It isn’t always easy to stay motivated about your career. There are up days and down days. The same is true of informational products–it’s easy to let the motivation slip from time to time. So today I’m going to share one of my favorite things to do when I need to feel more motivated. I crunch some numbers.
Why I Love Numbers
Numbers are concrete. They allow you to think about something that’s both specific and measurable. They’re something you can actually strive for.
That’s why I love numbers, and why they can be so motivational for me. They allow me to think about the “what if?” of any project I’m considering taking on.
Staying Motivated with Basic Client Work
Sometimes the hardest thing to focus on is the client work that I have to do. Maybe I’m not feeling well that day. Or perhaps I’m feeling bored on some level because I do certain types of projects so often. Thinking about it in terms of the numbers can help.
For example, I’ll look back through my payments from the previous month (or whatever my recent high month was). I’ll tell myself I should try to beat it, even by a little bit. I have a competitive spirit, so that alone can push me to get my work done rather than risking procrastinating. So if I earned $2000 one week, I might push for $2500 the next. Or if I had a slow month the previous month, I might try to make up for it by doubling it the following month. As long as I keep challenging myself, the work interests me. Crunching some numbers helps me do that.
Motivating Yourself to Try Something New
This is the more “fun” part for me, and the numbers are hypothetical. In fact, they’re often downright unrealistic.
Let’s say I’m getting ready to release a new e-book (which I am). I probably have a price in mind (let’s use $37, since it was the price of my last e-book). Sometimes it’s difficult to get started on a project like that (knowing the income won’t come until later), and other times it’s a bigger problem to keep going after I’ve started. So I play with numbers.
First, I think about a worst-case scenerio. Perhaps I only sell 100 copies. Would it be worthwhile for me financially? $3700 for something that may have taken a month to write really isn’t that bad. Let’s say the e-book is 100 pages. That means even with low sales you’ll earn $37 per page. Is it more than you get paid per page for client work? If so, that’s all the motivation you may need (full control of the project, but higher earnings). If you’d earn more working for clients, keep playing. Find out how many copies you’d have to sell to match your client earnings, and then figure out a plan to sell that many copies. Once you have those numbers and that plan laid out, my guess is you’ll suddenly feel more motivated to get on that e-book.
Here’s another thing you can do, just for the fun of it. Pick a dream income from that new project – maybe $10,000, or $100,000, or even $1,000,000. Why not? Dream big here. It’s just about ambition.
Use the $1,000,000 figure first. How many copies of your e-book would you have to sell to gross that much over time? A little more than 27,000 copies. OK. So it’s not realistic for your e-book… probably. Now drop a zero. How many copies to earn $100,000 over time? Just over 2700. Hmm. Sure, it would take a heck of a lot of work to sell those e-books, but if you have a reputation in the niche, and that niche has a large market, it’s certainly looking more possible, isn’t it? Is that month, few weeks, etc. that it would take to write your e-book worth that $100k to you? You might start looking at it differently, no? Now ask yourself, would it be worth it if you could earn even $10k? If so, you’d only have to sell 270 copies.
Factors of ten are great like that, aren’t they? It gives you a look at potential gross earnings, and what you’d have to achieve to get there each step of the way. Remember this isn’t about business planning. You’re not thinking about marketing costs, affiliates, etc. You’re just playing with figures to help motivate you to get started or keep on going.
Give it a try. Pick your dream income, and figure out how many hours you’d have to work, how many e-books you’d have to sell, etc. to gross that amount. Who knows? You may be pleasantly surprised by how achievable some goals really are when you break them down. And if not, well, wishful thinking also has its place.