The French has a phrase called “L’appel du Vide,” or “Call of the Void.” Roughly translated, it’s the urge to jump from high places. Mountaintops and such. depending on who you ask L’appel du Vide is either a form of self-destruction or self-expression. Suicide or adventure.
That’s sort of the feeling that everyone who is starting down a new path experiences. It’s exhilarating and scary at the same time. You’re crossing the threshold and leaving your comfort zone. Diving into the abyss.
For most people, risk taking is accompanied by a sense of dread. They all ask, “What if I fail?” And rightly so. Everything is new and foreign. Small tasks are difficult and sorting through misinformation is like a full-time job.
Truthfully, your first victories will probably look like failures. When you’re getting established there are no epic power moves or dramatic events. Most of what you do would seem pretty boring to the causal observer.
Real life isn’t some silly movie. You aren’t going to have to make a million to one gamble that pays off, or invent a creative new way to keep customers from leaving. Instead you’re going to take baby steps and master the basics. It might not sound exciting, but it will take you farther than any crackpot scheme ever could.
In fact, I have an actual example of some “dull” steps I took to make a business that pays my rent.
How increasing your income 1,000% can look mundane
In November of 2014, I sold, or lent, 20 Kindle books for the entire month. This earned me less than $50. It is now 9 am on January first as I type these words. So far I’ve made between $5 and $8 off my eBook business this morning. And by the end of the day I’ll have a few more units sold.
If things keep going this way I’ll have netted $400 in passive income this month. That’s my rent in Vietnam, all paid for with eBooks.
While running an automated business is cool, my initial goals would probably sound laughable. I wanted to take my project, which was initially earning between $3 and $6 a month at the start of 2014, and turn it into something that pulled $100 every 30 days. To do this I had to sell about 50 books each month, or about two books a day. Starting out things were pretty inconsistent. There was a single day where I moved over 10 books, the next day I sold nothing.
Yet I stuck with it and learned what worked. Reading about keywords, studying blurbs, and analyzing best sellers allowed me to raise my monthly earnings 1,000% in a single month. Figuring out the process took most of that time, the actual book production was done in about three hours.
Why this should matter to you
Discovering a long-term process is infinitely more valuable than setting an unrealistic, but impressive, goal. “I’m going to make one billion dollars this week” is a statement that would grab anyone’s attention. But it’s impossible to achieve unless you’ve already mastered the boring fundamentals. Learn to make a dollar from your business first. Once you’ve done that, set a goal of making $10. Then $100. Take everything one step at a time.
Developing a way to make three bucks a day off a passive income steam probably sounds stupid. Most people would roll their eyes. But once that same venture starts earning a thousand dollars a month, people will have all kinds of questions. Your venture goes from “stupid” to “cool” once the zeros pile up.
January is the month when most people are starting out on a journey into the unknown. They’re going to the gym for the first time, fiddling with a business idea, or taking on a new skill. And all of these will seem futile and pathetic when they start out. Struggling to bench press 95 pounds is embarrassing and makes you feel horrible (I know from personal experience), but you’ll be moving bigger weights in no time.
Fighting to make your first dollar off affiliate marketing is horrible too. But sticking with yields huge rewards.
Sitting down, learning the basics, and hanging in there will easily lead to a 2,000% increase in profits. In my first month of blogging I made $1.63. Two months later I was earning a dollar a day. Seven months later and I was making a couple thousand a month. In the span of a year you can increase your earnings by 100,000%.
If things look grim, keep going. A futile little project that you’re struggling with today could be your personal goldmine next year. You just have to continue developing it.