Most of the things you do when working on products won’t have any immediate effect.

This is good and bad, when money is coming in you can take the week off and it won’t have any significant effect on your paycheck. When money is not coming in, there’s almost nothing you can do to stimulate revenue today (with the exception of a big promotion or sale). This can be frustrating, but it’s how the game is played.

Building a new feature or writing a blog post will have very little effect on traffic or sales this month, but it may pay off 6 months from now. When new sales come in, they are the result of work that you did months, or even years ago. Everything you do today (besides answering emails) is an investment in your future. It takes a mindset of delayed gratification, and keeping a longer timeline in mind.

Delayed gratification means spending day after day writing content with no immediate increase in traffic or subscribers.

It means turning down that paying client so you have time to build a product that no one will buy for months.

It means feeling like you are wasting your time, when you should be getting paid.

It also means 6 months from now you might start seeing an uptick in your traffic.

1 year from now you might be making enough monthly sales to quit doing client work.

2 years from now you might have a small team, with multiple products and a steady stream of revenue.

Or maybe it won’t. The problem with the delay is that you just don’t know until you’ve put the work in for free, for a long time. That’s why most people don’t stick with it.

3 thoughts on “Delayed Gratification

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