Self Care May 22, 2020

Going through a tough time

Omar Nasr @morocode

Hey all, hope some of you veteran indie hackers can offer some advice. In short I've hit some very very rocky road in most aspects in my life, it's just been an incredibly shitty time for me. While I'm sure a lot of people have it worse out there I can't seem to keep my head above water. What's worse is that I'm very behind on a project for my first professional client and while they are very understanding of my situation it feels like shit. I was super excited to do this project going into it but my current motivation makes me feel like it was never there in the first place. I've never been the person to give up and I don't intent on doing so now. I just feel like I'm running out of options and wasting my clients time and kindness. Can anyone speak to their experiences about pushing through and the steps you took to keep yourself motivated during extreme hardship? This would help me tremendously.

Much appreciated,

Edit: Thank you all for the heartwarming responses. Know it's a hurdle I will get over and eventually will lead to something better. I just needed to vent more than anything and felt like I had no one to talk too. This is a truly wonderful community.

  1. 4

    Few tips based on your exact feeling:

    1. Don't want to work: When this happens to me, I ask myself "what type of person do I want to be? A quitter or a worker?". Once I answer that, I can usually get going.
    2. Keeping mind clear: This is a few things. Take a walk in the morning, lift weights during the day, read something non-work related, and sleep 8 hours. SUPER IMPORTANT to do all these.
    3. Finding the positive: Not sure the extent of the bad times but like you said, things can always be worse. Think about everything you are grateful for, no matter how small. Celebrate the small wins you have on your current project. There is always a bright side.

    You WILL get through whatever it is you are going through. Believe in that and everything else will fall into place. My twitter is in my bio as well.

  2. 2

    Hi Omar,

    Setbacks and challenges are part of the process. Though you're in the middle of it right now, you will eventually come out the other side having learned and grown from the experience. 💪

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I've been there myself. A few pieces of advice from my own experience:

    • Talk to a mental healthcare professional. Communities (such as this one) are very important, but there are people and resources out there that can really help. If the thought of finding and calling a local therapist feels insurmountable, consider trying an app like Talkspace.
    • Take care of your health. Try to eat a balanced diet and get some movement in (walks, runs, bike rides, indoor bodyweight exercise, etc.)
    • Be overly communicative with the client. Explain that you're experiencing some setbacks, but that you are committed to working through them and you appreciate their trust and support. If you feel truly in over your head and haven't yet taken any money, there is no shame in stepping away.

    This is a very challenging time - truly a first for all of us! Be patient with yourself. ❤️

  3. 2

    First of all, welcome to the community! It might not seem like much, but just connecting with others on a similar journey will make all the difference. Just "Trying harder" without taking care of your mental health is probably the most ineffective thing you could do.

    A few years ago I quit my job and jumped head first into the deep end on a side project. I hacked endlessly for nearly a year trying to make something of it. I had almost no support other than my gracious wife. It was a such a rollercoaster of emotions that ultimately burned me out and ended in a failed business (a story for another time).

    One of the many lessons I learned coming out of that is it's essential having a supportive community that understands what you're going through.

    • If you want to take it a step further, go find someone else on IH who is having a tough time and encourage them. I promise the good vibes will come back around :)
  4. 2

    Outsource the project or parts of the project to someone else.

    The biggest hurdle is getting a paying client. With money coming in motivation is there unless you are having personal problems. On the other hand, if money is not coming in then motivation can be very hard.

  5. 2

    I was in this same position this year. I took a client's work I was supposed to complete in a month. By the way, I kept giving excuses and they understood because I'm still in the university, and education is interfering a lot but then we entered a lockdown so they expected it to be finished. I was almost done tho but never touched the code until they were really serious. I submitted the project last week but I took it almost 3months now.

    The simple reason is that I had some ideas in mind I wanted to build for myself and felt like the client's work was taking so much time while I wasn't even building the idea I had and also not doing the client's work. I just a shitty state of mind. You need to snap out of it and stop thinking too much about time. I used to be like I've got no second to waste but ended up wasting months.

    You just have to build on your emotional intelligence and learn to forget anything else and work on a single project. Never forget, there's more time after you're done.

  6. 2

    One small thought always keeps me going:

    *A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!"

    "It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly.

    A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It's just wonderful!'

    "It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly.*

    I know it might not help, but it comes from a good heart and I thought it would be worth sharing. You are not alone, take care!

  7. 2

    A few of my tools:
    1.) Tell myself that this is going to make an epic origin story or biography when it is successful.
    2.) Think through how nice things will be as the "light at the end of the tunnel".
    3.) Recognize I, as with everyone, have limitations and working within those limitations is far better than overdoing it.
    4.) Set a mental budget and work within that. When you've used up your budget for the day that's done. Working with a budget evens out spikes and dips rather than pushing hard for a deadline one day and being unproductive the next.

    My email and Twitter are in my profile and please do reach out. I, sadly, have a bit of experience with challenges and happy to help in any way I can.