Don’t Take Another Step

NOTE: If you’re having a good day, don’t read this post. I don’t want to ruin it. This post is a personal therapy session for a guy who’s on the edge. Seriously, don’t let it ruin your day. 

This is a moment in time, a sneak peek into my mind. Not my whole life, just this moment. I’m not editing this post. I’m not rewriting this post. I’m just throwing it out there raw…because it’s how I feel…and it’s my website.

I see it. It’s right there in front of me. It’s the quitting line. The line where I just give up. And if I take one more step, I’m crossing that line.

Ever felt that way? I’m feeling that way today.

If you’re a content creator, solopreneur or any other type of independent entrepreneur, there’s that line out there. It’s inevitable that one day you’ll be where I am today, one step away from crossing over and giving up.

There is too much noise out there. There are too many people vying for the attention of others. It’s almost impossible to break through. If you’ve ever tried to build a platform or a customer base, you know what I’m talking about.

You work and work at it. You study, you ready, you ask questions. You are diligent about creating the best content you can. Why? Because you have a dream. You think, “If I stick with it long enough, the work will pay off. I’m going for my dreams!”

Then reality begins to sink in. Building a business is a lonely, exhausting, and fragile pursuit. That’s not just a piece of content you put out there, it’s a piece of you. And when the world ignores it, it stings a little. It hurts to put so much of yourself into a project, only to see it fall on deaf ears.

But, honestly, I’m way beyond that stage today. I’m at the dark, bottomless pit of hopelessness. You know, that place that says, “No matter what I try, this isn’t going to work…just like all the other times things haven’t worked.” The place that makes you start thinking about how much easier your life would be without the heartache of wanting something so badly, yet it remaining beyond your grasp.

That’s where I am.

For me, I’ve been working on a project for almost two years. It’s been a slow grow. But I’ve seen the upward curve, however modest the slope. And that’s ok. As long as the slope is upward, I’m happy.

All along, I’ve been patient. Yet, in the back of my mind, I knew there would come a day when the “big break” would hit. You know, that magical moment when the right person comes on your show and you think, “This is it. Everyone will know about me now!”

Well it happened. I had the big break I was waiting for. The guest that would take me to the next level. I was so excited to see what would happen.

Turns out, nothing happened.

Not one word. The line actually went down instead of up. Seriously, it was better before I had the big shot on the show. So much for the big break!
So here I stand in front of this line. Do I take the step and spare myself any further pain? Cut my losses and move on? Or do I persevere? I don’t pretend to know what to do. I wish I did. But here are a few of my raw thoughts, scribbled here to help me process it all. And maybe it will help you as well.

Don’t look for easy answers

I tried researching “entrepreneur overcoming depression” on Google. What I found was a bunch of nothing. Platitudes. Empty advice from someone who may have never been here, or certainly wasn’t here when they wrote that stuff.

Don’t tell me to take a hot bath. Don’t tell me to love myself more.

That might be good advice for some situations, but not when you are one step away from that quitting line.

Go back to my why

As I think about what the future holds, I must get back to the basics of why I do this. What am I hoping to accomplish? Is it enough for me to stay where I am? Is it enough to know I’m making a difference in lives, even if it’s not as many as I’d like?

“Why” is what must drive me. But at this point, I don’t remember my why. Maybe that means I don’t have one. Maybe it means I need to remember what it is. Maybe it means I need to come up with one. I know I need to figure it out.

Quit waiting for the big break

I have always said it’s a bad business model to put your success in the hands of someone else. Especially someone over whom you have no control. They may or may not be motivated to take the actions you need. And if they don’t, then you’re in trouble.

You can’t count on anyone for your success but you. There’s no fairy god mother. There’s no superstar. There’s no magic moment that will define you or take you to that next level.

People can help, but in the end it’s you. Your effort, your perseverance, your willingness to kick in the doors and make it happen.

Look, I don’t intend for this to be an advice column (if it is, it’s the worst advice column in the history of advice columns.) I’m not telling you what to do. These are the ramblings of a guy at midnight trying to get the courage up to get up tomorrow and keep fighting.

I’m not fishing for sympathy or support. I’m just sharing my feelings. I’m just being honest about a moment in time in my life. Maybe you’ve been here and can relate.

You know, it’s funny. As I process what I just wrote, I’m beginning to see the outline of a plan:

  • Quit looking for easy answers, heroes, or magical moments.
  • Figure out my “why.” Like NOW. Figure out right now why I do what I do.
  • Get out there and try something new. If you want different results, then take different actions.
  • Step away from the line, it’s not time to quit yet.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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