything in your power to provide genuine value to your audience, then it’s likely just a matter of adjusting until you see traction.
And, sometimes, you just need to keep pushing. There may not be anything wrong with your project. It may just be a matter of building more awareness for it. It can take time to be recognized for what you do, and unless you’ve established a level of notoriety for yourself, there’s a good chance you’re basically going to be starting from scratch every time you start something new.
Knowing when to quit or stick is an artform all its own, and it’s well beyond the scope of this article, though I will say The Dip by Seth Godin can offer some meaningful answers.
Don’t assume your purpose doesn’t matter just because you’re not seeing your latest project take off. These things take time, and everybody’s journey is unique. Your journey won’t be the same as mine and mine won’t be the same as yours. We each have a story to tell, and that’s part of what makes life so intriguing and exciting.