Working online can be an amazing way to create financial and time freedom, but it usually takes a bit of time and effort to see results. So how do you know if you are wasting your time, and even your money while you wait on the results you want?
The main way to judge this effectively is to check your progress on a consistent basis.
Today I want to talk about ways you can check if you are actually making progress, or identify if you are spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
First things first, you need to have some kind of measurement system in place so you can actually monitor change. The easiest way to do this is to set goals or targets that you want to reach.
When I say you need to set goals and targets, I don’t actually mean the big ones. Its not about saying you want to reach $10,000. Its about setting small realistic short term goals which you can definitely reach within a few days or a few weeks.
Have You Set A Realistic Short Term Target?
Often people just start working online without giving themselves a realistic short term target. Having a goal of “making more money” doesn’t count…..
Considering the majority of people working online never actually make a profit, and can in fact lose money trying, I think it is very important to set yourself a low level short term target. I know there is a lot of talk online about visualising yourself as rich, not limiting yourself by setting low goals etc, but having a low level short term target is the only way that you can check if you are actually getting anywhere or not. It is NOT limiting to aim for a realistic goal which you can continually increase when achieved. In fact this will keep you motivated and forever moving forward.
I suggest a first short term goal of $10 (or £10 etc). That is a PROFIT level to aim for and not a sale of $10 by the way….. there can be a very big difference. Plenty of people can make a $10 sale if they spend $100 on advertising to get it….. that is not a profit.
Fact is if you can make a profit of $10 online then there is a very good chance that you can do that over and over again. $10 is also a great stepping stone amount which can be used to earn more.
Most important however is the fact that you have either made $10 profit or not. Its a yes or no type of situation and a clear measure of progress.
What Does Progress Look Like?
As just mentioned the idea of making a $10 profit is a clear measure of progress. Earning $1 in profit or $100/$1000 etc is also a clear measure of progress. However, it is important to note that not all progress looks like dollar bills. For example you could have set yourself a learning goal to achieve, or a specific number of team members to reach.
Sending 100 emails is another type of goal, and joining 10 groups or forums related to your topic or product of choice is another. In other words there are a lot of ways you can actually measure progress. The main thing to keep in mind is a clear and measurable picture of what progress looks like FOR YOUR GOAL.
Without a clear picture of progress it is impossible to answer the question about if you have reached it or not. It should be very obvious – a yes or no answer is required.
Progress and Motivation
One of the main reasons to track your progress clearly is because of the feedback loop that it creates in your brain. A positive feedback loop will release feel good chemicals that make you want to continue, and a negative feedback loop does the opposite.
If you really want to keep working on a goal then you need to have a positive feedback loop to help push you forward. Reaching small realistic targets is the easiest way to create a positive feedback loop. You know without a doubt that what you are doing is working and it motivates you to keep going. Without that positive reinforcement motivation can be lost and you soon find yourself becoming distracted or giving up completely.
The Just Do More Myth
So many times people who feel like they are not making any progress with their earning system are told by others “You just need to do more”. Another popular saying is “Success is just around the corner”.
To be honest there are definitely times when people do need to do a bit more work, but mostly they need to do something different. A very smart man once said “If you keep doing what you always did, you will always get what you always got”.
It makes no sense to keep doing something that does not work. You will still get nowhere by doing more of it. Doing something that works some of the time, but not always can also be a recipe for disaster. It gets confusing and frustrating and that will create a negative feedback loop.
Yes SOMETIMES doing more can lead to better results, but you need to do more of the RIGHT things.
How do you know what the right things are? They are the things that get results regardless of the size of the result. When you know what is getting results, THEN you can do more of it and that will allow you to progress. Even if it is slow progress, moving forward consistently is what will get you to where you want to be.
How to Stop Spinning Your Wheels?
If you find yourself in the situation where you have stopped moving forward, or if you are moving backwards which can happen too, its time to stop. Its not always about stopping completely, but give yourself time to think and analyse. What is going on? What is holding you back?
Be realistic with yourself and ask if you are doing something that works or not? Are there alternative options to try? Can you ask someone for advice on what to do? Are other people getting consistent results with this method?
All of these questions will help you to analyse what is going on.
Only you can decide if you can actually do more or not, but make sure you are doing more of what works. Set those small targets and measure how far you have moved towards them.
If you are not reaching those small realistic goals, like earning $10 or adding 10 people to your contact list, then you need to take a serious look at what you are doing. If you are in fact moving backwards….. like if you are paying $100 to make a $10 sale then STOP what you are doing immediately.
Go back to the drawing board and create a new plan. Make sure you are making progress by measuring your results against small goals which you continually increase. That way you will soon reach those big goals that you want to achieve.
Do let me know below what goal you are working on right now. Are you making progress? If not I am sure I can give you some guidance to help you turn that around!