May 16, 2019

Does it get better?

CL. @machhh05

Hi Indie Hackers out there!

It's been a rough month. I'm feeling really overwhelmed at the moment with the million things going on. Do you ever get used to it? And more importantly, does it get better? I'm relatively new to side-projects and business things and I feel like the stress is adding years to me already. How do you guys get past the fear that can grip you at times?

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    It does, in part because you get used to it, and in part because you get better.

    I don't have much to go on based on your post, but you've said that you're new to all this, so I'm going to assume that you're in the early stages with your project/business. If that's true, the red flag to me is this statement: "million things going on."

    What million things do you have going on? Focus! You're small. You should be saying no to 99% of things that seem appealing. You don't have the bandwidth to do them all. Embrace the constraint that that's not an option for you. Let things slide. Shrink the scope of what you're aiming for at the moment, and get to your ultimate goal one small step at a time. Build SLCs. Etc.

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      Thanks for the link! I always suspected that there is something else besides MVP.

      I still have a lot of questions though... maybe will create a separate post to discuss.

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    It does get slightly better, although I think most founders (and especially solo founders) eventually run into problems with anxiety and depression. I'd suggest starting to deal with it sooner rather than later.

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      I couldn't agree more!

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    Hi CL!

    I see myself going through the same thing sometimes, it can feel like climbing an endless mountain but you have to remind yourself, why are you doing this? What's the end goal?

    I recommend dedicating some time of your week/day to self reflection. Think about what you've done and reflect on how far you've come, it helps!

    Keep your head up, we're rooting for you here!!

    -- mooraage

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    Hi CL!

    I think about this a lot — this month things have gotten much more under control, but the past few months were super stressful. February and March were exciting months to me (lots of new users! more revenue!) but also incredibly painful (more customer service requests than I can handle! everything is on fire!) I found myself in the position where all the positive things were abstracted away (MRR was going up, which is great, but it's just an abstract number) whereas I vividly felt all the negative things (more work, more downtime, more stress) — getting success and money was great, but wasn't worth the tension and the lost sleep.

    It was helpful for me to keep in mind the concept of the Hedonic Treadmill (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonic_treadmill):

    Hedonic adaptation is a process or mechanism that reduces the affective impact of emotional events. Generally, hedonic adaptation involves a happiness "set point", whereby humans generally maintain a constant level of happiness throughout their lives, despite events that occur in their environment.[2][4] The process of hedonic adaptation is often conceptualized as a treadmill, since one must continually work to maintain a certain level of happiness. Others conceptualize hedonic adaptation as functioning similarly to a thermostat (a negative feedback system) that works to maintain an individual's happiness set point. One of the main concerns of positive psychology is determining how to maintain or raise one's happiness set point, and further, what kind of practices lead to lasting happiness.[citation needed]

    No matter what successes or opportunities come in life, you're gonna end up running into stressors and difficulties. The trick for me, at least, was to build out habits and personal systems to emphasize the things that really matter: health, fitness, and some level of personal wellness. That means sometimes getting overwhelmed, and knowing that it's for a good reason and an opportunity for growth; that also means that sometimes, the best things for my projects is to put away the laptop for the night and to go for a nice long run (or open a beer.)

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    Here are a few things I may do to help:

    1. Pick something small to do, give yourself a quick win and get some momentum.

    2. Do something physical to alleviate the stress.

    3. Step back and think of what could be worse... i.e. did someone die today? If not, it's a good day (a military friend of mine gave me that one)

    Overall you'll get used to some of the stress, but it may be new stress. I was recently stressed for a few weeks when google dropped some rankings and demand gen seemed to slow but I concentrated on what I could control (may have ate some ice cream too) by doing other tasks to optimize conversions.

    Now a few weeks later things are coming back around with google and from the conversion work I did, the # of leads coming in are even higher.

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    It does.. kinda... :) Stay focus and remember what is important in your life. Create a daily schedule and include some time to relax - go for a walk in forest, drive highway at night. I know a lot of people who made it...some run marathon, some meditate.. but I will always remember what my friends who owns a huge company told me "all entrepreneurs have a dark side". GL!

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    I used to think that motivation will get me through but rather discipline even if you don't want to do it, you have too. And as time goes on I have gotten more used to it. You will have your ups and downs but it will get better. Focus on things that will improve your product and tried to ignore the distractions that will take away your time.

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