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How to Stay Motivated & Keep Going When Everything Seems Too Hard

jimmyvanilla

Well-known member
Community Leader
I've had a few tough weeks and while I've been struggling I've also been thinking about sharing a few things that keep me motivated and invite everyone to share their own experience and tips so we can all keep going a bit longer when things might otherwise seem to be turning to s#!*.

(I love the quote on @agentf's profile, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” I really relate to that and if anyone has any other cool quotes, feel free to share them below...)

The last few weeks have been pretty rough for me, starting with getting sick and being stuck in bed for nearly a week (and in the current climate this caused a few concerns as you can imagine). Then, during the time I was out of action I got kicked off an offer I'd been scaling nicely and besides that, I pretty much just let everything else I was running grind to a halt because I didn't have enough energy to maintain anything. And since I finally started feeling enough mojo to get back online and start throwing up a few campaigns everything I've been testing just seems to be going nowhere...



But if there's one thing I've learned in my life that's been more valuable than anything else, it's that the main difference between my biggest achievements and biggest failures has simply been NOT GIVING UP. This is the #1 thing that keeps me motivated when times are tough - believing that I can succeed, somehow, if I just keep going!

With this in mind, I want to share three things that keep me motivated when I'm having a tough time.

1. Stories

I often turn to stories to keep me motivated. One of my favorite stories is something I read a while back about the author Stephen King who was one of the hardest working failures ever - he wrote 100's of stories and sent them to every publisher on earth but couldn't get anyone interested (he used to stick up the rejection letters on his wall like trophies). He was also one of his own harshest critics and in 1973 he was typing out the first draft of a new novel when he stopped and threw it into the trash in disgust. Luckily, when his wife was tidying up later that night, she noticed the screwed up pages and read them and talked him into writing some more... and less than a year later (and after 30 publishers initially rejected it) 'Carrie' was on its way to selling over 1 million copies in its first year, making it one of the most successful books in history!

Another Stephen King story I love is about how he started selling young film-makers (mostly college students) the rights to make a film from one of his short stories for just $1.00 (provided he maintained the right to make a commercial film from the story and as long as they sent him a copy of the movie they made). One of King's "Dollar Babies" was a guy called Frank Darabont, who bought the right to make a film from "The Woman in the Room", which kick-started a massive career in writing, directing and producing horror films and TV shows, including 'The Shawshank Redemption', 'The Green Mile' & 'The Walking Dead'!

Frank Darabont once said:

"If you're going to succeed, you've got to be like one of those punch-drunk fighters in the old Warner Bros. boxing pictures: too stupid to fall down, you just keep slugging and stay on your feet."​

2. Goals

Goals are the key to feeling a sense of purpose and achievement. I used to talk about goals to staff I managed a few years ago and it used to be really frustrating because most of the time their only goal was 'not get fired'. The thing about goals is that they can be seriously motivating - I mean, imagine if you turned up to a basketball game, but the players just spent an hour mucking around on the court passing the ball around and completely ignoring the hoops. Boring, right?! Absolutely, because the goal of the game - scoring more than your opponent - is what makes any game interesting.

When I'm struggling for motivation I really try to focus on my goals and if that doesn't work I break up my normal goals into micro-goals - things I know I can achieve easily - because feelings of achievement still come from tiny successes and those feelings feed my motivation to achieve more and more, eventually pulling me out of the slump.

3. Science

I love science. And science has a lot to say about motivation. One of my favorites moments in science is the story of an experiment conduced in the 1980's by a psychologist called Dr Albert Bandura. The way the story goes, Bandura put an ad in the Palo Alto News seeking people with a debilitating fear of snakes who wanted to be cured. Hundreds of people responded and when they arrived at the basement in the psychology department they were greeted with a smile and casually invited to make their way into the next room and pick up a six foot boa constrictor resting in a terrarium! Unsurprisingly, no one would go near the room and eventually Bandura calmed everyone down and set them up on the other side of a window where they watched while he walked into the room, lifted the snake out of the terrarium and sat with it on his lap. After he was done he asked everyone to simply copy what he did, starting with just stepping into and out of the room. One-by-one most of the volunteers were willing to give it a try - starting with just sticking a toe into the room and pulling it out again. But after that, with a little more confidence, a few agreed to touch the snake (the first person did it wearing hockey gloves and pads). And after that many people who had been living with debilitating fear of snakes walked into the room, took the huge snake out of the terrarium and sat with it on their laps. And the amazing thing is the whole process took only 3 hours!

Still, the biggest breakthrough actually came later after a little more experimentation and after Bandura followed up on the people who had been cured of their snake phobia. That's when Dr Bandura discovered that as well as being free of their fear of snakes the people who had taken part in the experiment all put more effort into everything else they did. They had more resilience. They were more willing to persevere. They were more passionate about life. Which led to the the discovery of "self-efficacy", which is one of the most significant psychological breakthroughs in history. Self efficacy is "believing in your ability to succeed" (i.e. believing "you can do it") and it's something that you can produce through simply watching someone do something you'd like to be able to do and then copying what they do, one tiny step at a time (like reading a follow along or case study and then having a go!).



So that's it from me. I'm going to get back to grinding away at the campaigns I'm trying to get going. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about what helps you stay motivated.
 

qiqi

Member
Sorry to hear about your recent struggles. I just assumed you were too busy swimming in money! lol

I love Stephen King. I'm going through his Dark Tower series right now. The man is a machine and my goodness can he write.

On a serious note, YOU are a huge motivational force on this forum. Next time you feel low, remember that there are countless people you've inspired right here. Even though they may not shout your name from rooftops and shower you with roses, we are many. So please stay awesome and remember you are awesome! Don't fizzle out on us. I expect to see you on some earnings leaderboards before 2020 closes out.
 

jimmyvanilla

Well-known member
Community Leader
Thanks @qiqi - I appreciate the kind words. Being part of a community like AffLIFT is something that really keeps me going in this game - especially knowing there's support and encouragement available from people who know what this business is about (the ups and the downs).
 

webmon

Active member
@jimmyvanilla great words with a lot of wisdom, hope you overcome those struggles (y)
For me is my family and people that depend on me, this is what motivate me everyday to keep trying and going ahead, sometime is hard to keep going in difficult time but with the habit it become more and more easy to overcome difficulties because this our business as internet entrepreneurs :)
Good luck bro @jimmyvanilla you are one of the people that I respect a lot here in the community (y)
 

jimmyvanilla

Well-known member
Community Leader
Thanks @webmon - I appreciate your encouragement! I'm starting to get back into my groove now, but it was a bit tough.

For me is my family and people that depend on me, this is what motivate me everyday to keep trying and going ahead, sometime is hard to keep going in difficult time but with the habit it become more and more easy
I hear that. Family is a big one for me too - both wanting to succeed for them and also receiving a lot of motivation from the things they do that inspire me. I also agree about the power of habits - they can really help by kicking in and keeping you going through challenges.
 

Luke

Admin
Staff member
This is a tough game so it’s easy to string together some losers and get discouraged.

One thing that has helped me get past this over the years is by creating my own win.

A win doesn’t necessarily need to be a profitable campaign. Often, I like to try more creative things to put a “win” on my scoreboard.

The chat landing page I made this week is actually a great and timely example.

I didn’t create that landing page because I thought it was going to turn into a great campaign and case study. I created that landing page because I was feeling burnt out and needed something creative to try to get myself out of the rut that feeling was causing.

It wasn’t my first attempt either. The affiliate marketing coupon blog/website I discussed making here on affLIFT was my first attempt at something creative to get myself out of the burnout I was feeling. However, that idea/project just added to it!

So, I tried to put together that landing page as a new creative outlet because I knew I could figure out how to make it and then it also happened to perform well and lead to other things that have reinvigorated me.

You will always have a lull at times. Some of the most successful people in the world are also the most depressed.

So, how do you stay motivated? Keep moving forward 🚀

With affiliate marketing, I also like to apply the 80/20 rule to my thought process. I know that only 20% of my campaigns even stand a chance at being a success. A lot of times that percent will be even lower. With the winners I find, a small percent generate a majority of my revenue. But, so far those winners have added up nicely :)

Last, there’s one HUGE thing I always try to keep in mind and this is what has really helped me I think over the past 15 years of doing this:

The only difference between me and the guy I want to be is time and experience.

I used to look up to many of the people in the industry that now come to me for advice or want to pay me to promote their business.

The only difference between you and I is that I have been doing this a lot longer.

I am not saying anyone here should be looking up to me or using me as their motivation, but if you do, just know there is absolutely no reason you cannot be far more successful than me. The only thing stopping you is you. Anything else is just as excuse.
 

Luke

Admin
Staff member
Sorry to hear about your recent struggles. I just assumed you were too busy swimming in money! lol

I love Stephen King. I'm going through his Dark Tower series right now. The man is a machine and my goodness can he write.

On a serious note, YOU are a huge motivational force on this forum. Next time you feel low, remember that there are countless people you've inspired right here. Even though they may not shout your name from rooftops and shower you with roses, we are many. So please stay awesome and remember you are awesome! Don't fizzle out on us. I expect to see you on some earnings leaderboards before 2020 closes out.
This is great to hear 👍
 

qiqi

Member
Last, there’s one HUGE thing I always try to keep in mind and this is what has really helped me I think over the past 15 years of doing this:

The only difference between me and the guy I want to be is time and experience.

I used to look up to many of the people in the industry that now come to me for advice or want to pay me to promote their business.

The only difference between you and I is that I have been doing this a lot longer.

I am not saying anyone here should be looking up to me or using me as their motivation, but if you do, just know there is absolutely no reason you cannot be far more successful than me. The only thing stopping you is you. Anything else is just as excuse.
If I'm being honest I do look to you for inspiration. This forum is a great place because you set an example of sharing and transparency. Sharing successful campaigns, GEOs, and creatives while they still work? It's pure madness.

It's so refreshing to see people opening up about this. It's so easy to get caught up in the game of keeping up the appearance of being strong and successful even if you might be hurting inside or paralyzed by anxiety.

I've also been burned out and it can literally ruin your ability to be your awesome self. I've gone through a long period of working on mental resilience through meditation (like hours and hours a day) and reflection. It's been tested to the extreme last year due to a family emergency. Even with all the meditation and fortitude I thought I had, I still needed one or two strong drinks by myself just to get through the day. I would have become a full-fledged alcoholic for sure without it but pulled through just fine. I started 2020 dry and haven't touched alcohol yet.

But at the same time be careful what you wish for. Now I'm so chill it's hard to get myself in the "do or die" mindset that brings out the best in me. I really need a certified emergency to kick me into gear or else I just nope out. Which is why I love the adrenaline rush of COD mobile. Even servers bursting into flames doesn't do it for me anymore :ROFLMAO:

For most people adding a meditation session of just focusing on breath for a couple minutes and practicing mindfulness will really improve your quality of life. Especially if you make it a habit before hitting rock bottom.

 

agentf

Well-known member
Hey dude, can't take credit for that quote that was the great Winston Churchill but you've already sussed that

Never got on with basketball, seemed boring and pointless when I went to watch it and ended up just leaving after a while!
But I do love a good movie and the odd book, the Running Man is still one of my favs and always quoting lines from that even today.

I can only echo sentiments already posted and that if you're down I'll pop round and take you to the pub for a few days :p

Do you need a hug?



And as the great man once said

You never can tell whether bad luck may not, after all, turn out to be good luck
Ah sod it a sneaky one

 

jimmyvanilla

Well-known member
Community Leader
One thing that has helped me get past this over the years is by creating my own win.
This is a fantastic concept and definitely something that has worked for me in the past too. Removing all the variables and doing something you know you'll enjoy and feel satisfied about is a great confidence boost!
With affiliate marketing, I also like to apply the 80/20 rule to my thought process. I know that only 20% of my campaigns even stand a chance at being a success. A lot of times that percent will be even lower. With the winners I find, a small percent generate a majority of my revenue. But, so far those winners have added up nicely :)
Nice. I tend to forget this powerful principle sometimes and it takes me a while to 'wake up' and realize I'm desperately flogging something I convinced myself was going to be a winner and couldn't let go of even when it should have been obvious that it was dead.
The only difference between me and the guy I want to be is time and experience.
Yes!
 

jimmyvanilla

Well-known member
Community Leader
It's so refreshing to see people opening up about this. It's so easy to get caught up in the game of keeping up the appearance of being strong and successful even if you might be hurting inside or paralyzed by anxiety.
This is really insightful and I think about this sometimes in the context of my kids growing up in a world where they're bombarded by the 'best bits' of other people's lives on social media and the pressure to keep up appearances on their own socials, without an equivalent outlet to share the normal every day grind and the normal every day struggles and find comfort in knowing they're never the only ones going through challenges and experiencing setbacks.
I started 2020 dry and haven't touched alcohol yet.
Nice one. I know a bit about that goal.
 

fweikeong

Member
Great Post and salute to all the great souls here... Don't know what, else to say but.... Ya.. If I am burnt.. I'll go find a place away from my computer, sit and chill for a couple of hours to regroup myself and start thinking of my campaigns, what have I tried and what have I not.... Then go back and test again... Keep trying and testing till the end of the World..
 
Here’s what do:

1 write down my goals
2 rewrite them on post-it notes
3 put one up on bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and inside of front door
4 read them every time I see them. Then re-read them out loud.

but the most important thing to take away from this:

WRITE THEM DOWN

otherwise you’ll just go in circles
 

Roman Affpeople

New member
Meditations are quite helpful for me. Sometimes all you need to push through hard times is a bit of silence and calmness. Then I would write a morning journal to put down all my thoughts and anxieties .

And you always just keep going. Because there is no any other way:)
 

servandosilva

Well-known member
Community Leader
Great thread.
I have had my fair share of ups and downs in the last few years and I have managed to get back with different methods each time.

I try to have something in my mind or even print it and have it near my desk to remind me what I'm fighting for. Not necessarily and end goal, but more like a reason for why I'm doing this. For many people, this could be a pic of their family, a boy/girlfriend or a son. Just find whatever works for you and keep it as a motivation.

Sometimes unplugging for a week also helps a lot to get back with more energy.
Motivation is a very important resource for entrepreneurs and it's not an unlimited one. You have to use it while you have it because it won't last long.

Here are a few interesting threads I re-read recently about this:


 

jimmyvanilla

Well-known member
Community Leader
Then I would write a morning journal to put down all my thoughts and anxieties .
Nice one! Writing in a journal is something I've been doing for years and I've found it's one of the best ways for me to clear my head and cut through the 'chatter' to get to the big issues that are really weighing on my mind. I particularly find that taking some time in the morning is useful to help me focus for the day and put myself in the right frame of mind to avoid distraction and get the 'main things' done as a priority. I also like to put a few thoughts down on paper at the end of the day. I've always been someone who doesn't sleep well, but committing my thoughts to paper has had a bigger impact on my ability to sleep soundly than anything else I've tried.
 

jimmyvanilla

Well-known member
Community Leader
Sometimes unplugging for a week also helps a lot to get back with more energy.
Motivation is a very important resource for entrepreneurs and it's not an unlimited one. You have to use it while you have it because it won't last long.
I think you're definitely right - at least that's been my experience. Motivation takes energy and energy needs to be constantly recharged. There are as many different ways for someone to recharge as there are people, so I think it's important that everyone finds a few things they love to do (or places they love to do nothing) to recharge again and again.
Here are a few interesting threads I re-read recently about this
Interesting reads. Plenty to think about there. Love this typical Finch one-liner: "Nervously farting at the prospect of new frontiers is the state of affiliate marketing today."
 
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jairene

Active member
My heart goes out to you @jimmyvanilla!

I've had my fair share of disappointments and disillusionments, too. I distinctly remember being shocked to the bones when my pop campaigns deteriorated so quickly in early 2015 until there was nadda. I was pregnant then and couldn't last longer than an hour in front of my computer so I couldn't create new LPs or try new campaigns or play around with a different traffic source that I was unfamiliar with.

I had to stop (grudgingly). By the time I gave birth and was able to adjust to the changes of having a child, the changes in the industry became a shock to me that I didn't know how to go on.

I focused on SEO and writing ever since then. I don't regret where I am now, but I still remember the good times (wistfully). It took me years to get back on my feet, but well, here I am, back to hustling again.

WE CAN DO THIS!

YOU CAN DO IT!


Meditation helped!

Try this two-minute meditation video:



I also listen to Solfeggio Tones (both raw and with music) when I'm feeling pretty down and sick (sometimes I get sick when I feel down).
Solfeggio Frequencies helped me a lot, especially 528hz one. You can find such music in youtube or at solfeggiotones.com.

This even helped get rid of my carpal tunnel syndrome. You can imagine my doctor's surprise when my wrist pain disappeared in just 2-3 days without medication. I listened to them using a headset when going to bed. I felt a bit of headache and my heart raced, but I read that these are pretty normal when you listen to it for the first time. It's like your body is detoxing.

Even if you don't believe it's healing capabilities, at the very least, you will be relaxed.

I hope these can help you and others out there. I might put up a meditation/relaxation post one of these days for everyone to see.
 

jimmyvanilla

Well-known member
Community Leader
I've had my fair share of disappointments and disillusionments, too.
Thanks for sharing your story. It's amazing how much life can change when kids come on the scene (I've got 3). One of my reasons for writing this post because I know how common it is for us all to hit a challenge now and again and I hope everyone on AffLIFT knows they're not alone if they're going through something.
I also listen to Solfeggio Tones (both raw and with music) when I'm feeling pretty down and sick (sometimes I get sick when I feel down).
Solfeggio Frequencies helped me a lot, especially 528hz one. You can find such music in youtube or at solfeggiotones.com.
Wow. I've never seen this stuff before. Definitely going to try it out!
 
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