Are you working hard but not seeing results?
It can be difficult to keep going when results seem to be coming slowly, or not at all. Founders weigh in below on finding the motivation to keep pushing forward!
The SWOT analysis is a strategic technique that identifies a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Here's how you can apply this framework to level up your business!
Founder Andrew Fraine overcame a sense of unworthiness to keep pursuing his indie hacking journey. Below, he shares his advice on beating imposter syndrome and the fear of failure.
Want to share something with nearly 100,000 indie hackers? Submit a section for us to include in a future newsletter. —Channing
🐢 Pushing Forward Through Slow Progress
by Pavati Dasani
How do you keep going when results are coming slowly? Founders share their best advice on staying motivated through the slump!
Remember the big picture
River Hacker says it's important to keep one thing in mind:
People overestimate what can be accomplished in one year, and underestimate what can be accomplished in 10 years. You need to always think of the big picture!
Craig Campbell says that hope is what drives him:
Hope. No matter how little of it I feel on a given day, hope always keeps me going, even while watching things happen slowly or not making the progress I want to see.
challenges founders to go back to their initial reasons:
If you're working on your project for intrinsic rather than extrinsic reasons, that alone is always a good reason to keep going. I always think that people give up when they are focused too much on extrinsic factors, such as money or fame.
I would also recommend that any founder who is feeling discouraged take a break from your project for a week. Refresh and recharge, and your motivation may be refueled.
Nick says that this feeling sometimes arises due to burnout:
I keep following my processes to drive growth (outreach, new content, etc.), and scale back my efforts, if necessary.
I would much prefer steady work output over high intensity output for a week or two. The latter burns me out hard.
(Check out this Indie Hackers post on coping with burnout!)
Just says that dividing projects helps him avoid burnout:
During development, I divide the project into a series of milestones. I usually make plans to complete a small working version first that can be published within 2-4 weeks. Once it's done, I'll start adding features one-by-one, then share it online. By doing it that way, I can cherish my progress for every milestone and each feature that I add.
The positivity files
Jay recommends creating a special file:
In the earlier stages, it's key to keep motivation high so that you can keep going.
When I first started my business, revenue was extremely slow. But as long as there were users who continued to use my product and provide feedback, it kept me going, even though the money hadn't caught up.
I ended up creating a swipe file containing all of the positive feedback, good reviews, and other words of encouragement from my users, and I refer to it whenever I'm feeling down or demotivated.
Motivation and willpower can be fickle things. You have to find your own way to stay motivated and keep on track.
Dragan Milicevic shares a quote from "The City in the Desert" by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery:
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
This sea manifests itself in our imaginations and thoughts about the reality we desire.
Start dreaming, and see yourself reaching your goal. While doing so, make the images of the goal gigantic, colorful, and moving. Stay in the desired result for at least 10-15 minutes a day, immersing yourself with all your senses. Become an artist. Color in the beautiful details until the result is as clear as you want it to be. The easiest way to do this is to let the imagined scenario arouse enthusiasm in you.
When you come out of the dream, you will be inspired. Use this energy to take action. Maybe you start writing an email, building a website, or setting up a financial plan. This intuitive action will feel good! Most likely, you will take action in a way that seems closer to the goal. You might write the end of your book first, or the second chapter. Or you might design the packaging for your product idea first, or look for suitable distribution channels.
Whatever the actions are, dare to follow the inspiration. In short, always keep the end result big. From this arises enthusiasm. Then, the process follows all by itself.
How do you keep going when progress seems slow? Share below!
Discuss this story.
📰 In the News
🎶 Oracle has begun auditing TikTok's algorithms for manipulation by Chinese authorities.
🤰 Pregnancy apps have bad privacy protections. New opportunities for founders?
🌊 Atlantic hurricane seasons are running ahead of schedule.
🦻 The line between headphones and hearing aids is getting blurrier.
📱 Here are the implications of teen internet usage.
🧐 Using SWOT Analysis to Elevate Your Business
by Syed Balkhi
SWOT analysis is a technique that involves using strategic planning to enable business growth by identifying and analyzing an organization's:
- Opportunities, and
Using the SWOT analysis for your business is a wonderful way to identify the loopholes and flaws that are stopping your growth.
The idea is to analyze the negative areas of your business that can be improved to maximize opportunities for growth, boost your sales, and increase overall profits.
Here's how to use the SWOT analysis for your business!
Benefits of SWOT analysis
There are several benefits that come from performing a SWOT analysis:
It keeps you updated about the current status of your business, and helps you measure your overall business performance.
It enables you to strategically adapt to market trends to meet your desired business goals and objectives.
It's a wonderful way of identifying and highlighting your weakness so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent damages and losses.
By analyzing your strengths, you can stay ahead of the curve.
The four quadrants of SWOT
A good SWOT analysis will always assess both internal and external factors, along with current and future potential. This gives you a data-driven look at your company's strengths and weaknesses.
Experts divide SWOT into four important quadrants:
Just as the name says, analyzing your strengths means understanding what your business is excelling in. It also helps you identify the areas where you stand apart from your competition.
You can look at aspects like:
What is your competitive advantage?
Which of your products or services are performing well?
What are your assets?
How skilled is your team?
Identifying your company's weaknesses is important so that you can work on those areas to overcome your challenges, remain competitive, and perform at an optimum level.
Ask yourself these questions to identify your company's weaknesses:
Which of your products are underperforming?
What areas of your business need improvement?
How can you bridge knowledge gaps in your company?
Opportunities are those favorable aspects that can help you gain a competitive edge in the market. These factors are important in helping you strategically plan to achieve your goals.
Let's look at some of the questions to help determine your business opportunities:
What is your unique selling proposition?
How is your business different from others?
What unique resources do you have access to?
What technology can you use to improve your operations?
What new segments can you explore in the market?
By identifying the threats to your company, you can hone in on the potential challenges and problems that could prevent your overall growth. Knowing this can help you take the necessary steps to prevent damages and minimize your losses.
The following questions can help you work on overcoming your challenges:
What new market segments can affect your business?
What new technology do you not have?
What skills are you (and your team) lacking?
What new regulations threaten operations?
Is your data well protected?
If you want to maintain an advantage over your competitors and boost your profit, SWOT is one strategy to help you get there!
Do you use the SWOT analysis for your business? Let's chat below!
Discuss this story.
🧠 Harry's Growth Tip
from the Marketing Examples newsletter by Harry Dry
Bring the outcome to life.
Don't sell a Walkman. Sell skating through the park with your boyfriend while listening to it.
Go here for more short, sweet, practical marketing tips.
Subscribe to Marketing Examples for more.
❤️🩹 Andrew Fraine on Overcoming Unworthiness
by Bobby Burch
What keeps so many curious, inspired founders from launching a product? In this series, I speak with dev founders to see what inspired them to launch. Email me if you’re a dev founder interested in sharing your story!
Andrew Fraine’s career in engineering was a big departure from the founder's life he now leads.
Before he cofounded Automata, an AI-powered SaaS for marketing teams, Andrew was earning a Ph.D and working full-time as a researcher in an experimental quantum optics lab.
What led Andrew to depart what would likely be a stable, lucrative career as a staff engineer for the indie hacking life? He says that it all came down to freedom and the joy of building.
I spoke with him to learn about what inspired him to launch, and what he’s learned so far in his founder's journey.
Why did you become a founder?
I value freedom and ownership of my time over everything else, including economic opportunity.
What did you struggle with early on?
A difficult skill a lot of early founders struggle with is the ability to outsource repeatable jobs to free up enough time to do things that require research and deep thought. This is a huge challenge, especially for bootstrapped founders, because we’re always in the mindset that we have to do everything ourselves. It’s difficult to forecast an ROI when paying someone to do something that we could do ourselves.
What skills did you cultivate to become a well-rounded founder?
The most important core skills that a founder, whether technical or non-technical, needs to have are marketing and communications. There is no way around having a clear explanation of your product and the value that you bring to your users. It doesn’t matter if you build the most useful, advanced, cutting edge piece of software; if you can’t market it, no one is going to buy it.
Did you encounter imposter syndrome?
Yes. I haven’t come across a founder who hasn’t encountered this. I felt this very deeply at the beginning because I am a 100% self-taught developer, and I’ve never worked for an established company as a developer. I always have the thought in the back of my mind that I’m not following best practices, there may be holes in our security, etc.
What about the fear of failure?
If you fear failure as a founder, it’s a good idea to ask yourself how you’ll feel in 5-10 years if you don’t give it a shot. Whether or not you succeed, your skillset is your most valuable asset. You’ll always be able to fall back on that.
If you have a stable job and are not sure if you really want to be a founder, it’s a great idea to test the waters in a very small way. Create a small niche app in your spare time that serves a group of people with a very clear problem. Market it on social media to see if you enjoy the process of starting from a blank page and building something from nothing.
Any advice for analysis paralysis?
Yes. Not knowing the potential outcomes of leaving a job to become a founder is likely the main source of paralysis analysis. I recommend visualizing the worst case scenario. Is it starting a business and potentially failing, or is it never trying at all?
Visualizing worst case scenarios, and understanding how you would deal with them, is a great way to understand whether or not the risk is worth taking.
Discuss this story.
🐦 The Tweetmaster's Pick
by Tweetmaster Flex
I post the tweets indie hackers share the most. Here's today's pick:
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Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Gabriella Federico for the illustrations, and to Pavati Dasani, Syed Balkhi, Harry Dry, and Bobby Burch for contributing posts. —Channing