Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Create And Earn Tip #5 - How to Keep Motivation Up

There's no reason to look for motivation when things are going well, when your designs are selling like crazy and you're seeing results derived from all of your hard work.  But what do you do when you don't see any results, when days or weeks go by and none of your designs sells, when your friends and family think you're wasting your time in a non-sense dream?

When I first began working with POD websites I had more motivation than any real talent or knowledge.  I would consider myself working for Christmas and based on the results of that particular time of the year I would decide if all the work had been worth it or not.  I have been lucky enough to see sales raise with each year.

That was up until recently.  I noticed a constant decline in sales.  I didn't think much of it the first few months, however, as time went by, I noticed I was starting to lose motivation.  When I became aware that my emotional state was declining, I decided to change some of my habits, and thanks to those changes I have been able to go through some rough times.

In this article I'm going to post some suggestions on how to boost your motivation and not lose it as time goes by.  All of these have worked for me and I hope they work for you as well.

Remember to comeback to this page when sales have stopped coming in and you feel like giving up.  Doing some of the things I'm going to list here will get your spirit up.  It won't be easy, but we all know nothing good in life comes easily.

THINK AND GROW RICH by Napoleon Hill
Perhaps the best guide on how to achieve goals, any goals.  I strongly suggest buying a copy of this book or listening to the audio file in YouTube.  Try to get a hold of the version edited for the 21th century as it gives more recent examples of the concepts Hill talks about.  It sure has helped me and I hope it helps you out too.  I suggest listening to it only 1 hour per day since there's about 11 hours of content in this audio file and it can be overwhelming.  There you'll find new ways of how to use your imagination, cultivate persistence, develop faith in a non religious way, and so much more.

Study the Life of Inspiring People
There's nothing worse than believing your life is horrible.  I used to believe I had been born under the worse circunstancess possible, that I would never overcome the challenges in my life because they were "too big".  That was until I started to study the lives of some of the greatest goal achievers in American history.

These men were able to overcome bigger obstacles than any I would ever encounter.  Were they super smart people whose parents gave them everything to help them succeed?  No.  They were normal people like you and me.  The only difference is they found a way to achieve their goals.  That's why I admire them and want to be like them.

I personally believe Henry Ford and Walt Disney are a source of inspiration.  They both set up to do what at the time seemed impossible, but through hard work, dedication, imagination and persistence they both reached their goals.

Were these two individuals born in fancy houses and received the best education money could buy?  No.  For this and many more reasons I consider them my source of inspiration and watch a documentary about their life each time I want to boost my motivation.

I'm not saying you should become Ford's or Disney's fan.  What I'm trying to say is to find your own heroes.  Find inspiration in the journey someone else has taken.  One of the worse mistakes we humans make is to question our abilities when in fact we all should question our limitations.  Head out to the internet or public library and look for people who questioned their limitations and because of it achieved their goals.  It will get your motivation up.

Not Getting E-Mail Notifications
This one is a little counter intuitive.  One would think getting notified when someone has purchased one of your designs is a good thing, right?  In theory, yes.  In real life, not so much.  When you get a sale there's that rush of happiness, excitement and all those good emotions, but what happens when you stop getting sales?  Most people start to worry.  The problem only gets worse if you were used to seeing a certain number of sales per day, week, or month and you see that number go down.  That's when you start to doubt your sales strategy or if the career path you chose was the right one.  I know I did.

Not getting that doze of excitement and happiness creates a void, and that void is made up of doubt and anxiety.  It's difficult to maintain a positive outlook when you're full of doubt and anxiety. From first hand experience I've learned most of the time it is pointless to worry about not getting the number of sales you were expecting.

I've seen some depressing months turn into good ones in a matter of three or four days.  Sometimes it seems like people decided to buy our graphics just as the month was ending.  After experiencing that over and over I realized expending the best part of the month worrying wasn't a good idea.  However, for some reason I couldn't control I was still worrying.  That's when I decided to take a look at what I was doing and how that affected my emotional state.

I realized my days pretty much started well.  After completely waking up I was happy and full of energy, I did some work in the morning and then I checked my e-mail.  If I got a sale or two I was  happy, but not if there were no sales.  If I didn't see any sales I noticed I started to check my e-mail more often than if I gotten a sale and slowly started to get more anxious if no sales showed up.  One day something happened.

After getting home from the gym, and as I was getting ready to work some more in the afternoon, I said to myself, "Why?  Nobody is going to buy anything anyways?".  I shut the computer down and watched TV instead.  I didn't want to work and I didn't care.

I don't remember the exact moment when I realized checking my e-mail and not seeing sales was damaging my state of mind, but I do remember being at the gym and feeling great as I was heading to the locker room to get ready to go home and thinking to myself, "I don't want to get depressed by the lack of sales".  So I didn't check my phone.  Instead I got dressed, went home and did some work that afternoon.  To my surprise there were two sales after checking my e-mail when I finally checked it.  The two sales had come 10 minutes before checking my e-mail.

When I was 18 my Spanish teacher gave me a book called The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho, as a high school graduation gift.  In it he talks about signs.  According to the book, God, or the Universe, or whatever you want to call it, gives you signs to indicate you have made a good decision.  I took those sales as a sign.

Since that day I've set up specific times during the day to check my e-mail.  If sales slow down I check my e-mail even fewer times per day.  Anxiety levels have gone down, motivation level is high and tends to remain high, and for the most part income has remained constant even if most part of the month is slow as a turtle taking a nap.

This concept sounded a little too far fetched when I first heard of it, at least to me it did.  The first place where I heard of this suggestion was in Think and Grow Rich, the book/audio file I mentioned at the beginning of this article.  Then I ran into it again in another audio book, this one called "Feel the Fear And Do It Anyways" by Susan Jeffers.

The theory is very simple.  We all have two minds, the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.  According to these books, the main decision maker in our everyday life is not the conscious but the unconscious mind.  Since it is unconscious, there's almost nothing we can do to affect it.  But the good news is affirmations will help out change the way our unconscious mind works.

But what is an affirmation?  Well, the word itself says it all.  It is affirming something, whether if you're going to have a good day or if you will be able to perform a certain task.  If you repeat this affirmation three to ten times per day over a long period of time, your unconscious mind will start to believe that particular affirmation and you'll be able to perform that task or your mind will find ways in which your day was a good day.

The way I use affirmations regarding work with POD websites is I tell my mind I will produce graphics and pictures people will buy.  At the same time I do it without telling it how, this way my mind has come up with some creative graphics.

Ready for one of my personal affirmations?  OK here it is:

"I create funny and clever designs and beautiful pictures people will buy".

Quite simple, eh?  Well, according to these books, short and simple affirmations work best.  You can take this affirmation and use it if you want.  There's no charge for it.  Just remember to repeat it to yourself at least three times per day.

If you want to create your own affirmations there are a couple of guidelines to follow:

1. State what you want to happen as if it is already happening.  For example, if you want to become more creative and lack creativeness, you can use an affirmation like this one:
"I am a creative person".

2. Don't use the word "try".  I heard of this in Think And Grow Rich.  Apparently the use of the word "try" implies an ongoing effort.  You don't want to "try" to be more creative, you want to be more creative, right?

3. Repeat your affirmations throughout the day.  The books where I found this suggestion said to repeat the affirmations at least three times per day.  For me this was a little difficult because I'm always busy.  Instead of doing that, I decided to repeat my affirmations late at night when I'm in bed.  I used to have problems falling asleep, I would just toss around and have all sorts of thoughts in my head at night.  Instead of thinking all that nowadays I just repeat my list of affirmations over and over.  I found out it helps me fall asleep a lot sooner and I'm well rested and full of energy the next morning.  On top of that, the affirmations are working in my unconscious mind. 


So here they are.  I hope these suggestions will help you in those times when your motivation is down.  Feel free to share your own techniques in the comment section if you want.  I'll be happy to hear them.

Please, listen or buy the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, study the life of inspiring people who fought adversities and won, do not get notifications when someone has purchased one of your graphics, and use affirmations to state you'll be able to handle the pressure.

Don't forget comment and share this blog.  If you want to get a notification when another Create and Earn Tip comes out, don't forget to subscribe.

As always, I hope you've gotten as much value from this article as I intended to give.

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