I was frustrated.
It was Sunday. None of my projects were working. I was tired. Sad. Lost.
I went for a long walk with my girlfriend. Walked for hours. Here in Wrocław, Poland, by the river and through the autumn leaves. I was thinking of how many beautiful days I was losing because I was working every single day.
I came back home from this long walk and sat down with the computer on the couch. I rarely work on the couch. I was tired after hours of walking. But my brain was oxygenated, and I had many hours to reflect.
Walking is like medicine. It reduces your stress levels and makes you more creative. It was clear to me that spending more time working wouldn't help me succeed.
Should I Quit? Should I stop working on my project? Is it worth spending Monday to Sunday working and losing my freedom to buy my future freedom?
And then, just there, I decided to stop. I needed to find another path to be an entrepreneur and find my freedom. I was doing it wrong. It felt wrong.
So I sat down and started writing an article about it. I wanted to say goodbye. I needed a reset. It took me fifteen minutes to write it. It felt like I wasn’t there.
What happened after was completely unexpected.
I posted the article here for the first time. It’s my favorite community.
The article had almost 40K reads and 200+ comments. And it is one of the most popular articles.
I tried to publish articles in the past, and I had 1 vote and 7 votes. This one has 232 points and 144 comments. I am not an expert on Hacker News, but it seems an excellent result.
My own tweet was popular, probably because of a combination of the two previous channels. It got more than 40K impressions and 7K engagements. That translated to 220 new followers.
That number may look small for some people, but I personally think that it is huge—220 people, highly talented from the tech industry, startup founders, etc.
People told me, “you should write a newsletter,” but I had a link to a “buy me a coffee” at the end of the article, so I started the newsletter almost a day after. Who knows what would have happened if I’d had the link to the newsletter instead of the coffee link? But 100 people joined, and I still think that is an outstanding number considering that I didn’t have time to prepare any appealing offer.
I added the link to buy me a coffee before knowing that the article would be viral. It felt a bit weird. I thought to check if anyone would get me one. I was expecting one or two people, or zero. Yes. Zero was what I expected.
But I had 54 supporters, 2814 views to my profile, and I made $690. That blew my mind. That’s around how much I pay for my rent.
I made around $50 from my SaaS after a full year of working on it. This is proof that hard work is not related to results.
The same article went to Reddit on r/startups. It got 620 upvotes and around 300 comments. It’s one of the most popular articles in the subreddit now.
I didn’t have a plan or a goal for publishing the article. I wanted to check what was going on and why it was so popular on Indie Hackers or Hacker News. The same happened on Reddit.
Reddit is a tough place to promote yourself, but it is possible. This article didn’t have any links, so I didn’t get any direct benefits from it.
I still think it is important to try these things, even though you can not share links (in some subreddits, you can). It had some side-results. Some people wrote to me, asked me questions, offered me jobs, followed me on Twitter, etc.
You never know what can happen, try it even if you can’t post a link.
I published the article also on Linkedin. And it had 75 views, 3 reactions, and 2 comments. Considering that I have 4,700 connections there, it’s low.
Imagine that I only had published my article on Linkedin. I would it thought that people don’t like my writing or that my story is not worth it to share.
That’s why I started to think that there is a thin line between success and failure: the same article, the same person, the same story.
Why this article didn’t work on Linkedin is another story, but use this as a push to you.
If you shared your articles, your product, or your ideas and you felt ignored. Maybe it was the wrong medium, the wrong time of the day, the title you used, the people who followed you.
Don’t get discouraged because you didn’t get the attention you were looking for.