Product Development April 6, 2020

Earning the first $100 MRR from my side hustle felt good at first. But I'm not excited anymore.

songthamtung @songthamtung

And I feel the same with every other extrinsic reward or material possession. Getting them feels good for a while, but this wears off quickly.

My motivation suddenly dropped after achieving this goal. Now I don't know what to do anymore.

Have you experienced this feeling before?

  1. 8

    I watched the webinar hosted by Baremetrics and put on by @louisswiss. In that Louis said "identify the customers you serve and build relationships because those relationships will keep you motivated every day whereas if focus on the problem/solution you can lose motivation" (I'm paraphrasing).

    So, building relationships with the customers you're helping and regularly hearing about how you have helped them might re-energize you rather than focusing on the pure dollar ROI.

    That statement was really helpful for me, hopefully it helps you too.

    1. 2

      Thanks @Lakebed_io!

      Well said. This is helpful to me. I also think this is quite a cognitive dissonance because one of the golden rules of business is to focus on solving the problem. But at the same time problems don't exist in a vacuum and we have to realize that there are real people on the other side.

      What we do directly affect the lives of others, and it's quite isolating when we're all behind a screen, so I think it's healthy to proactively reach out to our customers and see how they're doing. Else we'll just be focused on the numbers and that alone can drive people mad.

  2. 5

    Reminds me of my sales days when you would hit quota at the end of the month, celebrate, only to come in the next day back at 0.

    I think it helps to think of these more as checkpoints on the way to a larger goal rather than achievements in themselves. A good reason to ask yourself why you are doing this and what you want out of entrepreneurship life. #DeepThoughts

    1. 1

      Thanks @baird!

      Your sales experience does strike a chord. I do agree with your reason to ask yourself why you do what you do. For me, it wasn't about the money. But once money came into play, things changed. But I think this is part of the journey--to find the balance between doing what you love and earning a living.

      Not a rhetorical question -- Do you think that the larger goal should be achievable?

      1. 1

        Yeah, definitely part of the journey. The money made is just the means to the end... which never really ends. Just on to the next one.

        I dunno. It's probably most important that the goal is just authentic to yourself. Hopefully, the money goals coincide with the main goal.

  3. 3

    This is something I've struggled with in the past and you are certainly not alone. Congrats on hitting the $100 MRR!!

    I started to readjust what I think of goals. It really helped me to set a larger objective goal and then set smaller goals on the way to getting to where I wanted to go.

    I think that's the bit that really helped me out of it. I have a vision for what I wanted to achieve and these goals are steps along the way. Similar to Gary V and his wanting to own the New York Jets, mine isn't as big as that but still it's a way for me to keep moving forward and just keep ticking off those goals as I pass them along the way. But also make sure your setting the right goals. Money doesn't motivate me at all. I have found it's other things that really work to motivate me, might be an idea to try and figure out what those are.

    Don't get me wrong I still have days when the struggle is on but I know where I want to go so I can move forward when I am back in action.

    Another point is you have been really working hard and doing long hours, the lack of excitement you feel now might just be your head telling you it's time for some rest days. A lot of people burn out reaching those goals and forget to take care of themselves.

    1. 2

      Thank you for your thoughtful response @serversncode!

      I appreciate it. I really do.

      I'm happy (sort of?) that you can relate to the struggle that I'm going through. It does make me feel somewhat better knowing that I'm not the only one who has felt this before. Yes, I think I will have to revisit my goals and meditate on what truly motivates me. This is important.

      And really great reminder on finding time for resting. I felt like I've been pushing myself so hard lately that I forgot to take care of myself. Thank you once again 🙏😊

  4. 2

    You're not alone, and it's not a one-time thing either so here's how I manage this:

    1. Hitting a revenue target is the best time to go back and evolve the product. Unless I have product market fit, my current users want me to make the product better. So I talk with my most loyal users and make the things that would make my app more valuable to them. By ending the growth cycle and getting back to product you'll be able to start afresh without killing your momentum. Build version 2 of your blog and get back to doing what you loved.

    2. Take time to have a life outside of your indie hack. Sahil from Gumroad has a great IH podcast episode where he talks about this. Having a hobby, and bringing balance into things, is the sustainable way to build a long term project. It will give you invaluable time to think about what's important for you, and your company.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the great advice @alienboy! Yeah I think I just might find a way to bring balance to my life. I love this mindset.

  5. 1

    I can relate. We are addicted to progress. Remaining stagnant - whether it be at $100000 MRR, $1000 MRR, or $100 MRR - sucks. Keep setting slightly more challenging goals. Not too challenging that you get jaded but not too easy that you feel you haven't done much.