Why Reading Sucks
This week I’ve been doing a lot of reading about ways to find pain points, and how to talk to customers, and how to write copy, and how to target your initial customers, and how to define your target audience, and…. basically everything EXCEPT actually DOING these things!
What a total time-suck! It’s so obvious now that it’s really fun to read about the successes and failures that these people had, and try to mentally file them away saying to myself “self, remember… do/don’t do that when the time comes to start”. The problem with this was that I didn’t actually get started following their advice!
When was the last time you did this? When you were supposed to be taking the trash out, but got distracted by the mail on the counter that needed reading? (it’s bad when you read the entire issue of Wired cover-to-cover while standing at the counter, isn’t it… ?), or when you should have been listening to your spouse/SO/kids but were catching up on Facebook?
Sheesh. It makes me kind of sick to think about the lost time I’ve had doing stupid, unproductive stuff like this.
The whole purpose of the
#5kpermonthchallenge is to kick my butt into gear; to do the things I already know how to do – but I keep finding ways to sabotage myself! In this case, I simply was procrastinating so I didn’t have to tackle the tough work of digging on forums, blogs, twitter, etc. to find pain, and then analyze if there is a solution that I can build to it, and if people would buy it.
How I’m Fixing Myself
So, what am I doing to rid myself of these distractions? My first inclination was to just stop doing any reading for fun, whatsoever. If you shut water off, you can’t flood the bathroom right? (okay, maybe it’s a weird analogy, but did I mention I have a seven year old son?)
The problem with going cold turkey on this is two-fold. First, I LIKE reading… I get inspired, I learn from it, and I just simply enjoy doing it. Is it really helpful to stop doing something I like? Might I become resentful of the solution I end up building if it is the reason I don’t get to enjoy another thing?
Second is, this reading is in fact good for me. It reminds me that there are ways to progress through various challenges that have been tried and proven in the past. It helps inspire me to continue, even when I’m tired, and want to go to sleep early. It helps me avoid pitfalls others have encountered.
Instead, I’m setting aside specific times to read these, get inspired, refresh my understanding of the various processes I’m following, etc. I’m also setting aside specific times to work on the actual WORK of the challenge; gathering pains, and compiling lists, following (roughly) the sales safari methodology.
I’m excited about my progress so far on the challenge, mostly it’s been a learning experience about how hard it is to stop trying to think of ideas, and instead trying to listen/read and identify pain that people are experiencing. The first blog post of the series was read nearly 4000 times, and while that’s purely a vanity statistic, and doesn’t get me closer to my goal of $5000 USD in monthly revenue, it did make me realize just how many people are interested in this topic, and I hope that my transparency gives you some encouragement to take on a challenge like this of your own!