"I'm not doing anything meaningful. I'll never be successful!"
Have you ever had one of those days when you start questioning the point of it all?
It happened to me twice in the past two months.
Once on a Saturday evening.
I was lying on my comfy red couch, scrolling Twitter's feed. My tweets had good engagement, but followers and subscribers were stagnating.
At that moment, I let doubts slip in and compared myself with people a few steps ahead.
"What's the purpose? They are better than me—look at them!"
I started feeling upside down.
The fear of failure was in the driver's seat of my mind. After three hours of banging my head here and there, I fell asleep, depleted.
Only a few weeks later, I learned how a prepper mindset comes to the rescue.
Build a long-term vision and let it guide you.
Nobody who pursues this pathless path wants to quit, but getting off-track is easy.
Being indie is an emotional rollercoaster whether you accept it or not.
Some weeks, it feels like you're sailing close to the wind under the bright sun. Other weeks are slow, and it feels like hiking through a twisty mountain road during a storm.
(I wanted to add near a cliff's edge, but you got the point 😛)
The journey isn't predictable nor straightforward.
A long-term vision is all you need to get past the lows, increase serendipity and achieve your dreams. It's your light in the dark.
Here's how you can prepare a safe shelter for any weather.
#1. What's your dream?
Why do you do what you do—someone might ask you.
Define the Why, What, and How of your personal mission.
For me, it's building a $100k/year sustainable business out of my creations, so I can work whenever and wherever I want while traveling the world. There is no going back from here.
The mission gives you direction but leaves room to catch opportunities along the way.
#2. What's the roadmap?
You can't realistically go from 0 to a $100k income without doing the homework. It usually takes three years to achieve such a goal starting from the bottom zero.
What are the intermediate steps? Think about them as business chapters:
Year 1, cover the expenses and explore;
Year 2, double down on what works;
Year 3, scale the business to $100k.
Then go in-depth.
How much money do you need to cover the expenses?
The goal is to survive and lay the foundation.
In my case, it ranges between $25k and $30k. Splitting up the freelancing stuff I'm already doing on the side ($14.4k/year), there is $11k–$15k left to cover.
Reaching a $12k income during the first year is way more feasible than shooting at the moon. Either it is a $1k MRR (harder) or several product launches (more accessible).
Although you don't need to get very specific in this phase, assessing the numbers is crucial.
#3. What's the small thing that moves you toward the goal?
I've had an on-and-off relationship with goal setting.
I won't suggest planning every step, but let randomness guide your progress.
Focus on what you can do in the next couple of months to move the needle.
Short-term goals should wind into the bigger picture and take you one step closer to your mission.
Brick by brick.
No wonder I started getting myself out there so often after leaping.
That Saturday, on the couch, I felt inside out. My mental health was at an all-time low for almost no reason.
Somehow I survived the whirlwind, and the answer was right in front of me.
You don't see someone's long-term vision, only the breadcrumb trail they leave behind.
People I was comparing to are still figuring things out as well.
That's why the mission is key to your uniqueness.
You can't copy someone's long-term vision.
"Before you quit, try."
— Ernest Hemingway
Build in Public Bites
This week, I don’t want to highlight one particular progress, but a friend of mine.
Shruthi wrote a relatable and inspiring retrospective about her last nine months as a solopreneur. Give it a read!
Taking the plunge is not a breeze.
It takes time to gain confidence and start trusting the process.
PS: I want to help 3 people launch their projects on Twitter. If you’re working on something right now, drop me a line!
I love the pathless path. Something about the wording.
Glad to be on this journey alongside you!
Oh thank you so much for the mention Mattia! Means a ton! Plus expect a DM from me for something haha